During WWI the U.S. did not have enough Colt 1911 pistols to go around, so Smith & Wesson and Colt retooled their revolver production to fill the .45 ACP gap in the military’s arsenal. In turn both companies produced M1917 revolvers. It was a viable solution at the time and while it may not be in high demand today – a revolver to fire semi-auto ammo – Smith & Wesson continues to make .45 ACP revolvers for their loyal fans. Currently the company offers a handful of different models, but the one that has quickly become one of my favorites is the Smith & Wesson 625JM.
Designed with the assistance of Jerry Miculek, world record holding speed shooter, the 625JM carries his distinctive smooth wood grips and wide blade trigger, and has a 4-inch barrel and a six shot cylinder. It handles outstandingly with the unique grips, and its massive size makes it a soft shooter.
Smith & Wesson 625JM
The quality of the Smith & Wesson 625JM is outstanding. It shows the years Smith & Wesson has had to perfect revolver making. It’s built on Smith & Wesson’s “N” frame, a large frame design that adds durability and longevity. The revolver weighs in at 40 ounces unloaded, has an overall length of 9.38 inches, and a 0.08mm feeler gauge barely fits between the cylinder and the forcing cone.
The stainless steel has a nice silky satin bead blasted finish. On the barrel it sports a gold bead front sight. And it has Jerry’s “Bang” grips, his initials and a lightning bolt on the side of both the frame and grips.
The weapon is tight and crisp. In double action there is no hump in the take-up and breaks at around 10 pounds. In single action it breaks crisp and light at around 4 pounds. I can shoot this revolver in double action well, but in single action it sings. However, with some action work the double action will come to life. The hammer is checkered and I did find it sharp out of the box. After a 600-grit sanding it felt better and it’s very positive when cocking.
Though the trigger is wide, it feels perfect for this revolver. It has vertical serrations that really grab onto your finger. In double action your finger does not slide while you move through.
While the 625JM is built for ease-of-use, it’s not ideal for concealed carry (though it could make a good home defense revolver if you carry a flashlight). It fills a target, competition or recreational role because the weight makes it easy to get a quick sight picture and soaks up a bit of the recoil too, so shooting it is a breeze.
At the range, it’s easy enough for most to shoot 2-inch groups standing at 10 yards. The gun is very accurate and for plate shooting it’s quick to get on target and to transition. And it eats all ammo types – FMJ or hollow points – the same.
The only downside to it, being made of stainless steel as opposed to a non-blued metal, is that when you shoot it – it shows!
March 5, 2013
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