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Scrapper
3/26/2010 2:49pm,
Budget gun review:
http://jtjersey.com/Raven/P25LftSide.JPG
Raven Arms MP-25
Type: Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin: United States
Production history
Designer: George Jennings
Designed: 1960s
Manufacturer: Raven Arms
Produced: 1970-1991
Variants: P-25
Specifications
Cartridge: .25 ACP
Action: Blowback
Feed system: 6-round detachable box magazine

I debated reviewing this particular weapon. It has a tumultuous history and remains a controversial piece of the American firearms scene. But it fits a budget, and it is a gun; ergo I must review it. It was designed by the (in)famous George Jennings, and is the original, quintessential, “Saturday night special.” Reviled by journalists and anti-crime activists for its extreme popularity with criminals, this weapon suffered a smear campaign unrivaled until the concept of the “scary black rifle” reared its ugly head in the nineties. While it is true that criminals employed this weapon heavily through the seventies (count how many you see in the movies “Dolemite” or “Black Caesar”), it was the same things that attracted the weapon to criminals that attracted it to everyone else. For twenty years, this pocket stinger ruled the streets of Miami, Memphis, and Harlem. It was designed to be small, light and disposable. In the end, like any weapon, it has good points and bad, and the end user must ultimately make the decision for their own reasons, not mine.

So onward!!!

http://www.partypants.fsnet.co.uk/70smale/pimp-costume-dr-styles.jpg

THE GOOD:

Teensy-weensy!-

You will have no issues concealing this weapon, folks. It is TINY. Slim, lightweight, and eminently concealable, you could hide this thing in a thong bikini. It will slip into your front pocket perfectly, or ride on your ankle with nary a problem. It won’t drag your pants down if worn at the waist, and you don’t really even need a belt. This was a key consideration when the weapon was originally designed, and remains it’s one, great, redeeming feature.
http://www.gunaccessories.com/bagmaster/BAH.jpg

Keep bitching, I’m reloading!-

This weapon only had one competitor in its class when it came out: the Colt .38 Detective special. In the sixties, the snub-nosed .38 ruled the concealed weapon scene. Small, comparatively powerful, and reliable, every cop had one on the ankle and every detective had one on the hip. When the MP-25 hit, you now had access to a weapon that could shoot six rounds and then reload in the blink of an eye. Like all detachable magazine automatics, reloading is as simple as dropping the mag, and sliding in another. While the mag release his actually on the butt of the MP-25, it was still faster than wrestling a speed-loader into a revolver, or worse, feeding individual rounds into the cylinder.
http://www.snubnose.info/images/image012.jpg
marginally faster than this
Economical-

There is not a lot to say here. $60-100.00 is all you should ever pay for one of these. This makes it easily the most affordable handgun you will ever hope to get. It is, in fact, a real honest-to-goodness, shoot-the-badguy, bang-bang gun. For 60 bucks, that’s all you can expect.

THE BAD:

Belly Gun-

This may be the least consistent, least accurate handgun I’ve ever used. Short barrel, bad sights, and terrible ergonomics all work together to make consistent groups at any range nearly impossible for the average shooter. It is a true “belly gun.” Basically you shove it in the bad guy’s gut and pull the trigger over and over until it goes click. For example, this is a typical transcript of me explaining this weapon to a novice shooter at the range:

ME: OK. Stand in front of the target with your feet solidly braced shoulder width apart.
SHOOTER: Got it.
ME: Now when you are ready, grip the weapon firmly in your right hand, and strike the target firmly across the face in first a forehand, and then a backhand motion (Demonstrates standard bitch-slap combo). It is acceptable to yell "Where's my money?" or "Why ain't you workin' ho?" as you do this.
SHOOTER: (Stares blankly at me)
ME: Now if she doesn't have your money, you will have to make an example of her to the other girls; or conversely, if a John doesn't want to pay up or roughs up a girl, you are gonna have to make an example out of him. Try to be as close as possible for this. The best way to ensure a decent wound is to shove the gun into the guy's belly and keep shooting until the gun jams (and it will) or until the jerk drops. Got it?
SHOOTER: Uhm...maybe I can just shoot the .454 again?

