950 Jetfire .25, and .25 in general


February 17, 2011, 11:18 PM
So I just came into a Beretta 950 Jetfire in .25. It's a neat little gun, the build quality is unbelievable, and at 10 ounces I think I'm going to like it for those summer days at the beach and otherwise where anything bigger will be too much. But I am curious about .25 as a caliber. It gets a tough time, and for good reason, but compared to the .22lr in a similar barrel length is it really that terrible?

Especially compared to something like the NAA revolvers that are so popular now. 5 rounds of .22lr, in a single action no less, seems to be quite a bit less desirable than 9 rounds of the lowly .25 in a semi with spare mags on tap.

Now, I'm certainly not a proponent of .25 auto as a primary SD caliber. I usually carry .38spl and 9x18 mak (both of which a lot of people consider marginal themselves, but I digress), so I'm just looking for a good objective comparison of the .25acp and the .22lr out of similar super-short barrel lengths. And, of course, any insight into the little beretta mouse gun. :D

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February 17, 2011, 11:40 PM
Go to an "Open" outdoor range, where you can shoot milk jugs full of water+test for yourself.:) You will find(see) that the .22LR. has ALOT more going for it than the .25acp.:uhoh:
The .25 just does not have the speed/bullet design to use for much of anything. Yes, stuck in a BG's ear, it will change his attitude, but no, it is NOT as good as a performer as is the .22LR.:banghead:

February 17, 2011, 11:46 PM
It's a neat little gun. The one I had was fun to shoot and quite reliable. Granted, it's underpowered. The .25 is probably more reliable in an auto than 22 LR even though it has less oomph.

February 18, 2011, 01:13 AM
Their a great little 25 I have 2 of the 950 and 1 model 20, DA/SA The 25 is better than22 LR from same size pistol. That includes on milk jugs . I also have 2 of the 21 A Beretta's in 22 LR Their nice I bought them for play and cheap practice pistol But I will carry one of my 25 first. Use Ball ammo. In Jell the 25 ball tested 13 to 16 " the 22 wasn't even close. .22 needs longer barrel then will walk all over the 25
But in 2" barrels the 25 is better choice .
I consider the NAA revolvers a joke I have one with the 22 mag 22 LR 1 5/8 " barrel
I can draw and hit faster with the Beretta and deliver more rounds in less time than that single action toy. I perfer the 25 .

David E
February 18, 2011, 02:29 AM
As Michael stated above, from the same 2" barrel, the .25 outperforms the .22 LR.

Most of the folks that point out how much better the .22 is conveniently forget to mention it's being fired from a much longer barrel.......sometimes even from a RIFLE. :rolleyes:

In the small guns, the .25 is generally more reliable than the .22. JM Browning invented the .25 acp because he couldn't get a small gun to reliably run with the .22's of the era.

Be aware that the Jetfire has no extractor. That means that your chosen ammo better work! My Beretta Model 20 did not care for CCI Blazer and didn't always bust the primer on those.

I didn't expect much from the .25 and don't recall how or why I get that Model 20, but since I had it, I wanted to see what it would do. I went to the local dump and shot a 55 gallon drum, expecting to see large dents in it. I was surprised to see the bullets actually penetrated.....BOTH sides.

It's not a powerhouse by any stretch, but the Beretta does hold 9 rds. A rapid face-full of nine .25's should convince most folks to change their mind about trying to kill you.

I'd hate to rely on it on purpose, but it does beat a harsh word.

February 18, 2011, 04:32 AM
.25acp has decent penetration with FMJ. I love mine.

Jed Carter
February 18, 2011, 05:01 AM
My Jetfire hits 10X at 10 yards easy, I just put the base of the front sight even with the top of the rear sight notch, put the X on top of the front sight. Yours may be different, mine is a great shooter, but beyond 10 yards I would not trust the .25 to do the job, .22 even less. Rimfire ammunition in a magazine fed pistol is not a prefered choice, but I would prefer it to a NAA revolver.

