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Browning Baby, Bauer .25, PSP 25?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Handy, Feb 10, 2003.

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  1. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Saw a Baby in the flesh the other day. I hadn't realized how much smaller than other pocket pistols those are.

    Could someone knowledgeable comment on the relative quality and relationship between the various Baby clones? Are their other brands I'm forgetting?


    Oh yeah, are the parts compatible across the board?
  2. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
    What little bit I know is based on one friend who had 2 Bauers and 2 others with PSPs. They were reliable and shootable, and pretty well made, but in the end they were still just .25s.

  3. BHP9

    BHP9 member

    Dec 27, 2002
    I can tell you for a fact that the Bauers that were being made at least in the years 1977 to 1980 did not work. They would function perfectly for the first 50 rounds and then start jaming up even after they were cleaned and properly lubed.

    Pistolero magazine found them to have the same jamming tendencies that I did. I tested and took apart several Bauers and conducted experiments with various ammo and various modifcations of parts. Although the gun was almost but not quite an exact copy of the Baby Browning I really could not find any difference that would have caused all the jamming even with fmj ammo except for the fact that the gun was made of Stainless and the slide and frame apeared to be made of the same grade of Stainless Steel which is a real no, no, when building a stainless gun. I found out right away that exotic lubes had to be used to let the slide cylce on it frame to prevent sticking. I used some of the best lubes of the time but to not much avail. The guns I tested would still jam without warning wether clean and lubed or dirty.

    The Baby Browning is still probably your best bet as far as reliablity but this gun is very sensitive to both ammo and limp wrist shooting. In all fairness many small pistols are like this and the earlier Colt and it twin brother the original Browning .25 were even worse.

    I used several Baby Brownings for years and found that my handloads using Red Dot powder (Alliant, Old Hercules Co.) gave the best reliabilty providing I did not forget not to shoot limp wristed. The baby being one of the smallets .25's ever made and also one of the highest quality .25's ever made was very convenient to carry in the hot summer months. It also by the way came in a Chromed model with an aluminum frame. I regret not buying one of these when I had the chance years ago. But the weight savings is only a couple of ounces for such a small pistol and I wanted it more for the corrosion restistance than the weight savings.

    I have in recent years switch over to a Stainless .32 Seecamp but in many ways it was probably a mistake. Although the Seecamp is a bigger caliber it is slightly larger and a lot heavier and it is impossible to hit anything with a small double action only pistol except at about arms length. IN contrast the small single action pistols like the Browning Baby enables me to shoot as fast as I can empty the gun and still put all the shots in the kill zone at ranges as far as 25 yards. There is actually that much of a super superiority in using the single action gun as opposed to the impossible to hit with double action only weapon.

    Larger heavier and bigger double action guns are a lot easier to hit with but when using the very, very small automatic the single action is superior in terms of the abilty to hit what you are aiming at especially under extreme stress.

    I might be argued however that at point blank which is the range that you more than likely will be using it , is that the difference is nill with either weapon and the double action only somewhat safer to carry loaded for many hours at a time.

    Just remember to ignore all the hot air macho he man talk about bigger calibers. The gun you will want to carry everyday will be the very small handgun. You will not tend to leave it home in the drawer or safe or under the seat of the car because it is too uncomfortable to carry or it is too hot out to properly conceal in the summer months.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2003
  4. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Thanks for the responses.

    I've got a line on some Kassnar PSP-25s. The claim is that these are license made guns, and are blued steel.

    The other possibility is a Colt 1908 .25. A bigger gun, but my Grandfather used to own one.

    I think I may be able to get a PSP for less than $150, and a reblued Colt for $200.

    I have better carry guns, I just think the size of these weapons is neat. Comparisons between the Baby and 1908 are welcome. Still looking for some PSP commentary.
  5. Sox

    Sox Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I had a PSP 25 blued all steel. Had 2 spare mags, extra grips and early product literature. It was 100% reliable. Only shot FMJ though. There are airweights out there with aluminium frames if you get lucky to find one. Downside is it is a striker fired weapon and not safe to carry with round in the chamber. Good Shootin.
  6. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I picked up a badly rusted Baby in a trade.

