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; I am with cvhoss on this one as my previous posts on this thread would indicate. However, I am not insensitive to your situation Piglet ...

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Thread: Cartridge Discussion: .25 ACP

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    I am with cvhoss on this one as my previous posts on this thread would indicate.

    However, I am not insensitive to your situation Piglet and would suggest either carrying Magsafe or Glaser Safety Slugs in a .25 acp.

    Better yet, if I lived in MA., I would get a J frame S&W revolver and if recoil is a problem, get one that is in .32 H&R magnum. You can still find some new 431/432s even though they have been discontinued. Surely S&W revolvers with their internal locks are allowed in MA.

    BTW your Seecamp was originally designed to handle the .32 Winchester Silvertip HP only as any other .32 acp round is too long overall to feed reliably. Try the .380 Silvertip HP and see if that doesn't fix your problem. If you can get your Seecamp to work properly it would be an excellent CC gun.

    Good luck, and hopefully one day those restrictions will be lifted in your state!
    God bless our troops!

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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Piglet,
    My apologies for forgetting about those folks who don't live in "Free America". I tend to forget sometimes how much tougher it is on those of you in the really restrictive states. If you're ever going to be traveling through SE Kansas, drop me a line and we'll go out to the range and you can shoot all of my stuff that they won't let you have at home.

    Hoss
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  4. #33
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    Most people equate "stopping power" with someone laying on the ground rapidly assuming room temprature; however, their is a lot of "stopping power" in face shooting someone several times and having them start screaming "My Eyes! My Eyes! AHAHAHAH!!"

    Lower your expectations and .25ACP works just fine within its limits.
    That right there's funny I don't care who you are.

  5. #34
    Member Array Coldwarvet's Avatar
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    Sure, I'll admit to owning a .25. Bought a Raven Arms nearly twenty years ago at a gun show for around fifty bucks. Put a couple of magazines of ball through it to test function, loaded two mags with Glaser Safety Slugs, and it's been in the back of the safe since!

    I've toyed with sticking it in my pocket when I wasn't carrying a gun, but haven't to date. I guess it might do the job if somebody comes at you with a knife or something - scare off the perp.

    Or not.

  6. #35
    Member Array Jeremiah's Avatar
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    I have a cheap .25 I picked up just for the novelty factor. Never carried it, but it's a lot of fun to shoot, and accurate. Just expensive. Doesn't get out all that much.

  7. #36
    Member Array Piglet's Avatar
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    cvhoss said:

    My apologies for forgetting about those folks who don't live in "Free America". I tend to forget sometimes how much tougher it is on those of you in the really restrictive states. If you're ever going to be traveling through SE Kansas, drop me a line and we'll go out to the range and you can shoot all of my stuff that they won't let you have at home.
    Hoss, no apologies needed, of course . And that's a really nice offer, thanks. Never been to that part of the country, actually, and would love to go sometime.

    crzy4guns said:

    Better yet, if I lived in MA., I would get a J frame S&W revolver and if recoil is a problem, get one that is in .32 H&R magnum. You can still find some new 431/432s even though they have been discontinued. Surely S&W revolvers with their internal locks are allowed in MA.
    Yup, we can buy J-frames with no problem. I have a number of them and love them (the 640 .357 is one of my all-time favorite firearms, and the 340PD, though hard on the hands even with .38s, is an amazing feat of engineering). It's just that there's a vast size difference between a J-frame and tiny autos like the Seecamp and many of the little .25s. For a bona fide pocket gun, especially for those of us who are on the small side (5' 10", 180 lb), the J is a little big. I have tried it, with several different holsters, and it's no-go from a concealment perspective. It carries and draws just fine, but doesn't hide well enough to give me peace of mind.

    So I'm looking at a Baby Browning .25, and am giving a lot of thought to ammo selection. Edited to add: Please note that this isn't a primary gun, just a last-ditch back-up piece.

    Something that has struck me more than once in regard to .25 ACP hollowpoints versus FMJ: Many people advise the use of FMJ, and justify the recommendation by pointing out that penetration is a big concern with this weak cartridge. And that's definitely true. But what seems to be a common assumption among those who favor FMJ is that the .25 ACP hollowpoints will expand, and will therefore not penetrate as deeply as the FMJ will.

    I'm not entirely satisfied that this is the case. Let me explain, and then tell me what you guys think.

    I remember firing a couple rounds of Winchester Expanding Point .25 rounds into a bunch of 1-gallon plastic milk jugs filled with water and placed in a row. The gun used was a Beretta 21A Bobcat, and neither round expanded. They both penetrated what seemed to me to be very deeply, though I can't recall how many jugs exactly.

    In addition, over the years I've heard a number of accounts of people doing their own informal tests of mouseguns (.22, .25, .32, not .380), and in a great many cases, I'd even say most cases, where hollowpoints in these calibers were tested out of short barrels, they failed to expand.

