Picked up a Beretta 21


November 1, 2012, 08:22 PM
At this past gunshow, I found a used Beretta 21. Been considering one for quite a while but never got up the nerve to get one. Not because of the price, but out of fear the one I got would be a jammomatic. Well, I got a very nice one with shiney blue and brown wood grips. It works pretty well with bulk ammo. Had some issues. Worked better with CCI Minimags. Had a FEW problems with them, but it may have been a dirty gun. Velocitors had no issues.

Accuracy was surprisingly good for a gun with a short barrel and tiny sights. 7 yards were a couple inches. Not awesome, but quite happy for that gun. I plan on using CCI minimags the next time I take it out, now that it is clean.

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November 2, 2012, 09:17 PM
Good to hear, I think they are very cute little pistols. I've had 3-4 of them over the years, alway sold them and later thought, 'why did I sell that thing', and bought another one.
The one I have now I will keep. I think most of them are a little ammo picky, but mine likes Blazer and Remington Vipers, and is pretty darn reliable when I use them.
Oh-mine have all liked to run clean, too. No extractor means things can hang up when the chamber gets dirty.

November 3, 2012, 03:48 PM
I have a Beretta Tomcat .32auto and like you I am really surprised by its accuracy, every time I shoot it!
It's got a 2 & 1/4" bbl and that includes the chamber, yet I can hit playing cards with it no problem at 40 feet. Very ergonomic little gun too, I've put the whole magazine into a milk-jug one handed without using the sights at 30 feet on several occasions :)

I didn't seek it out, it found me and I'm glad it did. Now you've got me interested in the 21!

November 5, 2012, 09:08 AM
That's one of the things I really like about these tiny pistols is the ergonomics of them. They just fit so nicely in the hand. Has a little bit of a fireball, which is a fun characteristic. But definitely, . . . will clean it after every range trip. Towards the end, I could feel the resistence [slight, but there] when putting a round into the chamber. Still, very glad I have the one I got. Paid $225 for it, . . . so, all in all, I'm happy.

I will try to get a picture of it soon. I totally forgot to get one done this weekend when I had ample access to the sun on my deck.

November 5, 2012, 10:58 AM
Great to hear. I've been tempted to pick one up just for fun. I'll have to keep my eyes open locally.

November 5, 2012, 12:44 PM
I love my little bobcat. But indeed, keep that chamber clean or it will start choking on bulk ammo pretty quickly. I have still never had a jam with mini mags or higher-power stuff, and the little fireballs it shoots sure are fun!

November 6, 2012, 11:19 PM
I have 2 mine love the CCI and verry accurate .

November 7, 2012, 08:00 AM
I carried one for years and only stopped when I got a bigger caliber almost as small. It was very reliable initially but over time it bagan to have FTFs, usually a second strike solved it so it may have been a dirty chamber acting as a buffer sort of. I carried usually in a little IWB holster I had taken the clip and leather that held the clip off the back of. Now I use one of the purpose built pocket holsters that does not seem a lot different.

I practiced dumping the gun, shooting it dry that is, as quickly as possible at three to seven meters. Generally I fired the DA fist shot at the head and then dumped the rest COM.

Mine and most of the ones I saw when teaching personal protection classes functioned best with winchester Super-X solids......some actually worked best with Stingers and others did not work more than a shot or two with Stingers. I found the 21A to be a very ammo sensitive gun, but once you found a round that worked it was good to go.

I sometimes carried mine in a plastic freezer bag while swimming.....in the bag it was at best a two shot (once) but generally a single shot. Using a sandwitch bag and ripping the bag in half when drawing allowed multiple shots......sometimes. I always shot and cleaned it after carrying that way.


November 7, 2012, 08:54 AM
The one I got was used [for a while] as a carry gun. I don't plan on using it that way. Just a fun range gun. That's it. It may be Saturday before I'm able to put up pics of it [because some say, "pics or it didn't happen"].

Anyway, I'm glad I got the one I did, instead of the new version with satin finish and plastic grips. ;)

November 7, 2012, 08:56 AM
the beretta mini guns have always been a good buy but im not sold on the lack of an extractor with them.

Steve H
November 7, 2012, 09:22 AM
I've had one for a few years now. Good little gun but as a lot state you need to keep them clean. Mine likes stingers, I think the nickel case helps when the chamber gets a bit dirty.

November 7, 2012, 09:47 AM
Now I am back from morning chores and I can continue.....