    Took it all apart, got the rust off, reblued (did a bad job) the slide and replaced one part in it.

    It is not somthing I would carry cocked because once you see the firing mechanism you would never trust it loaded in your pocket! There is no mechanical pin block and the striker release is not somthing that inspires confidence.

    However, all that said, once I got it cleaned up it will spit out six in a row as fast as you can pull the trigger. Accuracy over 10 feet is suspect. I use fiocchi jacketed bullets in it.

    For somthing that will ride in your shirt pocket with ease it does have a certain appeal. If you have the right jeans it will fit in your change pocket no problem. I don't carry it on a regular basis, but in some situations it sure beats nothing.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Given the choice, I would prefer the .25 Vest Pocket Colt (Model 1908) over any of the .25 FN-Browning pistols or clones. The old Browning .25 (nearly identical to the Colt) is better than the Baby Browning, though.

    AFAIK, the Bauer and the PSP (as well as one other I can't recall right now) were licensed copies of the Baby Browning. There are a zillion mostly Spanish copies of the old .25 Browning, almost all junk. The only exception I can think of is the Czech DUO, which is a well made pistol.

  8. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 20, 2002
    North Texas
    I only have one .25 left.

    It is a Bauer, bought at Knight's Gun Shop in Fort Worth immediately after the introduction of the product. I'd had a couple of Baby Brownings and liked them, but there were such gem-like items I almost hated to carry them. The glossy blue finish seemed to rust quite readily, too. Shortly after I became interested in this type, the Gun Control Act of 1968 passed, and no more could be imported from Belgium. Scarcity, of course, drove the prices up immediately, and a lot of shooters and collectors valued them more highly than I. I never owned one with alloy frame.

    Seems it was early in 1971 when I went into Knight's and Hollis Pricer and Junior Knight were showing off two of the new Bauers. They said they had torn one down and found that it was an exact copy of the Baby Browning. The parts were fully interchangeable. I had not even read any product announcement, and I was stunned at how attracted I was to the little pistols. One example wore Jay Scott laminated pearl stock panels, which were VERY thick. The other had plain, checked, wood stock panels of about the same size as the Browning's black plastic factory panels. I asked the price and was told, I think, $74.00. I tried to buy one on the spot but both were sold. Someone was going to Dallas to get some more, and they said I could have one the next day. I ordered the one with wooden stocks, and a spare magazine.

    The next day I picked up my pistol and two boxes of Winchester FMJ ammo. The spare mag had not arrived, so I got a Browning factory mag. I shot it that afternoon, and it was flawless with both mags. Next payday, I bought RCBS dies, Remington bullets, and more ammo. I used Hollis's suggested load of Bullseye with the 50 gr. FMJ, and followed his suggestion to keep the slide/frame lightly oiled. All was great. Unique didn't work as well. It was fun, shooting a .25 all I wanted. I'd had several other .25s, but hadn't been enthusiastic enough to begin handloading.

    Knight's had a little 50 foot range in the back room, and many afternoons, some of us would compete, shooting .25 autos at hanging ping-pong balls. Stakes were a dollar each - - -pretty heady stuff for a young, married, cop who usually ate lunch for $1.15 - - I won occasionally, but a lot of days I ate lunch at work from a brown bag.

    I made a leather wallet type holster and carried my Bauer in front of a folded bandana for several years. I carried it with a round chambered for a long time until someone explained to me the hazards of doing this with a striker-fired pistol, so I began carrying chamber empty and practiced racking it one-handed.

    In later years, I began carrying a Walther PPK as a second gun, instead of the Bauer, most of the time. I still have the Bauer, but only shoot it about once a year.

  9. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Elgin, Arizona
    I can't comment about the other brands, but my FN Baby Browning has been 100% reliable with everything I've stuffed into it, hollow points, expanding points, etc. It's also somewhat accurate for so small a pistol.
    I've only shot factory ammo through this one though since I haven't wanted to bother reloading .25 cal.
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