Smith And Wesson Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

I was thinking of getting the Thunder Ranch Revolver (S&W 325 in .45 ACP) for use in IDPA competition.

Based on my understanding of the rules, this gun could be used in BOTH IDPA revolver classes (Stock Service Revolver AND Enhanced Service Revolver) due to its light weight and ability to use .45 ACP moon clips OR speedloaders with .45 Auto Rim.

I also admit to being new to revolvers (but an old hand with semi autos).

My questions:

1) Am I correct? Could I use this gun in both IDPA classes?

2) Is this gun a good choice or is there one better? Note that I am sold on the .45 ACP chambering due to the ease of reloading, so if you want to recommend a different IDPA revolver, please make it a .45 ACP. My only concern about this gun is its light weight and the recoil implications of that.

Many thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
In my opinion, the best revolver for IDPA is the revolver that you shoot best that you are most comfortable carrying, aiming, and hitting. My personal preference would be a K-frame .38 or .357, but that's the wheel gun I'm most comfortable with. Everyone who has ever wrote anything about handling or evaluating a Thunder Ranch .45 revolver has high praises for the gun. The big N-frames in .45 ACP just won't go away. I'd say go ahead and try it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
For my birthday a couple years back, I bought one of the 325 Thunder Ranch guns. It is a very good gun, but the first time I shot it, I didn't like it. I love it now, that I'm used to the recoil. I usually shoot all-steel .38/.357's. You might try the 625JM, that extra weight would help keep it on target.
Hope this helps. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
IDPA is a game and like any they have equipment rules that influence whats best.

The 4 inch S&W 625 is the most common revolver in ESR class you almost never see anything else. Rules are no longer than 4.2 inch barrel and 50 oz unloaded moonclips allowed. You can shoot other revolvers but they have there limitations. IDPA has a power factor, bullet weight times velocity. ESR it's 165,000 which means a 230 gr bullet going about 750 FPS, or a 200 gr going 850 you need the extra cushion to cover cold days and weak loads, Get checked and too light you are DQ'ed. In theory you can use a .45 Lc too but most matches have a lost brass policy hits the ground you can't pick it up and 45 LC brass is expensive to loose. 625 with the 45 ACP is moon clipped and you can retrieve it within the rules just like an automatics magazine. Big match 16 stages of at least 12 rounds each the lightweight 325's loaded to meet the power factor are going to tire you out with recoil.

With that said lots of people shoot IDPA at the club level with whatever they normally carry. I often shoot ESR with a 3 inch 625 45 ACP. 60 shot match it's fine. No reason you could not do the same thing with a 325. Just watch for "mousefart" loads the RSO thinks you are getting close to the rule may make you crono the load. My 3 inch 625 use 200's at 850 which is a fairly hot load. I am an old 1911 shooter too and the revolver "feels" like it kicks more than for example my Combat Commander with the same PF loads.

SSR class two revolvers are used more than any other. the 585/686 series with 4 inch barrels and about any sort of K frame 4 inch 38 or 357. You can use Auto Rim no moonclips and shoot a 625 or 325 in SSR class, that is if the 625 can make weight which is 42 oz, Something that is not a problem for the 325. That class has a 125 PF intended for 158 gr 38's at about 825 fps. Easy for a lightly loaded 45 but again you are going to loose the brass, that's expensive plus I have never seen a speed loader for the Auto Rim cartridge. Reloads are a major part of the competition.

There is really no need to have a gun that can shoot both classes, match you will enter one or the other but can't generally enter twice anyway. Somebody sees the scenarios they have an advantage if allowed to go round again so match rules almost all ways prohibit 2nd gun.

I would get a 625 4 inch .45 acp it's a sweet gun. 686's are nice too if you don't mind speed loaders and want to shoot a light recoiling gun. This advice for competition only. Carry either one is too big. I have both and never carry them. The K's in 3 inch are much easier to wear all day as would be the 325. My 3 inch 625 is about the top end of carry size concealed

Boats
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
843 Posts
If you do decide to buy a 325 TR and would consider a used one let me know I have one like new with about 200 rounds threw it.

Len
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I shoot IDPA with my Model 22 .45 revolver. Admittedly, I am giving up some advantages due to the fixed sights, but since I often carry my Model 22, that is what I shoot. The gun is accurate enough, but I fear my 53 year old eyes are letting me down just a tad.
Seriously, the fixed sights do shoot very close as they come from the factory, at least with ball ammo and the Model 22 is fairly light for an old-fashioned all-steel revolver.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top