Does Anyone Have a Beretta 21A that Works?


February 16, 2008, 11:26 PM
I've got the stainless .22LR, and I'm embarrassed to say that my little .22LR Jennings is more reliable. It'll go bang, bang, bang through about five magazines full before it starts jamming, but my Beretta jams too often for me to totally be comfortable with.

Of course, it could be the ammo I'm using. I'm told the Beretta 21 works better with the speedy little 33-grain rounds. I don't know if it'll help, but today I polished the ramp, and I don't think the factory did a great job of segwaying into the barrel (it's a tube that's forced into the stainless barrel housing). Still, I shined everything up. Anyway, most of my problems seem to be feeding malfunctions.

Can anyone offer any advice? Thanks!

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February 17, 2008, 01:12 AM
I tested 2, a .22 & a .25, each with different loads.
Bought the 25, it was reliable.

February 17, 2008, 01:55 AM

February 17, 2008, 08:30 AM
My 21 requires the hottest .22 LR high speed stuff I can put in it. I finally took mine apart and ground down the recoil springs a little. It allows me to use more normal ammo in it. The recoil springs are under the grips.

February 17, 2008, 08:35 AM
My 21A has been 100% reliable with CCI Minimags and Stingers. Stick to those and it should work, if not send it back to Beretta USA. Its a great little BUG.

Mad Magyar
February 17, 2008, 08:37 AM
Nope....After 2 trips back to the factory and NO success, someone else is pocketing this "pride & joy"....
Honestly, I loved the tip-up barrel, weight, looks, etc., but Beretta & I just could not get it work with any reasonable reliability even with various ammos....
I'm sure others have had some better success, but mine was the proverbial lemon.

February 17, 2008, 09:43 AM
Two friends of mine have them and they carried it as a BUG back in the 80s-90s.
They only feed it CCI Stingers, anything else doesn't work as reliable.

February 17, 2008, 09:44 AM
Does Anyone Have a Beretta 21A that Works?
No and that's one plus it's two replacements. A liberal dose of Militec-1 did get the third one to the point it would occasionally fire a full magazine without jamming.
That one may have eventually smoothed out to a degree of satisfactory reliability, but I was tired of messing with them.

February 17, 2008, 10:06 AM
Does anyone know if the barrels are interchangeable between the 22 and the 25? Not really as strange a question as it might at first seem. Looking for something along the lines of a PSM (Russian 5.45x18) or in my case a 22 caliber from a necked down 25 case (5.7x16 or close). Just not sure which pistol 22/25 sisters have interchangeable parts. I can rechamber the 22 barrel.

February 17, 2008, 12:29 PM
You might also consider the inherent nature of the rimfire round: one-that it has a rim; two-that the primer is in the rim; and three-quality control on such a high volume product is going to have its share of misses as well. These factors were behind the principal reason for the creation of the .25 ACP cartridge.
I remember reading an article years ago where a writer tested a number of small to medium sized .22s; guns like the Walther TPH, Beretta 21A, IJ TP22, Walther PPK, Beretta Model 70S, and others. His conclusion: the smaller you go in size with a .22, the more reliablility problems you have. When everything like the firing mechanism, springs, magazine, frame, barrel, and slide all become smaller, the tolerances for all these parts becomes all the more critical. Less space means less room for error. Tighter tolerances in manufacture and assembly are required, in order for everything to function properly.

February 17, 2008, 01:55 PM
I had great luck with any 22lr ammo in
my 21A that was not bulk packed.My
favorite load was the Federal small
game load that's packed in the 100
plastic box.Any bulked packed ammo
would give me too many Failures to
feed to make them worth while.

February 17, 2008, 02:11 PM
I had a 21A in .22short. It worked perfectly as a single-shot, but was an utter failure as a repeater. I no longer own it. 'nuf said.

February 17, 2008, 03:24 PM
my 21A shoots everything I put in it,the CCI Blazer,Aguliea(sp) Vipers,Stingers,Wolf,every thing except some 40 year old Canadian "Canuck" ammo.even shoots some week Russian "something Junior" ammo. jwr

February 17, 2008, 03:46 PM
I have not had a problem with mine other then ammo problems.

