Smith and Wesson revolvers for the 45 acp

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Keith posted this 03 August 2009

I have been looking for a Smith 625 or older 25 for the 45 acp/auto rim.  The newer 625s have a good reputation for accuracy but the older 25s for the little I have been able to learn can be more challenging.  The size or oversized cylinder throats seems to be the problem most often with the model 25s.  Can any of the members who have experience with these give any suggestions as to the dates of manufacture when Smith and Wesson would have made the model 25 with the .452 cylinder throats, or is this just the luck of the draw.  I am set up to cast for the smaller throats and would like to use the same loads and not introduce a new variable to the inventory.  I also prefer longer barrels and the 5 inch 625 is not easy to find.  There are on the some of the acution sites model 25s which are not in the collector price range,  and have 6 or 6 1/2 inch barrels.  I am look for some gude lines to differential between the two, and to have some idea of what to expect before jumping in.  My goal is accuracy first.

Keith DVM

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JSH posted this 03 August 2009

Keith, I was in your shoes a couple of years ago. Short and to the point on this subject. I should have bought a plain jane 25 or 625, used to do what I wanted it to do. After some searching and looking, talking etc. I went with the 625JM. A darn fine looking pistol and felt good in the hand. That is where it stopped. Cylinder is crap, forcing cone is terrible. Trigger and internals, not even close to a blued gun. This is the first brand spanking new SW I ever bought. I have had my share of used ones and could never say a bad word about them. This is th elast new one I will ever buy. It has turned into a money pit. Upside to this is, a very good learning experiance and everything I have done to it has helped. So I don't feel the effort has been frugal. Just unecessary. If you buy a new style, I suggest you tear it down to bare bones with a good honest cleaning. Mine had so uch filings in the action lube I thought it was anti sieze or some super lube Mine will shoot ball FLGC type projectiles fairly well. Lead is another thing. Throat/forcing cone is terrible. Soon to be fixed. Between the time and funds I have in this, I would be foolish to stop now. pay the price and find a good “blue” gun and be done with it. Jeff

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Dale53 posted this 03 August 2009

My experience has been quite different. I, a couple of years ago, purchased a 625-8 Jerry Miculek Special (4") new. I have been having “aging eye” problems so mounted a Red Dot sight on it. It shoots EXTREMELY well. Well under an inch at 25 yards. I did install a JM Spring kit and set the double action at 9.0 lbs and the single action at 3.0 lbs (really, a piece of cake as I didn't have to do ANYTHING in reference to smoothing the action, etc). It was and is one of the most satisfying revolvers I own. Last year, I shot it between 2000-3000 rounds. I am on track to shoot these two, collectively, about 5000 rounds this year. All cartridges are my home cast lead bullets and reloads, of course.

That one was so satisfying that I went to the OGCA last year looking for a 5” one. There was exactly ONE 625 that I found. It was a 5” 625-6 model of 1989 in as new condition (an estate safe queen by all evidence). The price was agreeable, so I took it home and mounted a Red Dot on it and it is at least as good as the JM Special but of course, does not have the JM Grips nor removable front sight. I put a spring kit in it also.

These revolvers are SO good I take both of them to the range with me and sometimes shoot one and sometimes shoot the other.

I have two friends who, after I got my JM Special, tried it and immediately ordered theirs. Theirs are as good as mine.

Here is a picture of my 625-6:

These are mostly shot with target loads (200 gr H&G #68 Clone from a six cavity MiHec mould) ahead of 4.0 grs of Bullseye or equivalent) or the same powder charge with an original H&G four cavity #130 bullet. The alloy is Wheel Weights + 2% tin. They are sized at .452". Both of my revolvers and my two friends' revolver, have cylinder throats of .452+ (you can push .452” bullets through the throats with some finger pressure).

As an experiment, I shot two different 200 gr bullets (the #68 and #130) with three different powder charges and they all went into the ten ring on the timed fire target at 25 yards. In short, they seem to shoot well with most any reasonable load. I am 74 years of age and am certainly past my shooting prime, but have shot several targets this year that I am quite proud of (95 and 96 out of a hundred on the slow fire target). These revolvers just seem to be VERY user friendly.

Dale53

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JSH posted this 04 August 2009

Hello Dale, good to see you here. My 625 leading issues are going to be taken care of shortly. I must have a nack for getting the lemons? I got my BANG hammer spring and rebound spring and am going to see waht that gives me for results. He still advises to use Fed primers. I have had zero luck in finding any as of late, and refused to pay the price for a few a friend found for me. Thank god he didn't buy them then want me to pay up, $75 per 1K. Could I trouble you for a part# on the scope base for the red dot please. thanks jeff

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Ed Harris posted this 04 August 2009

My 4 inch 625 Model of 1989 looks just like the one pictured, except that I'm still using the factory iron sights. I use the Saeco #954 Cowboy bullet which is a 230-gr. rounded flatnose which drops from the mould at .455 in wheelweights. I load these as-cast and unsized, lubricated with Lee Liquid Alox and profile using the Lee Factory Crimp die with 4.5 grs. of Bullseye. From my set back and rechambered Marlin 1894 Cowboy converted to .45 ACP, an average of ten consecutive 5-shot groups at 50 yards off sandbags with iron sights is right at 2 inches. My 625 groups about the same off sandbags using iron sights at 25 yards as the Marlin levergun does at 50.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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cityboy posted this 04 August 2009

I bought a S&W 25-2 several years ago and have seldom used it. Is it still considered a top gun in its class? I am thinking of selling it but don't know what the demand is.

