Raven .25


Mr Bernoulli
October 31, 2010, 08:03 PM
I know where I can get a Raven .25 for $80. It is the nickel plated model. It is a cool little pistol and has a neat bit of history. What do you guys think about picking it up? Also is this a fair price do you think? The gun seems to be in great condition. The dealer told me he took it in on a trade and a deputys wife carried it for a little over a decade. Was wondering about their durability and if parts were availible if I ever needed them. Also how is the accuracy because some say they are good shooters within a certain distance and others say they can not hit the broadside of a barn from point blank. I am asking here because you guys always seem to know everything and I can not get a straight answer just looking online. Seems people either love or hate them... Let me know and hopefully you guys can point me one way or the other because I am on the fence right now...

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October 31, 2010, 08:11 PM
Have played with 4 of these over the years. Only one would make it through a magazine without a jam. None of them would hit a coke can at 7 yards.

October 31, 2010, 08:13 PM
You could not give me one....

Jed Carter
October 31, 2010, 08:26 PM
I would pass on the Raven, if you want a quality .25 get a Beretta. I have used the Raven .25 for a brief time, traded it off for a Charter Arms .38 snubnose, still have the Charter, don't miss the Raven. Raven accuracy was dismal, reliability was abysmal. I have a Beretta 950 jetfire .25, it is a SA only pistol and actually can hit the 10x at 12-15 yards. For 80 bucks you could probably get your money out of it at a gunshow, not from me, but it's worth that to someone. Make an offer, the dealer probably has $50- $60 in it.

October 31, 2010, 08:30 PM
$80? Go for it.

It's not really going to be good for much except history and ammo wasting, but I think these cheap little things are just kinda cute. :D

They remind me of simpler times I guess. My father has had one of these little clunkers for longer than I've been alive, and I like to think about what the era was like when they were made.

October 31, 2010, 08:30 PM
Forget the raven!!!!!!!!!! Pile of bleep!!!!!!!!

October 31, 2010, 08:35 PM
They are neat to have in a collection. However, please do not defend your life with it. I would trust something a tad more reliable. They are fun to shoot, and plink with, but when it comes to an intruder or other bad situation, rely on something better.

October 31, 2010, 10:26 PM
In the 80's these things sold for $45.00 NIB. I could hit a gallon milk jug with the two i had @ 20 paces and that was the absolute best i could do with them. I personally would not have one, and surely would not pay $80 for it.

October 31, 2010, 10:39 PM
Take the $80 and set it on fire. It'll result in much less frustration.

October 31, 2010, 11:57 PM
I bought one for $45, and sold it to the DC Police Department for $100 after it wouldn't feed, and I finally ruined it for good in my effort to "fix" it with a file.

Wish I had bought a shoebox full of those crummy guns.

November 1, 2010, 03:25 AM
I say buy it. They dont normaly jam with ball ammo unless the magazine is faulty (such as dented). They are easy to take down and work on if you do have an issue. Parts are everywhere and inexpensive. I will say that I actually keep mine quite clean. They run fine dirty though as long its not excesive (such as never been cleaned in 20 years). I have more than a few of these and they all work well for what they are. Accuracy is fine for what it is (Its not a target gun). The Barrels sometimes have shallow rifleing ad will keyhole. I have never experienced this, and it is rare with a Raven, But a cuople other owners I have run into had this.

The Raven design has been copied more than people realize. Jennings, Bryco, Davis, Jimenez, Cobra, and even the Hi-point are all based on the Raven. The materials used are Zamak which stands for Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium, and Copper. They are easy to carry and dont rust.

These kind of guns get bashed all the time but in truth they are fine. Fairy tales and fallacies for the most part. It is rare that they dont run. The only reason I can think of would possibly be due to ammunition (blazer aluminum cased in particular). Many 25s dont like blazer and can have problems. Another issue seems to be the fireing pin breaking but I have never broke one (I dont dry fire pistols very often). The only other issue I have heard of would be recoil and fireing pin spring replacement (Never had a problem there either though).

Pocket autos and larger designs based on the Raven are not real great candidates for carrying with a round in the chamber as they are striker fired single actions.

Dont let internet bashing fool you. It took 3 years for my gun dealer to convince me to try one as I thought they were junk too. Once I did I was sold on the simplicity of these pistols. I have shot 1000s of rounds through these guns and never had a major issue. The same cannot be said of some of the other high dollar 25s (IE Beretta, Browning Baby, Taurus Etc.).

If you buy it the first thing you need to do is clean it very well. Some of these guns have not been made in a very long time and the factory oil can turn into what seems like shelac. Combine that with old carbon deposits, pocket lint etc. and you can have issues. Best thing to do is to disasemble, soak it in something like alchohol, and find and old toothbrush to scub it down. Clean the barrel and take it out for a test fire. If its running a little rough for you they are easy to fluff and buff. I F&B these just for the fun of it sometimes.

