What is 25 ACP?
The 25 Automatic Colt Pistol, or 25 ACP, is one of John Browning‘s lesser known creations. It is a 25 caliber centerfire pistol cartridge that usually shoots projectiles between 30 and 50 grains in weight.
The 25 ACP was designed back in 1905 for Fabrique Nationale’s Pocket Pistol. The little pistol was meant for vest pockets and to be an extremely concealable self-defense option.
While not nearly as popular today as they once were, the 25 Auto remains popular enough that most major ammunition manufacturers still produce its ammo.
These guns were blowback operated, and was capable of fitting almost anywhere on the body. In terms of concealability it doesn’t get much better.
Where things start to take a downward turn, is in 25 ACP Ballistics.
25 ACP Ballistics:
This first 25 ACP ballistics chart shows Hornady Critical Defense 35 grain FTX tested out of a 2″ barrel and a 25 yard zero:
|Muzzle||50 YDS||100 YDS|
This next 25 Auto ballistics chart shows Federal American Eagle 50 grain full metal jacket loads out of a 2 inch barrel and a 25 yard zero:
|Muzzle||50 YDS||100 YDS|
Is the 25 ACP Deadly?
Yes, the 25 Auto can be deadly, as getting shot with any gun can be. The 25 ACP fires a 25 caliber projectile at roughly 900 feet per second which is fast enough to penetrate 10 to 12 inches into a an attacker’s body with the right ammo.
The hollow points in 25 ACP generally don’t penetrate far enough, but create a bigger wound channel at a shallower depth. A defender has to decide which is more important, penetration or wound width. Ideally you want both, and that’s how it is with the more capable calibers.
Guns in 25 ACP don’t usually get both.
Is 25 ACP good for self-defense?
Not really. While the 25 ACP can technically stop an attacker, it’s not the ideal self-defense cartridge. It does not have the energy nor the frontal mass needed to effectively stop an attack from continuing.
That said, if you have a gun chambered in 25 ACP and need to defend yourself, you’d always use what you have. It should not be your first choice, however.
With the exception of magnum revolver cartridges, like 327 Federal, 380 ACP should likely be the smallest caliber you use for a primary self-defense weapon.
Are there guns still made in 25 Auto?
Yes, there are still some gun manufacturers, like L.W. Seecamp Co., who make these little guns, new. I don’t have a ton of experience with them, but have heard pretty good things.
The 25 Auto is a little cartridge that can be used as a backup defensive weapon and in deep concealment because of the small stature of the guns they’re chambered in.
For more handgun ballistics charts, push that link.