.25 ACP squirrel rifle


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bernie
December 13, 2004, 10:06 PM
I posted an earlier thread asking about the .22 hornet as a squirrel rifle. I really tend to agree that this is a little bit too much for a squirrel gun. But I really want a squirrel gun that I can handload for. The .25 ACP would fill this bill but I do not even know if it has ever been made in a rifle. Does anybody know of a .25 ACP rifle? Also, has anyone ever loaded .25 ACP ammo and what kind of accuracy is possible. Thanks.

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Coltdriver
December 13, 2004, 10:15 PM
Get a hornet and down load it!

Art Eatman shoots em with down loaded 30 06 rounds!

I would look at a .223 myself just because when you get tired of squirrels you can reach out a bit with it and take bigger varmints. But you can definitely put hornet 35 grain bullets in a .223! Hell a .22 is up to a 40 grain bullet.

Preacherman
December 13, 2004, 10:25 PM
I doubt very much whether the powder capacity of the .25 ACP is sufficient to let it take advantage of a longer barrel. Given that the usual barrel length for these guns is less than 3", and the minimum legal barrel on a rifle is 16", I suspect you would actually get a lower muzzle velocity out of a rifle than you would out of a pistol!

I think that downloading a larger round is the way to go, or alternatively go to something like the .17 HMR or the .17 Mach II. (Yes, I know you can't reload for the .17 caliber, but if you don't want to download, I think this will be at least a manageable solution.)

Onmilo
December 13, 2004, 10:45 PM
In theory a .25 acp rifle can be made up.
In reality it wouldn't be worth the effort and expense.
If you really want to build a rifle in .25 acp I would suggest one of the Navy Arms baby rolling blocks in .357 magnum or .22 hornet as the base platform using a Shilen or Douglas .25 1 in 9 or 1 in 10 barrel blank.

Gifted
December 13, 2004, 10:51 PM
I was going to say, Preacherman, from what I've heard of the .25ACP, I wasn't even sure you could use it in a rifle.

Jim Watson
December 13, 2004, 11:11 PM
.32 rim and centerfire were mighty good small game cartridges. Wouldn't be too hard to have a .32 S&W long rifle made up. Custom barrel on a Contender Carbine would do it.

Gordon
December 13, 2004, 11:18 PM
Well I have a Stevens Favorite in .32 S&W long. I have a couple .25 Stevens rimfire single shots stashed (ammo long gone ) with converting them to .25ACP in mind! Would take a reamer in .25acp and a modifaction of breechblock fireing pin to centerterfire like my Stevens has.You CAN pick up .25 Stevens guns MUCH cheaper than .22lr because of ammo problem. I think a 60 grain lead flat point at just sub sonic velocity would be neat. Oh there's always reduced loads in a .25-20 huh? :rolleyes:

Onmilo
December 13, 2004, 11:36 PM
Speaking of Stevens .25 rimfires, I have relined a couple of these to .22 long rifle and got them back to shooting.
You might be able to alter the breechblock to centerfire but I doubt the work would last very long, those blocks and frames are awful soft, malleable iron.
Rebarrelling one of the Varner reproductions would be an option but again the cost would outweigh the justification of the project.
Those Navy Arms rolling blocks can be found for $300.00 or less if one looks hard enough.

JeFF D
December 14, 2004, 02:13 AM
I saw one of those Romanian Trainers in .22lr that had been converted to .25acp. Though It was quite a while ago, I cant remember where I saw it.

JA
December 14, 2004, 03:01 AM
A 50gr fmj at 800fps sounds like they would be a pretty good squirrel load and wouldn't ruin any meat. This data with the Hornady 35gr XTP bullet looks like a real squirrel getter.
http://www.speer-bullets.com/pdf/ReloadingSupplementalDATA/25_auto.pdf
A 25acp fired out of a 16" barrel should be pretty quiet.
The only rub I see is where to get a barrel for the 25acp as it uses .251" bullets and all the 25 caliber rifles use .257" bullets.

chevrofreak
December 14, 2004, 04:15 AM
Get a chamber insert for a .25-06 or something.

griz
December 14, 2004, 07:06 PM
You could get a 25 ACP barrel for a Contender if you can live with a single shot. I like the idea myself, but could not use it in my county because of game laws. You could also use cast bullets so that would be about as cheap as you could possibly reload a cartridge since the 25 only uses about a grain or two of powder.

