Smith 625 JM info

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Do you have a demooner tool or doing it with just fingers? fingers are terrible at this, get or make a
demooner tool. Simple tool make it infinitely easier to remove brass from the clips. Should be straightforward
to put the brass in.
If I load FMJ ammo into my moon clips and open the cylinder and drop a loaded moon clip from two inches or
more above it will hit and index and chamber 100% of the time. With SWCs, takes a bit of fiddling. RN go
right in.

Are you using a taper crimp die as a separate, final step in reloading your .45 ACP ammo? This is necessary,
otherwise there is likely to be problems.


Bill
 
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Dale53

Active Member
My 625-8 JM Special is one of the best revolvers I have ever owned (my 625-6 with 5" barrel was in the same class).

A tool to load and unload the moonclips is MANDATORY! Sooner or later you WILL bend a moonclip while trying to load and unload with your fingers. Plus, you take an excellent chance to cut your fingers. The least expensive moon clip tool that works is the Deluxe Moonclip Tool:


It will both load and unload the clips, but I actually prefer Brownell's tool to remove the cases from the moonclips. At any rate, here is a full page of solutions to the very real problem:

:

When I want to speed load my revolver, then the bullet design is important to keep the loaded clip from hanging up when trying to insert it in the revolver. My solution uses the Lee 230 gr. TC bullet. It slides right in, at speed like a round nose, but has a flat nose for MUCH better terminal effect.

Another solution to the problem is to use RIMZ polymer clips. They can be loaded very easily with the fingers. The RIMZ clips come in a choice of two types. One is quite flexible and work fine for range and normal field use. The other is stiffer and will retain the brass better. It is the Model 25 and what I use in both my 625's. Make no mistake, the Ranch Products steel clips work perfectly well with tools and retain the cases better. That is my choice for "serious" work, but the polymer clips are much easier to use (no tools) and work fine for general use.


FWIW
Dale53
 
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JonB

Central Minnesota
Oh, I have a California Comp remooner and demooner...I had them for many years.
The stubborn brass that I'm complaining about, would no way be possible to install or remove by hand.

I owned and sold two older S&W 45 acp revolvers (a 625 and Model of 1989)..(which I now regret), before I bought this 625JM.
I am using the same moon clips now, I could easily install loaded clips into the cylinder on the old guns...which is why I am thinking it's the 625JM's tight chambers, giving my problems.
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
SNIP...

Are you using a taper crimp die as a separate, final step in reloading your .45 ACP ammo? This is necessary,
otherwise there is likely to be problems.
I am not, I seat and crimp in same step on a Lee 3 hole turret. While I understand the potential, I am pretty fussy about inspecting finished ammo, I don't think this is my issue. Crimps are not really crimps, but are more of a de-belling...there isn't any crimp groove.
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
SNIP...

A tool to load and unload the moonclips is MANDATORY! Sooner or later you WILL bend a moonclip while trying to load and unload with your fingers. Plus, you take an excellent chance to cut your fingers.
I agree 100% !
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
I strongly recommend getting a Lee taper crimp die and doing a taper crimp as a separate operation
for all .45 ACP loading. And it is ESPECIALLY indicated when chambering issues come up. I have seen this
dozens of times with 1911s. Ask Ian and Brad about it, we had quite a go around, lots of confusion because
modern Hornady TC dies are one long taper from one end to the other, will NOT do a proper job, IME.
They WERE TCing, but with the wrong dies, getting bad results. You want the extreme end of the case
to measure about 0.468 or 0.469, although in most guns down to 0.466 is fine. With some guns and some
very soft bullets, 0.466 can slightly reduce accuracy, but the tighter REAL taper crimp solves many problems
in .45 ACP feeding/chambering.

Either old 80s dated RCBS TC dies (available on eBay) or Lee - I bought one a couple of years ago for
Ian, so unless they have just changed they have the proper "short taper" type of TC die. You want to
look in and see a tapered step over about 1/4" axial length inside the die.

There is a good chance that this is your whole problem, or most of it.

Bill
 
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RBHarter

West Central AR
I made my unloader from a golf club handle for about $0.50 from a gifted club .


