Tag Archives: beretta 21

Or are you happy to see me?

One of the oldest forms of walking around with a concealed handgun, the practice of pocket carry has been around for centuries and is still alive and well today but needs a few tricks to pull off properly.

While owning a gun isn’t for everyone, the prospect of carrying a gun when outside of the home is for an even smaller subset of the population. Keeping with that mantra, toting around a gun in your pocket is really not for everyone. Some will advocate against it, full stop, while others have successfully used the method for years and it is their primary method of carrying.

I weigh the good with the bad, in my column at Guns.com.

The mouse that roared: The Beretta 21A pocket plinker

Going back to 1952, the Italian firearms firm of P Beretta in Gardone came up with a pocket-sized handgun that proved extremely popular, that gun, the 950 Jetfire is still around in one form or another, to include the hero of our story: the .22LR Model 21A.

Baby Beretta history.

Dubbed the Model 950 Jetfire, this little tip up barreled .25ACP had an 8-shot magazine, used a simple blowback action, and loaded from a tip up barrel. Snappy and compact with a 9.87-ounce weight, the gun was under 5-inches long, which made it just perfect for a pocket or handbag.

Over the past six decades, the 950 was made in a .22 Short Minx, and now comes in the Model 21 Bobcat in either .22LR or .25ACP. The magnum of this series, the .32ACP caliber M3032 Tomcat is the same size but tips the scales at over 14 ounces empty. New models can be had for around $350-$400 while used versions, especially of the older 950-series, can be picked up for closer to $200.

They make great little hide out guns for when you don’t want to (or cant) carry something bigger.

The Beretta series benefits from some 60+ years of research and development and is just about one of the simplest designs you can imagine. I mean have you really worked with a tip-up barrel? Suffice it to say, the little Italian pony is pretty sweet.

The 21A in profile

With its 2.41-inch barrel, the 21A is 4.94-inches overall and weighs just 11.81 ounces. Of the Beretta “Cat” line, only the .22 Short chambered Model 950 Beretta Minx is shorter, and then only by a quarter inch. Using a 7-shot single stack detachable magazine, you have a 8 shot capacity which, when loaded with a nice hot round like a CCI Stinger or Mini-Mag, gives you an ounce of preventative medicine when walking around should you choose to carry such a small gun– or use the 21 as a backup piece.

beretta 22 with zippo and custom knife

Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk

The Baby Berettas: A tale of tip up barrels

They’ve been around now for almost seventy years—those little Beretta pocket pistols with the tip up barrels. Just what is the deal with those things and why would you want one? Keep reading.

These small framed, Beretta pistols use a super simple blowback action. This also means the gun has a pretty stout recoil spring to keep the action pushed forward and a short slide—and this makes it hard for some to grip. To get around this, Beretta used a barrel with a pivot pin that pops up and out of battery when a latch is depressed. With the barrel tipped up, you can load, unload, reload, and check to see if you have a loaded chamber with the flick of the lever. The concept has long been used with one of the earliest examples seen on the 1908 Steyr 7.65mm pistol.

Introduced in 1950, Beretta came out with the Model 950B pistol. A single-action semi-auto with a 2.38-inch tip-up barrel, it had an overall length of 4.5-inches. Since the gun fired from a cocked hammer, the tip-up barrel made absolute sense from a safety perspective. Rather than use an extractor, the gun could pop spent casings strait up with the barrel tip lever, giving the gun the sometimes annoying habit of smacking the user with brass right in the forehead. The gun tipped the scales at a handy 9.5-ounces empty. Compare this today to the revolutionar-i-ly small Ruger LCP of 5.16-inches overall and 9.5- ounces, and you see why the 950 was a hit almost immediately…

Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com

Beretta-Minx-950B long and short