Wuss round-

.25 ACP does not strike fear into the hearts of men. Basically, it deposits just enough kinetic energy to piss off a large male human. As much fun as it is to make fun of this gun, here is a little factoid for you. In CT, there have been six self-defense shootings employing the MP-25 over the last 20 years. All six have been fatal for the attacker. At 100% fatality rate, this weapon exceeds both the .45ACP and .357 magnum for lethality. Obviously the sample is too small to draw any real conclusions, but it is important to note that 6 rounds of .25 at close range means a lot of blood lost for the bad guy. But this certainly will NOT reliably stop a determined assailant in time to prevent a crime. This is the sort of gun that kills the guy with blood loss and organ failure several hours after being shot; making it a poor first choice for self-defense.

Questionable quality-

Without going into a long and intricate history of the Jennings family tree and the “Ring of Fire” family of gun manufacturers, suffice it to say that your weapon will vary in quality depending on the year it was produced. Much like fine wines, the older ones were generally produced with more attention to detail than later ones. It should be noted, the NONE of these are all that high quality by industry standards. It’s just that the ones produced in the eighties are somewhat famously prone to general mechanical failure. This is not to say that they are unsafe, just unreliable.

THE UGLY:

Fun Factor!

Remember the seventies? Big hair, big cars, and big pimps ruled the streets. And nothing said "badass pimp" like a tiny little gun! Bryco Jennings developed these little monsters for the secret agents and James Bond wannabes of the world in the 60's; and later morphed into Raven Arms. For twenty years, this pocket stinger ruled the streets of Miami, Memphis, and Harlem. It was designed to be small, light and disposable: it is the original "Saturday Night Special." It is a fun drinking game to rent seventies blacksploitation movies and cop dramas and do a shot everytime a MP-25 pops up. Don't try this with "Black Caesar" though; you will end up with alcohol poisoning.

I don't care how shitty a shooter this thing is, if Lynard Skynard writes a song about it, it's badass.

Don’t Give a Damn about my Bad Reputation…

Universally considered a throwaway gun for pimps and drug dealers, having one of these will get you many a sideways scowl from the tactical crowd. Normally I hate the tactical crowd, but they sorta have a point, here. This is not a particularly awesome weapon. Most people would save their money a little bit longer and get something better, rather than carry one of these if they could. As a bit of memorabilia, it holds a unique place in the American firearms lexicon. As a real-world tool, you could do much better.

Whattaya want for 60 bucks??
http://pics.gunbroker.com/GB/150313000/150313387/pix261609890.jpg
As cool as you can get with this one

You get two finishes, and two choices of grip. That’s it. You’d think the weapon associated with the extravagant and ostentatious pimps and hustlers of the seventies would be more flamboyant. Sadly, it is not. A firearm that offers very little tangibly, should at least offer something visceral to remember it by!

CONCLUSION:

There. I reviewed it. Happy now? I hate to say it, but this piece WILL SHOOT BADGUYS. It may not stop them, but it has a comparable deterrent effect to any other mouse gun. Don’t underestimate that. But otherwise, don’t count on this thing to do anything other than generate a few laughs at the range, and some late night storytelling. If you need a carry piece, save up 300 bucks and get a Taurus 605. You will be happier.

Phrost
3/26/2010 10:02pm,
I shouldn't be reading this in between fights (I'm judging at the moment) because this passage put a ****-eating-grin on my face:


ME: OK. Stand in front of the target with your feet solidly braced shoulder width apart.
SHOOTER: Got it.
ME: Now when you are ready, grip the weapon firmly in your right hand, and strike the target firmly across the face in first a forehand, and then a backhand motion (Demonstrates standard bitch-slap combo). It is acceptable to yell "Where's my money?" or "Why ain't you workin' ho?" as you do this.
SHOOTER: (Stares blankly at me)
ME: Now if she doesn't have your money, you will have to make an example of her to the other girls; or conversely, if a John doesn't want to pay up or roughs up a girl, you are gonna have to make an example out of him. Try to be as close as possible for this. The best way to ensure a decent wound is to shove the gun into the guy's belly and keep shooting until the gun jams (and it will) or until the jerk drops. Got it?
SHOOTER: Uhm...maybe I can just shoot the .454 again

Jo Vale Tudo
3/27/2010 2:45am,
LOL @ Phrost.

ignatzami
3/27/2010 12:57pm,
I remember reading this awhile back in the Armory. It's still funny a second time through.

Scrapper
3/27/2010 5:44pm,
This is the expanded version....

jnp
3/27/2010 8:41pm,
I thought I had one of these, so I dug it out last night after reading Scrapper's article. I was wrong. Turns out it's a Lorcin .25, which has a reputation for being one of the worst small caliber handguns around. I bought it nearly 20 years ago for $20. Turns out the gun probably isn't even worth that.

