Beretta Cheetah Perfect Pistol?


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Higgins
April 18, 2003, 10:27 PM
I've been looking at the Beretta Cheetah lately with new interest.

Why:

Reliability. Berettas have an undisputed reputation for reliability. I figure the Cheetah's open top slide, feed angle and fixed barrel contribute to the reliability. Plus, fixed barrel of the .380 should be even more accurate and reliable than other Berettas of same open top slide design.

I know the .380 is considered a marginal caliber for defense and there are smaller pistols in .380 (including upcoming KT 3AT) and 9 mm. However, I like the simplicity and strength of the simple, straight blowback .380. No titling, locking, gas delay, blah blah blah. Fewer parts = more robust and reliable and easier to takedown and clean. Besides, is the step down from 9mm to .380 really that crucial for defense, especially if use hollowpoints? Also, I like the Beretta .380 over other .380's again for the design, including open top slide, etc....

Other good points: a thumb safety where it ought to be, a la 1911; a narrow profile and fairly good overall size with a good balance between size and weight to control felt recoil; a good 10+1 of rounds (with 13 rounder mags available).

Any additional thoughts on the Cheetah from the knowledgeable members here appreciated. That is, am I crazy? Thanks.

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MJRW
April 19, 2003, 12:07 AM
Errr...I had a cheetah open just he other day. A nice shiny one at the local store. It isn't a straight blow back system unless my memory is horrible. And .380 has roughly half the muzzle energy of a 9mm. Don't get me wrong, I love my Bersa .380 and carry it frequently. But don't go trying to convince yourself that .380 is just 2 mm shy of a 9x19. I think you have a love affair going on with the cheetah. Its a good gun. Its pretty. Perfect? No. But it seems you want it real bad like. Go for it. You wouldn't catch me crying if I found one in my safe one night.

Also, I don't carry hollow points for my .380. I'm more worried about that round actually penetrating more than anything else.

Shane
April 19, 2003, 01:47 AM
Interesting, I just purchased a Beretta Cheetah in 9mm Short (.380 ACP). The way I see, it, the IDEAL Cheetah would be in 9mm (9x19) if that were possible (they'd have to use a locking system as opposed to the blowback). The main reason I bought the Cheetah was that it was so darn cute and fits my hands perfectly--the balance was very good for such a small pistol. Its NOT a front line defensive pistol, IMO, but as a backup to a larger caliber gun I think its a fine pistol.

I mostly bought it for the collection aspect, I've never owned a Beretta before and this pistol was so darn good looking I decided to get my first Beretta. One day, I might also get a Beretta 92 M-Series (single stack).

rugerfreak
April 19, 2003, 02:18 AM
Snappy recoil from the blow-back action----I dumped it soon after the first time out shooting. None of my 9mm's ever kicked like that--blow backs are best suited to .22's and not much more---in my opinion.

I don't mind a little recoil if the caliber has some real power---but the kick of the blow back .380's is all out of proportion to the wimpy .380 cartridge.

Leaky Waders
April 19, 2003, 07:35 PM
I have one and like it...it's small enough to be locked in the dash without having to take everything out first.

I can shoot it pretty well...and I'm no expert. I've shot it side by side the bersa thunder - the cheetah feels better to shoot - both kick a little but it isnt overwhelming. The same days we were shooting, we were also plinking w/ a makarov, a .357 6 inch revolver and many mark 2's. The mark 2's were the most docile followed by the cheetah - this is subjective however.i mean I didnt do any foot/lbs of torque tests or anything...I just shot some cans and targets.

Its hard to find 13 round magazines for it, but they are available for a price (the weapon comes w/ a ten rounder and maybe a spare...I forget and am too lazy to look in my safe right now). I paid a little much for mine, buying it new and not shopping around...but I like it and will pass it down to a son someday.

-L. W.

Sean Smith
April 19, 2003, 08:41 PM
Too wimpy.

cratz2
April 19, 2003, 09:39 PM
I like them... in general. They are comfortable in my hand. Haven't shot any of them except the pop up barrel one... forget the name 84 or 86. Didn't seem to have excessive recoil but then I shoot more 45ACP than anything else. Might me excessive for the round.

I just can't really see chosing a Cheetah over a Kahr. I mean, roughly the same number of rounds, more effective cartridge, better and more consistant trigger.

firestar
April 20, 2003, 02:16 AM
Good looking gun in a neat sized package. If there weren't so many good 9mms on the market right now, I would get a Beretta or Browning .380. Kahr, Sig, Kel-Tec and others make small 9mms that are better suited to what this gun is for (self defense).

