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Old 10-08-2007, 03:18 PM   #1
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Little Berettas

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All of this Bond talk, naturally associated with the PPK and P99, got me to pull the pin on a Beretta 1934 and 1935 as I posted elsewhere. And while Bond's original gun in the early novels, the 418, is planned, it stated me looking at some of today's contemporary pocket Berettas. This has all coincided with my father-in-laws comment that he really enjoys shooting a .25 auto. He's small in stature, and while he can handle a 9mm or .40 very nicely, he has the most fun with with my P22. So, with Bond on my mind and my FIL's comment, this past Saturday I ran down the the shop and picked up a cute little Beretta Model 21A in .25ACP, used but like new. I think my FIL will enjoy it as a guest gun when he visits from out of state in November. We (along with my BIL) will spend at least one day at the range, and as a host I always like to accommodate my guests Plus, I have really fallen for this little gun. I think that I may well add a Tomcat, the .32 ACP version with the more full slide. Add to that a DeSantis "Trickster" pocket holster and 60 gr. JHP or Winchester Silvertip JHPs and it isn't a bad little package.



http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/8...32smaxirm8.jpgTomcat
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:46 PM   #2
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Que: A quick question: You are more knowledgeable than me about all things Bond, so I must ask....did Bond use the Beretta you show in the picture? I always thought it was a single action Beretta that he used. Not talking about the movie stuff here...just the books.
Oh yeah...when I was in Nam a guy had the single action version of the pictured pistol. Guys were offering him outrageous amounts of cash for the gun. Everyone wanted a pistol of some kind either as a "bugout" weapon or for something to have in their back pocket when they went on R&R.

On a seperate note...you might want to reconsider the Beretta Tomcat. Searcher 451 just got back from the range with a Tomcat and it had a LOT of problems. Go check in the PP section under Dourdave's range report.

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Old 10-08-2007, 05:08 PM   #3
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Unaccustomed as he is to speaking in the third person notwithstanding, Searcher is highly annoyed with the Beretta Tomcat and is still growling about #*&#(^&# FTEs on every magazine and a trigger that crapped out after 66 rounds. Searcher sent a note to Beretta USA last night and is still awaiting a response. Searcher also took the Tomcat to a gunsmith last night who merely shook his head after popping the barrel and spotting three quick issues ... issues that never should have made it out the door.

Searcher is with is M and Que on this one: There was a good reason why Bond went to the Walther. Had Searcher been paying attention, he would not have repeated the mistake. Searcher therefore qualifies as a bozo, if not a bonehead

P.S. Searcher also has a Beretta .22 Bobcat NIB that he bought in the late '80s. After this most recent range experience, the Bobcat will remain NIB while the Tomcat gets its insides reamed.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deputy View Post
Que: A quick question: You are more knowledgeable than me about all things Bond, so I must ask....did Bond use the Beretta you show in the picture? I always thought it was a single action Beretta that he used. Not talking about the movie stuff here...just the books.
Oh yeah...when I was in Nam a guy had the single action version of the pictured pistol. Guys were offering him outrageous amounts of cash for the gun. Everyone wanted a pistol of some kind either as a "bugout" weapon or for something to have in their back pocket when they went on R&R.

On a seperate note...you might want to reconsider the Beretta Tomcat. Searcher 451 just got back from the range with a Tomcat and it had a LOT of problems. Go check in the PP section under Dourdave's range report.

Dep
Hey Dep, the 21A is a modern present production Beretta .25 ACP. Bond in the novels carried a modified 418, a gun produced earlier last century. It is a single action gun long out of production.

As to the Tomcat, as I'm sure Searcher did, I have looked into this gun a good bit and it isn't without issues, but overall there seem to be far more who like it than have had issues. The gun seems to be ammo finnicky and there are some rounds that work for no one causing a good number of FTEs. Some guns need a little effort to find what works. Based on what I've learned about the Tomcat I feel rather good about giving it a try.

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Old 10-09-2007, 12:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Que View Post
Hey Dep, the 21A is a modern present production Beretta .25 ACP. Bond in the novels carried a modified 418, a gun produced earlier last century. It is a single action gun long out of production.

As to the Tomcat, as I'm sure Searcher did, I have looked into this gun a good bit and it isn't without issues, but overall there seem to be far more who like it than have had issues. The gun seems to be ammo finnicky and there are some rounds that work for no one causing a good number of FTEs. Some guns need a little effort to find what works. Based on what I've learned about the Tomcat I feel rather good about giving it a try.

Q
Glad to hear that the spirit is willing, Que, even if the mechanism is weak. If you stumble on a particular brand of ammo that works for you, do let us know.