Jim

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excess650 posted this 05 August 2009

My 25-3 4” is another fine example.  I've shot the miniscule 152gr to 255gr, and it doesn't seem to be fussy.  Ragged hole groups at 50' were common when I was shooting at an indoor range.  My pet load with a 255gr LBT WFN is 9.5gr Blue Dot in 45 AR cases and Federal primers.  It shoots a bit high with the rear sight all the way down, but accurate.

I can't say when S&W tightened the throats on the 45s, but you can bet if it has a pinned barrel, it'll have oversize throats.

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Ed Harris posted this 06 August 2009

I used to have a Model 25-5 in .45 Colt which dated from 1984 and had huge .458 cylinder throats. Only way I got it to shoot was to take an RCBS 45-300GC .45 mould and machine off the GC heel to make a 270-gr. flatnosed mould which dropped at .459 I used this in a .455 Hand Ejector I had at the time and also with the 25-5, using 6 grs. of Bullseye in the .45 Colt and 4 grs. in the .455, casting bullets of 1:25 alloy and shooting unsized, with light film of diluted LLA. Sold both guns to the same guy when I left Ruger. Since I like the lighter punkin roller loads all my .45 revolvers are .45 ACP now, Pietta 1858 Remington and Ruger Old Army with Walt Kirst conversions, and the 625 Model of 1989. All use the Cowboy “Scofield Equivalent” load, 4.5 grs. of Bullseye for about 720 f.p.s. with 230 LFN.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Dale53 posted this 06 August 2009

JSH; My scope mounts were purchased from CDNN for about $20.00. They no longer show them on their web site. Further their “one price for all” shipping charges are rather high for inexpensive items. However, they have a close out price on the Simmons 30 mm Red Dot (I have several and they are excellent for everything up to and including .44 Magnum). These will not stand up to the really heavy hitters (.454 Casull and up) but work just fine with the more moderate calibers.

One of the absolutely BEST Red Dot sights is the Ultra Dot. I prefer the four reticule model in 30mm. 30mm seems to be the sweet spot in size (easier to “find the hole” than the 1” one and doesn't interfere with gun balance like the larger 42mm do).

Probably the most “elegant” sight base is from Weigand and the price is good, also:

http://www.jackweigand.com/swhpmnt.html

In the later S&W's they are already drilled and tapped for scope mounts so they are easily installed (just remove the rear sight and install).

Red Dots have given me a new lease on my shooting life. With the dots, I am just about as good as I ever was. THAT IS GOOD!

Dale53

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Treetop posted this 08 August 2009

I have an early 80s S&W 25-2 with a spare cylinder chambered in .45 Colt.  This spare cylinder stared life as a Model 27 cylinder chambered in .38/.357.  A local gunsmith named Earl Long, re chambered it and fit it to my 25-2 revolver.

After reading this post, I checked both cylinder's throats and was disappointed to find the following:

1) The factory .45ACP/AR throats were .456-.4565 inch.

2) The “converted” cylinder throats were .455-.4555 inch.

I haven't shot this gun in 15-20 years so I can't remember what sort of accuracy I was getting. 

Last winter, while “still hunting for squirrels with a .22 single shot rifle, I encountered several whitetail bucks and feral hogs, all at < 30 yards.  So  I have decided to work up a safe load, using my Lyman 454424 bullets, in either the .45 Auto Rim or .45 Colt.

I have two questions:

1) What can I do to minimize the effects of the over size throats?  Cast “hard” bullets that would resist upsetting in the throats?

2) What loads would you recommend for deer and hogs at < 30 yards in this 25-2.  Will my gun safely take the old “Keith” load of 18 gr. Alliant 2400 with the 454424, if I work up to it carefully?  This load would only be shot very occasionally when sighting in before season and when taking game. 

I am new to this forum but I'm a second generation llife long handloader.  I learned the craft from my Dad as a teenager in the early 60s.  I have been a Machinist/Tool and Die Maker since the early 70s.  Thanks for your time!

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GBertolet posted this 08 August 2009

I have a 25-2 also. Mine has .455 cylinder throats. Just about any lead bullet I shoot out of this gun works well. As long as they are big. I have been fortunate to have several 45ACP molds that cast 454 dia, casting of half lead and half wheel weights to insure bullet upset in cylinder throats. They are shot unsized using Lee Liquid Alox. I settled on the Lyman 452460 SWC bullet with 4.2 gr Bullseye. Heavier loads of Bullseye worked fine also, but I wanted a plinker load so I settled on this one. It's heavy enough to insure bullet upset. No leading what so ever. From a rest it shoots 1  1/2 inch or better at 25 yds. When I first got the gun I tried some .451 dia bullets I had for my 1911, and they leaded like crazy. So experience shows I must stick with the bigger bullets. They chamber easily even at .454 dia. I started out using auto rim cases, but it got to be a pain since none of my progressives would take the auto rim case, due to it's extra thick rim. So I switched to auto cases with full moon clips and never looked back. I bought several dozen of the moonies. I just load them up at home before going to the range and demoon when I get home. No muss or fuss. It impresses the heck out of the weekend warriors at the range who never seen anything like that.