February 18, 2011, 06:24 AM
The .25 (not being a rimfire) is more likely to be reliable in a semiauto. Also, centerfire rounds are less likely to have a no-fire round than a rimfire. I've been having several 'dud' .22 LR's lately in more than one brand. (NOT gun related as it happened in multiple guns of mine as well as 2 shooting friends.)

The .25 is quite viable in a 'mouse gun' role.

Jon Coppenbarger
February 18, 2011, 07:30 AM
The little beretta's are still a very popular pistol for self defense. maybe not the best choice for a small cal. pistol with all of the 380's out these days but still a great little pistol.
I see many folks believe it or not that have trouble racking the slide on small autos and love tip up barrel design on them.
You are also spot on about the 22 being not as reliable in those small pistols and 22 ammo in general lately have been a pita to find them that work as every time as a center fire round.

February 18, 2011, 11:01 AM
I hand load the 25acp so hot that the recoil hurts.

Someone was carrying a 22 for the head shot in downed deer, but it was not getting the job done.

He did penetration tests and my loads penetrate 6X deeper than the 22, so he is carrying a 25 now.

February 18, 2011, 11:21 AM
I sold my 950 .25 because the safety would get pushed on every 3rd round or so. I found that unacceptable in a carry gun.

Lone Star
February 18, 2011, 11:22 AM
Jed Carter-

Thanks for the accuracy comment. I'd been looking for info like that!

Lone Star

February 18, 2011, 03:34 PM
I sold my 950 .25 because the safety would get pushed on every 3rd round or so. I found that unacceptable in a carry gun.
The 950 made in Italy. Before the 1968 Gun control act stopped their importation. They have no safety on them. I have a LNIB unfired one. . When they started making in USA they went to thumb safety.
Owners manual even tells you to carry hammer down loaded chamber Gee pre lawyer gun. When people knew how to lower a hammer and then how to cock and fire. a SA hammer gun. .

February 18, 2011, 05:06 PM
I've got an INOX 950 I picked up about 10 years ago or so.

Great little pistol that's been 100% reliable straight from the box, something I can't say about any of the .22 mouseguns I've owned including a Beretta 21A.

I used to carry it occasionally as a BUG. Not something I'd want as a first choice in a battle but still 9 rounds of .25 in their chest might take a little bit of the fight out of a badguy. ;)

February 18, 2011, 05:07 PM
I just bought a 21a in 25acp yesterday. I plan on shooting it tonight or tomorrow. Michael is the 950 a tip up barrel also?

February 18, 2011, 06:32 PM
Excellent BUG. FAR, FAR superior to a .22 from a 2 inch barrel. :)

February 18, 2011, 07:47 PM
Yes the 950 is a tip up also.

I was trying out new lube TRU Recoil today and ran 100 rounds of 22 LR CCI standard velocity lead round nose Through new 21A in 22 LR I have read were these are sometimes trouble This one went 100 rounds with myself and daughter shooting never missed a lick.
I have a thing for the little tip up 25 and 22' Beretta's Wouldn't walk across street for the 32 model or larger guns

February 18, 2011, 08:00 PM
I can offer you two tips about that excellent little pistol:

1) Get a replacement magazine release button, and put the original away (it just unscrews). File the new one down until it no longer protrudes from the grip panel. This will prevent a stray fingertip from dropping the magazine.

2) Get a piece of 2x4, and a phillip's head screwdriver or similar implement. Stab that board a couple of times just as hard as you can, and note the result. Now shoot the board a few times with that little .25 and compare.

Almost any handgun will hit harder than a .25, but it is no toy, and it is surely much better than no gun at all.

February 19, 2011, 12:52 AM
People that think .25 acp are underpowered pipsqueak little rounds have A. NEVER fired any .25 acp, B. Never tried any European .25 acp ammunition such as Geco, Fiocchi, or RWS

Fresh ammo goes a long way towards improving the performance of the pistol and ammo too.

Most of the lackluster soft target performance reports can be traced to old ammunition.

