Gratuitous Gun Pic: S&W Mod 25-2 (.45 ACP)

As I was meandering through the Gun Dork Forest (as I do occasionally), my eye was caught by a couple of rather fine-looking older guns from Messrs. Smith & Wesson.  Here’s the first, the lovely Model 25-2:

Now for those who are unfamiliar with this creature, or those who are perhaps new to this corner of The Gun Thing, you might ask:

“But Kim:  how can you chamber a rimless cartridge into a revolver cylinder?  Don’t the boolets just fall through and out onto the floor?”

Indeed you might think so, Grasshopper, but there are these things called “half-moon” or “full-moon” clips:

I’m not quite sure what brand those cartridges are, but let’s go with “G.I.” (Gay Issue).  (I know I know, it’s really inert ammo shuddup.)

Back in the day when I owned one of these wondrous guns, I always preferred the full-moon clips because I found them easier to load, less likely to bend than the half-moons, and of course it’s a one-step reload.  (Another benefit:  when you slam the ejector rod on a full-moon clip, you don’t have to spend the next five minutes scrabbling around on the floor picking up expended cartridge cases.)

My particular model wasn’t the Mod 25, but the stainless 625 Version:

And if that doesn’t make your trigger-finger itch, I don’t want to talk to you anymore.

Anyway, there are several good reasons to own a Mod 25/625 in .45 ACP, chief among them being that if you already own a 1911 pistol thus chambered (and you should), it means that you won’t suffer from Caliber Proliferation Syndrome in your ammo locker by having to buy .38 Special and / or .357 Magnum ammo.

Finally, of course, there’s nothing wrong with using .45 ACP in your revolver (especially if it has a 5″ barrel), because duh it’s John Moses Browning’s .45 ACP.

Gotta say, though, that blued Mod 25 above sure is pretty, because this is Kim speaking — and blued steel over wooden grips always looks better than bling steel over rubber.

It’s at Collectors, of course.

Next week, I’ll be talking about the other lovely guns I saw there.


  1. That moon clip business is a deal killer for me. I wouldn’t put up with it. Otherwise, a nice looking hawg leg.

    1. GS, I hardly allow my hands to be polluted by revolvers other than my saintly Ruger Old Model Vaquero Bisleys. Howevahs, moon-clips can make for VERY fast and sure reloads. A friend put her competition tuned SW 19, with a cylinder shaved for moon clips, in my hands.

      An amazing gun.

      Yeah, loading the moon-clips can be a pain, but a proper tool makes it more of a minor inconvenience: certainly not a deal breaker. YMMV.

      If I had to have a revolver, Kim’s 25-2 would certainly suffice, even over my usual choice of stainless… just that damn beautiful.

    2. GS – I have this fine revolver. I found a source for memory plastic moon clips. They are strong enough for scores of uses, but need no tool to insert or remove rounds.

  2. Real steel, no MIM, no sleazy plastic, no key lock. A REAL revolver.
    A little time spent smoothing out its innards and a Wolff spring kit and you have
    a smooth accurate shooter that won’t let you down.
    My personal preference runs to K frames but the N frame in your photo sure would look good in my range bag.

  3. It’s a beauty. $1,495 seems silly, though, even for a pre-lock Smith. If I recall correctly, these models were well south of $1000, just a year or two ago. Now they’re up in Model 29 territory and headed to Python. (I wonder what the street price is on the latest JM version of this model.) This is more of an observation, with a long sigh, than it is a complaint. It’s where we are now. For me, I will stick with a Blackhawk in .45ACP/.45LC for my .45 revolver needs.

    1. Finally found a minute to answer my own question. I found a “Smith & Wesson Model 625 JM Revolver” on Hinterland for $864. It’s out of stock, of course, but that was the last price. Here’s the link …
      I use that outfit quite a bit. It’s internet only, but because they are here in Houston, I get pretty good delivery on in-stock items. Their “Notify me when available” feature works very well.

  4. My bbq gun is a Model 25, Lew Horton Special. It’s beautiful, and shoots like a dream. Wish I could post pics.

  5. Sorry, but being raised by one of the few (at the time) Colt New Service collectors, I have to disagree and go with a New Service in plain or Flat Top Target configuration.

  6. S&W has carried the clip over to the governor, which may make it more or less desirable than the judge depending on your opinion of full and half moon clips. They come with two full and 3 half clips. They even have aftermarket wood grips for our gracious host.

  7. A 5” 625 was the first NEW gun I’d ever bought, back in the early 1990’s. It’s a -2, with the hammer mounted firing pin and NO Hillary hole 🤢. It’s been my bedside gun ever since I bought my house.

    I shot it in matches with the local USPSA club for many years.

    I think I need to take it to the range this weekend.

  8. I’ve got a S&W 25 – and shot it a lot more after I discovered the 45 Auto Rim cartridge and stopped using moon clips. Designed as a rimmed cartridge for revolvers chambered in 45 ACP. Pretty rare to find loaded ammo in 45 AR, but as a handloader it’s excellent. Moon clips work fine and make for a good speed reload, but even with a good moonclip load/unload tool I preferred shooting the 45 AR any time reload speed didn’t matter.

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