Scrapper
3/28/2010 9:31am,
Lorcin is actually apart of the "Ring of Fire" family of manufacturers; so you do in fact, have one of these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_Arms_MP-25

JJX
3/31/2010 10:59am,
My point is I am unsure if you can find a quality firearm for under 100 bucks.

I actually like cheap guns, Saturday Night Specials, etc. Not everyone has a G to plunk down on a shiny new [insert Top Rated firearms manufacturer].

In terms of handguns, I happen to own a Hi-Point, a Bersa Thunder, & a Ruger.

When I get too old to shoot often and have severe arthritis like all the other men in my family seem to get, I'll switch to old, used Colt revolvers [looks like there is a Detective Special in my future!]

I shot a Raven/Lorcin/Whatever the heck the "Ring of Fire" is calling itself these days guns around 2 years ago. It was a jam-o-matic.

However, it did fire the first 5 shots without much trouble.

My problem is that for around 60 bucks more, I bought a Hi-Point that has caused me no problems. However, its huge, feels like a brick and doubles as a melee weapons whenever I run outta ammo.

Can you imagine pistol whippin' someone with a Hi-Point?

Vorpal
3/31/2010 12:48pm,
All these reviews are awesomely well written. I never understood the thought process behind buying cheap ass guns. You can get a really decent gun for around $700, I could pull that down in 3 weeks back in the early 80's as a teenager. What the Hell is wrong with people?

Scrapper
3/31/2010 2:32pm,
JJX,

I reviewed the hi-point as well. I love 'em. My next gun will be the carbine.

Scrapper
3/31/2010 2:40pm,
All these reviews are awesomely well written. I never understood the thought process behind buying cheap ass guns. You can get a really decent gun for around $700, I could pull that down in 3 weeks back in the early 80's as a teenager. What the Hell is wrong with people?

I hate gun snobs (got an article somewhere about that too: Gun Snobs- - Page 2 - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2128449) ).

Sometimes you just don't have the cash. Every "budget gun" I've reviewed has been under 400.00, and most under 300.00.

There are MANY good-quality firearms out there that perform well and get the job done for less $ than you would think. The hard part is getting around the prevailing mentality that with firearms, anything that didn't cost 3 weeks pay is going to blow up and kill your family.

Cy Q. Faunce
4/06/2010 10:24pm,
How reliable is the Raven?

I think its design is mostly derived from the Walther P-1.

Mtripp
4/06/2010 10:35pm,
The problem with the Raven is that you have to carry it "Condition three" (Loaded mag, nothing in the chamber) most of the time. If you carry it "condition one" (cocked and locked) if you drop it, it will go off. The "safety" is a "slidey thing" that I would hate to have to deal with under stress.

Lots of people shot themselves carrying one, as I learned in my time as an ER tech.

Is charter arms still out there? They used to make a very inexpensive but reliable snub .38.

Cy Q. Faunce
4/06/2010 11:36pm,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_Arms#History

Short answer: Still here, still producing basically the same revolvers.

Scrapper
4/07/2010 7:36am,
As for reliability, an MP-25 built before 1985 will go "boom" fairly reliably. Mines's an '82, and it rarely fails to fire. If you try to work the trigger fast, it WILL jam, though.

After '85 it really is a production quality dice roll.

And Mr. Tripp is absolutely correct about the safety.

Vorpal
4/07/2010 8:35am,
I don't consider myself a "gun snob". I have more experience with firearms than most people. I had a 21 year military LE career (active and reserve), am currently federal firearms instructor and worked for a major firearms importer/manufacturer/retailer for about a decade. Some "inexpensive" (everything is relative) guns are indeed bargains. Ruger semi-autos are very reasonably priced. The Norinco 1911 was a great base gun for custom build ups. Other less expensive guns are just crap. Sure, if you pull the trigger they may go "bang" most of the time, but their internal parts are mostly cheap bent sheet metal, the internal fit and finsih are crap and the probability of them not operating correctly at the very time you need it the most is at least marginally greater than with a gun costing a bit more. I don't advocate spending a thousand dollars that you can't spare on a Kimber, but people who claim it's too hard to save up 500-700 dollars for a decent gun but already have a 55" flatscreen in their living room are full of crap.