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  1. #1
    Marksman Koukalaka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Madison County

    Review: Beretta 21A (Bobcat)

    I bought a 20-year-old blued Beretta 21A in .25ACP last December, and just added a two-tone .22LR version to my collection. Thought I'd share the pics and give a mini-review.

    These pistols are small, and admittedly underpowered for self-defense, so I don't intend this to be yet another thread arguing about whether .22 and .25 are adequate, etc. Although it's true that a .22 beats nothing, suffice it to say that I carry something much larger under most circumstances. Still, I find that these pistols are fun to plink with and reasonable for carrying in the woods or whatnot.

    Here are the two pistols:

    Closeups of the blued .25:

    Closeups of the two-tone .22:

    Fit and finish are excellent on both pistols. The .25 was manufactured in 1991 and seems to have spent most of its time in a safe or desk drawer. It's unfortunate that Beretta doesn't offer an old-school blued finish like this anymore; it's quite pretty, and on this pistol at least, I prefer it to the matte coating that is often described as "blued". I purchased the .22 new and have fired 100 rounds through it. I kind of like the two-tone finish, although I've only ever seen this version at Gander Mountain. Elsewhere I've usually seen the matte finish, and I believe there is an inox version that gives the appearance of a stainless frame, although I have read that the frame is not actually stainless, it's just coated or plated with a finish that matches the stainless barrel.

    The Bobcat feels like a real pistol in my hand and points naturally. It's certainly not a heavy pistol, but is more comfortable and substantial than most of the pocket .380s I've handled. (BTW, I think the NAA Guardian is an also has a more substantial, high-quality feel.)

    These pistols function quite well. I did have two failures to feed on the first magazine of the .22; after that it runs smoothly and the single-action trigger pull is crisp. I've fired 40 rounds through the .25 without any malfunctions, although I don't know its total round count.

    I am surprised at how accurate these little pistols are. With the .22, I was able to shoot a 1.5-inch group in single action at 7 yards using the sights. Drawing quickly and firing without using the sights, I'm still able to easily keep the rounds in a reasonable pie-plate sized COM zone at 7 yards, without any practice. Again, I'd rather have my .40/9mm/.38+P, or at least my .32NAA, but 8 rounds of CCI Velocitors or Stingers sure beats a pocketknife, and it would be possible to take small game with this pistol at opportunity during a walk in the woods. I think either version would provide a good defense against coyotes or threatening dogs in the woods as well.

    I used to have the Tomcat (model 3032) in .32ACP and liked the pistol a lot. I kind of wish I still had it, as I was able to shoot it more accurately than most other pocket guns. I really wonder why Beretta has not joined the club with a pocket .380. The Cheetah is a very nice pistol--I think some would say the best .380 out there--but not pocketable. If Beretta decided to make a .380 with the same form factor as the Bobcat/Tomcat, I would definitely buy one. There's just something classy about these little Berettas!

    Original thread here:
    Last edited by esrice; 04-13-2011 at 11:17.

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