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; OK, I couldn't resist, I had to search for the quote from Jeff Cooper: As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a ...

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Thread: Cartridge Discussion: .25 ACP

  1. #61
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    OK, I couldn't resist, I had to search for the quote from Jeff Cooper:

    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.

    Jeff Cooper
    From Jeff Cooper's Commentaries
    Vol. 4, No. 14
    December 1996
    Bold added for humor. Seriously though I still wouldn't want to get shot with one!

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  3. #62
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Here it is. An older Phoenix Raven Fire ever round every time as long As I do not put CCI rounds in it. Up close I would not want 2-7 of the it's round in me.

  4. #63
    Member Array CeltKnight's Avatar
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    My wife falls into the category of those who cannot use anything bigger. She has tiny hands (stands about 5'01" depending on how thick the soles of her shoes are), is devoutly right handed, and has a stainless steel plate and six screws in her forearm from where her radius bone was shattered in a bus crash.
    With her it's .22s and .25s or pretty much nothing. TWO shots from a .380 Beretta and her arm was out of action for the rest of the day. She can handle a very limited number of shots from my .32 PPK or my S&W 30-2 in .32 S&W Long. Problem is, the double action triggers are just a wee bit too long and heavy. Working to overcome that often results in her arm hurting. Small hands means cocking on the draw (the only other option) really isn't an option for her either.
    Her normal carry guns are a made from a selection of little .22 and .25s. She rather likes her .25 as she's never had ammo problems whereas her .22 Beretta 21 has on occasion become a wee bit finicky. Inside of 15 yards the lady is deadly accurate. We did some fast presentation point-shooting drills recently. She was scary good. But she doesn't consider a range session as practice unless she gets off at least 300 rounds or so. That's my girl! :) Again, she likes the .25s, giving them a slight nod in reliability over the .22s though with high-end ammo like Eley Match she hasn't had any problems. Recognizing that shot-placement is the key (it's actually the key to ALL handgun shooting as a .40 S&W that missed the vitals really isn't going to stop anyone who doesn't want to stop), she carries FMJs and practices, practices, practices.
    Now, being an experienced married man I know to let HER make HER choices with maybe nudge here or a suggestion there. I goofed, though and bought her a Beretta 950 "Jetfire" .25. I thought it was perfect. Made in 1966 (so no annoying thumb safety to get stuck or be impossibly tight), and the natural act of drawing it runs one's thumb (MY thumb, anyway ... first mistake) over the easily cocked hammer (easily cocked by me ... second mistake). Otherwise same manual of arms as her Beretta 21 double action and in a center-fire cartridge. She accepted it graciously, gave me half smile and put it in her sock drawer. Recently my Kel-Tec P3AT developed problems (after a LOT of shooting through the years, it's a Gen-1). Needing an "always gun" to temporarily replace my beloved .380, I dug out her Jetfire. "Yeah, I figured it was gonna wind up being yours when you bought it," she told me with a laugh. I stoke it with FMJs for the most part figuring that if the first round doesn't do the job, maybe the next eight will at least give me time to change mags and put another eight down range.
    Seriously, though, I've seen four one-stop shots with a .25 (cheap little .25 at that) here in my neck o'the woods. Three were head shots (two contact or near contact, one across the room through), all were DRT. The other hit an officer, went through everything in his pocket (nope, thick stack of business cards, leather card wallet, and polyester shirt did not stop the bullet). It hit at a bit of an angle (he was running) so when it got to his vest it actually rode the vest around his side where it went through the overlapped edge of his ill-fitted vest, got underneath, cut an ugly gash along his ribs, and came to a stop in the inside back of his armor. He's fine, but the bang-flash-what-the-heck?-ouch! was enough to end his pursuit of the bad guy. My point in bringing up his case is that legend would tell us that just the stuff in his pocket would stop the bullet. But, it actually did rather well and he even had a bruise under where it initially impacted in front at that angle. Say what you will, but it's better than a punch. The way I look at it, it's like taking a 1/4" bit of drill rod and shoving it into someone's face or chest, only a lot harder than you probably can shove it. Think of it like that and suddenly "itty-bitty" bullets seem a bit more potent, at least to me.
    FWIW, I've heard tales of cheap and especially cheap, old foreign .25s having over-sized bores or even badly eroded bores. There's not all that much push to start with. Give a tiny bit of room for some blow-by and suddenly you've got a pellet gun. In a good, reliable piece, though, while it may not be "ideal" for all circumstances, it might the only choice for some.

