Trying to decide on a bowling pin gun...

Lesliet

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So, first caveat is that I'm not super knowledgeable on revolvers. I got to shoot a friend's super slick Colt Python back in the 80's, and loved it, but I've only owned autos, other than a 686 I had about 20 years ago. So, I went to my first bowling pin match recently, and I'm hooked. Did pretty well shooting a cz97 in .45 ACP, but it felt like the spirit of this particular match is more towards revos, and to be honest, I could use the training of becoming proficient on a DA trigger. So, I'm currently thinking of a 625, because of moon clips, and .45 ACP, so I already have dies and a ton of brass. A JM special might do, or a 5" one might be better. The other contender is a 629. A 6" barrel would have a nice sight radius, and the competitor model has weights for the barrel. Unfortunately, no moonclips, unless $$$ to the machine shop. Could still run speed loaders. Another downside to .44, is I have zero brass for it, nor dies.
I wanted to put this out here, and invite some discussion of the merits of various wheelguns for this sort of competition. Maybe there's something else that I haven't thought of, and would later wish I had bought "fill in the blank" instead! Not in a big hurry, either, I still have to recover from getting a nice shotgun for trap. I AM starting to look forward to practicing those reloads, tho! :D
 

aasbra

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I picked up a 625 a couple months ago. My first 45 ACP revolver. While I haven’t shot bowling pins, I’ve been enjoying it on steel during range outings.

Since you are already set up to load .45, this seems like a good way to go. Mine shoots the same loads I run in my autos real well. Also enjoying not picking up brass thrown from the autos, just pop out the spent moon clip, and insert another fresh one.
 
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I shoot pins once a month and steel the same. The revolver guys all shoot 8 shot guns. I learned a lot watching revolver shooters. I noticed a few were beating me with a 9mm Glock 17. They shoot sower and don’t miss much. That equals a good score.

I’d go to a few more and ask the revolver shooters what to buy.
 

oremike

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I've seen a pair of shooters both using some sort of S&W revolvers with a 5 or so inch barrel. Looked to be a full sized frame, bobed hammer and in 357 or 38 special that were loaded with full moon clips. they might have held more than 6 rounds. their belts in front had posts sticking up to stack the loaded moon clips in for fast reloading.

Edited to add they might be 686 pro plus
 
you maybe have seen the fabulous 10mm 610 in action. I shot my own S&W at pins using 40S&W for a few months, until the sound of one hand smacking my forehead got my attention & I discovered how marvelous the 10mm was in comparison. Yes, it's with moon clips. The 610 handles either 40/10.

Match director doesn't allow 44 mag due to pin destruction. 44 special is fine, and I've got my best score time with that. Hitting the pin OFF the table efficiently is far more important than just shooting fast. We get only 2 reloads of 6, total 18 rounds, to complete our round.

Our local club only allows 'load 6' regardless of what you brung, although the matches are set ahead of time, for various calibers & types of firearm.

There are some very good shots using 9s/38s/whatever.

I like 45 acp as well, it really works. Slow heavy slugs of whatever persuation seem to all work fine.
 
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I think that your first impression was the correct one - a 625. However, I'd go for the PC model (about $100 more than the JM). JM not withstanding, I like a smooth trigger for double action work. The barrel configuration makes for faster transitions without inertia causing "over-swing". Plus the 4" barrel makes the gun more versatile - you can also use it for IDPA.

Slide34.jpg

The 8-shooters come with there own problems. Moon clip to cartridge fit is a trial and error process. The longer cartridges require a very precise moon clip fit to keep the cartridges in the clip rigid to facilitate fast reloads - this is why USPSA & ICORE users of 627's usually shoot .38 Long or Short Colt - faster to reload - but given the power needed with a pin gun, not sure that would work so well.

The 625 is very user friendly. Just about any moon clip will do. Personally I use Ranch Products because they work well and are less than $.50, so when the RO steps on one it's no big deal. Cartridge wobble in the clip actually helps with quick reloads in a 6-shot .45 ACP gun.

I have about a dozen moon clip guns of both the 6 and 8 shot variety and the 625 is the most user friendly, especially if you are new to revolvers and moon clips. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
 
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Lesliet

Lesliet

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Also enjoying not picking up brass thrown from the autos, just pop out the spent moon clip, and insert another fresh one.
That's a very good point. During a match, I don't want to be in "Brassers" mode, and it's a lot easier to pick up one or two moons, rather than 10-12 empties on the floor, under the bench, maybe past the firing line and off limits til the line goes cold.

