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Old August 16, 2011, 08:13 AM   #1
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45 acp revolver for targets

I found, tucked away, not yet even in their display case, a Smith and Wesson 25-13 45 acp with 6 inch barrel.
I am currently scouting for (I thought) a 1911 platform for doing a bit of informal target shooting - just to provide myself with a personal challenge - competition is not out of the question but I am not too concerned right now with compliance with Bullseye (the likely course of fire that I will follow) rules. This should not be interpreted as lack of concern for a truly accurate (either now or later with a but of gunsmithing work) weapon.
So I am just wondering, again, disregarding the advantages of an auto for the rapid fire stage, what the competitive centerfire (again, primarily speaking to current and former Bullseye shooters) community thinks of this model with regard to some of the common considerations;
*** capability to sustain high volume shooting
*** accuracy level of base platform
*** capability for tuning (accurizing) as well as tightening when thinks loosen up.
It is being considered because (1) I do not have to be considerate of any competitive rules, (2) sights are already great, (3) comfortable feel of many of the popular N-Frame grips out there, and (4) i just think its reputation warrants putting it on my list of candidates. BTW I already have K22's and K38's which are also fantastic. Your input specifically on this model for this application and whether or not I would be better served sticking to the original plan of finding a good, used Gold Cup in 45 acp or 38 Super, is appreciated.

Thanks everyone,

Last edited by longfellow; August 16, 2011 at 01:02 PM.
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Old August 16, 2011, 10:35 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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The conventional wisdom used to be that a stock revolver would be more accurate than a stock automatic. Probably still true until you get into the high line autos which approach accurized target pistols in fit and price.

Darned few autos can equal the single action trigger of a S&W revolver. But you have to have the technique to cock it without disturbing your grip. If you are not shooting NRA rules, you can do like the ISU guys do and cock with the other hand.

There are fewer but not zero places to get a revolver worked on than autos. But then the revolver is less likely to need attention.
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Old August 19, 2011, 10:18 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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"...the popular N-Frame..." Hi. Does an 'N' frame fit your hand? They're big things, so they are. Changing grips won't help much either.
A Smith 25 would be on my list too, except that it'd never fit my hand. Mind you, 4 or 6 inch Smith 'K' frames don't fit my hand either.
"...sustain high volume shooting..." Isn't required, but you'll never wear one out.
Forget the .38 Super. Isn't a target cartridge. Used mostly by the IPSC/IDPA guys due to the lower felt recoil.
A .45 can be loaded with cast bullets for extremely good accuracy with little felt recoil.
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Old August 20, 2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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Shooting Bullseye with revolvers is a real challenge. And great fun. The 25 would make a nice trio to what you have. I have fired the 25 and it is certainly a capable candidate. The plus of the 1911 is that hand position stays the same through the string. The 25 needs to be cocked manually. But I think that adds the the challenge. Also the 25 will shoot anything that will fit into the cylinder. No need to be concerned about having enough power to cycle the slide.
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Old August 20, 2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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The 25-13s I've seen where chambered in .45Colt, not .45acp. The 25-2s were chambered in .45acp. You sure about the .45acp?

Anyhow, AFAIK, early 25s, particularly the .45Colts, were plagued with oversized throats, but the problem was fixed with the 25-7 variant, IIRC. Oversized throats kill accuracy, so it's an issue for one being considered for bullseye.
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Old August 22, 2011, 08:51 AM   #6
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I am corrected

You're right Mr. Borland. It is a 25-2. Thanks.
Thanks also for the tip regarding throat size. I almost exclusively shoot my own cast bullets and do intend to bring some pin gauges with me on the next trip out to have a look at this 25; no sense in buying it if I can't get a snug fit in the throats.
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Old August 22, 2011, 11:45 PM   #7
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The place I shoot, there are a heck of a lot of people that can shoot AND LOAD a revolver faster then I can my autos.

They don't seemed to be handicaped by revolvers.

Personally I rather shoot revolvers but I'm too dern slow in the reloading department.
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Old September 27, 2011, 09:17 PM   #8
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I shoot revolvers in the centerfire, and 45 rounds of bullseye. I use a 625 with a 5"barrel and absloutley love it. I did my own trigger job (after watching Jerry's video which I highly reccomend) and it now has 2.5 lb trigger. I sure do take alot of ribbing from people going onto me about it,BUT I get even while they are picking up brass. I would love to make master shooting revolvers and my scores keep going up.............just a few more points!!
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Old October 6, 2011, 11:03 PM   #9
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This may be construed as blasphemy, but from what I've seen, auto's are just as reliable as revolvers in competition. I know of 3 guys who shoot revolvers in our local steel challenge match. One of the guys still shoots his revolver and is very good. Another guy was having the cylinder lock up at one of the practice sessions. The third guy and the one I'm pretty good friends with sold his S&W 45 ACP because it would occasionally lock up. It shot really well and was a blast, but unacceptable for competition. I really wanted one for awhile, but that turned me off of them. I have not witnessed the superior reliability that revolvers are supposed to be famous for. I can see no advantage to using one over an auto.
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Old October 7, 2011, 07:28 AM   #10
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I'm not sure why everyone feels like they have to shoot Bullseye Timed and Rapid Fire in SA mode, the use of which is really the revolver's only disadvantage compared to semi-autos costing three times as much. I agree that your average $600-$700 target revolver is more accurate out of the box until you are willing the spend north of $1200 on a semi-auto.

Revolver advantages for Bullseye, as I see them, are:
  • better reliability, fewer (if any) refires
  • no chasing brass with moon clips
  • better accuracy per $ invested, by far
  • a lot more flexibility for shooting low power ammo
Maybe it's tradition or conventional wisdom that DA just can't be as accurate as SA, but that's not been my experience. Last week I used my 625-3 using DA only and shot a 95 in Timed and a 93 in Rapid (with 7 "10s" on the Rapid), and that was my first Bullseye match using that gun (or any .45 for that matter). I've gone as high as 97 in Rapid Fire with my Models 14 and 17, and am consistently over 90. I plan to do even better with continued practice, I've been shooting BE for a year now.

Last edited by spacecoast; October 7, 2011 at 07:42 AM.
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