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Old November 1, 2001, 12:34 PM   #1
MRN
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Beretta Mod 20 .25 cal ????

Anyone familiar with the Beretta Model 20? I haven't been able to find any info on it.

I received one from my father-in-law and I'm not too sure about using it as a pocket peice.

It's .25 cal, double-action, tip-up barrel - very much like a model 21, but a little different. It has a 7 rd magazine. Model 21 mags are a tad larger, hold 8 rds, and don't fit in the 20. I think the 20 looks a bit shorter than the 21 and the shorter mag agrees with that.

It doesn't look like it has a firing pin block, so it doesn't seem too safe to carry it loaded with the hammer down. Is this correct? (I also received a 950 in .22 short, but I wouldn't even consider putting that into my pocket.) This 20 also fails to fire in double action - dents the primer, but no bang. Where do I start looking for a new spring for this gun? Is it even worth sending to a gunsmith as it can be replaced for near $200.

Thanks for any info you can share.
MRN
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Old November 1, 2001, 04:37 PM   #2
revolvergeek
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Sounds like you got 2 very neat little guns. They are two of my all time favorite mouseguns. AFAIK NONE of the small Beretta autos have any sort of firing pen lock safety. I carried mine for years with no accidental/negligent discharges. It has been dropped 2 or 3 times and never managed to go off, but it *COULD* if it landed exactly on the hammer i suppose.

The 950 in .22 short is a fun little gun, and if you get one that works reliably they are more accurate than you would expect. I have had 2 of those. The first worked perfectly, the second is VERY finicky about what it will shoot. Very handy for taking along fishing for posinous snake duty. There was a time when i carried one as a deep concealment gun at a job where i would have gotten fired very quickly if i got caught with it, but i am not sure that i would feel comfortable carrying it today.

The Model 20 was in production during the early/mid 80s. I had 2; stupidly traded one off on a Colt Pony. I rarely shoot it anymore,having retired it in favor of my Keltec P32. Very solid, dependable little guns. To my mind the Ber 20 is probably the single best .25 acp out there (with the possible exception of the CZ45). I have putthe better part of a thousand rounds through mine without any malfunctions. Feeds Magsafe and Horn. XTPs perfectly. If i remember correctly they use the same magazine as the Ber 950 .25acp, but i am not 100% sure on this.

The only reason that i ever heard of why they were replaced with the 21 series was that the 20 had wrap around grips like on a PPK that could break and render the gun unsuable if dropped. It is smaller and lighter than the 21 so to me it is a better gun.

First thing that i would do is detail strip it to check if you have any gunk built up around the firing pin that is giving you the ignition probles. This was the case with the first 20 that i bought. The firing pin channel was full of old rusty greasy gunk.

There is a small roll pin that you will need to tap out to allow you to remove the firing pin and its spring. It could just be dirty, but check the end to make sure that the tip has not broken off. Also try different types of .25 ammo. Some brands have harder primers than other. I seem to remember that my first model 20 did not like Federal ammo and gave the occasional FTF with it.

If neither of these help then you may need a new mainspring. The Ber 950/20/21 all can be carried 'cocked and locked' and it is possible that yours was stored this way for too long and the mainspring has lost a little of its ommph. My second 950B in .22 short has this problem. You will probably need to contact Brownells or Gun Parts corporation about getting a new mainspring for it. I tried contacting the Beretta USA service department to get parts for the 950 B and would have had more fun if i had stuck my finger in a wall outlet. The guy on the phone was an arrogent ass who made it very clear that could do nothing to help me and could not sell me any spare springs or firing pens and generally gave the the impression that i was wasting his time to call and ask about it.

If you don't decide that you want to put any money into getting the Ber 20 fixed and use it,and if it doesn't have any sentimental value to you, i would be glad to discuss buying it off of you.
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Old November 1, 2001, 04:42 PM   #3
revolvergeek
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Did a google search on it and found the online listing for the Ber 20 in the Blue Book. Says it was made 1984 - 1986.
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Old November 2, 2001, 10:21 AM   #4
MRN
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Thanks for the info. Most books give info on the 21, but not the 20. I guess I can't get into too much trouble taking a closer look/cleaning the firing pin, but I'm guessing the mainspring needs to be replaced. Finding one is a concern since none of my books say anything about it. Pretty sure I won't carry it if if doesn't have a pin safety, or even a half-cock notch. A 649 and a P230 already serve will in that role.

I haven't played with the 950 too much yet. It fires and all the holes are within a foot circle at 15 yds. Haven't shot a .22 short since boy scouts. It sure doesn't promote flinching.

Thanks again, M.
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