Rimfire vs. Centerfire


July 22, 2003, 04:19 PM
Last weekend was looking at a semi-auto mousegun, and commented that I'd rather have it .25ACP. The guy immediately replied that the .22 was more powerful. I'm wondering...

I can handload the .25, going up the limits of the particular piece's internal ballistics.

I've rarely had centerfire cartridges misfire. I've seen that a lot more with rimfires.

Any other thoughts?

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July 22, 2003, 04:33 PM
Went through this discussion with myself a year ago, when I need to get the wife something she'd carry.

Went with the Beretta M21, .22 LR.

Both rounds are at about the same power level, too low, but I suspect that the .22 will have better penetration.,

Next, I'm thinking of a P32, and, in checking the books found out that you don't want to reload the little things. Can be done, but its a pain. I imagine that the brass would be just a bit hard to find after firing, too. Even if you did reload the .25, unless you've a locked breach weapon, you'll not significantly better the factory load.

Finally, I strongly suspect that you couldn't load the .25 for less than the .22's cost.

As for failures to fire, I don't recall any in the .22s I own. FTF or FTE were demonstrated by the Beretta, until I was trained as to which ammo it likes, but I've had zero problems ever with the Nylon 66 and an equally old High Standard target gun.

Mike Irwin
July 22, 2003, 05:06 PM
It's funny.

In the last 25 years I've had FAR MORE centerfire factory rounds misfire than I have rimfire rounds.

Most have been, interestingly enough, Remingtons from the green & yellow box.

Marko Kloos
July 22, 2003, 05:09 PM
The .25 has the centerfire reliability on its side, although modern rimfire ammo tends to be boringly reliable. The .22 has a much lower ammo cost per round, and the modern HV loads in .22 can be hotter than factory .25 stuff. At the very least, you'll be able to practice more with the .22.

I like the .25ACP because I love one of its best launching platforms, the Beretta Jetfire. If that gun was available in .22LR, and as reliable in that caliber as the .25 Jetfire, I'd pick the rimfire variant just for the lower ammo cost.

Old Fuff
July 22, 2003, 05:37 PM
Many people who judge the .22 LR to be more powerful then the .25ACP are looking at the .22's performance out of a rifle, not a pistol with a 2.5 to 3.0 inch barrel. While .22 rimfire cartridges have become more reliable they still don't match a .25 because the centerfire primer doesn't require the same impact as a thicker rimfire case rim. This can be critical in a striker-fired vest-pocket pistol. Obviously .22's cost less. However this in itself is a questionable basis to use in picking something to defend yourself with. Reliability - both in ignition and feeding - should always be the deciding factor, and here the .25 has the edge.

July 22, 2003, 05:51 PM
FWIW, if I could have my way, she'd be carrying her .38 S&W, which has both more power and and better reliability than any mouse gun.

Sometimes, though, you have to take what you can get.

Besides, her orders are to stick in as close to an eye as she can get and simply keep pulling the trigger.

Neither caliber is acceptable as a defensive arm, but you pay your money and you take your chances.

July 22, 2003, 06:13 PM
the main factor for many folks in deciding between the .22lr and the .25acp is cost...you shoot better when you shoot more

but i'm firmly convinced about the superiority of ther .25acp (reliability, power, penetration) in a mouse gun. my favorite is the baby browning closely followed by the beretta jetfire

July 22, 2003, 06:40 PM
A little Walther PPK clone that has had a diet of hypervelocity (Aguila & some Stingers) loadings since I bought it. The barrel is 3.25" and the Hypervelocity loads chrono an average of 1,250fps Fifteen Feet from the muzzel = more than adequate to both expand and penetrate at -7yd range.
I don't know how the .25ACP with it's little FMJ bullet does at comparable ranges although a pawnbroker internet buddy of mine used one to save his life during a sword attack that left him with 4 really bad stabwounds = he shot his attacker 4 times (fatally) in the head at point blank range as the BG was pulling the sword out of his chest for another slice:mad: :eek:
A pawnshop full of loaded weapons and all he could get to after the surprise continuing series of stabbings was the .25 Beretta in his pocket... He blead a LOT, but he survived.:rolleyes:
Mouseguns are close range last ditch weapons, as such I hope I have one on me if someone takes me for a victem:fire:

July 22, 2003, 06:58 PM

You never said what you wanted the thing to do --- I'd suspect defense .....

