So we were sitting at the table in the hospitality room here at Circus Circus talking about small backup guns and someone mentioned how a visitor to his blog got all bent out of shape because of disparaging remarks about the .25 auto. I went looking with my cell phone web browser for what Jeff Cooper had to say about the .25, which is how I would handle someone defending the .25 as a defensive tool. I found the quotes but the moment had passed. Here they are–better late than never I guess:
We hear of an unfortunate woman who, during an nighttime asthma attack, confused the small handgun she kept under her pillow with an asthma inhaler and proceeded to relieve her symptoms. It was not a fatal mistake, partly because she used a 25 ACP, which everyone knows is not sufficient to clear sinuses.
From John B. Hubbard of Bangor, Maine
Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries
Vol. 2, No. 2
31 January 1994
Our old buddy Gene Harshbarger from Guatemala reports a recent episode with the 25 ACP pistol cartridge. It seems that Gene’s cousin was set upon by a trio of car thieves who shot him once almost dead center with that dinky little pistol. The bullet entered at a very flat angle, however, proceeded laterally just inside the pectoral muscle, and exited after about 5 inches of traverse, continuing on into the target’s left arm.
The cousin hit the deck and started shooting back, whereupon the assailants split. When he stood up the bullet slid out of his left sleeve and bounced on the pavement. It penetrated the jacket, but not the skin of his left arm.
As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it you may hit somebody, and if you hit somebody – and he finds out about it – he may be very angry with you.
From Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries
Vol. 4, No. 14
In looking for Cooper’s advice I also found Ayoobs:
A .25 is a nice thing to have when you’re not carrying a gun.
Massad F. Ayoob
On the use of .25 caliber handgun.
In the Gravest Extreme
End of chapter 14