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Old April 23, 2013, 07:44 AM   #1
SpareMag
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Beretta 3032 Tomcat and...yeah..cracked frame question

Gentlefolk,

Have always wanted a Tomcat, so I finally got one off Gunbroker, looks barely used.

Typical for me, now that I have a piece, I start researching it, and find I have the narrow slide version which is prone to frame cracking.

The SN is: DAA091xxx

Is frame cracking a foregone conclusion, and I should sell it now before I get attached to it?

Being the who knows how many owners down the line, will Beretta support MY Tomcat?

I have two other Berettas, the 70S which I LOVE aside from the safety unintentionally engaging if my grip is off, and the 9000S which I like but with which I can't hit a blasted thing...but that is my issue, not the weapon's.

Anyway, long way of saying that I didn't research the Tomcat because my other Berettas have been so utterly reliable, the idea of a bad Beretta never occurred.

Thx for any comments!
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Should buy a Taurus with a no questions asked warranty.....some bash on Tauri till their out of warranty berretta breaks.
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:49 AM   #3
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Yeah...well...lesson learned for another day.

Didn't know Taurus had a comparable to the Tomcat....
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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If you decide to keep it you probably already know not to use +p or +p+ ammo.
It you sell it recomend no higher pressure ammo and put it in writing.
Good luck
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:26 AM   #5
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The narrow slide version is very prone to cracking by all accounts. Be sure not to shoot "hot" ammo through it. The manual recommends 130 FPE or less. You can get some ammo ratings here:

http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/32acp/gel32acp.htm

I use the Blazer ammo, which is the least "hot" I could find.
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:29 AM   #6
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I am not sure how many times this issue has been addressed on this Forum, but it has been a heap of times. I have a Tomcat and must of responded three or four times in threads on the subject.

As you know, there is not an issue with the silver/chrome Tomcat. There were some early blued Tomcats which were not wide sllides with some problems with the + ammo as stated above. Then there began the production of the blued wide slide which are not a problem. I once posted the width dimensions. You can go back and search for those to see if your pistol is the old or newer Tomcat. Otherwise, you may want to call or email Beretta on your pistol for definitive information vs. us other users with opinions.

They are nice little pistols, and it is what my spouse conceal carries.
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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Never got on the +p bandwagon...always figgered if I wanted a .44mag, I should get a .44 mag, not a hotted up .380 pushed to .44 mag ballistics.

The IDEA was to get this as an alternate CC piece for my wife who is using a Colt Agent .38, which is fine. She gets along well with revolvers but has problems chambering autos. The Tomcat, with the tip-up barrel seemed the perfect response with small size and easy accessibility. An SD .32 round should offer acceptable recoil for her small hands and a bullet of any caliber in the throat is gonna stop just about any threat.

(Ruger LCP did not fire consistently for her and trigger pull is too long and too stout. KelTec 3P fired well, but again the long, hard trigger was an issue)

So, a brilliant analysis by any standard, flawed only by my not actually investigating the Tomcat....
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Lamarw...

Is this cracking then primarily a +p issue?

I have a blued narrow version. I guess the answer is to fire and see what happens. Have not seen a stainless version kicking around, and if I come across one will prob. swap what I have for the SS.

Or, maybe I will get lucky.....

I haven't even pulled the slide off yet to see if it is pre-cracked, though from the lack of use, I would be surprised....

Well, we shall see.....
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:43 AM   #9
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpareMag
Didn't know Taurus had a comparable to the Tomcat....
They don't. They offer a couple of models that are comparable to the Beretta 21 Bobcat in .25ACP or .22LR, but not a tip-up in .32ACP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wreck-n-Crew
If you decide to keep it you probably already know not to use +p or +p+ ammo.
I'm not aware of any major ammo manufacturer that offers a +P+ load in .32ACP, but you're certainly correct about +P. FWIW ammo advertised as +P for any pistol cartridge other than 9mm Luger, .38 Special, .45ACP, or .38 Super is probably loaded in excess of SAAMI specifications and will void most pistol warranties.

Although I'm not an expert on Tomcats, many owners of the "narrow slide" versions seem to agree that it's best to stick with American ammo for practice. European .32ACP ammo- particularly Fiocchi- is loaded noticeably hotter than the American stuff. [EDIT: I took my time writing this post, and I see that Rogervzv beat me to it with detailed ammo info; if you check the link, you'll notice that most of the loads that approach or exceed 130 FPE are European.]

In addition, if you aren't familiar with .32ACP pistols in general, be aware that some individual .32's aren't reliable with 60-65gr JHP bullets. The issue isn't pressure; the issue is that .32ACP is a semi-rimmed cartridge, and these loads are physically shorter than standard 71-73gr FMJ, so they may shift in the magazine under recoil and cause double-feeds (i.e. the rim of the cartridge above hangs up on the rim of the cartridge below).
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Last edited by carguychris; April 23, 2013 at 09:57 AM. Reason: info added...
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Old April 23, 2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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". In addition, if you aren't familiar with .32ACP pistols in general, be aware that some individual .32's aren't reliable with 60-65gr JHP bullets. The issue isn't pressure; the issue is that .32ACP is a semi-rimmed cartridge, and these loads are physically shorter than standard 71-73gr FMJ, so they may shift in the magazine under recoil and cause double-feeds (i.e. the rim of the cartridge above hangs up on the rim of the cartridge below). "

THAT i did not know...have one other .32, a wartime Mauser HSc, so this is new tiuf for me .
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Old April 23, 2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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SpareMag - have you contacted Beretta about your blued narrow slide and see what they recommend you do? I think you need to take off the slide and see if there is a crack or not. Beretta might offer a replacement for minimal fee, don't know????