February 17, 2008, 03:55 PM
I had a minx, 22 short, POS. Tried everything. Finally got it to feed half way reliable, only jam maybe once or twice per mag, :rolleyes: after bending on this and that on the magazine, but it wouldn't reliably fire any HV ammo, took two or three hammer strikes. :rolleyes: Yeah, I have a reliable, accurate Phoenix Arms HP22, also. Shame, ain't it? ROFL! I got rid of the Baretta, no more tip up .22s for me! I reckon I'll go with the QUALITY of Phoenix Arms for pocket .22 firepower. ROFLMAO!

February 17, 2008, 05:00 PM
I have two of these, one stainless and one black.
The stainless one is ammo picky, reliable only with Remington Vipers:rolleyes:
The blue one is fine with the vipers, Federal automatch, Federal 510s, CCI minimags-that's about all I've tried.
I'd say without a doubt, try some different ammunition types before counting it out.
Mine also like to be clean and lubed, they are not range guns that you can shoot a brick through without cleaning.

February 17, 2008, 05:14 PM
I could never get mine to be reliable. Like MCgunner I got a Pheonix HP22 that was far more reliable and sold the Beretta.

February 18, 2008, 06:48 PM
I have a Beretta 70S that is flawlessly reliable, so the rimfire aspect really isn't a factor. I also have a Jennings J-22 that's flawless.

Now, I understand that ammo may be the determining factor here, and I've never tried CCI Mini-Mag, Stinger or Yellow Jacket ammo. I'd sure like to get it working, though.

BTW, anyone remember a miserable llittle striker-fired auto called the Sterling .22LR/.25? It got favorable reviews in all the mainstream gun mags -- mags that never had an unkind word to say about any of their advertisers; however, a couple of independent rags trashed the guns every year they were published. Sterling tried to fix their .22LR by opening up its ejection port and trying different springs, but nothing seemed to work. Some of the guns worked, but they couldn't quite get the quality control down. Too bad, since they were nice looking things.

Most .22LR palm pistols simply haven't worked. I just hope I can get my little Beretta to work!

Thanks for your replies!

February 18, 2008, 07:41 PM

As I posted earlier, smaller in a .22LR semi-auto isn't necessarily a good thing. I also had a Sterling .22LR that was never as reliable as the ones the gun rags tested (imagine that), so I got rid of it sometime back. I still have my most reliable .22LR, a Beretta Model 70S, that has served me very well for many years now. Hope your little Beretta works out okay for you.

February 18, 2008, 08:03 PM
Run four rounds in the magazine and one in the pipe. Any more than five rounds is a crap shoot on whether it'll feed ok, at least with mine.

Janos Dracwlya
February 18, 2008, 08:11 PM
Mine works. It's not 100%, but pretty close. The only real problem is the odd light strike, which always fires on the second trigger pull.

February 18, 2008, 10:34 PM
mine works well with remmington gold solids. has to be cleaned after every range session. will start to jam after about 100 rounds

February 19, 2008, 12:27 AM
Did this gun come with two mags, because I think I only got one. It occurs to me that I should try another magazine, and maybe some of you guys who have been having problems with yours should try, too.

Also, from what I understand, many M21A owners, the gun HATES Federal ammo, though some of you say some types work. But these things can change over time.

February 19, 2008, 01:14 PM
I think I may have seen one or two of them complete a CCW Qualification course of fire over the years without malfunctioning, but my memory is clouded by the greater number of them that haven't.

Just had a couple of folks come through a course recently with a couple of pocket .22's, one of which was a little Beretta. Neither completed the course without 2-3 malfunctions. One of the guys was using Stingers.

You can have one of the best quality .22 LR pistols ever produced ... but you're still going to have to use .22 LR rimfire ammunition in it.

February 19, 2008, 09:33 PM
CCI mini mag are all that works every time in mine. Tried a lot of others and always had problems.

February 21, 2008, 06:48 PM
I had a blue 21A, probly 1990 vintage, that NEVER, EVER failed to go bang repeatedly! I am sorry to read of anything other, as I still regret selling mine (for a profit!)

