View Full Version : Beretta 21.Head shots,Throat Shots.22cal

September 10, 2007, 09:29 PM
I know this will stir up alot of answers but wanted to see what people had to say about this little gun. Beretta 21

I don't think the .22 cal is a effective cartridge but what do ya'll think. If you had something of this size despite it lack of knockdown power loaded with a suitable round in .22 cal, shooting someone 7 to 8 times in the head with Long rifle rounds?

I would never shoot at the torso figuring the penetration wouldnt be great but firing at the head and throat region do you think it would suffice?

September 10, 2007, 09:42 PM
The Musad used 22LR double taps to the forehead very effectively for years. Now would I want to rely in it? No blessed way. I'm not an assassin with someone backing me up with a 9mm.

September 10, 2007, 09:56 PM
An ambush and a defensive shooting are two different animals.

September 10, 2007, 10:01 PM
I believe I have heard these referred to as "ear guns." As in they are only effective when, in an upclose fight for your life you manage to hold your mousegun up to your assailant's ear.
They say most assaults do happen up close, but I would not be confident about making headshots much beyond arm's length in a high adrenaline fight for my life. Remember the other guy is moving around and trying to do you harm.
You know, they make lots of tiny .380's nowadays that are much more effective than a .22...

September 10, 2007, 11:31 PM
Like the previous posters mentioned, I wouldn't want to deal with the difficulty of shot placement in to the head/neck region while trying to defend my life.

Garand Illusion
September 11, 2007, 12:45 AM
In NO WAY am I making a case for a .22 to be a preferred SD weapon. Like has been said, there are good .380's out there and some fine .32's as well (not a whole lot better than .22, but somewhat).

But anytime people start ridiculing the .22 I suggest they take a look at the tape of Hinkley shooting at Reagan.

Reagan was badly hurt and could have died.

The (one would hope) tough secret security guard who takes one to the gut actually launches himself upward and comes down in a heap (a one shot stop).

Brady goes down with one to the head (a 2nd one shot stop) and becomes the arch enemy of gun owners everywhere.

And Hinkley did it all at about 25 feet with a .22 revolver.

If I had nothing but a .22, I'd have no problem carrying it for self defense. There are many stories of people who have defended themselves, by driving off the attacker if not killing them.

When a BG who thinks he's taking down a helpless mark starts getting little chunks of lead embedded in his body, and realizes he IS now going to end up at a hospital and then at the jail, it tends to change his plans a wee bit.

September 11, 2007, 01:20 AM
I personally know a lady that was shot with a .22 at point-blank range and survived. A bg robbed the store that she owned and shot her between the eyes. The bullet lodged in her sinus cavity where it remains today. IMO .22 is no good for self defense. That being said; I know a paramedic on Memphis F.D. that says most of the gunshot wounds he sees are from a .22.

Good guys should carry big guns.

I like big guns. The bigger the better.

September 11, 2007, 01:23 AM
You'll get no ridicule from me. My favorite SD/HD handgun is a S&W model 60 loaded with .38Spl +Ps. However, if my Beretta Cheetah .22 was all I had at hand, I wouldn't hesitate to use it with a magazine full of CCI Velocitors. They may only be .22 ammo, but it's pretty wicked as .22 ammo goes.

September 11, 2007, 01:33 AM
While a .22 in the hand beats a .44 left at home, and I don't know a sane or sober person that would argue in their normal state of mind that a .22 taken anywhere on the body would be unpleasant, it's not my idea of an appropriate defensive cartridge. Pretty much, I'd only be found carrying a .22 if I had nothing else to choose from.

The Tourist
September 11, 2007, 01:36 AM
What's odd about the discussion of calibres is that we all tend to defame 'mouse guns.' Even I stoke my .380 with Gold Dots.

But having said that, most people are killed with .22's, .25 ACP's and .32 ACP's. Clearly, those calibres are effective year after year.

And consider this, lots of hard core crime deals with drugs and criminals under the influence of drugs. We have all heard the old canards about how PCP makes men invulnerable to bullet strikes.

But they keep dying from mouse guns.

September 11, 2007, 02:12 AM
But they keep dying from mouse guns.Yes agreed people die from mouse guns. Heck for decades the Europeans thought that a 32acp was all a police officer needed. But that aside, I have to wonder what number of 22 shooters experience bodily harm from having the shootee attempt to 'holster' said 22 in the nether regions of the shooter's body. ;)

All kidding aside, 22s can kill. Pellet guns can kill. Blanks can kill. Heck a well flung can of beans can kill. The real question is what percentage of 22LR rounds fired in emergency situations are manstoppers (quickly fatal to humans?). I suspect it's pretty low. That said a 22 is a heck of a lot better than nothing if that's all you have available. At the very least it's going to scare off the vast majority of BGs and that's the idea as far as it goes.