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RicinYakima posted this 08 August 2009

Treetop,

1. Even though it doesn't sound logical, softer and not harder bullets lead less. If you cast, WW's or a little softer is just fine. If you are buying bullets, look for factory, soft, .454 bullets made for 45 Colts. A .455” bullet would be best.

2. If it were I, consider the 45 Colt cylinder. I would not recommend the Keith load, as it was worked up with “old” 2400 data when it was made by Hercules, and not the stuff sold now. Since a hundred feet per second isn't going to make any difference at 30 yards, I would consider 8.5 grains of new Unique, with a 255 grain bullet with the biggest flat nose you can find (Lyman 454424).

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tturner53 posted this 08 August 2009

Here's a heads up for you 625 fans. CDNN has a Limited Edition nickel finish N-frame 25 45ACP with a 3” barrel for $600 dealer price. I think the ad is still good, not positive. If you're interested go to www.cdnnsports.com.

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excess650 posted this 09 August 2009

With those big cylinder throats I would opt for a bullet that would fill them.  The 454424 cast of WW + 2% tin should get it done.  If necessary, lap the mould to get it to drop a bullet large enough.

I like the 9.5gr Blue Dot load with 250gr bullets in AR cases.  As always, start a bit lower and work up. 

I didn't keep my 25-7 long enough to decide what was a good 45 Colt load, so I'll defer to other experience on that one.  The cylinder notches on the 45cal S&W N frames are pretty thin so don't try to make a magnum out of it.  A hardcast 255gr at 1000fps should be adequate. 

<Last winter, while “still hunting for squirrels with a .22 single shot rifle, I encountered several whitetail bucks and feral hogs, all at < 30 yards.  So  I have decided to work up a safe load, using my Lyman 454424 bullets, in either the .45 Auto Rim or .45 Colt.

I have two questions:

1) What can I do to minimize the effects of the over size throats?  Cast “hard” bullets that would resist upsetting in the throats?

2) What loads would you recommend for deer and hogs at < 30 yards in this 25-2.  Will my gun safely take the old “Keith” load of 18 gr. Alliant 2400 with the 454424, if I work up to it carefully?  This load would only be shot very occasionally when sighting in before season and when taking game.>

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Keith posted this 25 August 2009

Shortly after i started this line I found a five inch 625. I like the old blued Smiths but I like acurate revolvers more. This 625 is just like what I have read on these revolvers, easy to shot, acurtate, and shoots any reasonable load well. I really like Ed Harris,s 4.5 of bullseye with a 240 grain LBT LFN that was designed for the acp. However, the supply of hercules bullseye I have is getting low and I will be saving what is left for the 38s. So I will be trying a few other powders in the short term. Keith DVM

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Dale53 posted this 27 October 2009

I was out to the range a couple of days ago and shot my “Personal Best” with my 625-6 5½” Model of 1989:

The load was a MiHec H&G #68 clone - 200 gr SWC sized .452” ahead of the last of my P5066 (4.5 grs). This chronographs 719 fps (SD of 6) and shoots quite consistently well under 1” at 25 yards. These were shot with Auto Rim cases (Starline).

When I get a target like this (or close to it) I get on a “Natural High” - who needs drugs:dude:!!

Dale53

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Balhincher posted this 28 October 2009

That is fine shooting Dale.  Makes me want to hang up a target and try some bulleseye shooting again.  I've got a model 25 but haven't done any serious target shooting with it.  I have those same two H&G designs (168 and 130) and used to shoot them a lot in my Gold Cup.  This discussion tells me I need to measure the throats on the model 25 and see what size bullets I'll need.

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Dale53 posted this 30 October 2009

Balhincher; Thanks for the kind words.

My cylinder throats on both of my 625's (625-6 and a 625-8) are .452". I can just feel the bullets enter the throat when I use the 454424 bullets or 452664 when they are sized at .452".

I have a new NOE Group Buy 454424 mould that I will be running tomorrow A.M. I will load up some for my 625's and see how they shoot.

I don't know why I am so interested in shooting heavy bullets from these revolvers as I have several .44 Magnums and two Ruger large frame .45 Colts plus a couple of .454's, but, I am. So I will continue on this path for academic reasons.

I fully believe that a good 255-260 gr Keith bullet (or LBT WFN or WLN) of the same weight at 900-1000 fps will give excellent results on close range hogs and deer. In fact, I would be REALLY surprised if you ever recover a bullet. I see “through and through” regardless of where they are hit with a moderately hard cast bullet.

Dale53

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Ed Harris posted this 01 June 2015

I wanted to dust this thread off and bump it with some eye candy. This is my .45 Hand Ejector Model of 1950 Military, which is a commercial version of the M1917 with the postwar style short action and hammer block.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Bud Hyett posted this 01 June 2015

You are somewhat at the mercy of the luck-of-the-draw, however, there is hope. I own several Model 25's in .45 Colt and have had experience with the .45 ACP in helping friends find loads for their guns. I have a 25-5 with 8 3/8 barrel, 3 T's that I will never sell because I wanted one. It has .455/.456 throats and needs a lot of care for loading.

