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New to Me Beretta Model 81

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Tallball, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    A big batch of these have hit the surplus places lately: AIM, Classic Arms, and several others.

    After I read about it on THR and finally examined the AIM email that I'd ignored for a while, I ordered one from AIM. Unfortunately, all of the "hand-picked" ones were gone, so I just ordered a regular one. It was $229 + $14 shipping + $10 FFL, so $253 OTD.

    I really like my Beretta Model 84, and I figured it would be nice to have a 32acp that had a decent sight radius, a 12-round magazine, and was large enough for me to hold and shoot easily. It will just be a range toy, but I like range toys.

    I picked it up today and am very pleased with it so far. "Very Good" was a fair description. The finish is very nice except for the portion of the slide that is below the barrel, around the rod that supports the recoil spring, which is slightly lighter in color.

    There are a bunch of stamps on one side of the trigger guard. Apparently it was made in 1981. The grips are very nice, other than some noticeable but not terrible scratches near the top of each grip.

    It's a poor cell phone picture. The finish and grips are dark. The messy-looking area on the trigger guard is just a bunch of proof stamps.

    The DA trigger is relatively light and very smooth, though longer than I prefer. The SA trigger is very nice. The sights are good for fixed military sights, not tiny and hard t o see like the bad ones. The magazine seems to be of high quality. When I field stripped it the insides had very little wear, but there was dust, especially around the firing pin area.

    No one seems to have magazines for them. Apparently Beretta did for a while, but now they are sold out. I requested that they email me when they are back in stock. Unfortunately, if anyone had any they would be around $45-$50 apiece plus shipping.

    I hope to shoot it Saturday morning. My guess is that its accuracy will be above average for a service pistol. It is a nice-looking pistol and feels good in my hands.

    Please forgive the poor cell phone picture. The finish is even and dark, except for the area of the slide under the barrel, which is slightly worn. I sure wish my Model 84 looked this nice.

     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
    dodo bird, lsudave, george29 and 7 others like this.
  2. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    No picture that I can see, but my select one from AIM was very nice, except for the fact that it was filthy, inside and out. Along with the proof marks, you will see two letters in a box. This is the date code. mine is AF, or 1980.

    And knowing that mags would disappear, I ordered one from a seller on gunbroker immediately after making my order with AIM.

    IMG_20190819_134620.jpg
     
  3. jr_watkins

    jr_watkins Member

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    I've had great luck with Classic Firearms, have picked up 3 police-trade-ins this year and had the Beretta 81 in my cart ready to buy. Didn't follow through when I priced 32 acp ammo. Yikes! Wasn't ready to add another caliber to reload either.

    Hope your 81 works out and you have a lot of fun with it.
     
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  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Lovely pistols.
     
  5. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    I bought one from DK Firearms last week and I've been to the range once. What a sweet little pistol! So much easier to shoot than the .380 version. Mine showed very little wear. Now I have a brother for my 84. Beautiful guns... everyone should have a Beretta 80 series. I paid the same $253. Good deal for a classic. I went for the wood grips.
    Beretta_81_b.jpg
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Mine was from some trade ins a few years back. It had a fair amount of wear on the outside, but it was like new on the inside and shoots great. Keeping rounds on a 10" steel plate at 40 yards is fairly easy. Not too shabby for a .32 ACP.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. swoter

    swoter Member

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    I ordered two from Classic, a week ago Thursday. Haven’t got a shipped email yet, hopefully soon.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    They are nice enough guns to own two of, no doubt.
     
  9. 1948CJ2A

    1948CJ2A Member

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    where did you guys get the wood grips? I like that look. Might have to swap my plastic ones out
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Mine came that way.
     
  11. swoter

    swoter Member

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    Grips are easy to find, mags are another story....
     
  12. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    The wood grips came on my 81 but it was the only one out of hundreds that were unboxed at DK Firearms when I purchased it.
     
  13. lionking

    lionking Member

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    I'm thinking of getting one , how do they shoot though?, one thing I hate is a fixed sight that shoots way off point of aim. If it shoots low I would file the sight though no worries of devaluing a gun like this.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Mine shoots to point of aim, I routinely shoot it at a 10" steel plate at up to 40/45 yards and hitting it is easy. Same goes for my CZ 83, both very fine guns and fun to shoot, both police trade ins from across the pond.
     
  15. lionking

    lionking Member

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    glad to hear I have a CZ 50 that shoots dead on at 10 yards , love that gun , seeing this vid had me worried about sights getting jacked up in shipment. LOL just thrown in a box.

     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  16. lionking

    lionking Member

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    However being that I generally want the better of condition when it comes to used guns I'd be willing to pay somewhat more for one on gunbroker or at a gun show that I can select myself . I may get one from classic arms but I don't want to be disappointed and return to sender.

    I want one that looks like sistema's pic.
     
  17. Havok7416
    • Contributing Member

    Havok7416 Member

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    Mine came in Wednesday. Picked it up Thursday but I didn't have any ammo so it will have to wait until next week at the earliest. I have some grips coming. The shop I picked it up from says they used to Cerakote a bunch of 81s and offered to do the same to mine. I'll ponder that awhile but keeping it as is does have some appeal.

    As you can see, mine was a bit chewed up but I think it will be just fine.
    20190823_170807.jpg 20190823_170818.jpg 20190823_170828.jpg
     
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  18. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I will not be able to shoot mine for another week or two due to health problems and prior commitments.

    I showed it to my FiL earlier tonight. I like him a lot and I am not saying this in a bad way... but he is cheap and suspicious. He will think something over for a long time before he makes a decision.

    He was so impressed by the quality and price of my Model 81 that I predict he will have ordered one within the next couple of days.

    They are quality Beretta pistols. It's not a serious SD caliber, IMHO. But it is very rare to find such a high-quality range toy for $200-$250 plus shipping and FFL.
     
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  19. lionking

    lionking Member

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    based on your pic it looks good. I probably will be getting one. There is a gun show this weekend gonna see if I can find one and select if in same pricing range because there is a guy at the show that always has the surplus stuff otherwise gonna order a hand select one (best of 10) from one of the online stores like classic arms.
     
  20. Landric

    Landric Member

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    BD102A78-AF1A-4030-9C50-DA57F498C810.jpeg 0B0B6215-ABDD-4C6D-836E-AE54A0A2723E.jpeg I got a hand select from DK. It looks quite nice.
     
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  21. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Was gonna order one myself, until I priced. 32 Automatic. Cheap gun dies little good if I can't afford to shoot it.
     
  22. Landric

    Landric Member

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    Midway USA had .32 ACP on sale for something like $7/box a few months back. I bought a case, so feeding it won’t be an issue. My only other .32 ACP is a VZ.61 Skorpion SBR, I bought the ammunition for it, but I have always wanted a Beretta 81.
     
  23. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    They'll also have sales for Berry's .32 bullets at a nickel/bullet. That's $50 per 1000. 5 cents a bullet, a penny in powder, and 3 or 4 cents a primer and it's less than a dime a round.

    Could bang out 1000 rds in a day on a progressive. The only drawback is getting brass.
     
  24. swoter

    swoter Member

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    I ordered 3 mags off Gunbroker for $81. These are model 84 mags which have been adapted for the 81 by Robertson trading post. Hopefully they work as advertised. My 81 still hasn’t shipped from Classic, hopefully will get next week. Supposedly each mag will hold 14 rounds of 32 acp.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  25. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I've looked but I can't find any mags on Gunbroker other than 1 seller that has a set of 3 and a set of 1 modified mags. According to that description though they only hold 10 rounds.
     
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