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New to Me Beretta Model 81

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

  1. swoter

    swoter Member

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    Better order ammo also! They are fun to shoot, and Aim has good prices on 32 acp.
     
  2. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    I just emailed Mec-Gar and ProMag and asked them to make mags as there is a large demand. Feel free to do the same... perhaps if they get enough emails asking for the same product, they’ll spin up production, even if it’s a limited run. I recognize it’s unlikely, but it doesn’t hurt to try!
     
  3. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    I picked mine up about a week ago, it's in great condition (especially for the price). I posted pictures on another forum, I'll be sure to push them over here.

    I had stumbled across LAX Ammo clearing out their GECO .32 at $169 a case plus shipping, which came out to $190 total. So I have that, some Fiocchi, and some PPU still here. BTW, sorry, no more GECO over at LAX :(
    Hunted around and got some Blazer Aluminum somewhere, still under $10 a box. Took what they had, about 9 boxes or so.

    I took this gun shooting, and it was a great time. Absolutely love it.

    edited for pics
    fc7f771b05a35f910421786de5f13c3e.jpg 2fd2178c1096d4bf50216a2e103e54b2.jpg
     
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  4. lionking

    lionking Member

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    I want a hand select one AIM is out so guess I'll contact DK even though they are a little more than Classic arms.Now I see AIM had a 81BB which had a dot sight but plain fixed sights will be fine
     
  5. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    Took mine back out today. The initial time out I had an issue with one of my reloads (I hate setting up for a new caliber/gun. Got everything dialed in for the second trip out. Mone is shooting consistently right of POA but not enough for me to be bothered by it.

    10 yards, 2 different strings of shots:
    20190906_110933.jpg
    Not sure why one group ended up above the target and the other off to the right but whatever.
     
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  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Isudave

    Looks like you've got a really nice one in great condition!
     
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  7. lionking

    lionking Member

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    can't the rear sight be tapped left or right?
     
  8. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    lsudave - That is a beautiful pistol! :)
     
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  9. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I really can't tell by looking at it. If it can it's super tight.
     
  10. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    Fwiw, the Blazer aluminum feeds fine and runs well. I was worried that it might not be hot enough, but it's good in this. So between the GECO, Fiocchi, PPU, and Blazer I have almost 2 cases worth, for this and a couple other .32s.

    I posted on another forum about this, but awhile back I picked up a cheap Star box off ebay, didn't know the size. At the time I was looking for a box to match my 30M. It was way too small, and still too small for the BM I got. I had not been able to find anything that would fit in it right, Star or otherwise. On a lark, I tried the Beretta 81 out.

    Results:
    b6aedf7863e0158cf255282234418f74.jpg
    3cae89ee3a79cbb43957ce9302da09d9.jpg
    63058123b60ee51632810ca98445a44f.jpg

    Perfect fit. The tabs align exactly with the gun, it fits without a hint of wiggle but nothing is actually tight. And the magazine does fit just right in that space too, btw. It's like it was made for this particular gun :)
     
  11. film495

    film495 Member

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    that's where all the 32 ACP at Lax went … lol
     
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  12. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    Happy coincidence, I'm afraid ;). I have a couple vintage .32s, but nothing that I'm going to shoot every time at the range. But then, I won a gunbroker bid on a FEG 7AP, the .32 version of the PA 63. I love the PA 63's ergos and Walther PP-like appearance, but 9x18 with that light aluminum frame (I think titanium) is rough on the hand. So I sprung for that, at under $200, and decided to look around for ammo. Found the deal at LAX, it was June. I shot 1 box out of that gun and hadn't shot it since, when this deal came along.
    After ordering the Beretta, I went back, and LAX was out of cases, but had loose boxes still around. I put some in my cart, but then looked around online for better prices (shipping mostly)... and while I did my cart was updated- they were sold out. I scrambled around, and finally got ahead of the wave at Outdoor Unlimited, bought up whatever Blazer they had under $10. 9 boxes I think. That day started with about 4 deals on wikiarms for .32 under $10 a box, I think I got the last of them.

