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Old August 2, 2008, 05:19 PM   #1
j-framer
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Colt Junior .25 vs. FN copy of Colt 1908 .25: Please choose

Hi all,

I am currently faced with the choosing one of the two following guns as a back-up piece:

Colt Junior .25



Picture is not my own. Credit goes to blog.rjwest.com/?p=2669



FN .25 "Vest Pocket" model (similar to Colt 1908 .25)




Picture is not my own. Credit goes to www.vestpockets.bauli.at/archiv/archiv.htm

Both pieces are in good condition and the prices are pretty much the same.

Which would you choose?

I realize that I have to evaluate my own needs and ultimately choose based on them. But I'm interested in others' thoughts and possible experience with either of these guns.

Just one other thing: Please, please, let there be no discussion about the inadequacy of the .25 caliber. Please. I'm already well aware of its limitations.

Last edited by j-framer; August 3, 2008 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Add linked pictures
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Old August 2, 2008, 05:43 PM   #2
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As the owner of a Colt Junior in .22Short, I can say it is a sweet shooting little gun. Not among the greatest in accuracy with the short barrel. Also, not real sure about how safe it would be carrying it with a round in the chamber. Overall, it is a well built firearm.
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Old August 2, 2008, 06:43 PM   #3
Bill DeShivs
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For carry? Investment? Collection?
BTW- the FN is not a "copy." It is the European version of Browning's design. The Colt was sold in the US.
The Junior is basically an Astra "Cub." Early versions used a US made frame and Astra parts. Later ones had most parts made in the US.
The FN is the more precision made gun. The Colt probably would be better for carry.
Both are cool, historic guns.
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Old August 2, 2008, 10:15 PM   #4
tenusdad
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Colt - the dancing horse is magic and holds its value
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Old August 3, 2008, 01:05 AM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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FNs also hold their value, to those who know what they are.
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Old August 3, 2008, 02:48 AM   #6
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I'd go for the FN. Slightly smaller and very classic styling
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Old August 3, 2008, 03:53 AM   #7
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fn
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Old August 3, 2008, 09:06 AM   #8
LanceOregon
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For a backup carry piece I would buy neither of these guns. Instead, I would get a Beretta Model 21 Bobcat.

Both the Colt and the FN would have more of a value to a collector. But for carry, the Double action Bobcat would be the far better gun to get.

.
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Old August 3, 2008, 12:56 PM   #9
amd6547
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+1 on the Beretta 21. I have one in my pocket right now. Very fun to shoot, very accurate, feeds JHP's, and the double action is great.
MecGar makes a 9 round mag for these. I can fire all 10 rounds from my Beretta with great accuracy at close range in seconds.
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Old August 3, 2008, 01:27 PM   #10
Bill DeShivs
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The Beretta 21 is considerably bigger than either of these guns.
If you can find a Beretta 950 Jetfire .25, I would recommend it.
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Old August 3, 2008, 01:38 PM   #11
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Another vote for the Beretta 21. The 950 is smaller but it is not double action and they are harder to find. There are alot of used 21s around since alot of folks are trading them in for the new generation .32 and .380 mouse guns such as Keltec.
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Old August 3, 2008, 02:25 PM   #12
j-framer
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Thanks to everybody for your input!

Hkmp5sd said:

Quote:
As the owner of a Colt Junior in .22Short, I can say it is a sweet shooting little gun. Not among the greatest in accuracy with the short barrel. Also, not real sure about how safe it would be carrying it with a round in the chamber. Overall, it is a well built firearm.
I'm curious about the "round in chamber" issue. Does the Junior have a manual safety?

As you can likely tell from the question, I've not yet handled either of these guns. The pictures of Colt Juniors that I found on Gunbroker don't seem to show a safety of any kind - just a funny-looking lever above and behind the trigger guard that I gather is the mag release.

However, I do know that all but the earliest versions of the FN do have a manual safety.

Bill DeShivs said:

Quote:
For carry? Investment? Collection?
BTW- the FN is not a "copy." It is the European version of Browning's design. The Colt was sold in the US.
The Junior is basically an Astra "Cub." Early versions used a US made frame and Astra parts. Later ones had most parts made in the US.
The FN is the more precision made gun. The Colt probably would be better for carry.
Both are cool, historic guns.
Thanks for the correction and info, Bill.

