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Thread: S&W 625 problem

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    S&W 625 problem

    I just acquired an old 625 model of 1988. I'm experiencing an issue with .45acp ammunition. I've tried a couple brands. Both have the same issue. I can't get through a whole cylinder before one of the primers backs out and binds the cylinder. I got 100 rounds of. 45 auto rim with the gun, and they don't have that problem.

    There are countless numbers of these guns in use, and I don't see any complaints about this problem. As a matter of fact, several shooters use them in local matches without issue, so I know it's not an inherent problem.

    The question is, why is it happening? Could it be that the moon clips I'm using aren't thick enough, and they're leaving too much room behind the case head? Is my ammo too hot? Not hot enough?

    Has anybody else experienced this? If so, how did you solve it?

  2. #2
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    I have two 625 Mountain Guns, plus assorted 1917 revolvers and I've never had a primer back out in any of them. Your thought about the thickness of the clips is certainly a possibility. Another possibility is excess wear/end shake in the cylinder. Also to consider would be the ammo. If they are reloads perhaps the primer pockets have become loose from excessive reloading. You may have to examine each possibility in succession to determine the cause.

    DG

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy 1006's Avatar
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    I think it is bad ammo

  4. #4
    Boolit Master slughammer's Avatar
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    Definitely check the endshake of the cylinder, maybe the yoke needs to be stretched.

    Otherwise look for a relationship between your cylinder and your Ammo. If the primers are backing out, the brass is grabbing the cylinder walls and the primer is being driven aft. Try pushing the primers out by hand with a 1/16 punch (no hammer, just push by hand).

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a couple of 38's and a bucket of ammo.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    There is no endshake, and the primers can't be pushed out by hand.

    I think I might have discovered the issue. The gun was out of time when I got it. I replaced the hand.

    Examining the fired cases, I noticed that some of them had the firing pin mark perfectly centered, while others were off to one side. It is the off center ones that bind. The edge of the primer furthest from the pin mark kicks up just enough to rub on the recoil shield.

    What that tells me is that there is uneven wear on the cylinder ratchets. Three of them do appear knarled. I suspect the previous owner continued shooting it after it lost timing.

    I am going to replace the extractor, which also requires that I replace the cylinder, as the old style extractors are no longer available, and the new style are not compatible with the old cylinders. But hey, I got the gun dirt cheap, and a new cylinder with extractor was $117 from midway.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Thundermaker;
    Before you spend a lot of money on that gun, make a phone call to Smith. It is quite possible it may be covered in their warranty. It will only take a phone call to tell.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale53 View Post
    Thundermaker;
    Before you spend a lot of money on that gun, make a phone call to Smith. It is quite possible it may be covered in their warranty. It will only take a phone call to tell.

    FWIW
    Dale53
    I somehow doubt that they'll warranty a 33 year old gun.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master starnbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundermaker View Post
    I somehow doubt that they'll warranty a 33 year old gun.
    yeah but they may have ratchet and a phone call costs nothing even if they say no.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by starnbar View Post
    yeah but they may have ratchet and a phone call costs nothing even if they say no.
    Absolutely!
    Dale53

  10. #10
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    S&W may surprise you.
    Don’t go into details about the history of ownership.
    Just describe the problem and see what they say.
    You got nothing to lose but your time to make the call.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    ^^^ this! ^^^
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master



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    S&W pre February 1, 1989 purchase warranty support is non-existent in my experience.

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/customer-service/warranty

    Smith & Wesson’s Lifetime Service Policy begins after the warranty period has expired. Smith & Wesson will repair, without charge, for the lifetime of the original owner, any Smith & Wesson handgun purchased on or after February 1, 1989, and any M&P15 series rifle, that is found to have a defect in material or workmanship. Eligibility for this Lifetime Service Policy requires returning the Product Registration Card within 30 days of purchase. The Lifetime Service Policy covers functional defects; it does not include the firearm’s finish, grips, magazines or sights. The Lifetime Service Policy is in addition to and not an extension of the Smith & Wesson Warranty. This warranty gives you specific legal rights. You may also have other rights that vary from State to State.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Call S&W!!!!
    I did once for a very high mileage Model 60 that I bought used. It was out of time.
    In the conversation I divulged I was not asking for warranty work but wanted the revolver fixed and I would pay.
    Sent it in and they replaced the hand, set the barrel back, recut the forcing cone and shipped it back to me all for less than $100. BARGIN in my book.
    "Time and money don't do you a bit of good until you spend them." - My Dad

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by shooting on a shoestring View Post
    Call S&W!!!!
    I did once for a very high mileage Model 60 that I bought used. It was out of time.
    In the conversation I divulged I was not asking for warranty work but wanted the revolver fixed and I would pay.
    Sent it in and they replaced the hand, set the barrel back, recut the forcing cone and shipped it back to me all for less than $100. BARGIN in my book.
    I know you are right..........
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    gary@2texastrucks.com
    Gary D. Peek

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I believe I've found the culprit.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The part is referred to as a "hammer nose bushing". I got all the timing issues fixed and took the gun out to test. I was still having the same problem. I was inspecting the gun, and the light hit just right so that I could see that the bushing looked warped. Sure enough, it is concave. This means that, upon firing, the case moves rearward, stops on the recoil shield, and the primer backs into the recess. It's only a couple thousandths, but it's enough.

    So, I called Smith and Wesson. The guy on the line told me it would be three months before I found out whether or not they could fix it and what it would cost. He referred me to a gunsmith in Arizona, who he said might give me a better turnaround. The gunsmith said he'd never heard of a problem with that part, he'd never changed one before, and he wasn't going to attempt it.

    So, USA Guns and Gear has the part for $4.99. I went ahead and ordered two. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master slughammer's Avatar
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    The punch marks look like someone tried working on that area already.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a couple of 38's and a bucket of ammo.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, you are out of luck on warranty repair. Bubba dun thrashed that shooter. Have fun getting that bushing out. Waste of time sending to S&W. If you BS them on phone and get to send it in, they will send it right back. The recoil shield would have been first place I looked for trouble signs. I don’t think there is any doubts it’s the gun. I would also be checking each chamber against forcing cone with feeler guage. Anybody that would use a punch to stake parts in a quality firearm is capable of anything.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Bushing replacement is a routine maintenance repair for S&W. Years ago the "L" frame (I think) was first issued with the large fire pin and bushing hole. When service issues multiplied (primers flowing into the bushing hole and locking up the cylinder) they sent repair kits to many police departments for their techs to replace the hammer nose and bushing with the smaller size hammer nose. I did quite a few of those back at that time. More recently I found a J-frame to have a loose bushing, would fire the first 2 rounds then freeze up. Sent it back to S&W for repair as my original tools for this work stayed with the PD (the tools were theirs, not mine!).

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Left Field question here. Does the Model of 1988 have correct .45 ACP chamber mouths or are they totally dependent on moon clips or Auto Rim brass to work?
    My on again off again memory seems to recall a JD Jones review of it that stated that the chambers in the cylinder were bored through- not stepped like normal??
    I could be off by a mile here- not the first time.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Left Field question here. Does the Model of 1988 have correct .45 ACP chamber mouths or are they totally dependent on moon clips or Auto Rim brass to work?
    My on again off again memory seems to recall a JD Jones review of it that stated that the chambers in the cylinder were bored through- not stepped like normal??
    I could be off by a mile here- not the first time.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

    This one has the step in the chambers.

    Oh, btw, S&W said they can't do the repair.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check