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Old 01-04-2017, 07:07 PM
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Default .25 ACP roundup and range test

Massad Ayoob says friends don't let friends carry mouseguns but I have always been a little partial to these diminutive rascals. I took my three .25s to the range this week because it's been awhile for two of them and the new one needed a workout.

I kept my target at 3 yards. I wasn't trying to show off hitting at distance with these guns; it was more to remind me of what they can and cannot do.

The Beretta 950-BS was the easiest to shoot and probably the most accurate although accuracy was not really my goal. Its only problem is that its safety routinely pops up and when that happens the gun is virtually inert and it is very frustrating. No tap/rack/bang drill will work. You MUST remember to drop the safety again or no shooting happens! Annoying. When I carried this gun I knew about the issue and was prepared for it to arise but I had forgotten! Still, all in all, a fun little mousie to shoot.

The next gun clockwise is a CZ DUO made in German occupied Czechoslovakia in 1944. It has no sights, just a long trough, and it very hard to hit with. However, it fires every time, no hiccups, every brand of ammunition I used. All were 50 gr FMJ rounds, actually, except a few that were already in the Beretta for a long time and it was time to shoot them and get new ammunition.

The third mousie is my new PSA Baby Browning. PSA replaced my first one (long story in another thread) and this one is marked Fabrique National with Browning logos on the grip panels. It is gorgeous. It is lighter and smaller than either of the other two pistols but not difficult to shoot. It has only two issues - the first is that due to its size you have to be careful when you hold it so you don't get the web of your hand etched by the slide. It's easy to do, pretty naturally, actually, but I did still have some slight redness where it touched me several times.

This gun is about as accurate as either of the other two, probably more accurate than the CZ DUO and maybe a bit less accurate than the 950 BS. I wasn't working too hard for accuracy and for this gun it was a break in period. Sad to say the gun is so finely made (it is precision/hand made) and has such tight tolerances that at least 20% of the rounds failed to feed and I had to do a tap/rack drill to get the little gun to accept cartridges to fire. I think that the main issue is the throat, however, and before I ask someone to polish the feed ramp and throat I will put another couple of hundred rounds through it. Then I will write another review.

It is charming and darling and WILL definitely be carried in a vest pocket as soon as it is broken in.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:27 PM
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Great post! These tiny automatics are quite interesting.

Question: What ammunition do you recommend as "best all-around" for the little .25 ACP pistols?

I have a Colt Vest Pocket tucked away in the safe. I have fired only a couple of magazines through it in all the years I have owned it. It came with an after-market magazine, but I found a genuine Colt magazine for it at Tulsa last April. I really need to get that little pop-gun out and run several boxes of ammo through it.

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Old 01-04-2017, 08:58 PM
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My carry gun is a .25 ACP Galesi, a really neat little pistol from Italy which has not been imported in many years. The conventional opinion is that the 50 grain FMJ bullet is the best performer in a .25 ACP pistol. Lighter faster expanding bullets usually don't and the heavy 50 grain bullet penetrates more deeply. I have found that the CCI Blazer 50 grain FMJ loading performs reliably in mine. Other types and brands, not so much.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:03 AM
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I like the little 25 autos and have several including two Beretta 950Bs.
The 950B preceded the 950BS and doesn't have the useless added
safety. The good news is that the safety on the 950BS can be easily
removed I believe. The best SD ammo for the 25 is whatever brand
of 50 gr FMJ chronographs the fastest in your guns. Velocity can
vary considerably among brands and some are almost squibs at
around 650 fps. Stock up if you find a brand and lot that chronos
over 800 fps.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:26 AM
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I had never shot a .25 auto until a couple of months ago. My friend has a Mauser 1910 that her grandfather brought back from WWII. She wanted to shoot it, so we cleaned it up, put new springs in it, and took it to the range.

It's not much of a cartridge, that's for sure, but it is really, really fun to shoot! I'm not so opposed to the cartridge now. Where I thought it was both woefully weak and boring, now I just think it's woefully weak and highly entertaining...

