*Beretta 21A addendum*
By: serger

After War wrote his article about the Beretta 21A I had to write him and tell what I knew and had found out about them. Below is the text of my message with a little editing to remove non important content. I've also included some corrections to bad information I'd included in it


The Message

 I've had one of them for over 4 years now and as you said as a rule they don't like light bullets. When I called Beretta they said the guns were designed around the Winchester X22LR1( What they actually said was they use the Winchester round to test fire the weapon and it's the performance standard they gauge the product with) which is the standard  hundred round "brick" everybody sells. They also work with CCI Stingers, Winchester Power Points, and the Remington high velocity solids.

 Last spring one of the peddlers at the gun show had some of the Aguilla 60 grain subsonic rounds which quite a few people peddle. I tried them in it and it loved them. I'm sure the increased recoil impulse helped coupled with the shorter shell casing. I don't make a steady diet of them but they are what I carry in it when I carry it. My reasoning was the greater penetration depth, these things don't have a lot of knockdown power and I though if they went deeper it would cause more damage which in turn would stop the problem quicker..

  Beretta USA sells magazines for them. They import them from Italy and the supply is spotty. The sales rep. when I ordered mine didn't have them listed in his computer and had to call the warehouse to find if they were in. The warehouseman told him the manifest said they had them but they had not been unloaded from the Seatainer yet. It took about 2 1/2 weeks for them to show up. When I bought mine they were about 16.00 ea. I know the gun comes with 2 but 4 more made me real happy. Semi Auto's are single shots without magazines. I screwed up on this one. Beretta only peddles them with one magazine, so I've got 5 mags instead of 6. Hey I've slept since I ordered them( 3 years ago).

 It continues to surprise me how we tend to think a like, even though we live thousands of miles apart and have really different back grounds. Maybe there is something to this survivalism after all.

Now for the other stuff which wasn't in the message.

I bought this because I wanted to get NOW a pistol which I could operate when I'm real old THEN. The tip up barrel would allow persons with diminished grip strength to load the barrel without cycling the slide.Then you could insert the magazine and be ready to go. I also wanted a pistol which used a generic ammunition. .22's are about as generic as you can get. Yes I know you can get a .32 Kel-Tec which weighs a lot less and costs about 60.00 more BUT, the .32ACP's a lot harder to find in Podunk where I live, especially at the gas station which doubles as the mini-general store. I know it doesn't shoot a big bullet but nobody wants to get shot. With that in mind, the one you have is much better than the one you left at home.

These guns are blow back weapons and as such have no extractor. That's not a big deal unless you shoot them. And it's not a big deal if after shooting them you clean the debris out of the chamber and the breech face. What I've found out is the chamber area has to be squeaky clean (actually just clean) or the rounds will start having extraction problems. In my experience that usually occurs after about 75 rounds depending on how dirty the ammunition is. Then you will have a slow extraction and a jam. After that you'll have to start digging the shell case out with a pocket knife or punch it out with a rod, assuming you have one. Another area which causes problems is the rim seat which gets gunked up at about the same time. This can cause the gun not to go into battery which will stop your fun also.

As you can see my gun needs cleaning, but I hate doing it so much it hasn't happened recently. If you look in the 7 o'clock area you can see the waxy buildup on the seat, and at 12 o'clock the crud in the barrel. I've seen the gunk get thick enough on the flat area of the breech the slide doesn't go home. SO, If you're gonna carry it, keep it clean.

Lastly is the magazine it's self. These guns have magazines you've got to take care of. The feed lip geometry is fairly critical.Since they're not as robust as say an AK magazine, if you abuse them you're back to the single shot. If you have problems with jams and the gun's clean then check the symmetry of the magazine lips. If they're not balanced right to left then that's probably the problem. Also they must be smooth for the round to release properly when the slide pushes them in.I recieved one from Beretta with tool marks on the lips. I hit it with some crocus cloth to smooth it up. It didn't give me any trouble before or after I polished it. I'm just real aware of the problems magazines can give and therefore observe them with a critical eye.

These caveats are well known by people who are around the self loading guns but I thought you'd like the refresher.

Now comes getting more magazines.

I called Beretta today and they are not there on the weekends. They have two phone numbers:
                         1-301-283-2191 extension 4 if you like to listen to the Beretta party line.
                         1-800-636-3420 which is the cheap phone number.

                          The 800 number will put you on a call back Cue and when your message rolls out their end they will call you back. Except on the weekends.

Their street address is:                    Beretta USA
                                                     17601 Beretta Drive
                                                     Accokeek, Md. 20607

Their USA web site is:                Berettausa.com

I like the pistol. It has the usual Beretta quality. Beretta does it right, if they didn't they wouldn't be the oldest gun maker in the world.


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