Browning BDA .380, Oddball in a Tactical World


Marko Kloos
March 11, 2003, 08:18 PM
I've finally given in to a long-hedged desire and purchased a Browning BDA .380 in nickel finish. For those not familiar with the gun, it's a slightly modified copy of the Beretta 84, made by Beretta for Browning. The magazines hold 10 rounds, but pre-ban 13-rounders are still available. Magazines for the BDA and the Beretta 84 are identical.

In a world where guns need to have "tactical" attributes to be considered true fighting tools, the BDA is an anachronism. It's large for a .380, it's a blowback gun chambered in what some consider an anemic caliber, and it's finished in very un-tactical shiny nickel. The grips are smooth wood with Browning medallions instead of rubber or carbon fiber, and there's not a single piece of plastic on the gun other than the mag follower. The slide-mounted safety is smallish and counterintuitive.

There are much smaller guns in more potent calibers available, so why did I add this thing to the stable?

It's extremely well made, and possibly one of the best-looking and elegant handguns ever made. It has a reputation as a mild and accurate shooter. Its grip is a wee bit bulky, which works well for shooters with big hands, yet its slide is very slim, so it carries well IWB. Its exterior dimensions are right in the "small enough to be convenient, just large enough to inspire confidence" category. The gun offers 13+1 rounds when used with preban magazines. Most of all, it just oozes craftmanship and class, something that's lacking in many modern tactical wunderguns. Call it the autopistol equivalent of a nice Detective Special or 3" K-frame.

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March 11, 2003, 09:32 PM
Very nice (non-tactical) pistol and flawless logic in selecting it.

I think we spend way too much time deciding what is tactical and what ain't.

I think about half my gun cabinet is non-tactical and I'd probably be laughed out of the place if I showed up at a mall-ninja shoot with some of my favorite handguns. Particularly with revolvers...

I commend you and welcome you to the Society of Non-Offensive Or Tactical Shooters (SNOOTS). Main bylaw is to own a gun just because ya wanna.

TFL# 8032

Sir Galahad
March 11, 2003, 09:39 PM
I, too, have seen and admired this fine pistol at my local shop. And I might get one too! There is just---something----about this pstol that you want to own it. The workmanship is impeccable and, for me, it fits the hand nice. How does it shoot?

March 11, 2003, 09:57 PM
Lendringser, where did you purchase it from?

I keep seeing these guns advertised in CDNN's flyer and I always pause for a moment to look at them. They look even sweeter in color than in the b/w pic of their ad.

I've got to pick one up some day.

As Skunk would say, " It's pimpin' !!":D

March 11, 2003, 10:06 PM
Very nice pistol. I like round trigger guard guns. Wish the CZ83
came in a bright nickel.

I like my 13 shot '83 over the CZ Compacts. Maybe the shorter 9mms don't lose as much power as i think.

The .380 is smaller and has nites. Federal hydra-shoks give me
13 chances at stopping someone, at least until i can get my 10mm:)

March 11, 2003, 10:24 PM
very nice lendringser

I keep seeing these guns advertised in CDNN's flyer and I always pause for a moment to look at them.

me too :D

March 11, 2003, 11:12 PM
I agree totally with you, Lendsringer. I bought one with the glossy blue finish many years ago and still think it is the best looking pistol ever made. You've got a work of art not just a nice tool. Mike

March 12, 2003, 12:15 AM
I shot one just like it for the first time today.... My buddy just bought it and of course I HAD to try it. :D Very nice little pistol... The only dislike I had for it was that the rear sight is nickle plated and any light behind you will be reflected back into your eyes. It happened a couple of times while I was shooting and it made the front site invisible. I'm sure a little flat black paint on that sucker would fix it right up...


Alan Fud
March 12, 2003, 12:41 AM
I purchased mine over two decades ago when they first came out and it is still one of my favorites. The .380ACP caliber may be a bit on the weak side but in my opinion, 14 rounds of .380ACP will beat 5 or 6 rounds of .38 special out of a snubbie (which is about the same size as the BDA) ...
... I wasn't aware that the BDA380 was still being made. I thought that it was discontinued in the mid-1990's as I didn't see it on the Browning site the last time that I looked. ( » ( «
Alligator Al: Share What You Know & Learn What You Don't.

Stephen A. Camp
March 12, 2003, 01:45 AM
Hello. They're reliable, accurate pistols. They work. Maybe they're not first-choice for rhino-hunting, but if YOU like the pistol, enjoy it. I do. I spent 11 years in a tactical unit. I couldn't really care less about what's "TC" (Tactically Correct?) with regard to buying, shooting, and enjoying the guns I want.

I've seen a few of these or their Beretta counterparts come through some CHL classes I help teach and in each case, the guns ran flawlessly.

Here's some of my non-TC pistols that I like and shoot lots!

This E. German Makarov is but a little more potent than the .380 ACP with most loads and it has dinky sights, but it's exceptionally smooth, reliable, and surprisingly accurate to shoot with cheap ammo. I like it lots! I don't see much difference in it and your .380 .... other than yours holds more shots!

This STI Longslide Trojan in 9mm is way "too big for caliber" and "everyone knows" it's "not reliable in 9mm" and just "not powerful" enough for most things. The deer was cleanly killed at about 40 yards using a stout handload with a Hornady 124 gr XTP, which "is not a good choice for defense" as it doesn't expand as much as some other rounds. I guess no one told the gun, which has NEVER failed to feed or extract in something just under 2K rounds so far, nor the deer!

Uh-Oh! This defensive forty-five does not have a FLGR nor forward slide serrations(and never will have!), just fixed sights that are "on" and a worked over trigger, hammer/sear, some skateboard tape and a "drop in" Pachmayr beavertail. On top of all that, it's a Norinco. I trust it completely. Am I "right" or "wrong?" I already know the answer for me. I really enjoy shooting this non-picky, dependable 1911.

This CZ83 is a large .380 compared to many. So what? It's a peach to shoot and is utterly reliable. It even has good sights! I like it. To me, not all shooting, nor even most of it has to be so much about defense; what's wrong with fun shooting?

I've been kind of silly here, but I do think that perhaps we do get too involved in what's the "latest and best" pistol for taking on narco-terrorists and such. I'm am not saying that the choice in the defensive pistols is one to be made lightly, but not every pistol we buy, shoot, own, or just plain like has to be couched in survival aspects unless we choose it to be so.

Heck, man. You have a very well-made, reliable three-eighty. If you like it, have a blast. I know I sure do. It's been my experience that people who like to shoot like to shoot guns they like. If they're not careful, they frequently become better shots. With a pistol of at least decent power, I think the ability to hit accurately and quickly might outweigh being mediocre with something otherwise more potent.

In the end, I am NOT degrading or making fun of anyone. I know some very "serious" shooters who shoot very refined and very "TC" pistols. Heck, I like shooting with them myself, but a fellow who can hit very well with his .380 might just come out OK if worst comes to worst.

Best and good shooting.

March 12, 2003, 08:14 AM
i bought mine just after i picked up my 9000s... first gun i bought on looks alone... im not big on the slide saftety, or the rippish muzzle flip, but it is the most acurate auto i own...

i shot about 50 rounds through it last weekend, and for the first time it really did hurt my hand.... oh and beretta stopped making this model in 97... cdnn has em for 339 i think...

March 12, 2003, 08:21 AM
I've got a BDA and an 84. I have traded a few pistols off in the past. These are keepers. They feed most anything. Got them last year at an estate sale.

Baron Holbach
March 12, 2003, 08:28 AM
My brother keeps a nickel-finished Browning BDA .380 in his safe. I have fired over 100 rounds of Lawman FMJ through the gun. It shoots well but the safety requires a strong push to work. Knowing Beretta, this gun has to be one of the most attractive pistols on the market.

March 12, 2003, 08:30 AM
Deja Vu! Here is what Rich had to say about it:

March 12, 2003, 08:39 AM
The tough saftey movement probs. on the BDA's is unique to the models with all the (proof/import?) stamps on them. I had one a couple years back. Flooded it with clp and it freed up a bit. The BDA I have now is an older one and the saftety engages and disengages much smoother.

March 12, 2003, 09:46 AM
The Browning BDA and Beretta counterparts are excellent pistols. Very nice choice. I often carry a Makarov in 9MM Mak or .380 when I need to carry a smaller firearm. And I do not feel unprotected with either. I'd like to get a BDA or CZ-83 next.

March 12, 2003, 10:57 AM
My father-in-law gave it to her before we met when she had a "Peeping Tom" in her apartment complex. Her's (Mine now) has the blued finish. It is the best shooting gun we have. I always enjoy taking it to the range. If my memory serves me, they were discontinued back in the mid '90's. I was wondering what its value is.... we have the .380 BDA and two orignal hi-caps mags...

Any idea to its value? Its in great shape.


March 12, 2003, 11:00 AM
There are much smaller guns in more potent calibers available, so why did I add this thing to the stable?

Because you had the New Gun Jones so badly that you were breaking out in hives. Rationalize it all you wish; I know the real reason. :D

Marko Kloos
March 12, 2003, 02:30 PM
Lendringser, where did you purchase it from?

Local shop in Knoxville, Randy's on Broadway. Price was $430-ish, NIB, with two mags.

How does it shoot?

Very nice. I ran a box of S&B through it this morning, and I was bouncing the empty little S&B box around with the BDA at 15 yards. It seems to put 'em right where you point it, and the recoil is fairly mild. It's a fun little shooter, and it'll make a sweet little summer carry gun with a 13-rounder in place.

It's also very easy to clean. The slide and barrel strip off the frame like a locked-breech pistol...I've never seen a blowback gun that didn't have the barrel permanently mounted in the frame. The slick nickel finish doesn't hold any dirt at all. All the powder residue wiped right off.

