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Old January 13, 2014, 03:32 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Just received my latest....

Saturday night special.

Raven MP-25 in .25 ACP.

Pistol is in excellent shape. I gave 73.55 for it and even though I prolly overpaid for it, I don't feel bad.

Interesting little pistol. Field strips very easy. The magazine looks new. Bore is very good. Finish is quite good still. Operation seems to be fine although I have not shot it yet.

The down side is that it started out as a pretty poor example. Looks like a zinc alloy. 24.00 to 28.00 a box for ammo is steep. Gun show is this week end so I'll try picking some up there.

I have a Regina in .25 ACP and that is a better pistol in terms of quality. It is a steel alloy rather than pot metal. It is more compact and lighter. It operates more smoothly. Haven't shot that one either. (Did I say I don't have any .25 ACP ammo?)
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Old January 13, 2014, 03:50 PM   #2
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I guess what I'm trying to say is...
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Old January 13, 2014, 04:46 PM   #3
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I have one of the older Phoenix arms model raven. People bash them, but I'm not sure that those people have ever shot one. I've never had an issue with mine, but by the same token the ammo is pricey so I've only put about 500 rounds through it over the years.
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Old January 13, 2014, 10:05 PM   #4
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Just FWIW, the term "pot metal" doesn't mean a cheap alloy melted in a pot, it means the metal cook pots were made from, cheap cast iron. (Yes, I know what Wikipedia says; they are wrong.)

As to those cheap .22/.25 pistols, the main problem is in the material, not just the frame and slide but the springs, sears, etc. As a group they are not badly designed, and made from quality material with good quality control they would be OK. But then they wouldn't be cheap guns.

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Old January 14, 2014, 04:47 AM   #5
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I am not certain

why these little things interest me.

Maybe it is because they are all under a hundred bucks. (Except for a few specimens.)

But every time I see one of the Bicycle Revolvers (A term I loosely apply to inexpensive wheel guns from folks like Hopkins and Allen, F and W, and IJ) I take a second look.

When I did the OP I remember thinking, "No one on this board is going to be interested in the fact that I came up with another little semi-auto pistol or cheap old revolver." But I was actually proud of it and just wanted to tell someone.

I can tell you that I enjoy working on them. I am no gunsmith but the idea of bringing one back to life is a little exciting. I told a colleague that I would almost rather buy a failed revolver than a working one. He was surprised as he should be.

You may recall my photos of that T.E. Ryan Retriever for which I am having to make all of the internals. I need one piece, plus one spring, plus the grips and that revolver will be working, Not shootable but operating.

I never work on other people's stuff because I am not good enough. I don't make a habit of selling or trading my pistols. I let a trapdoor go some months ago, but only because; a) it was number three of three in my accumulation, and b) I had fired it a lot and had good reason to believe it was as safe as any other trapdoor out there.
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Old January 14, 2014, 09:07 AM   #6
noelf2
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But Doc, it's not a C&R gun yet.
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Old January 14, 2014, 10:18 AM   #7
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Noel.....

Funny you should mention that.

The guy had in his listing that he would ship to a C&R holder.

I think he made a mistake. And I (at that time) did not know the age of the piece and that it would not classify as C&R so I inadvertently let him make the mistake.
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Old January 15, 2014, 03:03 PM   #8
Gator Weiss
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My Raven Phase

In 1980 or 82, Ravens were the rage. Cops were using them for pocket backup pistols. Women carried them in purses. Many people in Texas had them in their cars. These things were everywhere and selling from 50 to 80 new in the box.

Back then I bought a couple. I went through an experimental phase with the .25 caliber bullets and cartridge. I still have one in the box and the papers are probably still with it. The other, I literally wore the barrel down firing it at cans and what not. It always worked. It fed fairly reliably. The firing pin broke after a few thousand shots, but I got hold of another and kept shooting.

I bought myself a Lee hand load kit for .25 acp. The old mallet kit. I still have it somewhere in my garage. That particular kit came with no charge data sheet as does all the other lee kits. I bought the kit new. I was using 50 grain FMJ bullets - red boxed by Sierra - for reloading fodder. I worked up a variety of loads using Winchester 231, Unique, some shotgun powders, and I even had some loads worked out using FFFg black powder.

I never did find a supply of factory empty brass. I was finding .25 acp cartridges very cheap from a factory in old Mexico. Black and yellow box. Had an Eagle head on it. A favorite gun shop was getting them and I bought bunches. They shot well enough. The brass was good enough. Small pistol primers worked well in that brass and I never had a case fail; although I did have some primers back out on a few.

I was really into handloading .38 Spl and .357 Mag and 45-70 Govt during that time period. I had my press running very good and often. I shot lots of big bore stuff, but I have to say the little .25 acp was really fun to experiment with and the Raven platform to shoot those cartridges from was good enough for what I was doing. It certainly was a diversion.

After a few years of playing Raven, I put the pistols up and forgot about them until I saw this post. I haven't bought any .25 cal ammo in decades. I haven't had those pistols out in a long, long time.

