Raven Arms MP-25
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2012)|
||This article possibly contains original research. (November 2012)|
MP-25 with blued finish
|Place of origin||United States|
|Feed system||6-round detachable box magazine|
|Sights||Post and rear notch|
The MP-25 is a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol developed by George Jennings in the late 1960s. In 1970, Jennings designed the inexpensive MP-25 pistol and founded Raven Arms, which was also known as the original Ring of Fire company. A 1968 federal gun-control law prohibiting the importation of inexpensive handguns prompted Jennings to enter the firearms business.
Before Jennings developed the MP-25, a friend who owned a small gun and pawn shop complained to Jennings, "I can't buy these guns any more, and I used to sell 500 of them a month." At the time, Jennings was running a machine shop that made parts for Southern California aerospace companies. Together, they cornered the market on small, inexpensive handguns, often called "junk guns" or "Saturday night specials." Raven Arms was born. Over the next 20 years, the company sold approximately 2 million pistols. In parallel with this growth, gun-control advocates started pushing legislation in Washington, in state capitals, and in city councils to ban inexpensive weapons.
In November 1991, a fire destroyed the Raven Arms factory. Jennings retired and sold Raven Arms designs to Phoenix Arms. Phoenix was owned in equal shares by his son Bruce Jennings, George Jennings' ex-wife, and George Jennings' children; four of his daughter's children; and by Raven's former general manager. The mainstay of the new company is still the .25-caliber Raven model. Phoenix also sells larger .25 and .22-caliber pistols, called the HP22 or HP25 "designed for personal protection as well as sport and target shooting."
As detailed in a 1992 article by Wall Street Journal reporter Alix Freedman, from an interview with Bruce Jennings, Jennings calls himself "the leading expert in the world on Saturday Night Specials." Jennings rejects charges that his family's inexpensive guns play a greater role in crime than more expensive guns made by up-scale manufacturers. Bruce Jennings founded Bryco Arms in 1992. According to the ATF, George Jennings' son-in-law, Jim Davis, founded Davis Industries, and Lorcin Engineering was launched by Jim Waldorf, one of Bruce Jennings' old high school friends. These companies and several others also linked to Jennings are known in the trade as the "Ring of Fire." In 1995, the three most frequently traced guns by the National Tracing Center of the ATF at the request of police departments trying to identify the point of sale of firearms used in crimes were the Lorcin P-25, the Davis Industries P-380 and the Raven Arms MP-25.
People have conflicting views on the City of Industry-made MP-25; some tout it as one of the best compact and inexpensive handguns ever produced, while others regard it as one of the worst handguns ever made — as it exemplifies the guns collectively known as a Saturday night specials, being both easily concealed and very affordable . Some advocates of the gun claim that it is less prone to malfunction, despite its low cost.
The MP-25 can hold six .25 ACP rounds in the magazine, plus one in the chamber, and is finished either in chrome, satin nickel or black. The grips can be either wood or imitation mother-of-pearl handles. There is a similar model called the Raven Arms P-25. Both have similar blowback and envelope designs and are essentially identical firearms.
Early models have a sliding bar safety that will not allow the pistol to chamber a round or cock the striker if the safety is not in the fire position when the slide is pulled back. Later models have a push up safety that will not allow the action to be cycled at all when engaged.
- Zawitz, Marianne. 1995. Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings: Guns Used in Crime. U.S. Department of Justice NCJ-148201. P5. Guns Used in Crime