If I had a Colt vest pocket, I probably would even occasionally carry it. The gun you have with you is the best, right?
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:45 AM
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Once in a while, if I am too lazy to put on my IWB and Glock, I will carry a Colt 25. Prefer the hammer version but........whatever (I have 4 total). Consider it my "eyeball gun" since I am basically non-violent and expect to be grappling with someone if I have to use it.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:29 AM
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I purchased a Colt 1908 Hammerless .25 Vest Pocket that was shipped in 1915. We took it to the gun club. I put two of six rounds in the bull's eye at ten yards with all shots on paper. I thought I did good. My wife put four of six rounds in the bull's eye and announced it was her gun now.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
I purchased a Colt 1908 Hammerless .25 Vest Pocket that was shipped in 1915. We took it to the gun club. I put two of six rounds in the bull's eye at ten yards with all shots on paper. I thought I did good. My wife put four of six rounds in the bull's eye and announced it was her gun now.
Doncha hate it when that happens?
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Question: What ammunition do you recommend as "best all-around" for the little .25 ACP pistols?
PSA insists that I use only 50 grain FMJ and, as you might expect, it is the most commonly found .25 ACP cartridge.

I found that my Beretta 950-BS could shoot anything, 50 gr FMJ, hollow points, . 25 ACP BB rounds, etc. I always liked those BB rounds.

I forgot to mention that most of the ammo I fired the other day was Remington, MagTech, Fiocchi, and even Aguila 50 grain FMJs, plus a few oddball rounds that were already in the Beretta's magazine. None of those cartridges felt any different or fired any differently from one another. I just bought three boxes of 50 gr FMJs since I ran out of everything else. I saw some HPs but no BB rounds. Oh, well.....
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
My carry gun is a .25 ACP Galesi
I had one of those, too, but a friend wanted it ever so badly so I sold it to him.
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
I had one of those, too, but a friend wanted it ever so badly so I sold it to him.
The Galesi .25 is a very finely made little pistol, and the one I have dates (I think) from sometime in the mid-1960s. I carry it in a sheath holster in my front pants pocket, and I'm not even aware it's there. I've taken it inside places where it's not allowed because I forgot I had it on me. A piece of trivia - Charles Whitman had one of them among the other guns he took up the Texas Tower in 1966. I don't think mine is it.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:56 PM
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I had a Browning Baby; it jammed all the time, feeding problems. I understand this is endemic to this model. However once at the range, I noticed a 55 gallon drum at 100 yards, and shot my last round at it. After a respectable length of time, the drum went 'clank'. my eyes got big and wide. The next time I went to the range I was loaded for bear. I found that if I had a very good sight picture and squeezed just right, I could hit it most of the time. I didn't need a 100 yard 25 pistol and as it was extremely unreliable I sold it.
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:19 AM
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Thumbs up Colt

I have a Colt vest pocket that I shoot every now and then. Never had a malfunction except when trying to shoo the Blazer aluminum cased ammo.
Everything else has run fine. I shot a box of 35 grain HP;s and they run perfectly. Just don't like the aluminum cased stuff. It is accurate out to about 7 yards or so. Not to bad for a 95 year old gun. I love it.
Peace,
Gordon
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:27 AM
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I do own a Colt 1908 Vest Pocket Model in 25acp but would never carry it as a main SD gun. Maybe as a back-up but never a primary. I bought it solely to complete my collection of Browning designed Colt Pocket Pistols.

I've never had any malfunctions with the tiny pistol but I have very little faith in the 25 acp round. If I had to carry the .25 I would use Ball ammo solely for reliability and penetration and would not worry about expansion.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:31 AM
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I've got one .25, the only one I've ever owned, and it's a Taurus T-25. It's sort of a copy of the Beretta Bobcat I guess it is, the one with the tip up barrel. It's kinda fat for a .25, but has worked like a champ in our very limited fire. My wife saw it, thought it was "cute" and wanted it. Oh well, it could have been a puppy or a kitten she wanted.

It was filthy when we got it, but a quick cleaning took care of it. We ran a box of 50 grain FMJ ammo through it without a misfire.



At first I thought it was broken because I could not pull the slide back. Then I realized it's not designed to have the slide pulled back. You load the magazine, insert it, then pop up the barrel, load the chamber, close it and you're ready to go. It's a D/A only.

She was going to carry it, but then saw a 642 Ladysmith. Another story. She likes "pretty grips."
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:41 AM
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Some nice 25ACPs in this thread.

I adore them, they're sort of a curio piece to me.
G.T. ours are close to the same age.
This one pictured below turns 100 in the year 2019.
It is pictured with the Baby Browning clone that Bauer used to make in stainless. This particular Bauer was unfired with original purse when I purchased it last spring.

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Old 01-06-2017, 10:06 AM
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I once had a Bauer. I sold it when I learned that a .22lr is much better than a .25acp, and cheaper as well. I now have a TPH.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:51 AM
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I haven't shot this little Browning.

I've been putting this little Colt in my pocket lately while I wait for a Mika pocket holster for my 642.