It will be primarily for carry (tiny back-up piece), but I have a little bit of the collector in me as well. I certainly love the history behind the guns (I guess the FN is likely to have a few more years behind it than the Colt - I haven't seen any serial number info for FN .25s, unlike the readily available serial no. lists for the Colt 1908 .25).

For some reason I made the hasty and unjustified assumption that the Colt 1908 .25 was the forerunner of the FN. Poking around today online, I see that you're right and the FN model of 1906 is not a copy at all.

tenusdad said:

Quote:
Colt - the dancing horse is magic and holds its value
Bill said:

Quote:
FNs also hold their value, to those who know what they are.
Yes, it seems they both do, from the prices. The guns in question are in two separate gunshops and are both priced at $325.00. The Junior supposedly rates about 90%, the FN I have no idea. I have not seen either in person yet, but will do so this week (I found out about them from the dealers' online used lists).

apr1775 said:

Quote:
I'd go for the FN. Slightly smaller and very classic styling
Yep, the issue of size is important. I've noticed the different shapes of both of these guns. The Colt is obviously taller in the grip (is the mag capacity different?). The FN's size and overall shape does appeal to me more.

LanceOregon said:

Quote:
For a backup carry piece I would buy neither of these guns. Instead, I would get a Beretta Model 21 Bobcat.

Both the Colt and the FN would have more of a value to a collector. But for carry, the Double action Bobcat would be the far better gun to get.
amd6547 said:

+
Quote:
1 on the Beretta 21. I have one in my pocket right now. Very fun to shoot, very accurate, feeds JHP's, and the double action is great.
MecGar makes a 9 round mag for these. I can fire all 10 rounds from my Beretta with great accuracy at close range in seconds.
Actually, I have an acquaintance who owns a 21, and I have shot it. Very nice gun, and, as both of you said, stone-cold reliable. But BIG. Especially the grip, which is thick and tall. I think it belongs to a different class size-wise.

joegator said:

Quote:
There are alot of used 21s around since alot of folks are trading them in for the new generation .32 and .380 mouse guns such as Keltec.
This addresses something that I'm sure has a lot of you baffled. Let me assure you, there is a very good reason why I'm looking at these .25s instead of guns in more potent calibers. I am in MA and options are very limited. No NAA, no Rohrbaugh, no Kel-Tec, the list goes on. Yes, we can buy the Seecamp .32. I'm not going to get into it here, but I've had a nightmare with my Seecamp. Someday, I may try to get it working properly again. Right now, I'm looking at these .25s because, though they may be terribly underpowered, they have a reputation for excellent reliability (or so I've heard).

Please continue to chime in!
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Old August 3, 2008, 02:34 PM   #13
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I like the 1908, my little Colt spits out FMJ like a machine gun. At 2 or 3 yards I can't miss. The FMJ .25 ACP has more than enough penetration to reach the heart, spine and brain.
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Old August 3, 2008, 02:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
The FMJ .25 ACP has more than enough penetration to reach the heart, spine and brain.
Well said, I've always held the .25 in higher regard than "some" of the younger people I talk to on a regular basis.

Peresonally I'd get the FN........

But I admit to being kind of an F(a)N(attic.... lol.
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Old August 3, 2008, 02:47 PM   #15
Jim Watson
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Neither is in production, so you are talking about buying a second hand pistol.

Testfire as a condition of sale would be smart because you would be assured of reliability and function in a gun that might be hard to get parts and service for.

By the way, the lever on the left side of the Junior is a thumb safety, the magazine catch is the button on the lower rear corner of the left grip panel.

Some people are wary of cocked and locked carry of a striker fired pistol like the FN-Browning.
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Old August 3, 2008, 04:34 PM   #16
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IMO the tiny guns with grip safeties are sort of a potential problem-it aint hard to get a good grip on a full sized 1911 to override the grip safety, but on tiny guns I can see myself getting an awkward grip and not depressing it fully or something. And some of the small autos take a good hard squeeze to override that grip safety. Probably is a reasonable idea for a safety feature but on tiny guns or even some slightly larger ones, the ergonomics are not as condusive to that feature, I think. Therefore I would buy either as a collectable or fun piece but that version of the Colt has a little more to hold onto, and lacks the grip "thing" to deactivate. You do know that is actually a spanish gun right?
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Old August 3, 2008, 06:58 PM   #17
amd6547
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Yes, the Beretta 21 has a larger grip, but that makes it easier to get a solid hold.
If you MUST go classic, there really is only one choice...Browning Baby.
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Old August 3, 2008, 10:34 PM   #18
KyJim
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I can't really help you on the decision between the Colt and the FN. I do know these very small .25 single actions fill a specific niche -- either as a backup or when size is absolutely critical. I seldom carry my Beretta 950 but I consider it an important part of my carry selection. It is considerably more concealable than the newer, double actions from Beretta.

