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Discussion Starter #1
I could use some help getting over the hump with this decision. I've been researching and over analyzing until late into the night for a week now. I'm not going to ask which is better because I don't think that question has just one answer. I have made a little progress in my decision though. I have ruled out the JM...
For about the same cost I can get a used 625-4/625-6 Model of 1989, or a brand new Performance Center. I would buy a 5" in the 1989 but the PC is only available in 4". While not my first S&W wheel gun it will be my first in 45 ACP. I love my 6" 686-3 and my 4" 66-1. My current revolvers are both brushed stainless which I've found to be forgiving and easy to care for, and both are pre-lock. Pre-lock is a (resale) plus for the 1989. A negative for the 1989 is the bead blasted finish. The PC has a more traditional brushed stainless finish. There seems to be agreement on the Interweb that to repair finish damage to a bead blasted gun it really needs to be blasted again to look right. I'm a weekend plinker and don't see competitive shooting in my future so size limits are a non issue to me. I also don't get the feeling that craftsmanship in the 1989 series era was much better/worse than it is today. Maybe the PC has a smoother DA trigger but either one will be awesome in single action plinking.
Thank you if you are still reading this rambling post. It comes down to (gently used 5" Model of 1989 pre-lock) or a (brand new brushed stainless Performance Center). I know what you're thinking and no, I can't just buy one of each.
 

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I have a JM 625. I like the 4" barrel. I'm not real crazy about the quality however because I have older S&W revolvers to compare it to.

I'm of the opinion that if you can buy a gun built in the 90's you will be miles ahead.

Get the 1989 gun.:D
 

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Buy the old model if you can. Much smoother action and better shooting . HOWEVER Parts can be difficult to find should you need to repair it. The new model will come with warranty and Performance Center for-ever maint.. program . While I prefer the old guns to the new ones you cannot beat the Smith Wesson Performance Center Workmanship. . I'd would buy either with confidence ..
 

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Either one of the revolvers you mention would be a good choice. Don't discount the 625jm though. Mine is accurate , well made , and has a DA trigger every bit as smooth as my benchmark 1955 HP.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the responses so far. For a brief moment tonight, with your help, I had made up my mind to go with the Model of 1989 625-6. Then I realized it has a MIM trigger and hammer and it also lost the hammer firing pin. So I then settled on the 625-4 which seems to have all the good stuff still... But then, I tripped over a 625-7. Hopefully my newbe attempt a posting pictures will work so you can see what I'm leaning towards now. These seem to be somewhat scarce and I've only found this one example for sale, and for bigger bucks than I can sneak from under the mattress. I like the black accents against the brushed stainless. It has a 5 1/4" barrel which I like. It is still a pre-lock. And, it is a Performance Center model with a longer barrel but without those butt ugly grips! So on to my next obsession. I have to find one without a unicorn price attached to it.
Smith 625-7 PC.JPG
 

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Welcome to the forum. If I was looking for a 625 I would buy the 1989. I like the firing pin on the hammer and really don't like the lock but that wont stop me from buying a new S&W. I had a model of 1989 years ago and it was a great shooting revolver.
 

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Welcome to the forum and a very common dilemma to us all at one time or another. I would suggest if possible, hold the gun and get the balance and feel in your hands. Give no thought to ugly shoes as they can be readily replaced. I have MIM parts, old handcrafted, and lock and pre-lock, and they all go boom. I will shoot the older ones because they still are very nice and accurate. I usually use the newer ones in competition as they are shooters to me and if they get a little holster wear or such then oh well. The older ones do have a certain character about them. JMO. Good luck in making up your mind.
 
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The complaint that I remember about the 1989 model 45 acp / auto rim revolvers was that it actually NEEDED the clips to fire 45 ACP ammo. With the 1917 and earlier model 25 and etc. S&Ws the 45 acp cartridges would be held in proper position by the step in the chamber of the cylinder and could be fired and if the fired cases did not just fall out or could not pulled with your fingers, they could be easily removed with a pencil. S&W answered the early complaints with an off hand reply that the 1917 cylinders were an "old" design. They may have gone quietly back the old way of chambering the cylinders but I have no new .45 acp revolvers to try.
 

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I shoot my Model '89 without moon clips and it does fine.
Thanks Guy, I figured that they would fix that as there would be no reason to extend the chambers and if they did not have it at proper depth you possibly could insert high pressure round like the .460 Rowland. The early Colt 1917s the chambers were bored straight through but the step was added at the request of the government.
 

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If you do decide on the new one, don't hesitate to be quite choosy about the individual revolver you select.

Get your hands on the actual one you're considering buying and inspect it closely for quality of workmanship on the assembly. I found that there can be considerable variance between individual guns coming out of the same factory.

Feel the trigger in double and single action. Check for assembly tolerances.

One of the advantages of buying from a dealer with a large stock is that you can handle the one you're considering buying.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You know back in 1989 somebody asked wether they should buy the new 1989 model or the old Model 25 and were told these new guns will never be as good as the old 1917. Just sayin.
You just had to mention the Model 25.. It wasn't even on my radar but now for the last couple of nights I've been down that research rabbit hole. It isn't available in stainless and with that 6 1/2 inch barrel it looks like those clown guns with the flag coming out of the barrel with BANG written on it.
I think I may have to have one! It's a darn nice looking gun.
 

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625/M 25........

You just had to mention the Model 25.. It wasn't even on my radar but now for the last couple of nights I've been down that research rabbit hole. It isn't available in stainless and with that 6 1/2 inch barrel it looks like those clown guns with the flag coming out of the barrel with BANG written on it.
I think I may have to have one! It's a darn nice looking gun.
Hey Ken,

Welcome to :bluelogo:

Maybe I can help?:D

Take a look at this video...... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LocO8YffNN0 Was using the 625 w/8-3/8" LC tube on it...:D

Later, Mark
 

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