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.22LR vs .25ACP

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Glock19Fan, Jan 15, 2013.

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  1. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    I decided to do a fair, even test today comparing the .22LR and the .25ACP from pocket pistol length barrels. The .22LR was fired from a 2.5 inch barrel, and the .25ACP was fired from a 2.25 inch barrel. Ammunition used was typical, full powered generic ammunition for each caliber- CCI 40 grain RN Mini Mags for the .22LR, and Aguilas 50 grain FMJ in .25ACP. Rounds were fired from a distance of 5 feet.

    The test was done by firing 3 rounds of each caliber through a fresh 2x4, with water jugs stacked behind it to measure penetration.

    EDIT: Here is the board. Many seem to think its a 1x6 but it is a 2x4.
    [​IMG]


    Here is the setup.
    [​IMG]
    All rounds fired from both calibers fully penetrated the 2x4 with ease. Here are the entrances. Notice the much larger hole made by the .25ACP.
    [​IMG]
    Here are the exits.
    [​IMG]
    Here are the recovered bullets.
    [​IMG]

    The .22LR rounds fully penetrated the first jugs, while two of them continued into the second jug, denting the back side of the second jug. The third round tumbled in the first jug, exiting near the bottom, striking the concrete table, bouncing up and denting the second jug. It was recovered on the table between the first and second jug.

    The .25ACP rounds fully penetrated the first jug. Two of the bullets continued through the second jug, exiting and impacting a cloth backstop. The third bullet made a large dent on the backside of the second jug, but did not exit.

    To be honest, this test surprised me. I expected to get a little more penetration out of the .22LR becuase of the higher velocity and smaller size, but it seems that the tough construction of the .25ACP bullet combined with the heavier weight seemed to be the advantage.

    Conclusion: This test may or may not be scientific. It really depends on your definition, but it was equal. It is clear that the .25ACP outperformed the .22LR, and while the difference is fairly small, I do think the wise choice for self defense would be to go with the .25ACP. It is more inheritely more reliable, and from similar length barrels is more powerful.

    To be clear, I DO NOT recommend either of these for self defense but for the people that cannot handle a larger caliber, I think the .25ACP would be the way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  2. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Even if they were dead even, the reliability of the 25 would trump the 22. I've had more failures with 22 ammo in the last few years than in the previous 20 years. The 25 wouldn't be my first choice, but if it were all I had I'd make it work.
     
  3. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    i love these mouse gun debates.....

    cost of ammo be damned id take the .25acp because the ballistics are the same but the reliablity of the centerfire is superior.

    thanks for the testing you did.
     
  4. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee Member

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    Mini Mags or Stingers

    CCI is the only ammo I use in .22 due to its performance and reliability. I think it might have had a little different result?
     
  5. Swing

    Swing Member

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    Neat test. Thanx.
     
  6. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Nice down to earth kind of test.
    I like .22's but in a carry pistol I would opt for the 25 ACP IF we are talking only about these two calibers,which we are.
    We all know the mantra of the 40 plus club but either of these would ventilate most humans with zero recoil for the shooter,thus (hopefully) better shot placement,and most likely many shot placements.
    Beats throwing rocks.
     
  7. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    This was CCI ammo. Mini Mags
     
  8. Big JJ

    Big JJ Member

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    Next time try CCI Velociters.
    40 grain bullets at 1450fps.
    You may be surprised at the results
     
  9. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    1450 fps would be a big surprise in deed from a 2.5" bbl but i dont think that will happen.

    Got any other suggestions?
     
  10. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    My .22LR is picky about ammunition. So picky that it wont feed ANYTHING except CCI Mini Mag solids. Yet another advantage to the .25ACP.

    Even Velocitors wouldnt break 900 FPS from a 2.5 inch barrel. MAYBE 950 but that is really pushing it. The Mini Mags are right around 850 FPS.
     
  11. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    All the guys that hate .25acp and say they'd rather have a .22lr pistol are simply ignorant of the facts.

    1. That text that says 1400+ FPS on the side of a box of .22lr is from a RIFLE length barrel. Out of similar guns, the .25acp and .22lr are nearly equal in terms of ballistics.

    2. The .25acp has the massive benefit of being centerfire. Even the most reliable rimfire ammunition (CCI) even occasionally has issues, where issues with modern centerfire ammunition are extremely uncommon. This is the reason that .25acp was invented in the first place.

    3. Full metal jackets. The .25acp has the benefit of having a FMJ bullet construction, where the .22lr is a solid lead bullet. FMJ's feed better and have more reliable penetration.

    Neither is ideal for defense but if you're going with a mouse gun, you should go with a mouse gun that is at least chambered for a reliably primed cartridge.
     
  12. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Don't know where you folks are getting all this unreliable .22 ammo. I've been shooting .22s for over 4 decades and haven't had any more problems with it than any other caliber. I grew up on a farm in the rural South and it was just about all we had growing up. It was the caliber I learned to shoot with.

