What is the best .25 ACP defensive ammo?

This is a discussion on What is the best .25 ACP defensive ammo? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Six pages of opinions on the best choice in .25 acp Self Defense ammo? Gents, we need more trigger-time!...

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  1. #91
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Six pages of opinions on the best choice in .25 acp Self Defense ammo? Gents, we need more trigger-time!
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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  3. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Six pages of opinions on the best choice in .25 acp Self Defense ammo? Gents, we need more trigger-time!
    Six pages over 2 years, yep we really need to head out to the range
    ďYou can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.Ē

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Six pages over 2 years, yep we really need to head out to the range
    pgrass, I'm SUPRISED at you! Any excuse to shoot is much better than...no excuse at all. My mistake was, reading the whole thing!
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    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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    By the way, I don't mean to hijack the thread but I just bought a new mini-marshmallow blowgun. When the zombies finally vote to unionize, would y'all recommend Kraft Jet-Puffed or Peeps mini-marshmallows for ZD (Zombie Defense)? And to all you armchair commandos out there, don't bother telling me I need a FULL SIZE marshmallow blowgun 'cause I read on another forum that ballistic tests have shown the higher velocity mini-marshmallow calibers actually provide better one-shot zombie stops. So don't waste your breath, I already know everything about this caliber stuff. Any cross-draw blowgun shoulder holster suggestions? I like the set-up Laura Croft wore in Tomb Raider. Thanks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    :SNIP: Any cross-draw blowgun shoulder holster suggestions? I like the set-up Laura Croft wore in Tomb Raider. Thanks!
    Are you implying that you will look as good as she did?

    Michael

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    HIO: Just a general thingie for those that disparage the lil .25. While I was in college, I worked evenings at San Quintin, the Calif max security prison. The cons - err, ah, sorry, - inmates, did a fine job on each other with just ball point pens, or even common lead pencils, They quite successfully killed people, or at least put them out of any aggressive action mood. A ball pen, pencil, stuck into your chest often will reach the working mechanism of the human body.. The lil .25 can beat a ball pen, pencil, every time, aprox. same diameter, soooo????

    Don Jose de La Mancha
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  8. #97
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    I satisfied my mind about the .25 vs. .22 debate a couple of years ago with some contrived "non-tests" which I stuck on some forums. Here it is in all its long-windedness and complete with photographic "proof."

    ______________________________

    How many folks out there are going to admit to having a handgun chambered for the .25 ACP? If ownership of the .25 ACP is admitted then how many have actually carried a handgun so chambered? Itís a cartridge that is frequently criticized as being too unsubstantial for use for serious self-defense, yet ammunition is sold each year for this pipsqueak . Somebodyís using it for something.

    The .25 ACP is one of our really old semi-auto pistol cartridges. It was introduced in 1905 or 1906, depending on the reference, in the FN Model 1906. Both pistol and cartridge were of Browning design. Once the semi-auto pistol became accepted and came in general use at the beginning of the 20th century, a number of designs in different sizes and chambered for a host of new cartridges were marketed to those who felt the need to possess a handgun for self-defense. The smallest practical sizes marketed were any of several models termed vest pocket pistols. Most of these were designed around the .25 ACP or 6.35 Browning as it is known in Europe. These diminutive pistols occupied about the same space as the smallest one or two shot derringers of the previous century but featured higher ammunition capacity contained in handy magazines that made recharging more convenient. Due to the relatively high velocity of the .25 ACP cartridge, handguns so chambered offered striking effectiveness equal or exceeding many of the low-powered rim fire, pin fire, or center fire pocket pistols marketed in the later decades of the 19th century. A light-weight-for-caliber .22, .25, .30, .32, .38, or at best .41 caliber bullet traveling at 400-500 fps is anemic in the extreme. Many thousands of small semi-auto pistols taking the .25 ACP were sold worldwide over the next 75 years or so. Among the well known brands were some really fine handguns made and sold in .25 ACP including Astra, Beretta, Browning, Colt, FN, Mauser, Ortgies, Sauer, and Walther. These are finely made and exhibit design and craftsmanship fully equal to larger handguns from those firms.

    GCA í68 and a change in tastes caused the popularity of high quality arms chambered for the .25 ACP to wan by the 1970ís. The cartridge became the provenance of the inexpensive semi-auto pistol. It seems that such low quality pistols, with their uneven functional reliability, further tarnished the reputation of the .25 as a serious defensive cartridge. Design advancements in the 1980ís and 1990ís made more powerful cartridges available in pistols almost as small as many .25 pistols. These days there are not a lot of choices out there if one wants to purchase a new .25 pistol.

