Why .25 ACP is a better choice

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Dutchboy, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Dutchboy

    Dutchboy New Member

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    With very small semi-automatic pistols you often have a choice of .22 LR or .25 ACP. Beretta makes these kinds of pistols. So does Taurus. So have many other manufacturers over the years.

    If your purpose for this style of gun is personal defense, the .25 ACP is the better choice, in my most humble opinion.

    Now, the .25 ACP is the subject of much ridicule and many cliches. "If you shoot someone you will just make them mad." "Just throw the gun at them instead of shooting it." But, the .25 ACP has been around for a long time, and it has a purpose. That purpose is limited to very small semi-autos, but in that role it does a good job, a better job than .22 LR.

    Another caveat: The .25 ACP is not a very powerful round, and almost all of the other calibers are better choices for self defense. But if you have already made the decision to carry a very small semi-auto for personal protection, and no one has been able to talk sense into you and explain that a small .32 ACP or 0.380 would be a better choice, at least go with the .25 ACP and not the .22 LR.

    Why is the .25 ACP better than the .22 LR?

    1. Equal (or better) velocity. The .22 LR (long rifle) was designed for. . . . a rifle. All those 1,100 - 1,300 fps velocity numbers you see quoted for the .22 are from a rifle barrel. In a 2" barrel, that velocity drops way, way down. In a Taurus PLY, I measured averages speeds of 756, 758, and 815 for a variety of common brands. (Minimags were 834). North American Arms's website has a great set of velocity data if you want more info.

    The .25 ACP was designed for small semi-autos, not rifles. In my Beretta 950, I average 800 fps with factory .25 ACP. That's faster than most .22's

    2. Better cartridge shape. The .25 ACP is short and stubby. It's easier for that kind of shape to feed reliably in a semi-auto. That's why all of the ACP style rounds have a short and stubby shape. The .22 LR is long like a torpedo. That higher aspect ratio makes it more difficult to feed.

    3. Better ignition reliability. A centerfire primer is much more reliable than a rimfire.

    4. Better bullet. The .25 ACP bullet is 50 grains, and it's jacketed. The .22 LR is 36 or 40 grains, and non-jacketed. The extra weight and jacketing of the 50 grain .25 ACP bullet will increase penetration capability. Small, slow bullets need all the help they can get. If you are a good enough marksman to actually hit a vital area of an attacker, you won't be helped unless the bullet can actually penetrate deep enough to stop the attacker.

    The only advantage of the .22 LR is that it is so much cheaper, and consequently, you will practice more. But, reloading the .25 ACP is easy, and that can bring the cost way down.

    Just my opinion, I'm sure there are others. . . .
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i go from experience , .22 lr killed many folks , .25 acp a 1 foot shot at the back of a head bounced off

    i have video .. and so does half of russia ..

    .22 lr against beer bottles @ 10 yards busts em everytime

    .25acp bounced off at 10 yards unless you hit the neck ( aussie beer bottle )

    impact monitor

    .22 lr 1800 whatevers ( how they measure impact)

    .25 acp 1100

    i like my baby browning , but as a self defence weapon give me a .22lr any day
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  3. carver

    carver Moderator

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    http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/index.html

    .25 from a 2" barrel:
    American Eagle, 50 gr., TMJ, 753fps

    Winchester,45 gr., expanding point, 816fps

    Winchester,50 gr., FMJ, 780fps

    _______________________________

    .22 from a 2" barrel:

    CCI, 27 gr. CPHP, 861fps

    CCI, 29 gr. CPRN, 860fps

    CCI 32 gr. CPHP Stinger, 974fps

    Remington 33 gr. HVTCHP Yellow Jacket, 945fps
  4. Rhuga

    Rhuga New Member

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    A .22 LR, 32 ACP, or .380 ACP will all give a good shot pattern. These smaller guns are easier to handle and carry. As for the .25, I don't have any experience with them and I have to rely Jack404's statistics.
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Local chief of police, in 1947, shot a drunk in the forehead with a 45. RN bullet hit the curve of the skull just right, and ran along it. Gave him a part like Alfalfa wore, but it didn't kill him. Didn't even break the skull bone. That little bit of "oops" would not be enough to make me stop using a 45.

