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I’ve been having a tough time with audience approval of my choices for obscure objects of desire. Either they’re not desirable at all, or they’re not obscure enough for a lot of you. Maybe this time, I’ll get it right.

I’ve got a rather unique and pretty damn cool pistol here. Today we’re looking at the Seecamp LWS-25, which is obscure to a point. What makes it even more so are the words ‘Restricted Edition’ stamped on the side.

The World of Seecamp

While most people associate the name Seecamp with the small semi-automatic pistols, Ludwig Seecamp actually got his start with Mossberg. Later he became known for his Seecamp conversions of M1911s, in which he converted them to double-action guns.

It wasn’t until 1981 that the first Seecamp pistol rolled off the assembly line. Well, “assembly line” might be overstating it a bit. Legend has it that Ludwig Seecamp and his son, Larry, built them by hand in a rather small shop.

Little, fun to shoot, and odd…it’s perfect for me. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The reason the LWS-25 is somewhat obscure is that it was never made in any great numbers. Most sources say there were fewer than 5,000 ever made. Larry and Ludwig Seecamp were smart fellas and the reason the LWS-25 faded away was that they found a way to produce a gun that was the exact same size in .32 ACP and later in .380 ACP.

The .25 ACP isn’t exactly a capable caliber for self-defense. It has really poor penetration, and very few loads can reach the desired 12 inches of ballistic gel penetration. The .32 ACP and .380 ACP rounds certainly amp up the penetration factor. Who wants a .25 ACP when you could get a .32 ACP?

Recoil isn’t a major factor since the .32 ACP and later .380 ACP versions used an interesting gas-delayed blowback system, but the LWS-25 is a standard straight blowback design.

This little fella is pocket pistol perfection. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Historical note: the LWS-25 is where Seecamp designed the dual nested recoil springs we see in most handguns today.

The Restricted Edition Guns

Restricted Edition is some kind of limited model for police and military forces. There are a few legends about what this two-word phrase means. One of the stories is that at one point, Seecamp entered into a contract with one distributor to sell the pistols. This contract made it impossible to sell the handguns any other way, but a single clause allowed Seecamp to sell his pistol to friends, family, and existing customers. These were the Restricted Edition pistols. Allegedly.

Sadly mine lived a rough life and has tape holding the grips together. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I emailed Seecamp to try to verify the legend. Ludwig has passed away, and Larry Seecamp sold the company almost a decade ago, but the fine folks at Seecamp responded quickly. It’s true that Seecamp entered into a sole distributorship contract, and the Restricted Editions were, in fact, sold to friends, family, and current customers.

What’s in the gray area is that it’s not confirmed that Seecamp sold the Restricted Editions due to the contract. Seecamp created the Restricted Edition models to be special for those close customers and family members, and they were very limited. Only 200 were made and serialized one through 200.

The LWS-25 Desirability

The Seecamp pistols were super popular back in the 1980s. The Gun Control Act of 1968 effectively prohibited high-quality European pocket pistols from being imported and American pocket pistols like the Raven brand weren’t known for their quality. The guns from AMT were better, but not always great. The old-school Baby Brownings were great for their time but hard to come by, and those old striker-fired guns weren’t drop-safe.

A two finger grip is all you are going to get. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

When Seecamp released this crazy-small pistol, it took the market by storm and people gobbled them up. It was pocket-sized, reliable, and incredibly well-made.

The DAO design was drop-safe and people liked their hammer-fired guns in the 1980s. This design was considered by many to be the ultimate pocket pistol, even more so when the .32 ACP version came along. The smooth, snag-free design was ahead of its time and still makes the little gun ultra-desirable.

It’s a wee little fella. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

In fact, people bought them faster than Seecamp could make them. Their price on the secondary market was insane. Fellow gun writer Mike Searson was around in those days and explained that these Seecamps were going for triple their retail price, often well over a thousand dollars. A second-hand Seecamp would cost more than a brand-new Colt Python.

In 2023 the LWS-25, and especially the LWS-25 Restricted Editions are still sought-after by pocket pistol aficionados and Seecamp fans.

At the Range

I’d like to say I won’t shoot this gun much because it’s such a collector’s item, but in reality, I won’t shoot it much because .25 ACP is really expensive. That said, I enjoyed my range time with the Seecamp. Even though it’s straight blowback operated, the recoil is very mild. Muzzle rise isn’t bad, and it won’t leave your hand sore.

The DAO trigger pull is long, but smooth. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

It’s super reliable and functions flawlessly. The double-action only trigger pull heavy at about 12-ish pounds. However, it’s very smooth…impressively so. You can operate it quite quickly with very little practice.