The older guns for .45 Colt after WW II tend to have larger cylinder throats. Cylinder throats run .455, even to .457, but the guns shoot well if you are willing to work up a load. The 25-2 .45 ACP has tighter throats and shoots competitively for Bullseye matches.

S&W brought out the Model of 1989, the 25-7, because they finally realized  they needed a quality product again. There was a second run of this model in .45 ACP and .45 Colt, both are hard to find for sale today. I bought a 25-7 for a woods carry gun and immediately bought a 625 Mountain Gun because the 25-7 was too good to waste in the woods. The 625 shot as well as the 25-7.

I would look for a used 25-7 or a Mountain Gun to maximize the chance of getting a good revolver.

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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giorgio de galleani posted this 01 June 2015

I bought about thirty years ago this S&W   635-3 revolver , because I had a black splined rebated cylinder one , that  was too big to be worn in the front blue jeans pocket ( following good elmer Keith's advice ).

Put on a Pachmair grip that suited my hands and  Millet sights that suited my eyes .Last year aging eyes preferre  the fiber optics front sights .

Shot with EXTREME pleasure all manners of loads , from pin shooting hand grenades to  mousefart cowboy loads . Thousands of them , a lot for an italian , I know that you US shooters shoot much more rounds that what we europeans do . 

Used autorim brass or ACP brass ,with  and without  moon clips . All with large pistol primers

Ten years ago I had it retimed , with a new hand .

I do not know what leading is .

 

One thing I must confess , in these last months I am putting the 45 a little aside  , because I have  an L model S&W that shoots the  9x21 Italian rounds , that  fact to a miser scrounger like me has some appeal . Most the 9x21 shooters are private policemen ,that abandon their brass.

But nothing beats the pleasure of shooting  serious USGI  hardball power rounds , using cheap powders and soft scrap lead. A deep boom , low recoil and rewarding gon sound on the steel targets .A big bore is a big bore , Without the suffering of the full house 44 magnum ( but that is another story)

If a shooter incurs in a specimen with undersize throats , opening them is simple ,and if they are bigger than necessary , just shoot bigger soft bullets .

I am just happy  ,with no leading I use the fodder that my 1911 pistol like ( not to mention the 45USC Heckler und Koch voracious carbine) 

 

 

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giorgio de galleani posted this 01 June 2015

Beg your pardon ,I am covering my head with ashes, The previous picture is of a S&W 44 Magnum , with 4 inches  barrel .

Here 's the 45ACP in the company of a 45LC Vaquero.

My brains have turned to unuseful jekky.

The 45 ACP revolver continues to be a great fun to shoot , even the ancient S&W models of 1917 that for respect merit ligter loads.

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giorgio de galleani posted this 01 June 2015

This might be the right one

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Keith posted this 01 June 2015

In the time that has past since first posting the question I have found a Smith and Wesson 625 of 1989 with a five inch barrel.  While I really like the old Smiths like the one Ed shows I just have not wanted to contend with having to manage with a revolver with a large throat size and needing to have two different bullet diameters to keep track of.  I also added a USFA single action with both the 45 Colt cylinder and the 45 ACP cylinder.  I have come to prefer the 45 ACP cylinder.  Both shoot either a 0.452 LBT WFN or the LFN Veral suggest for the 1911.  The LFN does a little better once the cylinder is fowled as the large driving band on the WFN prevents the round from seating.  I use 231 and Bullseye but mostly 231 as I have a long term supply.  Steel plates out to 50 yards makes for a relaxing day away from the clinic. I have a Accurate Mold 45-245D to try out this summer.  Maybe an old Smith or Colt will come along some day to test it in. Keith DVM

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Tom Acheson posted this 27 November 2022

Had to go digging to find this one!

I’m loading some ,45 Auto Rim loads for my S&W Model 25-2. The bullet is the RCBS 45-201 SWC.

Question…..what OAL for the cartridge should be used? This isn’t a 1911 semi-auto so that OAL development doesn’t apply here.

Thanks!

 

Tom

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RicinYakima posted this 27 November 2022

I taper crimp just in front of the lube groove to get some of the front drive band into the throat. I size to the throat with I can get a bullet that big. These shoot very well in my 625.  HTH

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lotech posted this 27 November 2022

Had to go digging to find this one!

I’m loading some ,45 Auto Rim loads for my S&W Model 25-2. The bullet is the RCBS 45-201 SWC.

Question…..what OAL for the cartridge should be used? This isn’t a 1911 semi-auto so that OAL development doesn’t apply here.

Thanks!

 Seat it to whatever depth you wish. I taper crimp these loads so really don't have concern for the crimp groove. Before you settle on a seating depth, however, fire some benchrested groups at 25 yards to determine if one OAL stands out over the others as for as accuracy. 

