Beretta 81 at Classic

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by carbine85, Dec 24, 2019.

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  1. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    Classic has these for $199.00. Do any of you guys have any feedback on these? They look pretty nice and listed as Good to Very Good.
     
  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    There’s been a few posts recently about the new surplus berettas. I have seen some beauties, and I haven’t heard many complaints. Search the forum for beretta 81 and put in a date “newer than” sometime last year when they started shipping and you should see results that help to show you quality.
     
  3. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I bought one, because it was always on my list of guns I’d like to try, but before these came in as surplus, they were usually an unobtainable gun, or $4-500 if you got lucky and found one on gb.

    Mine wasn’t quite as nice as some I’ve seen photos of, but for less than $250 all in, I can’t complain. And it’s not ugly, just not pristine.

    They’re a great buy if you like .32acp.
     
  4. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    This has been discussed at length.
    Great value on a classic small caliber Beretta. Condition tends to run high , shooting characteristics are sweet. Get one while you can.
     
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  5. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I got one from AIM earlier this year and like it a lot.

    Mine is in very nice shape and is a fun, accurate shooter. It has the excellent quality you would expect from a Beretta. The trigger is very nice. Everyone who's shot it has enjoyed it.

    IMHO they are a steal for $200.

     
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  6. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    Mine is just like Tallball's. My experience with it the same. Get one or two now.
     
  7. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    The only complaint I’ve heard is that they come with 1 magazine and additional magazines cost $35 or more. Other than that I’m happy with mine.
     
  8. lincen

    lincen Member

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    I’ve purchased 3 of the Beretta 81s from DK Firearms in Virginia, one from Classic, and an 81BB from Gander Mountain. The only one I was not satisfied with was from Classic but it was not so much the condition as it was missing the rear sight. After a few emails and prepaid shipping label all was made right. The one they sent the second time looks really nice. Classic, like any other surplus store, does a tremendous amount of business. Things may not be seen before shipping but the will make it right. In all fairness to them or any seller, the condition may vary a lot from gun to gun. Always check for proper function before accepting any transfer. Even the 81s with a worn finish are like new internally.
     
  9. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Yeah, mechanically mine seemed like it had hardly ever been shot. Haven't I read that more magazines are available now?

    I dressed it up with some nice Altamont grips.

    (It's a little bit dirty in this picture. I'd just gotten it home from its second range visit.)

     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  10. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    I bought one when they lowered the price to 199.99. I always like these smaller guns from Beretta like the 71,81,84,85. I even like my ancient Beretta Minx and Jetfire. My Model 81 was about VG+ IMHO. The barrel looked brand new on the outside was black and filthy on the inside, it had not been cleaned in a long time. I gave its a scrub with some EDs red and a phosphor bronze brush and it look better, but flakes of "crap" still came out and hit the newspaper (yes I still get them) I covered my work area with. I plugged the bore and soaked it with Kroil over night. Scrubbing some more removed the stubborn fouling, the Kroil got underneath all that smegmas.

    Internally the rest of the gun looked excellent and no visual wear. The magazine looked excellent. The only thing I hate about these imports is the import mark!! This was placed in electro pencil on the bottom of the trigger guard. I had a little PPU 32 auto on hand it the gun ran flawlessly. I used a 8" steel plate at 7 yards and it drilled the center. Excellent buy for $200!!
     
  11. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    My Beretta 81 with its little brother, Beretta 950BS.

    The 81 is a sweet shooter. Light enough recoil to be accurate and very controllable, and peppy enough to remind you that you’re shooting a centerfire handgun.


    ED08B5B9-B27A-400B-8E47-8782FDB89E23.jpeg
     
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  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Great guns, and a tremendous value at $200, don't miss out.

    Mine is from a batch that came in a few years back, fair amount of outside wear, new inside, shoots great. The current lot seem to be very nice overall from what has been posted/reported.
     

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  13. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Hm ... My 81 from Classic is very clean , looks like Tallball's in #5 , but when I look at the one posted by Walkalong I think Boy , what nice looking wear.
    Interesting.
    All in all , the 81 is a very nicely proportioned pistol. Still can't believe the prices - what a great value.
     
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  14. jar
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    jar Contributing Member

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    I gotta admit that Beretta jess plain does 7.65 right.

