Monday, February 12, 2024

New toy


The cleanup and repair process following our flooding incident in November has kept me too busy for many normal activities, including visiting a local gun shop where I'm friendly with the owner and his staff, and they sometimes have nice little things needing a home.  I dropped in there on Thursday to renew acquaintance, only to be confronted with this little beauty in a display case.  Click the image for a larger view (it doesn't show my gun, but another example thereof in the same pristine condition).

It's a Smith & Wesson Model 325 Night Guard.  You can read reviews of it (and the rest of the Night Guard series) here and here, if you're interested.  I always liked the look and feel of them, but by the time I could afford one, they'd been discontinued.  One seldom sees them on the used gun market, because those who have them tend to hold on to them, but this one had taken up temporary residence at our local dealer shortly before I arrived.  It was anything but cheap, thanks to its scarcity value, but that's what trade-ins are for.

It's in minty condition, with a heavy-ish but very smooth action.  The XS Sights fitted to it make rapid sighting easier, and work better with my aging eyes that can no longer focus on a front sight with the clarity they once did.  I'm looking forward to taking it out to the range soon, to see how it shoots.  It'll make a very handy winter carry piece for a heavy coat, which might restrict access to a holstered gun at the waist.  This one's short and light enough (thanks to its Scandium alloy frame) that I can carry it in an outer pocket, ready to hand if and when needed.  (I wish someone made a hammer shroud for N-frame revolvers, but even without one, if one keeps a thumb on the hammer while drawing the gun, it won't catch on the pocket material.)  The recoil won't be a problem;  I've fired .45 ACP out of pistols lighter than this gun and found it controllable.

I'll install a set of Crimson Trace laser grips to help with sighting and recoil control, and probably drop in an Apex Tactical hammer to lighten the trigger pull and convert the gun to double-action only (something I prefer for fighting - as opposed to sport - revolvers).

(By the way, if anyone knows of another example of this revolver - or one like it - for sale, in very good to excellent condition and chambered for .45 ACP, please contact me;  my e-mail address is in the sidebar.  Having seen mine, a buddy wants one too, and - if it's out of state - is quite happy to pay for it to be shipped to a local dealer to comply with transfer regulations.)



Plague Monk said...

I just looked at Gun Broker, and found this one:

I don't know if you've used Gun Broker; several people I know swear by it. I haven't bought anything through them myself.

Peter said...

@Plague Monk: I saw that. He's real proud of it, isn't he? Now, if he dropped his price by about $350-$400, it might be deal-worthy. As it is . . . not a chance.

Clyde said...

RE: hammer spur catching on clothing. Buy a replacement hammer for the gun and bob it. DO NOT BOB THE HAMMER THAT WENT ON THE GUN AT THE FACTORY. Bobbing the "issue" hammer will reduce the value of the gun.

Tree Mike said...

I second Ciyde. I got a 3" (fixed sight) GP100 Ruger back in '86. Ran into a San Diego PD cop at the range that had his duty GP100(with sights) hammer bobbed. He let me fondle it, I immediately bobbed mine (personally). Turned out great, no regrets. You can still thumb cock it with a trigger assist. No, I have had NO negligent discharges.
Nice score, one of the few revolvers I regret letting get away was your gun's grand daddy, a S&W M1917 in 45 ACP.

Dan said... I have to start looking for one of those...

Hamsterman said...

Grips make all the difference when shooting a snubnose. After 20 rounds, the factory grips on my Bodyguard/J-frame left my hands in need of physical therapy. The aftermarket Hogue grips, which were larger and rubbery, allow me to fire it as much as I want.

I can't tell how will the Crimson Guard ones will work, all I can tell is that one's laser will only work for right handers. Lasers are certainly great for dry-fire practice as they give immediate feedback if the trigger pull moves the point of aim.

Uncle Lar said...

Among other advantages of a revolver in .45acp is that with full moon clips they are wicked fast to both unload and reload. Full and half moon are readily available at the usual sources. At one time someone offered what were called 1/3 moon clips which held two rounds each allowing your spare ammo to lay flat.
Don't know if anyone offers such, but you can certainly reload wadcutters which do not play nicely in semi autos but can have advantages as a self defense load.
And one can still find .45 auto rim brass which offers the option to revert to a more traditional operation.
Two regrets were letting both a Colt 1917 and a S&W 625 slip away.
I did a hammer bob on an old Model 60 S&W Chief Special stainless and never had any issues with that little 5 shot .38 spl, and yes you can thumb cock them very carefully.

Michael said...

45 ACP in a revolver is doable.

Fast reload with a revolver is the NYC reload where you squat to make yourself less a target and draw a second revolver.

However, I'd suggest a revolver cartridge as in 44 Special.

Old school but effective and nice on the hands. Houge grips are GREAT.

S K said...

There is one right now on GB.
Couple of visible blemishes on the picture but hard to tell just by pictures.
Listed as an auction but includes a BIN price of $1200.
Think I'd just throw in $300 more and get a Python.

XTphreak said...

Look up Bianchi Lightning grips.

The replacement grips shrouded the hammer much like the 49/649 Bodyguard.

They made them for J frames and K frames.

Maybe you could get a grip whittler to make a set of those for the N frame?

lee n. field said...

good taste, man!

How do you expect to carry moon clip reloads? (one thing that's holding me back from getting a 9mm revolver.)

Will said...

Are there any "pocket hammers" made for the 25/625 model? The point of that design, besides the ability to draw from a pocket, is to make it a bit more easy to thumb-cock while retaining a reasonable approximation of the original mass of the thumb-spur hammer.

I've seen the hammer body welded up to gain back the mass and cocking thumb pad, but it would be cheaper to buy one, but don't forget to add the price of a gunsmith fit. If you don't want to bother keeping the original one, it might be cheaper to just have it welded up, since you would retain the original sear engagement/feel.

Also, don't make the mistake I made. I sent a couple snubbies in to the factory to have pocket hammers fitted, but forgot to state that I wanted the originals returned. You would think that would be a standard procedure. Guess again...

tsquared said...

There was one in the local gun shop last month for $1200. It didn't last long before it was gone. For wheel guns I prefer them to be magnums.