Last year Buffalo Bore came out with two loadings of what they called HEAVY 25 ACP Pistol and Handgun Ammo, saying that it was standard pressure but heavy-for-caliber and which met the FBI penetration criteria. We got some, and decided to do an informal test recently to see if it performed as promised.

First off, .25acp is not my preferred choice for a self-defense round out of any platform. When we tested the cartridge, the available SD ammo all came in at between 60 and 70 ft/lbs of muzzle energy (M.E.) That’s … not much. And penetration tests others had conducted were unimpressive. Sure, a .25 can kill, and Vasily Blokhin executed thousands of prisoners with one (well, several), but that hardly qualifies as self defense. Given the options, I’d almost always pick something better for protection.

But sometimes, you gotta go with what you got. And if all you have is a .25acp, at least you want the best ammo for it. That’s why BB came out with these two new loadings.

Since this was just an informal test, we only had a radar chronograph, and these two handguns to try:

That’s a Beretta 21A Bobcat on top, and a Bernadelli Baby .25 below it. The Beretta has a 2.4″ barrel, the Bernadelli a 2.0″ one. The Beretta is small, but the Bernadelli is tiny — I could only get my middle finger on the grip, holding the gun between that and my thumb with my index finger on the trigger.

Here’s the ammo:

That’s BB’s 60 gr. Hard Cast FN and the 50 gr. FMJ-RN loads, and you’ll find Buffalo Bore’s claims on those pages for how the loads performed out of four different handguns, including a Beretta Bobcat.

So, how did it go? Pretty well. Here are my data notes:

That’s an average of 841fps for the Hard Cast out of the Beretta, and 758fps out of the Bernadelli. The FMJ was 871fps out of the Beretta and 807fps from the Bernadelli. That’s right in the ballpark of what Buffalo Bore claims. Unsurprising, since Buffalo Bore has consistently performed as claimed, in my experience.

It’s also important to note that both loadings seem to meet the FBI’s penetration protocol. This indicates that it should be lethal if shot placement is good.

.25acp still wouldn’t be my choice for self defense. But particularly with the Buffalo Bore ammo, you could do worse.

Jim Downey

This content originally appeared at text and was written by James Downey This content is syndicated and does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of The Liberal Gun Club

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