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(This is a reader gun review contest entry, click here for more details – enter by December 26th!)

By Paul K.

“The best concealed carry gun is the one you have on you”…unless that gun is a Phoenix HP25A, then you might as well carry a rock. What we have here is a Phoenix Arms HP25A. Phoenix Arms is located in Canada and they manufacture two guns, the HP22A chambered in .22 LR and the HP25A chambered in .25 ACP. They also sell different “range kits” for the HP22A, with different length barrels . . .

Here is the entire description of the HP25A from the Phoenix Arms website:

Phoenix Arms Model HP25A is a single action semi-auto .25 ACP pistol with a 9-round capacity magazine that provides a compact yet comfortable grip in a size of just 4.1 by 5.5 inches and a weight of 20 ounces. Features include 3-inch vented rib barrel, serrated trigger, adjustable rear sight, magazine interlock with a manual slide hold open, external hammer and firing pin block safety. Available in satin nickel or matte black finish.

Before going any further, it is critical to know the HP25A currently retails for $128 on Gunbroker as I write this. That is the New In Box price. Now that you know what the price point is, the rest will fall into place.

The HP25 is a neat little gun when you first pick it up. This little shooter is a great gun to hold. It is super small and the curves are so smooth and contoured just right, it caresses you hand as you sit on your couch and pretend you’re holding James Bond’s backup pistol. The nickel finish of the pistol is very good for its price point. There are no burrs or sharp edges on the pistol at all. You start seeing the detail that was put into such an affordable, and concealable hand gun, such as the rib barrel, adjustable rear sight, and the massive and super smooth undercut on the trigger guard.

Then you start to think this would be a really nice pocket pistol you could take to the office and use to fend off any disgruntled coworkers wielding shotguns. And you start thinking about how, even though it’s a .25 ACP, that is still better and more reliable than 22. And besides, shot placement is everything right?

And so what if it weighs 20 oz., everyone knows that quality things are heavy. Only real men carry full metal guns, right? You start thinking about how you can now start carrying this in your sweat pants pockets at the gym because it is so small. Maybe you could get an ankle holster, or give it to your wife as a purse gun. Then all of those dreams vanish once you understand the battery of arms of this pistol.

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Safety Queen
It is important to know the HP25A has two external, manually operated safeties. Now before you get all “but 1911’s have two external safeties”, slap yourself and sit down while I learn you something. On the HP25A, the safety on the frame locks the slide and the trigger. The safety on the slide operates the firing pin safety. Yes you read that correctly, a manual firing pin safety.

To turn off the firing pin safety, you move the lever up. To turn off the trigger/slide safety, you move the lever down. Maybe you are starting to see the problem with using this as a defensive pistol. I’d say you would have about a 50% chance of having both safeties in the desired position if you tried to use this pistol in a high stress situation.

It would be a slightly different story if you could just swipe you thumb down the side of the slide and frame to deactivate both safeties. But since you have to swipe up to turn off the firing pin safety, and down to turn off the trigger safety, you are asking a lot of your fine motor skills while some crackhead is trying to cut out your eye with a broken bottle (hey, I’m not gonna judge where you hang out).

Now I understand why these safety levers move in different directions (or at least I suspect I understand). If the pistol were sliding around in your pocket, you would not have both safeties deactivated if it were to slide in one direction. Especially for a single action gun. This way, if both safeties are up, the trigger is safe, if both safeties are down, the firing pin is safe.

I will say, though, that the frame safety does have a positive actuation and is positioned right where your thumb rests. This positive aspect is quickly negated, though, since you cannot remove the magazine unless the safety is on. You also cannot get the safety off until the magazine is back in. And you cannot rack the slide with the safety on. Therefore, it is impossible to disassemble the gun unless the magazine is in and the safety is off. Nice feature …eh?

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.22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP, 9mm, .45 ACP

If it doesn’t start with a 2, and end in ACP… oh wait…is that how it goes?

Yeah, this pocket cannon is chambered in the potent, popular, and practical .25 ACP. What’s that, you don’t agree with that analysis of the .25 ACP cartridge? Then join the club. The .25 ACP round is basically a more reliable alternative to using a rimfire cartridge for self-defense. It’s center fired, but at the same costs as a box of .45 ACP.

I find it incredibly hard to justify training routinely with this round. It is certainly not a “plinking” round due to cost, and I don’t advocate hunting anything with a 3″ barrel. This, I think, is the advantage to the HP22A, chambered in .22 LR. At least .22 is cheap (if not readily available at the time) and with their range kits, the .22 version might be a fun gun to plink around with.