    So, What Can It Do?

    For starters the .25 fully possesses the capability to kill a person very dead. It has laid many low in itís century plus usage. It must be remembered that the .25 pistol is not a toy and absolutely must be accorded the same respect that any firearm should be given.

    Iíve toted and used the .25 on occasion and have some notion of its capabilities. Upon considering the Kel Tec P3AT, itís .380 ACP cartridge, and itís overall size compared to my Colt Model 1908 I decided to retire the .25 as a deep concealment handgun and go with the P3AT and its more effective cartridge. Previously Iíd slipped the little Colt in my hip pocket behind my wallet if I didnít think I could contrive to hide anything larger.



    Years ago I saw my first example of .25 ACP effectiveness and it was sorry indeed. Iíd left a hunting vest on a tank dam where Iíd been dove hunting one afternoon. Before work the next morning I drove out past the edge of town to the pasture to retrieve the vest. I slipped my Beretta Model 1919 .25 ACP behind my wallet and began hiking up a fence row to the stock tank. About 300 yards up the path from the road I suddenly found myself face to face with a coyote which was sitting on itís haunches in the broom weeds at the edge of the path I was traveling. Pleased to have an opportunity to rid the countryside of one of the varmints I whipped out the .25 pistol and fired full into the center of the coyoteís chest, seeing dust and fur fly where the bullet struck. The distance couldnít have been more than 5 yards. The coyote whirled and ran off. Iím sure I could ascertain a baleful look in its eye as it turned to run, contemptuous of my ordnance.

    Someone once dumped an old washing machine in a gully on our gun club property. I took advantage of the opportunity to fire a few shots into its side with this .25 Beretta. The result was chipped paint and deep puckers. No bullet penetrated the side of the washer. A few more shots with a Smith & Wesson Model 17 .22 Long Rifle revolver penetrated the washerís side. What was this? The .22 would pierce the sheet metal. I knew the Beretta was old, its bore ravaged by corrosive priming. The rifling was only a shadow in the pitted surfaces of the bore. I speculated that bore condition could be affecting my .25ís effectiveness.

    At the next Fort Worth gun show I swapped the Beretta and cash for a Colt Model 1908 .25 that had a sparkling clean bore Since the washer was still at the range I stopped by and fired some more .25 ammo at its side. The shots from the Colt completely penetrated the sheet metal. Moral to the story is: if yaí pistole ainít got much horsepower to begin with, be sure itís in good condition Ďcause youíre gonna need all the help you can get.

    One evening my brother-in-law Bo called me to talk handloading and guns. I was walking around in the house on the cordless phone while visiting with him and happened to look out our front door. There on the porch sat a feral cat that Iíd been gunning for. With no explanation other than ďHang on BoĒ I held the phone against my chest with my left hand, fetched the .25, which happened to be nearby, eased the door open a crack, and popped the cat through both shoulders. The bullet exited and made a small, flaked mark on the concrete. The cat launched itself off the porch but immediately keeled over at the edge of the sidewalk in the grass. Heíd traveled about 8 feet. He was about 10 feet from the muzzle of the Colt when I fired. Bo exclaimed, ďWhat was that?Ē I replied that Iíd just taken out a cat that was hanging around tormenting Wally, our kidsí new kitten.

    I used the Colt .25 to administer a finishing shot to a buck once. Iíd hit a buck deer high in the spine on a broadside shot with a .30-30 as he trotted through the edge of some oak woods. He was down but not out so I placed the .25 down close to the back of his head and pressed the trigger. As the shot rang out I observed the spent .25 FMJ bullet roll out of his right nostril onto the leaves, completely undamaged except for the rifling marks. The .25 effectively administered the coup de grace but was completely spent in traversing the deerís head.

    A few armadillos, Ďpossums, and a Ďcoon that was found beneath our camper on a deer lease have given their all to my .25 ACP and it proved to be effective on these varmints.