A writer I haven't heard much from lately, John Wotters, made up a 25 cal wildcat on a 222 case a while back. He wanted something around 25-20 ballistics from a rimless case to use in a bolt action. His goal was a cartridge that would handle cast bullets for small game like you have in mind, all the way up to a coyote gun. He was pleased with it. Just something to think about.

Please let us know if you try it.

444
December 14, 2004, 07:09 PM
I have been telling my friends for years that if I ever hit the lottery, I am going to pay someone to make me a full size, fully functional Thompson SMG chambered for the .25 ACP cartridge.
The main reason is that it is a senseless waste of money.

Dr.Rob
December 14, 2004, 07:13 PM
Funny thing... my Grandpa Collin's "squirrel rifle" is an aprox .25 cal Kentucky long rifle... each ball only weighs 40 grains or so.... no idea what the original powder charge was, but the darn thing weighs a ton and is 4 feet long.

Gewehr98
December 14, 2004, 07:32 PM
A .25 ACP has what, all of 10 grains case capacity? Assuming the bullet didn't stick in the rifle's bore somewhere between the chamber and muzzle, the squirrel had better be near the muzzle before the bullet just plain drops vertically to the ground. ;)

Gewehr98
December 14, 2004, 07:35 PM
Gordon, your mention of the .25 Stevens Single Shot rifles is uncanny in it's timing, especially the part about finding the ammo.

Look what I just sold on eBay not too long ago:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7116048214

Bwana John
December 14, 2004, 08:31 PM
.25 ACP ?!? A reloaders dream cartridge! You should be able to wring all kinds of extra accuracy out of that. The range of approprate powders! And the selection of bullets!

I like the idea of the .25 cal muzzleloader. Then you can still "handload" it.

P.S.-.22 long rifle, .22lr, .22lr, .22lr, .22lr, .22lr......

shoobe01
December 14, 2004, 09:47 PM
I am not /even/ gonna look up the comparitive ballistics. I am sure a .22 LR can do the trick.

Partly this is because many/most .22 LR guns can also shoot Longs, Shorts, CBs and probably something else I have not heard of.

If CB is too much gun for it, a gun is too much for it.

Speaking of which, I have been shot (E.R., etc.) by a BB gun that was WAY more powerful than a .22 CB. You could also get a decent pellet gun instead.

oneshooter
December 14, 2004, 10:12 PM
32 H&R Mag , Rolling Block action,16" bbl

Onmilo
December 14, 2004, 10:30 PM
Long time coming but Marlin finally got around to making a .32 magnum rifle.
Too bad it has a heavy octagon barrel and a full magazine.
I always thought they should have made the 1894CL in .32 magnum.
22" tapered round barrel and a half magazine in a very versatile caliber, hmmmm.

SkyDaver
December 15, 2004, 08:46 AM
Didn't think this was worth its own thread ...

What does the 'CB' stand for in the .22 CB?

Okiecruffler
December 15, 2004, 09:36 AM
This was played with on the specialty pistol board not too long back. Seemed some people thought a 10 inch 25acp Contender barrel would be fun to play with. Problem is, no one we could find makes a barrel with a .251 bore. Still kinda a neat idea.

Sistema1927
December 15, 2004, 09:45 AM
CB = "Conical Bullet"

Vern Humphrey
December 15, 2004, 10:45 AM
Quote:
-------------------------------
If you really want to build a rifle in .25 acp I would suggest one of the Navy Arms baby rolling blocks in .357 magnum or .22 hornet as the base platform
------------------------------

Leave it in .357 Magnum, and load .38 Special wadcutters -- a 148 grain wadcutter loaded over 2.7 grains of Bullseye is my favorite load in my Colt M357. From a 6" barrel, it kills squirrels with authority.