I shoot pins once a month and steel the same. The revolver guys all shoot 8 shot guns. I learned a lot watching revolver shooters. I noticed a few were beating me with a 9mm Glock 17. They shoot sower and don’t miss much. That equals a good score.
The pace does seem a lot slower than what I'm used to at speed steel, yes. There was one lady I was watching, I think she was shooting .44 special... very deliberate shots, early on she was just blowing pins off the table with each trigger pull, for the most part. I had marked her as one that might give me some trouble, but I don't think I got to shoot against her. ( I get pretty focused, so I don't always notice who is in the next box!)

you maybe have seen the fabulous 10mm 610 in action. I shot my own S&W at pins using 40S&W for a few months, until the sound of one hand smacking my forehead got my attention & I discovered how marvelous the 10mm was in comparison. Yes, it's with moon clips. The 610 handles either 40/10.

Match director doesn't allow 44 mag due to pin destruction. 44 special is fine, and I've got my best score time with that. Hitting the pin OFF the table efficiently is far more important than just shooting fast. We get only 2 reloads of 6, total 18 rounds, to complete our round.

Our local club only allows 'load 6' regardless of what you brung, although the matches are set ahead of time, for various calibers & types of firearm.
Hmm, 10mm/.40 might be a really good choice... I pick up a fair bit of .40 brass regularly, so I'd have cheap practice ammo. I do have a LITTLE bit of 10mm, and with moon clips I might not lose much of it. The Performance center models look like they have a lot of great features, like barrel weights and a tac rail. ( I would likely stick to irons for pins, but I might want to shoot a revo in a speed steel match, for which I'd rather have a red dot. )
Not sure how well I'd do with the recoil of a .44 mag, if they're allowed... from the sound, I think most people that were shooting those were running .44 special. Balance between power, and low enough recoil that you don't flinch the shot off into the tulie dingles! It sounds like same rules on the reloads, you get 6 in the gun, and two reloads of 6 each.

I think that your first impression was the correct one - a 625. However, I'd go for the PC model (about $100 more than the JM). JM not withstanding, I like a smooth trigger for double action work.
PC being Performance Center? Do all the PC models have trigger jobs? I'm thinking a good trigger is going to make the difference between whether I practice enough to get good with it, or give up in disgust and let it gather dust. I don't want to buy one, and then immediately have to ship it off for trigger work, and wait...
I think I'm leaning towards something with moons, now, for the ease of recovering brass. I need big, heavy slugs, so 9/38/357 is probably a non starter for pins. 10mm/.40 , and .45 acp are strong contenders. Is it possible to run moon clips with .44 special, or other rimmed cases?

It seems to me that the winning combination for pins is a heavy slug with enough authority to knock pins clean off in one good hit, adjustable sights and taking enough time to get solid center of mass hits, and having a fast reload.
 
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PC being Performance Center? Do all the PC models have trigger jobs? I'm thinking a good trigger is going to make the difference between whether I practice enough to get good with it, or give up in disgust and let it gather dust. I don't want to buy one, and then immediately have to ship it off for trigger work, and wait...
I think I'm leaning towards something with moons, now, for the ease of recovering brass. I need big, heavy slugs, so 9/38/357 is probably a non starter for pins. 10mm/.40 , and .45 acp are strong contenders. Is it possible to run moon clips with .44 special, or other rimmed cases?

It seems to me that the winning combination for pins is a heavy slug with enough authority to knock pins clean off in one good hit, adjustable sights and taking enough time to get solid center of mass hits, and having a fast reload.
You seem to have it pretty well figured out - large heavy slugs are the key.

Yes, PC is Performance Center. As for trigger jobs, it's a crap-shoot. Any trigger on any revolver is just a starting point. They may promote the PC guns as having better triggers, but that's not necessarily the case - I've seen many production Smiths with better triggers than PC guns. You pays your nickel and takes your ride. Lots you can do to improve the trigger on a Smith.

Another can of worms using a rimmed cartridge and moon clips. First you would have to have the cylinder machined for moon clips - usually about $150 (TK Custom or Pinnacle High Performance). Secondly, the extractor groove on rimless cartridges is spec'd by SAAMI. The groove ahead of the rim, on a rimmed cartridge, is not - some rimmed cartridges may not even have a groove there - most do, but dimensions are entirely up to the manufacturer of the brass. This just exacerbates finding moon clips that fit properly and also means segregating that particular headstamp brass. Probably best not to go down that road - at least not now when you are new to the revolver/moon clip thing.

Don't try to reinvent the wheel - the 625's, of any variation, are already pretty much optimized for what you want to do.

I love being able to charge my moon clips, at home, in front of the TV, and then have them ready to go for the match. No fumbling around to reload at the match. Here's my set-up, made to fit the center (removable) compartment of my range bag...

Moon-Clip-Tools.jpg

Adios,

Pizza Bob
 
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Lesliet

Lesliet

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Oh, damn. I missed the " .45 Colt" part, I thought all the 625's were .45 acp.

Nice gun - NOT what you want for pin shooting
Pizza Bob, was your comment there because of the caliber? I saw that gun, and thought a six inch PC revolver in .45 acp would be excellent. Longer sight radius...
 

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