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Old February 16, 2001, 05:43 PM   #1
Al Thompson
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Hi all,

Had some time on my hands and was interested in this particular topic.

Went to the range with a phone book, my PPK in .22 LR and a Beretta 950 in .25 ACP.

Shot both into a braced Columbia SC phone book at 10 yards.

.22 LR Stinger - penetrated 1.25 inches (est), expanded

.22 Winchester solid - 1.25 inches, expanded

.25 ACP Winchester - shot through, no expansion (3.33 inchs)

.25 ACP Winchester - 1.25 inches, no expansion

Thoughts: The one shoot through surprised me. The .22s did what I expected and the last .25 was to the same depth as the .22s.

I would rate both as equal. I have seen enough pocket pistol .22s malfunction that I have to rate the .25 a more reliable cartridge.

Interestingly enough, a 158 grain LSWC out of a 3 inch M13 was much more impressive.


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Old February 16, 2001, 10:49 PM   #2
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Doesn't sound fair. Wet phonebooks are a much more reliable media. I've shot into dry stacks of newspaper with a .357 and averaged about 6 inches with hollow-points.
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Old February 16, 2001, 10:51 PM   #3
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You have just rediscovered what has been found numerous times over the years. On paper the .22 LR looks better, but most specs are done in much longer barrels. When compared in similar guns the .25 and .22 perform very similarly. But the .25 ACP is more reliable in feed and function in the very small handguns (the .22 is too long and skinny, and has a rim). Some of the most interesting ammo for the .25 is no longer available. I still have 10 rounds of the stuff (don't even remember the maker) but the bullets are the hollow ring solid brass stuff. Very effective for what they are, but still not up to much more than an annoyance unless you are very lucky. Or as one friend of mine said about such guns, they are "ear guns", put the muzzle into the bad guys ear and say "listen to this"! They have certainly worked over the years, at least sometimes. But they have failed even more often. I used to know a Modesto cop that still had his old issue Model 19 with a .25 slug stuck in the stock, after it passed through his hand. He didn't even miss his return shot.
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Old February 16, 2001, 11:53 PM   #4
George Hill
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It would be interesting to see .25ACP ballistics out of a longer barreled gun side by side with a .22... Lets say - a 4 inch barrel. All .25s are chambered in the smallest of pistols... The one .25 I had was a serious mouse gun - the Astra Bub - it was a HINT of a barrel.

I would guess a 4 inch tube and the .25ACP would get along very well. I also think that the tiny .25ACP case could take a lot higher pressure levels, but are not loaded that way do to the puny guns .25 is home in.
Advantage the .25 his is Center Fire and Rimless - and a fatter bullet - all technically better features for a defensive weapon.
I would love to test a pistol like say a Ruger MKII in .25 or a Buckmark or High Standandard in .25... Throw in some reloading equipment and some supplies... I bet I could convince mousers that .25 is a peach.
Dont get me started on the .32!
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Old February 17, 2001, 12:22 AM   #5
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In the spirit of matching apples to apples it would be interesting to see this test done with the Phoenix Arms HP22 and HP25. Except for the round the guns are quite similiar.
Would do it myself but I only have the HP22 and no range.
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Old February 17, 2001, 12:29 AM   #6
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I did notice that you used a long .22 barrel and a short .25 barrel. Not much difference in barrel length, but enough to make a difference. I really don't think that the difference is significant enough to warrant one over the other. The .25 is more expensive but also more reliable. the .22 has more penetration potential and, in theory, has more power but doesn't always feed reliably.

Either gun is just a hole puncher anyhow and shouldn't be counted on as a 'stopper.'
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Old February 17, 2001, 05:40 AM   #7
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Yes,but I still doubt that a .25 will do the tissue damage that a .22 will do.And because of the shape of the .25 I think it's more likely to bounce off a skull than a .22.
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Old February 17, 2001, 07:53 AM   #8
Al Thompson
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PPK's barrel is pretty short..

