If you own/carry/use a .25 Colt, Browning, etc. pistol take note.


January 26, 2013, 06:13 PM
Old Fuff - “I'll take this opportunity to explain that many .25 pistols (including some Colt's and Browning) have a striker/firing pin with a long nose. The purpose of these is to act as an ejector when ejecting fired cases. Extreme care needs to be taken when hand ejecting a loaded cartridge.”

I saw this quote by Old Fuff in another thread (link below) and I thought it should be included in this forum. I’ve owned these pistols for 35 years (without mishap), but I was unaware of this. Forewarned is forearmed.


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January 26, 2013, 08:10 PM
Thanks. Making my Beretta an even better looking option. I always figured my Colt 25s were just fer lookin' at anyhow.

Old Fuff
January 26, 2013, 09:31 PM

You go ahead and post that warning anywhere and anytime you get a chance.

In 1906 - 1908 when Browning had designed the pistol, and Fabrique Nationale and Colt made them, primers were not as sensitive as they are now. But I know of incidents where racking the slide to eject a loaded cartridge has come to grief.

Back when.... Most people carried them with the chamber empty.

Besides the obvious, what made these little Colts and Browning’s popular was the exceptional workmanship that translated into superior reliability. That’s still true today, but you do need to understand how the machine works.

January 26, 2013, 10:45 PM
Thanks Old Fuff.

I recently got a baby Browning mostly to shoot once in a while. Never planned on carrying it but certainly that is good information to know.

January 27, 2013, 11:14 AM
Those little Brownings were really neat and made for an excellent 'back up' piece for cops back in the day. Had a buddy that packed one in the vest pocket of one of our old horsehide black leather jackets.......had it for years and always kept it with one chambered.

Early one morning he called me to meet him in a large shopping center, he kinda sounded rattled and when I arrived he told me he was doing a ride by all the store fronts and idly pulled that .25 from the pocket, had it in his hand outside the vehicle and somehow experienced an unintended discharge!

He just missed a newspaper vending box and chipped the hell out of a tiled wall......we found the bullet lying on the sidewalk nearby. It seems that he'd checked the safety and while so doing managed to pull the trigger....he told me he was absolutely positive that the the safety was on.......I couldn't believe it and checked the piece myself.......that gun WOULD fire with the safety engaged......it turned out that the soldered or braised join between the safety lever and the thru bar had failed and one could not tell it unless the trigger was pulled.

Nothing ever came of the incident, but even today, more than 40 years later he still says that .25 round was the loudest report he ever heard!

Another good reason to check 'em close and NEVER trust any mechanical device!

January 27, 2013, 11:58 AM
Here is a chime in from a Baby Browning owner.

I acquired an old beater Baby Browning in a trade years ago. It was rusted on the outside and looked pretty bad. But it was clean on the inside. It was made in the 1954 to 1958 era.

So it was taken apart and thoroughly cleaned. All of the rust was removed from the outside with steel wool and oil. The slide was stripped and cold blued. The trigger bar was replaced with a new part and new grips replaced the cracked originals.

Getting one back together is no small chore. There is one tricky step that literally took me hours to figure out and get right. But eventually it was all back together.

In the process of having it totally detail stripped it is easy to understand exactly how these work, especially the striker pin.

Once you understand that you would never, ever carry one of these loaded and cocked. There is literally about 1/16th of an inch between you and it going off. As you pull the trigger a tiny pin that sits in a cut on the bottom of the striker is pulled down to release the striker. The safety just blocks the trigger. The striker has no block or any other thing to prevent it from moving forward. If the striker is the least bit loose that release pin is even closer to letting the striker fly forward.

All that said mine will pop off a magazine full of rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger. It has been utterly reliable. Its more of a novelty than anything else as it weighs a lot for its size and you must be prepared to rack a round in order to use it.

But heed the advice in the first post and understand these are a never carry cocked pistol!

January 27, 2013, 05:32 PM
I've got a beater colt vest pocket i got in trade that was missing parts, I've got it re-assembled, but the firing pin/striker will not catch on the sear when you rack the slide. Does anyone have an idea on how to fix this? My idea was to get another sear, and slowly bend it up until it will catch.

January 27, 2013, 06:09 PM
When I have to carry an itty bitty striker fired pistol I do carry it cocked.

Cocked on an empty chamber. This means I do not have to over come the striker spring as well as the recoil spring when I do rack the slide. In fact my cheif problem with the littl CI Benelli was the cocking indicator that was sharp as a upholstry tack.

When I had students that chose these types it was nearly always a woman and often as not an arthritic little old lady. Storing the gun precocked but with an empty chamber meant they often could work the slide where they could not with the gun uncocked and with a magazine in place pressing against the bottom of the slide.

they could cock it on an empty chamber by cocking wit the magazine out thus avoiding the pressure of the top round dragging at the slide, then insert the magazine and when they needed to actually chamber a round they had a few ounces less spring pressure to deal with.

I found this to be especially true with the larger guns like those by Raven or Davis or others of that family.