    Now, if you have a hollowpoint that, through testing, can be confirmed to reliably NOT expand out of a given gun, you basically have a FMJ with a blunt tip that is probably lighter, though loaded somewhat hotter, than conventional FMJ ammo, do you not?

    Correct me if I'm missing something, but it seems to me that what this permits you to do is to consider such .25 hollowpoints as glorified FMJ rounds (test to verify non-expansion, if you've got the equipment) and then enjoy your new-found freedom to choose what amounts to a lighter, faster FMJ round if you think that will be better than the traditional, heavier, slower FMJ.

    Here are some numbers:

    Fiocchi 35-grain XTP HP....... 900 fps, no test barrel length given
    Fiocchi 50-grain FMJ ............800 fps, "
    Speer 35-grain GDHP...........900 fps, 2" test barrel
    Winchester 50-grain FMJ......760 fps, no test barrel length given
    Winchester 45-grain Exp. Pt. .815 fps, "
    Hornady 35-grain XTP HP......900 fps, 2" test barrel

    So, does anyone have any thoughts about whether you'd choose the lighter, faster route over the heavier, slower one - assuming that neither round will expand?

    Anyone have any experience regarding the functional reliability of .25 ACP hollowpoints in tiny pistols?

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Piglet,
    I don't know if this is right or wrong but it is what I do and why when trying to decide on the most effective pistol cartridge for a defensive handgun. First, I pick the type of bullet I want to use based on observed performance of that bullet type for a given caliber. After that, I almost always go for the combination that produces the most muzzle energy and here's why. A slower, heavier bullet usually only surpasses a faster, lighter bullet for performance when long shooting distances are occurring (100 or more yards for a pistol caliber). Given a far enough distance, the slower, heavier bullet with less muzzle energy will surpass the retained energy of the faster, lighter bullet that had more muzzle energy. The reason is that the heavier bullet holds onto it's energy longer than the lighter bullet.

    However, at defensive pistol distances, this difference never gets a chance to materialize and the faster, lighter bullet will normally have significantly more energy than the slower, heavier bullet and it's energy that penetrates but more importantly, breaks bones. For a bullet to penetrate, the first thing it has to do for a head or COM shot is break bone. The fact that a heavier bullet may penetrate further in ballistic gelatin is only important if you're planning on gut shooting the BG where no bones will be encountered. Just like in distance through the air, the heavier bullet will penetrate further in tissue because it still is holding onto it's energy longer. But, if the first thing the bullet encounters is heavy bone and it doesn't have enough energy to break through the bone, how long it holds onto it's energy becomes irrelevant.

    For your specific question on the 25, it would not appear that it makes much difference. I've tagged energy numbers to the ends of each bullet in your chart and you'll notice that they only range from 63-66 ft. lbs. IMO, not enough difference to matter so I'd probably stay with the heavier bullet so that it would hold onto it's energy for a longer time.

    Fiocchi 35-grain XTP HP....... 900 fps, no test barrel length given (63 ft.lbs)
    Fiocchi 50-grain FMJ ............800 fps, (65 ft.lbs)
    Speer 35-grain GDHP...........900 fps, 2" test barrel (63 ft.lbs)
    Winchester 50-grain FMJ......760 fps, no test barrel length given (64 ft.lbs)
    Winchester 45-grain Exp. Pt. .815 fps, (66 ft.lbs)
    Hornady 35-grain XTP HP......900 fps, 2" test barrel (63 ft.lbs)

    For the 40 S&W in my carry gun, the answer would be easier to decide, based on my criteria. For example:

    Winchester Ranger 40 S&W 155 Grain JHP (this is actually what I carry)
    Muzzle velocity: 1210 fps
    Muzzle energy: 502 ft/lb
    Remington Golden Saber Ammunition 40 S&W 165 Grain
    Muzzle velocity: 1150 fps
    Muzzle energy: 485 ft/lb
    Remington Golden Saber Ammunition 40 S&W 180 Grain
    Muzzle velocity: 1015 fps
    Muzzle energy: 412 ft/lb
    That's almost a 22% increase in energy and that's the reason I carry 155 or 165 grain bullets instead of the 180s.

    Again, this is only my opinion and why I use what I use. YMMV.

    Hoss
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  9. #38
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    I'd have to agree with cvhoss and would choose the ol' standard 51 grain metal case bullet over the lighter ones if I had to go with .25 ACP. As he says, it doesn't make much difference really. The round is weenie no matter how you serve it up.