    A Stinker to Shoot

    Iíve owned an Astra Model 1916 (?), a Helfricht Model 3, a couple of Colt Model 1908 .25 pistols and a Browning Baby since I traded out of that old Beretta. I get a kick out of shooting the diminutive pistols but canít say Iím good at it. The sights are rudimentary, the triggers are a chore, and there just isnít much for me to hold onto. The Browning Baby was about as tedious as shooting a .44 Magnum with full power loads because of this. The Colt Model 1908 seems to offer a bit more to hold. All .25 ACP pistols are loud enough to ring oneís ears if hearing protection is not worn. Despite the small pistolsí general unsuitability for use Iíve been know to wile away part of an afternoon trying to shoot distant targets with them for fun. Thereís a good-sized mesquite tree at the end of the road leading to the lake cabin that is slightly smaller in diameter than a skinny man. The distance is around 100 yards from the cabin yard. Itís possible but not easy to chip and nick the bark on the tree with .25 bullets. The last time I played at this game I had my best results shooting prone.

    Oh the Raw Power

    The traditional factory ballistic figures quoted for the .25 ACP with itís standard 51 grain full metal jacketed bullet is 760 fps with 64 ft./lbs. of energy. Most consider the .25 ACP to be inferior to the .22 Long Rifle for self defense. This isn't entirely true as may be seen. Itís one thing to fire a .22 Long Rifle from a handgun with a four inch to eight inch barrel yet quite another to fire it from a typical vest pocket pistol with itís barrel length of perhaps two inches at most. Perspectives change when firing both cartridges from similar handguns. It is said that the .25 ACP feeds more reliably than the longer rimmed .22 Long Rifle. There may be some truth to that statement as my .25 ACP semi-auto pistols have fed and functioned with perfect reliability.

    Because some folks are gluttons for punishment, die sets for handloading the .25 are available. Picking out .25 ACP cases from the typical litter of .22 rim fire cases on the ground at the range is enough to make one cross-eyed. Once set up for handloading the tiny components arenít quite as bad to handle as may be imagined. I handload for the .25 ACP as I must have a low threshold of entertainment. My RCBS Uniflow powder measure can just be adjusted to reliably throw the maximum listed charge of Unique. It wonít go any lower and is easier to set just a little over the maximum listed charge weight for Unique. Iíve only attempted to load Bullseye and Unique in the .25 ACP. Iíd assumed that Bullseye would be the best choice but Unique gives higher velocities using maximum published loads. The .25 ACP would have to be the least expensive cartridge of all to handload if one troubled himself to cast bullets for it. Iím just not that dedicated.

    The Inevitable tests

    Bo and I once spent a pleasant afternoon testing the .25 ACP and the .22 Long Rifle in a pair of Berettas he has. These two pistols have barrels of the same length. Below find data from the afternoon's tests along with some additional .25 ACP data including handloads.






    .25 ACP Factory loads

    Remington 51 grain FMJ, MV 789 fps, ME 71 ft./lbs.
    Winchester 50 grain FMJ, MV 852 fps, ME 82 ft./lbs.*
    Hornady XTP 35 grain hollowpoint MV 1004 fps, ME 78*


    .25 ACP Handloads

    Remington 51 grain bullet, 1.6 grains Unique, MV 853 fps, ME 82 ft./lbs.
    Remington 51 grain bullet, 1.2 grains Bullseye, 728 fps, ME 60 ft./lbs.
    Rem. 51 grain bullet, (can't tell-it's a secret) Unique, MV 933 fps, ME 99 ft./lbs.


    Selected .22 Long Rifle cartridges fired from a Beretta Model 21A


    Remington high-velocity copper plated 40 grain solid (Golden Bullet)*
    MV 842 fps, ME 63 ft./lbs.

    Remington high-velocity lead 36 grain hollow point*
    MV 865 fps, ME 60 ft./lbs.

    Winchester high-velocity lead 40 grain solid*
    MV 854 fps, ME 65 ft./lbs.

    Winchester high-velocity copper plated 36 grain hollow point*
    MV 894 fps, ME 64 ft./lbs


    A Colt Model 1908 and a Oehler Model 12 chronograph were used except (*) in which a Beretta Model 950 B .25 ACP and a Beretta Model 21A .22 Long Rifle were tested over a Chrony chronograph. Coincidentally, the Winchester factory 50 grain load checked out identically when fired from both the Colt and the Beretta and the Unique handload was only one foot per second faster.