I mostly shot Remington Golden 22's (which were heavily waxed), and CCI Stingers, which had the most power of all the .22's available then. I gently widened the Stinger hollowpoints, and was amazed what they could do in clay targets!

Don't give up on this sweet little Beretta! Work on the feed ramp?........................elsullo

Henry Bowman
February 21, 2008, 06:52 PM
Mine works well, but it's a .25 ACP.

February 21, 2008, 09:13 PM
I had no issues with mine (.22LR version), but I used it almost exclusively with Stingers.


February 22, 2008, 02:11 AM
My dad's is pretty ammo picky. But I feel like that is true of very many 22s.

I think that it is a pretty fun gun to shoot besides that. In fact, I was just thinking about seeing if he would give it to me.

sigma 40ve
February 22, 2008, 02:35 AM
Got mine used for less than $100 OTD from a Gander Mtn about 3 years ago. Little bit of wear. Been 100% with mini mags, stingers and federal bulk pack hp's. Some of the best money I have spent on a pistol.

February 22, 2008, 04:17 AM
I know 3 people with this piece, one chamber for the short and the other 2 for the long rifle. None of them approach the minimum standard of what I would call reliability.

Phil DeGraves
February 22, 2008, 08:49 AM
The .25s are much more reliable. A lot more expensive to shoot too.

February 22, 2008, 09:53 AM
Anyone have both? That could tell if the 22LR barrel will fit on the 25 frame?
I already have the wildcat round, and a bolt action rifle chambered and functional for it. It would just be nice to know of the pistol frame that would be convertible.

February 22, 2008, 01:05 PM
First time out I tried Remington Yellowjackets and the slide popped off the frame. Switched to CCI Stingers and Velocitors and it worked fine. I only shoot Stingers now and it goes bang every time.

Steve H
February 22, 2008, 03:11 PM
I found that with mine I MUST do two things. #1 keep the chamber as clean as possible & #2 feed it Stingers

February 22, 2008, 09:22 PM
Anybody else notice the number of .22 caliber shooters mentioning ammo sensitivity compared to the number of .25 caliber shooters mentioning problems of ANY kind?
That & my own comparison testing led me to buying the .25. :D

February 22, 2008, 09:32 PM
Maybe fewer makers?

Ohen Cepel
February 22, 2008, 09:41 PM
I've always fed mine hot ammo (due to it's design) and I've had very few issues with it over 100's of rounds.

The issues I had with it was an occasional round that wouldn't feed near the end of a mag.

They are a bit ammo picky due to design, but well feed they have run well for me.

February 23, 2008, 02:03 AM
My Beretta's are all in 25 Why they have been 101% relieable. 22 is a crap shoot

February 23, 2008, 09:30 AM
Mine works flawlessly with inexpensive Aquila..Mexican I think.

February 28, 2008, 11:53 PM
Did these guns come with two magazines, or only one? I only have one and don't know if I should knock myself out looking for the other.

February 29, 2008, 03:03 AM
.25s seem to be notoriously reliable. I think .22s are made to sloppier standards of QC for whatever reason. I've got one (21a in .22LR). It likes to be clean, probably likes jacketed rounds better than lead. Only one mag came with mine. It's pretty reliable to start with, but enough rounds of cheap, std velocity (possibly underpowered) .22LR seems to choke it eventually.

Mad Magyar
February 29, 2008, 07:32 AM
Did these guns come with two magazines,

My small box included an extra....

April 20, 2008, 04:05 AM
I'm kinda late getting in on this one but: I had one for about three years back in the early 90s that was 100% ... until it got really finicky. But that was thousands of rounds downrange and daily carry.
I just bought my wife one last week, one with the stainless slide and black frame. Hers is not terribly fond of the bulk-pak Federals, but eats through Mini-Mags, Stinger, Aguila SSS, and pretty much anything else quite well. Once it had a hundred rounds or so through it (about 30 minutes into her first range session), it ate Remington JHP from a Wally-World bulk pack just fine.
The above, of course are my experiences. YMMV. ;)

April 20, 2008, 07:13 AM
the smaller you go in size with a .22, the more reliablility problems you have.

This has been my experience.

You usually have better success with high velocity ammo with the small 22s. My 21 is the only small 22 I ever ever found completely reliable with target velocity 22s or any brand of ammo I've ever tried.