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lotech posted this 27 November 2022

I have a 25-5, a 625-3 (3" barrel), a 625-6 (5" barrel), and a 22-4 (4" barrel). My newest is the 22-4 bought new about fifteen years ago. I use the same load in all of them - a Saeco #069 (H&G #68 copy) at about 200 grains and 5 grs. Bullseye, about 850 fps in a 4" barrel. I taper crimp all loads. I use AR brass, hate messing with the clips and tools required for using ACP brass.

Some years ago I compared accuarcy of taper crimped vs. roll crimped; seems like roll crimped rounds were slightly less accurate, but not enough to really matter. Take your pick.  

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Eutectic posted this 28 November 2022

Try out EZ moon clips. They are industrial plastic and you can easily load and unload them by hand. They will wear out but I have used some over 50 times. Unlike metal clips there is no "bent clip" problem. The only downside is they are loose and will not pass a drop test.

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lotech posted this 28 November 2022

Eutectic-

I know some like to use the clips. That's fine and I appreciate the suggestion, but I've yet to find a drawback to the use of Auto Rim brass. 

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Tom Acheson posted this 28 November 2022

I too don’t mess with moon clips and ACP brass. But….I recently came across some fired ACP cases that use small primers. An accuracy advantage or cost maneuver ?


When I bought my 25-2 revolver, Oct. 2018, I went looking for AR brass. Settled on (500) Starline cases. Kind of a luxury working through (500) cases, grabbing a new case for every load.

Next was measuring cylinder exit holes. A 0,455” pin gage would not enter, a 0.456” would easily enter. So I’m sizing @ 0.455”. Sidetrack….I avoided my SWC mold in the past because I THOUGHT it was too small of a dia. I size those @ 0.452” for my 1911. Recently I’ve been using a RCBS 45-255 bullet because of its as-cast diameter. So, an experiment, using an alloy of 20:1 (already in the pot) I made (50) of the SWC. They drop from the mold @ 0.455-0.456”. I sized those @ 0.455” and that’s what I’m loading now. They weigh 218-grains…..a bit heavier than what the mold box and mold say of 201-grains!

For crimping I’ve used a Redding profile crimp in my .41 Mag for many years. I also have a profile crimp die for .45. Don’t know if that die is similar to a roll or taper crimp.

I’ll use two powders in my “experiment”. 4.5 of Bullseye and of 4.0 of WST. Primers are FC-150.

Tom

 

 

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Glaciers posted this 28 November 2022

Nice to see this thread pop up!

I had a 625 5” 1989 that in the early 90’s, because I wanted to help fund some other gun project that was so important, that I can’t remember what it was.  What I do remember is that in a fairly short period of time I really missed that 625. 
Fast forward to 2018 and I finally managed to have money at the same time a 625-2 1989 4” became available.  Made the deal on the phone and drove 250 miles while the seller agreed to meet me in a small town for the sale.  He wanted to take a short, 120 mile motorcycle ride because we were having great late fall weather.

Long story short is I paid about double of what I’d sold my 5” gun for 25 years earlier.  Very happy to make the purchase.  It is a fine shooter just like I remember.  This one along with a 22-4 will be in the will to my son.

But, I haven’t had much time to play with either one yet, the 22-4 did get a fair amount of 45 ACP ball ammo run through it, but the 625 has only had cast run through it.  Fortunately both pistols have .452 cylinders.

In gathering molds and correct dies, sizers, a fellow on another Forum offered a bunch of Remington 45 auto rim brass brand new in the sealed bags for the price of postage.  400 pieces, well I paid the postage as requested and threw in market value for the brass.  He had told me more then once he only want postage, but, I certainly can’t let that stand.

Well I like heavy for caliber bullets, one I have specifically for the 625 is a NOE 452 304 bullet that has been fun so far in very limited testing.  Yeah I know, most or all of you are thinking, I’m nuts.  But hold on.


This big bullet I load long at 1.325 if my memory serves, I know it’s 1.3 plus, don’t have my notes in the house. But it is engaging the cylinder throat, this length is .10 longer then listed for any heavy bullet data I’ve found.  Been using Bullseye and 30-1 alloy.  

I also have, wait, I can hear noses begin to turn up at the mere mention of LEE molds, but they make some good 6 cavity 45 caliber molds, and I can afford them.  In LEE 6 cavity I have the 160, 200, 255, the 255 I’ve used so far is a great bullet.  I also have a couple of Lyman and RCBS molds that will be tested as well time allowing.

The fascination with heavy bullets started 45 plus years ago when I first moved to Alaska.  Before living in the lower 48 it was velocity, velocity, velocity.  Everyone around me was in that camp.  Most hunting was generally longer shots.  But coming up north I was able to clear my head a little.  30-06 became the small caliber.

But back to the subject of the 45 ACP 625.  My interests are in mainly 44 mag which I load 310’s from back in the late 70’s and more recently the 480 Ruger and 410 grains there.  I had a great deal of interest in having a 5 shot 50 Special built but the cost put that one back in the “I wish” department.  
I was looking for a heavy 250 to 400 grains at 800 to 1100 fps.  The S&W 4” model 29 with 310’s at 1100 fps makes a great carry gun. The Ruger 480 with 410’s at 1100 penetration is all that is needed for anything on this planet.

