IMO, both brands of gun you name would be fine for practice but not for actual "serious" carry, due to quality issues. I'd suggest getting a brand of gun more noted for quality for that role. In my case, that meant getting a Beretta 21A Bobcat (inox version) in .22LR, partly because the Beretta 950 was out of production and has been for years now. Butif you can find a Beretta 950 -- it's SA only -- that would be another good choicere: a quality small pistol. The 21A comes in 25ACP also.
As for caliber, my vote is for the .22LR rather than the .25, and the .22 ammo I use in my 21A -- CCI's Stingers -- have NEVER failed to fire.As for .22 bulk ammo, I suggest it be usedfor practice but not for carry, though misfires/dudseven in bulk ammo are RARE in my experience. I think the argument ".25ACP ammo is more reliable, get a .25 instead" is weak and unconvincing, and there's more tothis than if a round is more likely to fire or not. Quality .22 ammo is fine. Just make sure it works in YOUR gun if you carry it for defense...for practice, ammo misfires, ammo that does not work the slide ALL the time or doesn't feed properly isn't any big deal. In serious use, it sure is.
And frankly, if I DO happen to get a dud Stinger at the critical time I have to use my Beretta in a self-defense situation -- and I get killed because of it -- I see it as an "Act of God" as it's my time to go...so I'm notAT ALLworried about it.
So while your cheaper .22 autos MAY work every time and all the time, personally I would choose a higher quality (and more durable) gun for serious carry.
As per routine, keep in mind that the smaller the caliber, the better shot you must be as small calibers do not have the "fudge factor" larger calibers do.
Nor is there any point to using HPs in small calibers such as a .22 or 25, so use solids. Most .22 HPs will be too slow coming out of a short .22 auto's barrelso they will act as solids anyway. Stingers are supposed to be "pentagon point" HPs, but in my 21A I consider them solids. Even if they DID open, they're STILL too small to do much and penetration would suffer.
Just do your bestto hit the small vital CNS targets you need to when using small caliber guns (even if using a .22 rifle)...forget general torso shots.
-- John D.