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How does the Beretta Laramie hold up?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Deer Hunter, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    I've been contemplating future gun purchases, and one of the most romantic line of guns that has ever caught my eye has been the break-open revolvers. For me, I think they are a work of art. Now that Berettas has come out with their own break-open revolver, I would love to have it in my collection one of these days. I'm looking for opinions and feedback as to how sturdy these guns are. I understand that because of the break-open design, they will not be as robust as a single action (I know someone is going to start comparing them to Rugers...).

    Image courtesy of Gunsamerica.com.

    How would these guns hold up if you were shooting .45 colt loads through them that were a bit stronger than the run-of-the-mill cowboy loadings?
  2. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    I have no idea re: that specific clone of the S&W SA breaktops, but the usual advice on these in 45LC is to run very low power levels indeed - "cowboy loads" only.

    This one sure looks neat though - they've improved the safety, the critter should be good for six-up carry. I would rather have it in 38Spl...I'd be willing to bet it could take at least a small diet of Remington 158gr LSWC-HP+P.

    And there has to be SOME speedloader that will fit :).

    But I wouldn't go so far as to slap a laser on it. That would be too much :evil:.

    On edit: here's Beretta's page on them - with a 5" barrel in 38, heck yeah.

  3. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Well-Known Member

    They kinda have to be able to handle any SAAMI spec loads. Anything higher pressure than that and I'd thunk you'd be askin' for trouble. keeping the loads within the realm of what this style of revolver was designed for would be the best and most enjoyable bet.
    While these are marketed by Beretta, they're simply the Uberti made Schofileds wearing Beretta logos. Same with Beretta's other reproductions (Beretta owns Uberti) The Beretta ones do have a bit nicer finsih and they do offer this model in a high gloss nickle also where I don't believe Uberti does.
    They are indeed a classy design and one will be in my inventory before long. I think I'll go with the Uberti just becuse I don't see the Beretta maked one being worth the extra couple hundred dollars.
  4. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Well-Known Member

    Should last forever with std loads.

    I'm liking that .38 also:D
  5. Frandy

    Frandy Well-Known Member

    That is not my understanding. What I have heard from Beretta is that the "Berettas" do have internal changes regarding higher quality specs. Someone correct me if you have evidence otherwise.
  6. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    I think one would be fun to have in .38 special, but I would think that these guns could handle some slightly warmer loads than cowboy. Maybe something along the lines of the Buffalo Bore medium range .45 Colt offerings. I believe they fire a 255 grain bullet at around 1000 fps. I know the design of the gun limits the strengths, but shouldn't the new steel and production practices of the modern age make this revolver slightly stronger than its 1875 grand-dad?
  7. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Even though Beretta owns Uberti, the Beretta marked guns are different from the others.

    Notice that in this case this is a "real" Model 3 clone. It has the correct barrel latch abd griop shape.
    Most other so called Model 3's are simply a Schofield redone with longer cylinder/frame.

    The one I examined felt positively wonderful. And at that price it should be.
  8. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Well-Known Member

    What are these running $$ wise?
  9. timothy75

    timothy75 Well-Known Member

    It should handle standard pressure loads just fine and would keep you safe with such. Remember cowboy loads are not standard loads at all. Rem and Win still offer 255's going 860fps in 45 whereas cowboy loads typically run around 700fps. Regarding that BB load its your call, if you've ever shot a 250 going 1000fps you'll know what I mean. Watch out for that hammer.
  10. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    I saw on another thread that CCI had some blazers in .45 Colt that ran a 200 grain bullet at around 1000 fps. I assume these are standard pressure, correct?
  11. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    Guys, let's not forget that when S&W brought back a limited run of this sort of critter, they chambered it for the 45Schofield, a slightly shorter round now being loaded to CAS/SASS levels specifically so that modern 45LC won't fit.

    I have no doubt the Beretta is a fine gun of modern materials. But I would be willing to bet the recent-production S&W was too.

    A jacketed round will produce more pressure than lead, all else being equal. So a 200 - 225gr jacketed round doing 1,000fps or more is going to be a BIG jump up from the CAS/SASS levels that S&W restricted their gun to.

