Shooting small(est)

James over at Hell in a Handbasket asked for this, so a tip of the  hat towards him.

Before I start, let me explain to you the kind of mouse gun I have. I’ve got a Colt model 1908 vest pocket in .25 auto. It looks very similar to this one:


 It’s a 4 and half inches long, with a whopping 2 inch barrel, and it packs a 6 round magazine. It’s small enough that I can rest the entire pistol in the palm of my hand.

I’ve had my 1908 VP for roughly 5 years, and  I can say without a doubt, it is an absolutely awesome pistol to shoot.

However, my experience with mouse guns goes far beyond just my 1908 VP. I’ve fired several different Kahrs, a Seecamp, and a Beretta Tomcat.

Now, that being said, here are my experiences, cautions, and tips on shooting and carrying mouse guns.

First, you have to know the limitations of your mouse gun. One of the first things you need to find out, is the maximum range that you can accurately put bullet on target. This is what I did to figure out the max range for my 1908 VP, and will work for just about any pistol. I purchased a pack of the regular 10 ring targets at Wally World and headed out to the shooting range. I hung one up, and stood back at a distance of 5 feet. I aimed and fired 3 shots. Then I went back another 5 feet, and fired 3 more. I kept going back 5 feet after every 3 shots until I wasn’t hitting any of the rings of the target. Once I wasn’t, I went forward 3 feet and did it again. All 3 were barely in the rings. I cleared my pistol, put it on safe, and got a tape measure out to see what that distance was (22 feet to be exact).

Now that you know the maximum range, get used to what that looks like. What really helped me out was I had an understanding girlfriend. When we would go to Wally World, Target, or other stores, she’d walk 7 yards away from  me. I learned what a human body looks like at that range, and what I needed to do to ensure that I neutralized the target. When dealing with mouse guns, every foot counts.

The next step, is ammo selection. You have to choose a round that allows for maximum penetration with maximum expansion, and will feed and fire in your gun of choice. Jacketed Hollow Points are normally the norm here, but remember, especially when dealing with smaller calibers like .25 and .32, the sacrifice of max penetration for max expansion isn’t worth the trade off. One thing to note here, is when you do start the ammo selection, start off buying the smallest boxes you can. I learned that my 1908 VP can’t shoot JHP rounds, after I had already bought a 100 round value pack of it!

Right now, I’m just trying to find any kind of  .25 ammo I can buy locally, however, if I had to carry my 1908 VP in a defensive capacity, I’d carry it loaded with these: 45 gr. Super-X® Expanding Point. They will fit, feed, and function perfectly in my 1908 VP, as I’ve shot a box of them before. With those, I get the feeding reliability of an FMJ round, but the energy deposit of a JHP. Plus, I get better penetration than an FMJ round.

Once you have selected the ammo you wish to use, shoot with it! I can not stress that enough. Ammo varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even from lot to lot. I’ve had instances where I’ve been dead on with Winchester Whitebox, but was shooting high with PMC Bronze. That would’ve been very dangerous in a life or death situation. While it may be expensive, especially if your shooting high end personal defence JHP rounds, it will pay off in spades when push comes to shove. The other thing too, is you need to make sure it will fit, feed, and function in your pistol. Like I mentioned earlier, I can’t shoot JHPs in my 1908 VP. Thankfully I learned that at the range, and not in the middle of a gun fight.

Earlier, I talked about penetration and expansion and wanted to touch on it again. For small calibers, like the .25 and .32, penetration is key. While your average 9mm Luger round will penetrate bone, you can’t have that guarantee with smaller calibers. I’ve read numerous accounts where a person was shot with a .25 and had the round simply skip off their sternum. This means shot placement is VERY important. You have to aim for vital areas that are either not protected by bone, or where bone is the thinnest. Shots to the liver, spleen, or celiac plexus nerve cluster (a.k.a. the solar plexus) are very painful and can very easily cause a person to bleed to death. While it won’t outright kill the attacker, it will neutralize them to the point that they are no longer a threat. Shooting the celiac plexus nerve cluster can also cause the diaphragm to spasm, which leads to difficulty breathing. All of those places aren’t protected by bone. Bone is thinnest at the temples, eye socket, and the nose. If shot in the nose, chances are great that the bullet will pierce the brain stem, which causes instant death.

For larger calibers, shot placement is still key because of smaller magazines. Though, with a larger bullet and better penetration, you have a lot more vital areas that you can shoot, even with a smaller barrel.

I don’t have a CHL. But, I do have the equipment to carry my 1908 VP concealed if/and or when I am legally able to. I have a knock off version of one of these: Pocket Holster. I love mine for many reasons. They cover the trigger, they have an anti-print panel, and if you were tighter pants and it does print, people think it’s a wallet. It’s perfect for t-shirt/short weather, because you can stick it in your pocket or cargo pocket, and you hardly notice it there. Because of the square design, mine doesn’t shift around in my pocket, even when I’m running full speed.

If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email or post a comment. My contact info is to the right under, well, contact info. :P


4 Responses to “Shooting small(est)”

  1. […] One such is Jay, who very kindly agreed to share his thoughts.  You can find some really good methods for finding the maximum effective range of your gun, the best ammo to use, and other practical tips.  Highly recommended. […]

  2. Great post! Lots of really practical advice.

  3. Resources like the one you revealed here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

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