I have a PPK that someone butchered by tapping the end of the barrel. The true rifled length is about two inches. By my imprecise measurement, it's about a 1/4 of an inch longer.

In a perfect test, I would have borrowed an other Beretta. But she and I don't date anymore.

Take the comparison FWIW!


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Old February 17, 2001, 01:00 PM   #9
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In considering the .25 vs the .22 it is no contest. Go to the range and look at the number of .22 cartridges on the ground with good solid firing pin marks that have not fired. Jerry
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Old February 17, 2001, 01:34 PM   #10
George Hill
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There are a lot of great .22 loads out there now.
The Quik-Shok load is just evil... Stingers and Vipers are the fastest...
Then there are even the silent loads. Not real powerful - but you can put an eye out with them.

But for a last ditch self defense round - I'ld opt for the reliability of a centerfire. Granted these new .22 loads are very high quality and go bang-zoom regularly... I just remember growing up buying .22 bricks for a day of shooting and leaving several duds in the gravel.

A .25 loaded +P+ would give it the speed edge. The shape of the .25 is not an issue. The "Better" .22 shapes also keep it from feeding 100% I think it balances the equation.
Besides - the shape of the .25 is pretty much the same shape as every other caliber. Truncated Cones have there place - just not in my duty weapon.
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Old February 17, 2001, 05:59 PM   #11
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Subsonic loads

I'd say those subsonic loads can do more than put an eye out. I was shooting some out of my Marlin not too long ago into ~ 1 inch thick newspaper backed up by a pine tree. The bullets passed easily through the newspaper and penetrated about 2" into the tree. This was using the Aguila Colibri primer-only loads. They shoot so slowly, you can watch the bullet drop quite fast in just 10-15yds.

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Old February 17, 2001, 08:50 PM   #12
Rusty S
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This is why

I have a 950 Beretta with a 4" barrel in 25 acp.

1) I don't believe the 22 rimfire can be trusted to have the primer mixture always spun into the rim, and I don't believe the thin case walls and lead bullet of the 22 provide enough support to conclusively seal the juncture of the bullet and case.

2) The 22 lead or copper washed bullet is also infamous for deflecting, as is the 25 ball, but there are 25 acp loads with bullets that tend toward consistent penetration. IIRC these may be a) Personal Protection Systems MSC* (Maximux Sub-Caliber) b) Glaser Safey Slugs or Mag-Safe** c) numerous sharp mouthed truncated cone hollow-points that should dig in and stay on line rather than deflecting on bone.

* a) Warning: am advised this all copper slug has been known to "blow thru" it's center, leaving the slug in the barrel.
** b) Yeah, I know, they fragment, but they still make it inside the cranial vault before they do.

3) The 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch longer barrel should give SOME, possibly vital, speed and energy to the bullet. I'd guestimate a minimum of 50 fps. I'd very much like to check the difference out between 2 or 2 1/2 inch and 4" out.

4) As it's rimless, the magazine can hold an extra round over the 22. BTW, the mags are so small, you haven't an excuse to not carry a second on you.

There was a 25 magnum centerfire in development for the Lewis-like American 180/Erma full-auto rifles. As I recall, however, the plant was caught stamping post-ban manufacture receivers with pre=ban serial numbers. This was back in the Reagan era IIRC.
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Old February 18, 2001, 12:39 AM   #13
Mike Irwin
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I've got a Taurus TP-22, through which I've put about 2,200 rounds since I got it 5 years ago.

In that time, there have been ZERO failures to feed or extract, and with Winchester Wildcat ZERO failures to fire.

The only failures to fire I've had were with CCI ammo, in which about 40 percent of them wouldn't fire on the first hammer drop, but would on the second.

Over the past 15 years, I've also had FAR more dead primers in new centerfire ammo than I have had in .22 LR ammo.