March 12, 2003, 03:17 PM
yeah if you use some silicone spray all the dirt will slide right off.....

March 12, 2003, 07:29 PM
Now I want one even more! I've always wanted a BDA. Not sure why I haven't bought one yet.

Now should I sell the Bersa 380 or just add the Browning to the safe? Do I need 2 .380's? :rolleyes:

March 12, 2003, 10:55 PM
What a bunch of nice firearms everyone has!!

In keeping with the non-tactical theme, today I bought a I have wanted for many years. It is a Walther (actually Manurhin) PP in 7.65 mm, a former European police service pistol with 2 mags, the box, the cleaning rod and a shoulder holster.

The gun is in excellent shape, with only slight holster wear at the front of the slide and elsewhere a deep blue with little or no scratching. Unlike the more modern PPKs, particularly the American PPKs, the DA trigger pull, although heavy, is very smooth and consistent through the trigger stroke.

I can't pick it up until 03-22-2003 (the day before the Sacramento THR shoot)-welcome to California!! :mad:

TFL# 8032

March 12, 2003, 11:07 PM
Do I need 2 .380's?

twoblink would say that was "tactically logistical", FWIW... ;)

Ala Dan
March 13, 2003, 06:39 AM
Greeting's Sir;

I've always considered the Browning BDA .380 to be
one of the most beautiful semi-auto's ever made. Its
handsome, sleek looks make this a desirable piece.
I wouldn't mind having one myself!

And the apple of my eye, would be a .45 caliber
Browning BDA; which was the predecessor to
the SIG-Sauer P220.

Either would make an excellent addition to any
collection; and if either ever landed in my own
collection, they would be bound for destiny!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

March 13, 2003, 07:52 AM
My first .380 was a nickel can swim in the nickel...very few OEM finishes are that nice......You have to see them in person to see what we mean.....
The trigger and other controlls are first rate as is reliability....I miss my gun as I sold it to pay tuition.:banghead: :cuss:
The only other gun Ive owned that compares or perhaps surpassed the little BDA by a the CZ83. It lacks the refinement of the BDA's finish...but makes up for it everywhere else.....Youve still got one of my favorite guns of all time.....

Tactical smactical....:D

Shoot well......

Baron Holbach
March 13, 2003, 08:44 AM
I first caught the .380 fever after renting a Beretta 85 at the local range. I was astounded by the gun's accuracy. Initially, I credited the accuracy to a fixed barrel arrangement but later learned that the Beretta .380s have removable barrels, as opposed to the Bersa or CZ 83.

March 13, 2003, 09:25 AM
Actually fixed vs floating barrel has very little to do with accuracy....its barrel/slide fit, slide/frame fit and Sights/entire enchilada fit.....the most accurate guns in the world are locked breech/floating barrel.
Shoot well

March 13, 2003, 09:36 AM
Benchrest rifles and .22 free pistols have floating barrels?

I've heard about "return-to-battery" rifles, or some such, but am not at all familiar with the concept. I know every high-end target pistol I can think of has a fixed tube, though. (Hammerli, Benelli, Walther, etc.)

Baron Holbach
March 13, 2003, 11:39 AM
PCRCCW, would a smooth trigger contribute to a gun's accuracy -- assuming the shooter does his part?

October 6, 2003, 01:04 AM
Alan Fud wrote: "... I wasn't aware that the BDA380 was still being made. I thought that it was discontinued in the mid-1990's as I didn't see it on the Browning site the last time that I looked."

I thought they were discontinued as well in 1997... the BDA 380 does not appear in the Browning catalog. To add to the confusion, the date code portion of my BDA 380's serial number corresponds to nothing on Browning's "Date Your Firearm" web page.

But when I checked the Italian proof marks of my NEB Beretta-made Browning BDA 380 a manufacturing year of 2002 was indicated.

See Italian-made pistol proofmarks at

Regardless, my nickle Browning BDA 380 is a real pleasure to hold and shoot.
And sexy to look at besides.

November 7, 2003, 11:03 AM
Gotta love a Browning BDA 380. Great little auto: accurate, wonderful in the hand, 13+1 capacity and sexy too, especially the nickle model with the walnut grips.

Same controls as the bigger Beretta 92 or Cougar 8000 so it makes a good back-up gun or alternative to the larger Berettas. Not only that, the BDA 380 is, of course, made under license by Beretta and has the Pietro Beretta logo on the slide. For all practical purposes, the BDA 380 IS a Beretta. :)

Browning + Beretta, two of the greatest names in firearms.

November 8, 2003, 09:41 AM
"PCRCCW, would a smooth trigger contribute to a gun's accuracy -- assuming the shooter does his part?"

Well, I would think so..also how well the finger pulls the trigger.

Alot goes into the accuracy equation...but blowback/vs/locked breech really isnt one of them.........

Shoot well........

George Hill
November 8, 2003, 01:30 PM
class, something that's lacking in many modern tactical wunderguns.
Too True.

I've only handled these Brownings at gun shows. Here in Utah, they go for a lot more coin than back east. Something about the name Browning out here automatically jacks the price 50 to 150 bucks.

I have to admit I am a huge fan of the Beretta 84 Cheetah. It's a good, solid shooter. You can get some very potent (for caliber) ammo for it from Pro-Load that puts it up near standard 9MM levels.

For those that like the BDA, and the 84, but think it's a little too chunky for CCW work for a .380 - take a look at the Beretta 85 - it's the same thing - but with a single-stack grip frame so it's slimmer.

Class - Elegance... both can be found in Beretta while at the same time being just as tactical as you could want them to be.
I'm not a big fan of nickle - but it looks nice. I think Beretta is making the 84's and 85's in stainless as well.

November 9, 2003, 08:48 PM
Sounds good. The BDA380 is a very nice 380. Still holding out.
Went with double column Bersas.


Sean Smith
November 9, 2003, 09:35 PM
Tactical is a state of mind, not a finish or a logo. Hit the target, and let other people argue about gun-cover chic.

November 9, 2003, 09:47 PM
...and let other people argue about gun-cover chic.

...he said, as he posted a picture of a bucks-up custom nineteen-buhleven. ;)

Sean Smith
November 10, 2003, 08:04 AM
You'd be hard pressed to argue that a feature-poor 10mm will ever be a darling of the gun-rag set, even if Ted Yost made it and it shoots the lights out. No beavertail, no Novaks, no gas-pedal thumb safety, no checkering, no magwell... it is about as likely to be a cover gun as I am to get on the cover of GQ.

But yeah, still ironic. :evil:

June 21, 2006, 07:15 PM
Oh man I feell good!! I am 31 years old and I have a Bda.380 since 1998.
When I saw it I thought to my self what a beauty it has to be the most beautifull gun I had ever seen. I had no money so I went to the bank and asked for cash with my credit card, returned to the gun store 30 minutes later and it was Mine!!!. I was single then, went to my room and took it out of the case held it in my hand and said " I will never sell this gun, I will pass it on to my son someday" well 8 years later married with two kids and another on the way I have been very close to selling it but there is something between me and that gun that I cant explain but you know what I mean, I just cant sell it, I rather find another way to solve any money problem.
I said I was happy, the reason is I found this post from long ago!, but now days everyone talking about hi calibers, hi tech guns, glock this, glock that, I thought I was the only one left with appreciation for a well made, good looking classic pistol, the way they should always have been.
The bda.380 is extreamly well made, like someone on this thread mentioned it hit where you aim, reliable! I have never ever had a jam or missfeed or fire, it feells superb in the hand. Its kind of sad that they are out of production but it feell proud to be the owner of one of these fine guns, a piece of art.

June 21, 2006, 07:42 PM
It's extremely well made, and possibly one of the best-looking and elegant handguns ever made. It has a reputation as a mild and accurate shooter. Its grip is a wee bit bulky, which works well for shooters with big hands, yet its slide is very slim, so it carries well IWB. Its exterior dimensions are right in the "small enough to be convenient, just large enough to inspire confidence" category. The gun offers 13+1 rounds when used with preban magazines. Most of all, it just oozes craftmanship and class, something that's lacking in many modern tactical wunderguns. Call it the autopistol equivalent of a nice Detective Special or 3" K-frame.

Couldn't have said it better. While I do not have a Browning, I do have two of the Berettas, a 84 and a 85. I've had the 84 much longer than the 85 and it is one of my guns that has never, ever failed, period. Only my Heckler Kochs can also make that claim. I also have a CZ83 and not to step on toes, but the Berettas are a class act "Mercedes", while the CZ is a middle class "Chevy" IMHO. Have great fun with your new class act.

June 21, 2006, 09:18 PM
Good thread and so true.

I have a BDA I bought in the 80's, a pre ban model in nickel. It's a safe queen for me but does make a trip out now and then. It has one of the stiffest slides I have ever experienced with an autoloader. It doesn't like Hornady HP's much at all but seems to do well with others I have used. I usually shoot FMJ out of it. It's definitely worthy of carrying the Browning name. (Though made by Beretta)

Congrats on your purchase! :)

June 21, 2006, 10:23 PM
This was my first center fire pistol. Picked it in a local shop for ~$500. I can shoot it well, but my wife hates it. The grip is too wide for her hands. I like the pistol, but I've moved on to the more "tactical" 45ACP and "snappy" 40S&W. :D

June 21, 2006, 10:50 PM
Holy thread revival, Batman!

RE: the BDA:
Most of all, it just oozes craftmanship and class, something that's lacking in many modern tactical wunderguns. Call it the autopistol equivalent of a nice Detective Special or 3" K-frame.
Yep that's it. An investigator I worked with as an Assistant DA carried the BDA as her primary weapon. Nobody ever gave her a hard time about it because she shot better scores than any of the guys with Glock .40's.