My biggest complaint with the 21A is the lack of an extractor. If for whatever reason pulling the trigger twice does not clear a FTF then there is no very fast immediate action drill. Pulling the slide back does not eject a cartridge. Closest thing is to press the barrel release and allow the barrel to pop up, if it will, inspect to see if the old round was thrown free and if not pry it out with a finger nail, close the barrel back down, rack the slide and attempt to fire.

Given that this must be done while a bad guy might be close enough to bite you this is not a realistic possibility in defense.

You can see why you must keep a 21A scrub room clean and test ammo extensivly, test magazines extensively, and practice extensively.

I breifly flurted with carrying in an ankle holster which is my least favorite way, but at that weight, in those clothes, and in that climate was the best option. The gun got nasty quickly in an ankle holster even though I thought it well protected.

The sights of the 21A are teenie tiny and only realy usable in slow fire with no stress. However again at seven yards and under the front sight is enough to get in target with, but their will be no "aiming at a shirt button" if the 21A is used defensively.

I have seen some guns that had a problem with DA trigger pull reset.

If this second post sounds like I am trashing the gun, consider I did carry one for years and I had other options. These however are things you need to be aware of. With the host of .32, .380, even 9 silly meter available in small packages today I might look to see if any of those were as carriable. They are more (much more) expensive to shoot and some just as ammo sensitive. I would not feel unarmed if for some reason a 21A that I had cared for, tested and practiced with was what I had.

I do wish it had an option for a longer barrel like the old 950 single action had. Not sure how much the .22 LR would benifit from an extra inch of barrel r how much concealability would be lost but a longer sight radius and a better pointer might be useful.


November 11, 2012, 10:08 AM
Here it is [finally]:


November 11, 2012, 07:58 PM
That's a good looking pistol!:)

the count
November 11, 2012, 10:19 PM
Never liked that gun. Even at 7 yards my shots were all over the target. Not an easy gun to shoot well with.

November 12, 2012, 09:56 AM
the count, I have heard of people with similar experiences with this model of gun. I guess I am fortunate that this one does very well, considering the sights and short barrel.

November 12, 2012, 10:48 AM
Nice gun.....mine looks just like it!
I have a 21A (22LR), 950b (.25), 3032 (.32), and the Taurus PT22 semi-cloned version. All have been great guns.
My 21A prefers Mini-Mags, but runs fine on Blazers and Walmart Federal bulk also. I have never had one misfire or failure with it using CCI Mini-Mags.
Who knows how many thousands of rounds have been through it, since I got the gun pre-owned.
FWIW: I've never had a round stick in the chamber in any of my tip-up Berettas (or Taurus).

November 13, 2012, 12:17 PM
Never liked that gun. Even at 7 yards my shots were all over the target. Not an easy gun to shoot well with.

I disagree. Don't know if caliber makes a difference but here is the first time out with my .25 Bobcat, 27 rounds rapid fire @ 7 yards. I didn't even really have the sights figured till the third mag. I can cut that whole mess in half easily.


November 13, 2012, 12:50 PM
I have 2 of these little pistols. Very fond of mine despite the finiky nature of 22LR's....

The first is the high polish blue/wood grips - Like yours. Quite reliable with about any ammo and near perfect with CCI Stingers and Federal Spitfires which is what I carry in it.

The second is the parked/plastic grips.... Very finiky with bulk ammo. Quite reliable with CCI Stingers but absolutely hates the Federal Spitfires. Took a while to break it in where it would shoot any bulk ammo with any reliablity at all... It's doing good at the range on a diet of Federal 550 now and CCI Stingers for carry.

Of course relibility goes down hill very fast once you get a few hundred rounds thru one - So for carry mine are both kept spotless and lightly oiled. Biggest place to pay attention to is the chamber, since these do not have an extractor.

November 14, 2012, 10:39 AM
I'm glad my first one was this one I picked up. If I ended up with a finiky one, I would have been disappointed. If I ever carry it [perhaps in some summer occasions], I'll load it up with Velocitors.

November 14, 2012, 04:56 PM
I had a 21 in 25 ACP and later sold it. Like wrench I later wondered why I had sold it. This week I ran across a 950 BS Jetfire in 25 ACP in 100% condition for $199. Having store credit in that exact amount. I have now more than made up for my original mistake of selling the 21. I'm always a sucker for small Berettas.

November 14, 2012, 08:35 PM
Nice! Love the looks of the Beretta 950! Post some pics when/if you can!

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