It’s tempting to think that the “revolution” of high-tech micro pistols is a new thing, but it’s not really accurate.
Small guns like this Colt Junior have been pushing the limits on size for decades, and they did it well before fancy new polymers changed the game. Most shooters would consider this little .25 ACP pistol to be more of a novelty in the age of micro 9mm handguns, but it certainly found its way into a few pockets over the years.
The Colt Junior we pulled from the Guns.com Vault is in .25 ACP, but they did make the guns for calibers as low as .22 Short. This one was manufactured in 1973, but guns such as the “Baby Browning” have been pushing the limits of size for semi-auto pistols for more than a century.
More than that, this gun has some interesting little tricks that helped it stay small and slim. First, you’ll notice the absence of the slide stop on the left side of the otherwise pretty classic Colt profile. Instead, the gun features a safety/slide lock to assist in the disassembly process. The safety levers forward to lock the slide and make the removal of the barrel easier.
Speaking of the barrel, it also serves as the takedown for the slide itself. You’ll notice the small groves on the tip of the barrel above. You can lock the slide back and rotate the barrel at the tip to release the lugs and remove the slide. That partially explains the care taken to add the fluting on the tip of the barrel. The maximum use of space is just another great example of how brilliant pistol engineers have been making tiny guns well before the polymer lines were even conceived.
The guns are very low recoiling because of the fairly anemic .25 ACP round and the overall weight of the all-metal pistol coming in at nearly a pound. But this little shooter is also an interesting storyteller about America’s shifting gun laws. The gun was originally made under a Colt license in Spain by Astra to cut down on the price.
Colt had some of the later models, like this one, assembled in Florida to get around the 1968 Gun Control Act that effectively ended the importation of the Spanish-made Juniors.
The gun is a simple blow-back design with a single-stack magazine. Because it does not have a slide stop, it won’t hold open after the last round. That trait is forgivable if we remember that this is a mouse-sized, vest-pocket gun. Overall, it’s a small package filled with a lot of fun history.