First off, reloading a .25 ACP, you'll need tweezers ;-) - it's a very tiny piece of brass ... & for what you spend on dies, etc., you canbuy a boat-load of .22LR bricks ....

... & really, for what the .25 ACP gives you, I would always choose the .22LR rim fire - in a revolver.

Best off, if I want to choose a "mouse-gun" for defensive purposes, I'd go with a revolver straight off so as to elimitate any misfire problems - you want every round to go bang & no hint of re-racking any slide. A revolver only needs another pull of the trigger.

Consider though that any projectile "stops the threat" by either a CNS hit (fairly immediate) or through blood loss (takes some time & you may be there for a while dealing with that problem ... )

Neither are classed in the defensive class, but a .22 LR revolver would be better (in my mind) than any .25 ACP

July 22, 2003, 07:48 PM
.22 or .25, the difference is not worth worrying about. Neither is sufficient for self defence, both are sufficient for just messing around. No prudent person would depend on either one if their butt was on the line.

Art Eatman
July 22, 2003, 08:11 PM
I sure wouldn't want a mousegun as my primary, but they're sometimes all you can hide. I have a .25ACP "Lilliput", from the 1920s in Germany. Talk about small!

I prefer the NAA 5-shot mini-revolver in .22WMR, with a 3" barrel. Nasty little thing, and is easily hidden.

:), Art

Hot brass
July 23, 2003, 12:27 PM
Story years ago of a wife who had the daughters boyfriend go into the bedroom and shoot daddy in the head with a .25acp as he slept. The bullet bounced off daddy`s head and up daddy came at the teenage boyfriend. Daddy called the police. Mommie, daughter, daughters boyfriend all got new homes, paid for by the state.

For me, pocket gun = .22 mag.

July 23, 2003, 12:56 PM
It's all antectodal, but I've heard many cases of people getting killed or nearly killed by .22 LR, but very few from .25 ACP. OTOH, I have heard of the .25 ACP bouncing off bone. Chuck Hawks has this analysis:


July 23, 2003, 01:09 PM
.25 Autos are a lot of fun. I personally believe them to be more reliable than the same gun in a .22 LR although I don't have hard evidence to base that on; I have owned both and the .25s were always more reliable. I think I own three .25 Autos at the present time; A Colt, A Frasier (tiny), and a Raven. All are reliable although I have never fired them a whole lot, all are far more accurate than you would guess unless you actually gave them a chance. I have fired my Colt off a sandbagged benchrest and it shot some pretty decent groups.
I do reload for the .25 ACP, or I should say I own the equipment to reload .25 ACP and have done it, but don't do it often. I have dies and components for every caliber I own. You really can't improve on the performance of factory ammo in .25 ACP, the powder capacity is maxed out already.

Ammo cost for either caliber is a non-issue as far as I am concerned. Not very many people go out and shoot hundreds of rounds from a mouse gun. I probably shoot 50 rounds a year out of a mouse gun. Ok, maybe 100.

I have run numerous calls on persons shot with .25s and .22s, possibly as many as 50 or more. I have seen people killed with both calibers. I have also seen several people who had bullets fail to penetrate their skull. I don't know, but it may be that I have seen more people killed with these mouse guns than anything else, but then I proabably have seen more people shot with mouse guns than anything else.

July 23, 2003, 01:35 PM
Well, if we get CCW here in Misery, I'm gonna want a "summer shorts" gun. Which basically means a small package, so most revolvers are out - I hadn't thought about the NAA mini, but two-shot .22 mag deringers also come to mind... If I buy a small Taurus/Beretta, I may buy one of each caliber...

Now, are there any .32s or .380s which clock in at that size?

July 23, 2003, 02:51 PM
I really like my Kel-tec .32. I had a Taurus PT22 and loved it. It was accurate, fed reliably, but was heavier and bulkier than my .32. If I was going for a ouse gun I'd look hard at the .32's.

If I had to go with the .22 vs .25, I'd lean toward the .22 just for the cost of ammo.

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