Back in the day, I remember Winchester was loading a specialty bullet for he .25 acp. It was a hollowpoint and it had a little steel ball in the nose of the hollow point designed to open up the slug. It made a louder "bang" than the Mexico ammo did and of course it cost more. I have not seen that Winchester loading since those days; but I haven't been looking for it either. It was a mean little cartridge and a nasty looking bullet ! I would imagine as small as the bullet is, that cartridge would never the less provide some defensive capability.

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Old January 15, 2014, 03:11 PM   #9
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Thanks for the history, Gator

Add more evidence as to why I am infatuated with these things.

When I gets enough, I'll move on to sumpin else.
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Old January 15, 2014, 03:21 PM   #10
Gator Weiss
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I enjoy Doc's posts.

Doc, I really enjoy your posts. You make the website worth visiting. Have fun with the Raven. Nothing wrong with that pistol. I remember a trucker had one stashed behind his rodeo belt buckle. I remember another man - elderly and small in size - who liked to wear a suit and vest and tie and hat - he rigged a place in the crown of his hat to hang his pistol. He used to call it his pimp pistol. Mine, I just stuck it in the back pocket of my jeans, with an empty chamber. Do you have any idea what you will do with yours?
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Old January 15, 2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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Ahh....the Raven's reappear. I ordered bunches of them in every variety years ago in my gun shop. They had lots of variations between blue and chrome with lots of different grips.
I had a guy come in once that was a fan of the Ravens and was telling me about an article he read about how to make the .25 auto perform. He was pulling bullets and drilling them out to make hollowpoints, then reseating them over the factory powder. He ended up in the hospital from an accident with his pistol and I went to visit him. It turns out he got one of his "specialty" rounds stuck in the chamber. No problem, he just lifted the rear of the slide up to disassemble the pistol and managed to shoot himself in the stomach. He had actually lifted the firing pin off of the sear while pointing it in the wrong direction. He said it hurt like the dickens and severed his appendix to the point the doctor just removed the rest of it.
Try as you might to dislike those Ravens, they did work pretty reliably. The only part we replaced on a regular basis was the firing pins as people would try to dry fire them......bad idea.
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Old January 15, 2014, 09:02 PM   #12
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I worked in a shop where the owner didn't want to send anything back. So I got stuck fixing (or trying to fix) those little pistols, not a happy job. Actually, IIRC, the Raven was the best of a bad lot, though none were much good. Usually they wouldn't get through a box of ammo without jams, misfires and breakages. The frames and slides were zinc alloy, parts were often not hardened, the springs gave up quickly, and the magazine lips were soft and bent just from loading them. But I studied the guns pretty closely and my conclusions were as above, that they had good potential, but they wholesaled at $15 or so and I doubt many people expected very much.

Jim
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Old January 16, 2014, 07:31 AM   #13
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Gator....

Thanks for the compliment, (though for the life of me, I can't figure why people even read let alone like what I say.)

There are far better craftsmen, gunsmiths, historians and such on these boards. And like I said before. I can't even call myself a collector. I am not sophisticated in my knowledge so, to me, everything is interesting with the possible exception of late model revolvers and semi-autos. Oh..I am not interested in AKs, SKSs or ARs.

Anyway, I will likely shoot 25 to 50 rounds through so I can see how it performs...(Yes, including accuracy and maybe even MV). Then I will hang it up.

I am working on a glass case for my wall (Upstairs hall.) for semi-autos such as this. I need more of them so anyone who has any that are up for grabs, let me know. I am a C&R holder.
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Old January 16, 2014, 01:24 PM   #14
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I have a friend who had a bunch of cheap revolvers chrome plated, then laid out on blue velvet under the glass of a coffee table. They look great and he figures that any intruders will take them and not even look for his vault room, where he has real goodies.

Jim
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Old January 16, 2014, 01:48 PM   #15
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That would make a nice display and I'd like to do one too, but I'm sure it would give one of my liberal neighbors a heart attack.
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Old January 18, 2014, 03:35 PM   #16
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Hey Doc - a cheap mold, a set of dies, some brass and you won't have an ammo shortage for these "little ones". I know you have everything else you need . . . :roll eyes: If it was me, I'd probably go nuts reloading such a small round though and be fumbling all over the place!

Nothing wrong in developing a taste for these little ones . . . we all have our likes and I would think you could put together a nice little collection of them on a budget . . . . but you'll have to make another display case for 'em!
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Old January 18, 2014, 11:15 PM   #17
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Collectors of less expensive revolvers will be happy to know that I have added to my small collection of those guns. I saw an Iver Johnson small frame .32 hammerless "bicycle model" at a gun show, like new for $150, and couldn't resist the cute little thing. Second model, fifth variation, made in 1905, number O23xx, with all those patent dates on the butt. I may carry it when I go bear hunting.

Jim
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Old January 19, 2014, 01:15 AM   #18
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James....

You have been at this far longer than I have. Your experience and knowledge are way advanced. And as a collector your are probably much more discriminating than I am.

It makes me feel good to learn that you picked up another one of these revolvers because now I know I am in good company.
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Old January 19, 2014, 08:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
I may carry it when I go bear hunting
When he picks you up to bite your head off stick it in his ear. It may disorient him long enough for you to get away.
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