Garand Illusion
September 11, 2007, 02:16 AM
I personally know a lady that was shot with a .22 at point-blank range and survived. A bg robbed the store that she owned and shot her between the eyes. The bullet lodged in her sinus cavity where it remains today. IMO .22 is no good for self defense. That being said; I know a paramedic on Memphis F.D. that says most of the gunshot wounds he sees are from a .22.

This all makes my point. If someone is attacking you and suddenly they have a .22 traumatcially placed into their sinus cavity, it IS going to change their plans. BG's don't go after people they expect to fight back and it ruins their whole MOD when they do.

And people get shot point blank with larger calibers and live as well.

I know of a guy who went out to his driveway with his 20 gauge single shot shotgun and 1 round to commit suicide. He put the gun in his mouth, pushed the trigger with a stick, and proceeded to blow out the side of his face and part of his head.

Unfortunately for him, it didn't kill him. He actually staggered back into the house (where his wife and kids were still sleeping) got another shotgun round out of the closet, went back outside and finished the job (the second shot did the trick).

The SOB left his family without a father/husband, and they were woke up by the police knocking on the door to find a trail of blood all through the house.

This was some years back and they moved immediately away so I don't know how they turned out. But any gun at any range may just wound rather than kill.

September 11, 2007, 07:30 AM
They're a pretty good little gun. However, their lack of extractor make them less than desireable in a self defense roll. Which unfortunately is their only roll considering their size and minimal sights.

September 11, 2007, 08:23 AM
For a silent, unaware attack where the victim is not in a defensive posture; couple of head shots very effective. However, for those of us not in an assassination unit; the .22LR will not measure up....BTW, I believe the Mossad used the Beretta M71 with a suppressor...
For what it's worth; my 21A was not near 100% reliable even after 2 factory visits....Hyped up loads helped; but never cured its ills....:)

Bill DeShivs
September 11, 2007, 02:23 PM
I have never known of extraction failures with the Beretta pistols.

September 11, 2007, 03:22 PM
The 21A that I have experience with has been 100% reliable across quite a few rounds. There have been a couple relatively recent threads dealing with this pistol, and nearly all posters who owned one indicated the same about their guns.

Beretta seems to have gotten this one right, for the most part at least.

Mike Irwin
September 11, 2007, 11:52 PM
I frequently carry a .22.

Know your gun.

Know what you can, and more importantly can't, do with it.

September 12, 2007, 12:20 AM
I have one of the things and it shoots a lot better than you would expect for such a small gun with poor sights. Its sure not my top pick for a caliber but untill a 1911 or such fits in the tiny little inside pocket in swim trucks I see a use for the them.

September 12, 2007, 03:16 PM
To paraphrase my dad when asked about the .25ACP.....

"You may survive being shot with a .25, but not if I shoot you with a .25".....

Practice, practice, practice..... :D

September 12, 2007, 03:48 PM
use it if you got it.that being said doezs anyone know anything about the beretta 950 they look almost identical the only difference i can tell is one is single action and the 21 is da/sa if i am wrong please correct me.as i am in the market for one of these little guys

September 12, 2007, 03:52 PM
The 950 was made in both .25 ACP and 22 short. Many consider the 950 JetFire to be the best .25 ACP ever made, period.

I have the former, and can dump all nine rounds in about a second...it's an amazing little gun.

Of course, you won't be able to "practice" anything but COM or bullseyes. Many ranges have a "no headshots" policy.

September 12, 2007, 04:00 PM
I knew a very well know shooting instructor, he was a great Police Officer too, he died off duty shot with 3 torso hits of 22 LR.
In skilled hands a 22 LR can be VERY deadly. Multiples torso hits with a 22 will cause a massive loss of blood and stop a BG. Now, every caliber have failed at one time or another, there is exemples of guys still runing with 4 shots of 45 ACP.
A 22 LR is better than nothing, and if you can put 5 shots very fast and acurately in your target, it will serve you much better than a miss with a 45 or a 40 cal.
I wouldn't try to be hit with a couples of CCI velocitor or Remington Yellow Jackets :p

September 12, 2007, 04:02 PM
FYI, 22LR is much more susceptible to fouling from moisture from being in a pocket, being rimfire. Any centerfire is more reliable.

