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Combat Auto

S&W 325 Perf. Center Thunder Ranch

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Not really sure how I feel about the 325TR and here's why: If you want a big bore revolver to carry, the 325PD (no longer made) is the better option. Both the TR and the PD have a Scandium frame, but the cylinder of the TR is stainless steel PVD coated black. The cylinder of the PD is titanium and the PD was offered in 4" and 2.75" barrel lengths. The TR, just 4". So a 2.75" PD is the better carry gun.

 

The TR has a removable rail - that may make it more useful as a HD gun, but what purpose is served by a lightweight HD gun?

 

Recreation? Again, if I am going to play gun games (and I do), I want a heavier gun to mitigate recoil, not a lighter one that makes quick follow-ups problematic.

 

This is a gun that serves no one purpose well and serves many poorly - almost the definition of compromise.

 

They are a neat looking gun and they may be fun to shoot - but extended range sessions or a full USPSA or IDPA match is going to wear on you because of the weight.

 

The best purpose would be as a carry gun - the few extra inches and ounces are bearable, but it would grate on me knowing that there is a better alternative.

 

My 325PD...

 

9fmqyv.jpg

 

All that being said - It is  a S&W, and it is a big bore, and it does use moon clips - how bad could it be?

 

Don't let the ramblings of an old fart put you off a pretty cool gun.

 

Adios,

 

Pizza Bob 

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Thanks for your critical evaluation Bob, always insightfull. The gun would see some range time, and would be used as a HD gun, but not run and shoot games. I am mostly a 1911 guy, but do want a revolver. I have a 629, but the 44 mag is a bit much on my wriists as far as a handgun (for me) - just not worth shortening my shooting "career". I shoot 45 acp very well. So I want to swap out of 44 and into 45 for a revolver. (I have a marlin 44 lever carbine which I will repurpose my 44 mag ammo to).

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I like mine. I didn't buy it to carry it. HD and target.

 

Lightweight, balanced, gold dot sight, fun to shoot and a good trigger. At least for me. The cylinder hand broke on mine within 100 rounds, but S&W took care of it without charge. Still shooting well. I preferred this over the Miculek version because I like the Hogue grips and didn't require the stainless look. The light rail was a bonus.

 

.45 ACP. What's not to like?

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Thanks for the links. These are certainly guns I would consider. Interesting that they are 11 oz heavier than the 325. The Mic. version looks nice with those grips, but they don't list the trigger "job" as one of the features (as they do with the perf. center version).

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I like mine. I didn't buy it to carry it. HD and target.

 

Lightweight, balanced, gold dot sight, fun to shoot and a good trigger. At least for me. The cylinder hand broke on mine within 100 rounds, but S&W took care of it without charge. Still shooting well. I preferred this over the Miculek version because I like the Hogue grips and didn't require the stainless look. The light rail was a bonus.

 

.45 ACP. What's not to like?

Sounds like a great shooter...Only concern I have about it is there seem to be quite a few complaints on the internet about things breaking and getting loose NOOB. Some from 2010 or so when the gun first came out (I think). I wonder if S&W ironed most of these things out?

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Thanks for the links. These are certainly guns I would consider. Interesting that they are 11 oz heavier than the 325. The Mic. version looks nice with those grips, but they don't list the trigger "job" as one of the features (as they do with the perf. center version).

Trust me, neither ones are really trigger jobs, if that is what is stopping you, buy the cheaper version and use the saved money over the PC on real trigger work

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Main differences between the 625JM and the 625PC:

  1. The JM has a ribbed (for your pleasure) trigger, the PC has a smooth trigger.
  2. The JM has a full underlug, the PC has an ejector rod housing.
  3. The JM has a standard length cylinder, the PC has a short cylinder.
  4. The JM uses ECM (Electro-Chemical Machining) rifling, the PC has broach cut rifling.

If you are Jerry and shoot 30K rounds per month, you probably have a callous on you trigger finger that makes the ribbed trigger a non-issue. If you are wuss (like me) you'll prefer the non-blister inducing smooth trigger.

 

The full underlug helps mitigate recoil but adds momentum when transitioning between targets. The PC transitions faster because of less weight.