They carry nickled clips also . $13.40 per 10 but just $80.40/100 for blued .
I believe that even Wilson combat uses this source for their clips , all of the clips marked "RS" are .
Other tools like clip check checkers and straighteners .
The shipping is reasonable also .
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
I strongly recommend getting a Lee taper crimp die and doing a taper crimp as a separate operation
for all .45 ACP loading. And it is ESPECIALLY indicated when chambering issues come up. I have seen this
dozens of times with 1911s. Ask Ian and Brad about it, we had quite a go around, lots of confusion because
modern Hornady TC dies are one long taper from one end to the other, will NOT do a proper job, IME.
They WERE TCing, but with the wrong dies, getting bad results. You want the extreme end of the case
to measure about 0.468 or 0.469, although in most guns down to 0.466 is fine. With some guns and some
very soft bullets, 0.466 can slightly reduce accuracy, but the tighter REAL taper crimp solves many problems
in .45 ACP feeding/chambering.
Either old 80s dated RCBS TC dies (available on eBay) or Lee - I bought one a couple of years ago for
Ian, so unless they have just changed they have the proper "short taper" type of TC die. You want to
look in and see a tapered step over about 1/4" axial length inside the die.
There is a good chance that this is your whole problem, or most of it.
Bill
Bill,
Thanks for all this.
While I do remain skeptical (still thinking the chambers are tight), I just placed a pretty large order at Natchez, and included a Lee taper crimp die for $10...we'll give it a try.
I attempted to measure the "extreme end of the case" on some finished rounds, and I am at 0.470 or a bit more with Federal brass and Blazer (small primer) brass. The R+P brass measurements varied from 0.469 to 0.470 ...or somewhere inbetween. There must be more springback on the thicker cases?
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
You want a noticable, narrow ring which is crimped in a touch unless you are using Jbullets,
IME. When I was shooting comm hard cast H&G 68s by the literal tens of thousands per
year, I ran the TC at 0.465 -0.467". In IPSC, reliability was paramount. For best possible accuracy
today, when I can always keep the chamber clean and the risk of a failure to close is not
a lost match, I will run 0.468-0.469 for my softer personally cast 452560s or H&G 68s.
Perspective - that is 0.001 to 0.002 tighter than no TC at all.

1911s jamming with a failure to fully close, or sometimes a roof jam were almost always fixed
by going to TC (short type, not long modern type) as a separate operation when I was helping folks
get running for IPSC back in the 80s and 90s, had the same thing happen at least a dozen different
people over years. The problem was almost always nonexistent or inadequate TC, and seating
and crimping in the same die, same time. That works with a big Keith type crimp groove
in a revolver bullet, but not as well with no crimp groove for .45 ACP. I do the same TC as
a separate operation with 9mm and .38 Super, too.

That 1911 situation is not the quite same as a revolver, but the difficulty chambering sounds
a lot like it is similar to me.

Bill
 
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JonB

Central Minnesota
Bill,
Again, thanks for all the info.
Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to get any crimp, I was just trying to remove the Bell, so that's why I did the seat/crimp in one step, I do that with 9 and 40 as well. I do crimp in a separate step for Revolver ammo, because I usually want a crimp and am not just removing the bell.
SO, when I get the die, I'll try putting a crimp on 'em, to your suggested specifications.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
That "just remove the bell" is common "knowledge" and a lot of folks manage to get away with
it. But, I have been loading .45 ACP since the early 80s, probably loaded 300,000 of them and shot
them all. When you have chambering troubles, add TC as a separate operation, it is a very common
problem, and people seem to be terrified of "overcrimping", which means ANY crimping, basically.
Even a "heavy crimp" is only about 0.005" or so, when a revolver crimp is perhaps 0.025".

Bill
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
40º and sunny...it was a beautiful Minnesota March day. I was at the range, shootin the 625JM with some ammo I loaded (452460 sized to 451 seating in R+P cases) before the Lee taper crimp die arrived. The ground was still icy and frozen, so NO mud, that was a plus.
Anyway, I was shooting off-hand at 20 yards, I was pretty happy with accuracy (3" groups-6rds per) with this ECM barrel. I never really checked it for accuracy before, because of the trouble I had with loading the moons. There was a bit of lead fouling just beyond the forcing cone at 7 o-clock, but I think I can live with it.
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
yes and no, on the 452.
It was the first attempt at loading for this gun (a couple years ago) had the issues I have been complaining about. I was loading them with mix brass and then switched to the R+P brass...then recently going with these .451 bullets. I will try the Lee taper crimp die on the next batch. I may try some 452 sized bullets then as well...I have the Lee TC bullets I want to try for the Ruger American semi-auto pistol, I'll size those to .452 and then try some of those in the 625.

A side note, I went out shooting again today, not with the 625, but with a Ruger 9e (9mm). Same distance, same location, same glasses, same targets, and very similar weather...and I was getting large groups...8 inches. I know I've shot better with that pistol (and that same batch of ammo NOE 128gr SWC) last year. I'm just chalking it up to a bad day? Or maybe yesterday's great results with the 625 was just a great day? and today was an average day?
 

Dale53

Active Member
This thread contains some misinformation. I don't want to come on as a "know it all", but good information helps us all:

1 - The original 1917 revolvers, both Colt and S&W carried six lands and grooves. They were made for military jacketed ammunition. They have been critisized over the years as being less than perfect with cast bullets. However, I have had little problem with accuracy in them when the bullets are sized to the throats and made of my "standard" cast bullet alloy (WW's +2% tin). I have used linotype in the "old days" but, frankly, I have NO accuracy problems in my 625's using my standard alloy. The reason given for the six groove shallow rifling was to minimize the hard jacketed military ammo from sticking in the barrel. I have seen xray pictures of barrels with a half dozen bullets stuck in the barrels and the barrel bulged and needing replacement. At any rate, ALL .45 ACP revolvers by Smith, as far as I know, have shallow six grooved rifling as
opposed to the "normal Smith" rifling of five groove deep rifling.