If I found a great deal on one, I would snap it up in a second, they are very nice and I would have no problem carrying it for self defense. I carry a Kel-Tec P-32 most of the time so my power standards may be a little lower than some peoples. I figuire if 8 .32 slugs don't stop the bad guy(s), I can probably run faster then they can since they will be hurting at least. Then again, if I had to defend myself against someone that was crazy or on drugs, the .32 may not even slow them down. I really can't pack a 1911 around so we all have to make choices. I find that I carry a larger gun more often since carrying the P-32, it used to be that I would only carry a gun when I was going to somewhere that I thought might be dangerous or when it was convinient but since carrying the P-32 everyday, I have become more confortable carrying a gun so when I feel the need, I carry my Firestar 9mm and I feel better. Maybe someday, I will carry my Ruger Speed Six .357 mag!

Shawn Dodson
April 20, 2003, 01:37 PM
My wife's pistol is a Beretta 85 (single stack .380 ACP) Cheetah. It fits her hands and she's comfortable shooting it. It's loaded with Hornady 90gr XTP-JHP, which is the best load I've found for her gun (http://www.firearmstactical.com/test_data/380acp/hor380-90xtp-b85.htm). It achieves an honest 1000+ fps muzzle velocity. Recoil, in my opinion, is mild.

My only dislike of her Cheetah are the factory rear sight and the way the frame mounted manual safety lever catches my hand when I rack the slide.

bad_dad_brad
April 20, 2003, 03:31 PM
The Cheetah is a fine pistol. Well made. Typical of Beretta firearms. Wouldn't mind owning one, just because they are so pretty.

However, for a .380 the Cheetah is on the large and heavy side, not to mention a bit expensive. I would rather pack a Kahr MK9 9X19.

The only advantage I can think of that the Cheetah has going for it is found in the 86FS model. It has a tip up barrel.

For people who lack the upper body strength to rack a semi-auto's slide, the first round can be loaded easily using this feature.

The 86FS Cheetah is the largest caliber pistol that I know of that features a tip up barrel.

Tman
April 20, 2003, 04:56 PM
I have the 87 in 22lr. I mostly bought it for the looks and it felt more comfortable in my hands than the ruger or browning buckmark. Say, didn't Carrie Moss whip out a couple of beretta cheetah's in the opening sequence of the Matrix?

Alan Fud
April 21, 2003, 07:27 AM
Posted by Shawn Dodson: ... My wife's pistol is a Beretta 85 (single stack .380 ACP) Cheetah. It fits her hands and she's comfortable shooting it. It's loaded with Hornady 90gr XTP-JHP, which is the best load I've found for her gun (http://www.firearmstactical.com/tes...0-90xtp-b85.htm). It achieves an honest 1000+ fps muzzle velocity. Recoil, in my opinion, is mild ... Sounds like your wife discovered the same thing that my wife did -- it's better to hit your target with 14 rounds of .380ACP than to miss it with a more powerful caliber. Posted by Shane: ... the IDEAL Cheetah would be in 9mm (9x19) if that were possible ... Yeah, that's been done already ...
http://fud-files.netfirms.com/image/private/guns/f06.jpg
... it's called the Smith & Wesson 3913TSW ;) Posted by Higgins: ... Any additional thoughts on the Cheetah from the knowledgeable members here appreciated ... I've owned the Browning BDA380 (a production twin of the Beretta Cheetah (made by Beretta for Browning)) for over twenty years and have never experienced a failure with it of ANY kind. It's a bit large for a .380 but the extra size fits the hand well and the extra weight reduces recoil so that it feels like a .22 instead of a .380 and that has a positive effect on accuracy. It's basicly the same size as a snubbie ...
http://fud-files.netfirms.com/image/private/guns/f12.jpg
... but I'll put MY faith in fourteen rounds of .380's over five or six rounds of .38's or .357's ESPECIALLY when dealing with multiple targets.

Shane
April 22, 2003, 01:02 AM
... it's called the Smith & Wesson 3913TSW

I appreciate the suggestion. But I've had nothing but bad results with S&W semi-autos. I'm sure there are good ones out there, but my problems with the S&W 457 I use to own, plus ammo-finicky rentals I tried turns me off to those pistols.

Having said that, that Browning .380 is gorgeous! I'd love to own one of those, although I don't think its "approved" for California sale at this time. :(

care-less
April 22, 2003, 07:20 PM
Beretta 380's are excellent, as is the Browning cousin. Hi cap mags are still available; rapid fire control is excellent; they shoot fast. I prefer the Browning drop safety setup, it only lowers the hammer to half cock; not so hard of a double action pull; Beretta can be carried cocked and locked if you prefer that; Beretta hammer is better for concealed carry. Had a Browning years back; wish I still did, can't at the moment remember why I don't?? You will love either. Damn, now I want another one!:)

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