Magazine
Yes that is singular, as it comes with only one mag. Remember those Magpul videos of pickup trucks running over PMAGs and them still working? Yeah, don’t do that with these. My 9-round magazine can only load five rounds. I think there is a bend in the middle of the mag which blocks the follower. I’m sure I can get it to load the full 9 if I disassemble the mag and get the bend out of the middle, I just haven’t taken the time to do it.

Disassembly
I hope you have your safety glasses on and brought you helper monkey.

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First, make sure the safety is off, the magazine is in, and the hammer is cocked. I am not kidding at all when I say this is the easiest way to disassemble this gun. All you need to do is slide the metal bar just forward of the trigger guard forward to let the barrel pop up. It’s possible, but not fun. The front of the barrel lifts up and the recoil spring shoots out. Then you are free to move the slide off by moving it slightly forward of its normal position, then it lifts straight off.

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Reassembling is a little tricky, but done in reverse of disassembly. I disassembled it a couple of times, then vowed never to try it again. Just soak the thing in Hoppes and call it a day.

Shooting Impressions
Snake-bite! That is my nickname for this gun because you get a lot of hammer bite due to a lack of an extended beaver tail. Believe me when I say I teacup held the $#!\ out of that pistol to see if I could mitigate some of that slide bite, but I had no such luck. The palm swell is so pronounced — and comfortable — that it forces your hand back into the strike zone of the hammer.

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Recoil is almost nonexistent. It’s a .25 cal, 20 oz. pistol, so of course it is a soft shooter. I equate it to firing a steel frame 1911 with a 22 conversion kit. Very minimal recoil, and rather quiet.

The trigger on this specific Phoenix is…broken? The trigger pull is a heavy single action pull, but the trigger reset, doesn’t work. I’m not sure if the trigger return spring is worn, or if the gun needed to be lubed better, but when I would pull the trigger and fire the gun, the trigger would have to be pushed forward with my finger. So rapid fire was impossible. Again, I do believe this is an issue with this gun specifically, and not necessarily all Phoenix guns, but that is a major issue.

Reliability wise, this never failed to cycle or fire. Every shot went through the gun, only the trigger seemed to have failed.

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Drift adjustable sights on a 2″ barrel pocket pistol, LOL. Nice try, Phoenix. Almost had me sold on using this as a target pistol. That said, at five yards I was able to get groups in about a 3-inch circle which I think is pretty good for such a small gun. At seven yards, those groups really opened up, though. I don’t think it was the fault of the pistol at all.

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Because of the fixed barrel that doesn’t move while cycling, this is a rather accurate pistol. I think my groups just opened up because I could not find a comfortable way to hold the pistol. Add in the super-short sight radius and I would eliminate this as an option for your next bowling pin match. I think the .22 version with an extended barrel and sight radius as provided with the range kits could actually be a decent shooter — if your hands are small enough not to get bitten.

Overall
In the end, for the price this is a neat little gun, when/if it works. It’s a ton of fun to hold and play with, but unless you have the .22 version, it’s not practical to spend money on the high cost of .25 ACP ammo. If you are looking for a .22 plinking gun that’s fully metal for under $130, then pick one up. If you are looking for a CCW pocket pistol then look elsewhere.

There are far better option in far more potent calibers without two awkward manual safeties. For $128 gun, this thing is actually built pretty well. I’ve seen worse craftsmanship and refinement on brand new Ruger revolvers. If you get one that works, in .22, it’s hard to justify getting rid of it. Partially because a .22 would be fun to own, and partially because you can’t sell something nobody wants.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style * * * *
This is a nice little gun for a nice price. Fit and finish are very good and it is quite comfortable to hold.

Ergonomics Carry * * * *
I have to give it four stars due to its size, though it is heavy. I highly recommend you NOT carry this pistol due to the two manual safeties.

Ergonomics Firing * *
Too much slide bite for my hands, but it might not be a problem for people with smaller hands.

Reliability *
I have to give it one star because the trigger did not reset, and the mag only held five rounds, but it did fire and cycle everything that was chambered.

Customize this * *
Phoenix offers different length barrels for the HP22A, and you can get different color grip panels off of gunbroker. That is all I have seen for this.

Overall * * *
In .22, this would be pretty fun. I will have to look into the trigger and the mag problems, especially since the cost new is $128. I would find it extremely hard to believe anyone would have buyer’s remorse over dropping that kind of money on a pistol with practically no resale value. It has the potential to be a lot of fun so long as it remains a novelty and isn’t taken seriously as a defensive firearm.

80 Responses to Gun Review: Phoenix HP25A

  1. Yes the 1911 has two safeties except one of them is passive and is deactivated when you grip it. The other safety is for horseholders and is easy to disengage with the sweep of your thunb. Other than that the systems are identical.