    Them beer bottles that the 22 broke. Shot with a rifle, a 6" pistol, or a 2" pocket auto?

    That impact monitor, with the 1800 whatevers. Same question.
  6. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    Carver-
    You forgot that the .22 uses lighter weight bullets than the .25. Velocity isn't everything.

    Jack-
    The .25 has also killed many folks.
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    baby browning v NAA mini in .22 lr both 2" barrels

    yeah they'll kill folks , just dont shoot em in the head
  8. RJay

    RJay Active Member

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    In small automatics, the .25 is a much better choice because of its reliability in feeding.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    you aint met my baby browning then eh .. ( maybe its just old and worn , i got it for my wife way back and she put a couple thousand rounds through it )

    my old margolin (Russian semi pistol) never fed bad ever ( once but that was a after market mag that everyone complained about and i tossed it ) and it would eat anything , and the EAA witness with the .22 kit in has only had two fail to feeds and on those i blame the ammo and i dont use that brand any more and it's had maybe 1000 rounds through it ...

    i did have a very old and worn ruger Mk1 in .22 lr that would not feed correctly , but it was junk as was the mag that came with it

    but most .22's i've had have fed well if some did need some setting up on feed lips , ramp polish etc to do so
  10. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    I would rather have a good blade than either of the two.
  11. carver

    carver Moderator

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    We all know that the .22, and .25 are not even in cards when talking about SD hand guns. Yes they will kill a human, so will a sharp stick! I would carry a .22mag in an NAA, and consider myself better armed than just having a knife, but that's about all. I want a hand gun that can get me a minimum 10" of penetration with enough energy left to bust up big bones.
  12. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    I would still prefer an edge weapon. Edge weapons scare me. They can inflict gruesome damage very quickly.
  13. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Right on! Still I want to be able to reach vital organs with the bullet I fire at my intended target. The .25 is the heavier bullet, but if it expands at all, you probably won't get as much penetration as you would with the lighter, faster .22, even if it expands.
  14. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    I wouldn't want to get shot with either.............even a 22 short for that matter. :D:D:D:D

    Maybe a few of our service members or someone who has been shot could describe that feeling. I bet it sucks....even just a superficial shot.
  15. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    "Hurting", "sucking", and actually stopping are entirely different concepts.
  16. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    I don't really think it matters.....IMHO its all about shot placement. A 25cal, 22lr, or a rock can stop someone if placed right. It all comes down to whats available for you and you being able to use it correctly. Training, training, training.........location, location, location.

    I don't mind a 25cal except they are too darn small and pinch my hand.
  17. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    Train, train, train, and see how easy it is going to be to place a bullet on a moving target using a pistol that is smaller than your hand. :)
  18. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    It happens.............back in 1999 I hit a deer running with a slug at 50 yards.

    He jumped out on the trail right in front of me, put his head down to feed, realized I was there, looked up and he said "OH CRAP" in about 2 seconds flat. He took off running and by the time I raised my gun he was gone.....pegged him just as he was running in between 2 trees. I am positive some of it was luck, but a lot of it was me practicing my shots. Not to much unlike shooting clays. That shot with a shotgun isn't so different than someone trying to mug you, you pull your pistol, and the show begins. I bet you could get that little pistol up faster than a huge shotgun. I also bet you could get off 3 or 4 shots with that little pistol before I could pump that shotgun just once.

    You can get the same training on a pistol if you try (not 50 yards probably...but you get my point).......and if it is something you are going to be carrying I suggest you do.

    We are knuckleheaded country people here that find amusement in doing difficult shots when we shoot......and that's just how we do it, but really isn't training supposed to be about real world situations? :D

    And Reynolds, I have to say I like you.....:D:D:D Good discussions.
  19. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    In Swat, we do a lot of close quarters combat training. It truly amazes me how hard it really is to hit moving targets converging at angels.
  20. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    Then you are set......you get to shoot tons of bullets to train with ;), without having to pay for the bullets...... and not on your spare time. I would think you guys don't use anything that small of a caliber though...........not even as a backup.
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