Anyway, theres my thought on the Raven. They are actually one of My favorite guns believe it or not. Pretty much a model of simplicity. I Should say that I own a lot of other High Dollar guns as well ( Gun Snobbery is childish behavior that I dont understand).

November 1, 2010, 03:39 AM
Ravens are made of cheap metal and jam. I would try to get the guy down lower than 80 bucks for a raven. That is a little high. 80 dollars buys a lot of ammo these days just to feed the guns I have. You might be able to spend a little over 100 bucks for a cheap revolver in the paper like a rossi or a taurus.

I'd personally only pay 50 or 60 tops for a raven new. That's me. No way would I carry it or trust it. 25 auto ammo is expensive too. Where I am from it was a good gun to carry 'illegally' and get forfeited to the police at one time if you wished to do so because you didn't want to pay the money for a license/permit. Then again, I always thought those folks could have gotten an old Rossi snub to carry 'illegally' to risk getting seized and at least know it would go bang.

For a fun gun, hey nothing wrong with that if you don't mind buying 25 auto ammo. No one can have too many toys.

November 1, 2010, 04:14 AM
$80 is pretty good if its in excellent condition. They go for les on the internet but you factor in $25 for shipping and $20-$25 for a transfer and your actually coming out quite well.

The "cheap metal" is really irrelevant all things considered. The gun was designed for the materials it uses and is well up to dealing with the preasures of a 25 caliber blowback. Jamming is usually a result of owner negligence.

Ravens were popular back up and undercover guns for LE back in the 70s.

Buy one and I think you will be surprised. Guns have cult followings for a reason. Although these pistols were demonized for being in the hands of criminals many, many more were purchased by law abiding citizens for over 30years.

Listen to owners and those with experience on these types of pistols. They also suprisingly hold there value very well. Understand its limitations. First being that it is 25acp. Ammo is not ultra cheap. Understand that once in a while they are a little rough (they retailed between $40-$100). At worst you might have to do some very simple fluff and buff with some abrasive paper, cutips, and a little metal polish.

Would I take one over my Beretta Elite.......No. But for a sub $100 pocket auto they are an exceptional value.

November 1, 2010, 04:46 AM
For me ? That $80.00 would be better spent on Ammo(Presuming you have another firearm?) But , If you have your heart set on that firearm .....,, and have done your homework on the issues it may .. or may not have .. then go for it .

Mr Bernoulli
November 1, 2010, 12:56 PM
wow you guys seem to either love or hate it too lol... I know its definately not a long range gun but how is its accuracy say at 5 and 10 yds. Im looking for it as a fun gun etc so its just a toy not something I would only carry and trust my life too etc... So with this new consideration what do you guys say because I am still torn...

gun addict
November 1, 2010, 01:27 PM
umm..........i dont know why the poster up there loves Raven so much, the fact that it's copied by Bryco, JEnning and Highpoint dosnt make the thing impressive at all :banghead:

maybe it's just me but $80 is still alot in today's economy. I can think of tons of better stuff to get for $80, hell for that price you can even buy a Russian Nagant revolver with REAL HISTORY and will NOT frustrate you. For $60 more you can get a Polish P64 made with real milled steel and will actually work as a CCW

That sheriff that gave his wife the Raven is clearly not a very loving husband

and i'll ask, what's the source behind that Raven are undercover's favorite "backup" weapon? Show me the link/page

November 1, 2010, 02:57 PM
When Ravens first hit the scene they were pretty highly touted for back ups and undercover work. You have to look for some very old gun magazines from the 70s for the literature.

The Brycos, Jennings, lorcin and highpoint work fine too they can just be a little rougher and need a little more F&B than Ravens (Particularly Lorcins). Sometimes the higher calibers in the 380 and 9mm range can have problems. High points dont but they slightly modified the design to take on the preasures in 9mm,40, and 45.

Ravens have a lot of history too just not military. Ravens had a huge impact on the gun industry. Look at the sales numbers over the years combined with other similar makers. Hi-point is one of the best selling guns in America. To think that these guns dont have history is beyond ignorant (not directing this statement at anyone).

I appreciate all gun designs and dont put ravens up there with top tier manufacturers but I enjoy them for what they are. A low cost, well designed, brilliantly simple, Reliable pocket auto with acceptable accuracy for personal defense.

Never understood the hatred a little Zamak 25acp can generate. If you want to hate there are plenty of other guns to direct your anger IE Rogak, Accutek, Talon, Clerk etc. Those guns have real issues. Some of which can never be remedied. They are not all cheap either.

November 1, 2010, 11:37 PM
Stay away, it was made for people who could not affford anything better.

