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Smith and Wesson 627 Performance Center Review

My dad has a Smith and Wesson 627 Performance Center revolver that I’m obsessed with. It’s one of the guns that inspired me to create the J-Frame holster. The gun is a beast and I can’t shoot it nearly as well as a semi-auto but I am still in love with it even though I don’t see buying one for myself (or at least it’s way down the list). But it’s hard to deny the appeal of an 8 shot 357 revolver that works with moon clips.

As far as overall looks, in my opinion, the gun is a stunner. The cut barrel gives it a modern look while the stainless and wood let you know it’s still a classic revolver. Fit and finish leave a little to be desired. There are some nicks and wear areas that I don’t think should be on the gun. The wood grips look absolutely gorgeous. The grain is even and the finger groves complement the shape of the gun. Even though the grips look great they don’t fit my hands or most others. It would be better with groove-less grips. The gun comes with a Hogue black rubber grip that I suspect would improve the shooting characteristics but my dad likes the look of the wood.

The sights on the gun are very nice. It has a fixed gold dot front sight with an elevation and windage adjustable rear. The read sight probably would fair well if dropped but is great for plinking. I’m really impressed with the gold dot front. It catches the eye almost as much as a fiber-optic sight, making it a joy to shoot.

Firing the gun is an experience all of its own. With 38 special, if you have a high grip on the gun, it almost hurts your firing hand. With a lower grip, this isn’t a problem. The gun really doesn’t have any recoil, even with the 357 rounds. With 357 rounds it doesn’t recoil but it shakes you to death. It has a very odd recoil impulse and isn’t fun to shoot with the 357 rounds. 44 Magnum is one of my favorite guns to shoot so I’m not recoil sensitive. We shoot mostly 38 special from this gun due to the cost of ammo and fun factor.

The trigger pull is very good in both double and single action. Double action is heavy but extremely smooth and consistent. I can make good hits with double action but it takes much longer than I’m accustomed to when using my striker-fired guns. The single-action is incredibly light and crisp. You can tell the trigger was tuned by the performance center and that in my opinion justifies the price. I’m not a great or even good revolver shooter so I won’t report on accuracy but I think in the right hands the gun could be very accurate. Using single action, I can ring my Half-Cocked Torso Target at 40 yards all day long.

The worst feature on the gun is the SW frame lock. While these have failed before, they are mostly reliable and don’t have any problems but I’d prefer to see it removed from the design. This has been debated ad nauseam and you can find plenty of info on this elsewhere.

If I owned this gun I’d switch out the grips for wooden or G10 groove-less grips. If I were going to carry it or use it on a regular basis, I’d give heavy consideration to rubber grips. Rubber grips are a more practical choice but the gun just looks so good with wooden grips. The wooden grips also make it difficult to eject casings when using the speed loader. You have to position the cylinder perfectly or the moon clip doesn’t have clearance.

Even though the revolver weighs an incredible 44 ounces, the large gun conceals surprisingly well. The overall shape and 5-inch barrel add greatly to this. If you are going to carry a full-size revolver this is a great option.

If you like revolvers and are looking for a fun toy or carry piece, I’d give this gun a look. It’s a fun gun to shoot and needs minimal mods out of the box, making it one of the better out of the box revolvers in its class.


  • 8 rounds of 357
  • Looks
  • Accuracy
  • Sights are good for a revolver
    • Gold bead front and thin white outline rear
  • DA Trigger is smooth
  • Single Action Trigger is crisp
  • The profile could be concealed well and carries like a thin gun IWB.


  • The beautiful wood grips are rough on the hand and don’t allow for a comfortable higher purchase.
  • Holster availability
    • Stuck with long lead time custom shops
  • Weight
  • It’s a revolver (Trigger system is harder to shoot well).
  • SW safety lock (I don’t see the point)


  • None

Suggested Mods

  • Grips

6 Replies to “Smith and Wesson 627 Performance Center Review”

  1. Scott Smith says:

    Will you be making a IWB holster for the 627 PC? I’ve been looking for a Kydex option for a long time.

    1. Harrison says:

      No plans at this time. The revolver holsters are very timely to design the tooling and unfortunately we don’t have the demand for an N frame holster to justify the cost.

  2. Janice Pittenger says:

    Not right now.

  3. Jason Luce says:

    We’re can I find a holster that is specifically built for the S&W 357 Model 627-5 eight shot?

    1. Harrison says:

      Unfortunately, I’m not sure. Leather is going to be your easiest-to-find option. Any SW N frame holster for a 5inch barrel will work.

  4. Mike Nix says:

    I use a Dale Fricke Archangel AWAIB holster for my 2.6 inch SW 627 PC. Works great for me.

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