Looking for input about Beretta 85BB .380

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Prof. Peabody

Apr 28, 2011
N.E. Ohio
I just inherited a Beretta 85BB .380. I've already put a couple hundred rounds through it and have to say I love it. I'm seriously considering replacing my 357 with this as my primary bedside HD pistol. The .357 is a little more than I need in my house where the longest shot I would be taking at an intruder would be about 15'. I've heard a lot about Buffalo Bore brand ammo and it sounds like pretty good stuff for the .380. Any input would be appreciated... thanks.
Many believe the Beretta 84 and 85 were some of the best .380 pistols ever made. I had an 84 years ago. It remains the one pistol I wish I had never sold. For home defense I wouldn't consider any .380 up to the task. It is the minimum for carry defense but underpowered for home defense when size isn't such an issue. I have no idea what your experience or situation is, but I would stick to the .357 for defense and use the .380 for carry or pleasure.
Peabody, Cats Eye has a point about power. However, if you shoot the Beretta better than your 357, I think it would STILL be more effective.

Do you shoot the 85 better than your 357 when loaded with 38s?

To put it another way, what is better, one hit with a 38 or 357, or two hits with a 380?

Buffalo Bore is pretty well respected. Give it a try at the range for a mag or two. If it functions well and doesn't kick so hard you lose the shootability, go for it.
Actually, I shoot the.357 pretty well. It's a great pistol, a model 28b, and I've had it for years. My reason for thinking about the switch to .380 is the tremendous noise and muzzle flash the .357 will produce if I would ever have to fire it in my home in the dark. I wonder if I could see well enough to take a second shot if needed. Also I would like to avoid deafaning my family if possible. I guess I was thinking that a few shots with a nice hot +P like Buffalo Bore offers would set just about any situation right at ranges of 10 to 15 feet. Idon't know... maybe I just really like my new toy. Any input?
380 in the Home? You bet!

I carry my Cheetah 84FS in my home specifically BECAUSE it is a lighter round than my 357 or my 9mm. I'm concerned that a higher powered round might go through walls or doors and accidentally harm my family if I ever get into a scape with an intruder inside the home. The 380 could still go through a wall, but it's not as likely to do so as the higher powered ammo.

I have no doubt that 380 will do the job at self-defense or across-the-room distances. My daily carry is my Sig P238 380 in my pocket (always) and, depending on how I am dressed, I will ALSO carry IWB either my Cheetah 380, my S&W 9c, or my S&W 357 magnum.
If you are worried about the blast and flash of the .357 I would do what Smaug recommended and just load it with a good .38 Special round. It would be much less recoil, flash and noise than the .357 while still having quite a bit more power then the .380. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the .380, I carry one concealed quite a bit of the time but for home defense I prefer something a little more powerful.
Yeah, I think that's what I'll end up doing. I've been shooting that model 28 for a long time now, and don't mind saying that I'm pretty proficient with it. Cor-bon and Buffalo Bore both offer some prretty good .38+p loads that I might check out. Buffalo Bore claims to use a bullet that expands quite well at lower velocities in one of their .38 offerings. I guess I probably just got caught up in my new sexy Beretta. Just wait till I get those plastic grips replaced with the walnut set I just bought on Gunbroker!
Your 85 is a piece of crap. You need to immediately sell it to me. :D

In all seriousness -- I've fired the Buffalo Bore .380 ammo (both the HCN and the JHP rounds) through my Browning BDA-380 (essentially a rebadged Beretta 84) and it both kicks pretty hard as well as flashes pretty brightly. If you're worried about muzzle flash, I don't think it's going to be a whole lot better than shooting a .357.
That's good info to have since I have not fired BB through it in the dark, I only know that they advertise it as low flash. I have, on the other hand, fired the 357 (a model 28-2, not 28B as I mistakenly mentioned) in the dark many times and the flash is considerable with full power loads
I am not particularly recoil sensitive...so that is not really an issue. I'm just always in search of the best possible tool for the job... in all aspects. After all, if my only concern was a one shot stop, I would go with my 870 and some 00 Buck.
---Maybe I should just sell the .380 to AJChenMPH for $1000 and forget about it.
For something that is going to be the sole bedside standby I would prefer something heavier, but with the ammo caveat below I do not think it is a bad idea.

The Berettas are great pistols though, and the single stack version would be a great wear-around-the-house gun. Because of penetration concerns - a lack of it - I would stick with hardball for the .380.
Prof. Peabody

I had both a Model 84 and 85 years ago. At the time I used the Model 84 as my HD gun because I liked the high mag capacity, the Condition One feature, and that the gun was very accurate and controlable. I ended up trading it in to finance another gun purchase.

The Model 85 I bought from a friend of mine when he needed the cash. It was a great gun, just like the Model 84, but at the time I really didn't have a specific need for it, so I eventually traded it in also for another gun.

Bottom line-I think the Model 85, given your own parameters and with the right loads, would make for a decent choice for a HD gun.
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