April 20, 2008, 10:33 AM
Mine is 100 percent reliable because it has remained unfired in the box since I bought it in the late '80s. I suspect that it will continue to remain 100 percent reliable, in that same pristine condition, for a long time to come.

April 20, 2008, 11:52 PM
I think some posters are confusing the single action models such as the 950 minx in .22short with the DA/SA mod 21.

I have 2x the .22short 950's and 2x the .25acp example and they are all reliable. My .22lr mod 21 is also reliable if kept clean and fed decent ammunition. I do want the .25acp version though.

April 21, 2008, 12:10 PM
I have owned a Beretta 21A for about 12 years, and have probably fired 1,500 rds in it. I have noticed that if you keep it clean and use Stingers or Mini-mags, or other hi-velocity .22 - it is relaible. I think I have had 1-2 failures cause I tried other ammo or it was dirty.

April 22, 2008, 06:41 AM
I can't believe you have a pistol that doesn't work. I've shot everything through my Bobcat, including "pickups" off the range floor, and it feeds fine. It likes stingers best, but the "550" stuff from Wal Mart works fine in it... just clean the piece after shooting.

I've only had this one about a year, but it's a "once a week" gun that goes to the range regularly... and it's accurate, which is surprising for a pocket pistol.


trader vic
April 22, 2008, 06:47 PM
I had a blue one that was stolen about 14 yrs ago, it had a good polished ramp & it would feed anything all the time, clean or dirty. I picked up a stainless steel version last summer & it had the usual sensitivity to .22 ammo. Hot CCI's worked the best, I have it now where it will shoot a large varity of ammo almost flawlessly but it likes to be clean. It's not the range pistol the old one was but it's still a lot of fun to shoot & it's a good BUG for warm weather. NRA PATRON LIFE MEMBER

April 24, 2008, 08:56 PM
Any idea how much a MINTY 21a with wood grips would sell for?
12 rounds thru mine with on dud of an unknown brand the other
.22 ammo shot perfectly. Purchased it last year on my Bday.Has been sitting in the factory box for a year now.

April 24, 2008, 09:39 PM
That could tell if the 22LR barrel will fit on the 25 frame?

Even if it did, the firing pin / primer wouldn't line up.... One is rimfire, the other centerfire.

April 24, 2008, 09:41 PM
Nice looking gun. If I didn't live in Maryland, I'd make you an offer. Buying guns in this state is more trouble than it's worth, which is why gun dealers are going out of business by the boatload. Last gun I bought was my Beretta stainless 21 and it took an hour and a half to do the paperwork. Then the SOB who sold it to me escorted me to the front of the store (it was a chain). First they sell it to you, then they try to make you feel like you're a criminal or a perv. But then, that's the idea. And it's what they want to teach your children and your grandchildren.

I do digress. To others who are surprised by my problems with my particular 21, I'm sure using a cheap, dirty brand (Thunderbolt) had something to do with it. I hope Mini-Mags and better ammo will work better.

To CZF I say, don't sell it. Guns only go up in value and I generally try to dissuade anyone from selling guns. Almost a hundred percent of the time you'll regret it, and it's just not worth it. You'll never miss the money but you'll aways miss the gun.

Chas B
June 16, 2008, 05:57 PM
I had one about 20 years ago and it was a jamamatic. Stovepipes, failures to feed, failures to extract - it jammed every which way it could. Wouldn't get through a magazine without jamming. Bought an aftermarket magazine and tried half a dozen brands of ammo including Stingers and 42gr silhouette ammo. Took it back to the gunshop and the gunsmith polished the feed ramp which did nothing.
I really liked the gun, it's a nice gun, it would always fire a chambered round, and the tip up barrel is great, but I ended up selling it. My advice is to buy one new and plan on sending it back to Beretta until it works. I suspect that the slide was up against a too heavy mainspring, and sometimes wasn't fully retracting on firing.

June 16, 2008, 06:34 PM
I've had one for several years. When I got it, didn't know it was supposed to jam. It never did. Must be power of
positive thinking? :) I've found the less expensive Aquila? (Mexican made) works fine. Obviously, so does mini-mags.