I'm amazed by how many holsters I've run across for the .25 auto. This shoulder holster for instance.




Apparently a lot of people carried a .25 auto. I remember seeing a photo of the contents of David Crosby's pocket during his pre liver transplant days, a little Colt .25 was part of his daily routine.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:14 AM
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I have a .25 CZ it was my Grandma's "purse gun" I don't shoot it often but when I do it performs fine. I believe it was made in the late 40s or early 50s.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSDeputy View Post
I once had a Bauer. I sold it when I learned that a .22lr is much better than a .25acp, and cheaper as well. I now have a TPH.
The supposed superiority of the .22 LR is based on performance
of the .22 from longer barrels. When the .22 LR and .25 ACP
50 gr FMJ are compared from identical barrel length pistols
the .25 easily beats the .22 for penetration and energy. I used
to have an old copy of the American Rifleman magazine in
which the NRA proved this in a side by side test. It may still be
around here somewhere. I have tested both rounds in the
same short barrel length and the .25 comes out way ahead
in penetration in pine and wet newsprint.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:14 AM
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"Apparently a lot of people carried a .25 auto. I remember seeing a photo of the contents of David Crosby's pocket during his pre liver transplant days, a little Colt .25 was part of his daily routine.
Regards,
turnerriver" Quote.

Yes a lot of people used to carry .25s and a lot of people still do. People
who are not real gun enthusiasts and members of gun discussion forums
that is. A gun is a gun to many people and they don't have or want to
spend upwards of $1,000 for a gun to stick in their pocket when a small
light .25 auto can be bought for $100 or less and is a real gun that will
kill an attacker. I remember an article about the .25 auto in an issue
of the American Rifleman a while back. At that time .25 auto pistol sales
per year were higher than all other center fire auto pistols combined.
I don't know if that's still the situation but the fact is that the little .25
is indeed a real gun that will kill an attacker.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:02 AM
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Nice little pocket pistols .25 ACP's
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
I purchased a Colt 1908 Hammerless .25 Vest Pocket that was shipped in 1915. We took it to the gun club. I put two of six rounds in the bull's eye at ten yards with all shots on paper. I thought I did good. My wife put four of six rounds in the bull's eye and announced it was her gun now.
I've had a couple of the vest pocket models, and found their accuracy amazing for what they are.

I once had one of the Astra made Colt 25s with a hammer, and could throw it more accurately than I was able to shoot it.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:07 PM
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Fun little pistols but I doubt I'll ever own another. I had a DAO CZ45 that I thought was perfect but gave it to a longtime friend(who also thinks the CZ is perfect). Found another very nice example on GB about six months back and considered flexing my C&R muscles to refill the hole in the collection,........until it was bid up over $900. I'd paid well under a hundred for my first one. Then I found a nice looking example at a local gunshow for $400 and I was going to pop for that one until I found out why it was four hundred. Flipped it over and found the offside was cratered and pitted like the far side of the moon. Since no other .25 is going to live up to the CZ and they seem to be priced in the stratosphere,.......I don't expect to ever own another .25.
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:02 PM
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Not the first time I have related this, but Joe Stalin's personal executioner, Vasily Mikhailovich Blokhin, killed many thousands of his boss's enemies using a single shot from a .25 Walther (actually he had a briefcase full of them) to the back of the head.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
The supposed superiority of the .22 LR is based on performance
of the .22 from longer barrels. When the .22 LR and .25 ACP
50 gr FMJ are compared from identical barrel length pistols
the .25 easily beats the .22 for penetration and energy. I used
to have an old copy of the American Rifleman magazine in
which the NRA proved this in a side by side test. It may still be
around here somewhere. I have tested both rounds in the
same short barrel length and the .25 comes out way ahead
in penetration in pine and wet newsprint.
Good points. Some folks are 'seduced' by the lesser cost of .22LR ammo compared to the .25ACP. They fail to take into account that the .25, as a CF round, is more reliable and probably of higher mfg'g quality. The price difference used to be significant years ago, when .22LR ran $1 for 50 and the .25 cost at least $5 per box. I now see .25 in WM for $25 or so (I don't keep up on .22RF pricing).

I really wish there were more .25s, but the Ruger LCPs at the same approximate size have probably sounded the death knell for any new .25s. Sad.