June 22, 2006, 12:01 AM
Thanks for reminding me of the BDA . . . Now I've got a major jones for one . . .:)

Since it's miserable hot where I live, I keep coming back to my .380 Bersa Thunder (single stack) with a simple clip-on Uncle Mikes IWB rig. Just disappears in my typical shorts/Tommy Bahama type shirt summer attire. An old Colt Det. Special and a Charter bulldog are my other 2 options.

The Bersa is a very good gun, especially for the money but now that I'm into 380's again I see a BDA in the cards as soon as I find a deal on one. 13+1 in a gun that carryable AND shootable makes a lot of sense IMHO.

Likewise, I think the .380 is a very credible self defense round with the right load IMO. I like CorBon's 90 grain JHP or Remington's 102 grain golden sabre, both of which have better numbers than many .38 special rounds.

Do y'all think I'd be under-armed using a BDA with a hot load as a primary CCW in hot weather?

June 22, 2006, 12:31 AM
Do y'all think I'd be under-armed using a BDA with a hot load as a primary CCW in hot weather?

I have a Kel-Tec P-3AT, 6 rounds of 380, as a shorts and t-shirt gun and I don't feel under armed when carrying any quality JHP in it.

Navy joe
June 22, 2006, 01:33 AM
Holy thread revival, Batman!


That said, my current off-beat project centers around learning how to do nickel. I want to nickel a pair of Browning HPs, get the accents gold plated and finish with some nice wood stocks. Say carry that pair in a dual shoulder rig with two BDAs as Bugs IWB at 5 & 7. That would be one heck of a wearing a suit dress-up rig. :evil:

Alan Fud
June 22, 2006, 09:42 AM
Do y'all think I'd be under-armed using a BDA with a hot load as a primary CCW in hot weather?I think that fourteen .380's beats five or six of just about anything else.

June 22, 2006, 10:00 AM
Holy thread revival, Batman!

June 23, 2006, 12:24 PM
I bought my FIRST BDA .380 in the early '90s and then sold it later to pay for tuition. I promptly bought another one when I could! One of the best shooting guns I have ever owned, and it beautiful! I highly recommend this gun to anyone. People complain about .380's all the time - I would not feel "undergunned" carrying the .380 - but can't we just buy stuff thats fun to shoot and look at?

Here's mine -

and a couple of others (including its cousin the Beretta)

June 24, 2006, 03:23 AM
I'll add my comments to this also the BDA is "class" and there are not many pistols that really have that "class". When I show it to anyone I get the same reaction "wow that is really beautiful" as apposed to the reaction to my G21 " ya thats nice, kinda of heavy isn't it"

The BDA is a keeper, the kind of pistol that you would really like to wear uncealed so people to see it!!!!

November 26, 2006, 10:45 PM
i have the interarms ppk/s and its never misfired or jamed, has a stout recoil but the price u pay for a small handgun over the 32 size. always had compliments with it at the range, Other day got a BDA 380 ss and that is art in steel!!! take it apart and use flitz on the slide and frame, wiped the handling crude off it and irs got t ob the most elegant pistol i ever had! The ss or bluied bda is a reminder of what true workmanship is all about! Picked it up with pachmayar grips, LNIB with two spotless ss ,mags in box for 395.00 and feel i got a great deal, not a spot or scratch on it,even the mags have no scratches, nothing but a beautiful pistol. These two .380 will stay with me to be handed down .

November 27, 2006, 12:24 AM
Tactical is a sales point only. Unless you are a Mall ninja and need tactiacal to be.:evil:

December 9, 2006, 02:52 PM
Just bought one recently, for all accounts, brand new, yes, the grips are smooth and slippery, but a piece of skateboard tape on the front strap and back takes care of that! Beautiful handgun, easy recoil, maybe they are not price wise in the sig catagory, but use mine for range time and many times to just admire. I got mine as i said, like new for 395.00 aND I WOULDN'T TAKE 600.00 FOR IT, elegant is not the word for it! Along with my BDA i also have a s.s. ppk/s that i love and an American Eagle luger 9mm in ss, none of the three are "tactical" but they do remind one of what real beauty is all about in a handgun!!

December 9, 2006, 02:58 PM
Very well stated!! Its a beautiful handgun. I wouldn't sell mine either!!

December 9, 2006, 05:47 PM
They are very nice little pistols, I bought mine just because I like the way they look and it turned out to be a fine shooter.

December 9, 2006, 09:12 PM
I picked up mine at a gun show a few years back. The seller was an older gentleman who threw in two boxes fo ammunition, and three 13-rd mags as part of the sale. Turns out, his arthritis was making it too painful to shoot comfortably.

I find the wood grips a bit on the smooth side, but the double-stack mags give you more reserve, should you need it. The sights are rudementary at best, but you are not working with an all-out target pistol. It's meant to be a backup in a moderate (if 9 m/m Short is moderate) chanbering. Good ergonomics, better than most in that chambering.

About three years ago, one of my co-workers brought his three daughters with him on a trip to the range. One daughter (the youngest) wanted to say that she had fired a pistol before going on to another pursuit. I showed her how to load the magazine, insert the mag in the pistol, and properly aim and fire the pistol. The first round left a hole in the target, and one whopping big smile on her face. Before long, she wanted to reload something, something BIG.

The next monday, her mother (another co-worker) informed me that all three girls agreed that I was 'cool'. That's still a good thing, right?

December 10, 2006, 12:10 PM
I like the attitude here.

Rule 1 of my collection - it will be 380 (9mm Kurz).
Rule 2 : There will be no trigger guard grip.

Bernardelli 80.
Beretta 70S.
Walther PPKS.
Mauser HsC.

Looking for early Berreta's and Brownings. Gixerman that's beautiful.

Does anyone else feel the "open top" slides, as in Beretta are more reliable than the "port hole" style?

December 10, 2006, 05:12 PM
I bought a Beretta 84FS about the time this thread was started. Got it used at a gun show for $300 with two 13 round mags. it was a trade-in from a LEO who had decided to move up. Very nice shooter. Totally reliable. I will never volunteer to stand down range from any .380 and take a few rounds to show how ineffective they are.

December 10, 2006, 06:48 PM

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
December 11, 2006, 12:37 AM
I bought one for the ex wife years ago. My brother keeps a nice one as a backup/spare truck gun. They've always been a particular favorite of mine, although it's been years since I've owned or fired one. Currently the only .380 I own, which I've had for over 20 years now, is a mauser HsC.

I prefer the Browning/Beretta to Walthers because of the propensity of the Walther to slice the web of my hand. Same story on my doesn't bite me back.

To me, the price difference is worth it over a Bersa, although I think Bersa makes a fine .380..I can afford better, though. If I couldn't, then it'd be Bersa all the way.

Real wood and steel make it a hands-down winner over the more readily concealable Kel-Tec P3AT, although in my limited experience that, too is fine for a pocket backup/nightstand pistol.


December 12, 2006, 03:05 PM
I have the Beretta 84F and I agree that these are beautiful pistols. I can pretty much turn 13+1 into 1 ragged hole at 21 feet.

Not to step on the Browning, because it is a great piece, but I definitely prefer the Beretta's frame-mounted safety which clicks down like a 1911.

December 12, 2006, 03:14 PM
no pics?? :)

July 19, 2007, 05:00 AM
I just purchased a Browning BDA .380 used. Looks like at least 98%. I bought it for the balance and the Browning Quality and History. If you can't bring down a man with 13 bullets then you should'nt own a hand gun. Smiles

July 19, 2007, 07:23 AM
I had both the BDA and the Beretta 84 in blue. I sold them both when I needed cash. I regretted selling either of them. They are on my list of guns I hope to repurchase some day. I see them locally once in a while, but the prices are just plain crazy.

July 19, 2007, 11:49 PM
You know the BDA 380 must be a great gun when people have been praising it in the same thread for over 4 years! I agree with everything positive that's been said.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 20, 2007, 09:47 PM
I consider mine to be too valuable to use as a carry gun (truck/motorcycle) so relagated it the safe and got a Makarov. would not break my heart if i had to pitch or ditch it. I had a PPK/s and a CZ, the BDA outshoots and outclasses them and about any handgun I've come across. and 14 shots - well, I load Rem. Golden Sabers with power pistol, packs a wallop.:D anyone know the manufacturing dates and serial #/ date ID of these fine pistols? If memory serves they were produced for 10 years - '85 thru '95, the last few of which not many were made.

July 20, 2007, 10:02 PM
This might be a stupid question - Why would you have to "pitch or ditch it"?

July 20, 2007, 10:31 PM
A good friend of mine has a BDA380. I love that gun. He loves it more; won't sell it! I found out that they make 30 round mags for it ;)
w00t w00t, ya think 30 rounds of .380ACP is enough?

December 3, 2007, 09:01 PM

Found this thread again!. Its been almost 10 years and I still have my BDA!! as I mentioned before it is a keeper!. Still not a malfunction or misfeed in 10 years. How many of the posters from 2 years ago still have their BDAs? has any of you that praised the BDA then changed their mind?.
As I also have a .38 snub and alternate with the BDA, yesterday I took the BDA out with me, and I never get tired of admire this pistol. I keep it on perfect condition and I do take care of it. I still have not found a .380 that I like more than the BDA, it still is number 1 and going strong.


December 4, 2007, 08:26 AM
The BDA is one of the most beautiful pistols out there!! I made the mistake of selling my first one 13 years ago and picked up another one about 3 years ago and will never sell it!! Great shooter - Its not my most expensive handgun in the safe - but my favorite!!!

January 30, 2008, 11:35 PM
I just purchased a used Browning BDA that looks pretty much like Mike's in the post above from Dec. 9, 2006. However, mine is missing one of the grip medallions. Does anyone know where I can find a replacement?