June 16, 2008, 07:18 PM
When producing a gun this small, being off just a tiny bit in the specs can make all the difference between a shooter and a jammer. People with jammers can rarely get their guns to function regardless of ammo. If the problem's in the magazine, that's easy to fix, albeit expensive.

Beretta not including two magazines for these guns is inexcusable. Charging forty dollars for a spare is even worse. And not making them in stainless is just worse than cheap.

When the 92 "won" the military trials, I watched those guns go from a couple of hundred bucks (dealer price) to almost six hundred almost overnight.

So I don't care much for the company. Beretta denied there was a problem with the 92s and today its Tomcats are suffering from cracked frames right and left and the company won't acknowledge there's a problem. My view is that a defensive weapon shouldn't go *clunk* when it should go *bang!* Instead of recalling the Tomcats, they wait for problems to develop and then quietly replace them. If someone gets killed in the meantime, well, that's too bad.

If a gun has a propensity towards cracking frames, I won't own one. I guess it's possible that these 21s can have cracked frames as well. That would certainly account for persistent jamming. Strange that the little .25s don't seem to have a problem; that's why I just don't know about the 21.

June 16, 2008, 07:23 PM
i had the blue one i got it used it worked for about 100 rounds then after that it jamed every round tryed cleaning and it jam every shot

June 16, 2008, 07:26 PM
Any idea how much a MINTY 21a with wood grips would sell for?
12 rounds thru mine with on dud of an unknown brand the other
.22 ammo shot perfectly. Purchased it last year on my Bday.Has been sitting in the factory box for a year now. i got $140 for the one i sold it had the boxes a pappers u may get $170 for it since it like new

June 16, 2008, 08:00 PM
Bhp9mm: This is a classic symptom of frame cracking. It works fine for so many rounds then starts mysteriously jamming. Examine it closely with a magnifier and a strong light. There could very well be a small fracture somewhere. Even if you don't see it, it could exist. After examining it, send it back to Beretta. If you found a crack, point that out to them.

I'd like to know, so please keep us informed.

BTW, are you talking about two guns here?

June 16, 2008, 08:31 PM
My little Bobcat is as reliable as they come. I feed it cheap, bulk ammo, and unless the rimfire doesn't work, it goes bang every time... and I take "once struck" misfires and run them through again in a different gun just to make sure I'm not having firing pin problems... but if the bullets are good, it goes bang.

When I carry it for protection, I carry Stingers in it, and it rocks the house for a .22. One of the shooters at the range where I shoot has told me on several occasions that he "didn't want me hunting him with that little pop-gun". For a pocket pistol, it's very accurate... and unless you got one made on a monday or late friday, they're very reliable.

I usually carry full sized guns, but if I'm carrying where a full size is too much, I keep the Bobcat in my pocket to fight my way to my big guns.


June 16, 2008, 08:48 PM
Mine is 100% with all CCI ammo and Federal value packs. It does not like Remington golden bullet value packs.

June 16, 2008, 10:10 PM
Mine really crapped out with Thunderbolts. But then, that's very dirty ammunition.

November 13, 2008, 10:57 AM
My 21 likes bulk pack Remington golden jackets...perfectly happy with that. ;)

November 13, 2008, 11:57 AM
Even if it did, the firing pin / primer wouldn't line up.... One is rimfire, the other centerfire.
That's exactly the purpose of the question. Right now my little 22 Epperson Cricket (25acp necked to 22) is a rifle only round. It's a lot like the 5.45x18 Russian PSM round, just a tad shorter. But the least expensive way to get into a handgun is to find two similar frames in whaich the parts will interchange. Looking to mount the rechambered 22 cal barrel on the 25ACP frame. The round should be close to working from the 25acp mag as it is.

November 13, 2008, 12:39 PM
I bought a .25 acp and it works great, no problems, and still have it. A friend of mine had bought a .22 lr and ended up dumping it, as it had problems feeding reliably. LM

November 13, 2008, 12:46 PM
I have a high gloss blued shiny wood grip .25 version. I doubt I've fired it more than 50 rounds in all the twenty five years I've had it, but it never failed in any of the odd moments that possess me to shoot the silly pretty little thing.