    • I’m a Glock guy. I do like the 1911’s style even though I don’t desire a safety. I have had experience with the Phoenix 25 and I must say, it must have been designed by Bloomberg or a cop. Makes the 1911 out to be the perfect gun.
      A lady had this gun and never shot it. A relative gave it to her for home defense. She wanted me to evaluate it, shoot it, clean it and give her my opinion. My first suggestion was she sell it…not to me. Then I told her that she should use it at the range only. This gun is like a Chinese lock box to get it to function. I think there are seven safeties on it. It is worse than overkill. Should be called overdie because if you get into a gunfight with it you are going to die.

      • Remember, we live in the age of no civil liberties and big government. Low wages and now for the handloader, because of big government. 22 LR is not as inexpensive as it once was. For a range only flinch reducer practice piece, Super glue is cheap, for dumb cagey old guys who can compete in PPC or Cowboy, don’t get in front of my sights at 25 feet.

      • The review of the Phoenix .25 handgun was flawed from the get go. Phoenix is NOT based in Canada- they are based in California! (the city of Ontario, California to be exact). If the reviewer can’t even figure out correctly where the gun is made, the rest of the review is irrelevant!

        • You are 100% right. I do not think the writer knows a thing about guns. But as you can see by other comments. The cattle go along with him with out any research. I have checked other reviews and independent research. This is a good gun. With good close range ballistics.

  2. “…then you might as well carry a rock.”
    Okay, let’s see your review of the rock also. Come on, be fair about it.

    I’d probably take the rock even with out the review.

  3. I have the .22lr model and its a fun little gun the dule safety is insane but there is a “fix” and extra mags are cheep and ship very fast direct from phonex. The slide does try to bite but you qwickly learn it has a different grip becauce of the small size this was my first pistol and for anyone learning i would recommend.

    • I used to have one of these about 10 years ago. I would never carry it for self defense or even as a backup but for plinking, it was a fun little shooter. I put hundreds of rounds through mine with no failures or malfunctions. Don’t judge every gun based on it’s viability as a carry option, as a paper puncher it is a great cheap option.

  4. This may be the best pistol ever reviewed here. I can’t recall any other pistol that even works with a busted trigger and busted mag? 🙂

  5. Nice thorough review! Unfortunately, made me cross this pistol off my list permanently. It is however, very good looking and the photo is what made me read the Review. Hope you can resolves some of the issues you found with trigger and magazine. Issues with safeties and “biting”…well….

    • I actually did that once. Went and bought 10 .25 Ravens for $29 a piece(a local gun shop had dozens of those on hand). Then took them straight to the buyback, where they gave $50 a piece. Made $200 in an hour.

  6. Due to the magazine-safety interlock, there is also an issue many folks have with unloading the gun with a round in the chamber. You have to engage the slide safety to remove the mag, and you can’t disengage the slide safety with the mag out. Since you can’t rack the slide unless the mag is in, and you can’t eject the chambered round without racking the slide–well, you see the problem. Some folks actually modify the slide safety-mag interlock, but there is an easier work around. Just engage the slide safety, drop the mag just a tad, disengage the slide safety, then you can go ahead and pull the mag all the way out and rack the slide to clear the chambered round.

    • I seem to recall being able to lock the slide back, ejecting the chambered round, and then drop the mag. It has been a while though.

      • Makes sense, I thought there was another work-around. Almost bought one of the .22 models at the LGS for $130 or so, then I saw info on all the safeties, etc. Then I saw more info on how to reduce the inconvenience. Not sure if I would buy one, I just bought a single-action .22 revolver for plinking so I’ve got that covered now.

  7. I had the 22 version and traded it off. the problem with the trigger reset is that the spring that does it is right under the grip, and the damed thing is next to impossible to reassemble without one of the legs of the spring coming off.
    That said , mine was more accurate than you suould expect. If you followed the instructions and used standard velocity ammo, It would shoot verry reliable . I would not choose it for EDC. I always left the slide safety off. you will almost always get slide bite from it ,

  8. “Great build quality, but the magazine and trigger came broken from the factory.” You could use that statement to cause a Star Trek robot to self-destruct…

  9. My first pistol purchase was one very similar, in caliber, and lineage.

    The predecessor of the Phoenix was Raven Arms, then made in California. I happened to be stationed in
    that State, so when I had a little fun money, I picked one up.

    I haven’t fired it much in the last 20 odd years, as the .25 ACP is spendy, and I ain’t about to buy dies to
    reload them either.

    Fun little gun, in an exceptionally limited way. Nice, even-handed write-up…

  10. They couldnt sell any tickets to give one away last night at the local gun store during the Christmas raffle.. i think they finally just used it as a paperweight for the 4473 forms..