  5. #64
    Member Array RAC55's Avatar
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    My carry guns are a .40 cal Glock in winter, and a .380 Sig Sauer or a .32 Kel Tec in summer. I own several .25 cal vest pocket guns just for the fun of owning and shooting them. They are all pre-war and nice quality guns. My particular favorite piece is a mint condition Steyr vest pocket .25 with a tip-up barrel. The extractor, safety and barrel release levers along with the assembly screws on the gun are beautifully fire-blued making the gun look like fine jewelry. The manufacture date code is 1915. I also have an FN model 1905, and a C.G. Haenel Schmiesser .25 with the original WW2 capture document. All these guns shoot great and are pieces of history. The .25 along with the .22 are a hoot to shoot. Firing rounds out of them is like eating Lays potato chips....you just can't stop at one!

  6. #65
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I liken the .22LR and the .25ACP to defense with a 10" ice pick. I use both as BUGs and only use FMJs as ammo in um. Just for the heck of it, I just picked up two of the NAA minis a couple weeks back, one's a .22Lr the other is a .22 Magnum. I've had my Beretta 950BS forever and never really gave its potential much thought until I did some ballistics testing on the Mini's. Outa the three I give the advantage to the .22Mag, but when it comes to reliability, I'd say the center fire .25ACP cartridge is more reliable. What I found was, when FMJs are used in the 950 it penetrates just as much as the .22mag and has a total of nine semi auto rounds verses five single action ones. The .22 Magnum has a couple of what appears to be decent JHP rounds out with the Horaday and Gold Dots, but personally, I have little faith that they will expand reliably and therefor I just use the FMJ data that I've seen and done for my evaluation.



    I came across this thread via a google search and I gotta give props to the OP "bmcgilvray", nicely done sir.


    I was on the fence until I read this thread and saw all his work on the subject. Now I'm sure that in a pinch, a nine round offering of .25ACP put in the right spot will change the mind of a would be attacker even in a primary carry role; as a BUG the .25ACP is definitely a viable option. Once again, anyone that questions its use, think of being stabbed repeatable times with a 10" ice pick, then tell yourself that it wouldn't stop you if you didn't want it to.



    Anyway, once again, great thread well worth the resurrection.....
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson

  7. #66
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    many mango seasons ago when i worked in miami and the florida keys i carried a jetfire as my "bug" on the job. in those days the 25 acp was the only small gun pocket to be found. i did not feel under gun. just did not know any better, there was no other small gun around. i did not have some gun mag or gun writter telling me that the 25 acp was a crap gun. i went "uc" many times with the jetfire as my only gun for the ops. saw many killed with the 25 acp on the job too. then fast forward many mango seasons kel tec came out with the small 32 acp p32 pocket gun. i moved up to it and the jetfire went to the safe. then kel tec came out with the 380 and the p32 went to the safe.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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  8. #67
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankmako View Post
    many mango seasons ago when i worked in miami and the florida keys i carried a jetfire as my "bug" on the job. in those days the 25 acp was the only small gun pocket to be found. i did not feel under gun. just did not know any better, there was no other small gun around. i did not have some gun mag or gun writter telling me that the 25 acp was a crap gun. i went "uc" many times with the jetfire as my only gun for the ops. saw many killed with the 25 acp on the job too. then fast forward many mango seasons kel tec came out with the small 32 acp p32 pocket gun. i moved up to it and the jetfire went to the safe. then kel tec came out with the 380 and the p32 went to the safe.
    . Just an observation here... Over the years and advancement of other calibers regarding size and what not, did not make the.25ACP somehow less effective in the BUG role IMO. Just sayin.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson

  9. #68
    New Member Array revolvergeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    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.
    I think that he was referring to the PPS MSC (Maximum Sub Caliber). It was somewhat designed on the same principle as the PMC Ultramag; a sharp edged machined bullet designed to cut and dig in, and but not to expand. I have a pack of them and also the .32 acp (Maximum Pocket Pistol) and .45 acp loads, put up somewhere with my old oddball collectible ammo. If I can put my hands on them I will post some pictures. I think that they went out of business when ATF made a big stink about solid brass bullets being armor piercing, but I might be wrong about that. They dried up about the same time that the Ultramags did.

    Here's more information on them: International Ammunition Association {iaaforum.org} - View topic - .25 Auto with HP Brass Bullet (P.P.S. MSC)
    bmcgilvray likes this.

  10. #69
    Member Array gunfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crzy4guns View Post
    I don't mean to get into a long winded dissertation on the assets or liabilities of the .25 acp, but I think that with the choices of the really small .380s or the sub compact 9mms out today, it makes little to no sense to carry the diminutive .25 for self defense. Back in the day, the .25 was a very small automatic that could truly be carried in a vest pocket and therefore was popular with a lot of folks who wanted to go about their daily activities without being seen with a gun. 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.
    There are little .25 Autos all over the place.

