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Old 01-17-2011, 10:25 PM
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Question Can the 25 ACP be taken seriously?

After having seen numerous threads about the pocket guns (Colt Vest Pocket, Baby Browning, Walther 9, ect..) I wonder just how effective the 25 ACP really is?

My grandmother carried one on duty as a probation officer (yes, it was her only carry gun, and it was department approved). With all of the 25's floating around, can they be taken seriously? Are they effective? Would a 22 long rifle round be better?

I just ask because there are many times that I would feel less ~obtrusive~ carrying one of the pocket guns that lies flat in the pocket and is teeny tiny.

I do know of several LEO's that carried the 25 as a last ditch 'get off of me' gun, so it can't be that bad....

What do you guys think?
Who here carries one daily?
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:26 PM
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Though I personally don't carry anything less than a .38. If I get one pointed at me I'm taking it very seriously.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:35 PM
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Lots and lots and lots of people have carried and used them for decades.

But you'll find very few of them posting on the internet.

I will admit to carrying one for a brief time - a Bauer. Good gun, very reliable and "accurate". No longer. I'd much rather one than no gun at all, but just.


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Old 01-17-2011, 10:54 PM
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For their size, the .25's were preferred over .22's by many because the jacketed FMJ bullet was not nearly as prone to cause malfunctions as the outside lubed .22 bullet was.

Any gun is better than no gun, but with all the .380's around now that are comparable in size I can't see much need for them. I would imagine that there are very few .25's carried as backups for LEO's these days, but I would also expect that quite a few civilians have one squirreled away where it is handy.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:03 PM
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I think it was Jeff Cooper who said " a facefull of 25s will give you the advantage in the fist fight that follows". That being said, I still prefer not to get shot by one.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:11 PM
PetersCustomLeather PetersCustomLeather is offline
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Serious? Yeah I'd take it serious but.... chances are whoever is shot with one possibly will have time to shoot their (eventual) killer many times.

It will kill, no doubt... but will it STOP in time to save it's shooter from being shot/killed?

Same as a 22..... it will kill... hell, a lot of deer have been shot with 22's.... some drop like they were hit by a pole axe and some run off 50 yards and fall over. You get the picture.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:12 PM
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The very first murder I responded to involved a .25. The victim was laying on the ground rapidly departing this world. I saw a little dimple perfectly centered on the bridge of his nose. In viewing the scene it was apparent that he had staggered around for a (very) few seconds before collapsing.

If I could count on making a shot like that every time, I'd carry a .25 or .22. Since I'm not that good I'll carry something that allows for a little less precise placement.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:09 AM
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Serious? Any gun that goes bang when you pull the trigger and hits the target should be taken seriously. Effective? Eh, maybe.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:10 AM
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Daily carry...nope, but I do have a couple of nice Beretta .25s and when I have the rare occasion that my attire precludes carrying anything larger I'll slip one in my pocket...otherwise, I prefer not to carry anything smaller than my trusty model 60.

I know that there are a lot of small, more powerful guns but, since I rarely use these "mouse" guns and they have proven their reliability, I've just never seen the need to purchase anything else for that "rare use" role.

