the smith 625 can be used both ways-----with moon clips or without.
I use to own two mdl 625's----a 3" 625 "model of 1989" and a more curent 625JM 4". Sadly, lost both of them to pay medical bills but priorities are priorities............
Both guns were very accurate and the recoil was next to nothing in these big "N" frames.
Since they are revolvers, this also gives you a lot of lee-way in your reloads as you can make them mild or stout and not have to worry about function as in an autoloader. You can also just like any revolver, use any bullet profile and not have to worry about function problems like in an autoloader.
There are several styles of moon clips and i always used the "full moon". There are some inexpensive plastic ones that are easy to load the clip and unload the clip for range use, but i always prefered the steel moons especially for street carry. The biggest advantage of the moons is it is the fastest reload available for any revolver. No turning knobs, twisting, or pushing, just drop in, close and get after it. When you eject, all 6 come out on the moon clip so policing brass is very easy and there is no damaged brass like in some autoloaders from ejection. Another advantage of the moons is for speedloader pouches. If you get an HKS size large pouch, you can stack two loaded moon clips in each pouch barrel on top of each other enabling you to carry 24 rounds in a space normally occupied by 12 rounds in two speedloaders. The loaded steel moons hold the rounds securely so if you drop a charged clip onto the ground, they will stay in the clip and not bust loose spillin' rounds.
The pain in this system is with the steel clips the round is snapped in place with a little force to load the moon itself. And to "de-moon" the clip, you either build your own little de-mooner tool(east to do) or buy one from brownell's. Re-charging a speed loader is faster than recharging a moon. Also you must pay some attention as to where you step. If you step on an ejected moon containing spent brass, you may wind up bending the moon which can cause some rotation problems the next time you charge and load that paticular moon. Easy to spot, just lay the moon on a flat surface un-charged and look to see if she is laying flat. The steel moons are cheap so no problem there.
You can shoot a smith 625 without the moons as it will headspace on the case mouth. It will fire and function but you will have to use your fingernail to pluck out the spent rounds or take a pencil and poke it thru the cylinder and eject them one at a time like a single action revolver or an old h&r revolver. Fine for the range but you lose the tactical advantage of a fast reload. The moon is there for the extractor star to have something to bite to eject the rounds. You can get around this by going to 45 "auto-rim" ammo which is nothing more than a 45acp that has a rim on it like a 38 spl. But you can't use auto-rim in an autoloader.
These guns are very accurate and an absolute joy--the downside is they are getting high dollar and used ones on the market are far and few as folks tend to hang on to them. :mrgreen: