Is A 25 Caliber Good For Self Defense?

Pistol Concealed in a Man's Waistband | Is a 25 Caliber Good for Self Defense?| Featured

There is a lot of debate around the 25 caliber – whether it qualifies as a functional self-defense gun or not. To put this to rest, here is everything you need to know about the .25 Auto.

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Everything You Need to Know About the 25 Caliber

What Is a .25 Caliber?

Caliber 025 automatic ammu 25 Caliber SS

A .25 ACP or caliber is a straight-walled and semi-rimmed centerfire pistol cartridge. It was introduced in 1905 by John Browning, together with the Fabrique Nationale M1905 pistol.

Which Is the Best 25ACP Pistol?

1906 Browning pistol FN Model 1906 25 Caliber SS

Photo by Roman Belogorodov /

The best options for the .25 are guns that have not been in production for a long time. However, the Beretta 950 and Baby Browning are the two that are often highly regarded.

Which Is the Best 25 Caliber Rifle?

Automatic rifle ammo 25 Caliber SS

That has to be 25 caliber cartridges. Take a closer look at the .257 Weatherby Magnum if you are considering purchasing an ultra-long-range rifle. It is one of Roy Weatherby’s best creations and undoubtedly the best in the ultra-long-range cartridges category.

What Is the Difference between a 25ACP and a 22 Long Rifle?

22 ammunition in pile on a board 25 Caliber SS

Besides the noticeable differences in caliber and diameters, the 22-long rifle is rimmed while the 25 caliber is semi-rimmed. Secondly, the 25 ACP is a centerfire, while the 22 long rifle is rimfire.

Why Is a 25 Caliber More Reliable Than a 22 Long Rifle?

22 mm bullets and target shooting 25 Caliber SS 1

Being a centerfire, the 25 ACP is, therefore, a more reliable caliber than the 22-long-rifle. This is especially so because semi-rimmed calibers are better used with autoloaders, especially those from around 1905 when the caliber was invented.

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RELATED: Best Self-Defense Caliber Handguns

What Is the Power Difference between the 25ACP and the 22 Caliber?

Shooting and Weapons Training 25 Caliber SS

When fired from a long rifle barrel, the 22 LR is slightly more powerful, the .25 caliber. However, when fired from a smaller gun and with similar hollow-point ammo, there is a minimal difference margin as far as power is concerned.

However, due to its centerfire-case design, the 25 ACP is seen as a better option for personal defense handguns. Nonetheless, .25 bullets have higher velocities than the standard full metal jacket loads.

Why Is the 25ACP Not as Popular Today?

Small black gun compact handgun 25 Caliber SS

This is because there are only a few companies today still manufacture 25 caliber handguns. However, there is still a relatively large variety of this ammunition. It is, however, not as readily available as the 22-long-rifle or any other.

Note: It has limited options for defense rounds.

Which One Is More Deadly between a .25ACP and a 22 Long Rifle?

Modern gun and old revolver | 25 caliber handgun

Photo by vitalikaladdin /

Well, both calibers are lethal and will neutralize any human or animal threat. The 25 caliber is, however, derided as unreliable compared to other small caliber alternatives. But as long as you are keen on which part you shoot, it is as reliable as the 22 calibers.

Note: Not aiming for vital organs when using the .25ACP for defense might take longer to incapacitate the threat.

Where Can One Get .25acp Ammunition?

Placerville, Half empty shelves of reloading die boxes at a gun shop | Is a 25 Caliber Good for Self Defense?

Since the caliber is not as common these days, its only makes sense that you need to look far and wide for the ammo. Even worse, the option for defensive rounds is quite limited.
However, looking for the ammo in stores with guns from the early 90s is your best chance at finding the ammo.

What if One Used 22 Long Rifle Ammo in a .25 Caliber?

Small self loading pistol PSM 5.45 25 Caliber SS

The 25 Auto is all centerfire ammo. Therefore, any gun designed for it cannot fire a 22-long rifle. This because the firing pin cannot touch the rimfire primer on the .22 long rifle.

Note: You can, however, fire smaller diameter ammo if you first load it in a . 25 ACP case.

Why Choose the .25ACP for Personal Defense?

Person is hiding a handgun 25 Caliber SS

Even with all the debate going around, there are still reasons to choose the .25 caliber:

Firstly, it is best suited for use in autoloaders. No one has the time to keep reloading their gun when with a threat.

Secondly, it is the best option for people who are not as good with guns. Being an autoloader, it will keep firing until the trigger is released, something a novice can pull off.

Thirdly, since the primer is set above the cartridge base, the 25 caliber casings are not rendered useless after firing. As a result, the cartridge carries heavier projectiles allowing for more accurate shots, especially over long distances. The makes the .25ACP more reliable than the 22.

Lastly, the .25 caliber is made for small pistols, which everyone needs for a defense gun due to the ease of concealing.

Watch this video by Paul Harrell on which is better in a pocket gun, a .25 ACP or a .22 Long Rifle?

Do you think a 25 caliber is viable for self defense?

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The 25 caliber is still short of meeting the 12-inch penetration requirement of the FBI to qualify for personal defense. However, most people are okay with neutralizing the threat, which the .25ACP is capable of doing. 

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6 Responses to :
Is A 25 Caliber Good For Self Defense?

  1. The knowledgeable gun owner says:

    This article is FULL of inaccuracies. If you are using a .25 for defense, then you better be able to do one of two things great: 1) ALWAYS hit someone in the head with EVERY shot or 2) Be able to outrun EVERY thug that you encounter. These are the only two things that will keep you even possibly alive if you carry a .25 gun!! Personally, I think the author is RECKLESS in his advice, and I would recommend that you disregard his every word! Best gun for self defense: .45 or .357. Superior stopping power to a 9MM, with equal or LESS recoil and greater concealability in subcompact models. But a .25?? You’re almost better off with a baseball bat and a knife!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Being an autoloader, it will keep firing until the trigger is released, something a novice can pull off.

    This is a false statement

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