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Revolver Review:
S & W 625 JM 45 ACP

By Dan S. Defense

Smith & Wesson is a well-known brand in the gun world. Today you'll see advertisements from Smith & Wesson selling military and police semiautomatic handguns (S&W M&P), pocket guns with lasers (380 bodyguard) , and even black-rifles (M&P OR15), but long ago S&W was best known for making superb six guns. S&W still makes excellent revolvers and today we'll examine the 45 ACP S&W model 625 JM.

The S&W model 625 JM is a collaboration effort between Smith & Wesson and legendary shooter, Jerry Miculek. The former has been in countless competitions, with more wins than even Jerry can recall, but his most famous, and incredible achievement is Jerry Miculek record 12 shots, two loads of six with a reload in between, in fewer than three seconds.

Just think of that for a moment. Jerry was able to fire two full cylinders of 6 shots each and he was able to reload his revolver is less than 3 seconds. In a word-Wow. Look for the video on YouTube to see it for yourself. Now that we established that Jerry can shoot and knows a thing or two about revolvers, let's look at what he and S&W built in the model 625 JM.

Unlike the S&W Thunder Ranch model 325, that was built with collaboration from Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch, and that's made in the S&W Custom Shop, the S&W 625 is a production handgun--it's a very good production gun, but not as smooth as Custom Shop guns. The S&W 625 JM is a large 'N' frame revolver. It's chambered in 45 ACP and holds 6 cartridges in a moon clip. The 625 can also shoot 45 ACP rimless cartridges without a moon clip.

Looking at the 625 from the muzzle, we see the gold bead partridge front sight, which is interchangeable with partridge sights (e.g. front sight with fiber optic). The muzzle itself as the rest of the handgun is made from stainless steel that has a low reflection bead blast finish. The cylinder holds 6 rounds and locks firmly in its place. The trigger is a wide, speed grooved speed trigger, which S&W refers to as "Miculek Style". The wood grips, which look nice and appear to work for Jerry Miculek, are simply called "Jerry Miculek" wood grip.

I personally find them hard to use, especially with wet hands but they work well for concealed carry and seem to work well for some folks. Finally, at the rear of the revolver we have the adjustable rear sight and the large, exposed and serrated hammer.

The S&W 625 JM is a double action revolver and it has a 4" barrel which works well with holsters (i.e. it's easier to find holsters for this configuration). I find it easy to carry this handgun, in a good Haugen Leather holster and it's also fairly easy to conceal with a jacket. This revolver, being made from stainless steel is far from being light. In this age of polymer guns, it must seem to some to weight "a ton" but in reality, it weighs 40.3 oz. empty, which is about the weight of a full sized 1911.

The S&W 625 JM is fun to shoot. Having no magazine to worry about, load any type of ammunition into a moon clip and the 625 will send it down range. I replaced the wood grip with a Hogue grip, which allows me to get a good grip and also absorb some of the recoil. Accuracy is superb and the trigger is heavy, but consistent in double and single action. I sent this revolver to Robar for some work and it came back with a superb trigger and a fixed rear sight, among other things.

I fired nearly 200 rounds in the initial test and each shot was consistent, hit on target when I did my job and the cylinder locked tight each and every time. I have seen shot it many more times and carried it as my primary self defense handgun, with a few spare moon clip in a special pouch. After testing we knew that this was a rock solid performer.

In summary, the S&W model 625 JM is an excellent handgun. It's reliable, accurate and fun to shoot. With a bit of practice, unloading spent cases and loading a new moon clip can be done very quickly. As a 45 ACP handgun we think it makes a great self defense and home defense handgun. If you like revolvers, we highly recommend you give this S&W a close look to see if it's right for you.

Until next time, stay safe by being alert.

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