My TP-22 is so reliable that I feel absolutely NO qualms about carrying it when I need a handgun that is small and very concealable.
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Old February 18, 2001, 04:58 AM   #14
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The "King of Mice" is the .22Mag . From a sub-2" barrel you can pull 1,200fps. I've never had a CCI .22Mag primer fail to go off, and they make the best short-barrel .22Mag fodder.

True, you only get four or five shots...but the first one comes damned fast and accurate .

NAA makes the best "pocket pals" out there .

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Old February 18, 2001, 09:09 AM   #15
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The 25 hands down is more reliable than the 22. First it's center fire much more reliable than rim fire. next it's FMJ for feeding and for solid case to bullet fit it's hands down better. It's 25 caliber so it's slighty bigger. Moisture is a major player with the 22 LR the 25 is much better round for mositure. In barrels or 1 1/2 to 2 "s the 25 is the better round especially for penetration with FMJ bullets. I read above that the 25 will bounce off a persons skull. Maybe at the right angle anything can bounce off someones head. Unfortunately in my job, I have seen a 25 go through both sides of a human skull, in & out and gone. Try a test bend the bullet head and case of a 22 then try a 25. The 22 will lossen up, the 25 won't. My vote for reliablity goes for the 25 auto no question. In stopping power there is no difference if both rounds go the same depth. I don't think either of these rounds are the best for defense but if that's all you have I would go with the 25 no question.
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Old February 18, 2001, 10:28 AM   #16
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Jumping into the fray here...

...well, not really; I'm not going to dispute that .25s and .32s (centerfire) are probably going to be more reliable overall.

That being said, .22, .22 Mag, .25 and yes, even .32 are all being talked about here in the context of 'mousegun' applications. Either way you cut it, if it gets down to brass tacks you going to wish you had your 'real' gun...

Any perceived caliber advantages one has over the other will probably be lost due to the short barrel.

The .22LR's legendary ability to 'travel' along bones is a SMALL plus in it's favor. Probably doesn't mean much to the one-shot-stop disciples, but worth considering...

If somebody has decided to go with .22 for their mousegun needs, then hopefully they have enough presence of mind to figure out what truly works in their gun, and they switch out ammo regularly to help avoid calling Murphy to the scene due to primers that got moist. Nobody is saying you have to use loads off of the cheapest, dirtiest brick of ammo in town. With what's at stake, I'm sure most would not have a problem with investing good money (for .22 ammo) in either reputable high-vels or even competition-grade ammo to count on in their mouse. This is what *I* do...

If you feel like it's just got to go 'bang', and you're worried about power, just get a lightweight .38 snub and be done with it. Problem solved. Otherwise, recognize the mouse for what it is, adjust your expectations accordingly, and go on with life. You're choosing portability over just about everything with a mouse, and you're going to have to give up something because of it.

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Old February 18, 2001, 11:22 AM   #17
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This is a very interesting thread. There was an article in a 1988 issue of "Rifle" magazine called "The Argument for Small Caliber Handguns". The writer used brass bullets turned in a lathe for both the .22 LR and .25 ACP, both would penetrate a Canadian nickel. Basically a home made version of the MSC round. In small caliber weapons penetration is the key. If it does not penetrate to vital organs, it will not stop. The .25 ACP was designed to be reliable in a small pistol. A centerfire has a greater potential of reliablity than a rimfire in a small pistol.
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Old February 18, 2001, 11:41 AM   #18
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I own representative samples of most of the small guns mentioned here. Personally, I'll take my Keltec P32 or NAA Guardian in a heartbeat over the NAA mini-revolver shooting Mags. Yes, I also have the mini-revolver with a 1 5/8" barrel. There is no comparison in "shootability" between the mini-revolver and the small semi-autos. I don't consider the .25 to be a worthwhile addition to the mix with the abundant variety of small .32ACP pistols that are now available.
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Old February 18, 2001, 12:52 PM   #19
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Someone needs to make a .25acp with a 30 grain full metal case and push the velocity, this would get one closer.
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