    Its been in production since 1887. You would think if it was all that bad, it still wouldn't be around. I plan on picking up a couple of bricks this weekend at a local gun show.
     
  13. smkummer

    smkummer Member

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    My test: S&W 61 escort, Colt 1908 vest pocket

    I was getting 900 FPS with CCI 22 LR ammo and a little over 700 FPS with older factory 25 auto ammo and lead bullet reloads. I also tried 22 HS short out of a Colt Junior auto and was only getting 700 FPS. 900 over 700 is a big difference in my book but I did not try any other ammo. A chronograph is cheap these days and the Smith is my carry mouse gun when the Colt agent 38 is too noticable. The CCI has always fired and cycled in my gun. I can't say that for the bulk remington thunderbolts.
     
  14. greyeyezz

    greyeyezz Member

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    So much for a .25 bouncing off someone's head.
     
  15. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

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    That just depends on the HEAD?? Some are as hard as Cue Balls...Bill
     
  16. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Interesting tests. Thank you.

    I have always viewed the .22lr as a great hiking caliber. Having a gun that shoots cheap, small ammo is a real plus for most kits. It's great for impromptu plinking if you are in an area where it is safe and allowed. It's great for an emergency use as you can gather game with it, fend off MOST nasties that don't outweigh a man, and it makes a great noise maker if you are trying to get someone to pinpoint your location. On top of that, for a couple bucks you can keep 50 rounds on your person with very little extra weight.

    In terms of self defense, I certainly wouldn't choose the .22 for daily carry. My grandfather does and has for 50+ years. So far so good. My grandparents have lived in a pretty crappy area for the last 30+ years, and he feels perfectly protected with an old snub nose .22. Hey, if it works for him, I guess.

    I'm also a little iffy on the .25, but my dad has been carrying one of those in his truck for 30+ years. He's a surgeon with that little sucker. He can STILL outshoot me with his little Saturday Night Special regardless of what gun I pick...well maybe not my 6.5" Blackhawk loaded with .38s, but its still impressive what he can do with that little bugger.

    .380 is my bottom level SD caliber. For me, it makes more sense to pack a reliable (if a bit snappier) round that is bigger and more cost effective than the tiny .25. That said, I wouldn't want to face down the business end of either the .22 or .25. Under those circumstances I bet those barrels look like manholes:evil:

    I'm actually kinda surprised you got as much penetration with .25. Thanks again:)
     
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I think between these two cartridges in something small, like a Beretta 21A and a Baby Browning, I would go with the .25ACP. More reliable centerfire ignition would be a signicant factor over the rimfire priming operation.
     
  18. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    Most people that carry a 22 for self defense use round nose ammo. All the 22 has going for it is penetration. All the high velocity rounds have hollow point bullets. I really doubt the hollow point from a velocitor or a stinger would perform as well as the round nose mini mag in this test.
     
  19. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    I have some other .22LR rounds including Stingers, 60 grain SSS, and possibly some Velocitors. I also have some Super Maximums, but the problem is none of these are reliable in my pistol. I can test them for others to see, but as far as what is reliable I can only use .22LR Mini Mags.

    But I am still impressed with how much larger the hole is from the .25. And it really makes me doubt some stories I have heard about the .25 failing to penetrate heavy jackets, or just getting stuck in someones adipose layer, although I guess there are squib loads in every caliber.
     
  20. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    Why the two different sizes of board? The top photo looks like a 2x4, but the second photo looks like a1x6. Just curious.
     
  21. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    There is only one board. Notice the exact same cuts, bullet holes, and writing.

    It is all the same board. A 2x4.
     
  22. lloveless

    lloveless Member

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    Everyone "assumes" the .25 to be more reliable because it is center fire. No one shoots enough of it to really know. I prefer the .22 because I can afford to shoot enough of it to know exactly what will happen.
    ll
     
  23. RJTravel

    RJTravel Member

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    That board is NOT a 2X4. It is a 1X6 - period. It is very, very unusual for either a .22 or .25 out of a handgun to even come close to penetrating a 2X4. Both handguns would have to be autos to make a comparison. A revolver with a 2" barrel has an actual 2" barrel. An auto with a 2" barrel has an effective 1" barrel given that the chamber in an auto is included in barrel length. In my own similar testing I found the .25acp to be substantially more potent than a .22lr.
     
  24. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    Someone please explain to me how a 1x6 measures 1.5x3.5

    It is a 2x4 period. I tried explaining it, and I even provided a picture of it.

    Both weapons used in the test were semi automatic pistols with barrels measuring 2.25 for the .25ACP and 2.5 for the .22LR.

    PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POST.
     
  25. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Member

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    my .22 handgun is NOT designed for concealed carry, but it is ALWAYS good to know what feeds, ignites, extracts, ejects well in it; next step is accuracy at a variety of distances using 2 handed, single handed strong side, and single handed weak side shooting;

    my pick for a 'impromptu' defense load in my Ruger Mk III Standard w/ 6" barrel is CCI Mini-Mag 36gr hollowpoints...
     
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