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Old August 4, 2008, 01:16 AM   #19
Bill DeShivs
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The 950 is probably the finest "carry .25".
Safe, slim, 9 shots, and lightweight.
The Astra/Colt comes in a distant second.
The FN after that.
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Old August 4, 2008, 02:33 AM   #20
LanceOregon
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Quote:
The Beretta 21 is considerably bigger than either of these guns.
Well, we should clearly define what is meant by "considerably bigger" when one compares the differences between your recommendation of the Beretta 950 Jetfire, and the Beretta 21 Bobcat:

Unloaded Weight:

950 Jetfire: 9.9 oz
21 Bobcat: 11.5 oz

Length:

950 Jetfire: 4.7 inches
21 Bobcat: 4.9 inches

Height:

950 Jetfire: 3.4 inches
21 Bobcat: 3.7 inches


.
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Old August 4, 2008, 01:08 PM   #21
Bill DeShivs
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The Beretta 21 is also thicker than the 950 series.
I have both and like them-but the 21 series stretches the 950 concept to the maximum. While 950s are known for reliability, enlarging the gun to accept the .22 LR compromized reliability. The 21 is made in .25 acp simply as an "also ran" to the .22. The 950 series was dropped solely to add a .22 LR pocket pistol to the Beretta line. The Model 20 (950 series) D/A was also known for reliability. It was dropped from production, and both .25 and .22 LR offered in the larger 21 series only.
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Old August 4, 2008, 04:42 PM   #22
j-framer
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Bill said:

Quote:
The Beretta 21 is also thicker than the 950 series.
Also, both Berettas are rather tall. Height is important to me, because the shorter the gun, the less the grip prints in a front pocket when the gun is resting muzzle down. Even with a holster, this is something to consider.

All of the guns mentioned here are tiny anyway, actually. But, if everything else were equal, I'd choose whatever is smaller.

Today, I had a chance to view the Colt Junior (not the FN, though - the gun shop with that one is closed Mondays). The Colt is taller in the grip than I had anticipated. I had never seen a comparison photo of a Junior sitting next to a Colt 1908 or an FN 1906 .25 so I didn't really appreciate the difference until now (I have handled a Colt 1908 in the past, so I know how big those are, and the FN is supposed to be the same size, of course).

Right now, I think the FN will get the nod.

Another interesting note; sitting next the Junior in the case today was a Bauer .25. Here's a pic from the Internet:



Note: Picture is not mine. From http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20ameri...20cal.25-2.jpg

I have heard some things about these guns. I realize it's basically a stainless copy (is that accurate this time? ) of a Baby Browning.

Reviews turned up online are kind of mixed, so I am not seriously considering it. But it was a lot smaller than the Colt Junior.
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Old August 4, 2008, 05:59 PM   #23
Bill DeShivs
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Get the Bauer for carry. It's the best of the three, and the smallest.
They are a copy-almost a clone. The barrel turns the opposite direction for takedown.
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Old August 4, 2008, 06:18 PM   #24
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I had a Bauer and as I recall it was reliable in function, but pretty small to handle. But you get stainless steel for close carry rust resistance, and no chance of the rapidly becoming collectable Brownings getting damaged. Mint Babys are getting kinda high priced. The clone is not so bad and even though it might not be as finely finished it works the same. And it does not have that grip safety thing to worry about. I also had the single action little Beretta and it worked great for me too. Carried it on a trip to Fla. once. Figured it was as much gun as I dare smuggle on the plane. NO not a passenger airline and no TSA then. In the baggage compt, not on me. Felt good in the pocket when some creeps were eyeing us in a Fla. park. I had no CCW either. But that was years ago and this is only hearsay......
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Old August 4, 2008, 07:21 PM   #25
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Quote:
I am currently faced with the choosing one of the two following guns as a back-up piece:

get a Glock.
(c'mon, you knew SOMEBODY was gonna say it!)

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