These are nice little hammer fired single action pistols that operate like a mini Browning High Power but with a tip up barrel. It seems they are being replaced with the double action versions that are nice as well but are necessarily a bit larger. I have two of the double action versions in .22 but, since they are rimfire as opposed to center fire (the reason for the .25 ACP in the first place) I prefer to carry the single action "Jetfire". Although my wife has had occasion to carry one of the model 21s (due to being more comfortable using the double action) when she was precluded from carrying anything larger - they also have functioned 100% so far...
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:22 AM
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Last year I had a little Walther Model 8 .25 that used to be a backup for a investigator (wished now I had never sold it) and I decided to do a little ballistics test. I compared it with a .22 Long Rifle pistol. At 7 yards I took 4 gallon jugs filled with water. The .22 went through two, stopped in number 3 and flattened right out. The .25 zipped through all 4 jugs and never stopped and I never found it. I did a little digging on the .25 and found a few histories where the .25 dropped more than one person in their tracks. Granted, it isn't up to par with the .380 or the .38 Special, but it beats the .22 and it's better than nothing.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smith357 View Post
Though I personally don't carry anything less than a .38. If I get one pointed at me I'm taking it very seriously.
A close friend spent a considerable amount of time in Vietnam as a member of the 5th Special Forces and one day while telling a "war story" he mentioned, that, in addition to his long gun, that day he was also carrying a 1911, a Browning Hi-Power and a .25 acp. Knowing he was a proponent of the, "If you are going to shoot full size people you should be shooting full size bullets" mind set I had to ask him what was up with the .25? His answer was short and sweet, "Some people don't want to be shot with anything, it just might make them think twice and stop what they're doing."
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:31 AM
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I own a Browning, a Beretta and a Titan in .25 and never carry or shoot them. I did not even buy them. My mother bought the Titan and I inherited it. The Browning was a gun I won in a raffle. The Beretta was given to me by a friend that lost his right to be around guns due to a domestic problem. He could not find a buyer for it.

There is not enough power in one to get me to carry a gun of that size.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:43 AM
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my dad is 80 yrs. (god bless him), and is still involved in the repo buisness, and never leaves home without his "bauer .25" in his pocket, along with "colt .38 detective special"inside his waste. he's carried the .25 since the early 80's.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:00 AM
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When I worked as a hospital orderly in the 1970's we had a black guy with a big afro come into the ER. He had been shot center of the forehead with a .25 auto. the bullet pierced the skin and traveled around to the back of his head between the scalp and the skull. There was a slight fracture of the skull at the POI. The ER doc determined that he needed to clean out the bullet path and remove the small lump from the back of his head. The fun began when my partner told him that we were going to have to shave off the afro. He said "You ain't shaving my 'fro." In the spirit of compromise we offered to only shave off half of it. It took the ER cop to calm him down.

Rest of the story: The city police asked him who did him that way and he told them he would handle it. They advised against it but he insisted there was nothing to report. Later that night a DOA showed up shot with a real gun. The city police went to question our superhero and he promptly admitted to the deed. He said "I told you I'd handle it."
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:59 PM
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I suppose it's better than a knife, but it would be just about the last caliber of firearm that I would choose to defend myself or a family member with. Now I know someone is going to say, "there are a lot of people in the morgue that died from .25acp bullet wounds". I would not argue that........ but the purpose of shooting someone is to stop the threat as soon as possible, not to have them die 6 hours or two days later from mortal wounds. IMHO the .25 acp just does not have enough shock power, knock down power, sectional density, or just about any thing a good defensive cartridge should have.

I own a Colt 25acp 1908 Pocket Pistol and I love the little thing as a collectible and to pop off a few rounds once a year, but I would never carry it for a S/D gun.

My .02 cents...........

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Old 01-18-2011, 05:45 PM
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The biggest advantage to .25 ACP compared to .22LR is reliability, both feeding and ignition. If it were necessary for me to carry a .25, I would be feeding it Hornady 35 gr. JHP/XTP at 900fps which will expand. I'd also practice enough to insure that "minute of eye socket" was my normal accuracy level.

BTW, the only .25 I own is a Beretta 418, the model that James Bond carried before "M" made him switch to the PPK, ostensibly because the Beretta jammed too much.



Now that was truly fiction - this pistol performs flawlessly.

Buck
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:30 PM
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I have a newer Beretta Bobcat .25, also a .22.

I carry the .25 once in a while, just something to dump in my pocket when I'm not going far from my house. There are .32 Autos now a days that are the same size, if not smaller than the older .25 pistols, like the Kel-Tec and Beretta TomCat. .32 ACP has roughly twice the energy of .25.