  11. “safety” systems that interfere with operation? Check

    More likely to harm the shooter than the target? -Check

    Looks pretty but delivers little? -Check

    Sure this wasn’t designed for CAlifornia and not CAnada? 🙂

  12. I have the Phoenix HR-22A. It is nice, inexpensive, accurate, little plinker for $120. A few things to comment on from the review:

    1. Phoenix is in Ontario, California, not Canada.
    2. The excessive safeties are made for California but are easily removed in about 5 minutes with no special tools. Plenty of material on the internet about how to do this.
    3. With the safeties removed, it has basically the same manual of arms as a 1911 so is great inexpensive practice.
    4. You can ignore the hammer safety unless you want to decock safely.
    5. I have small hands, no hammer bite at all.
    6. Comes with 3-inch barrel for concealability. Got a 5-inch barrel for $20 for accuracy.
    7. Life-time warranty.

    What’s not to like?

    • Aww yeah-we must have been writing these simultaneously, Pete. And, I forgot in mine below, YES mine is damn accurate

  13. I got one of these in the .22lr flavor despite all the crap I saw written about it with all the intention of altering the maglock safety, but I quickly figured out that I didn’t mind them. If you just picture each of the safety mechanisms “opening” or “closing” the round’s ability to exit the barrel, they require no extra contemplation. I carry mine sometimes, its hefty and has almost zero recoil. The one I have has had one instance of failing to strip the last round from a magazine with 650+ rounds fired (‘m fairly confident it was the magazine). With a couple days’ practice, 3-4 .22lr rounds to center mass with rapid firing in an average DGU distance is child’s play. And you’d be surprised how good of a trigger these models have.

  14. Good review but they are made in Ontario, California; not Canada. When was the last time a new auto was reviewed anywhere without a single FTF, jam or stovepipe? For that reason it sounds like the Phoenix might be worth keeping around. I have had the .22 for awhile and after I made the easy fixes on the safeties (see Youtube) it functions much like any other single action auto. And yes, it is the ONLY auto I own that still has a 100% fire rate after putting about 1000 rounds through.

  15. I’d take a Hi-Point anytime before this junk You forgot to mention zymac …not really metal folks. Was this a serious review?

  16. Back when I didn’t know any better – and there weren’t many better choices – I carried a Beretta 21A as a hide out gun. . I still have it since its a pretty decent quality pistol and nobody would want to buy it anyway. In those very far off days the street wisdom was to carry a .25 instead of a .22 because center fire cartridges were considered to be much more reliable and feed better than rim fires. I loaded my Beretta with Federal ball ammunition since it had the highest claimed muzzle velocity (slightly more than throwing rocks) and we knew that no .25 hollow points would open up and expand at any velocity. Today my hide out is a .380 Ruger LCP – much more gun in a similar sized package.

    • I own a Beretta 950BS in .25acp that I use as a hot weather ccw. Not much power, but well made and reliable.
      Conventional wisdom says aim for the head/neck area, and as this is a close quarters weapon, hitting this area should not be too difficult. I wouldn’t try shooting it out with someone armed with a larger weapon, but if somebody is behaving badly with a blade or a bat or some such thing, several rounds in the face or the suprasternal notch should provide an adequate attitude adjustment.

  17. Not sure if it’s a serious review but if you’re going to make a serious comment, how about using real English words? I refer to “zymac”… not really a word, folks. If you mean the zinc alloy that the frame of the Phoenix is milled from, OK. But last time I checked zinc IS a metal. We don’t mind frames made from aluminum or plastic but why is zinc taboo? Just because inexpensive guns are made from it? How about thinking outside the box every now and then? Would it lend more respect if Phoenix priced this gun north of $500?

  18. I can already tell you this isn’t going to win the contest, because right off the bat the “reviewer” makes a critical mistake – Phoenix Arms is an American company, not a Canadian one. This moron (because that’s what he is, proof: this glaring mistake) read “Ontario, CA” and automatically assumed it was Canada, when anyone who knows anything about firearms, especially Ring of Fire guns, would know that Ontario, CALIFORNIA is a hotbed for inexpensive gun manufacturing.

    • yeah! anybody and anyone who ever knew anything about anywhere ever at all! ever!

      good lookin’ gun. zinc shmink. cheap too. i’d pay fitty. in .22.

  19. That has to be the hottest looking compact semi I’ve seen in a long time! Maybe the spawn of a Smith 5906 and a PPK. Too bad about about the rest.

  20. “I’d say you would have about a 50% chance of having both safeties” in proper position to fire.

    I’d say it’s more like 25%.

  21. Yeah as was already pointed out, this gun is illegal in Canada so it would be silly for a gun maker to produce it here and export it. The exportation costs would defeat the purpose of making such a cheap gun lol.

