In December of 2013 I turned 45 years old. As a consolation prize for being that age and a self congratulatory token for actually making it, I decided that I needed to buy a gun that matched my age. A 45. With absolutely no idea on what I was going to get the madness of research began. I’m not made of money, not by a long stretch, but I didn’t mind spending a little something extra on it given the occasion. I looked at single action revolvers in 45 Colt, semi automatics in 45ACP, rifles in the same chambering as well as 454 Casull and 45-70 Gov’t. Another 1911 was the obvious choice but I didn’t want to commit too soon. So the search continued. That’s about when I stumbled on the double action revolver chambered in .45ACP. I was intrigued to say the least. I mean, who wouldn’t be. As I researched I began to realize that the gun would require the use of moon clips. I did a bit more research and found that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. They aren’t the devil that some make them out to be. In the zone, I contacted my local gun shop, spoke to the manager, and put a 625 on order with him. He didn’t take any money as by his estimation we wouldn’t be seeing the gun until somewhere around the time that Beezelbub would need a fur coat. I left pensive, but excited.
Two days later I walked into another LGS and there she sat. A 625-8 JM Smith and Wesson in all here glory. A quick phone call to the original LGS to tell them what happened and some cash exchanged hands. A month later (I had to wait for permits) and home she came. The gun came as they all come from the factory: Bead blasted “N” frame with a 4″ barrel holding 6 rounds of 45ACP goodness. Wider, grooved case hardened trigger. Gold bead front sight and adjustable rear sight. Wooden “JM” stocks and weighing about 40ish ounces. A beauty in a blue box. I couldn’t wait to get her to the range.
First time out to the range with 150 rounds of home brew 45ACP goodness and I was ready to throw the gun at the target. The stocks for me were pure torture. Mr. Miculek may like them but I do not. I couldn’t get a good hold and the gun would up flopping around in my hands enough to give me a couple of blisters. They had to go. And so they did. Within a day or so I had a set of Pachmayr’s on the gun, took her out with another 150 rounds and she shot like a dream. No pain, no blisters, completely controllable and accurate as a laser.
Smith and Wesson says that the gun is good for three main uses: Competition. Recreation. Home defense. Although I won’t be debating their propaganda I also have decided to make this a competition gun only. For me, that means that I will not be sleeping with it next to the bed. Carry in a non-issue for me as I live in New Jersey where ordinary citizens are not allowed to protect themselves in public with a firearm so although I won’t be carrying it, I will say that even if I could I wouldn’t. It’s a big gun. Not something that I would want to lug around for too long. Any recreational use from this gun will be geared towards competitive use. To that end I will be making some changes to the gun. One of them was already done- I ditched the stock stocks and replaced them with Pachmayr’s. It’s made a huge difference to me in my ability to control and drive the gun from target to target. Additionally I’ve sent the cylinder out and had the charge holes reamed to SAAMI specs and chamfered to aid in faster reloads. There is a gentleman here in New Jersey that does some gunsmithing type work as a hobby and his work is very good with a fast turn around. The cylinder was gone for 2 weeks total. I have not shot the gun since getting the cylinder back but in doing some practice re-loads it seems MUCH faster. The rounds simply slip into the chambers with no resistance.
I’ll be heading to the range in the next day or so and if anything is off, I’ll let y’all know. The next upgrade will be the front sight. The gold dot is great for static shooting where there is no clock. However I have had great luck with fiber optic sights on other guns and find them to be a great compromise between standard black target sights and some kind of red dot. I’ll be looking to upgrade in the next month of so.
All in all, I am thrilled with this gun. I feel as though it is the “funnest” handgun I currently own. If I had the money, I would buy every 45ACP revolver that I could get my hands on. However, I don’t have that kind of money and I want to stay married, so that’s not going to be happening.
Authored and Authorized by: Christopher Morris