Again, like was said about the .380........ with guns out there using today's hi-tech polymer techiques, like the S&W Bodyguard and Ruger LCP both chambered in .380, and both micro-sized and very light, there's no excuse now not to at least carry a .380 for times when "deep concealment" is important.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:37 PM
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Hard to take the .25 as “serious”, but it does beat having no gun at all.

I have my Grandfather’s pre-war Colt .25. Many, many moons ago I used to follow the lead of one of the senior deputies out here and would place that little .25 in my palm under my citation book when I did traffic stops (few guns were smaller back then); of course I also had either a .357 mag or a .41 mag on my hip at the same time. The thought was that if needed, the .25 would keep the BG entertained while I was backing up and grabbing for the real artillery on my hip; never had to use it.

I now also have a L. W. Seecamp in .32. Its only a little better than the .25, but even a little better is better, and I sometimes use it for extreme concealed and I might use it as a backup. The .25 Colt stays pretty much just in the safe.

Oh, I used to have a homicide scene photo of a rather heavy woman killed with a .25. She took a single round through her thick left bicep; it passed through into her chest cavity and came to a rest at her heart (just touching). The report said that she “dropped like a sack of potatoes” – ‘course, I figured it just “scared her to death”, so I wouldn’t rely on this one incident as representative.

Peace,
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:42 PM
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A friend of the shooter told me this story.

A big guy picked a bar fight with the shooter, who put 7 25ACP rounds into his chest, instead of his face. This pissed the big guy off and he broke the shooters back in the fight. All 7 rounds were found lodged in the chest muscles. None penetrated into the chest cavity.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAFireman View Post
I do know of several LEO's that carried the 25 as a last ditch 'get off of me' gun, so it can't be that bad....
My baby Browning came to me from a retired police officer. He really didn't want it any more and he knew I thought it was a cute little gun. He carried it in his pants pocket for many years - always fully loaded with the safety on. (And it looks like it. In those days, nobody used pocket holsters.)

Anyway, his opinion was that if it ever came out of his pocket, he planned to shoot it dry and hope that was enough. It was loaded with Winchester FMJs when I received it. He didn't think talking much about the effectiveness of .25s was such a good idea since one of his colleagues was killed during a traffic stop by a creep with a .25. Not a happy subject.

I think the answer to the question has already been given. If someone is pointing it at me, for sure I am taking it seriously. On the other side of the gun, "It's better than nothing," seems like the best summary.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:23 PM
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the new breed of 380 and sub compact 9MM pistols available today, as well as 22LR offerings pretty much have left the 25 in the best to be forgotton scrap heap in all but one application.
If you have a machine shop. and you find yourself channeling the spirit of the late John Moses Browning. 25 ACP is then an ideal round to test and prove design ideas with. It behaves like any other auto round while presenting the least damage if bad happens with your recoil rubber band
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:31 PM
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Even though I hate to admit it, I carry a Raven .25 more than anything else. There are times when I believe my .357 4" Smith is a better option. I carry that little gun nearly all summer because I live in the woods and snakes are a problem out here. I have never actually hit one with it yet but, they take it seriously enough I guess. The little Raven has never malfunctioned yet, and I have shot it quite a bit.
Also, I have shot it at several thicknesses of lumber at 10' or so and I do not think I would want to be shot with it. I also have never had any lumber try to bite me so I guess I just wasted a few overpriced rounds. Oh well,
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photoman44 View Post
Serious? Any gun that goes bang when you pull the trigger and hits the target should be taken seriously. Effective? Eh, maybe.
Perfect response. Either that or "here, let me shoot you in the face (or fill in the blank body part) 7 times and we will see if this should be taken seriously. I don't carry one except as a backup but it beats swear words and a mean disposition.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:42 PM
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I carry a .32 ACP CZ-83, loaded with FMJ. 15+1 is a pretty good capacity and .32's aren't bad penetrators. I'm not a ballistic expert, but shooting them into pieces of wood at close range shows they have some up-close punch. I don't use HP's in my .32 for CC, I want those bullets to punch as deep as possible since there's not a whole lot of bullet mass or energy to begin with.