  22. Do not believe the bullshit! this is a nice gun for what it is I have fired over 5000 rounds out of mine no problems and it is pretty accurate also look on you tube you can take care of the safety problems, and one other small thing come at me with your rock when I have it in my hand then we will see which you would rather have?

  23. First of all, this gun is made in Ontario, California! Not Ontario, Canada! I had a 25auto years ago for a pocket pistol. It was not a PA brand but ammo was super cheap back then. I purchased the PA 25auto nickel finish for $120, not thinking about the possible cost of or availability of ammo at the time of purchase. Once I realized I probably should have made a better choice, it was too late. Having said that, I got this gun to help train my wife with a handgun of smaller caliber to familiarize her with a handgun. Then move on to something bigger. Then I end up with a small picket pistol. My very first shot with this pistol was set at 5 yards, which is about as far as I want to be from the meant to be target. The first shot was dead center bullseye. I found I am a dead eye with this little pistol! I love it! It never misfires, and I mostly use the hammer safety with the hammer down and just pull back the hammer when I’m ready to fire. I leave the slide safety alone unless locking it open. As far as power, this is a up close weapon. Unfortunately, I witnessed the results of a shooting years ago involving a 25auto. The guy that took the bullet was a big boy pushing his weight around, bullying a guy of smaller statue. He took 1 round right below the ear angling up due to the element of surprise! They say he was dead before he hit the floor! This pistol is not to pull and back down someone, it’s to surprise the attacker when you can’t talk or walk out of a situation and you are in too close. But you would need to place the round accurately, god forbid!
    I really like this gun! Too bad about the ammo. I found a place that always stocks 25auto, but I’m still shopping for a better price. It’s a great target gun, I find it to be quite accurate at 5 yards. I would recommend it to people if the ammo was cheaper. Get some dart targets and play cricket or 501! Stay safe!

  24. I have had a great deal of fun with my 22 long version my family and friends have all shot the shit out of it ,! It would not shock me if it has had 30000 rounds if not 60000 or more fired out of it. That was when you could get 22 longs cheap like 555 for under twenty bucks . Now that I’m thinking of it I should add more zeros to numbers of rounds . The only problem I had was the recoil spring that they would send me for free .I have let a couple of my friends use it for their conceal course .that is why I got it to begin with for my class it’s a lot less shocking to pull out instead of my ak pistol or my 410 public defender not to mention a lot cheaper to shoot even with the cost of be 22lr today.

  25. Poorly written and factually inaccurate. I’m afraid this isn’t one of the better reviews I’ve read.

    I own the hp25 and it has been a very reliable weapon. Like many people have stated, it wouldn’t be my first choice for a shootout, but it’s tiny and nobody can tell I’m carrying it. It’s the type of gun you whip out when you need to buy a few seconds to get away, and it’s perfect for that. I leave the bottom safety off so I only have one to worry about. This gun has saved me twice, once just by pulling it out when a road raging driver followed me home with the intentions of beating me up (my wife and kids were in the car, too) and once when I was attacked by a dog in my own front yard. Yes, it took my entire magazine to kill the damn thing (it was a large dog), but if I hadn’t been carrying it I would’ve been a German Shepherd’s chew toy.

    It’s a great gun for what it is, and you can’t beat the price. If yours gives you problems, send it back. That’s what lifetime warranties are for.

  26. Ever notice when something comes out that looks good, costs less, performs above expectations, sells great. All the negatives come out for one reason or another, some don’t even own one of these, others who own something else that perform less, and paid more money for theirs. some haven’t even seen a hp25A yet they try to convince you not to buy it. Some have no idea why some gun manufac. put safeties on weapons in the first place. some don’t read the manuals and then bitch when the gun don’t perform as they think it should. I have known quite a few so called experts such as these. They remind you of the auto you bought that is inferior and you should have bought one like their’s or, you should have bought a red one, not a blue one. I’m just sayin’…………..

  27. I just bought the 22 and love it, inexpensive and the ammo is cheap. Fired it and hit my bullseye the first five shots. I don’t need a hog leg to stop anybody. I drove an ambulance for 10 years and a 22 do as much or more damage as big caliber weapons.

  28. I had a Phoenix HP22A several years ago. Bought it from a campus cop — then got fed up and sold the darn thing to a USAF officer in my gun club. In theory it was a nice weapon. The nickel finish looked beautiful. The lines and curves were smooth and elegant. Its overall form was perfect for concealed carry, and was so soft shooting I could hit the target every time without flinching. 4 main problems though:

    1. The manual of arms was outlandishly complicated. This is not something you’re going to reload in a multiple assailant situation. Heck, loading it at the shooting range was bit of a circus.

    2. Reassembly after cleaning was tricky. Inevitably involved needing 3 hands and playing “find that spring!” all over the house.

