The .25 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol
By Steven L. Doran
The .25 ACP or the vest pocket pistol has never really received a lot of acclaim. It is considered by many to be an under powered cheep throw away type pistol. That being said I also think the .25 ACP has saved a lot of lives because people carried them. Their size and conceal-ability made it easy for a person to throw them in a pocket and they were no more obtrusive then a cigarette lighter. No criminal wants to soak up any round of ammo, so when the little guns were produced, and or fired the bad guys ran away not wanting to see what gun was being used against them.
Back in the day the criminals did not go to police and a good deal of the time neither did the citizen, unless they shot the perpetrator dead. They would just tell their friends about the thrashing they gave the would be assailant and that was about the end of it. So we really do not know exactly how many times the little gun was used. But we do know in many instances in WWII, and in many police and self defense roles the little guns were used effectively.
There are a lot of better choices when it comes to defensive or firearms one takes to the field. None of these little guns would be anybody’s choice for a gun fight or taking game.
As a back up, get off me gun, or emergency game getter I think they should be considered. As they say the one you carry is better than the one you leave at home. A person taking a stroll around the block after supper is more likely to grab a .25 ACP then a full size .45 ACP. There are numerous situations when a person would benefit from the .25 ACP verses having no gun at all.
The .25ACP when fired from a 2-3 inch barrel like you’ll find on most the little guns actually produces similar ballistics to the .22 with the same length barrel. In this article on the topic of .22 vs. .25 they compare the ballistics from the Baby Browning to those of the .22 mini revolver, you’ll see that they’re about the same. This article from the Firearms Tactical Institute Tests Various .22 LR ammo in ballistics gel for penetration also shows the .25 ACP penetration to be a bit better.
The most important factor in any firearm is reliability both in self defense and in the field. Because the .25 ACP is a center fire it typically always goes off. The .22 in the small revolvers and semi-autos have more problems in this area because the rimmed Rim-fire ignition system is less reliable than a center-fire system. On reliability the .25 ACP wins.
I used a baby Browning in my tests and it is a little tack driver( Very Accurate) , it is easier to hold and shoot then the little min-revolvers and more accurate out to further distances, getting rounds down range is much quicker. Like the .22 the .25 ACP is very controllable so putting rounds where you want them is not a problem. I also had no feeding problems or jams during my 50 round trail. I have to admit they are very fun to shoot. So for taking small game in a emergency or survival situation, blasting a dog or other animal wanting to take your leg off, or sending a would be attacker a message that you do not want to be a victim today the .25 ACP wins again.
A friend of mine Dad, Mr. Stamm carried a 25 ACP for years all of the time when working or walking around his acreage for the same reasons and swore by it. It worked and did not get in his way. His birthday and Christmas request every year? A box of 25 ACP ammo and a box of chocolate covered cherries. Mr. Stamm had other guns but the one you would find on him more often than not was the 25 ACP.
Although I would not recommend it as your only gun, or as a primary. I would say if you own one or can get a deal on one, they are worth throwing in a pocket and putting to work. The only real draw back is ammo price, ammo for the 25 ACP has always been a bit pricey and still is today. However you will find that it is worth the few extra bucks to take one along with you.