November 2, 2010, 02:04 AM
Do you own one? Have you shot one? If so how much? Have you worked on them?

Post like that where your essentially saying they were made for poor people with no money show a level of character that in the end does not aid in the speading of credible information to those inquiring about a product. In the end it is a diservice to those who are interested in useful feedback from those who have experience with such a design.

These one liners bashing products are childish behavior on the part of gun owners. Playground mentality.

Buck Snort
November 2, 2010, 02:47 AM
Several years ago in Modesto, CA a jewler killed a robber with a .25 ACP so it can be done but for my money something with considerably more WHALLOP is a worthwhile investment.

November 2, 2010, 04:45 AM
I will have to back Starling on this one. I received a Raven as boot in a truck trade back in 72 and it has been with me ever since. It has never had a FTF, FTE or jam of any kind with probably 1,000 rounds through it over the years. I wish I could say that about the other 8 autos I own.:)

November 2, 2010, 07:41 AM
I also agree with Starling. But mention a Raven here and you will get blasted.
Heck, mention ANYTHING here and SOMEONE will blast it. How does the song go? "Everybody doesn't like something". :D

You didn't mention which type of Raven you are looking at. Early P25 with the big safety? Later P25? MP25? The last model Phoenix/Raven MP25?

Mr Bernoulli, I am sending you a private message.

November 2, 2010, 10:40 AM
Not blasting. I simply recounted my experience with 4 of them. 3 were grossly unreliable and none of them were even accurate enough for their intended role of close range self defense.

With the number of these sold, I have no doubt there may be some good examples out there. I have not seen one.

Given that 25acp ammunition is more expensive than 9mm and right up there with .40, I don't really see buying one as a plinker. Given the reputation for the round in defensive situations, I don't see buying one to bet my life on.

November 2, 2010, 10:47 AM
check out the cost of .25 ammo before you buy

Mr Bernoulli
November 2, 2010, 12:56 PM
I believe that it is a old P-25 because I am almost sure that it has the big slide serrations but the safety is the little sliding switch. One thing that I do not quite understand is everyone keeps saying ammo is expensive. It is a little more expensive than magnum rimfire rounds and you can reload it... So I do not think this is a huge factor for me plus I don't think this is something if I get it would be something I shot all of the time.

November 2, 2010, 01:10 PM
I have the Raven 25 that my dad bought new in 1978. He gave $43.00 for it. I have been the only one to shoot it. I put a whopping 15 rounds through it. It is a safe queen. It is not worth squat, and I only have it because dad passed on. So it is a keeper. I think a butcher knife would make a better defensive weapon then this thing.

November 2, 2010, 01:31 PM
It is what it is. I would imagine that people who have "trouble" with an older Raven .25, have trouble with most if not all of their semi-automatic handguns.
I used to have two of them and they were reliable. I shoot S&B ammo in the one I kept and it has never FTF or any thing else. I am not a good shot with it but my son can hit very well at 21 ft.
The first one I had was a smooth running little gun with the fake pearl grips. I sold it back to my sister in law once she got back on her feet financially.
The one I kept is like new and has never malfunctioned. I carry it for snakes and such while mowing the lawn or just puttering around the place.
They are super easy to clean. One of mine needed a little burr or two filed from the slide, although it didn't affect the operation of the piece.
If you need a tiny little weapon, the choice of one infamous executioner, then $80.00 ain't bad if it is as reliable as the ones with which I have experience.
The executioner of which I speak didn't use a Raven, but did use the .25 auto round, placed to the back of the head, one shot.
I have heard people call the .25 a contact gun meaning you might want to be able to place the gun against the threat and pull the trigger.
If it is in good condition 80 ain't bad.
This is only my opinion, based on 1000's of trouble free rounds through my old used Ravens. I make a great baby sitting gun. (against close in threats, not the babies):eek:

Russ Jackson
November 2, 2010, 01:40 PM
They are better used as an object to throw at an attacker. Possibly one of the worst guns ever made. Top 5 anyway...Russ

November 2, 2010, 01:59 PM
I got a Raven/Jennings MP-25. It has never jammed or failed. At 10 feet slow fire you can even keep 3 rounds in a 10 inch group. Any farther or firing more rounds and all bets are off. I wouldnt bet my life on it or the lives of my kids but if that is all you got it can do the trick.

November 2, 2010, 03:09 PM
"I would imagine that people who have "trouble" with an older Raven .25, have trouble with most if not all of their semi-automatic handguns."

That would not true in my case.

November 2, 2010, 03:16 PM
I owned and shot mine for over 20 years, and traded it for a Heritage Rough Rider .22.

I regret the trade. It was handy, comfortable to carry in a pocket or ankle holster.

It is a simple firearm, with accuracy limited by the short barrel and the caliber.
I never pattern tested it to measure a group.