    3. …and it really needed to be cleaned religiously. It jammed a little too easily (one way or another) if dirty. It was reliable enough when clean, but after 2 or 3 magazines…

    4. The metal was too soft! This was the big reason I finally gave up and sold it. The inexplicably vented rail thing bent easily under fingernail pressure. I discovered this by accident one day. Did not inspire confidence in the rest of the pistol’s durability.

    Now, if someone could produce a .22 that looks and feels exactly like a Phoenix HP22A but doesn’t suck, and price it around $200? Then I’d be very tempted.

  29. I just purchased the Phoenix .25c and it is not as bad as most people make it out to be..I just took it to the range and fired 450 shots and not one jam. Honestly I think people criticism is due to the double safety which I don’t mind at all..I prefer safety..the Phoenix .25c is a good small caliber pistol for your buc. It is not the best but by far not as bad as most people say.

  30. This may well be the most inaccurate, biased and stupid article ever to infest the Internet. The HP22A is accurate out of the box and completely reliable. For people on a tight budget, it’s about as good as it gets.

  31. I agree with everyone who said that this article is not written well. As soon as the writer stated that the gun is made in Canada, I knew this review was pure garbage. Phoenix Arms (“PA”)is a manufacturer in Ontario, CALIFORNIA. PA is one of the infamous “Ring of Fire” (“RoF”) companies – the companies that manufactured most of “Saturday Night Special” type weapons that were extremely popular with criminals and the poor, because they were cheap and concealable. The RoF companies produced millions of guns

    I bought one precisely because it was a RoF gun, as a collectible. The many safeties on PA guns are the result of lawsuits against one of PA’s predecessor’s Bryco Arms, in which the gun’s lack of effective safeties was blamed for the death of a 7 year old. Bryco Arms lost the case, along with a $24 million judgement against them, and was forced to shut down. Bruce Jennings, the owner, moved to Florida and declared bankruptcy.

    And as for the alloy, which many call “pot metal”, Zamak 3 is a zinc alloy used in many industrial applications. Zamak3 has a tensile strength of 31,000 psi, and melts at 718-729 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that all the people out there who hate Zamak 3 guns, like the PA and the Hi-Points… and claim that the Zamak 3 alloy is dangerous and the gun will thus fail on them… are basically IDIOTS.

    Zamak 3 will not magically explode or warp from the typical use of your cheap firearm. Now, if you intend to use the gun heavily, over years and years, then yes, it will definitely wear out way before a steel weapon would. If you intend to put 1000’s of rounds through your firearm, then why did you buy a cheap firearm? The Philosophy of Use for these weapons is that they will not be fired often, and should be used as a last resort – typical civilian use in most cases.

  32. you are absolutely right! this is a very reliable well made handgun. not for shootouts but definitely will save you in a pinch. this review was the worst review i ever saw for any handgun. first of all the gun was made in ontario california, not canada! second the gun reviewed was broken and had a block in the magazine, and that’s not how the gun comes from the factory unless it stays in california due to strict gun laws there. i have put hundreds of rounds thru my gun and it has never failed once. third the safety issues with this gun can be completely eliminated with a dremel in about 10 minutes from the time you start to take the gun apart to when you pick it back up and fire it, it’s literally that easy of a fix and no skills are required. just search on youtube “phoenix hp22(or25) safety mod” and dozens or DYI video’s show up all showing this easy fix for the safeties. the fix eliminates the problem of not being able to remove the mag while gun safety is in fire position and also makes it possible to operate the slide when the mag is removed. i recommend that you find another review on this weapon as this persons review is very much flawed, and very inaccurate due to him reviewing a broken hand gun with a mag block and he doesn’t even know where the gun was built,which was not in ontario canada as he states , its ontario california, and that is why the weapon has so many safeties, due to california’s strict hand gun manufacturing laws. do yourself a favor and find another review for this hand gun that is a fare review.. in my opinion its the finest shooting and reliable handgun ever made in its price range and extremely durable.

  33. Well done reviews” by a few people ” lol, I just bought the 22 and was checking out the info from everyone on this forum, haven’t picked up the gun yet but many of the reviews here have been very helpful. Thanks to everybody.