I have easily located current medallions with the Browning Buck mark, but mine has the "B" mark like Mike's. These seem difficult to locate.

Other than that, I am a proud new owner of this beautiful piece of work, and anxious to put some rounds through it!

Thanks for any guidance.

January 31, 2008, 08:19 AM
I'll do some research tonight.

Congratulations on the new purchase!!! Beautiful guns. I wish more people knew about them!

The Lone Haranguer
January 31, 2008, 08:39 AM
Not every handgun need be "tactical." :D

January 31, 2008, 09:39 AM
Damn, you just added another gun to my wish list...

I seem to be collecting .380s for some reason.

January 31, 2008, 09:46 AM
In 1983 while stationed in West Germany I purchased my first handgun a BDA380, which I still have to this day. Its still one of my most accurate and reliable guns I own. Only change I made to her was to put on a set of Beretta 84 plastic grips. Those really slimed her down. If I was allowed to only have one semi-auto handgun she would be it. With 13rnds on board and a few spares, she can keep up with the best of them out there!

February 1, 2008, 12:24 AM
Still no luck finding that medallion for my grip, but I'll keep searching. I'd like to get it back to it's original condition. I did learn that mine was manufactured in 1979. Amazing considering that it still looks pretty fine!

ldp4570, you've got me wondering. I wasn't aware you could put Beretta grips on the Browning. Doesn't the frame safety lever on the Beretta 84 interfere with installation? I thought there was a cutout on the Beretta grips for that.

February 1, 2008, 07:38 AM
FYI, I ordered the 30 round extended mag for my good friend and his BDA .380 :) The mags work flawlessly. The extra weight of the longer magazine is nice. It's impressive to have 60 rounds of .380 in only 2 magazines; funny to see them gobble up a box of ammo so quickly...
Browning BDA .380 30rd extended Blued steel NEW $29.95

February 2, 2008, 10:29 AM
"Damn, you just added another gun to my wish list...

I seem to be collecting .380s for some reason."

There's just something about .380s that seems have me collecting them as well. I'm up to 3 now, CZ83,Sig 232 and a FEG-SMC 380.

Wayne Hammond
February 5, 2008, 02:28 PM
I have a PPK and the BDA. I love the BDA, everyone who shoots it wants to get it from me. Such a beautiful gun. I look for another one all the time.

Kookie B.
February 6, 2008, 10:43 AM
Hi all,

Newbie to the Forum checking in and adding my 2 cents to the discussion . . .

As the caption says just last week I swapped my nice Sig 230 kit even up for a lightly used Beretta 84BB (with Packy grips), the kissing cousin of the BDA. I can understand why the BDA has generated such enthusiasm.

Reason for the swap? I fell in love with the feel of the Beretta and, though, somewhat bigger overall, was sold on the 13 round mag. The Sig was nice, printed smaller, but the Beretta spoke to me.

Plus it, like the BDA, is a work of art.

Regards to all,

Kookie B.

PS - It's so recent that I haven't even shot it yet. Also, in the amazin' department, was the incredible amount of pocket lint inside when I took it down to clean it out! ;)

February 23, 2008, 01:02 AM
I don't remember when I actually bought my BDA. It was the first really quality semi-auto pistol I'd ever purchased, and it was NIB. It was some time between '78 and '88, probably closer to the former than the latter. Thankfully it was under the seat of my car in 1990 when our home was burglarized and I lost all my other firearms. However, I had not put more than 25 rounds through it until last year when Kansas begin issuing CCL's. Then I discovered what a great shooter it is! It is understated elegance with its rich black finish and still in mint condition except for one grip which fell victim to the power seat under which it traveled with me. Looking for replacement grips brought me to this forum. I am amazed that this thread has gone on so long! What a testimony to a great weapon! If I thought I could find another in as good condition I'd be sorely tempted, but I just bought a S&W 4053 NIB, so. . . .

February 23, 2008, 12:12 PM
I bought my first one in 1992 and sold it in 1994 for some reason. Finally bought another one in 2003 or so. Beautiful handgun!!

December 4, 2008, 11:32 AM
I just recently fired my buddy's BDA.
I have always been a .38 snubbie guy and wasnt comfortable with semi's. Well, my first magazine thru the Browning was at 15 yards, with a quick draw and one hand rapid fire,(12 rounds in 6 seconds). All 12 shots were in a 5 inch cluster, about 2 inches above the bullseye. Since then, I've shot about 10 more magazines, and now they are in a 3 1/2 pattern. My buddy tells me that he's never seen a handgun fit someone better than this BDA seems to fit me and has told me he is going to give it to me! What a great gift from a great friend! I love this little pistol !

December 4, 2008, 11:40 AM
Get a picture of it up here!

December 4, 2008, 11:45 AM
Most of all, it just oozes craftmanship and class, something that's lacking in many modern tactical wunderguns. Call it the autopistol equivalent of a nice Detective Special or 3" K-frame.

Agreed......I have wanted one for a while and had a chance to buy Hank Williams Jrs BDA...was documented and authenticated to be his gun he traded at a Montgomery, AL gun shop, but the price got too steep....second thought I should have bit the bullet and snagged it. I still think they are one of the most appealing firearms made...the scream...shoot me.

December 4, 2008, 01:18 PM
Hi Bulbboy..
I'd like to post a pic for ya but i just lost my little digital camera last month and havent had a chance to replace it yet.. I can tell you that my "new BDA" from my buddy is a 1989 model, he had bought it then for his mother, who has now been gone for some time now.. It has just been sitting in his safe all these years as he prefers a larger caliber.. He always hung onto it for sentimental reasons until he saw the way it shoots so naturally for me.
He told me the 80 or so rounds ive put through it are far more than had ever been throught it before, so it looks like brand new..It has the very dark finish blueing on it, almost black.

December 4, 2008, 03:36 PM
All these posts really has me wanting another one, either a BDA or Beretta 84, doesn't matter which one. Someone asked about the Beretta being more reliable because of the open slide, and I'm not sure if it is or not, both were amazingly reliable, shooting anything but obviously bad ammo. If there is a difference, it's very slight. I wish they had made a stainless one, as I'm not really a nickel fan ( even though I own 3 nickel guns!).

December 4, 2008, 11:15 PM
I have the nickel finish. I think that is the pinnacle of the BDA .380. It is a great little gun and there are few left like it. Enjoy one if you find one. The 84 or 85 is ok too!

December 5, 2008, 12:54 PM
I've seen a lot of people asking how to determine the year their Browning BDA .380 was made. The chart here is from Browning's website and show how to determine that from the letters in your serial number....

BDA-380 Pistol
The BDA-380 Pistol was introduced in 1977 and discontinued in 1997.

Date Historic Information Serial Number Info
1977-1997 In 1975 Browning standardized its serial number identification which it followed until 1998.
1. BDA-380 Type 425=BDA 380
2. Date of Manufacture
is a two digit code Z=1
3. Serial Number
beginning with 01001
at the start of each year.
Number Example:
This would be an BDA-380 pistol, manufactured in 1977 with the serial number 01001.

December 5, 2008, 11:07 PM

Clearly mine has had some wear on it. 1990.;)
I would also like to find some replacement emblems for the grip.
I've shot many rounds through this weapon.

December 6, 2008, 12:01 AM
if you go to this website you will find the handgrip medalians you are looking for... the shipping will be more than the parts but you will spend less than $10 total....copy and paste this in your browsers address bar ...

I had to buy 1 for my new BDA ,, i got it in 4 days
Good luck and keep on shootin'

February 6, 2009, 02:07 AM
Forum newbie ... in fact I found it because I googled this gun.

My first handgun was the Army's 92F and since that's what I was best trained on, I decided to buy a gun that was either identical or similar enough in function that it didn't matter. The 92F has the slide safety with down in the safe position. Since this is how I was trained, I didn't want to have to fight that training.

My research showed me that the only option to the variants of the Beretta 92 series guns was the BDA .380.

I wasn't specifically looking to buy this gun, but came across one in nickel at a pawn shop in Louisiana with the right combination of cash and motivation. I am incredibly glad I bought it.

The gun feels right in my hand with the right balance of weight and size. It is concealable on my 6'2" 200lb body, though not as much so as a compact 92. However I agree that 14 rounds of .380 more than offsets the slightly smaller cartridge. In a personal self defense condition, it'll more than get the job done.

Best of all, it's just a dang sweet piece to look at, hold and shoot.

Now I've gotta find a sexy model to pose with it... if I do, I'll post some pics back here.

February 6, 2009, 07:56 AM
Glad to see this thread is not dead! Post pictures when you can!

February 6, 2009, 08:42 AM
They may never make another hi cap 380 with all these pocket guns being the rage. The theory is a sound one at least.

February 6, 2009, 05:59 PM
I can't say enough good things about this little Beretta FS84.....A real beauty, just like the BDA, Beretta made for Browning. These pistols aren't just about beauty though, they are absolutely life or death realiable. This 84 has yet to fail....It just keeps spitting 'em out, one after another.

I personally prefer the frame mounted safety (where it should be) on the 84 and the open slide, just adds to the beauty and practicality......Someone mentioned they're like a Mercedes, I like to think of them more like a silver Ferrari. :D

February 6, 2009, 07:45 PM
I picked up another BDA .380 a few months ago, had a missing medalion and if u call Browning they will ship u replacements free of charge. Mine was missing buckhead and they sent me 4 extras! Mine has s.# of MM AND CALLED THEM for manufacture date, MM was from a special edition that was made in 2000. I never tire of admiring the beauty of those ss works of art! They are like comparing Rembrant to modern day comic book artists!

February 6, 2009, 09:09 PM
Great post! I've been wanting one for some time now, but never heard of anyone with one that could give me info. It's moved to the top of my "must have" list. Thanks all.