November 13, 2008, 09:33 PM
Well, I tried and tried to like mine. Couldn't hit with it , and yes, it jammed a bunch too. Shot it a bunch of times. Traded it for...I forget what.
I think they should have stuck with the Minx or Jetfire single-action designs. They were alot better.

I hear the tip-up barrel .380 that Beretta makes is wonderful.

January 25, 2009, 09:15 PM
I have a S&W Escort .22, POS enough said. Every small framed .22 I have ever touched is a POS. With my Beretta, I opted for the centerfire .25 caliber, have fired thousands of rounds through it, and never a single jam or misfire. The only drawback is the cost of centerfire ammo. It costs more to shoot my .25 than any of my other pistols, .357, .40, .45, .38.......wait, my .380 is about the same. I guess when all is said and done the end result is yes, mine works(but it is .25) and it is not a very good target pistol due to the cost of ammo. However, as far as a BUG is concerned, it is PERFECT.

January 26, 2009, 11:08 AM
I bought a second one last year. It worked 100% with CCI Minimags and Stingers, but nose-dived on Velocitors and wasn't as reliable with the very few other types of ammunition I tried.


January 26, 2009, 11:12 AM
I had a Beretta 21A Bobcat in .22, it was incredibly reliable and quite accurate for its intended ranges, I think I had ONE stove piped casing and that was after firing about 800 rounds through it, it never jammed or anything and was an excellent CCW and plinker.

January 26, 2009, 04:04 PM
Mines 100 % with Stingers or Mini Mags. Thats 100% shooting almost 1000 rounds.

January 26, 2009, 04:18 PM
I have a Beretta 21A Bobcat in .22 (blue)now for about 20 years since I retired from the job.I like the little gun I did find over the years if I clean it ,it will jam sometimes .
I did find if I leave it dirty and not clean it it will shoot anything I load in it from Monday to Sunday.
I must have a few thousands round threw it I love the gun safe to carry in my back pocket

January 26, 2009, 07:51 PM
I have two of them, they work great. If you shoot junk ammo in them, then donít expect any quality gun to work.

If you do have trouble, take it to a real gunsmith, and one that knows about that type of gun.


January 26, 2009, 10:05 PM
I have a Bobcat that I bought around 15 years ago. Taught my kids to shoot with it and fired maybe 2,500 rounds through it. Runs around 95% reliable and fairly accurate. Never clean it.

JB Books
January 26, 2009, 11:35 PM
i have a 21 in 25 acp that fires well. I have 2 21's in 22 lr I haven't fired yet. I have had them in the past which I fired and can't recall any problems. I'm taking these 22's to the range. You all have got me worried!

October 12, 2009, 11:14 PM
I think I found the problem with my 21a 22lr. I noticed that when the cartridge is seated in the magazine, everything looks great. But I noticed that when I slowly slide the cartridge forward just using my finger, the rim of the cartridge pushes down on the magazine spring. The farther forward I push the cartridge, the farther down the spring goes meaning the farther down the cartridge goes. Before the rim is clear of the rounded rear support of the magazine, the lead is touching the forward part of the magazine meaning that the forward part of the magazine is causing the lead to rise significantly sooner than the ramp of the barrel. I believe this is what is causing my stove piping. I used my dremel tool to grind a slight radius in the forward part of the magazine the same diameter as the bullet. Now, the first thing the lead will touch is the ramp of the barrel rather than the forward area of the magazine. I'll test it on Wednesday and report back.

Mad Magyar
October 12, 2009, 11:25 PM
I can hardly wait for your range report....I must admit I had a big grin on my face when I read your post. I'm by nature, a skeptical S.O.B. :)

October 13, 2009, 08:25 PM
the story went around that J.M Browning came up with the.25 auto because he Could Not build a pistol that was reliable with 22 rimfire. I've had or shot Beretta jet fires, bobcats, walther pk22s. and have not had complete reliability with any of them in rimfire. One Jetfire .22 short would sometimes get thorugh a couple of hundred rounds with a single malfunction. The bobcat in 22 long rifle would sometimes do almost a full box between jams. Both of these in the 25 caliber were completely reliable. A friend had a pretty good post 68 clone of the baby browning. It was chambered for 22 short and would jam with great regularity. the small 22 rimfire walther in 22 long rifle would occasionally get through an entire magazine without jamming- but not often.