  34. I’m not sure what happened to the 25 that was reviewed, but an $8 shipping fee could have fixed that problem with the trigger, what with the Lifetime Warranty and all. I have the HP22A and after well over 5000 rounds had a few issues with the thing. Called the manufacture, which is in California, NOT Canada. They told me how to ship it back and within three weeks I received a brand new pistol with 2 mags and a slide lock. The new one is even more accurate than the old one, and “rapid fire” is possible, even at 10 yards I can get 2 inch groups. the whole “safety issue” can be handled by a little common sense, personally I use the hammer block, the reviewer called it a “firing pin” safety, and leave the trigger/slide safety off. If you are going to carry a loaded rim fire handgun with an external hammer you better make dang sure that hammer can’t strike the firing pin on accident. The pistol is a little difficult to assemble and disassemble if you are inexperienced or don’t have thumbs, but I haven’t had any real issues other than I wish the slide spring had a rod or something to keep it in place, as the writer stated it can spring out if you aren’t careful. It happened to me when reassembling it. All in all for under $140 bucks brand new in the box, this is a great little pistol. In fact, I saw a review once that compared this pistol to the Taurus and the Beretta, that stated this was a much better choice than the Taurus, and a close second to the Beretta. That review, much like myself, recommended the firearm if you are looking for a inexpensive, reliable 22 under 5 inches total. Oh did I mention that all total through both pistols I have shot over 6000 rounds and can’t remember having a single hangup, jam, stovepipe, etc…

  35. Read your write-up and it is very informative. I love inexpensive firearms.Have several of them and the Phoenix is the best.

  36. Unfortunately the author of this article is so poorly informed that he doesn’t know that Phoenix Arms is located in California not Canada.

    Under California law, the extra safeties that are being criticized are required to manufacture a firearm in the state.

    Check out your facts before you put pen to paper, Mr. Zimmerman.

  37. I suppose if this reviewer were to review an automobile that had a flat tire and a door that wouldn’t stay closed he would continue his review while bumping down the road on the flat tire and with the door flapping open and shut. Obviously, bonehead, you had a pistol with two major flaws that should have been fixed before you continued with your review. Instead you continued to bitch and act as if the broken parts were going to be a part of every other gun sold as if you were trying to scare other potential gun purchasers away.

    I think your ego decided to run away with itself given the opportunity to post a review that others would read. It is a patently unfair review and your bias against the gun is obvious and renders the entire review useless. If you haven’t got the good sense to alter your grip after being repeatedly bitten by the slide it says more about your flaws than it does about the pistols. I have shot this pistol often as I have a shooting buddy that owns one and we trade gun tryouts when we go shooting. I also have very large hands and have had no problem with slide bites and didn’t even know it was a problem until you whined on and on about it.

    If you are going to continue to write pistol review (please don’t?) I suggest that you spend some valuable time reading pistol reviews by respected writers. Hopefully you will learn how to write a good review to replace what you have written here.

    • Yeah, what’s he talking about?? I can see him trying to be all tactical with some funky a$$ grip. It’s like that dude I saw who blew his thumb off with a .454 or some BFR. I’m like “you put your thumb on the cylinder???”

  38. I own the nickle in .22 and just bought the .25 acp in black because a. It’s cheap, and b. I acquired a bunch of .25 ammo. I just got the .25 and all I can say is that perhaps I got a sticky mag. I’ll have to contact Phoenix. Rounds won’t load right after the third round. I just managed to get 8 rounds in it correctly… we will see. Now… The .22 is just nice. Like the article said, it feels and looks sweet. It’s my jeep glovebox gun. I’ve put maybe 100 rounds through it and no FTF’s and no jams. Yes, there are two safeties. So what? I like it. I feel good about having one in the pipe in my glove box with both safeties on. And, I’m not a %#@$ idiot so I can competently flip the little switches under duress if need be (will never need be because I’m not a Blackwater contractor and if I was I wouldn’t be packing a $100 .22 as any sort of kit). So the two safeties and I are cool. There’s no bite from the slide or the hammer. I have big hands and I let my girl friend shoot it too and there was no problem. Maybe you guys should quit taking every weapon to the tactical range and gripping it like your breaching a door or trying to save the president. It cost a hundred dollars. Just shoot the %&#@ tin can and have a good time. Oh and I bought a spare mag for 8 bucks. The HORROR… The HORROR…

  39. WOW! Years after Dan’s review we’re still adding comments! I can’t really say anything that hasn’t already been said, but perhaps I’ll at least add to the validation (or contradiction) of previous comments.

    First: Is .25 ACP a good ammo for self-defense? Let’s go back to Dan’s original article – the best firearm for self-defense is the one you have on you. Sure there are better choices. Some decry the use of anything that isn’t .40 or .45. Anyone with reasonable firearms knowledge, and the need for a carry piece, would no doubt go with a Taurus, SCCY or Kel-Tec in 9mm if looking at size or a price point. (Which of course will encourage nay-sayers, and I’m SO sorry they didn’t get a great, reliable one like I did.) For a little more money, you can get Ruger LC9, with a hammer-fired with a safety, or a wickedly accurate (and potentially dangerous) LC9s Pro. Or one of many other great small, good caliber firearms

    What grinds my gear is that virtually all, ALL firearms are judged on their use as a self-defense weapon. JEEZE can we get real? If you own more than a few firearms, I’m doubting that they are ALL adequate for every self-defense scenario. There are those of us who just like guns, like collecting, like shooting holes in paper, like learning new things. We don’t have to drop someone on crack or stop a grizzly bear, and sometimes I think some people believe that every firearm should be able to do that.

