Educational Zone #133 – The S&W Model 25-5 .45 Colt Revolver


I have owned a few Model 25 Smiths in my life, but foolishly sold them for some unknown reason.

I recently wanted one to keep and started looking for a clean sample.

I finally found one at a reasonable price and bought it. 

Here it is.

This fine pistol is a typical S&W “N” frame pistol.

It is a beautiful piece.

It is chambered for the .45 Colt, also sometimes called the .45 Long Colt. Many will say that it ought to be called simply the “.45 Colt”, as there is no “.45 Short Colt”. But to distinguish it from the .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge and the .45 Schofield, I believe the .45 LC is a good name. I have even seen cartridge boxes from major manufacturers labeled “.45 Long Colt”.

This round was very common, especially after Sam Colt designed the .45 Colt Peacemaker, also known as the Colt Army Revolver. It is said that a cowboy was once asked why he carried a .45. His answer was, “Because Sir, Mr. Colt doesn’t make a .46.”

It is still a very fine round and can be extremely accurate in a high quality pistol.


The pistol has the old S&W very deep bluing.

It has a 6 inch barrel, which I prefer.


It also has white outlined rear sights and a red insert front sight.


It has a target trigger and hammer.


The pistol is heavy and is a joy to shoot.

Here I am shooting it this morning.


Here’s a typical 6 shot group at 7 yards.


I handload for the pistol and use several types of bullets.

For target loads, I use a Missouri Bullet Company 200 grain RNFP over some WW-231.

I also load a heavier 250 grain RNFP which is very accurate.

Probably the best lead bullet for this cartridge is the 255 grain Keith SWC.

For hunting, I can load a JHP if desired.

But I believe the SWC putting a .452 hole completely through a deer would be pretty effective.


The wife caught a picture of me shooting that I saw when I got home.

It shows me reverting back to putting my left trigger finger in front of the trigger guard.

I know this is not the best grip, but I used it for so many years that I sometimes revert back to it without thinking.


I have a speed loader for this pistol.

It has to be designed specifically for this caliber.


To use it, you eject the empties, than insert the cartridges in the speed loader into the cylinder.


And then your turn the knob to release the cartridges and they will fall into the cylinder.

I’m no Jerry Miculek, but even for a slow guy like me, this can be done in a very few seconds.

Almost as fast as loading a magazine into a semi-auto pistol.


Let’s look at the pistol. The barrel is marked “.45 COLT CTG”.


The other side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”.


The pistol has a beautiful finish.


And the hole in the front of that barrel looks like it means business.


It is a joy to shoot.


If you ever get a chance to acquire a Model 25-5, don’t let it get away from you. You will love it.



6 Comments on Educational Zone #133 – The S&W Model 25-5 .45 Colt Revolver

  1. In the 80’s DeKalb County Georgia Police Dept.issued these for duty side arms.At first they had problems with Quality Control on the boring of the cylinders .All were sent back to Smith to correct this problem since the diameters of the chambers were from 451 to 455.
    The ammo we were issued was the silver tip hollow point after searching long and wide for a good round .A lot of the jhp’s would cone on being fired .
    I worked a Police shooting where the Perp. was hit dead center at a slight angle . the projectile entered the chest at a slight left angle rode the rib and came out under his arm through his upper arm and out.The bullet never knocked the Perp. off his feet..

  2. Interesting to see that Sam Colt invented the Peacemaker which was introduced in 1873. That’s a pretty good trick since he died in 1862 and before his death swore that Colt would never make a revolver with a top strap like his rival Remington. The Peacemaker has a top strap. The comment about having a 45 because they don’t make a 46 was about the Colt 1911 45 semi automatic pistol; not the Colt Peacemaker.

  3. I have one of those beauties in 6″ blue steel.
    I bought it new in about 1980 and have cycled maybe 500 rounds through it.
    Judging from the prices I’m seeing online, I made a great investment.
    Whether it’s my hand loads or some sizzling Hornady defense loads, the bulk of this brute tames them down to the felt recoil of a .22
    Just for grins, I had a combat trigger job, and a time and tune put on it before I brought it home the first time.
    Try this…..clean the Smith & Wesson stamping on the barrel, and the caliber stamping on the opposite side.
    Use white model paint and a Q tip to get the paint down in the grooves, wait a minute and wipe it off with a rag.
    Be careful, and you’ll have a beautifully detailed highlight on both sides of the barrel, and if you don’t like it, it’s easily removed with a little Hoppes.
    I wouldn’t sell this baby for all the tea in China.

  4. Jim Hostetler // January 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm // Reply

    I recently acquired a S&W 25-5 in nickel which came with Pachmeyer grips. I would like to replace with walnut grips. My frame has a “squared” (not rounded) but. Are they available?
    I see that Midway has replacement grips however they are for a rounded but.

  5. I too, got rid of a beautiful Model 25 Nickel 8 3/8″, back in the very early 80’s. Somewhere between 80 & 85. And, at that time, sold it for a song!! So I know the pain! Very nice article, and a most beautiful gun!

  6. I had 2 S&W 25-5 a number of years ago and I let them get away from me also. I know own a S&W 625-9 Mountain Gun in 45LC. I am trying to find Speed loaders for this pistol however, have not had any luck. Does anyone know whether the speed loaders for 25-5 will fit the 625-9? It seems like they would but I would like to know for sure before I spend the money.

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