This is a problem I have noted with small caliber ammuntion is because so little powder is used in the loads and gunpowder breaks down with age, the cartridge power levels decrease as time goes by.
In some cases power and performance decrease dramatically.

My opinion is that no .22-.25-.32-.380 cartridges should be used for serious defense after they are about three years old.
Shoot your older stuff in practice and rotate your defense loads for new cartridges once a year if not sooner.

February 19, 2011, 09:06 AM
I had a 950 .25, I swear I could empty that thing in under a second.

February 19, 2011, 12:46 PM
Yeah you do need to keep in mind this isn't some one-shot-stop service caliber.

Don't bother saving a few rounds just empty it into them and hope you can kick somebody's hind end that's just been shot 9 times with a .25.

The 950 is a nice little SA with a short trigger reset that makes it very easy to empty out in a big hurry.

Ala Tom
February 19, 2011, 02:20 PM
Here are the averages I calculated for several actual cartridges for several calibers discussed above.

.22LR_______101 FT LB
.25 AUTO_____72 FT LB
.32 AUTO____133 FT LB
.380 AUTO___190 FT LB
9MM_________361 FT LB (9X19) 115-124 GR
40S&W_______410 FT LB 150-180 GR
45 AUTO_____376 FT LB 185-230 GR

The full data can be seen at

Look here for the actual data from Handguns Magazine (http://www.handgunsmag.com/ballistics/ballistic-tables/)

The .22LR definitely beats the .25. At the top end, there is not much difference between the calibers. You can pick a 9mm cartridge that beats many of the others and like wise some .45 auto can beat most of the others.

This just shows general trends.

February 19, 2011, 02:21 PM
25 Beretta and the 2x4
2) Get a piece of 2x4, and a phillip's head screwdriver or similar implement. Stab that board a couple of times just as hard as you can, and note the result. Now shoot the board a few times with that little .25 and compare.

Well I just went out and got me a 4' 2x4 Went and prop it up against my plywood target holding board. Wide side facing I have bad eyes

Here ammo used WW ball , Hornady 35gr. JHP, Speer 35 gr GDHP.

Beretta model 20. It was in my pocket. Distance approx 8' , Its a pocket pistol and I have bad eyes .

shot 1 WW ball Round went thru and exited Small chuck wood removed back side.:) This ammo was several years old.
shot 2 Hornady JHP Round went thru exited Took out about a inch long chunk on back side. :eek:
shot 3 Speer Gold dot Went went thru and exited took out a chunk of wood about 2 times size of Hornady .:what:
Note No rounds recovered as they also passed thru my plywood target board :rolleyes:

Note if 2x4 attacks me Iam using 25 auto not screwdriver :neener:

I had faith in the 25 A year or so a 22 Mag NAA lover posted a test he did with wood a Phone book and something else mad statement 380 owners top this. Re repeated his test with 25 and beat his results . No need to waste expensive 380 ammo .
The 25 isn't a joke or a toy It will send you to hospital or into the ground if shot by one. .

Ala Tom
February 19, 2011, 02:34 PM
In the data set mentioned above, the .22 data is for long rifle, standard velocity. One cartridge has 150 ft lbs, giving the 380 a run for its money. No .22 cartridge was as low as the average .25 but one .25 was as high as the average .22. I fired the .25 years ago. It beat my .22 short Beretta but not much else. The .22 short was great for frog hunting.

February 19, 2011, 02:34 PM
22LR_______101 FT LB

What 22 LR gr and what barrel length no way 101ft lbs from short barrel. Thats from a rifle . Here from NAA on their 22 1 5/8 " barrel These are FPS for 2 pistols average

CCI standered vol 40 gr 666fps
CCI 29 gr. 789fps
Mini mag 36gr 789fps
mini mag 40 gr. 723fps

Those numbers and bullet weights ain't going to be 101ftlbs.