    When considering the midget automatics I'd prefer the .25 ACP to the .22 Long Rife though the difference is so minuscule as to be pointless. The .25 ACP feeds more reliably, the heavier and slightly larger .25 bullet shows equivalent velocities, and the fully jacketed design should deform less and offer more penetration. In tests against the '92 Dodge pickup fender the .25 ACP was noticeably more reliable in penetrating it than was the .22 Long Rifle when fired from the short barreled pistols. Neither was 100% successful in penetrating the fender. Not sure just what this test on the fender proves.





    If one is required to utilize the .25 ACP for self-defense the original 51 grain loading looks like the best bet in my view. Lately the standard full metal jacketed bullet is listed as 50 grains. The cartridge will never have the reputation as a stopper. In order for it to do itís best work it needs to penetrate to a vital organ. The lighter weight, expanding bullets offered by some ammunition manufacturers in an effort to provide ďenhanced performanceĒ appear to me to be more likely to fail to adequately penetrate. Some of these are: 40 grain Glazer Safety Slug, 45 grain Winchester Super-X Expanding Point, 35 grain Hornady XTP hollow point, and 35 grain Speer Gold Dot hollow point. The whiz-bang fancy .25 slug that expands effectively wonít do much good if it opens up and stops in the lining of a winter jacket or perhaps a rib bone or skull, leaving an assailant who is even more agitated. Iíve had no experience with any ďhigh performanceĒ .25 ACP ammunition so am not qualified to say what it would do. Whatís more, I donít intend to purchase a bunch of different brands order to find out what they could do. Penetration would be the first priority when selecting ammunition to carry in these pistols.

    Bill McGillivray and I have posted this on other sites. (Thanks, Bill!)

  9. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunfan View Post
    I satisfied my mind about the .25 vs. .22 debate a couple of years ago with some contrived "non-tests" which I stuck on some forums. Here it is in all its long-windedness and complete with photographic "proof."

    ______________________________

    How many folks out there are going to admit to having a handgun chambered for the .25 ACP? If ownership of the .25 ACP is admitted then how many have actually carried a handgun so chambered? Itís a cartridge that is frequently criticized as being too unsubstantial for use for serious self-defense, yet ammunition is sold each year for this pipsqueak . Somebodyís using it for something.

    The .25 ACP is one of our really old semi-auto pistol cartridges. It was introduced in 1905 or 1906, depending on the reference, in the FN Model 1906. Both pistol and cartridge were of Browning design. Once the semi-auto pistol became accepted and came in general use at the beginning of the 20th century, a number of designs in different sizes and chambered for a host of new cartridges were marketed to those who felt the need to possess a handgun for self-defense. The smallest practical sizes marketed were any of several models termed vest pocket pistols. Most of these were designed around the .25 ACP or 6.35 Browning as it is known in Europe. These diminutive pistols occupied about the same space as the smallest one or two shot derringers of the previous century but featured higher ammunition capacity contained in handy magazines that made recharging more convenient. Due to the relatively high velocity of the .25 ACP cartridge, handguns so chambered offered striking effectiveness equal or exceeding many of the low-powered rim fire, pin fire, or center fire pocket pistols marketed in the later decades of the 19th century. A light-weight-for-caliber .22, .25, .30, .32, .38, or at best .41 caliber bullet traveling at 400-500 fps is anemic in the extreme. Many thousands of small semi-auto pistols taking the .25 ACP were sold worldwide over the next 75 years or so. Among the well known brands were some really fine handguns made and sold in .25 ACP including Astra, Beretta, Browning, Colt, FN, Mauser, Ortgies, Sauer, and Walther. These are finely made and exhibit design and craftsmanship fully equal to larger handguns from those firms.

    GCA í68 and a change in tastes caused the popularity of high quality arms chambered for the .25 ACP to wan by the 1970ís. The cartridge became the provenance of the inexpensive semi-auto pistol. It seems that such low quality pistols, with their uneven functional reliability, further tarnished the reputation of the .25 as a serious defensive cartridge. Design advancements in the 1980ís and 1990ís made more powerful cartridges available in pistols almost as small as many .25 pistols. These days there are not a lot of choices out there if one wants to purchase a new .25 pistol.

    So, What Can It Do?

    For starters the .25 fully possesses the capability to kill a person very dead. It has laid many low in itís century plus usage. It must be remembered that the .25 pistol is not a toy and absolutely must be accorded the same respect that any firearm should be given.

