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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my brand-spanking new 325 PD Airlite .45 acp to the range today and ran through about 60 rounds.

General impression is: I like this gun, but I'm not sure what it's for. Maybe it's a 2.75-inch car gun?

At 21 ounces, it's imminently portable and concealable. Ignoring caliber, however, it's not as "carryable" as, for instance, a J Frame or a Glock 19.

It ain't pretty, but the workmanship is excellent. Yeah, it has a hole in the side for the lock; the lock doens't much offend me, though. The trigger is heavy yet glass smooth. It's the smoothest I've felt on a new Smith.

From 10 yards, the gun is considerably more accurate than a J Frame, the only other snubbie I've shot. Surprisingly, I found it more comfortable to shoot than the .38 model 042 I own.

It does have a bit of recoil; a 230 grain Taurus Hex jumped crimp on me. S&W tells you to watch for this in the instruction manual that accompanies the gun. Speer 230 grain GD was fine. The bullets stayed where they were supposed to until I pulled the trigger, and then they went where they were supposed to go. Very reassuring.

Is it a keeper? As I said, I like it but am reserving judgement. I doubt it's a collectable. It'll have to find a use for itself, or it'll get traded for a collectable. I intend to give it plenty of chances to earn it's keep, of course,

Ya' know, it might really be a fantastic car gun...

Anyone else here own a 325 or other big bore snubbie? What's your opinion? What're you using yours for?

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
maxer51tx, I like my M325 just fine. I am sure it is damn near perfect for a housegun and not half bad for car/carry. Regards, Richard

 

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All they need to do to improve it is, make it a fixed sight weapon andleave the bbl lenght the same, then go spurless on the hammer
 

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Amazingly enough, Gun Test Magazine just did a product testing on the 325 PD and wrote an article in their magazine.

It was their opinion that the 325 PD would make a excellent back-country handgun for hiking and hunting. Given its light weight and excellent portability, I would have to agree with them on that one.

Since I don't own one, I cannot comment further than that except to say that it would appear to be very comforting in that role.

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately Dave Di Fabio at Ammolab told me he's been unable to find ANY hollow point round that will expand after firing through this little gun.

They just won't open; the muzzle velocity is too slow. He said I might as well shoot ball through it.

I knew before I bought it that .45 acp was a poor performer out of short-barelled 1911s but thought a revolver would perform better. And indeed as I investigated this after buying the gun, someone at S&W told me the barrel/cylinder gap doesn't make much difference. Unfortunately, this was contradicted by one of the tech guys at CCI/ Speer. The gap does matter.

Upshot: the 325 has a bad-for-.45 acp short barrel, and to make things worse, some of the blast leaks through the gap. Hence the poor performance with HP.

It's just like a J-frame, except .45 acp is a slow mover to begin with. And like a j-frame, Dave recommended SafeStop, which is an expensive ($40/20 rounds) v-notched LSWC.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
maxer51tx, first off the bullet is already a 45. Secondly, bullets fired from a 4" 1911 expand. What is my point? A barrel on a pistol is measured including the chamber and the cylinder plus barrel on my M325 is about the same length as the Commander barrel. Regards, Richard
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Richard,

That's what I figured too. But, and this surprised me also, it's wrong because of the barrel/cylinder gap. That's what the guy from Speer told me. I also came across some test results from Shooting Times magazine that indicated the same thing: muzzle velocity from a three-inch revolver (measured from forcing cone to crown, excluding cylinder) was about 50 fps less than for a 3-inch pistol (including the chamber is the measurement.) That gap matters and I suppose that's why they measure revolvers that way.

With regard to expansion, I trust Di Fabio. He's a top-drawer ballistics guy and if he says his guys were unable to find any ammo that would expand through the 325, then that pretty much ties the rag on the bush.

As you point out, it's still a .45, though, and the bullet's not going to shrink.

Max
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Max, everything I have see on the bleed off at the cylindr/barrel gap is it actually is minimal. I will continue to trust my M325 for serious social ocassions. Regards, Richard
 
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