    Then there’s safeties. All, the despised safety – or the lack of one. As pointed out already, Phoenix exists in a semi-Nazi state that has very specific and mostly unreasonable firearms laws, from production to ownership – and even if it’s locked up at night.

    And as to their use, if someone can’t get comfortable with these simple safeties, my bet is they could never program a VCR, either. Some people are fortunate enough to possess the ability to learn new things. In target practice, you can leave the firing pin safety OFF, and just use the magazine safety when you need to reload. If you actually DO want to carry one of these (.22 or .25, and I don’t advise it), then leave the magazine safety OFF and use the firing pin safety. If you’re so prone to panic that you can’t remember to hit the magazine safety in order to change magazines, then you might want to reconsider carrying a firearm in the first place. With practice, you can quickly snap UP the mag safety and hit the release with your firing hand while your other hand is going for the other magazine.

    I own both the .22 and the .25, and I haven’t had a moment’s trouble with either. I’ve likely put 400 rounds through the .22, and 200 through the .25. Ammo is about twice as expensive for the .25 as the .22, but interestingly, Fiocchi, Winchester, Hornady and Speer (Gold Dot!) make hollow point ammo for it. Will it make a big hole? Nope. But it WILL make a hole.

    As to accuracy, some guns just aren’t for all people. I can put bullets almost through the same hole with a Ruger LC9s Pro and a Taurus 738, but can barely keep five inch groups with a Ruger LCP or a Glock 42. With the HP22 and HP25, I have no trouble keeping two inch groups at 7 yards. I might do even better if I had better eyes, but I have to stick with being able to see my sights, so sometimes that little bulls-eye gets a bit blurry.

    It’s not ALWAYS about the gun, fellas. YRMV.

    A little dissention in the ranks is fine; and I suspect when Dan originally wrote this he was going as much for entertainment value as he was a sincere review. Because I’m pretty sure the average carry guy really WOULD rather have 8 – 10 rounds of modest ammo to a single rock. Because rocks are a lot harder to aim.

    With that I leave you with the most common and best advice:

    Practice often
    If you carry, make it the largest caliber that you are competent with, and use reliable, tested ammo.
    Remember, running away isn’t a mark of cowardice – it’s a tool that can be used often as well as a gun.
    Finally, if you don’t go where you need to pull a gun, you may never need to pull a gun.

    Oh and everyone ever killed with a .22 or a .25… is still DEAD.

  40. FYI:
    Is there any kind of warranty with the purchase of a Phoenix Arms pistol?

    Yes, for the life of the Original Owner whose warranty card is on file, Phoenix Arms will repair or replace, at its sole discretion, any or all original parts of this pistol that are defective, or that become unserviceable due to normal usage. The exact warranty terms and conditions can be found in the back of the instruction manual that came with your Phoenix Arms product.

    What if I bought the pistol used?

    The warranty does not cover the purchase of a used pistol. Though we will service any Phoenix Arms pistol for a fee of $50.00, if the pistol is serviceable. Please contact customer service to determine if your pistol is serviceable.

  41. Man was this interview so far off it is pathetic. I have been shooting these guns for years. Own two of them. I train all the time with Point and shoot skills. Take a standard range target and place about 9, 3 inch glow target and shoot as fast as you can. Lousy at first, now some days I can get all of them.
    These guns are extremely reliable. I mean they eat any standard ammo. I only wish other guns that cost so much more would do the same. Realibilty 5 stars
    Handling. Man this gun feels good in the hand. Somewhat like a Sig 238, and I have a size large hand with long fingers.
    Accuracy, it is up to the shooter. Short barrel guns take practice. The gun will deliver the accuracy.
    These guns have a great following. Even Gun-Test mag gave the gun a A rating. I love them.Hey, do they hold up? I have been shooting them for 10 years and guess what? They have a life time warranty. And Great customer service.

  42. I owned one of these odd pistols some years ago, in the .22 LR version. I had NONE of the mechanical problems, but a huge frustration with the safeties…And so eventually traded it on something else.
    BUT the .22 was 100% reliable and very accurate and I see them selling online NOW in the far future of 2017 for under $120 on Gunbroker…and I’m thinking of buying one, now that I learned those safeties can be removed…
    Don’t care if it’s Zamack – at least it ain’t plastic.
    And we all learned that THIS Ontario is in California…

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