February 6, 2009, 10:53 PM
I had two of the Berettas years ago; a Model 84 and a Model 85. I actually preferred the wider grip of the double stack Model 84 over the the single stack design of the Model 85. With Pachmyrs, it just felt really comfortable and solid in my hand. And while the nickel BDA 380 looks stunning, I liked the blued Berettas with their frame mounted thumb safety better.

February 7, 2009, 12:31 AM
Oh wow... check this thing out!
Browning Model BDA
.380 Cal. All parts refitted.
Compatible with all .380 ammo.
Double action / smooth trigger
Completely customized and accurized.
Hand made finger grooved ebony grips.
Platinum and 24k gold plated.
$8,500 US

February 22, 2009, 09:07 AM
Mine looks nearly identical to jman_131. Except mine is in an '89. I have 2 13 round clips for it. I love my BDA 380!

My BDA .380
February 26, 2009, 04:37 PM
93465Purchased my Browning BDA .380 not too long ago. It was manufactured in 1990 and has NEVER BEEN FIRED! Couldn't believe it. It came with the 2 original nickel magazine's, original box, and the owner's manual. It's a beauty!

My BDA .380
February 26, 2009, 04:42 PM
Here's another pic of my beauty.

February 26, 2009, 05:38 PM
Very nice!!

March 6, 2009, 02:06 AM
Hey Bulbboy,
I finally found my missing camera! Here's a pic of the BDA my buddy gave me.
I love shooting it, all the bullets go right in a tight little group......I shoot CCI in a FMJ and Winchester Silvertip in HP...

March 6, 2009, 08:20 AM
I need to get a blued one as well!

May 9, 2009, 11:35 PM
I recently bought a LCP and thought the BDA worth selling to finance it. Within a couple of days I had massive seller's remorse and reclaimed it from the shop where it was on consignment. Dang, but I had to go through the background check again.

May 10, 2009, 07:17 AM
BDA FOR LCP.....:banghead:

Marlin 45 carbine
May 10, 2009, 08:02 AM
mine was mfd '80, little shot - I've put the most rounds thru it.
just lately started loaded cast rn slugs over Red Dot and was I surprised really tight groups.

May 11, 2009, 03:36 PM
Was looking for a smaller concealed ankle carry piece and ran across this 1995 model in my local gun store - what a beautiful find. In cleaning it yesterday, I noticed a couple of things: the walnut stocks have some scratches and dings in them and the sights look pretty challenging for these older eyes. Does anyone know if and where I might find factory replacements for the side stocks and are there after market products that I could use to make the sight picture a little less challenging?

May 11, 2009, 09:05 PM
I had a BDA back in early 90's and sold it when I was laid off in the last
"recession" in Jan 92
I really really wish I had not sold it and had it back.
I never liked the Beretta as well as the BDA

May 11, 2009, 09:57 PM
I just wish the safety was mounted in the right place.

Aka Zero
May 12, 2009, 08:36 AM
"I just wish the safety was mounted in the right place."

This gun is the only gun that can get away with a slide safety. I hate them, but I want one of these.

Hostile Amish
May 12, 2009, 08:46 AM
Wow, looks like a really well done cross between the classic designs of Beretta and Browning.

May 12, 2009, 09:37 AM
This thread just refuses to die.


...not that I have anything against it...

May 12, 2009, 10:34 AM
Had one and let it get away, mine was a later model (2002) they were a special remake of them and still to this day regret not having it

May 13, 2009, 12:42 AM
I learned to shoot handguns on the Army's 92F .. so the slide safety is familiar to me.

June 3, 2009, 02:22 AM
Ok, I'm incredibly happy that I did not let my BDA get away from me. Finally shot it again for the first time in at least 10 years. I was able to get a full clip on a regular sheet of paper from 25 yards... with two hits in the bullseye.

The sad part is I lost one of the medallions from the grip. Gonna have to contact Browning for a replacement.

Now where the heck do I get a good tuckable IWB holster for it?

June 3, 2009, 08:10 AM
Tactical what you enjoy.

I've never understood why I MUST own only what is on the most-holy "approved list", nor why every gun I buy MUST be for self defense use, nor why what I own affects anyone else at all really.
Some of my guns I bought for self-defense, some for hunting, some for targets, some just to plink with, and some simply for no other reason than because I wanted to own them.

June 4, 2009, 08:44 AM
I bought a LNIB Beretta 84 simply because I had a nice holster to fit it. Years ago, someone gave me an Askins Avenger for the Beretta. Finally have something to fill it.

Marlin 45 carbine
June 4, 2009, 08:58 AM
for one thing the BDA is fairly large for a .380 and also large grip.
I've introduced several women to shooting centerfire handguns with this pistol and only one disliked it (said recoil and noise was too much she later got a Walther .32acp)

June 4, 2009, 07:46 PM
I saw one in a gun store last week, looked new. It was blued and had only a little shiny spot on the barrel to prove it was fired. I wanted it so bad, but I controlled myself. A friend went to buy it an hour later, and it was gone.

June 5, 2009, 02:27 AM
After shooting my LCP, the BDA feels like a .22

July 18, 2009, 11:06 PM
shameless thread bump here...

love anything/everything w/ a Browning logo on it, and envious of those who own a BDA for ~20 years now
(and been trying awfully hard not to pick up that one, "just for a closer look" that's been laying under glass in local shop for 2 months now)

July 19, 2009, 02:27 PM
I have both the BDA and the Beretta 85 FS, NICKEL in both, like many say, .380 may not be the best SD rd, but sure a lot of dead folks will argue that point if they could talk! Both guns draw many ohhs and ahhs at the range, and never met anyone yet who shot either of them that didn't ask where they could buy one! By the way, Beretta made a special reissue of both guns in the early 2000s

July 19, 2009, 02:30 PM

New ones are coming into the country as we speak.

July 20, 2009, 08:47 AM
I bought a BERETTA 84 and then an 86. I really like them. They are very accurate, completely reliable ( A RARITY IN POCKET GUNS ) and pleasant to shoot. The only downside is finding .380ACP ammo at a reasonable price.
I will pick up a .32ACP model 83 if this keeps up! I can find all the cheap .32 I want.


July 30, 2009, 10:55 AM
Just saying "hi" for my first post. I'm impressed this thread has refused to die for over six years! I've learned a lot just by reading this thread alone.

I was just given my dad's BDA-380 two weekends ago, completely unexpectedly. Made in 1979 (if you believe the s/n), my dad bought it in early 1981 and only enjoyed it for about five months before he was killed in a car accident.

Since I didn't anticipate getting it (I was told all of his guns were given to a local deputy sheriff whom he had befriended), and since I live in NJ (*cough* yeah, it is what it is :banghead: ), I never got a firearms ID card in the past. The paperwork is in, so I'm just waiting so I can get to the range and send some rounds downrange. Plan is to also get a Florida's CCW permit (since I learned they'll issue one even if you live out of state), and then I'll carry when I travel somewhere where it's legal to do so with a Florida CCW permit.

Has anyone put on Pachmayr grips? If so, what does it do to the grip size and what do you think of them? I'm also looking forward to handling a Beretta 84 just to see how those grips feel, I'm thinking a slightly thinner grip will suit me better and will make the gun easier to conceal.

Thanks, looking forward to learning more...


September 5, 2009, 02:29 PM
Bump to the top.

ldp4570, you've got me wondering. I wasn't aware you could put Beretta grips on the Browning. Doesn't the frame safety lever on the Beretta 84 interfere with installation? I thought there was a cutout on the Beretta grips for that.

FWIW, I put on the Beretta 81/84 grips on mine (compare to the original grips in the pic above):

Doesn't interfere with the safety, but there is a small gap where it's been cut out to fit around the frame-mounted safety of the Beretta:

Not too bad, IMO. It thins out the grip just slightly, and provides a less slick feel...the original wood grips will go back on once I get a subcompact 9mm for CC...

September 5, 2009, 11:23 PM
Must repeat... am VERY glad I didn't get rid of mine.

September 5, 2009, 11:30 PM
Yep. I have no plans to get rid of mine once I get the 9mm SC...

Marvin KNox
September 14, 2009, 04:16 PM
My BDA was my all time favorite semi auto and the only one I really trusted.

It got away from me in the divorce unfortunately. I tried every way I could to get it back when I got into concealed carry and I struck out. If I had scored it would proably be my carry gun right now. Lots of great memories with that gun.

I don't know if I could justify it compared to others in 9mm. But I would be carrying it anyway. Nothing wrong with 14 .380 rounds in a teacup at 10 yards as fast as you can pull the trigger. No recoil. Accurate as all get out. No malfunctions - EVER.

The gun oozed old world quality and sex appeal IMO.:cool:

One consideration that led to it's purchase in the first place some 30 years ago was having a very high capacity auto that still had a grip that didn't make it a far reach to the trigger. With it, even a woman with small hands could fire a high capacity auto comfortably because of the short reach to the trigger.

I wouldn't in all likelihood buy one of the BDA's from scatch now for carry. But, like I said, if I still had that particular gun I'd be carrying it now.

January 9, 2010, 05:27 PM
My wife has the Browning in blue and I have a two-tone Beretta 84FS. I also have a Walther PK380 First Edition.

The Browning-Beretta pistols feel as good in my hand as any handgun I have ever held. Both shoot very well.

Considering the typical self-defense range, I feel quite comfortable with the Beretta's 14 rounds of Federal .380 or Remington Golden Saber.

THe only reason the Beretta is not my most-often carried handgun is the hot weather in SE Texas: it's just easier to drop my S&W 637 in a pocket. When cooler weather prevails; the Beretta rides in either a shoulder rig or a hip holster, both also made by Beretta.

I just saw a Browning BDA for sale at Able Ammo for about $650. I am very tempted...