JA
December 15, 2004, 09:53 PM
Here you go SkyDaver,
http://www.dnrws.com/flobert.html

Lee F
December 15, 2004, 09:55 PM
bernie,
Here's the best option. Get a Marlin 1894 Cowboy in 32 H&R Mag. You can single feed 32 Smith & Wessons or 32 Smith & Wesson Longs if the 32 Mag is too much gun for the intended target. If a coyote or deer should decide to wander within 25 yards of your squirrel hunt the full power 32 Mag. should point out the error of their ways.

http://www.reloadbench.com/cartridges/p32hr.html

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/leverActionCB_rifles/1894Cowboy-32.htm

ToxicSports
December 16, 2004, 01:01 AM
bernie,

I've been in the same trek as you for some time. What brought it on was an article several years ago in the August '96 Guns and Ammo.

The Article was called "The Thirty-Foot Barrel" in the "Technical Side" section.

Being one who needs to see the act in person to believe it I took the article with a grain of salt. Then again, it may be true. I'm not saying it is or isn't. I'm just telling you what I read.

Here's the rundown of the article:

The Author wanted to see how long of a barrel was needed to stop a Lead .32 S&W 85gr bullet. The article stressed pure Lead instead of jacketed ammo. He and Bo Clerke (of Clerke barrels) used .32 rifled tubing and it took thirty feet of connected tubing to completely stop the bullet.

They conclusion was that the maximum velocity of around 805fps was reached at 25 inches not feet and stayed there up to 40 inches. The velocity of the bullet was 800fps out of a 20" barrel.

If this is true, then a rifle chambered in .25acp or even .32acp would be a nice little critter getter.

Thirties
December 16, 2004, 07:45 AM
"Long time coming but Marlin finally got around to making a .32 magnum rifle."

The only problem is that Marlin still has not got round to making this gun. So far, it is vapor ware. I've had one on order since last spring. They are nowhere to be found.

Anyone got any news on the proposed .32mag 1894 levers?

mini14jac
December 16, 2004, 04:23 PM
When I was about 12 years old I watched a grown up empty his little pocket .25 auto at a squirrel in a tree.
He was just standing under the tree and firing.
He would fire, the squirrel would jump to another branch, he would fire again, etc.
We thought he was just missing it.

Finally a friend's Dad came out with his .22 rifle and dropped the squirrel with one shot.
When we examined it, there were five holes from the .25 acp in it! :what:

The guy was an awesome shot with his tiny gun, but it didn't have enough oomph! to do the job.

Based on that experience alone, I wouldn't want to use a .25 any living creature. :uhoh:

Vern Humphrey
December 16, 2004, 04:31 PM
If I were looking for the ideal squirrel cartridge, I wouldn't pick the .25 Auto.

First of all, the .22 LR is about as good a squirrel catridge as it gets -- with Winchester Wal Mart special hollowpoints, I get all the authority I need -- and perhaps a bit too much. So a step up in power really isn't warranted.

Next, while I see the attraction of a "reloadable .22 LR," prices for .22 LR are so low you can't possibly beat them by handloading -- you can get a completely loaded .22 LR round for about the price of a primer, alone.

Third, an increase in caliber is an increase in mass, and in the momentum-to-drag ratio. A .25 caliber bullet fired at the same muzzle velocity as a .22 LR will carry farther. And that's a safety issue when hunting squirrels.

Fatelvis
December 16, 2004, 05:08 PM
Try a 22 Hornet with 7.5 grns 2400 under a 40 grn bullet. Neck size the brass. It is very mild, and pretty accurate.

Vern Humphrey
December 16, 2004, 05:58 PM
I may try that load -- I'll have to pick up some FMJs or cast bullets. I've always wanted to try reduced loads in the Hornet as a squirrel rifle.

