Taurus continues producing a true pocket pistol with its Model 25PLY chambered in .25 ACP. Thoughtfully, Taurus also chambers this gun in .22 LR, as the Model 22PLY, which can be used as a primary gun or as an inexpensive means of practice when using the 25PLY.

As to the origin of this pistol’s design, one strong candidate for this honor goes to the 1913-1914 French-made Le Francais .25 ACP pistol produced by MANUFRANCE (Manufacture Francaise d’Armes et Cycles de St. Etienne, France). The design was based on ideas furnished by M. Mimard, founder and president of the firm at that time. The designers came from the firm’s Service Etudes (Research Department).

Gun Details

In construct, the 25PLY uses metal for all but its polymer grip and magazine baseplate. The pistol is blowback operated and double-action-only. A spurless, flush-fit-to-the-slide hammer is used. Safeties include a manual thumb safety and a magazine disconnector. This latter safety freezes the trigger and slide such that the slide cannot be retracted nor the trigger pulled.

The 2.25-inch barrel pivots on a crosspin in the dust cover. The spring-driven barrel then releases by moving forward the grooved and domed lever, which is above the ample triggerguard.

The trigger is curved and smooth-faced and has a trigger pull weight of 12 pounds. The manual, left-side-only thumb safety is at the top rear of the frame with a red-colored dot exposed when the safety is off and angled down, moving with a positive and audible “snick” in either direction. The magazine catch is in its familiar place on the frame at the bottom rear of the triggerguard and is not reversible.

The 25PLY does not have a firing pin “drop” safety and the Taurus instruction manual specifically speaks to the possibility the gun might fire if dropped as follows: “…if dropped from a height at which the pistol is normally used, the manual safety provides strong resistance against accidental firing caused by such impact. BUT THE MANUAL SAFETY MUST BE ‘ON’ TO FULFILL ITS FUNCTION…”(emphasis in the original).
The slide has reverse fish-scale scalloping on about half of its length and extends only to the rear of the barrel. Its forward vertical edges taper inward, blending into an upright portion of the forward end of the dust cover. The square-notch pyramid in the profile rear sight is part of the slide.

The front sight has a centered vertical cut in its face, which attracts the eye. This cut can be filled with an eye-catching substance, further assisting in verifying muzzle if not the sight’s direction.

The 25PLY does not have a stand-alone recoil spring, as the hammer spring is used. The strength of this spring on the spurless hammer then controls and determines the slide’s velocity in its operation. No extractor is used, so manual extraction of a live round or a fired case which did not eject depends on either elevating the muzzle so that gravity or shaking of the elevated barrel will allow the round to drop out or plucking it out with a fingernail or other like object. In the firing sequence, the recoil force of the fired cartridge forces the case back against the slide and the two move rearward until the base of the case is struck by the left-side frame-mounted ejector, which then kicks the case out of the path of the now-forward-moving slide. The case can also be bumped out if it comes in contact with the top live round in the magazine. During my testing, ejection was totally reliable, with empty cases going to the shooter’s right and rear.

A one-piece wrap-around polymer grip secures to the frame at its bottom rear with one screw. The grip surface is very lightly pebbled in the gripping area and there are matching horizontal finger depressions in the upper sides of the grip. They are effective as thumb rests or a means to allow a shorter finger to more easily reach the trigger. The backstrap curves so that the web of one’s grasping hand is directed up against the small, rounded beavertail on the frame. All in all, the grip is hand-filling but still allows for a wide range of finger lengths and hand sizes to grasp the pistol well.

The Taurus Security System is in the grip, with its key lock in the lower rear of the backstrap. When the lock is placed “on safe” using one of two supplied keys, the body of the lock protrudes from the grip surface to provide a tactile indicator of the gun’s status by simply gripping the gun.

The nine-round magazine has a metal body and with eight inspection holes. The polymer baseplate is removable.

Safety Protocols

The 25PLY has a magazine disconnector and, per the Taurus instruction manual, “The pistol can be fired and the slide pulled to the rear only when the magazine is inserted…” This presents a problem for anyone who learned that to properly clear a semi-automatic handgun, the first thing you do is remove the magazine. Then retract the slide and inspect the barrel chamber and the magazine well. As noted above, with the now-immobile slide, this sequence cannot be followed.

A user could remove, inspect and then re-insert a verified-empty magazine to allow slide manipulation, but this is a recipe for disaster and violates the long-standing and well-proven safety rule of not having any magazine in the pistol when attempting to inspect or disassemble it. What is necessary is changing your gun clearing protocols for this design.

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