February 19, 2011, 02:55 PM
I went to you reference those are fired from a rifle .That apples and oranges we need as close to 2 inch as possible their the 25 wins
25 wins in Penetration in calibrated jell 13 to 16 inch I have never saw more than 8 to 10 in 22 from small pistols Even the mag has poor showing till inch or more over 2 inch barrel.

the 25 they list are 2 inch barrel from your reference . These better than NAA shows for their little 22 revolvers

.25 Auto 35 Safety (CB) 2 1150 FPS 103 FTLBS
35 JHP (S) 2 900 63
45 JHP (W) 2 815 66
50 FMJ (S) 2 760 65
50 FMJ (S) 2 760 64

February 19, 2011, 03:06 PM
It should be mentioned that the centerfired .25 auto is more reliable than .22 rimfire.
Anybody that says they have never had a misfire or dud with .22 rimfire is lying or doesn't shoot all that much!

February 19, 2011, 03:15 PM
Owners manual even tells you to carry hammer down loaded chamber Gee pre lawyer gun. When people knew how to lower a hammer and then how to cock and fire. a SA hammer gun.

With the tip-up barrel, you shouldn't have to lower the hammer to get the 950 ready to carry. Just put a full magazine in, then tip the barrel up and put one round in. Push the barrel back down, and you're ready to go.

The only time you need to lower the hammer is if you have cocked it and then decided not to shoot.

Of course, you can rack it to get the chamber loaded and then lower the hammer like a regular SA, but the tip-up barrel lets you avoid all that.

Lone Star
February 19, 2011, 03:48 PM

Good discussion of the 950 .25, from most angles.

Lone Star
February 19, 2011, 04:13 PM

Nuttin' Fancy shoots the Beretta .25 for accuracy. Note, too, that he had no jams. In other videos, he praises the reliability of the Jetfire/ M-950BS.

I really want one of these, although they've been discontinued.

The sole flaw is probably that the gun may fire if dropped on the hammer, if the hammer is down. Not sure if it'd fire when cocked, due to firing pin bounce.

Lone Star

February 19, 2011, 04:23 PM
My point I guess is today "they" tell me. I can't draw and cock a pistol That under stress you won't be able to do that my fine motor skills will be gone. Some body should have told those boys in 1800 's they couldn't draw and fire .Thier SA pistols
Or that I can't safety lower a hammer on a 1911.Been doing that nearly 50years. But I can lower A HAMMER ON A REVOLVER IF I DECIDE NOT TO FIRE. Guess that different somehow. I carried a 1911 for years and before I read Cooper I didn't know I was doing wrong. Now I know those that taught me were all wrong also.
The only way you getting the 950 up and running is to cock it unless you carry it cocked and locked.and that not possible on a Italian model as their is no safety.
I was in one shooting as a civilian many years back. I had a commander. Hammer down I drew cocked and fired was over in a sec .. I am not trying to argue C&L over hammer down .Just was saying in the old days Beretta had no trouble with you doing a hammer down and cocking when needed. I guess no one ever in formed Beretta people won't have the motor skills to cock their little pistol when needed.

February 19, 2011, 09:36 PM
Just found Brassfetcher's penetration tests and compared the .25 beretta 21a to the .22lr mini-revolvers.



Long story short, none of the .22lr made it to even 8" from the NAA, and CCI blazer 50g .25 made it to 16" from the 21a. Seems clear cut enough to me!

February 19, 2011, 09:56 PM
Very interesting il 10.

Even out of a Walther P22 with a 3.4" BBL the best .22 lr penetration was 15.8".


Yet the .25 out of a 2.4" BBL penetrates 16".

So much for the idea of .22 lr being some sort of powerhouse compared to the .25.

Out of similiar length barrels the .25 does seem to have the edge as least as far as penetration goes.

February 19, 2011, 10:25 PM
That's interesting, and a bit counter-intuitive compared to what I've heard forever in gun circles. It appears .22lr has to get to 3.5" or better to compare evenly with .25 in a 2" gun... I wonder how .25 performs out of a 3-4" barrel? I've never seen or fired .25 with a longer barrel than mousegun size, but now I'm curious. I know beretta made the 950 with a 4" barrel, but I've never seen one in person. Anyone have one of these and access to a chrono?