October 13, 2009, 08:46 PM
I bought a used 21A a few months ago and it hasn't had any problems. I've run Federal bulk, Remington Golden Bullets (ack!), CCI, etc.

It's a great little pistol.

October 18, 2009, 04:06 PM
OK. I used to have a problem with stove piping. It never jammed. After I ground the front of the magazine down a little so the lead wouldn't touch the magazine, I took it to the range and my first bullet jammed. It was too low and missed the loading ramp. I guess I ground too much off. I shot about 50 rounds through with no stove piping but several jams. I'm now going to order new magazines. If it stove pipes with the new ones but doesn't jam, I'll try my experiment again but this time, I'll bring my dremel to the range so I can incrementally take off material at the front of the magazine. When this gun works, it's one of my favorites but unless I can shoot 200 rounds with no problems, I'll never trust it.

October 19, 2009, 05:50 PM
i had one it did not work right i sold it i never used the good 22 ammo i did not see to point in that i have a naa 22 and a seecamp 32 so i just got rid of the 21a

October 19, 2009, 06:32 PM
I've since tried CCI Minimags and my jams ceased. Also tried some Stingers and they worked, too. The other stuff I'd used was the problem.

October 19, 2009, 06:51 PM
really cheap crap will cause some issues, but otherwise, I have had mine for several decades and it works great

November 26, 2009, 12:26 PM
Just back from another frustrating range trip with my 21A. Winchester High velocity, Remington, name it, this POS refuses to eat it. Yes I keep the gun super clean, and don't mind spending the extra $$$ for the high-priced ammo.

I have never made it thru a 7 round mag without jamming several times. I guess a trip back to Beretta or the iron smelter is in order for this jam-o-matic PIA.

My requirements in a mouse gun are not many, but actually functioning IS one of them.

November 26, 2009, 01:27 PM
Maybe you are limp wristing it :evil:

But seriously, with the wide variety of experiences listed, it seems to be a QC issue. I've had mine for several years and it has been very reliable, though I still wouldn't use it as a defensive gun. Even the most reliable .22 auto is much more prone to malfunctions than a decent quality centerfire. The problems seem to be amplified in tiny guns like the 21A. The bigger problem with the Beretta is that if you do have a bad round, the lack of an extractor makes removing it much more difficult.

November 27, 2009, 04:54 PM
Update - went to the range for some rimfire fun today and brought along the Beretta Bobcat 21A. First this morning I spent about 1/2 hour with a Dremel buffing point and some polishing compound really shining up the feed ramp on the barrel and cleaning up the chamber as best I could.

Then I spent the extra $$$$ on some CCI mini-mags. Result? every magazine fed without a hiccup! I did stop and clean the feed ramp and barrel every 30 rounds or so. FWIW I also brought along some Winchester joy, all jams..... some Remington bulk...also jam city....and finally some Federal copper plated bulk box...a few stovepipes but generally could get thru a magazine full without a jam. Each ammo test was preceded by a thorough barrel/feed ramp cleaning.

I admit my wrongs when they happen, and I wrongly gave the 21A a bad rap when all it needed was some polishing and the one right ammo for its tastes. It remains the only finicky rimfire in my collection but it has earned a reprieve from the iron smelter - lol

November 27, 2009, 05:52 PM
I've got a Taurus PT-22, clone of the 21A, and it is pretty good with me. However, pieces of plastic keep falling out of it, and I don't really know how I feel about that. I probably shoot it more than it was meant to be shot, and at greater distances (50 yard clay pigeons are fun and challenging with a tiny gun) too.

November 30, 2009, 07:19 PM
Glad you got your Beretta running. They are fun to plink with.

December 2, 2009, 02:56 PM
I had a similar problem. I have remedied the problem by periodically thoroughly cleaning the magazine with a good solvent. I use a very very light oil on the slide. Most importantly, I have found that using CCI Stingers is critical. My 21A get indigestion if I try to feed it anything else. With a clean magazine shaft and CCI Stinger rounds, I have not had a single malfunction in 200 rounds. I love the gun now!

