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.22LR vs .25ACP

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Glock19Fan, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    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.
    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.
    Here are the exits.
    Here are the recovered bullets.

    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.
  2. c01

    c01 Crazy Eye

    Feb 18, 2010
    Thanks. I love reading these types of reviews and tests.


  3. The Fed

    The Fed

    Dec 23, 2012
    Central Florida
    I would take the .22 any day. Lethal at distance.
  4. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    Yeah, from a rifle. But not from a pocket pistol
  5. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH

    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" :whistling:

    I have run some comparison tests with various CCI 22 LR ammo but this was interesting to see your test results.
  6. Adamz04


    Mar 28, 2012
    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.
  7. 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.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  8. Redstate


    May 17, 2011
    Thanks for the information, Glock19Fan. I did not expect that kind of penetration from either caliber. Good to know.
  9. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    Thanks everyone. And this is what inspired me to do the test.
  10. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    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.
  11. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    Some people think I used 1x6, but it is a 2x4.

  12. cookand

    cookand War Eagle!!

    Mar 16, 2006
    Auburn, AL

    Thanks for taking the time to post.
  13. FishyOne


    Nov 12, 2012
    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.
  14. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    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.
  15. Texas357

    Texas357 Señor Member CLM

    Jan 3, 2007
    Interesting. I would have called MiniMags on the hot end for .22LR.
  16. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    I'd go with the .22 LR; the ammo is far cheaper.
  17. Next up we will compare an ice pick and a sharpened Phillips screw driver.
  18. flw


    Apr 4, 2012

    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 :rofl: 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.
  19. The Fed

    The Fed

    Dec 23, 2012
    Central Florida
    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.
  20. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    Did you want to take this one?

    Im getting a troll vibe from this guy.