But, the 22-4 4” with 255’s at 900 to a 1000 fps is very respectable.  When I purchased the 625 I had the best of both worlds, midrange velocities with soft (8-9 BHN) light to heavies bullets, fun, easy to shoot and best of all very accurate.

Next spring and summer I will be fleshing out these two pistols and will be posting here.  

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Tom Acheson posted this 28 November 2022

Maybe a case of “heavy for caliber”? The lower one is a S&W Model 57, .41 Mag. The shiny one is a Dan Wesson 357 Super Mag, modified to shoot .41 caliber. The case is a shortened 220 Swift (rimmed). The bullet is a Hoch 325-grain. The S&W has taken (5) Wyoming Mule deer. The DW has taken (14) Wyoming Mule Deer. When using the S&W the bullet was a SSK 295-grain. Everything with cast bullets.

So I guess I like heavy and slow….but the deer don’t!

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glaciers posted this 29 November 2022

Tom that’s a lot of venison!

I take your referring to the SSK Sledgehammer by JD.  That’s theNEI bullet I use in my 44, which weighs out at 310 or so.  
Just sold to two 41 mag molds, 4 cavity 300 grain and a two cavity one cavity at 225 and the second at 275. Bought them for use in a 405 but it never came together after 40 years I figured someone else might put them to use.  Both molds made by Walt of NEI for JD Jones

still have the 358 200 of the same design.  Should have picked one up in a 45 caliber.

your pictures won’t come up for me.

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Tom Acheson posted this 29 November 2022

Me and photos for this site do not get along!

I know I could e-mail them to people.

Tom

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hporter posted this 30 November 2022

Try out EZ moon clips.

Are those like the RIMZ plastic moon clips?  I have a bunch of those, and they are easy to load and unload in the field.

I shot my 625 Performance Center last month, and I accidentally dumped a few of my black steel moon clips and a couple of the plastic moon clips in my stainless steel pin tumbler. My plastic ones came out squeeky clean - as did the steel ones.  It was just that the steel ones came out bright and shiny - as the black coating came off in the pins.  I am sure they will rust now - but they sure were pretty when I pulled them out!

Glaciers, I sure like those big bullets you are shooting.  I think the heaviest I have shot are my RCBS 270 SAA bullets in Autorim brass.  But, I like the way you think!

I shoot 200gr bullets out of my S&W Nightguard Scandium framed snubby in 10mm.  But at sedate speeds somewhere around the power level of a 40 S&W.  It makes a satisfying Ker-plunk against AR-500 plates!  

I know there are a lot of theories on stopping power - but I am impressed time and time again by the way large caliber heavy slow moving bullets whack the heck out of a steel plate - where a 9mm just pings and moves it very little....

 

 

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Eutectic posted this 05 December 2022

Yes, they are RIMZ plastic moon clips. The other clips I like are the 1/3 moon clips which hold 2 rounds. Not as fast a reload as full moon clips but they do not have the bent clip problem. 

The 45 ACP in a revolver needs a crimp groove and shallow seating to maximize powder space and keep pressures down. I have had good results with Accurate 45 -248H. If you wanted it heavier you could have Tom lengthen the nose, there is plenty of room in the cylinder. 

 

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beltfed posted this 11 December 2022

Very interesting bringing up this old post on the 45 revolvers.

beltfed/arnie

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beltfed posted this 12 December 2022

Has anyone heard of or read about the 45 ARM?   as in AutoRimMagnum?

Guns and Ammo article was back in , I think late '60s -'70s.

I did some work on it in late '70s and will be getting some info on to this thread soon as I can assemble.

How about M25, velocities at 1340 for a 185 grain JHP?

And  impressive velocities out of the 452423 and the 454424 Keith SWCs

My Oehler M12 at that time said 454423/ 262 grains,   clocked 1132fps out of 6.5inch M1955.

 

belttfed/arnie

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beltfed posted this 12 December 2022

Correction to the above :  It was the 454424/262 grains......clocked 1132fps....

 

My 45 ARM load with the 185 grain Hornady JHP grouped  1.73 inches at 50 yds

The 454424 load grouped 2.5 inches at 50 yds

'Back in the day when I had better eyesight.

The G&A article and my work was with Herco powder and bullets seated and crimped only 0.150" into case

to give about the same 'under the bullet" case volume as a 44 Special..

beltfed/arnie

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beltfed posted this 14 December 2022

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beltfed posted this 14 December 2022

Above are the 45 ARM loads mentioned above.

It is noted that I could back off the powder charge a bit and seat the lead bullets so as to cover the grease groove.

beltfed/arnie

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lotech posted this 14 December 2022

Some of you may have the old Speer manuals  from the '60s with the warm Auto Rim loads using #2400 powder. I'd have to get the books out to know for sure, but I think they may have used balloon head (folded head) brass for at least some of the loads. 

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RicinYakima posted this 14 December 2022

Almost! Only Peters and Rem-UMC and R-P ever made Auto Rim cases. Balloon head cases were not made after about the 1930's, the 1950's cases were of a larger volume than post 1970 cases. The old Speer manuals were with data from "eyeballing" fired cases and not from pressure Modern Bond machines. 