January 9, 2010, 09:59 PM
Now that I've fired more than a few rounds through mine -- very accurate, very little recoil. However, it really does a number to the web of my hand, between my thumb and the carpal bone to my index finger -- I have to wear a glove to shoot it, otherwise it really cuts me up pretty good (and despite being a medical guy, I'm not fond of seeing my own blood). I don't have this issue with my Glock 19, Taurus 709 or my S&W 6906 -- go figure.

Still not gonna let go of it, though. :)

January 9, 2010, 10:03 PM
I picked up this little beauty recently for $300 OTD

January 9, 2010, 10:06 PM
I am seriously considering asking my gunsmith to put on a Beretta 84/85 hammer on my Browning. :)

dogtown tom
January 9, 2010, 11:48 PM
AJChenMPH I am seriously considering asking my gunsmith to put on a Beretta 84/85 hammer on my Browning.

Hammers are not interchangable between the BDA & 84/85.

I feel your pain, I hate the spur hammers on my BDA's.

January 10, 2010, 09:00 AM
Rats and double rats. I would have seriously considered carrying it a whole lot more if I could have had the hammer swapped out.

January 10, 2010, 09:47 PM
I enjoy both the BDA's I've got, but carry Sig P239's. As for an earlier note concerning the Florida CHL, I did carry that and the TX CHL, but dropped the FL when I started checking up and found a number of states now restrict reciprocity to only person's home state (i.e. Colorado).

January 10, 2010, 09:57 PM
i had one and loved it i hated to get rid of it but i had to i traded it for a mint colt goverment 380 strait across the board lol

January 16, 2010, 08:06 PM
I showed my wife a BDA today.
She LIKES it.
Maybe after I get a S&W Bodyguard to match her Model 37 Airweight, I'll pitch in for a pair of BDA's...nyah-ah-ahhh!!!:evil:

I traded off a Beretta Tomcat and a Cheetah 84FS for my Mini-Cougar .40, and I don't regret it, but I really liked that .380.
Everybody that shot that pistol liked it.
The Tomcat was the best size for carry, but it was not reliable enough...I just didn't trust it fully.

So, now, unless I can convince her to go for a Mini-Cougar, we'll be looking at some BDA's.
Think about this: the safety works the same as on the BIG Berettas, so it makes sense in that regard.
I believe this thread still has some life in it.

January 17, 2010, 09:02 AM
That's odd, neither my wife nor I have had any problems with the hammer on the Browning. Frankly, IMHO, a pistol with the Browning hammer and grips and the Beretta frame-mounted safety would be about the ideal pistol. Either slide would be fine with me.

January 17, 2010, 12:05 PM
Hi, I'm new to this site but wanted to comment on the Browning (nick) BDA 380. I'm 5' 5" 137 lb female and a life member of the NRA & have had my Concealed Firearm Lic. since I was old enough to have one. I purchased BDA years back and have had no regrets. Over 2000 rounds and still going, never a miss. Bigger may be better, however, if you want to carry a good dependable gun for defense and NOT assault the .380 is perfect. If you use a gun with more of a "punch" to it (9mm /. 45 etc) you stand a higher chance of your round going through your target and hitting an innocent by stander in which goes from self defense on one to man slaughter on the other. Browning (nick) bda, beautiful, sexy, does the job and fits in my bag. Doesn't fit in your bag?, get a bigger bag, it fits medium size handbag just leave the "crap" you really don't need at home, don't trust the .22's they jam too often. However, the bda fits under your jacket in the cooler months. (I love the shoulder holster with 2 extra 13 round mags on opposite side of holster) For a backup gun I used to think the colored guns were too "sissy" and no one would take you seriously. Boy was I fooled, I pull my new 38 special light weight "The Lavendar Lady" that my husband got me for Christmas, at the range and fire a couple of shots and people took notice. (but it's only 5 shots) Still prefer 13 round Browning BDA, chamber 1 round reload 1 in mag and that gives you 14 rounds! with 2, 13 round clips as backup. NOTE TO ALL WHO READ: Take the Firearm Class, Get your Concealed Firearm Permit, Join the NRA and always be safe. (Which includes working on your accuracy, even though John Wayne said "it's not always about being accurate that counts, it's being willing".)
Happy Shooting!

January 18, 2010, 07:43 AM
Great first post, nerdiegurl! Welcome to the group.

January 18, 2010, 10:28 AM
This thread just refuses to die.

That in an of itself speaks volumes. I'd say it's a testament to what a quality pistol Beretta build for themselves and Browning!

January 20, 2010, 12:03 AM
OK guys. My first post: I purchased a Browning BDA in the early 80's and put it away in the safe having never fired it. I checked it from time to time and made sure it was lubed. Loved the look and feel of it but had other larger calibers and 22 rimfires and the 380 just did not get me excited. I thought about selling it many times since it just did not seem to be a gun I planned on shooting much. After buying an LCP in early 2009 for a pocket gun I searched high and low for 380 ammo. After scoring a lot of 380 I decided to shoot the BDA. This is one of the finest auto pistols I have ever shot. Feels good in the hand, well made, and looks like a quality pistol should in terms of fit and finish. After my first trip to an outdoor range I dixcovered that both of the little emblems had fallen off the wood grips. I was able to find some replacements and resotred it to its original good looks. I later found out this was a common problem. I later purchased Pahmayr grips and they really make it a better feeling tactical weapon but don't have the same classic look. I have purchased several extra 13 round mags in case they ban them(again) and intend to keep this one forever. No offense to my Glocks and Kahrs but this all metal framed pistol is truly a classic and should be in everybody's collection.

January 25, 2010, 03:18 PM
I just bought a single stack 9mm from a Cabelas store. But what catched my eye? Browning BDA! While waiting and browsing I said to my son - check that one out, that is just a super looking piece - thats the best looking gun in this place.


February 11, 2010, 02:33 PM
i love the way these things look and i have seriously considered buying one but.... something keeps me from doing so

i don't know if its me, but is the trigger on these things kind of heavy? i have fiddled with one at my gun shop, maybe its just on that particular gun (brand new)... could be an oddball but the trigger feels heavy (and i own a Ruger SR9, so i know something about the El Guapo trigger.... you know, a Man's Gun... 3 Amigos...)
anyway, whats your take?

i love everything else about those little Brownings but after buying that SR9, i swore not to buy a gun with a bad trigger hoping it would get better again....

February 13, 2010, 05:16 PM
does anyone know where to get one of these besides GunBroker?

are there any at CDNN, SOG, or J&G?

February 15, 2010, 02:13 PM
I just walked into our local shop and they had a brand new nickle plated one for $650.00. It seemed pretty high priced for a .380, but after reading this thread, I feel good about the purchase. Just out of curiosity, why are new BDA's still showing up in shops after being discontinued years ago?

February 15, 2010, 09:19 PM
I had a blued BDA. It was beautiful and so well made. It was a good shooter. I sold it to buy something else. I can't remember now what that was but I still remember the BDA.

February 16, 2010, 12:07 AM
Just out of curiosity, why are new BDA's still showing up in shops after being discontinued years ago?

I believe it's a limited run.

February 16, 2010, 12:25 AM
It is.

February 16, 2010, 04:43 AM
I talked to the folks at Browning who told me that, although it is no longer listed as an active product in their catalog, they still make small runs for Davidson's Inc. which distributes them to dealers. Davidson's website is Gallery of Guns ( Using their "Gun Genie" you can find local dealers who can get one for you as well as get competing offers. Davidson's says they have 14 blued in stock.

BTW: I never heard of anyone getting their hand cut up by either the Browning or the Beretta. My wife, who is petite and has small hands, loves her Browning.

February 17, 2010, 06:06 PM
very nice pistol, and while an adequate SD pistol, I have been thinking about getting one as a informal target plinker. I handload so ammo price isn't a factor, it should be a very smooth very low recoil plinker and armadillo killin machine.

February 17, 2010, 07:44 PM
Hello y'all. I am new to this forum and have joined because I just bought a new blue bda and was looking for some good ruber grips. The original wood grips are just a tad wide but still good. I am very happy to read all the pro comments, especially the references to accuracy, as only shooting one can tell, no matter how pretty it is. I also have a Bersa and find it shoots as well as I can, but as many of the other poster have said, the BDA is one very lovely gun, and I have what I consider some very lovely guns. A Sig 229 Equinox, in 40 S&W and 357 Sig from thier custom shop. A Sig 239,also in both calibers, and a Sig Mosquito. A Browning Hi Power with a cyilinder and slide trigger job, and a CZ75, A PPK in 380. all of which I luv and luv to shoot, except perhaps the Mosquito. To balance the group, I also have one of the very first Ruger SP101 .327 Magnum revolvers, and that is one heck of a gun. Now that I have all the bragging behind me, for which I apologize, but I am a proud gun nut and behave accordingly, I have not yet had the pleasure of shooting the BDA, which I hope to do by the weekend. I would appreciate any comments as to the benefit of Pachmayer rubber grips, I am hopeing they are a tad narrower.

February 17, 2010, 08:51 PM
I would appreciate any comments as to the benefit of Pachmayr rubber grips, I am hopeing they are a tad narrower.

IMO the Pachmayr Signature grips add girth compared to the wood grips. They are excellent grips none-the-less.


I've often wondered how well the Pachmayr Signiture grips would feel with the front and back strap pieces removed. Would the girth then be more similar to the original feel? I haven't worked up the gumption to take a knife to them yet.

February 17, 2010, 08:56 PM
I got grips from a Beretta 81/84 and popped them on...I think they slim down the grip somewhat:

However, there is a gap between the grip and the frame (it's for the frame-mounted safety that doesn't exist on the BDA):

Just beware that dust/dirt can get in there, and I had the pin (that the hammer pivots around) work itself loose.

