Gunfight: Springfield 1911 vs. Smith & Wesson 625

Today we have a fight between competition guns used in action-shooting events, although one leads a double life as both a competition and a trail gun. One wears a bunch of aftermarket refinements, while the other came tricked out straight from the box. Both are chambered for .45 ACP, so this fight pretty much comes down to revolver vs. semiauto—and personal preference.

Smith & Wesson has been making .45 ACP revolvers since World War I. While .45 autos are, of course, infinitely more popular, S&W still makes the 625, a chunk of a gun built on the company’s heavy N Frame. It holds six rounds. The Springfield Armory’s Loaded series of 1911s features 5-inch, match-grade barrels and other refinements, and this one has a few more extras added by its owner.

Nick’s S&W

This is my S&W 625JM—a 4-inch .45 ACP wheel gun, part of the S&W Champions Series line. JM stands for Jerry Miculek, who was the driver behind the design of this particular model.

How’d I end up with this? I already load for 9mm and .45, but I wanted a revolver so I managed to justify it to myself. I've packed it as backup on deer and hog hunts, but it really lives as my IDPA ESR (enhanced service revolver) gun when I want to stop losing to the 1911 or Glock crowd. Overall, it's a sweet shooter that you won't see too often on the range.

Andrew’s Springfield 1911

This is my Springfield Loaded target model 1911 that I use to shoot USPSA single stack division. I know that hunting guns tend to be the most popular for Gunfight Friday, but I figured competition guns need loving, too. I got this gun as a project to try and learn more about 1911s and build up something fun to compete with as well. It wears VZ grips and has extended controls from Wilson Combat. I added Dawson fiber optic front sight and magwell, cylinder, slide, sear and hammer group, and extractor. The gun is fast and accurate with this set up, and I've had fun shooting it in a few local USPSA matches. Someday I hope to upgrade to a full custom gun from SVI or one of its ilk, but unfortunately that would be a bit indulgent for a college student like myself. For now this gun brings me plenty of pride when I take it out to the range, and satisfies my needs as a shooter and a tinkerer.

There's your choice. It's hard to go wrong either way if you like the .45 ACP cartridge. Take your pick, vote and comment below, and keep the gun pictures coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.

Which gun do you favor?

Nick’s S&W

Andrew’s Springfield 1911