.25 ACP was invented by JMB for that very reason. Similar caliber, but the reliability of centerfire in a vestpocket pistol.

September 12, 2007, 04:32 PM
If I had to pick a pocket pistol, I'd go with a .22 loaded w/ CCI Stingers over a .25 or a .32. .22's have a reputation for extensive tissue damage and "bouncing around" once inside a victim, and I've seen plent of evidence of this on various creatures. I have also seen many many times what a Stinger will do to a turtle shell at 40-50 yards... Leaves me with no hesitations if I needed to use one against a [color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color].

September 12, 2007, 05:10 PM
CCI Velocitors are pretty powerful compared to standard .22lr loadings. Practice with these to see how they function in your gun.

David Armstrong
September 12, 2007, 05:24 PM
Mike Irwin nails it pretty well. The .22 is quite adequate for most self-defense situations. Other calibers might be better, but the question becomes how often that "better" is needed. Know your gun can do, know what you can do with your gun, plan your responses appropriately, and you will usually be OK. Caliber is probably the least important factor in a self-defense situation.

Chief Jerry
September 12, 2007, 06:51 PM
The 22LR can be very deadly. Often the 22LR bounces around in the skull doing all kinds of fragment damage. Don't underestimate the weapon.

Ohio Rusty
September 12, 2007, 07:43 PM
All I've had to carry was a small Jennings .22 I've had for 15 or so years. It is actually a pretty reliable gun as long as I keep it clean and don't limp wrist it. It will fire off the whole clip with no problems. And that is the key to such a small round is multiple shots to the body of an attacker until his threat is stopped. a .22 isn't a one or maybe two shot man stopper. I practice with mine shooting 3 or 4 or all 6. Fortunately, I can retire the .22 next week as I have a Keltec .380 coming in next weeek which will become my primary. I did feel like I was under gunned and inadequate carrying the .22, but I also knew that was all I had, so I needed to make the best use of the little Jennings if I needed it. I don't plan on one shot stops with the .380 either, and I will continue my multiple shot tactics until they become second nature. I'm planning on winning and coming out of any fight alive.
Ohio Rusty

September 12, 2007, 08:57 PM
I have a Bobcat... I load it with Stingers, leave my wallet home and take it jogging or walking the dog at night.

I'm comfortable with it.

September 14, 2007, 05:15 AM
how much would one expect to pay for one of these guns? used? hows the finish(i know its a beretta) & does anyone have the two-tone(looks nice to me)?hows the reliability?anything to look for or avoid?as i've never owned a "mouse gun"

September 14, 2007, 05:51 AM
From my local pawn shop. Inox model, essentially unfired. It has been quite reliable with most ammunition. I practice with it regularly at 10 feet, point shooting, empying it in a few seconds into COM. It's my constant companion, right front pocket in a Mika holster.
8 rounds of CCI stinger plus a spare 7 in my back pocket. Its a primary around the house and in local low threat areas and a back up when I carry a larger firearm in other areas.

Never be a victim.


September 14, 2007, 08:14 AM
I still wish someone would make a +P .25ACP just to see what the ballistics would be like.

I suppose the issue is liability. While a Jetfire could certainly handle that, it'd likely explode a potmetal junker.

Also, does anyone make lead .25 ACP beside custom loadings?

September 14, 2007, 11:33 AM
I agree: we need a Doubletap .25!

David Armstrong
September 14, 2007, 01:17 PM
how much would one expect to pay for one of these guns?
I've never bought one, as I won all three of mine in various shooting matches, so I'm not sure on the new price. At a recent gun show here there were a few used ones, seemd to be in the $190-$220 range.

Hard Ball
September 14, 2007, 04:19 PM
"I don't think the .22 cal is a effective cartridge"

I do and this is based on my experience and that of many others.

September 14, 2007, 04:53 PM
Another thing I don't get is why people would bother with .22s and .25s when .380s and 9x18s, and even some 9x19s can all be had for a minimal increase in size. None of these cartridges conjure up images of raw brute power, but all are capable of driving a 100 gr bullet in the neighborhood of 1000 fps, and that is a heck of a lot better than a bullet of less than half the mass and significantly less velocity. I've seen Makarovs and FEG Walter PPK clones go for under $200.

Same with a .38 snub nose. A power house it ain't, but it is capable of significantly better than a .22 or a .25, it doesn't cost a lot, and it is still pretty small.

So really, even if the .22 or the .25 might work in a hitch, I still have to ask "why?"