    Here's a highly likely scenario: An accosted woman kicks her assailant in the groin, then pops him in the face several times with a 'pocket auto." While the little autos may be outclassed, they sure pop up all over the place and are handy.

    Let's face it, while they aren't the most powerful pistols available, the PSA incarnation of the "Baby Browning" (manufactured in Aspen Colorado) seems to be enjoying brisk sales.

    The 51grain Remington bullet Bryce McGillvray loaded to 933 fps and 99 fpe outclasses the .22 LR and provides more penetration than any .22 LR ever will, regardless of how you load it. This, coupled with the fact that the centerfire nature of the cartridge can be attributed to the genius of John Moses Browning.

    The .25 ACP's positive can be summed up this way:

    a) FMJ providing deeper penetration than lead .22 LR bullets.

    b) Center fire (read: far more reliable ignition than the .22 LR ever can, or will.)

    c) It can be hand loaded. (try that with a .22 LR!) It can be loaded up with a decent launching platform (Colt, PSA, Beretta, Taurus, Walther, et. al..)

    d) It was designed to be efficient in short barrels. The .22 LR was not.

    A nice, tight .25 loaded with Bryce McGilivray's +P hand load would work quite well at "waltzing distances."

    Think about it.

    Scott

  11. #70
    Senior Member Array dripster's Avatar
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    I have a Bryco Jennings 25 acp, and I carry it in my pocket with zero worries. Hornady makes a nice hp round for it.
    One more step and it's on!

  12. #71
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    It lives...the ancient .25 ACP thread lives.....!!!



    "The 51grain Remington bullet Bryce (Bryan actually) McGilvray loaded to 933 fps and 99 fpe outclasses the .22 LR..."


    Yeah, but even with ambitious "post-graduate" over-loading I'd be willing to leave the .25s at home in favor of the .380 ACP, much as it pains me to choose a Kel-Tec product rather than a nice Pre-war all steel pistol.

    Better yet. Carry a real gun in the form of a J-Frame or K-Frame .38 Special or a .45 automatic.

    Fixed!
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  13. #72
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    I spotted this post and wondered what kind of trouble are you stirring up now? Then I saw the original posting date. Fun reading over coffee. Thanks.

    I'll admit, it's tough to slip a 1911 behind your wallet and remain casually unnoticed.
    bmcgilvray likes this.
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  14. #73
    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...I trust you forwarded these findings on to the state police? looks like a change is in the wind...
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Caution: ballistic non-test ahead.

    I also fired all these handguns and loads into a 1992 Dodge pickup fender in order to observe penetration. I'm certain that this proves nothing except that these tiny pistols can damage the paint work on an automobile.


    A few weeks ago I fired several rounds of the three .25 ACP loads at the fender. Here's some instances where one of each of the three loads tested failed to penetrate the fender but the angle may have been too extreme.



    I tried again last Saturday, taking care to hit the fender head on. This time I fired two each of each of the three loads I had on hand and they all penetrated the fender. None penetrated the inner fender but left slight puckers in it. The ugly hole was from a "miss" when I placed couple of rounds too close together. Perhaps a flinch?



    A hail of .22 bullet holes on the fender. The Ruger and the S&W Model 34 both penetrated the fender. The .22 failures to penetrate seen here all originated from the little Beretta pistol. I was surprised that the small increase in velocity observed in the Model 34 was sufficient to penetrate the fender.

    On another occasion I've fired a single 158 grain +P equivalent .38 Special handload, a cast bullet .380 handload, and a Santa Barbara factory .380 load at the fender. The +P .38 Special load and the Santa Barbara .380 load easily pierced both the fender and the inner fender. The .380 lead handload pierced the fender and puckered the inner fender.

    These kinds of tests are vital to illustrate the value of various cartridges when pressed into service to protect oneself against aggressive automotive sheet metal.

    Next week: testing the .25 ACP against a Fender Stratocaster.
    Taurahe and bmcgilvray like this.

  15. #74
    Member Array JasonJ's Avatar
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    i think the words "real gun" should be banned from usage on the internet and in gun stores.. forever.

    a gun is a gun is a gun, and all are lethal and dangerous.. stop kidding around. if the 25acp fits a need and you can operate it proficiently, good for you, continue to do so. Moving on....
    Taurahe and CeltKnight like this.

  16. #75
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    I would rather have a .25 acp than a handful of nothing.
    CeltKnight likes this.
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