February 19, 2010, 10:54 AM
I have a browning bda 380 a great quality gun. With 13 rounds in the clip.
Does anyone know where i can find some grips for this pistol. White , ivory or pear style. Thanks.
Thanks for your help.

February 24, 2010, 06:24 PM
I came across this thread after I picked up 4-13rnd BDA mags today for $10. I had planned to turn around and make a quick profit on them but now I'm thinking about keeping them and buying a BDA sometime in the near future. They look like great guns and the reviews I've read, I can't find any that are negative towards the gun. Never even thought of having a .380 until now.

So does anyone have anything bad to say about the Browning BDA? Any reason why I shouldn't buy one?

February 24, 2010, 06:43 PM
So does anyone have anything bad to say about the Browning BDA? Any reason why I shouldn't buy one?

It's easier to find the Beretta 84, the mags are interchangable. Both are fine guns, great design, reliable...I have nothing bad to say. One of the guns I most enjoy shooting.

February 24, 2010, 09:05 PM
There is nothing bad to say about the Browning BDA.380, unless you just don't like the caliber..
My friends tell me I need to carry a larger caliber, i.e. 9mm or .40 cal. Well, I can't hit the side of a barn with a .40, But I can put 10 rounds from my BDA.380 in a baseball, at 8 yards, in about 4 seconds.... So if you're a bad guy wantin' to f--- with me,, don't be afraid, all I carry is a .380 !

February 24, 2010, 09:30 PM
Look, all I know about the Beretta/Browning is Tony Montana took out two assasins with machine guns with one, thats good enough for me.

February 25, 2010, 08:39 AM
So if you're a bad guy wantin' to f--- with me,, don't be afraid, all I carry is a .380 !
Great quote! I think I may make that my signature line, if you don't mind....

February 25, 2010, 10:16 AM
I think we spend way too much time deciding what is tactical and what ain't.

A big AMEN to that.


February 25, 2010, 10:42 AM
So does anyone have anything bad to say about the Browning BDA?
Ummm...mine tears up the web of my hand (between my thumb and index finger) something fierce when I shoot it? The first DA pull is a tad heavy? It's tougher to find holsters for it? .380 ammo is harder to find and more expensive?

Actually, because of my first and last comments, I don't shoot it a whole lot any more (and when I do, I use a shooting glove), much less carry it...but I still love to break it out and just fondle it (unloaded, of course).

February 25, 2010, 08:03 PM
Triggernosis ,,,please, be my guest, and use it!
I had no idea someone would like what I had to say !

March 2, 2010, 03:15 PM
Wow, a thread this old speaks for the gun! I bought a blue Browning BDA .380 for $427 in '82. It has been within reach most of the time for that 28 years. I have lost count of the brands and types of ammo I have put through it and dont ever recall a jam. I love it, it will only leave me in my will! I also lost one of the inserts on the grips, made me sick, I scoured the range but never found it. It may not be a heavy hitter but I got 26 rounds waiting! Wish I could find some laser grips. Great forum, keep up the good work.

March 2, 2010, 04:09 PM
Welcome to THR!

I finally had a failure to feed the other day -- one of those Buffalo Bore HCN rounds didn't load. But I shot a mag of those rounds and it only happened that one time (and I've shot them in the past with no issue). Go figure.

March 4, 2010, 06:43 PM
I bought my BDA nickle 380 for looks alone. I had a brother a couple years ago who asked if I had ever seen a Browning BDA 380. "Not really" well, after I took a look, I bought one. If nothing else, I'll leave it to him. It's still new in the safe and unfired. When I picked it up at my gun shop, they said it was the most beautiful gun they had seen. Even asked if I'd sell it right then. For those still looking for the medallions, they're for sale all the time on ebay.

March 4, 2010, 06:48 PM
I bought my BDA nickle 380 for looks alone.

+1 I had no intentions of buying a .380 but with the BDA it was love at first sight and it was Sooo anti-tactical I had to own it. :)

March 4, 2010, 07:08 PM
For those still looking for the medallions, they're for sale all the time on ebay.

Just wondering if anyone has tried Browning for the medallions?.....Beretta still has them available for the 84/85/86.

March 4, 2010, 07:25 PM
I don't believe you can get the old type "B" medallions anymore. The new Buckhorn types are readily available.

March 4, 2010, 09:30 PM
+1 for the beauty of the is truly a Classic firearm.

March 4, 2010, 10:41 PM
I think we spend way too much time deciding what is tactical and what ain't.

I think we spend too much time caring what's tactical and what ain't. I am entirely too old to be a mall ninja and I would rather leave the tactical stuff to the guys who really use it and for whom such decisions are important. That leaves me free to choose from a much wider variety of firearms. Like the Browning BDA.

March 5, 2010, 07:15 PM
I am amazed that this thread is even still around. I just bought a nickel BDA about a hour ago. I was looking up reviews and holster options on-line and the good old THR popped up. Anyway I will post picks of my latest purchase later. I really think I got a very good deal. A nickel BDA with 2 ten round mags pretty clean for $375 + tax. Anyway I can't wait to see how she shoots.

March 5, 2010, 08:25 PM
I am amazed that this thread is even still around. I just bought a nickel BDA about a hour ago. I was looking up reviews and holster options on-line and the good old THR popped up. Anyway I will post picks of my latest purchase later. I really think I got a very good deal. A nickel BDA with 2 ten round mags pretty clean for $375 + tax. Anyway I can't wait to see how she shoots.

Pick yourself up some 13rd Mec-Gars....They work flawlessly!

March 5, 2010, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the advice. Does anyone have a recommendation for a CCW holster for this gun. I prefer to carry kidney rh.

March 6, 2010, 10:53 AM
A nickel BDA with 2 ten round mags pretty clean for $375 + tax. Anyway I can't wait to see how she shoots.

Turn yourself in stold that gun:D

March 7, 2010, 12:11 PM

A few pict's of my new BDA. I will post a range report soon.

March 7, 2010, 12:33 PM
jbkebert, have you no shame sir?

Since this has kind of turned into a BDA love fest, I'm wondering what the extra stamping is on the right side of the frame. I've seen this on several BDAs. Especially the CAT number. Anybody know what it is? Mine is slick on the right side. It has a 2 stamps on the right side of the trigger guard. One pre annodizing and one post annodizing.

Peter M. Eick
March 7, 2010, 12:37 PM
I just picked up a NIB one of these and after 50 rnds at the range both grip medallions fell off. I found one of them but the other is gone.


Now I will have to call Browning on monday and see what they can do for me if anything.

here is before the grip medallions did a walk about.

March 7, 2010, 12:44 PM
I thought that the marks on the RH side were import markings. The later models wear a few more marks as the legal BS got deeper. As for the medallions taking a walk. You notice mine is not wearing any either. Thinking of replacing the grips to something with better grip and texture.

March 7, 2010, 09:25 PM
I've found relatively few holsters specifically for the BDA, but the High Noon Bare Asset is available for the Beretta 84, so it should fit the BDA:

I use one for my S&W 6906 (and I use it for triple-duty for both my Glock 19 and Taurus PT-709 Slim), and I like it a lot for a standard IWB holster. High Noon also has the tuckable version as well.

For grips -- I know Pachmayr makes a grip for the BDA, but pics look like it's really more for the Beretta 84 as it has the cutout for the frame-mounted safety. And at one point, I put the OEM Beretta 81/84 grips on my BDA. The only problem (as I see it) is that the cutout for the frame-mounted safety of the 84 allows the pin (which the hammer pivots on) to work itself out, which is what happened to mine.

And the Pachmayr isn't as aesthetically pleasing as the wood grips...

June 19, 2010, 10:37 PM
I Googled "Browning 380" and came across this web site. Pulled up this thread and read all the posts back to '03. I've got a 1995 BDA blued and Beretta nickle, both in mint condition. Both are great looking guns. Was offered $600 a piece for them last week, but declined. Great guns.

June 19, 2010, 10:39 PM
Welcome to the THR NEWDAD and I wholeheartedly agree the Browning BDA/Beretta 84's are great guns.

June 19, 2010, 10:47 PM
Appreciate the welcome jbkebert. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I'll put a couple on here.

June 20, 2010, 01:44 AM
I be utterly shameless, posting on a thread re: BDAs (not even owning one, just lusting in my heart)
but always did love anything w/ a Browning logo on it
(and always just wanted to post something on same thread that "Tam" did, even if just once)

dunno why I ever thunk it was, but pretty certain 'tis not so...
they never did make the BDA in a single stack, did they ??

they had one in local shop, mebbe still do, scared to pick it up, lest it follow me home, double stack it be

June 20, 2010, 08:46 AM
Hey oldfool.....Sounds like you're looking for the Beretta model 85. I've never heard of a single stack BDA but Beretta made one for themselves. :)

June 20, 2010, 11:37 AM
This gun [Browning BDA] is my next purchase that I want to make. Wood grips, shiney blue finish. . . . that's what I'm after. :)

July 11, 2010, 09:21 AM
Well.. this is the thread that made me go ahead and "pull the trigger" on a new BDA.. saw it at a shop when I put my S&W 642 on consignment and thought it was a beautiful gun.. walked away thinking .. why pay the $$ for a gun just 'cause it looks nice...

Couldn't get the gun out of my head so did a google search.. came upon this thread, read it, and called the owner of the shop right after and told him to put the BDA back for me..

As a note, this one is nickel NIB and I'm paying $675. Thought that was a huge amt (since I went in to look at Walthers 380) but after reading this .. think I will be very happy!!

As a note, new to handguns... just took firearm orientation and cc class.. really enjoying the hobby and it's much cheaper than my Harley Davidson obsession..