When it comes to reloading the Hornet, I strongly recommend the Lee Collet Die. The collet works radially, pressing only on the neck walls. In most other dies, the case is forced into the die, with the case walls taking the stress. pulling the expander ball back through the neck also affects the case.

I like to put two washers on the shell holder -- the collet die works when the inner body of the die (the collet itself) contacts the shell holder and you continue to exert pressure. By putting washers on the shell holder, you cause the collet to activate early, and size only the last 0.2" of the neck. This leaves the unsized part of the neck like a "pilot" to center the bullet in the throat.

M67
December 17, 2004, 03:10 PM
444, ...if I ever hit the lottery, I am going to pay someone to make me a full size, fully functional Thompson SMG chambered for the .25 ACP cartridge. I've seen pictures, somewhere, of a faithful replica of a Finnish Suomi subgun in I think 2/3 scale. Fully functioning, including drum magazine, chambered for .25 acp (6.35mm in Europe).

Vern Humphrey
December 17, 2004, 03:37 PM
And it would be a great squirrel rifle -- find a dozen of them playing in a tree and hose them down. :evil:

tex_n_cal
December 18, 2004, 01:35 AM
Hornady reports the .25 ACP is "not very satisfying to load for". The case is so small that a normal load is like 1.1 grains of bullseye and a +p load is 1.2 grains (don't quote me on that!).

I guess with a locked breech rifle you could go hotter, but it would still be a very fussy cartridge to load. Unless I stumbled on a really nice .25 ACP weapon, I can't see a reason to get equiped with it.

If you really want a low powered reloadable squirrel shooter, I'd suggest .32 or .36 cal muzzleloaders, gallery-style round ball loads in a .357 mag, or else be prepared to pursue some very exotic and obscure wildcats. A few years ago some guy in Handloader wrote of a mini-.22 wildcat that was a shortened version of the .221 fireball. It was a fussy deal IIRC.

I have played around with extra low powered round ball loads in the .44 mag. They were annoying, I had trouble with squibs and incomplete combustion. Half-burned Bullseye is not a good thing to find in your bore :eek: , and I haven't pursued them for several years.

Vern Humphrey
December 18, 2004, 09:53 AM
I don't know of anyone who's developed a satisfactory round-ball load for modern revolver cartridges. The best load for small game in the .38 Special/.357 category is a 148 grain wadcutter loaded ahead of about 2.7 grains of Bullseye (this is a minimum or starting load.) In my .38 Specials and .357s this gives gilt-edge accuracy, especially with a hollow-base wadcutter. And it's highly effective on small game.

BigG
December 18, 2004, 11:49 AM
I like the idea of trying to work up some "magnum" loads for the cute lil .25. A case full of compressed Bullseye would prolly be awesome... :p

mrstang01
December 18, 2004, 12:29 PM
A compadre of mine loads .357 using buckshot, but I'm not sure of the load. He says it's deadly on squirrels and very accurate.

Michael

Vern Humphrey
December 18, 2004, 01:03 PM
Quote:
--------------------------------
I like the idea of trying to work up some "magnum" loads for the cute lil .25. A case full of compressed Bullseye would prolly be awesome...
--------------------------------

Awesome is the word. :p

This reminds me of the test of the Confederate copies of the Sharps Carbine. Jeb Stuart sent them back, saying powder granules would collect in crevices while loading and firing, and eventually -- KA-BOOM.

In my mind's eye, I can picture the test -- some poor Confederate Corporal with his face blackened saying, "I dunno, Ginr'al. Hit was a-shootin' jest fine and NOW look at my eyebrows!" :what:

tex_n_cal
December 18, 2004, 04:14 PM
If I found a nice Baby Browning or Colt Vest Pocket that was reasonably priced(the nice ones usually aren't) I might buy one. They are, however, a blow back action, and things might get dicey if you load too hot. I did see a mint Velo Dog(claimed) revolver a couple years ago in .25, and I suppose with no barrel ramp it coulda been loaded hotter(maybe!) - but it was still no precision piece. I can't recall any production gun in .25 ACP that would lend itself to precision shooting.