    Iíve toted and used the .25 on occasion and have some notion of its capabilities. Upon considering the Kel Tec P3AT, itís .380 ACP cartridge, and itís overall size compared to my Colt Model 1908 I decided to retire the .25 as a deep concealment handgun and go with the P3AT and its more effective cartridge. Previously Iíd slipped the little Colt in my hip pocket behind my wallet if I didnít think I could contrive to hide anything larger.



    Years ago I saw my first example of .25 ACP effectiveness and it was sorry indeed. Iíd left a hunting vest on a tank dam where Iíd been dove hunting one afternoon. Before work the next morning I drove out past the edge of town to the pasture to retrieve the vest. I slipped my Beretta Model 1919 .25 ACP behind my wallet and began hiking up a fence row to the stock tank. About 300 yards up the path from the road I suddenly found myself face to face with a coyote which was sitting on itís haunches in the broom weeds at the edge of the path I was traveling. Pleased to have an opportunity to rid the countryside of one of the varmints I whipped out the .25 pistol and fired full into the center of the coyoteís chest, seeing dust and fur fly where the bullet struck. The distance couldnít have been more than 5 yards. The coyote whirled and ran off. Iím sure I could ascertain a baleful look in its eye as it turned to run, contemptuous of my ordnance.

    Someone once dumped an old washing machine in a gully on our gun club property. I took advantage of the opportunity to fire a few shots into its side with this .25 Beretta. The result was chipped paint and deep puckers. No bullet penetrated the side of the washer. A few more shots with a Smith & Wesson Model 17 .22 Long Rifle revolver penetrated the washerís side. What was this? The .22 would pierce the sheet metal. I knew the Beretta was old, its bore ravaged by corrosive priming. The rifling was only a shadow in the pitted surfaces of the bore. I speculated that bore condition could be affecting my .25ís effectiveness.

    At the next Fort Worth gun show I swapped the Beretta and cash for a Colt Model 1908 .25 that had a sparkling clean bore Since the washer was still at the range I stopped by and fired some more .25 ammo at its side. The shots from the Colt completely penetrated the sheet metal. Moral to the story is: if yaí pistole ainít got much horsepower to begin with, be sure itís in good condition Ďcause youíre gonna need all the help you can get.

    One evening my brother-in-law Bo called me to talk handloading and guns. I was walking around in the house on the cordless phone while visiting with him and happened to look out our front door. There on the porch sat a feral cat that Iíd been gunning for. With no explanation other than ďHang on BoĒ I held the phone against my chest with my left hand, fetched the .25, which happened to be nearby, eased the door open a crack, and popped the cat through both shoulders. The bullet exited and made a small, flaked mark on the concrete. The cat launched itself off the porch but immediately keeled over at the edge of the sidewalk in the grass. Heíd traveled about 8 feet. He was about 10 feet from the muzzle of the Colt when I fired. Bo exclaimed, ďWhat was that?Ē I replied that Iíd just taken out a cat that was hanging around tormenting Wally, our kidsí new kitten.

    I used the Colt .25 to administer a finishing shot to a buck once. Iíd hit a buck deer high in the spine on a broadside shot with a .30-30 as he trotted through the edge of some oak woods. He was down but not out so I placed the .25 down close to the back of his head and pressed the trigger. As the shot rang out I observed the spent .25 FMJ bullet roll out of his right nostril onto the leaves, completely undamaged except for the rifling marks. The .25 effectively administered the coup de grace but was completely spent in traversing the deerís head.

    A few armadillos, Ďpossums, and a Ďcoon that was found beneath our camper on a deer lease have given their all to my .25 ACP and it proved to be effective on these varmints.

    A Stinker to Shoot

    Iíve owned an Astra Model 1916 (?), a Helfricht Model 3, a couple of Colt Model 1908 .25 pistols and a Browning Baby since I traded out of that old Beretta. I get a kick out of shooting the diminutive pistols but canít say Iím good at it. The sights are rudimentary, the triggers are a chore, and there just isnít much for me to hold onto. The Browning Baby was about as tedious as shooting a .44 Magnum with full power loads because of this. The Colt Model 1908 seems to offer a bit more to hold. All .25 ACP pistols are loud enough to ring oneís ears if hearing protection is not worn. Despite the small pistolsí general unsuitability for use Iíve been know to wile away part of an afternoon trying to shoot distant targets with them for fun. Thereís a good-sized mesquite tree at the end of the road leading to the lake cabin that is slightly smaller in diameter than a skinny man. The distance is around 100 yards from the cabin yard. Itís possible but not easy to chip and nick the bark on the tree with .25 bullets. The last time I played at this game I had my best results shooting prone.