I got this thing because my wife had trouble racking the slide on a conventional semi-automatic, ala the PPK/S. The Beretta's flip-up barrel seemed to be just the right ticket. And the thing was accurate out of the box; she hit what she was aiming at most every time. But the realibility of it was astonishingly poor -- a dead trigger after 66 rounds? -- and still no word from Beretta USA's customer service department after more than a day (say what you will, but that would never fly at Walther/S&W). Clearly I'm anxious to get this little guy working properly for her. It's got a ways to go, however. And if a change in ammo helps, well, why not?
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:22 AM   #6
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Thanks Que. I wasn't sure which was which. Good luck with the Tomcat. I thought about one but was cautioned about them...I think by 153. It will be interesting to see what kind of customer service Beretta gives Searcher. I've seen special versions of the 21A that had gold triggers and other stuff on them. Also a neat nickle version. I would be strongly tempted to get one of those. But I want it in .22 auto.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:26 AM   #7
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Hey guys, thanks for your comments and cautions. I've checked out many opinions on the Tomcat and there seems to be a hit or miss as to reliability (more hits than misses) and at least two versions of this gun, a first and second generation. There is enough of a dichotomy of opinion that this may account for what it going on.

Searcher, you didn't say if the gun was new or used, so it's age may be a factor. You also didn't (as I recall) mention which ammos you tried. Many folks have said the same two things about the Tomcat: 1. it is ammo finicky, at least initially, and, 2. it requires a break-in period. Many of the negative reports I've read go something like this: "I ran 200 rounds through the gun and expereinced X many FTEs. I'm through with this gun". That is premature for any gun. Some also think that a gun should shoot perfectly right out of the box, but many of these pocket guns have a record of requiring some break-in time.

A trigger breaking is another matter, but those things can and do happen with many guns, basically quality control flukes. It happens and isn't something I've heard about with other Tomcats (not to say that it hasn't happened). as an example, three Bersa Thunders came into the local shop with bad triggers that required repair before the guns could be sold. It happens.

But, as to the Tomcat, there are so many reports of this gun being perfectly reliable and surprisingly accurate that I can't dismiss it. If I pull a lemon then it will go back to Beretta. I've got plenty of other guns to shoot.

As to ammo, two that I've seen referenced as being excellent are Winchester Silvertips and Fiocchi 73 grain FMJ or 60 gr. SJHP. BTW, watch out for Sellier and Bellot as it is potentially too hot for the gun, or so I'm told. Considering the extraction system I'd avoid any aluminum cased ammo.

I've said it many times, and I'll say it again: using a gun is a system that has three components: the shooter, the ammo, and the gun itself. Like any system optimal function can be achieved with adjustment and compromise. Guns can be tweaked, ammo can be changed, and the shooter himself, probably the least adjustable, can bring about the best function by bringing about the appropriate change(s). Sometimes it takes work.

Q

Last edited by Que; 10-09-2007 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:45 AM   #8
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Good morning, Que. The Tomcat that I got was new; even had it equipped with a Crimson Trace laser. It's nifty and fits her hand well. And when it did fire a round, it was accurate enough. The ammo that we ran through it -- or tried to run it -- was Winchester white box FMJ. It's the same stuff that I run through just about all of my guns during their break-in period.

I'm not opposed to giving a gun a chance, nor to breaking one in -- and lots of them perform better after 200 rounds or 500 rounds than they do after 20 rounds or 50 rounds. But it was a struggle to get the first 50 through this #&^(#@&$ thing -- you did well, in fact, if you only experienced one FTE per magazine; more often it was two. And the start of the second 50 rounds on day two at the range, after a thorough cleaning/lubing the night before, was certainly inauspicious: three FTEs on the first magazine alone. Then the trigger failed the snap (no crackle or pop, either), and that was that. I'm still awaiting a reply from Beretta USA to an email, by the way -- and that doesn't make me happy, either. At this point, I'm thinking chugging sinker in fast currents, perhaps. But the local smithy might be able to work some magic yet and save the day; gawd knows I would not trust it to anyone at Beretta, things being what they are.

Allowing something like this out of the factory is not the way to win the hearts and minds of customers. In a word: frump.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:19 AM   #9
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Okay guys...enlighten me. Doesn't the Tomcat use the explosive force of the bullet to extract/eject the cartridge? So if that's the case, there is no extractor like on a normal gun. The bang of the bullet is what pops the shell out. If everything else on the gun is okay (no burrs on the frame rails, etc.,) then wouldn't a more powerful cartridge in a system like that be better for extraction/ejection? If I am completely wrong feel free to call me a dummy

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Old 10-09-2007, 12:43 PM   #10
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I will offer these opinions on the little Beretta's currently in production:

Tomcat ....waste of time (Sorry, Searcher 451) Many better options out there.

Beretta 21A ..... Not bad, like all small autos in this size better in .25 than .22

Beretta 950, 950BS .....Excellent Pistols in .25!!! Could be a real life saver.

Yes Dep, there is no extractor on the little Beretta's and I believe the Tomcat functions the same way.

Last edited by 153; 10-09-2007 at 07:58 PM.
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