USPSA training stage

Since we’ve been focusing pretty hard on 1911 lately, I’ve been revisiting a lot of my old 1911 content. Here’s a video from the Automatic Accuracy class I took back in 2013 with Ben Stoeger and Matt Mink as I was training up for Single Stack Nationals. The gun is a Colt 1911 CCG in .45 ACP. Mags are Wilson ETM, belt/holster is all Safariland.

Gun Nuts Reviews: Smith & Wesson 325PD

Smith & Wesson 325PD Right side

In the early to mid-2000s, everyone was screaming for lighter carry guns. For a number of reasons, Smith & Wesson decided it would be awesome to offer some of their very popular L-frame and N-frame models with scandium frames and titanium cylinders, resulting in wrist destroying magnums like the 329PD, chambered in .44 Magnum. Of course, the Smith N-frame lineup also includes the legendary 625, the .45 ACP moonclip revolver. It was only natural to make a scandium framed, titanium cylindered version of that, resulting in the gun you see today, the Smith & Wesson 325PD.

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The best all-around gun I ever had

I imagine that if you did a google search for “the best gun for x” you could spend days and days wandering forums and blogs reading thousands of different opinions and ideas on what the best gun for a given task is. But what if you only want one gun? What if you want the best all around gun that will be good for concealed carry, competition, home defense, hiking, and just be as good at everything as it can be. Good luck with that. However, here’s the best all around gun I’ve ever had.

Gen4 Glock 21

Surprise! It’s a Glock, but it’s not a 9mm. It’s a Glock 21 Gen4, which I think is the best .45 Glock has ever made and is definitely the best “all around” gun I’ve ever owned.

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Gratuitous slo-mo recoil comparison: S&W 625 vs. Ruger Vaquero

When you have a camera that shoots 240 fps in your pocket, you do stuff like this:

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New Colt pistols for 2015

Some of these aren’t “new” in the sense that Colt’s never made them before, but rather represent the return of classic models from yesteryear that Market was asking for. Hit the jump to see the rest

Colt National Match Cold Cup Series 70
Colt National Match Cold Cup Series 70

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And old friend come home: the Smith & Wesson 625

The first gun I ever really learned to shoot halfway decent was a Smith & Wesson 625 revolver. I used it to make Master class in IDPA, and shot a number of state level IDPA matches with it. As guns go, I really liked it…so for some reason I sold it about three years ago. I do that from time to time – I go through the guns I own and sell a bunch of them off because “I never shoot this anymore” which is usually because I’m getting paid to shoot something else, or I’ve been seized by a fit of gunderp temporarily and have decided to only shoot vintage Star BMs chambered in 9mm Largo.

Smith & Wesson 625 barrel

I mentioned a while ago that I always seem to come back to revolvers for my shooting guns, and it’s true. I like shooting revolvers, and I generally think they’re fine things to own just to have around. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I recently picked up a second hand 625 that had pretty clearly been set up for IDPA/USPSA competition by its previous owner.

It’s a simple gun, the 625. Based on a design that’s almost 100 years old, it updates the old 1917 revolver with modern engineering, a stainless finish, full moon clips instead of half, adjustable sights, and a full underlug barrel. This particular gun has been converted to DAO (as all good competition revolvers should), had an action job, and had a overtravel stop installed in the trigger. In all, it is a pretty nice gun that’s ready to go out of the box for IDPA ESR division…which is exactly where I plan on shooting it. The thought of getting back to my IDPA roots is kind of appealing to me – I got my start in ESR, so I might as well go back and shoot it again. Plus, shooting the 929 got me hankering for a proper big-bore N-frame, and the 625 fits that description in every possible way.

Smith & Wesson 625 right side

I am probably going to make some changes to the gun, because that’s how I roll. I’ll probably ditch the adjustable rear sight in favor of a Cylinder & Slide Extreme Duty sight, and I definitely want to change the trigger rebound spring to something heavier. Right now the DA trigger pull is about 6 pounds, which is very light, but because the rebound spring isn’t as heavy as I like, I find myself at times short stroking the trigger. I have my 929 set at about 9 pounds with a factory rebound spring, because I’m willing to sacrifice a little pull weight for a reliable trigger reset.

But all of that is immaterial, because I’m just happy to have a proper, big bore N-frame in the house again. Wheelguns are realguns, after all.