    Oh the Raw Power

    The traditional factory ballistic figures quoted for the .25 ACP with itís standard 51 grain full metal jacketed bullet is 760 fps with 64 ft./lbs. of energy. Most consider the .25 ACP to be inferior to the .22 Long Rifle for self defense. This isn't entirely true as may be seen. Itís one thing to fire a .22 Long Rifle from a handgun with a four inch to eight inch barrel yet quite another to fire it from a typical vest pocket pistol with itís barrel length of perhaps two inches at most. Perspectives change when firing both cartridges from similar handguns. It is said that the .25 ACP feeds more reliably than the longer rimmed .22 Long Rifle. There may be some truth to that statement as my .25 ACP semi-auto pistols have fed and functioned with perfect reliability.

    Because some folks are gluttons for punishment, die sets for handloading the .25 are available. Picking out .25 ACP cases from the typical litter of .22 rim fire cases on the ground at the range is enough to make one cross-eyed. Once set up for handloading the tiny components arenít quite as bad to handle as may be imagined. I handload for the .25 ACP as I must have a low threshold of entertainment. My RCBS Uniflow powder measure can just be adjusted to reliably throw the maximum listed charge of Unique. It wonít go any lower and is easier to set just a little over the maximum listed charge weight for Unique. Iíve only attempted to load Bullseye and Unique in the .25 ACP. Iíd assumed that Bullseye would be the best choice but Unique gives higher velocities using maximum published loads. The .25 ACP would have to be the least expensive cartridge of all to handload if one troubled himself to cast bullets for it. Iím just not that dedicated.

    The Inevitable tests

    Bo and I once spent a pleasant afternoon testing the .25 ACP and the .22 Long Rifle in a pair of Berettas he has. These two pistols have barrels of the same length. Below find data from the afternoon's tests along with some additional .25 ACP data including handloads.






    .25 ACP Factory loads

    Remington 51 grain FMJ, MV 789 fps, ME 71 ft./lbs.
    Winchester 50 grain FMJ, MV 852 fps, ME 82 ft./lbs.*
    Hornady XTP 35 grain hollowpoint MV 1004 fps, ME 78*


    .25 ACP Handloads

    Remington 51 grain bullet, 1.6 grains Unique, MV 853 fps, ME 82 ft./lbs.
    Remington 51 grain bullet, 1.2 grains Bullseye, 728 fps, ME 60 ft./lbs.
    Rem. 51 grain bullet, (can't tell-it's a secret) Unique, MV 933 fps, ME 99 ft./lbs.


    Selected .22 Long Rifle cartridges fired from a Beretta Model 21A


    Remington high-velocity copper plated 40 grain solid (Golden Bullet)*
    MV 842 fps, ME 63 ft./lbs.

    Remington high-velocity lead 36 grain hollow point*
    MV 865 fps, ME 60 ft./lbs.

    Winchester high-velocity lead 40 grain solid*
    MV 854 fps, ME 65 ft./lbs.

    Winchester high-velocity copper plated 36 grain hollow point*
    MV 894 fps, ME 64 ft./lbs


    A Colt Model 1908 and a Oehler Model 12 chronograph were used except (*) in which a Beretta Model 950 B .25 ACP and a Beretta Model 21A .22 Long Rifle were tested over a Chrony chronograph. Coincidentally, the Winchester factory 50 grain load checked out identically when fired from both the Colt and the Beretta and the Unique handload was only one foot per second faster.

    When considering the midget automatics I'd prefer the .25 ACP to the .22 Long Rife though the difference is so minuscule as to be pointless. The .25 ACP feeds more reliably, the heavier and slightly larger .25 bullet shows equivalent velocities, and the fully jacketed design should deform less and offer more penetration. In tests against the '92 Dodge pickup fender the .25 ACP was noticeably more reliable in penetrating it than was the .22 Long Rifle when fired from the short barreled pistols. Neither was 100% successful in penetrating the fender. Not sure just what this test on the fender proves.