The only student I have ever removed from a range session was using a Davis striker fired .380 and dispite my repeated warning and demonstrations she continued to point it, shall we just say below my bady armor and above my knees every time she tried to chamber a round....and this was before I had kids. These wild gyrations were the result of her difficulty in racking the slide on that particular gun. She later came back and used the precocked system and managed to keep te muzzle pointed down range.


January 28, 2013, 05:37 PM
I have a french copy of the baby browning it is a MAB model A I believe. It needs a firing pin and i can not find a firing pin anywhere. I tried Numerich gun parts and midway USA both with no luck.

Anyone have any suggestions?


January 28, 2013, 06:11 PM
EBK, Search for the 1908 colt hammerless vest pocket on Numrich, Parts will interchange.

January 28, 2013, 08:23 PM
EBK, Search for the 1908 colt hammerless vest pocket on Numrich, Parts will interchange.
IIRC I tried one of those and the shoulder was not set back far enough to allow the firing pin to catch and would not cock the pistol.

I will look again when I get home from work though. Thanks for the info

January 28, 2013, 10:10 PM
I got the parts for mine from Marstar in Canada.

Here is a link to their page with a nice diagram:


Unfortunately they appear to be pretty much out of parts!

Jim K
January 28, 2013, 10:39 PM
I have the greatest respect for Old Fuff, but I think it is very unlikely that a Colt VP or a Baby Browning (not the 1906, which is the same as the Colt) will fire a live round while it is being ejected. It would take an extremely sensitive primer or some malfunction before the slide could be brought back with enough force to fire the round. I will grant it is not impossible if the extractor and slide trap the round and prevent normal ejection and if the user is able to slam the slide back with a lot more than normal force and if the primer is sensitive, maybe. But not something to worry about as far as I am concerned.

FWIW, the Browning M1910 and 1922 use the same system, as do other small pistols and I have not seen concerns voiced about those guns. I think it a lot more likely that a user would fired the gun by pulling the trigger while trying to eject a round. Some pictures of any such incident would be useful; the round being fired by the firing pin while ejecting should pretty well destroy the pistol.

Coltdriver, I am not sure what gun you are thinking of, but there is no little pin in the striker of the Baby Browning, and the safety does not block the trigger; it blocks the sear at the rear, not the trigger at the front. The safety has no contact with the trigger. True, there is 1/16" sear engagement preventing the gun from firing, but that is over twice as much as in the hammer of a 1911 pistol and most folks suggest they can be carried safely cocked and locked.

EBK, that little MAB is often called a "copy" of the Colt Vest Pocket, but that is a generality; they are different pistols and parts do not interchange. Some parts might be adapted to fit, but that could not be assured.


Old Fuff
January 29, 2013, 10:18 AM
I know of several incidents where this kind of discharge occured, and in one of them I was standing next to a friend at a shooting range when it happened. Fortunately he only suffered some cuts in his hand that required a few stitches.

Admittedly this sort of discharge doesn't happen often, but when you are using a pistol where the firing pin is also the ejector, and it strikes a live primer in a loaded cartridge rather then a fired case, a discharge is possible, especially if the slide is jerked back sharply.

January 29, 2013, 07:37 PM
EBK, that little MAB is often called a "copy" of the Colt Vest Pocket, but that is a generality; they are different pistols and parts do not interchange. Some parts might be adapted to fit, but that could not be assured.


Thats a shame. I love this little guy bought it last year and was able to fire 50 rounds through it and the firing pin broke on the last round (there goes my luck for the next 5 years) So I was at least able to get through that box.

It seems my only option at this point will be to have one made at the cost of roughly 200$ from a machine shop. Thats if I can find the proper length for the pin, I still have the back half but obviously the pin its self is gone.

January 30, 2013, 09:55 AM
The first shot I unintentionally launched was from a Belgian Browning- more-or-less- clone
(.32 ACP "Melior") while ejecting a live round, just for the reason stated by Old Fuff.

I remember "old-timers" (then) considering this possibility common knowledge about .32 ACP auto's, & scolding me about it. (Damn right they were too;)

There were quite a lot of those .380 / .32 / .25 ACP (& other) striker fired guns around in Belgium in those days.

Kind of like the "load 1, skip 1, load 4" routine about SA revolvers in the US, I guess.

February 1, 2013, 02:21 AM
I am glad I read this thread. I put some 25 acp brass in the tumbler today. My grandfather has a 25 acp and I think it is a colt. He said it will be passed down to me. I shoot some of his guns, but have not fired the 25 acp yet. He used to carry it in his pants pocket when he worked in a bad neighborhood, and a 45 acp 1911 in his coat pocket when it was cold out. I will have to look at his gun and ask him if he carried it with an empty chamber.

February 1, 2013, 08:31 AM
I have a Taurus 25 acp. But mine is a SA/DA and it has an extractor. Nice little pocket gun but I never carry it because I have a 380 that is about the same size. It's hard for me to pass up any $50 gun that works. My wife does carry the Taurus because it does shoot better than a P-3AT. Confidence to use the gun could be more important than the caliber.

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