You can special order Contender carbine barrels in 9mm, with .357 bore. Being a shorter case than the .357 mag, it might work a lot better for reduced loads...if not round balls, then 148 gr wadcutters with light loads. The brass is plentiful and cheap.

Speer published a number of round ball loads for the .44 mag, which I've tried, but they worked erratically for me. I always thought the .44 Special, or .44 Russian cases would work better for light loads, with their reduced capacities.

Vern Humphrey
December 18, 2004, 04:23 PM
I'd look at cartridges other than the .25 ACP for a squirrel gun. I've mentioned powder-puff loads for the .38 Special/.357. Others have mentioned the .32 H&R Magnum.

Of course, the classic small game centerfire cartridges are the .32-20 and the .25-20.

Hodgdon even lists some very mild loads for the .30 Carbine -- a 100 grain Sierra plinker (lead gas check) at 800 to 1100 fps.

It seems to me all of these would be beter choices than the .25 ACP for a reloadable small game cartridge.

Fiveshooter
December 18, 2004, 04:38 PM
I know people like different things. Lord knows I like strange guns but as long as we have accurate guns in .22LR I think the .25 ACP squirrel rifle seems like an answer to a problem that does not exist. :)

Vern Humphrey
December 18, 2004, 05:06 PM
I have to agree there -- but as the man said when the monkey ate the soap, there's no accounting for taste. :)

BigG
December 18, 2004, 05:40 PM
tex_n_cal: My comment about spicing up the 25 ACP loadings was assuming a locked breech rifle action, not a blowback vest pocket pistol. :what: :)

mainmech48
December 19, 2004, 03:04 PM
A .357 carbine with .38 Spl. LSW loads or the homemade equivalent works just dandy. No 'crack' to the report like you get with most high vel .22s and the other critters don't seem to stay 'spooked' as long after hearing the shot.

The most 'fun' squirrel gun that I ever had was an old Martini Cadet that'd been converted from .310 to .32 S&W Long. Quiet, accurate and deadly to 50 yds with very little meat damage. Wish I'd never traded it away (heavy sigh!).

Vern Humphrey
December 19, 2004, 03:24 PM
Quote:
--------------------------------------
A .357 carbine with .38 Spl. LSW loads or the homemade equivalent works just dandy. No 'crack' to the report like you get with most high vel .22s and the other critters don't seem to stay 'spooked' as long after hearing the shot.

The most 'fun' squirrel gun that I ever had was an old Martini Cadet that'd been converted from .310 to .32 S&W Long. Quiet, accurate and deadly to 50 yds with very little meat damage. Wish I'd never traded it away (heavy sigh!).
----------------------------------------

Those Martini Cadets used to be common -- you could buy them mail order for peanuts. I wish I had had the foresight to get one!

What we need is a low-cost, centerfire, single shot action that we can modify to our hearts' content. I think I'd try something like .32 S&W in about a 20" barrel, with a tang sight.

JA
December 19, 2004, 05:47 PM
In a bolt,break open,or falling block action rifle you could load a little hotter than standard 25acp loads. But if you wanted a hot .25 then this should do it.

http://www.ammo-one.com/25NAA.html

http://www.naaminis.com/25NAA.html

Brian Williams
December 19, 2004, 10:47 PM
isn't there a 25 acp necked down to 22????
What is the 22 cooper

Vern Humphrey
December 20, 2004, 09:10 AM
The .22 Cooper as I understand it, is a centerfire version of the .22 WMR. The first cases were lathe-turned by Red Willow.

RandyB
December 21, 2004, 01:39 PM
I agree with MM48 et al. on the .38 loaded for squirrel. I have used a 100 grain and 148 grain wadcutter in both handgun and rifle to hunt squirrel and with head shots no problem.

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