I also thought I read on the Beretta forums that the wide slide versions did not take care of all the frame cracking as some were still reporting cracking with the newer versions. I don't remember what ammunition they were shooting though.
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Old April 23, 2013, 01:37 PM   #12
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Good luck with your pistol. You've received good advice above.
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:13 PM   #13
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Bonefamily,

I just picked up the Beretta yesterday and learned about the frame issue that evening while surfing things Tomcat. So, yes, a strip of the Tomcat is step one.

Good idea to contact Beretta and see what the reccomendations are!
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:45 PM   #14
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Once you get the frame thing straightened out, and yes, contacting them now is a great idea, you will really like the Tomcat. My buddy has a stainless version and it is his constant companion. Shoots great and is reliable as hell. If it were just a little thinner I would have bought one for myself.
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:13 PM   #15
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Beretta 3032 Issues

I received a note, from Beretta Customer Service, on 10/23/12 stating that Beretta Tomcats with product code (model number) J320115 should be a more dependable gun. But, they still recommend not using +P ammo. the note also said that the wide slides on the Matte finish 3032 manufactured after 2010 should be dependable.
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:13 PM   #16
khegglie
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sorry Lawmav, guys.
The wide slide inox Tomcats crack too. Check the Beretta forums.
I had one and wanted to keep it but you can see how thin the metal is at the fail area.
The NAA 32 I replaced it with had no such issues.
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:39 PM   #17
SpareMag
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Here is the word from Beretta customer support:

http://berettausa.custhelp.com/app/a...etail/a_id/676


The Model 3032 Tomcat was designed to chamber and fire ammunition sold under the designation of 32 Automatic or 32 ACP from any manufacturer meeting SAAMI or CIP specifications. The manual states not to use 32 Winchester which is an older designation for a revolver cartridge also known as the 32-20. The use of Winchester branded 32 Automatic or Winchester 32 ACP is acceptable in the Tomcat. Additionally, with the introduction of many new high performance loads for the 32 automatic/32 ACP, we recommend that the designated ammunition should not exceed 130 foot pounds of muzzle energy. The muzzle energy information is usually located on the ammunition box or is available from the ammunition manufacturer. If ammunition exceeding this specification must be used it should be fired on a limited basis only, excessive use may shorten the service life of the pistol's components.

(emphasis added)

PMC, the ammo my LGS sells as their range ammo comes in at 126 ft lbs.

My Tomcat does not have a cracked frame, so we shall see....
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Old April 24, 2013, 01:31 PM   #18
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Please keep us informed how things go with your Tomcat and less than 130 ft. pounds ammunition, SpareMag...
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:58 AM   #19
Laz
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A 71 grain fmj at barely over 900 fps. That's 130 ft/lbs. A pretty low threshold of strength it seems to me. Several standard production European .32 acp offerings are spec'd just above that. Are they saying that off-the-shelf European ammo is at the ragged edge of the limits of that gun?

I've been tempted to get one for a long time but always hold back.
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Old April 25, 2013, 09:18 AM   #20
SpareMag
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The piece has been out for a while now...I wonder if there is an issue with the tip-up barrel which is not allowing for a supporting element to be crafted? The tip-up barrel is such a NICE idea for those with issues racking a slide.

I suppose with the rise of the polymer wonder-380s, the market for a relatively large, relatively heavy .32 is limited...but get the frame issue sorted and put it out as a .380, and I think Beretta would have a winner.

Still have not fired mine yet, so I still lack personal experience.
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Old April 25, 2013, 06:11 PM   #21
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When we had a Tomcat, we only used standard ammunition. 200 rounds did it in. Too bad, until then it was nice.
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:41 PM   #22
SpareMag
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Oldshooter,
Cracked frame or something else?

Did Beretta do anything?
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Old April 25, 2013, 09:21 PM   #23
Laz
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Quote:
get the frame issue sorted and put it out as a .380, and I think Beretta would have a winner
Agreed!
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Old November 20, 2013, 02:25 PM   #24
kat1950
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In the old days when a steel-frame 1911 cracks, it is almost always through the very thin section of slide rail right above the slide-stop pin cut.

It is purely cosmetic.

I used to weld, re-cut the slide rail & refinish them, but have since concluded it is a waste of time.

Once they crack after thousands of rounds, they never get worse anyway.

This is the same case with the Beretta 3032 Tomcat, the piece of thin metal over trigger bar serves no purpose, Beretta went to wide slides to slow down the action instead of spending millions of dollars to replace tooling machines eliminating this thin piece of useless metal. I have 2 Inox tomcats 1, with 3200 rounds through and no cracks, 2nd one when it came in I cut out thin piece of metal that had been cracking and polished area, have over 2300 rounds through that one with no problems with weapons function.

In the 70s Colt Custom shop used to not only cut the frame but also the rail above the slide stop to alleviate the problem with the aluminum frame cracks at slide stop instead of changing tooling machines.

But I do understand that under the current environment with all the new gun owners that have not lived through the early days when buying a gun also meant modifications to make 100 per cent reliable, thus the Pistolsmith and gunsmith came into picture.
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Old November 20, 2013, 10:36 PM   #25
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Yes kat..... but a NAA.32, Keltec p32, Seecamp and others don't have this issue.
Anyway it looks like Beretta may replace the Tomcat with the PICO.
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