Cartridge Discussion: .25 ACP

This is a discussion on Cartridge Discussion: .25 ACP within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; One advantage (if you could call it that) of the .25 over the .22 is that it is a centerfire rather than a rimfire cartridge...reportedly ...

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Thread: Cartridge Discussion: .25 ACP

  1. #16
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    One advantage (if you could call it that) of the .25 over the .22 is that it is a centerfire rather than a rimfire cartridge...reportedly always more reliable but, not so important these days days and now that extremely high quality match-grade rimfire ammo is available.
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  3. #17
    Member Array homepcmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crzy4guns View Post
    ... While a .25 that is with you is better than a big gun left at home, there is no reason not to carry a .380 that is the same size but in a more effective caliber. I am sure that a lot of folks have owned or have at least fired the little .25 acp at one point or another, but there is a reason that it continues to languish in sales, as it is simply outclassed by a growing number of better choices.
    All good in theory... and here is where a 25 or a 32 may be a better choice.

    I know of some who can manage a 45 but are NOT comfortable with the keltec in 380.

    Think about that for a moment.

    Somebody who both knows how to shoot and can handle "recoil" but has issues with a little old "380" pistol and some have similar issues with the small nines and 40's out there.

    So - with that tidbit of knowledge - what does a person who does NOT shoot much and is really recoil sensitive choose to have at home or on their person?

    I guess they can throw big rocks?

    Sarcasm aside... there IS a VERY good reason why these "mouse guns" are still in the marketplace.

    Maybe... all of your family members might be able to handle a small 9MM - but I can assure you that very few can (even a few who can do a full-size 45).

    It's also like those who AWLAYS suggest a 12g shotgun. They forget about the 20g and even the 410. Another thing is they forget the semi-auto (that has LESS felt recoil) over the pump.

    We tell people to get a semi-auto 22 (Ruger) and a semi-auto pistol (over a revolver) but we keep pushing the pump over an alternative that both lets you use it one-hand (if things go really bad) and has less recoil (so you can shoot THREE round at about the time you may shoot two with a pump).

    A WORKING & RELIABLE gun is better than NO GUN - everything else about firearms is icing on the cake.

    I suggest using anything that meets this minimum standard and practice enough to feel confident in using it.

    A Walther P22 in my grandmother's hands is WAY better than a phone calling 911. She may just get the kind of results we've been seeing in the news lately.

    I would prefer her having TWO Marine Rangers on duty... but a small "ladylike" 25 in her hand (and she is confident in using it) can change the odds in HER favor... in a measurable and comforting way.

    Just my two cents...
    “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm” - George Orwell

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    A WORKING & RELIABLE gun is better than NO GUN - everything else about firearms is icing on the cake.



    I will agree with you on that one, as I forgot one other important consideration - economics. Some people simply cannot afford to buy the nice handguns you and I enjoy. These folks may have inherited or bought a used .25 acp and it is all that they have to defend themselves with. I also agree with you that small guns in larger calibers may have too much recoil for some folks. Having said all that though, I still feel that if one can afford to buy a small .380 or 9mm and tolerate the recoil, he or she would be better served by choosing one of those over the .25 acp IMHO.
    God bless our troops!

  5. #19
    Member Array takurpic's Avatar
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    I had a Beretta in .25 ACP, but sold it for one 22LR. I didn't see much difference in the round and 22LR is several times cheaper than .25. Eventually, I sold the 22 as well.

    Today I have the Beretta Tomcat in .32 ACP. I carry it when I don't have the option of carrying one of my Glocks in 40S&W.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    Nice photos there takurpic! That is also a good alternative to a .25 acp, and loaded with the WW Silvertip, is a pretty effective bug or always gun.
    God bless our troops!

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    The smallest gun I own now is the Kel Tec p32... I would not go below a .32ACP and I only purchased it because it's a BUG and offers a deep concealment option depending on the type of clothing I am to wear.

    I can understand why many people bad mouth the .32acp though... I sure as well would not want to get hit by it and if hit in the CNS, I am sure your as screwed as if you got hit by a 9mm or 45acp in that position.

  8. #22
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    For self-defense purposes, I won't consider anything less than a 9mm or .38 Special.

  9. #23
    Member Array homepcmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defensive Arms View Post
    For self-defense purposes, I won't consider anything less than a 9mm or .38 Special.

    Which is valid... for you...

    Some cannot "handle" even a 380... so does that mean that they should have no gun?

    My point is to remember that not everyone can handle firearms like you. Some do it better. Some cannot do it at all.

    The latter should have options as much as the former.

    Why deny it when even a .22 is better than screaming for help?

    Just my opinion.
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  10. #24
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    I think I still have some interesting old .25 ammunition.
    One a "hollow point" filled with a ball of Lead shot and another super high velocity "hollow point" which features a bullet of turned Brass.
    I'll photograph them when I get a chance and post the pic here.
    It might be a few days as my Bro has my camera.
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  11. #25
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    Hi QKShooter. You're the second person I've heard from that makes mention of .25 ammo featuring bullets turned from brass. I've never encountered such. Do post photos if you think about it.

  12. #26
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    QKShooter said:

    I'll photograph them when I get a chance and post the pic here.
    It might be a few days as my Bro has my camera.
    Is there any chance that you might still be able to post those pictures (or just the one of the brass turned HP, since I'm fairly sure the other load you refer to is the 45-grain Winchester Expanding Point round; correct me if I'm wrong)?

