I blame my late friend Pete Dickey for my addiction to cheap auto pistols and break-open revolvers. If these are so-called “Saturday Night Specials,” then every night was Saturday night at Pete’s. He had them made into bookends, lamps and all sorts of novelty gifts. His enthusiasm for, and he fun he had with them, was contagious.
As much a novelty as these guns are today, there are many of them that are well made and served dutifully as third guns or for deep concealment. I personally don’t think it makes a difference what cartridge these little guns are chambered for. They aren’t “stoppers,” but rather “get off me” guns where reliability trumps power.
The one I used to carry in my front pocket is a Rigarmi in .25 ACP. Why .25 ACP? No reason. It just had to work reliably, especially on contact shots. With its fixed barrel, blowback action, semi-rimmed cartridges and single-stack magazine, there’s not much that can go wrong and, as far as cheap old guns, it’s pretty well made.
My little .25 has since been replaced by my Kel Tec P3AT, It’s just as reliable, holds as many shots, and is pretty much the same size but its polymer construction makes it much lighter than the Rigarmi—not to mention being chambered for a significantly more powerful cartridge.
So as it was with Pete, so it is with me; the little .22 Short and .25 Auto pistols are more of a novelty to me today. They’re still fun to shoot, but there are better third guns on the market.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”