February 19, 2011, 10:37 PM
That is an interesting question.

I'm like you though I've never seen a .25 with a barrel longer than 2.5" or so.

February 19, 2011, 11:55 PM
That's interesting, and a bit counter-intuitive compared to what I've heard forever in gun circles. It appears .22lr has to get to 3.5" or better to compare evenly with .25 in a 2" gun...

Isn't it amazing what a little research will do .You found the site That I was quoting the 25 penetration from. Remember FBI says must do at least 12". 25auto make the cut 22 doesn't. I am my self tired of the will bonce of leather jacket Where a 22 will bonce around inside the body or head doing much more damage . Stick it in the eye or ear might hurt them . My brother friend 4th cousin told him that he knew a guy shot 30 times with a 25 auto. He beat the guy up that shot him. Then set down for a steak dinner and couple drinks. Before driving himself 40 miles to hospital to see if by chance any one or the bullets might have bruised him..
If the 25 was so pitiful do you think still be around after a 100 years . That gun company's would still be making them .Their been a lot of calibers that have come and gone since 1906 But the under powered won't hurt you. 25 auto is still being made and ammo is still being made also. . Wonder why is that.

I know beretta made the 950 with a 4" barrel, but I've never seen one in person. Anyone have one of these and access to a chrono?
I saw one .It had a silencer attached to it It looked funny . Dealer had it . Never saw one fired or any reports . Bet if you did search the net can fine the info.

February 19, 2011, 11:55 PM
I find it quite amusing for those who pontificate how the .22LR even in it's best guise is equal to a .25acp in a 2 inch barrel!:p
The .25 is wonderful in the Beretta pistols.It works very well in the old Colt Vest pocket and the new Astra Cub versions. It works in the baby browning which is an engineering miracle. The .25acp feeds well in FMJ form, at least and the centerfire primer is positive, the .22s downfall is light strikes IMHO.
Yessir those old Geco and RWS rounds with the silver polished cupro nick l FMJ bullets were hot and penetrated very well even on human skulls, which is where the .25 has been shown weak sometimes. I have seen the results of both from 50 years experience and heard about it 50 years back from my NYPD uncle. The mini mag rounds in my Beretta 21a .22lr chrono about 800 fps and the lighter Stingers actually get up to 880 or so. From my .25acp model I get 780 from the 50 gr Winchester ammo, 810 from the 45 grain Winchester "pellet point" which penetrated bone well BTW, 850 from the Speer 35 grain and 880 from the 50 grain Geco I have a stash of. I have some old solid brass hollow point Mag Safe rounds that go 970 fps! very hot indeed and the sharp edged brass hollowpoint don't glance off goats skulls The .22 Mag in a High Standard 101 derringer IS a good jump up and gives 1100 fps with a 40 grain bullet from it's 2.5" barrel.
You have no argument from me about the punyness of the .25acp and also to be fair there is some field (at least) evidence that the .22lr from a longer 3" and up barrel does more terminal damage than the .25 in the shorter 2" barrels. The energy figures quoted were skewed to this. In actuallity the .22short chambered 2" barrel pistols (a revolver has the cylinder length also) are very close in performance to the .22LR versions. This FACT has been known for many years. My .22 Astra Cubs are about the same in performance as the Beretta 21 in .22 LR IMHO. I like the 21 format better BTW as the DA makes for a safe quick pocket carry IMHO. I carry a .38spl in a 14oz gun as the bottom self defense powerfloor for me or anyone I train. No doubt an expert could use the .32acp or a .22LR Beretta Jaguar in an 18 oz gun to good effect, but WHY? The .25acp makes a good 2nd or 3rd gun IMHO and eye sockets and noses are certainly the preferred target!:cool:

February 20, 2011, 01:35 AM
I have a Astra cub 22 short I also believe its close to the 22LR from these little pistols
I want the Astra in 25 to have both . got the cub for a 100 bucks couldn't leave in case.

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