Clayton writes …

I’d like to share with you a beautiful pocket pistol I acquired recently. It’s a Beretta 950BS chambered in .25 ACP, commonly referred to as a “Jetfire” to distinguish it from its .22 Short chambered relative known as the “Minx.” I purchased this from a former LEO and, judging from the amount of pocket lint underneath the barrel when I first disassembled it, I assume it was his backup gun. This particular gun was produced in 1989.


The 950 was produced from the early 1950’s until it was discontinued in the early 2000’s. The earlier models, known as the 950B, were produced in Italy. Following the 1968 GCA, it was produced domestically in Maryland with the addition of a manual thumb safety, hence the 950BS designation. It’s a simple blowback action that features a tip-up barrel which makes loading and unloading the chamber safe and fast. The magazine release is a button located on the bottom right-hand corner of the left-side grip, similar to the original Beretta 92. The single-action trigger is crisp and not too heavy with absolutely no creep. The frame-mounted thumb safety is positive and there’s no way it can be accidentally engaged or disengaged. It holds 8 rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber for a total of 9 rounds, making this a very attractive option for concealed carry. Owners of the 950BS can attest to the gun’s spectacular reliability, surprising accuracy, and excellent shootability. And at only 10 ounces unloaded, you hardly even know you’re carrying it. In fact, it has been serving as my go-to pocket pistol since I’ve had it.

Many people criticize the .25 ACP cartridge for its lack of stopping power, but the fact of the matter is that a well-placed shot with a full metal jacket cartridge will have adequate penetration to be lethal at standard self-defense ranges. Add in the fact that the 950BS holds 9 rounds and has a quick single-action trigger, and you have what YouTube user nutnfancy has dubbed “the King of Hideout Pistols.” To top it all off, this gun is very photogenic and has been seen in countless movies, including The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Licence to Kill, They Live, and Reservoir Dogs among many others.

These guns can be had on the used market for anywhere from the low $200 range up to $500 depending on the age and condition. I purchased this one for $275, which I felt was a good price considering the beautiful shape this gun is in. The only bluing wear to be seen is on the front corners of the slide and on the original magazine.(Replacement magazines are produced by Mec-Gar and can be had for pretty cheap.)

Clayton, thanks for the beautiful photos and great writeup.



  • iksnilol

    Are there any copper bulllet loads or something available for .25 acp? If not I would think that sticking to .32 is more prudent.

    • Sulaco

      Best round I ever saw for the .25 was a solid brass hollow point that was later ruled an “AP” and for a short time was made in pure copper.

      • iksnilol

        That sounds like a nice bullet. I am thinking for stuff like .25 acp you practically have to have AP just to match the FMJ of more powerful rounds.

    • Yallan

      Copper aids in hollowpoint expansion, it detracts from penetration which is the more important factor. The .25 acp lacks sufficient penetration, getting them in hollowpoint would make them practically useless. brassfetcher website has the results. 15 inch penetration is recommended by FBI.

      • iksnilol

        I thought a solid copper bullet (AKA not HP) would aid in penetration? Due to copper being harder and lighter than lead (resulting in higher velocity).

        • Giolli Joker

          Lighter bullets have more velocity but less density and momentum than heavier ones in the same caliber, thus they usually penetrate less.
          A full copper bullet won’t be much harder than a heavier fmj bullet with lead core.
          A practical application of this can be seen in the use of hard cast, heavy, lead bullets in revolvers used for big game hunting.

          • iksnilol

            What about those brass and copper solids used for hunting in Africa?

          • DaveP.

            Makes it easier to punch through the dense bone and thick muscle some of the African Top Ten have protecting their vitals. Elephants can have up to nine inches of bone over their brains and there’s many reports of bullets failing to penetrate the dense bone and horn on a Cape Buffalo’s head.
            There’s a reason they used to make the old African Grand Slam tungsten-core solids, after all.

          • Giolli Joker

            They have advantages and disadvantages.
            But physics still apply.

  • HenryV

    I like how quickly these can be fired.

  • gunsandrockets

    10 ounces to fire 9 shots single action isn’t bad.

    • Southerner

      Roughly 11.5 to 12 ounces loaded.

  • The_Champ

    I do believe James Bond carried a .25 cal Beretta 418 in the early, original novels by Ian Fleming.

    I’ve read them all at some point or another, and I think it was at the conclusion of ‘From Russia with Love’ where his Beretta(with silencer attached) gets snagged on a draw and it nearly costs him his life.

    Later Fleming had Bond upgrade to a .32 cal Walther PPK on the advise of a fan and firearms enthusiast who wrote in to offer his opinion that a .25 cal firearm lacked stopping power. This fan actually recommended that Bond carry a revolver of some type, but Fleming wanted to stick with an automatic.

    I think one of the early Bond movies also had Bond upgrade his carry gun in a similar manner.

    • Riot

      No it wasn’t anything to do with stopping power. The Walther was chosen because it’s cartridge was widespread across a number of countries.

      • Sulaco

        Actually “M”,s armor told Bond in the movie “Doctor No” if memory serves, that it, the Walther, “…Had a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window” stopping power (in the movie) was very much the reason. Cartridge availability was never mentioned…

  • wayne Reimer

    I had a Minx (the .22 short variant) which looks identical and functions the same way. It was a wonderful little pistol, although in .22 short it definitely fell into the “better than no gun at all…” category. It was great fun at the range, but really useless for anything other than an absolute last-ditch weapon. I sold it many years ago, prior to our convoluted, poorly thought out and grossly restricted firearms laws in Canada rendered it a “Prohibited Weapon”. I’ve often regretted having sold it, but at least I wasn’t stuck with a gun I could no longer use for any reason

    • Canadian Vet

      Except thar 12.5 and 12.6 handguns, in the hands of someone with those endorsements to his RPAL, can still still take them to the range no differently than any Restricted handgun. It is prohib long guns that are relegated to safe queens thanks to a bureaucratic screw-up.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    Whatever nutnfancy dubs anything is irrelevant. What a bunch of clowns.

  • Parker

    Have a 21A .22 tip up. Chose that over .25 because I thought practice ammo would be cheaper, and I wasn’t giving up much of anything in performance. It’s a great carry anywhere pocket gun for denied environments.

    • mosinman

      supposedly one large advantage .25 has over .22 is the centerfire ignition which aids in reliability

  • claymore

    Great little piece. I carried the .22 short minx as second gun for 10+ years until it was replaced by a Beretta 21 because dept mandated double action. Still have the minx but have replaced the barrel with a threaded one for suppressor use as you can see in the photo. Old squashed bronze donuts baffles with rubber separators that wore out. BUT the quietest firearm I own.

  • Josh The4thWatch

    Photogenic, indeed. A little gun cleaning therapy with the Jetfire.