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.


  1. I lurve the way that full length underlug looks. Just makes the barrel look “tough,” or something.
    I’m sure you’re gonna get rid of those grips, too, right? What with your disdain for finger grooves. I will say, however, that those wood grips look particularly nice.

  2. Cool. Much more interesting than the peashooters. Be sure to keep us posted.

  3. I was just perusing a pic thread at pf of big hire revolvers, and now this? I think the gunternet is trying to tell me something…

  4. Do you is any different trigger finger placement between, say, a G17 versus a GP100?

    1. Actually yeah; on revolvers I use the first distal joint of my index finger most of the time. Jerry Miculek doesn’t, but his forearms are pretty clearly cybernetics.

      1. Have shot a friends early (no lock) 625 and he is not selling it
        I have early 19,66, 28,29, 58 and all with good triggers
        625 so much better, just smoother all the way through the pull
        If I ever got the chance to shake Mr. Miculek hand I would ask him not to break any bones

        Until Smith and Wesson gets rid of the lock I will not buy another new revolver
        Enjoy reading your spot on 90 seconds reviews and comments

  5. I have been competing in ESR IDPA this year with my JM 625. I really enjoy wheel guns an the 625 is a great shooter.

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