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  15. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I got one from Classic. There's pictures of it around THR somewhere. My particular example was closer to fair condition instead of what Classic described. It's still a nice gun for the money though and I have no regrets.
     
  16. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Jar -
    So far I have been resisting getting a couple of guns I clearly don't need - the Beretta 1935 and the 70 being at the top of that list. Your line up sure isn't helping. That cross bar safety and the HSC-like trigger guard are extremely attractive. The 81 seems a worthy heir to that line.
    While I'm acting as self appointed critic , I am inclined to say that the Tomcat seems like the grandson that did not adhere to the values of it's elders ; it's just not in the same class.
     
  17. jar
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    jar Contributing Member

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    It's more a Kissing Cousin than a sibling. A somewhat distant relative. Sure does shoot nice though.

    The 1935 is probably my favorite to shoot of the lineage with the 70 close behind. In fact I'm carrying the 70 as my primary lately. The 70 is replacing one of my JP Sauer 38h and it always takes a good range day to make the transition from the DA/SA to just SA.

    standard.jpg

    The 70 is of course considerably lighter than the Sauers. In fact even my Colt 1903s are lighter than the Sauers.
     
  18. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I was immune to all the Beretta 81 temptation on THR. :p

    But, when I visited my brother for Christmas and he showed me his new-to-him Beretta 81 from Classic, resistance was futile. o_O

    I ordered the more expensive 81BB, but my favorite FFL is closed until January 2nd. Which means I got some waitin' to do.

    I can't wait to shoot it. I only have pocket .32s, and this 81BB ought to be downright enjoyable to shoot. :)
     
  19. whatnickname

    whatnickname Member

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    I've been looking at these for quite some time. Couldn't resist the $199 price from Classic so I went on line and bought one. I've always regretted selling the Walther PP in 32 I bought back about ten years ago ($185.00 LEO Trade-in). Thought about doing the additional $25.00 for "hand pick" at Classic but decided that was just another way to blow $25.00. I did purchase the additional OEM magazine for $35.00. Should be at my LGS on Monday. I'll put my pictures up when it comes in.
     
  20. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    That's the only thing I have against buying any autoloader. No matter how many mags it comes with, I have to buy at least one more.

    Too bad these Beretta's aren't revolvers. ;)
     
  21. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    jar -

    Thank you for posting that Sauer 38H - that's a new one on me. Just took the crash course for that pistol - what an interesting decocker/cocking device ... old JP certainly was thinking outside the proverbial box.

    chicharrones - you have not only learned that Resistance is Futile , but - " when I visited my brother for Christmas and he showed me his new-to-him Beretta 81..."also You Can Run But You Cannot Hide!
     
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  22. jar
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    jar Contributing Member

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    There are some really interesting things about the big three German guns of the period that show lessons learned from the Great War. In particular it's interesting how each company addressed the issue of dirt and mud, a real big problem during the trench warfare. In the earlier handguns parts like the trigger linkage was often exposed, even things like seer disconnects on the outside of the frame. The openings for the hammer was a big problem, drop a gun once in the mud and often it was out of action until a fill disassembly could be done. Each of the big three followed different paths, the Walther and Mauser using an exposed hammer but each using a different method of keeping dirt out. The JP Sauer used an internal hammer and the cocker/decocker does not just ride in an open channel but rather in a recessed channel closed off from the interior of the gun.
     
  23. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    IF ammo wasn’t such a PITA to order online here in Ca I might bite at one of those .32’s... especially with the Beretta pedigree. But with a hodgepodge of calibers I already shoot, adding another to the mix, with limited/spotty local on-shelf ammo availability, it isn’t really worth it.

    Have fun with them!

    Stay safe.
     
  24. Lyle Wyatt

    Lyle Wyatt Member

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    As far as extra magazines go the rule in our family has always been, "whatever you paid for the gun spend half that amount on extra magazines."
     
  25. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

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    I've had my eye on these for about three months. I found myself with some extra funds after buying Christmas gifts and ordered one with the extra magazine a week ago. Paid $35 for the extra magazine. With tax, shipping and hand select it came to right at $300.
    Received it yesterday and was pleasantly surprised with the condition. Only blemish I can find are light scratches around the grip screws. This is the third "surplus" purchase from Classic I have yet to be disappointed.
    model 81.jpg
     
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