The new Alliant 2400 is useable in 45 cases, but only because it is faster than the old Hercules stuff. START LOW, AS IN 10 GRAINS, BEFORE YOU GO UP! Fwiw. 

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lotech posted this 14 December 2022

I think it's pretty common knowledge among those who have been handloading more than a few years that the old Speer data was not pressure tested but worked up using what were believed to be "reliable" indicators of safe vs. dangerous pressures. 

I just looked up the data from Speer #6 (1964). Maximum #2400 loads using Remington folded head Auto Rim brass and a 240 gr. cast SWC were a full three grains heavier than a max. load with the same bullet in Winchester solid head brass. The lesser charged loads had a higher muzzle velocity. Lots of powder space in the balloon head brass...

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beltfed posted this 14 December 2022

Ric, 

Small matter, but I have some WRA headstamp 45 Aruto Rim brass... So it was not only Rem and Pete that loaded

45 ARs "back then"

beltfed/arnie

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RicinYakima posted this 15 December 2022

Western bought the remains of Winchester Repeating Arms in 1931 when they went broke. The Olin family changed the head stamps to WW for commercial ammo soon there after. However, WRA was head stamped on military cases into the late 1960's. 

How soon I don't know as I have large pistol primed 357 S&W Magnum cases with both WRA and WW markings. So that was in 1935 or later. 

FWIW, Ric

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Ed Harris posted this 18 December 2022

Western Catalogs, beginning just after the end of WWII had a footnote on 9mm Luger rounds and the footnote stated that Western only sold WRA brand ammunition in that caliber. East Alton produced a vast amount of 9mm Luger ammunition from 1948 until 1966, all of it with the WRA headstamp. Most Winchester 9mm Luger boxes produced after 1947 until 1958 had an A prefix on the box packing date code indicating they the ammo was made and packed at East Alton, in spite of the WRA headstamps. Beginning in 1958, the Winchester 9mm Luger boxes were all marked with the Western style box packing code.

Can't speak to the other calibers except to say that I fired large quantities of 7.62mm Ball M80 headstamped WRA 66 and it was very accurate in the converted Garands we had aboard ship.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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beltfed posted this 22 December 2022

Well, Ed,

Now we know that Western also made WRA headstamped 45 Auto Rim cartridges based on the samples

I have "in hand" 

beltfed/arnie 

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Larry Gibson posted this 23 December 2022

I have 34 cases out of 50 WRA cases I acquired back in '69 when I got my first S&W M1917.  They've been loaded, I don't know how many times, and used in a couple M25s and numerous S&W and Colt M1917.  That included several loadings of the max Speer load of 2400 under a 255 gr SWC.  Lost the 16 cases to splits and have lightly annealed the others which are still going strong.  I only use my standard 45 ACP loads in them.  Still have my S&W M1917/25 which I use them in.  Got a box of factory REM-UMC a while back and have been shooting those.  Those cases are the older balloon head ones.  Still, with mild loads they will be fine.  Also have a hundred+ R_P cases so I'm pretty fixed for 45 AR ammo as I mostly just shoot my standard 45 ACP cartridges in the M1917/25.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Eutectic posted this 28 December 2022

Be still my heart! big_grin It is nice to see all the interest in 45 ACP revolvers, which are dear to me. I have had 10 45 ACP revolvers. Why?? Read my article in The Fouling Shot 150 -151 it must be LOVE.

Yes, and maybe they are nice to shoot, very useful and can be accurate. First, I would rather not deal with the large cylinder throat problem. I take a 0.451 jacketed bullet with me to gun shows. Before I even try the lock-up and cylinder fit I want to know the if the cylinder throats are close to 0.451 and even. The barrel is almost always close to 0.451 so this is important.

Then I look carefully inside the chambers with a white card in front. I look at the area of the cylinder latch cut to see if there is a depression. This is the thinnest point and any dimple indicates over pressure loads have been fired. If you are looking at a 45 Colt gun this is even more important. If everything checks we can talk price.

The older 45 ACP revolvers had a sharp transition from the chamber to the throat. This cuts up cast bullets, leads the chamber and destroys accuracy, see my FS article. I had a Clymer reamer made to modify the throat to a revolver type entrance. It has improved the accuracy of every 45 ACP revolver I have owned. If you want to rent it send me a PM.

Ed Harris recommended a cheaper fix using a 30.06 case and fine valve grinding compound to remove the sharp shoulder. He lets enough of the shoulder remain so the gun can still fire without moon clips. This modification has been incorporated by S&W in 45 ACP revolvers made since ~2000.  It improves accuracy with both cast and jacketed with no downside I have seen.

The 45 ACP case is small, an increase of seating depth of 0.1" can push normal pressure loads up to proof pressure or above!
With ~250 grain bullets like Accurate 45 -248H with a SD of 0.235", 4.9 gr.  Bullseye gives 870 fs at max pressure. You can get ~1000 fs  but you need slower powder. 7.9 gr. VV340 will do it as will 8.0 gr. Power Pistol or 11.4 gr. of Blue Dot. These loads gave case expansion equal to maximum loads from the Hornady manual in my revolvers. Work up carefully, use a pressure ring reference in YOUR revolver. No responsibility is expressed or implied for the suitability of this data.