    I know Fiocchi is good, PPU is, the GECO seems so, and now the Blazer has been for 100 rds. The only failures I've had in that caliber was the first stuff I bought, the flat nosed WWB for $20 a box when I bought my first .32.

    edit to add- I never used to hoard, but got pinched during the recent ammo shortages a few years back, and ever since I have tried to get ammo when I can.
    And with stuff like .32 acp in particular, LGS availability is iffy, and the prices are bad. So for any pistol caliber I have, I try to keep at least a case in reserve, and if I can find anything below $10 a box, I grab it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  13. swoter

    swoter Member

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    I bought PPU at Aim for $12 a box, Walmart wanted $25 a box for Winchester. At a couple of gunshops near me prices were around $21 each for Fiocchi.
     
  14. film495

    film495 Member

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    when trying .32 ACP ammo, one thing I've noticed is each round added to mags sits with the nose a touch lower; this is just the nature of ACP cartridges. I had one US brand my CZ-70 didn't really like, had several FTF going through one box of 50. Investigating, the noses really dipped a lot in the mag with that ammo. Once I got a little more familiar with how the mags and pistol worked, I just loaded short mags for that ammo of 6, and the 2nd box of the same ammo ran through fine. It was actually much more expensive than the Fiocci or Geco, so - no need to go back there. Fiocci and Geco seem to get good reviews in the surplus European pistols and are priced good IMHO. The Sellier & Bellot .32 ACP, which I haven't tried is more money, but people seem to discuss it as being premium quality. Maybe I'll try some if there is ever a deal to be had …
     
  15. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I have an update on the modified Mec-Gar mazazines I purchased. The new set of magazines came in today and they all function much better than the first ones. I don't have any .32 ammo so I can't fully test them yet, but they all allow the slide to close. More updates to follow as soon as I make some more .32 ammo!
     
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  16. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I took mine to the range yesterday, and ran a box of Fiocchi through it. Recoil was a bit snappier than I thought it would be, based upon my experience with a CZ70. I had a target frame out about 25 yards, and kept everything within a 9" paper plate (one of my favorite targets). Great gun, great buy.
     
  17. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    I looked at Robertson's link on GA, and it sounds like they are tweaking the process. Possibly they are monitoring some of these forums too :), to get feedback on it.
    Theoretically it's just a quick clamping of the lips, and a quick buff of the follower, right? You just have to get it right. But once you do, you should be good.
     
  18. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    The ones I received are the new ones after the tweak. Only a handful went out with the issues they stated. It is my understanding that any mays ordered from here on out will be correct.
     
  19. swoter

    swoter Member

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    I read somewhere that some surplus mags for the 81 are coming in the country in a few weeks. Hopefully so.
     
  20. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I got some grips like Havok's, but mine are light brown instead of reddish. I think they're walnut, IIRC.

    Weather and health have interfered, but I am about to leave for the range in the next ten minutes or so to go try it out.

    The new grips are a little bulkier than the originals, and thus fit my XXL hands better. They also look great. ($35 plus $6 shipping.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  21. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I shot 50 rounds through it this morning. I liked it a lot. It had zero malfunctions. The DA trigger is longer than I would prefer, but pretty smooth. The SA trigger is excellent. I shot it well and enjoyed it very much. I liked shooting it with the Altamont walnut grips so much that I ordered a set for my Model 84 just now.

    I am extremely pleased with my Model 81. IMHO it was an outrageously good deal for the low price I paid.

    Yeah, it's dirty in this picture. I just got back from the range and haven't cleaned my guns yet.

     
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  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I agree with all of that, superb value. I have one from the last time surplus 81s hit the market, and I am broke, or I would be tempted to get another one.
     
  23. swoter

    swoter Member

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    Grips look good, but a bit expensive for me!
     
  24. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Yeah, I wish the grips were less expensive. But for me they were worth it, due to my extremely large hands. I think I will like my Model 84 even better once I put a set on it.

    LoL! I just now noticed the typo in my post about the grips. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  25. lincen

    lincen Member

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    Picked up my second Beretta 81 today and went shooting. Both are very accurate to point of aim. If they are still available next month I may get another !
     
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