    Now if somebody is loading an all-lead hollowpoint at around 850 - 950fps, that might be something worth looking at in a defensive slug for that gun. But failing that, I'd rather have a Remington 158gr lead hollowpoint doing about 900 - 950fps from a 5" barrel and that's why to me the 38spl version of the gun is more appealing than the 45.

    Not to mention it'll be cheaper to feed, and given the number of six-shooter 38/357 DA guns available it seems REAL likely that some speedload will fit it! Lord only knows what sort - GP100, S&W N-Frame, some kinda Colt?
  12. StefArms

    StefArms New Member

    Laramie revolver

    I have a Beretta Laramie in .38 special with a 6 1/2" barrel. I have had a Navy Arms Schofield and a S&W model 2000 Schofield, and the Laramie is the nicest of the bunch. The Laramie is a close copy of the "New Model" No. 3. This was the last version of the No. 3 top-break and has a grip shape similar to the later hand ejectors. The improved grip makes the gun easier to shoot accurately, at least for me. The Laramie also has a windage adjustable rear sight which none of the other replicas have. The more I shoot it the better it gets. The top-break design requires lighter loads than a solid frame gun if you what it last. As much as I like it, I getting ready to trade it in, on a .38 Laramie with a 5" barrel. The long barreled gun looks better, but is just too nose heavy.
  13. unspellable

    unspellable Well-Known Member


    I believe the S&W was chambered for 45 Schofield for the sake of historical accuracy, not because of any strength issues.

    The Uberti & Berreta clones are chambered for 45 Colt and either are perfectly OK with any SAAMI load or else the makers are out of their minds because there is always some fool who doesn't believe the manual. I doubt the latter case.

    It remains that cowboy loads are a bit lighter than standard loads so they will be easier on the revolver regardless of make and model.

    Some top break designs of yester year were weak just as some solid frame designs were weak, but the top break is not inherently weak in and of itself. A Webley Mk VI with a gross overload will blow the cylinder before the frame will budge.

    A good deal of the Ruger vs S&W strength controversy has nothing to do with the frame or cylinder anyway, but rather with the method of locating the cylinder fore and aft. This is the S&W hand ejector's Achille's heel. Makes it easy to shoot one loose. I have no idea how the S&W top break design is in this respect.
  14. Bart Noir

    Bart Noir Well-Known Member

    Yup, not a bad looking gun, and I am starting to covet one. Making a larger rear sight was a stroke of genius, as the vintage one was dinky to the point of not being usable. In fact, in the pics on the factory site (link in earlier post) the original rear sight is evident, being just the two prongs on the front of the lift-up latch.

    Anybody know if the new larger rear sight is similar to a target version, which S&W must have been making back then?

    Also, this model has the knurled screw on the top of the frame, so we can remove the cylinder without using a tool, at least I think that is what it does.

    But, as asked before, what is the price it actually is selling for?

    Bart Noir
  15. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    I saw one at Sportsman's Warehouse in the high $700 range.
    It's a good thing they don't make them in .44-40. :D

    There actually was an adjustable sight New Model 3 S&W available in the 1870s.
  16. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    Well, it'll be a while before I think about getting this gun. I've still god two smiths and a CZ ahead of it! However, if I do get it, I'll get it in .45 Colt. standard pressure use wont hurt it too badly, and cowboy ammo is still fun to plink with.
  17. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Well-Known Member

    I know this is an old thread but has anyone else bought one of these things? Is the cylinder replaceable? Can you have a second cylinder already loaded ala Mr. Eastwood in Pale Rider?
  18. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Well-Known Member

    The weapons used in Pale Rider were a different design. They were, if I'm not mistaken, Remingtons.
  19. Bigdooger

    Bigdooger Member

    Speedloader for Beretta Laramie in .38 Special


    I have found that an HKS Model 27-A Speedloader works excellent for this revolver. With a little bit of practice I have become accustomed to placing my left thumb against one of the cylinder flutes to keep it from rotating as I twist the speedloader release knob. Lightning fast! I can go through 18 rounds before I could have the second loading half accomplished in my Vaquero.

  20. jd70

    jd70 Well-Known Member

    I had a schofield 45 colt 5" barrel, and have had no problems with standard loads. I still have an HKS 29 speed loader filled with 250 XTPs that worked great with it. Money got tight and I had to sell it. Really miss that gun!

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