    If one is required to utilize the .25 ACP for self-defense the original 51 grain loading looks like the best bet in my view. Lately the standard full metal jacketed bullet is listed as 50 grains. The cartridge will never have the reputation as a stopper. In order for it to do itís best work it needs to penetrate to a vital organ. The lighter weight, expanding bullets offered by some ammunition manufacturers in an effort to provide ďenhanced performanceĒ appear to me to be more likely to fail to adequately penetrate. Some of these are: 40 grain Glazer Safety Slug, 45 grain Winchester Super-X Expanding Point, 35 grain Hornady XTP hollow point, and 35 grain Speer Gold Dot hollow point. The whiz-bang fancy .25 slug that expands effectively wonít do much good if it opens up and stops in the lining of a winter jacket or perhaps a rib bone or skull, leaving an assailant who is even more agitated. Iíve had no experience with any ďhigh performanceĒ .25 ACP ammunition so am not qualified to say what it would do. Whatís more, I donít intend to purchase a bunch of different brands order to find out what they could do. Penetration would be the first priority when selecting ammunition to carry in these pistols.

    Bill McGillivray and I have posted this on other sites. (Thanks, Bill!)
    Just curious, how much of this article is yours? Bryan McGilvray first posted it on May 20th, 2008.

    Cartridge Discussion: .25 ACP
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

  10. #99
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    Sorry for the late reply but, I just joined the forum.

    Hey folks,
    I'll never understand why so many people underestimate the lethality of smaller caliber guns. The size of the bullet is not nearly as important as "shot placement". Even a .22LR can be lethal. It is said that, if a bullet will penetrate a 1/2" thick pine board, it has the potential of being lethal. I haven't done this myself but, I've seen a .22LR fully penetrate that board at 440 yards so, up close wouldn't be a problem.

    Personally, I love carrying a .25 pistol. It's exceedingly easy to conceal, even in the summer time when I'm wearing light clothing. Please don't misunderstand, my favorite pistol is still my 1911 but, it's heavy, bulky and MUCH harder to conceal.

    As for types of ammo...................25ACP can be quite limited in type and quantity, especially these days. When I can find it (which is rare), it's usually FMJ and about $21.00 per 50.
    CeltKnight likes this.

  11. #100
    Ex Member Array Bullet1234's Avatar
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    I have had 25's before and they can be a FUN GUN but
    NOT for actual defense, I would move up to something capable
    of doing the job. most 25 loads have less than 100 ft/lbs of Muzzle Energy
    and some 22lr will equal or be greater than 100ft/lbs.

  12. #101
    Member Array CeltKnight's Avatar
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    Geez ... two years and even after the OP specifically said he did not want to hear about how there are "better choices" folks just can't resist the urge to jab at the cartridge. Ah, the .25 ... our favorite cartridge to hate. The smallest commonly made center-fire round that must have the biggest shoulders due to all the heaps of disparagement poured down upon it. The tiny quarter-inch bullet that in my area of operation has produced 3 DRT, no moving or twitching deaths. The only shooting with a .25 we've had where anyone walked away (after stopping all aggression) was when one of my officers' vests stopped the round ... mostly (poorly fitted, the vest let the round slide around and TEAR at the overlap leaving an ugly though non-serious wound along his ribs). Sheesh, c'mon, haters, the .25 will kill, has killed, and continues to kill. I've seen head wounds with .38s and .380s where the one shot were carrying on conversations (seen much worse, too but I have seen failures as above). CONTACT shot to the chest with a 12 ga loaded with 00B and the person shot, though not up to walking around, was quite alive and lived on thereafter.
    As was said, SHOT PLACEMENT is what matters most. Put that little quarter inch round in the right spot and it's lights out. Put a .45 in the wrong spot and you just wasted your shot and pissed off the bad guy. If there is a "best" round I'd say the hottest FMJs it'll shoot accurately and reliably (probably European rounds). The JHPs often don't expand and can bite into bone a bit better, but if they do expand, they can severely limit penetration (note: saw one where the round went through the cheek bones into the skull. The JHP didn't really expand (mashed up a wee bit), but the jacket separated, staying just inside the skull while the core went on through the brain and cut the Medulla. Lights out. I don't recall 100% if it exited from there or not (I'm thinking it did but cannot say for sure).
    Have a .25? Then it only makes sense to have ammo for it and shoot it. They make a good backup for a main handgun (or as I like to call 'em, the gun to get you home past the dead bad guy's friends and family once the police have taken your other pistol into evidence). Oh, and for those times when you absolutely, positively MUST appear unarmed? They work really well for that too! :)

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