.25 is a close range shoot and scoot round, not something you get into run and gun battles with. If you have to use it, better off filling the BG's face with a few of those little pills. We all know .22 LR has more energy than .25 but isn't as reliable.

I almost bought a little Bernardelli copy of the Baby Browning, but it was so small I wouldn't know whether to conceal it or use it as a keychain

I know Taurus sells a ton of those little .25 Auto PT25's, people suck 'em up like crazy because they're cheap and easy to conceal. As long as Taurus and other companies keep making cheap little potmetal .25's this round will never die off.

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Old 01-19-2011, 07:56 AM
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I have seen people killed by a BB gun. How they managed to die from a single hit remains a mystery as it just should not happen using a lever action BB gun.

That said, I would not suggest sending soldiers off to war with BB guns. We carry arms to protect and not scare. The small .25acp lacks the power to be an effective round for seld defense.

But they are fun to own.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:28 AM
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Years ago we had two Milwaukee cops shot dead by a dirtbag with a 25 auto. You have to take them seriously.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:09 AM
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I've pretty much said the same thing before.

I've no direct interest in killing anyone. I've very little doubt that could be done with almost anything that can launch a projectile. What I have an interest in is being able to stop an immediate threat to my life. That kind of work has to be done in moments.

From what (admittedly little) I know about .25 ACP balistics, I don't have the confidence in it to believe that it will actually stop someone intent on doing me harm. I'm sure it will in some cases, but I'm not willing to bet it would in the majority of them.

Sure - it's better than nothing at all and my attacker may well die an hour, or a day later. I'm sure my widow would get some small comfort from that.

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Old 01-19-2011, 09:40 AM
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Hi:
I have carried .25acp pistols as third (deep cover) weapons. I prefer the .25acp over the .22LR for better penetration and reliability. I perfer a model with an explosed hammer. My favorite is a Beretta Model 950B.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:31 PM
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Many years ago I had a close old friend tell me he sold one to somebody and it was a night or two later the guys wife shot a intruder right between the eyes, killing him. This probley was in the 1940s or 1950s.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:41 PM
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Many years ago when I was a young medical examiner, the LEO's brought in a 6 foot+ african american male who was very dead. The story was that her got into an altercation with some other males, slipped and fell down. A gunshot was heard, and his dying words were, "my s___ done shot me".

Sure enough, he had a .25 GSW to his chest and abdomen. They will still kill you if the bullet placement is correct.

We have a beautiful silver spanish one that my father-in-law carried with him every day when he ran his lumber company. We both shot it and decided that there were much better weapons to keep in our pants or purse.

Some one should have made a .25 revolver that would shoot the .25 auto round as I still have several boxes of ammo, but we are strictly revolver people!

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Old 01-20-2011, 01:24 AM
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Truth is, little .25's will still sell, like the Taurus PT25 because people who are new CC permit holders just want "something easy to carry and small" and know or care nothing about "stopping power", they just know they can fit it in their pocket and it fires bullets.

Most new .25's sold might get a mag put through them, if that, then they live in a sock drawer or someones little "fake cell phone case holster" and they don't think much about them.......kind of like those "break glass in case of fire" boxes, no one thinks of using them until there's an emergency......as long as they have "a gun" they are happy.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:54 AM
BLACKHAWKNJ BLACKHAWKNJ is offline
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As Elmer Keith might say, not his cup of tea "but it sure beats your fists." I also recall Charlie Askins' definition of a "belly gun"-one you put against your enemy's belly and pull the trigger.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:39 PM
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Since we've brought out sayings from the old timers, the best .25 quip I've heard was one Jeff Cooper repeated, but I cannot recall who he attributed it to. The advice was that if you were going to carry a .25, never load it. The problem with loading it was you might shoot someone. If you did - and they found out about it - they would be angry.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:25 PM
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Since we've brought out sayings from the old timers, the best .25 quip I've heard was one Jeff Cooper repeated, but I cannot recall who he attributed it to. The advice was that if you were going to carry a .25, never load it. The problem with loading it was you might shoot someone. If you did - and they found out about it - they would be angry.
You know, that may be a more accurate statement than most might think, the angry part that is......