December 17, 2009, 08:37 PM
I've been kicking around the idea of getting a 21 for plinking. However, given the hit and miss quality of the .22 LR version, I'm thinking I'll get the .25 ACP version. Since it seems that the best way to insure reliability with the .22 LR version is to use CCI Stingers, I am sure I can handload .25 auto for less than the Stingers cost. It uses almost no powder (less than 2 grains in all the data I have been able to locate), I got a deal on some brass (~550 pieces for $10), and I have primers available. Now, I just need to locate a mold for 50 grain (or so) .251 bullets. I have also heard that #3 buckshot can be used to make a nice plinking load, so I might give that a try.

December 17, 2009, 08:48 PM
Yep. CCI Minimags are the ticket in the 21A.

December 19, 2009, 12:12 AM
Two words, Winchester Wildcat.

July 6, 2010, 03:38 PM
I have found these guns require a little break in. After about 300 rounds with an random hiccup, mine now shoots everything I put through it reliably. I have owned 2, and both were pretty close to the same as far as consistency. I mainly use it to plink with, so the break in was not an issue ~ It is nice when they start firing like they are supposed to.

July 6, 2010, 04:20 PM
Mine worked fine.

Replaced it with this more powerful gun.

July 20, 2010, 03:35 PM
I've had 100% reliability with cci stingers. A few jams with mini-mags and everything else is just hit and miss but cci stinger have always been reliable for me

July 20, 2010, 04:02 PM
I had the similar Taurus PT-22 and was utterly useless UNTIL I switched to Velocitors. Then, that little gun ran for literally thousands of rounds without a single failure. If you like the Beretta tip-up barrel thing, try my combo, PT-22 with Velocitors. Mine was basic blued with basic wood grips . Pearce makes a cool little wrap-around, screwed on grip for the gun too, very comfortable.

November 19, 2010, 10:35 AM
I bought my blue 21A back in 1992 and it would never feed bullets properly. Frustrated, I tossed it into a drawer for 15 years. I found this forum the other day and decided to give the pistol a second chance with some CCI Stingers. But first I gave it a thorough cleaning then used some sandpaper to smooth/polish out the “Dremel Rage” I inflicted on the barrel-feeding ramp back in the ‘90s.

At the range I had a 15-year-old box of Winchester Super X that I tried first. The pistol gobbled them up for perfectly for about 30+ rounds then started to jam. I gave the pistol a quick cleaning then switched over to CCI Stingers. It fired 100 round with zero misfeeds, but would fail to fire at less one or two rounds per clip. The unfired rounds all had a firing pin mark, so later I just used the double action trigger to fire through the unfired rounds. (All the unfired rounds would shoot on the double action pull) But I’m puzzled. Is the ammo or gun that fails to fire?

Overall, it was a huge improvement to not have any jammed bullet, but I need try some Mini-mags or similar to see if I can have 100% firing with at least 50 rounds.

Update: I just got back from the range to test 100 CCI Mini-mags. Total failure! For each magazine I had stovepipes, jammed bullet-tips into barrel, a couple did not fires, and for some reason the last TWO bullet in each clip would flip up and logged in the slide. Finicky little gun!!

If I figure out how to get the CCI Stingers to fire each round I will be happy.

December 30, 2010, 07:35 PM
No problem with mine at all. It loves anything from CCI (mini-mags, velocitors, stingers, sillhouette etc), but it will shoot Federal as well, Winchester, too. I guess I got one made not on Monday or Friday.

December 30, 2010, 08:09 PM
I have had mine almost 20 years and it is 100% reliable as long as you feed it only CCI Stingers or Velocitors. Once went through two 50 round boxes of this ammo in one range session w/o a problem. Also make sure you only put 7 rounds in the magazine and one up the pipe. 8 will fit in the magazine but it will jam every time the first shot if you try to use it. Finally it is a pocket gun. Clean the pocket lint out of it once in a while. BTW never polished a thing in the gun. Just cleaned and LIGHTLY lubed it with Breakfree CLP once and a while. Too much lube and it will becomes a lint magnet.

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