 

Supposedly (I don't think I have ever seen empirical evidence), the short cylinder enhances accuracy because of the shorter jump to the forcing cone.

 

Some people (I'm not one of them) claim that an ECM barrel leads more. I think there are too many other variables with cast bullets to lay the blame for leading solely on the type of rifling. Broach cut rifling is old school and takes longer to do than ECM.

 

Usually it is more a case of what's available at a reasonable price than which you actually prefer. I have seen JM's listed at $1200 - which is ridiculous. The 625's are some of S&W's most popular revolvers.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.

 

Adios,

 

Pizza Bob

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Been debating on all three for a while as my next revolver. I like the look of the full lug on the jm but hate his initials on there, might just go with the pc. Then again I could go with the 325 to match my trr8

I am down to the 325TR and the 625 Perf. Center. The JM gun dosn't do it for me for some reason.

 

Of the remaining two, the 625 is probably a "better" gun, esp. as Bob says for matches, heavy range sessions. But, I am buying it for an ocasional shoot, and a HD back-up where the 325 light-rail capability is a big plus. Also, on the night stand comming out of a deep sleep, a lighter-weight gun has its advantages. Also, with HD distances the lightness isn't much of a disadvantage vs the heavier 625 as far as putting rounds on target. -I just need to get over the many occorances of the "infant-mortality" the 325 seemed to suffer since it was introduced.

 

 

Might just come down to which of the two are available when I am ready.

 

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Been debating on all three for a while as my next revolver. I like the look of the full lug on the jm but hate his initials on there, might just go with the pc. Then again I could go with the 325 to match my trr8

It's funny how a gun's look are a personal choice. I think L frames are great shooters, but I could never stand the looks of a full underlug. Otherwise I'd have a 586 in my gun vault.

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I agree Lunker. Some guns I buy because I like them, not because they're perfect in all respects. Some I buy to fill a particular need or purpose. Others are purchased because a collection is just not deemed complete without them. And some are for fun. Rarely does one gun fit all requirements. If you have the luxury of discretionary money this is all possible.

 

Sometime in the near future when I'm on a much tighter budget, I'll have to reduce the 'collection' down to a couple essentials and one or two for other reasons.

 

To quote the gladiator Maximus: "But not yet."

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OK. All this 325TR chatter motivated me to take it to the range today. 

 

I'm not that good with a revolver in DA; I don't practice with them that much. But my one additional comment on the 325TR is that in SA the let off on the trigger is imperceptible. Right there with my 1978 factory tuned Python. Just slightly more pressure required.

 

And Combat Auto: If you buy a TR, try fitting the light rail on the barrel immediately. Mine (and a small number of others) wouldn't lock up tight. The set screws bottomed out in the hole before the rail snugged up to the barrel shroud. Regardless of what you may read on the Internet, the problem is always the rail; some are machined out of spec. S&W replaced mine for free of course.

 

When it's right, I like the rail/light on the gun.

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On 8/11/2014 at 8:48 PM, Combat Auto said:

Thanks for your critical evaluation Bob, always insightfull. The gun would see some range time, and would be used as a HD gun, but not run and shoot games. I am mostly a 1911 guy, but do want a revolver. I have a 629, but the 44 mag is a bit much on my wriists as far as a handgun (for me) - just not worth shortening my shooting "career". I shoot 45 acp very well. So I want to swap out of 44 and into 45 for a revolver. (I have a marlin 44 lever carbine which I will repurpose my 44 mag ammo to).

I have a 325 TR that I would be willing to trade, and a .44 mag would work for me.

Revolver is in great shape, I've put very few rounds on it (maybe 500).  I just don't shoot it as well as my other revolvers, which are SS and have longer barrels, which helps my shakiness.

Dragged a couple pics in here, let's see if they stuck...

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1 hour ago, Combat Auto said:

Wow, 2014, old times...I sold that 44 mag a few years ago and got a 3" 586L-Comp 357M, 7 R, ported. It shoots the hottest 357M loads pretty nicely even though it is only 3" with the port. All is well in Revolver land for me, lot of fun to shoot it.

LOL, didn't notice the year, sorry to bother you!

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