As small as it is, the Seecamp lacks sights, so it’s a bit of guesswork of where it hits. The gun is designed for up-close-and-personal self-defense. With a little practice, I was hitting my target in a hand-sized group at seven yards (I wear 2XL-sized gloves).

The LWS-25 is most certainly not a point-and-shoot gun. I think with a good bit of practice I could get better, especially once I find a good point of reference on where exactly to aim. I was often hitting low and tried to figure out exactly how to orient the gun. I don’t quite have it down yet, but if I get a raise, I’ll buy more ammo and work on figuring it out.

Overall, while the Seecamp pistols aren’t all that obscure, this particular edition certainly is. Are they desirable for everyone? Maybe not, but to me, it’s a bit of concealed carry history. I can at least say they were very desirable when they first came out, enough to warrant their huge resale value.


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  1. So Baby Brownings in .25 are not drop safe? Yikes, I did not know. I did know that mine has a trigger pull about as long as the day…

    • if its one of the, like the article said, old-school Baby Brownings ya might think about not dropping it.

      • “Wear and time can cause parts to fit loose and get looser the instant the Baby hits the floor.”

        So, you admit your parents repeatedly dropped you on your head as a baby? 🙂

      • Components for an AR build, now I’m confused. What components did you use from a baby browning to make an AR

  2. I love my little Milford LWS 32. It makes modern pocket .380s seem big LOL. It’s fairly manageable recoil for me, but the .380 version is supposedly a painful handful. I find the little finger extensions for the mags really help with both comfort and accuracy.

    I don’t get why some people gripe about the lack of sights. This was a deliberate design decision that helped make the draw smoother and it was supposedly also based on Ludwig’s own close-range defensive pistol experience on the Eastern Front. The thinking is that trying to use the dinky sights on most pocket pistols in a stressful DGU is a potentially dangerous exercise.

  3. I’ve seen one Seecamp in my life. It was .32 auto. At a gun show. I don’t remember the price, except that it was expensive. These pistols had a cult following much like the Detonics.

  4. Non Sequitur.

    Just returned from The Home Depot. Was picking up a commercial-grade dehumidifier for the basement. Ordered in advance, so I went to the Order Pick-up desk. The young woman (early-twenties, clearly English as a first language) read my “The Answer is 1776” t-shirt and asked me “What happened in 1776?”

    Yes. It really happened.

        • I knew a guy with a bachelor’s in computer programming who was working at Home Depot because the H1Bs had driven out all the American citizens.

    • On July 4, 1776, George III entered in his diary, “Nothing happened today.”

      (I’ll grant that the mail was a bit slow in those days.)

      • Nice read. I wasn’t aware of a Seecamp .25. Years ago I bought the North American Arms copy of the Seecamp .32 ACP. Came in a neat little cordura pack/holster carry apparatus to keep it concealed- like everyone in the world wouldn’t know there is a pistol in it…Thought I’d carry it but never did. About same weight as the then new lightweight J frames so I never did. Worse to shoot than a J frame as well. Lays down stairs on one of my loading benches.

    • “in 1776 Home Depot last hired a useful intelligent employee” “it was an accident”

    • Twice ow, cashiers have looked at my “Black Plague European Tour 1347-1351” shirt and said, ‘Like, is that a band?’

      • “…but didnt have the jingle.”

        Just root around in your Possum-woman’s pouch for the 700 bucks at the time… 🙂


  6. Im pretty sure Vasily Blokhin chief executioner for the NKVD could fill you in on the capabilities of the utterly useless .25acp.Maybe even a Browning model to be exact.

    • I believe that he holds the record for murder in modern times.
      And, yes, he used a Baby Browning .25.

  7. if you want to do an obscure object of desire I have one for you; a smith model 38 no – with a stainless cylinder and a 66-1 with a 3″ barrel. supposedly Michigan state trooper issue and both custom ordered.

  8. i bought a 32 tomcat then the local gunstore got on the waiting list to get on the waiting list for an another costumer who wanted 2 when he found out he could get 5 me and 2 friends got the other 3, paid it down while waiting was me carry gun for years even chl qualified with it when the loonies got started i got bigger weapons 40 then a 45 still carry it in my pocket at certain times (wink wink) and has NEVER failed to function

  9. I will never ever fault anyone for having a pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc that they want for whatever reason they might want it.

    The heart wants what the heart wants.
    – Selena Gomez (Well really Emily Dickinson but I prefer to credit Selena)

  10. “Recoil isn’t a major factor since the .32 ACP and later .380 ACP versions used an interesting gas-delayed blowback system”

    My Seecamp .380 has the most painful recoil of any gun I own, including the .454 Casull revolver…

  11. My Seecamp .32 acp misfires every time when I pull the trigger very slowly for an attempted precision shot.

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