Saturday, August 31, 2019

Good deal

I recently bought an Italian police surplus Beretta 81 Cheetah, chambered in .32 acp, from Classic Firearms. Classic rated the guns "Good to Very Good", but mine looks almost new. Brand new 81's go for between $600 and $700, if you can find one. This surplus pistol, with the hand select option, was $229 (not including tax and transfer fees).

Italians do a lot of things beautifully, but two things I can personally vouch for, are their men's suits and their handguns.

Update - Forgot to mention, the magazine is a double-stack that holds 12 rounds. Makes for a bit of a fat grip, but it fills my hand nicely.


Spiny Norman said...

Is that Big Bad Leroy Brown's "32 gun in his pocket for fun"?

Spiny Norman said...

Btw, that sure is purty, so how's she shoot?

Captcha: "Select all images with bicycles". Another thing the Italians make beautifully.

Paco said...

I think Big Bad Leroy Brown's idea of fun might be a little different from mine.

I just picked the pistol up today at my local gun dealer's shop (ordered it online from Classic, they delivered it to the local guy for the - attention gun controllers - the background check). I haven't had a chance to take it out to the range, yet.

Veeshir said...

Great site. Thanks.

That's a sweet piece. I thought about it but I want something oddball. It's been a long time since I bought a gun.

I think my next purchase is gonna be

Black powder, muzzle loading, 12 gauge double barrel pistol.
Now I just have to find some flechettes.

RebeccaH said...


Paco said...

V: That's quite a handful. Flechettes? Ouch!!!

JeffS said...

Whoa, Veeshir! Even with the recommended load, use a two hand grip on that beast!

Paco -- I never have liked .32 caliber, auto or not. It feels like a cross between .22 and .38/.357, but mostly with the worst features of .22. It's fine plinking ammo, but with limited self-defense applications, i.e., up close and personal, usually with a small ammunition capacity. On the plus side, it is larger than .22, with less recoil than a .38/.357, a real benefit for some people.

But your latest purchase is a better compromise, it having a 12 round magazine. How is it for concealed carry?

Also -- the Italians do make fine weapons, but sometimes their design flaws aren't caught in development. An example is the Baretta M9, the Army pistol. The magazine spring was weak, and could fail to feed properly if fully loaded, particularly after extended use. This was a major complaint in Iraq. Extensive test firing is in order.

You would anyway, but now you have a reason beyond "Because!"

Steve Skubinna said...

Interesting that there's no holster wear. Perhaps it was never issued and spent its service live on a rack in the armory.

Europeans have always favored small caliber pistols. But they try to hide it by pretending they're metric... like .32 ACP is "7.65mm" and .24 ACP is "6.35mm." Remember Major Boothroyd issuing Bond the PPK, saying it "has a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window?"

Paco said...

I wouldn't normally use a .32 for daily carry, but I have a couple of semi-automatics (and a revolver) in .32, mostly for plinking, but also stashed here and there in the house for emergency access if required (mainly for Mrs. Paco, who isn't a fan of heavy recoil). I think they're probably no worse than .380's (a little less power, but generally with higher capacity magazines). Basically, I just like the way they look and feel in the hand (both the Zastava M70 and the Beretta 81). One thing I noticed, too, (though not so much with the Beretta, more with the two surplus Serbian pistols I bought); they have an aroma that is an intoxicating mix of old gun metal, oil, solvent and gunpowder. Smells great, to me (Mrs. Paco doesn't much care for it, though).

Steve: You may be right, it's possible the gun may never have been issued, or rarely left the law enforcement officer's holster. My gun seller in Wilmington told me he had seen several of these things come in to his shop for the purpose of processing the transfer (i.e., they were purchases from online retailers), and they all looked nice, but mine was the cleanest he had seen. Purchases of military/police surplus firearms is kind of hit or miss; I've been lucky with most of mine.

Spiny Norman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spiny Norman said...

I happen to really like the PPK. It fits my hand perfectly, and is the only firearm I've ever picked up and hit a "bullseye" on the target with the first three shots (at about 50 yards or so - paced, not measured), and about a 1-1/2" grouping - it impressed the hell out of my buddies, and surprised the hell out of me. Note: I am in no way an expert shot, or even very experienced.

The pistol was loaned to me by friend of mine when a group of us were plinking in the National Forest (when it was still legal to do so) at a remote place with an excellent natural backstop. It was "pre-ban" model with the original short barrel. He claimed it was early-60s vintage and had quite a bit of surface wear. He wanted $400 for it, but I knew him too well to be 100% sure it actually belonged to him.

(Previous comment deleted because it had too many typos to leave up)