    I don't place nearly the same importance on bullet expansion as do most here on the Forum. When talking of cartridges such as the .25 ACP the notion of "higher performance" light bullet, expanding ammunition is merely laughable and only extracts extra money that goes into the coffers of the purveyors of such ammunition. The .25 ACP isn't worth worrying over which of its available commercial loadings is most effective because there's probably not a dime's difference in any of them. They're all iffy. I suppose my thoughts are: "go with the 51 grain FMJ to eek out that possible last 1/4 of an inch of penetration that may turn the trick, yielding an outcome in my favor."

    Use of the .25 in a self defense situation perhaps more closely resembles the use of a club or one's fists to strike an assailant. While it's debatable whether it's more effective than a club or fist, the .25 ACP could certainly be more conveniently applied and that may be where its usefulness is validated.

    I know that I'd rather attack someone who was wielding a club or his fists against me than I would to attack someone armed with a .25. While I realize that I stand a chance of being hurt or even severely injured by clubs or fists there'd be a niggling notion that perhaps that paltry .25 bullet would find its way in to what would be an ultimately fatal wound. As a deterrent, the though of a gunshot wound would matter to MOST ne'r-do-wells. The hard core nut cases or druggies are another thing entirely.

  10. #39
    Member Array Piglet's Avatar
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    Thanks to both of you for sharing your thoughts.

  11. #40
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Brass bullets

    For some reason my muddled brain thinks the solid brass bullet was called the "PPS". Ed Sanow might have had something to do with the design or marketing. Am I close? Does anybody remember? All the Google links are for the Walther PPS.

  12. #41
    New Member Array aowbilly's Avatar
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    Gentlemen
    This is my first post on this fine site. The whole reason I came to this site was a google search on reloading the .25 acp cartridge My children and I have a great love for Ruger Blackhawks in a .357 my sons are 7 years old and 11 years old. The young one Bobby is only comfortable shooting light loads but the older buck Billy loves to shoot Magnum loads and I am very pleased with how both of them shoot, which is first of all very safely and secondly pretty darned accurately. I would be happy to put them against any youngsters their age on a 25 yd. range. That being said we are comfortable shooting large pistols with moderate power. My wife is another story. She is a small woman who has been stricken with a disease that has robed her of her strength and cursed her with arthritis. I bought her an LCP and she cannot shoot it. I loaded her light rounds and she is still extremely uncomfortable shooting it. I ended up with a Beretta 950bs in a trade and like most everyone here I figured that was going to be the next one to go. When she saw it she liked the size and the way it looked and wanted to shoot it. That alone was something that I was not used to, she never wants to shoot because it hurts. well when she shot it she liked it and wanted to shoot some more. She is now very comfortable with her gun, it does not hurt her, she likes it and she is willing to shoot it. That is a long winded way of saying its what we have, its what she likes and its what she can shoot.
    the bottom line is it fits in out situation.
    Thanks so much for letting me put in my two cents.
    billybaretta.jpg
    Tayopo likes this.

  13. #42
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    "That is a long winded way of saying..."

    You ain't got nuthin' on me, Billy.

    Welcome to the Forum!

    From what you are saying it is assumed that she is unable to operate the slide on an automatic pistol much larger than the little Beretta. A heavy steel-framed 9mm is more pleasant to actually fire than most .25 automatics and offers obvious advantages with regards to cartridge effectiveness. It is all for naught though if an inability to operate the pistol denies her it's use.

    Still, I wouldn't give good odds to an assailant who messes with an alert and resolute mamma wielding a dependable .25 ACP pistol.
    Tayopo likes this.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  14. #43
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    bmcgivray, you are becoming my favorite gun writer, and I put more weight on your tests and conclusions than anyone in the rags. Why, because your tests and conclusions bear witness to my own conclusions based on my experience.
    Amazing what you can learn from killing some varmits ain't it?

    As for the 25 acp, I'll say this; I have been to places that I could not take a gun that I would have given anything to have a 25 in my pocket, and felt damn comfortable with it.

    Here in this country, we have so many better choices of caliber and size efficient guns, that most would probably pick something else. But for what it's worth, I can see it still being a viable choice for a number of special roles and circumstances.
    gottabkiddin and Tayopo like this.
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  15. #44
    Senior Member Array scgunlover1's Avatar
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    I have a Browning .25 that was my Dads. Mom gave it to me after he passed. I also have the original box of ammo which he bought for 10.99. I believe I remember my dad saying the pistol cost him around 50 bucks back around 1970 or so. Could this be true? I would never carry this gun as it is too small for my hand and it is one of my safe queens. My grandson does like to look at the little baby gun in the safe when he visits.
    SCGunLover1

  16. #45
    Member Array Wheelspinner's Avatar
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    Got a .32 tomcat and love it............like they said, at close range it will give me running time. In the face or neck I probably will not have to run so fast. It is well made and I love my NAA Guardian .32 and my Tomcat in .32.
    Last edited by Wheelspinner; March 31st, 2011 at 06:50 PM. Reason: mis-spelled words

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