Early in this thread I mentioned a friend who was in Vietnam that carried a .25 cal as a deep back-up. One day he and another SF Sgt, while in the RVN, were messing up big time by walking down a two track, during the day, quietly talking to each other. He said, all of a sudden a VC ran out on the trail in front of them, shouted something, then fired off some shots with what turned out to be a .25 acp. Suffice it to say, that act was the last thing that fellow ever did.......

While my friend & the other Sgt. were checking the body for documents & the like, Sgt. Street, the "other Sgt." pointed to my friend's chest and said, "you've been shot." My friend said he looked down and sure enough there was a spot of blood on his shirt directly over his heart. He then went on to say that he pulled open his shirt, looked at the wound, then proceeded to remove the slug exactly the same way one would pop a pimple.

One of the reasons he gave that may have explained the lack of penetration was that the enemy was using, "cheap Chi-com" ammo.

While telling me this story, sometime in the mid-70's, my friend opened his shirt and showed me a small, neat, round scar directly over his heart. He also mentioned that the guy with the .25 was one brave individual, either that or he was as "dumb as we were for walking down a trail."
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:00 PM
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I have a Beretta 950BS and a Baby Browning.

I do not carry them as back up's.

BUT - if called upon, I consider them as a sidearm I would basically stick them in the ribs and pull the trigger till they don't go boom no more.

Not a pleasant scenario, but sometimes life is like that.

FWIW, I do think my Baby Browning is waaay cool.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:43 PM
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.25's are neat, a lot of old pocket pistols from a bygone era, when "gentlemen" carried expensive,engraved small autos so they wouldn't have to put an unsightly bulge in their fitted suit.

If you think .25 is anemic, I can't believe people actually carried .32 S&W short pocket revolvers "back in the day", I have a S&W double action .32 pocket revolver, and I doubt it would stop an angry house cat. I was shooting some old Remington ammo through it, at one of those polymer target backers with a paper target on it........I fired 3 shots, and heard something hit the wood outbuilding behind me and realized the bullets weren't even penetrating the polymer and were bouncing back......
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:41 PM
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if i came face to face with one, i'd be paying very close attention.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:45 AM
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The biggest murder in this town's history was committed with a .25 acp. A prominent doctor had his wife killed, she was shot once in the ear and fell DRT. Strange choice for a paid hit, but hey, it worked.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
.25's are neat, a lot of old pocket pistols from a bygone era, when "gentlemen" carried expensive,engraved small autos so they wouldn't have to put an unsightly bulge in their fitted suit.

If you think .25 is anemic, I can't believe people actually carried .32 S&W short pocket revolvers "back in the day", I have a S&W double action .32 pocket revolver, and I doubt it would stop an angry house cat. .
It must be remembered that "back in the day" there were no .357mag, 44mag, .40S&W or many more of the newer calibers.
Also guns were high priced in the better choices and money was tighter than it is today. Most LEO carried a .38spc and felt that was as good as there was. My great grandfather and grandfather were elected sheriffs. Both carried .38 snub nose guns that I would not be seen with today but the job was low pay and those guns were all they could afford.