September 14, 2007, 04:56 PM
Because the Jetfire is still a better and more reliable gun than the P3AT is. It's pretty much 100% reliable and can be emptied on target in about a second, period. I can't count on a .380 to do that yet. I once ran through three mags in a row with mine just to see, doing a drop-and-slap just like its larger cousin. 100% reliable, and so fast it sounds close to full-auto. The trigger is very, very, very good on that little thing!

Once someone comes out with a .380 as good, that's different.

And a Makarov is a HEAVY gun. It's heavier than my .45ACP PT745! A revolver is thicker than a lot of semiautos of larger caliber, and hence less concealable. The cylinder is thick. There's no way around that.

The PA-63, the less said about that the better. I dare anyone to get a doubletap or even quickly re-aquire the target with that nasty snappish thing. Nasty gun, good for giving you a flinch. Why do you think they're still $119 when all other milsurps have gone up in price?

September 14, 2007, 09:07 PM
And because a Jetfire will fit just about ANYWHERE.

September 16, 2007, 03:55 PM
Often the 22LR bounces around in the skull doing all kinds of fragment damage.


September 16, 2007, 11:00 PM
MT Miltiaman says that .380 are capable of driving 100 gr bullet in neighborhood of 1000fps and that is better than bullet at 1/2 mass and a lot less velocity.
Not even close on .22 velocity, the CCI velocitor cartridge gives a 40 g mass at a 1435 fps, the stinger 1640 fps with a 32 g bullet. That's getting very close to destruction potential of the .32 with a 65g and 950 fps compared with the 380 90g with 1000fps.

September 16, 2007, 11:20 PM
Sorry bud, but I am pretty sure those velocities are quoted for rifles. If you think a pocket pistol with a barrel length of 3 inches or less is going to get anywhere near those velocities, you're sorely mistaken.

I am aware of the Velocitors, and they are impressive. I've used them for ground squirrels extensively in my bull barreled 10/22 and have made kills out to 150 yards with them. But velocity from a 20 inch barrel is one thing--velocity from a 2.4 inch Jetfire barrel is quite another.

O and not to nitpick, but the bullets are listed as 40 and 32 grains, respectively, not grams. Grains are abbreviated "gr" specifically to avoid confusion with grams, abbreviated as "g."

EDITTED to add:

I found this article, which indicates CCI used a 24 inch barrel for those Velocitors:

Just how fast were Velocitor bullets moving? Chronographed velocities were taken the next day. My Oehler 35P showed a high reading of 1,409 fps, with an extreme spread of only 35 fps. This is less than the promised 1,435 fps average, but can be explained by my test conditions of 60 degree temperature and a 28-inch barrel. Speer's published velocities were taken indoors at 70 degrees and from a 24-inch barrel -- about the optimum length for maximum velocity with a longer-burning powder of the type used in the Velocitor.

September 17, 2007, 12:49 AM
Qwitcherbitchin and read this! Everyone is always asking for test data and It's a little late here for me to be shooting Stingers through the Chrony just to satisfy my own curiosity. Barrel length, Barrel length, Barrel length!
Don't believe everything you read on the box either. They are selling you something, remember?


Someone once told me they would kick my ass if I shot them with a .22! I belive them on that! Better than a .44 in the safe but a FALSE sense of security if you go packing it around thinking it is going to save your life.
You first must Penetrate the skull to be "bouncing around doind fragment damage" This has been proven difficult even in .38/9mm shootings depending on distance and angle!

Bill DeShivs
September 17, 2007, 01:23 AM
I really doubt anyone would kick my ass if I shot them with a .22! I used to hear that a lot, but never found anyone to take me up on my offer of letting me have just one shot, then letting them try it.
There are better calibers for defense, but the little .22 can certainly be a manstopper. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply knows little about guns or shot placement. I would rather have a .45, but feel I could use a .22 effectively.

The Tourist
September 17, 2007, 01:32 AM
I think we have to consider the man firing the pistol and the quality of the pistol itself.

As for a .380 ACP, mine is not some off-the-rack zinc-framed affair stamped out in Bulgaria. Frankly, any serious TFL member here could easily defend himself with my pistol.

We also talk about shot placement.

The pistol I am most accurate with--and I mean shot on top of shot--is not a super customized 1911. It's a well used Ruger 22/45.

It must have over 5,000 rounds through it, and despite what you hear about the difficulty assembling a Ruger .22, mine virtually falls apart when you flip the take-down toggle.

But when/if I have to put a bullet exactly where I'm looking, I'll shoot that Ruger .22LR.

So, despite a collection of things with a "4" in them, my best combat guns for the real world are a .22LR and a .380 ACP.