So what do I use? Lots of 200 gr. SWC's at 750 fs, standard target loads many in Auto-Rim cases.  If I need speed loaders, 230 gr. Accurate 45-231B with 4.0 TiteGroup or Bullseye and 750 fs for fun. A max load of TiteGroup or Bullseye if the match requires full power loads. For blasting bowling pins, the extra weight of Accurate 45 -248H is a plus and 6.8 gr.of Power Pistol gives 915 fs which is plenty. Accuracy of this load over a long series is improved with a 3/8" piece of 1/2" polyethylene backer rod as filler.

Steve 

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John Alexander posted this 28 December 2022

"The 45 ACP case is small, an increase of seating depth of 0.010" can push normal pressure loads up to proof pressure or above!"

========

Is the decimal point in the right place?

John

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Eutectic posted this 29 December 2022

Thanks for noticing John, I corrected it.

Arnie, I guess I missed the articles on the 45 ARM. I was doing the same thing with the the LEE 454-235-WC crimped in the bottom groove seating depth 0.150 and the LEE 452-255-RF seated in the second lube groove seating depth .0235. While the 454-235-WC was 235 gr the 452-255-RF was 241 gr. Maximum loads hit 1170 fs for the 235 gr and 1098 fs  for the 241.

One thought I had back in 1980 after the 45 Winchester Magnum came out was to make a reamer and cut a model 25's chambers to 45 WM. The only problem which surfaced was the 45 WM cases had an extractor groove different from 45 ACP and moon clips would not fit. A partial angle on the headspace step would allow use without clips. The extra 0.300 case length would have increased case capacity and velocity significantly. I never did the conversion, as I figured it would affect 45 ACP accuracy but 38 Special works fine in 357 chambers so maybe not. 

Steve

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9.3X62AL posted this 28 October 2023

I am fond of the 45 ACP and Auto Rim calibers.  

I have owned two examples of the S&W 45 ACP/AR revolvers--

     1) A Model 25-2 vintage 1979 with 6.5" barrel

     2) A Model 625-? with 4" barrel about 3 years old

My first example was accurate and tractable with jacketed bullets, but not worth a flop using castings.  The .456"-.457" throats didn't help one bit in that regard.

The 625 is a far better firearm.  All throats are a couple tenths under .452", and it is divinely accurate with all castings from 200-264 grains in weight.  I use full-moon clips of steel and plastic as well as Starline 45 Auto Rim brass.  It shoots well with jacketed stuff also--my 45 ACP carry ammo for years has been the Winchester White Box 230 JHPs, which is just the relegated Ranger SXT bullet designs in 40 S&W and 45 ACP.  

I don't and won't run my 45 ACP arms hot--my WWB JHP 45 carry loads clock a few ticks under 900 FPS from my Gold Cup.  I have run The Lyman #452423 @ 238 grains to 900-910 FPS from the 625; with a Bisley Blackhawk in 45 Colt and two Ruger 44 Magnums in the gun safe, straining the 45 ACP is folly in my view.    

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Tom Acheson posted this 28 October 2023

Lots of posts here!

Almost a year ago, I posted (3) different times on this thread. 

In about 1979-80 I had a 25-2. I traded a Model 66 for it. The plan was to fool around with the 25 and my Colt 1911. That one was sent back to S&W to have a .45 Colt cylinder for it, so I guess I had a rare convertible. That 25 was traded off for an 8 3/8" Model 57 .41 Mag in 1982, which was used for several years for deer hunting.

I again got the Model 25 fever and bought one in 2018. This current  6 1/2" 25-2 has throats that are 0.455". I've never used jacketed bullets or 45 ACP ammo in it. A friend gave me a coffee can full of Lee "custom" bullets that drop out of the mold @ 0.466", weighing about 222-grains. Too fat for his needs.  Yes, some muscle is needed to size it down to 0.455" but doable. Using the RCBS Little Dandy rotor #7, it drops 3.6-grains of WST. With FC 150 primers it shoots great!

Tom

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Ed Harris posted this 28 October 2023

I have enjoyed reading this thread again.  These days I use Accurate 45-264H in all of my .45 revolvers, loading 3.5 grains of Bullseye in the .455 Mk2 with 0.76" case, 4 grains in the .45 Auto Rim and 6.5 grains in the .45 Colt S&W and New Service.  I load 7.5 grains in the Rugers only.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Eutectic posted this 29 October 2023

I have downsized by 45 revolver collection. The 45 colts are history, only a 1968 625 and a 6" 25-2 remain in service, both have .451- .452 throats. Both have chambers modified to eliminate the sharp headspace step.

I load mostly 45 ACP cases although some heavy loads are in Auto-Rim brass so there is no chance of getting one in a 1911 or SIG 45.

Both revolvers shoot standard target loads 200 grain SWC or RN and 4.0 Bullseye into 10 ring groups at 25 yards. Target loads account for most of my shooting.

In 2016 I designed Accurate 45-248H to get a heavy bullet with minimum seating depth. The seating depth allows 1000 fps at +P pressure. However I load to 950 fps which is easier on the gun and knocks down bowling pins with plenty of authority. Having a quick reload in moon clips has embarrassed some 1911 shooters which is part of the fun.

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