2 - My bullets are sized to match the throats of my 625-6 (with 5" barrel) and the 625-8 JM Special - .452". They shoot, on demand, under an inch
at 25 yards whether driven at target velocity (4.0 grs. of Bullseye or equivalent) or 1000 fps. with a charge of Unique. The hotter load is my choice for general field use for small game and varmints. I have worked with the NOE version of the Lyman 452424 (250 gr. SWC) getting 900+ fps that should work just fine on hogs and deer at reasonable ranges (my deer have all been taken with the .44 Mags).

3- One thing I apparently need to emphasize is that when reloading, it is CRITICAL when using lead bullets to seat and THEN crimp. I taper crimp on lead bullets without a crimp groove to a case mouth outside diameter of .470".

4- The 1917 S&W revolvers were designed to headspace on the case mouth when using the .45 ACP cases. That meant that the loaded rounds would work without using the supplied "half moon clips" on an emergency basis. When World War II ended, the S&W civilian revolvers also maintained that property (headspacing on the case mouth).

5- In the past few years, S&W has completely changed the specs on the .45 ACP chambers for the 625 revolvers. Now, they are NOT intended to be used with .45 ACP ammo without the clips. You will most probably have ignition problems (failures to fire) without the clips. This was bitterly fought against by the experienced "old guard" at Smith but was instituted anyway. From a personal standpoint, I have no issue with that. My 625's shoot so consistently well with a variety of cast bullets, that the recent changes regarding to headspacing and the change in "ball seat" of the cylinder mouths work well FOR MY USE.

Hopefully, the above will clarify some of the issues. I can recommend a more in depth discussion of these items in Brian Pearce's article in the
Handloader magazine in the January 2009 issue (#257). Further, a more uptodate article of heavy loads in the .45 Auto Rim in the Handloader Magazine #306 (February 2017) I find quite useful.

Dale53

NOTE: I use Lee carbide dies for the .45 ACP/.45 Auto Rim. The issue crimp die has an insert to taper crimp. It works beautifully. However, the heavy bullets (NOE version of the Lyman 452424) has a crimp groove and needs a regular revolver roll crimp. I called Lee to ask if the .45 Colt crimp insert will work in the .45 ACP die. The Lee Technician told me it would but that it is shorter than the .45 ACP insert and requires a special spacer to use with it. Both the roll crimp insert and the spacer cost something like $7.50, as I remember. That is small change, for sure. The spacer and insert works perfectly. I can swap them without removing my die body from the Dillon 550B tool head. Easy/Peasy! I can recommend this without reservation.
rdm

Clarification:
I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die (that’s the die with the crimp insert). I don’t want to mislead anyone. When you exchange the taper crimp insert for the roll crimp insert, as I stated above, you will also need a spacer. When you talk to Lee you have to tell them you want both. rdm
 
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Pistolero

Well-Known Member
I agree on seat and then TC with different die, but I run a tighter TC, at LEAST .469, often .466-467
i use a old 80s vintage RCBS TC die, or Dillon TC, both are the short taper (IMO "proper") type.

My JM 625 is very accurate after resetting the barrel. I use my regular WWt bullets at throat diam of
.452 with no problems.

Not sure if this one has "normal" or "shallow" rifling, it looks pretty normal to me, and not EDM, and
six groove, not the typical old school S&W 5 groove.



Bill
 
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Intel6

Member
long ago I started using a Redding 45 Auto Rim profile crimp. For the revolver rounds it does a more normal roll crimp but also adds a slight taper crimp to the round so there is a more consistent bullet pull. I use the profile crimp for all my revolver rounds and have proved to myself that it makes more consistent ammo both across the chronograph and on the target with the use of a Ransom Rest.
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
I'm sure glad I have a set of Lee carbide , the ancient set of Lyman ACP/AR dies , and the RCBS taper crimp die just in case the other 3 dies don't get me where I need to go . So I have a seating die , a seat and crimp die , 2 crimp dies and a loose gutted post size die that get passed around where I need a .480 finished case size like the .488 Rossi 92' in Colts .

I hate to say it but we're heckling over no/lite roll/heavy roll/how much taper crimp for an ACP cartridge in a revolver base that swings with clips or case mouth head space that most seem to prefer to shoot the rimmed case version in anyway .

Well that's my .02 , take it for what it's worth I guess . I mostly run the Lymans , and seat and square in one pass as I don't find the 200-240 gr 45 ACP to be a real bullet puller . Unique doesn't seem to need a heavy crimp to burn clean just juiced up until it breaks 15kpsi , at least my 1968 lot I got the last 10 of a 12# keg of from Dad about 10 yr ago .