    The fact that you mentioned its being a "super-high velocity" round rings a distinct bell in my head, as I remember mention being made very occasionally of a long-discontinued .25 ACP defense load that was a real screamer. In fact, I hope this thread can get a transfusion of new blood, as I feel the discussion of the .25's capabilities does indeed have real relevance even today, and I'd love to see it continue.

    By the way, bmcgilvray, many thanks for the excellent review and comments.

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Let me preface my comments below by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the OP and appreciate the efforts of the poster in putting the report together for us. With that said;

    I usually make it a point not to be a "caliber snob", arguing that the gun in your pocket is better than the one at home that you couldn't carry. The 25 acp is where I draw the line. Maybe in days gone by, it was an option due to lack of competing guns of similar size, but that is no longer true. Handguns of equal size and cost are readily available which to me, makes the 25 acp obsolete as a defensive cartridge. Going from published factory numbers:

    22 LR -- CCI Stinger 32 gr. HP -- 191 ft. lbs.
    22 LR -- CCI MiniMag 40 gr. Lead RN -- 135 ft. lbs.
    25 acp -- Hornady 35 gr. XTP HP -- 63 ft. lbs.
    32 acp -- Hornady 60 gr. XTP HP -- 133 ft. lbs.
    380 acp -- Hornady 90 gr. XTP HP -- 200 ft. lbs.

    The 25 acp falls short of virtually everything else available. Even the lowly 32 acp provides twice the energy of a 25 and while I still have my Tomcat and have carried it in the past, it has long since been retired in favor of the P3AT or LCP. While I definitely don't agree with everything Jeff Cooper ever said or wrote, I do like his quote concerning the 25 acp:
    As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it you may hit somebody, and if you hit somebody - and he finds out about it - he may be very angry with you.
    or from Massad F. Ayoob:
    A .25 is a nice thing to have when you're not carrying a gun.
    I'm not taking issue with anyone who likes plinking with a 25 and can afford the ammunition. I just believe that for a defensive handgun, there are much better options available.

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  14. #28
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    Hi cvhoss;

    You won't find me arguing for the effectiveness of the .25 ACP. I picked up a P3AT for purposes for which my old Colt .25 was used previously.

    Will say that published factory numbers don't tell the tale in the tiny stubbed barrels of the typical vest pocket .22 Long Rife pistols. The CCI .22s will yield far less than either 191 ft/lbs or the 135 ft./lbs figures shown when fired out of a sub-two-inch barrel. The .22 Long Rifle does not beat the .25 ACP when used in SIMILAR SIZED pistols. Of course neither makes it as a desirable self-defense proposition.

  15. #29
    Member Array Tenring's Avatar
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    Over 40 years ago I bought a tiny .25 Colt pistol in a pawn shop in Tuscon for $25. In Vietnam, I carried it always deep in my vest strictly as a last ditch backup in case I had no other weapon left. It was unlikely I would ever "lose" it. I also planned to use it on myself in case of imminent capture in certain areas over there. Fortunately, I never had to use it in either mode, but it did give me some peace of mind.

    I know of only one time a similar .25 weapon was used over there - and in that instance it did prevent the guy from getting captured. He was able to shoot in the face at very close range an NVA with a rifle who was capturing him but got distracted by a strafing run on their position. The enemy was very close, at his arms length. But it worked out OK. He apparently stopped the bad guy and he fortunately got rescued shortly afterwards.

    Say what you will about this anemic mousegun. It would be anybody's last choice, but it has been successful in certain situations.

    Nowadays, of course, I would elect to carry a LCP or P3AT. But there was no other similar choice in those days.

    So, I salute the lowly .25 ACP - but I would always carry something else if it were available.
    "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that . . . it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. . . ." Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Justice John Cartwright (June 5, 1824)

  16. #30
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    cvhoss said:

    I usually make it a point not to be a "caliber snob", arguing that the gun in your pocket is better than the one at home that you couldn't carry. The 25 acp is where I draw the line. Maybe in days gone by, it was an option due to lack of competing guns of similar size, but that is no longer true. Handguns of equal size and cost are readily available which to me, makes the 25 acp obsolete as a defensive cartridge.
    Readily available in Kansas, you mean - and in most of the free United States. Unfortunately for those of us who live in Massachusetts, which has had a choke-hold on its gun-owning population since the implementation of the Attorney General's list of what guns may be sold in the state, options are severely limited.

    No new Kel-Tecs.

    No new Kahrs.

    No Rohrbaughs.

    No new North American Arms (NAA)

    No Ruger LCP

    No Seecamp .380 - though we can buy the California Edition .32. I have one, and it's basically a single-shot with a spare ammo compartment in the grip. This thread isn't the place for a discussion of the Seecamp's merits, so I'm not going to start, and I hope no one else does either.

    I only list the above brands that we can't purchase in MA to make the point that, even though it's not as if the .25 is your only choice here (most people have Seecamp .32s), there's a much greater chance than there is in, say, Kansas that an old .25 such as the Colt 1908 or the Baby Browning will be chosen for a pocket gun because of the many, many fewer pocket gun choices we have here. There are quite a few venerable and inexpensive little peashooters in gun shops that are chambered for the .25. Old guns like these we can buy from dealers, provided they were registered in the state prior to the enaction of the restrictive legislation/regulations.

    So in some special cases, people may find themselves in a position where the a tiny .25 ACP pistol is what they wind up with, for any number of reasons - laws and regulations as mentioned above, or else one is already in their possession and they don't have money for anything else, or a person is unlicensed and needs to carry anyway and it's the only thing available with no option for new purchase, etc.

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