July 11, 2010, 02:57 PM
^welcome to the club :) My BDA was the only gun I bought on looks alone.

July 12, 2010, 06:18 PM
I used to carry a BDA in a shoulder holster in the winter (concealed by an "Ike" jacket) as a bug when on patrol. Very dependable, had to sell it, wish I had another!

July 12, 2010, 08:10 PM
Well, I just recently picked up a pristine mint BDA that was never fired in beautiful blue. It is a 1981 Model. But, the original consignment owner had replaced the factory BDA wood grips with the very nice Pachmayr Sinature grips. Unfortunately, this pistol didn't come with the wood grips! Does anyone here know where I could obtain a mint set of these factory wood grips? Or, might have a set they'd want to sell? Thanks!

July 13, 2010, 12:12 AM
There was a pair up for auction on gunbroker within the last two weeks. I think they were bidding them in the mid $30s.

I bought a mint used BDA on gunbroker a few weeks ago. Beautiful gun. The finish on the grips is as smooth as glass.

July 13, 2010, 04:28 PM
There was a pair up for auction on gunbroker within the last two weeks. I think they were bidding them in the mid $30s.

I bought a mint used BDA on gunbroker a few weeks ago. Beautiful gun. The finish on the grips is as smooth as glass.
1)Thanks! I will check out Gunbroker to see about those grips-and, if they are still available?

2)Yes, the original wood BDA grips were as smooth as glass! I'm glad that you also have landed a mint BDA! Did you check the code on your BDA to determine it's year of manufacture?

July 15, 2010, 08:22 AM
slick6: mine was made in '82

July 15, 2010, 11:19 AM
slick6: mine was made in '82
Well, that's great, Steve! Congrats! So, the code on your BDA should be PY=1982, mine has the code PZ=1981. I'd like to see some pictures of your BDA? I'll try to get some pictures taken of my BDA, and will post these here soon! I think the bluing was nicer on our earlier vintage BDA's compared to the newer batches of these, currently showing up on Gunbroker. Also, I prefer the fewer BS stampings on these guns too!

August 1, 2010, 11:47 PM
I handled a BDA 19 years ago in a local gunshop and never got it out of my head. For my hands the most comfortable hand gun ever. Comfort and style. Just didn't buy it! I saw one yesterday and bought it instantly. Used, but never shot - how's that? And only $459. Can't wait to shoot it. Drove around town looking for some .380 rounds. Tomorrow noon to the range.

August 2, 2010, 04:10 AM
So about six months ago I started thinking maybe I wanted to add a .380 to my growing gun collection and I started looking around. I passed over the PPK and the sig and some other pretty standard ones just cause I knew there was some other stuff out there. I drifted toward the Beretta 84 at some point but for whatever reason I just didn't fall in love with it, and in the meantime I decided to get a sig p226 elite, which I had been lusting over for about 3 years, and then the trail went cold for a while cause I started looking at long guns, thinking I was done with pistol buying for a year or so.

Then the BDA caught my eye, and suddenly the idea of a .380 went from the "maybe in the next year or two" to "absolutely must be next gun purchase" status. Then I was at the gun show last weekend and it got even worse cause I actually saw one in person for the first time and something inside me just went crazy, I got the BDA fever baaaaad. I took a picture of it on my phone and would literally just sit on the couch at the end of the day and stare at girlfriend even said she wanted me to get it, she's not a gun person and she could tell it was something special. It has been as though the universe is conspiring to make me purchase this damn gun...

BUT I'm about to start law school and I can't really afford to add a new gun to the pile right now, so for the first time in my life I actually started trying to think of a gun I would want to swap out of the lineup. I settled on my Glock -- since I can pick one of those up practically anywhere at a moment's notice -- and began feverishly trying to sell it to one of my friends to finance a BDA.

Well, voila, my buddy tried it out at the range the other day and agreed to give me $400, so I'll only have to fork over another $100 or so for one of the most beautiful pistols I've ever seen...I'm sooooo stoked. Now I just have to decide whether to wait for the next gun show and hope that same booth has them again NIB, or to just start hunting around town...

Anyway, I'm excited if you can't tell.

August 2, 2010, 11:22 AM
GargageCat: Check out the completed BDA auctions on gunbroker. Nice ones are regularly going for under $400. Someone had a nickle plated one that looked perfect to my eye with three sets of grips including walnut for $356. The price of used handguns has really gone down in the past few months.

August 2, 2010, 02:35 PM
Yeah I'm going to start hunting soon, I'm pretty busy with starting law school these days so it's on my list but it might take me a week or two to start looking. First I need to sell my Glock to my friend, and I've never done a gun transfer so I'm about to call my gun store and ask them if maybe they can handle it for me.

I've also never bought a gun online and had it shipped to an FFL holder or anything so I'd need to wade through that process as well for the first it might be slow going.

But thanks for the tip! I'm going to check them out. I know I can find them NIB for about $500-550 here in the Houston area but I'm also going to keep an eye on the possibility of a used one.

August 2, 2010, 03:09 PM
Ok so I went on gunbroker and the only ones in the $350 range are pretty rough. All the others have reserve prices in the high 6's. I'm not averse to buying used guns because then someone else has ostensibly done the breaking in for you, but used and abused are two different ideas, and the ones I saw with no reserve price on gunbroker seemed to fall into the latter column.

Just called my local shop Collector's Firearms, which is known for their EXTENSIVE selection of everything from modern battle rifles to cowboy action shooters and antique guns of all shapes and sizes, as well as their museum-quality collection of militaria which is all for sale. Unfortunately, they're also known for their high prices, especially when it comes to somewhat rare guns. They had a nickel finish BDA for 7-something. I don't remember the exact price, but as soon as the guy said the number 7 I just tuned out the rest of his sentence and said "thanks but no thanks."

I then called AJC Sports in Clute, TX which is about an hour south of me. They run a pretty nice booth at the Houston gun show, which is actually where I saw the BDA that won my heart. They said they'd give me the "gun show price" of $600 if I drove down there for it. Usually they offer them at $650 in the store. The guy insisted that they didnt have it in the $500 range at the show, but after I got off the phone I pulled up a picture I took of the gun AT THEIR BOOTH last weekend, and even though the price tag is partially obscured you can clearly see that the first number is a "5" and it looks like the second number as well. I just wish I had had the presence of mind to slide the pistol a little to the right at the time so that I hadn't covered the price tag. Anyway, I'm hoping I can use this as leverage somehow.

Any more hot leads out there? Or does anyone live in the Houston area who knows a good place to get these things? I get the impression that a few of you guys got really lucky and just stumbled upon the good deals you got...I have a feeling that's probably not going to happen to me unless I want to wait 5 years to own one of these things.

August 2, 2010, 03:32 PM
Not to beat a dead horse but here is the DBA I was referencing:

It has one extra set of grips instead of two like I said. I bought my BDA for $395 and spent an extra $60 for shipping and FFA fees on my end so my net cost was $455. But the gun turned out to be mint so I am happy.

You can get good deals but you have to lie in the weeds a little.

August 3, 2010, 10:00 AM
I remember starting law school, vaguely, in 1973. I hope you do well and enjoy the ride.

I have the Beretta 84, bought it used for $300 a few years ago.

I have sold a few guns to friends. In Oregon I just hand them the gun and they hand me the cash. I would give them a bill of sale if they wanted one. I do make an entry in my gun log of who I sold it to and the date.

I have bought a number of guns on line. Never had a problem. I have a local ffl to work with, and our club now has an ffl available. My local guy is also a dealer, and a good person to look the gun over when it arrives. If he said it needed to be returned for any reason I have a reliable guy to say The gun was defective before I ever even see it. I usually buy from folks who have good ratings, but my Les Baer 1.5" guarantee was bought from a first time seller. A nice guy who needed to sell the gun due to his arthritis.

August 6, 2010, 01:47 AM
I got out yesterday to shoot my 'new' used unfired BDA. I took along a Makarov (russian) and my Glock 19 to compare. The BDA had a nice little jump and was remarkably accurate with some Winchester 95 grain, but was all over the paper with some 100 grain reloads. Quite surprising the difference the ammo made. The BDA was a little milder than the Makarov and the Glock, but the Glock is remarkably accurate - a little more so than the BDA. I'll keep trying different ammo until I find one it likes best.

August 6, 2010, 08:23 AM
The ones listed as FN BDA's on gunbroker (I don't know why he lists them that way) seem to all have worn/dinged grips, but the guns themselves seem to all be at least as described, or, in the case of the two guns (Beretta 84 and Tanfoglio 9mmCompact) better than they look in the pics. My Tanfoglio had dinged up grips, but a little sanding has them almost perfect now, and a little thinner than they were originally, a plus in my book. My 84 was described as 85%, and I would say it's 90% plus. It looks new unless you look closely. I think new BDAs and Beretta 84's are almost as overpriced as 1911's are.

August 9, 2010, 10:45 AM
I was in my safe last night and took the time to take a good look at my BDA. Blued with a gorgeous finish. I found a set of PachMayr grips on ebay a while back after the medallions fell off on the first trip ever to the range. I found replacements but while searching ebay I found the others also. Mine has about 100 rounds through it and believe it or not it sat in mysafe for almost 30 years without being fired. One other thing, it was purchsed in1980 for $209 plus tax. Makes it a pretty good investment in addition to a fine looking pistol. Now that I have another 380 and lots of ammo I think I will shoot it more.

August 9, 2010, 11:25 AM
Several years ago, I traded mine along with a Beretta 9000s I hated for a nice Browning Hi Power.

August 9, 2010, 05:10 PM
While the latest post to this thread are very on point, this thread is over 6 years old.

I'm thinking it would get a lot more attention if someone started a new thread. Long threads can be overwhelming and some of the information being shared would be of interest to members who might otherwise overlook it

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