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Old 01-08-2017, 12:14 AM
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I've owned for many years and carry as my back up gun, an Iver Johnson double action .25acp pocket pistol. It's an excellent little shooter and surprisingly accurate. I have used several different varieties of 50 grn. fmj bullets without issue. I recently picked up a couple of boxes of Hornady's critical defense ammo to carry loaded in it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:24 AM
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I've owned for many years and carry as my back up gun, an Iver Johnson double action .25acp pocket pistol. It's an excellent little shooter and surprisingly accurate. I have used several different varieties of 50 grn. fmj bullets without issue. I recently picked up a couple of boxes of Hornady's critical defense ammo to carry loaded in it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by kaaskop49 View Post
Good points. Some folks are 'seduced' by the lesser cost of .22LR ammo compared to the .25ACP. They fail to take into account that the .25, as a CF round, is more reliable and probably of higher mfg'g quality. The price difference used to be significant years ago, when .22LR ran $1 for 50 and the .25 cost at least $5 per box. I now see .25 in WM for $25 or so (I don't keep up on .22RF pricing).

I really wish there were more .25s, but the Ruger LCPs at the same approximate size have probably sounded the death knell for any new .25s. Sad.

Kaaskop49
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You're right. Technology has advanced making the small
polymer frame .380s the new .25 auto and FMJ .380 ammo is
cheaper and more available than .25 ammo. But there are
still some very cheap .25s available and they should be cheap.
But I doubt many companies are interested in developing new
high quality forged steel .25s for double the cost of an LCP.
Truth is I haven't carried one of my .25s for a while now but
I enjoy getting one out for a little backyard plinking now and
then. I still enjoy the quality of my old forged steel Astra Cubs
and pre war Berettas.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
But I doubt many companies are interested in developing new
high quality forged steel .25s for double the cost of an LCP.
That is likely true but PSA sells all it can make as far as I can tell. They start at around $700 and I know for a fact that the company donated two highly engraved ones to the Dallas Safari Club auction held this past weekend. Gold inlay, probably ivory or some kind of "natural" stocks, etc. Nobody will ever shoot them. I'd say MSRP for the pair was close to $7000.

So, in this case, although developing a "new, high quality forged steel .25" is unlikely, one already exists - the PSA Baby Browning is exactly that, a high quality, forged steel .25 caliber pistol. They also come in aluminum or maybe some other lightweight alloys.

As I noted elsewhere, as far as I am aware, they sell plenty in Europe. I am not sure why.
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  #31  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:42 PM
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As I remember, James Bond originally carried a Beretta .25 until "M" required him to use the .32 Walther PPK.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:24 PM
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I'll play!

I have two .25's, one is a Derringer that my grandmother carried when she was a probate judge for 30+ years in Cartersville Georgia. I'll have to grab a pic of that one the next time the safe is open.

The other is a 950BS, in the very rare Stainless Steel configuration. The stainless models were only produced for I think one year, and were extremely limited in production. I snagged this one off Backpage for what a well used blued one would cost and love pocket carrying it in the summer. It replaced my LCP.

As others have mentioned it digests all ammo, and I've found that Aguila and Winchester FMJs are pretty hot. With the single action trigger, accuracy is excellent and recoil is non existent. I won't be getting rid of it anytime soon. It wears these grips most of the time but I do throw on the originals for carry.

SVT28



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Old 01-10-2017, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano View Post
Like this one?
That's the one!! I bought it BNIB 25 or so years ago from a shop that unfortunately was going out of business at the time.
Unfortunate for them, very fortunate for me. I believe I paid $100 out the door.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano View Post
Like this one?
STOP IT ! Now you got me looking for a IJ .25 ACP.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:43 PM
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Default All because of this thread!

After first reading this thread I took the notion to buy a couple boxes of .25ACP, dig up my Colt Vest Pocket, and try my hand at it.

Well, today I did it. I fired 5 magazines of .25ACP at a dangerous diet ginger ale can. (Yeah, I'm getting really old. It wasn't a beer can.)

I'm proud to say the little pistol performed flawlessly. No malfunctions whatever. And the can took more hits than misses! Range was about 20 feet.

Here's a look at my little Vest Pocket, all cleaned up after its morning romp and ready to go back into the big green safe.





No collection is complete without a Colt Vest Pocket.

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Old 01-12-2017, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
As I remember, James Bond originally carried a Beretta .25 until "M" required him to use the .32 Walther PPK.
That is correct. A Model 418 Beretta .25 ACP in the novels, which probably were written before the development of the 950/Jetfire. Not sure what they literally showed in the Dr. No movie.

In the books 007 gets two guns to replace the Beretta, a Walther PPK and a J frame. In the movie he just gets the PPK.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:33 AM
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Beautiful CptCurl!
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