Though derided by macho gun lovers as a ‘mouse gun’, the Colt Automatic Caliber .25 pistol, along with its tiny rodent kin, have put plenty of people in the hospital or in the ground.
Of course the haters are correct about the weak ballistics of the cartridge, the 50 grain FMJ bullet having a muzzle velocity of only 750 fps with less than 65 foot/pounds of energy. OTOH the first rule of gunfighting is to bring a gun and the mini-Colt is one of smallest automatics ever made.
Lots of foreign manufacturers make clones of American guns but in this case Colt cloned a Spanish gun, the Astra Cub. They first had the weapon built by Unceta & Co. (Astra) in Spain for ten years (called the Junior Colt), and after the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited importation, bought the production license and built it in Maryland, USA from ’71-’73.
A handsome gun with polished blued metal and checkered walnut grip with inset rearing horse Colt logo, it weighs 12 1/2 ounces and is 4 7/16 inches long. Equipped with a six-round detachable chrome plated magazine (impossible to find spare mags), it uses a thumb safety which doubles as a slide hold-open device; a magazine safety prevents firing with mag removed. The round knurled external hammer shows instantly if the weapon is cocked.
The firing pin is non-rebounding and it’s unsafe to carry with a round in the chamber and the hammer resting on the firing pin. Despite its age Colt will correct this hazard at no charge. See below for Colt’s warranty contact information.
Though termed a ‘pocket pistol’, at close to a pound in weight it’s really too heavy to keep in your pocket. Holsters are not that common for it either so I modified a Bianchi .380 holster to fit it using scissors, knife and epoxy. It works well.
The low, non-snagging sights are built into the slide top and, like all such, are pretty much useless beyond spitting distance. But this is not a target gun and usually fired at near contact distance when shot in anger.
Though the cartridge is comparatively weak you wouldn’t know it from the fierce recoil, flash and bang-no doubt due to the short 2 1/4 inch barrel and the short grip which allows only a two-finger hold so a firm grasp is required. Holding it softly can also lead to misfires.
Disassembly is simple. Remove magazine, rack the slide and inspect chamber for that last forgotten deadly round. Holding slide fully back, push thumb safety forward 90 degrees until it engages with the slide notch to hold it open.
Rotate barrel 90 degrees counterclockwise, pull it forward about a half inch, then rotate clockwise 90 degrees and remove barrel. Release the safety and ease the slide forward and off. Remove recoil spring and guide. This is as far as you need go for cleaning but the grips are easily removed with a slotted screwdriver. Assembly is in reverse order.
If held firmly the Colt is reliable to shoot, my few misfires coming from weak-wristing it. Despite its size the flash and bang are impressive and the power is nothing to sneer at. I’ve shot through several inches of pine timber and through that much ice with ease.
Nobody wants to be shot, even with a ‘mouse gun’, and this little Colt (Astra) is one of the best small pocket autos.
Colt warranty contact information. Send a letter or postcard requesting information: do not send the gun.
Colt Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 1868
Department RC 25
Hartford, CT 06101
Production and serials chart courtesy http://www.coltautos.com
Photo near top from Colt brochure.
Disassembly diagram courtesy http://www.bevfitchett.us/firearms-assembly/colt-automatic-pistol.html
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