If a person had a .25 or .32 back then, as individuals, they were either well off or thieves.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:04 AM
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No one wants to be shot...not even with a .25
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:07 AM
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The biggest murder in this town's history was committed with a .25 acp. A prominent doctor had his wife killed, she was shot once in the ear and fell DRT. Strange choice for a paid hit, but hey, it worked.
For a paid hit, it worked perfect. The wife was probably asleep and I imagine it left no blood evidence on the shooter or his attire.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:27 PM
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I admit to carrying my Colt vest pocket on occasion. I figure it's a "getaway gun"==if someone grabs me, it'll make him let go, so I can get away. It's definitely a last ditch, eyeball/contact pistol.
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:42 PM
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Depends on which side of the barrel you're standing.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:53 PM
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agreed that if pointed at me, Im taking it very seriously...would I want to be shot with one? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Would I carry one? NOOOOOOO!!!! but I also agree that its better than nothing but with all the pocket .380's the .25 for a concealment gun has outlived its usefullness...way back a million years ago, working undercover I was issued a Beretta .25 I concealed in my boot or back pocket...I noticed a guy with a 9mm he was about to pull on me in an undercover sting...I got the .25 out first and convinced him to not touch his 9mm....lucky for me the backup guys got there real quickly.....the .25 misfired next time I took it to the range with the same bullet I had on the UC deal....not been much of a fan of them since.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:14 PM
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Depends on which side of the barrel you're standing.
This.

If someone pointed a .25 at me, would it make me think twice about what my next actions were going to be? Beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Would it stop a crackhead that just broke into my home with a bigass knife? Eventually it most likely will - but don't know if it'll be before he gets to use that knife.
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:11 AM
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It's a mouse caliber, for shooting mice !
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:44 AM
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When I lived in Redding CA, a guy was shot in the head 5 times with a .25 point blank while he was in bed asleep. He was released from the hospital the following day. Even so, I wouldn't want to be shot by one!
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:47 AM
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If my memory serves John Browning invented the.25ACP to be the rimless equivelent of the old .22 long (not long rifle). The little autos seem to feed rimless ammo better so there's some logic there. About 20 years ago 2 guys I knew got in a fist fight & the smaller one shot the bigger one in the forehead & knocked him flat... then he got up & took the gun away & proceeded to beat him senseless. I guess a .25 is better than nothing but only slightly & since most are too inaccurate to hit a snake I carry something better.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:17 PM
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I guess that a Classic Colt Vest Pocket could be carried without much notice by most folks when I could not get away with a J Frame Smith (or larger)....the little 25 seems to have little respect as a fighting gun, but it sure seems to have ended the lives of more than a few people who were in it's path...better to have the 25 than no gun at all...I am for sure not going to stand in front of it

Thanks for all of the opinions guys...and if you missed out earlier, feel free to jump in here and share...especially if you have 'real world proof' of concept/performance.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:00 PM
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I find MOST of the guns chambered in .25acp are not safe to be carried with a round in the chamber--a few are but I would never carry a Raven or similar striker fired .25acp a loaded chamber, I just do not believe it is safe to carry them that way. The higher end .25's maybe but if I had a choice I would rather carry a S&W 351C in .22 Mag--darn near the same size and a heck of a lot more power, lot more safe and less prone to jams.

Funny that years ago I would never consider carrying a .380 because the choice in expanding ammo was small and the guns were prone to jams if you used it. Fast forward years and I quite often carry a Ruger LCP with Hornady Critical Defense expanding ammo. Not a single malfunction in 300 rounds and this particular load is right on the heels of standard pressure .38 special and gives me 2 more rounds than the .38 snubby I also sometimes carry.

Was just visiting the Hornady website and just for the heck of it checked out the specs on their .25acp load---they offer 1 load of a 35 grain XTP hollowpoint at 900fps and a whopping 63ft lbs. Contrast that with their new .22 Mag Critical Defense loading with a 45 grain bullet at 1000fps and 100 ft lbs out of a 1 7/8" barrel(specifically a S&W 351 PD). They got ALMOST the same amount of penetration as their .380 CD with a 90 grain bullet--10". Not saying a rimfire is the best defense round but when you compare it to the .25acp, I'm going with the .22 mag all day long.

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