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Old 01-15-2013, 15:47   #1
Glock19Fan
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.22LR vs .25ACP

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.

Here is the setup.
Caliber Corner
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.
Caliber Corner
Here are the exits.
Caliber Corner
Here are the recovered bullets.
Caliber Corner

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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 16:57   #2
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Thanks. I love reading these types of reviews and tests.

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Old 01-15-2013, 17:03   #3
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I would take the .22 any day. Lethal at distance.
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Old 01-15-2013, 17:05   #4
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I would take the .22 any day. Lethal at distance.
Yeah, from a rifle. But not from a pocket pistol
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Old 01-15-2013, 17:24   #5
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Glock19fan,

Thanks for the penetration test. I have a pistol and a rifle for 22 LR but I do not have any guns chambered in 25 ACP, so it is interesting to see your results.

I have used the Plywood or 2x4 as a test object myself, you can safely figure if a round will penetrate a 1/2" piece of plywood or a Yellow pine 2x4 it will have no problem when used for... "social work"

I have run some comparison tests with various CCI 22 LR ammo but this was interesting to see your test results.
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Old 01-15-2013, 17:34   #6
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Surprising to me as well. I've never owned a .25 but all I've ever heard is that they are worthless. Good comparison thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-15-2013, 17:55   #7
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Thanks for the report.

I've always thought that the .22LR is a better choice than the .25ACP in otherwise identical pistols because the ammo is significantly less expensive and much easier to find (normally). But those factors are relevant only if one plans to practice frequently with the gun.


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Old 01-15-2013, 19:12   #8
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Thanks for the information, Glock19Fan. I did not expect that kind of penetration from either caliber. Good to know.
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Old 01-15-2013, 20:47   #9
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Surprising to me as well. I've never owned a .25 but all I've ever heard is that they are worthless. Good comparison thanks for sharing.
Thanks everyone. And this is what inspired me to do the test.
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Old 01-15-2013, 20:59   #10
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I have a Beretta Panther in .25 caliber (marked 6.35 mm) and it may get temporary use as a backup until I can figure out how to wear a .357 Magnum snubby with my CCW.

I'm liking the thought of a New York reload.
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Old 01-15-2013, 23:11   #11
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Some people think I used 1x6, but it is a 2x4.

Caliber Corner
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Old 01-15-2013, 23:30   #12
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Thanks. I love reading these types of reviews and tests.

D
+1.

Thanks for taking the time to post.
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Old 01-15-2013, 23:57   #13
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Thank you for posting your test. I've always heard a 22LR was superior to the 25acp.

May be a function of the reliability of a revolver vs a 25 auto more than anything else.
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Old 01-16-2013, 00:03   #14
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Thanks for doing that. Important too, the 25acp is centerfire and not likely to 'dud' in a small auto pistol- which could really suck as some small .25/.22lr pistols don't have an extractor.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:31   #15
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Interesting. I would have called MiniMags on the hot end for .22LR.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:15   #16
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I'd go with the .22 LR; the ammo is far cheaper.
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Old 01-16-2013, 19:39   #17
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Next up we will compare an ice pick and a sharpened Phillips screw driver.
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Old 01-16-2013, 19:52   #18
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Glock19fan

I never understood some people that act like they'd be better off with a spoon for defense than a 22lr or 25 . Sometimes you need something smaller to conceal and I'd take either over a spoon or even the sharpest stick.

I think its the size thing that gets in some peoples way of thinking. If its not big, it's worthless. Just like cars, the bigger the better but not always.
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Old 01-16-2013, 20:19   #19
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I have a hard time believing either penetrated a 1 3/4 of wood. I saw 9MM bounce off a woodpile. They didn't even stick. One almost hit me.
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Old 01-16-2013, 20:53   #20
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Quote:
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Next up we will compare a 9MM and a sharpened .45ACP.
Did you want to take this one?

Quote:
I have a hard time believing either penetrated a 1 3/4 of wood. I saw 9MM bounce off a woodpile. They didn't even stick. One almost hit me. .
Im getting a troll vibe from this guy.
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Old 01-16-2013, 21:17   #21
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Were the water jugs full of water?

Cool test. Next time add the .380 to the mix
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Old 01-16-2013, 21:20   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock19Fan View Post
Did you want to take this one?



Im getting a troll vibe from this guy.

Same here. A guy that I don't know puts a little time and effort out for something interesting and I give him crap. Does not compute. It happens a lot and I really don't understand it. This type of stuff is why I come here. We are all gun guys/gals and have weird questions sometimes. I,for one, from reading other stuff about the 25 did not predict this outcome.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-16-2013, 21:37   #23
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Both can be deadly but I have known for quite some time that the 25 caliber was better.
James Bond carried one for a long time (J/K).

Another thing is that you can get the 25 caliber in a number of jacketed hollow point type bullets. With the 22 LR all you can get is a lead bullet with a hole in the tip. Niether expands very well but the 25 can get some expansion. I keep the one in the chamber a 25 cal H.P. and the rest FMC in my Beretta Bobcat. Also the European 25 ammo is hotter than the American loads!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 22:14   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock19Fan View Post
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.
If you can shoot a 22lr, you can shoot a 4" 38sp w/ 148grWC ammo, IMO, a far better choice than any 22lr. Most 25s are very diff to shoot well for an unskilled shooter, a target style 22lr would be a better tool than any 25acp.
The advent of small 9mm has made the 22-32 mouse guns moot IMO. The little Kahr will be easier to shoot & hit harder & almost the same size. I don't even like the 380, & now with better micro 9mm, why carry anything smaller & less potent.
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Old 01-16-2013, 22:16   #25
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I would take a .25 over a .22 any day simply because it's centerfire, not rimfire.
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