However, with that said, I often used it to plink empty 12 gauge hulls from my target stand at 7 yards.

$80 does sound high for a used inexpensive pistol, though. If you want it, make them a lower offer, or see if they will throw in accessories and/or ammo.

November 2, 2010, 04:55 PM
I've has one since the late 1970's. Chrome with wood grips. Never used it for CCW, or even defense. That said, though, it's been fired thousands of times without fail.

This example is capable of 3"-5" groups at 10 yards. It's quite reliable with ball ammo (as it was designed to use).

As far as being among the Top Five Worst Guns, they'd finish behind RG, the S&W Sigma .380, AMT, The Italian Brixia, the Chicago Firearms Palm Pistol, the Spanish Ruby, and any of the various copies produced by the Belgians.:)

Average Joe
November 2, 2010, 08:38 PM
Take the $80 and go out to dinner.

November 2, 2010, 08:45 PM
A friend of mine had an altercation with a teen aged Gang banger in a parking lot. The kid shot him five times with a Raven .25. Two of the rounds didn't even get all the way through my friend's leather jacket. He got to the kid and broke his arm while disarming him. The kid went to jail for assault. My friend was back to work in a few days.

November 2, 2010, 11:40 PM
The Raven is a nice, little gun that is fun at the range. As many have suggested, it is not a SD gun. Mine has been fine and accurate up to about 25'. I have no problem keeping it on a pie plate. I read how so many say it jams yet mine only stovepipes when it's time to change the recoil spring. The recoil spring only lasts 500 rounds or so but they are cheap. I've put well over 1000 rounds thru mine and it is what it is, a fun, little gun that is a novelty. If you do research on it you will see many positive write ups on it. The copy cats are the less desirable of all the Saturday Night Specials but the Raven is a neat gun that is fun to shoot. $80? Yes, the market is $80-$100 depending on condition. If it's worth it to you then by all means buy it. The dinner will pass thru your system in a day or two but the Raven can last a lifetime or two. It seems that the only ones who like them are ones that actually own one today.


November 3, 2010, 12:47 PM
like them enough to have multiples. I also like most of the other SNS 25s. The Ravens are usually the better of the breed but there are a few others that are very good as well. The Jennings 25 is not a bad gun. Lorcins can have issues with shallow rifleing. There are some others as well but these are the three more popular brands/makes.

Self defense....not real great as the gun is only as effective as the caliber and I agree 25acp is not ideal (better than nothing though). The design of the weapon also does not bode confidence in carrying a round in the chamber.

But for what they are....they are great guns. Better than a pocket knife and small enough to have one on your person most of the time if one so inclined. Mine have all been pretty accurate for the most part. I recrowned the barrel on a two that had some issues reguarding accuracy and that solved the problem.

I should not that there are three different versions reguarding the saftey on these. Some being a little better than others. None are unsafe though so its just a matter of preference.

They can actually be great starter guns as they are comfortable to shoot and use a low recoiling caliber for those that are gun shy. Most people I have taken shooting for the first time end up wanting to buy one from me. My wife likes my ravens more than my Berettas...go figure. I still prefer Berettas though.

November 3, 2010, 01:01 PM
My friends grandfather has one and used to let us shoot cans on his farm with it. If you could walk 15-20 paces away and hit a can you were king for the day. Nothing really wrong with it, but IMHO this is a collectors type gun not an SD.

Ruger Redhawk
November 3, 2010, 04:50 PM
Back in the late 70's I worked at a gunshop for awhile. We sold 100's of these Ravens and I honestly can say I don't remember ever getting one back for problems. Back then we sold them for 39.00. No I don't own one,I have no use for a 25 ACP.

November 4, 2010, 05:56 PM
I own an MP25. I bought it new several years ago at a gun show for $45. I have put ~1000 rounds through it without a single problem. It is a fun gun to shoot. My groups at 25' are 3". Like many others have stated, no way would I rely on it for SD. With that having been said, there was an incident here a few years back where a local police officer was killed by a Raven .25. The officer was wearing his vest, however, the design of the vest had a fatal flaw...it left the sides vulnerable.

My biggest problem with the gun these days is finding ammo for it locally.

$80 for a used Raven? I think that I may just have to hold on to mine a bit longer. It's sounding like it has been one of my better investments!

November 4, 2010, 06:08 PM
My biggest problem with the gun these days is finding ammo for it locally.

My problem is not only finding it but the price of it!!!! Because I own half a dozen Sterling Arms pistols in .25 auto (and .22LR) I simply reload for them...it's really quite easy in spite of it's tiny size.

November 6, 2010, 11:10 AM
I have had 3 of them. All have been fun and reliable. Having said that they are not used for ccw or sd of any kind. $80 is about right. I do own many other more expensive guns but the Ravens come out every now and then just for fun.

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