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Old November 17, 2019, 01:17 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 5,810
Beretta 1932/1934

Having read the posts about a Walther PP in another area of this forum and having skimmed the article about the Beretta 1932/1934 in the last issue of Blue Press (Dillon), I have harken back to my youth and my experiences with a Beretta 1932 (9mm Corto, 9mm Kutz, .380 Browning).

At first sight, I was taken with the looks of the Beretta in the gun shop. I thought that I have never seen such a beautiful pistol, even more appealing that my other favorite, a Walther PPK, .380 (Note that a PPKS is an abomination to me inasmuch as it was an accomodation created by legal, not design issues.).

The Beretta came with two magazines, one in .380 the other a butchered .32 Auto mag that had been stretched out south of the feed lips to accept two rounds of .380 rather than the .32 Auto it was intended for...I assumed that the previous owner, officer Lamb, a village constable in the village of Pentwater, MI, could not find a spare Beretta .380 magazine. I was told by the gun shop proprietor that officer Lamb carried the Beretta as a back-up.

Having bought the Beretta, I took it out to the woods to try it out. Having nothing to use as a target, I began firing at a man-width Hard Maple tree from the distance of about 16 feet, thinking that a bullet strike would cause a piece of loose bark to fly off, indicating a hit. Stangley, no bark flew off. I rationalized that inasmuch as I was so close, I could not be missing, the bullets must be entering the tree without disturbing the bark...yeah, that must be it.

However, after firing several shots with no apparent damage being done, courisly one of the shots kicked up dirt at the base of the tree. Amazed at the apparent inaccuracy, I left the woods and crossed the road into an area of sand dunes in which I knew that I would be able to see all the bullet strikes and proceed to shoot at targets of opportunity, tin cans, dark clods of earth, etc.

Much to my chagrin, the bullet strikes were scattered all around the targets of opportunity, indicating that the gun was so inaccurate that it would be virtually useless in a defensive situation unless the muzzle was almost in contact with the target.

I was sorely disappointed and sold the gun to the manager of a new Kmart that opened in my hometown.

Over the last few years after learning about guns, metallurgy, maching, welding etc., I would have kept the gun and accepted the challenge of fixing what was wrong with it. At my point in life, fixing it...getting it to shoot would not have been the problem that it was back when I was young and green.

I found the design (as I remember it, please correct me if my memory is not accurate), was impractical in that despite being a single-action auto, there was no "safety" as such in that one could not cock the gun and appliy the "safety". As I remember it, the safety could only be applied when the hammer was down...making little sense in that in combat, the safety would have to be taken off and then the hammer would have to be cock in order to fire the gun. As I remember the only function of the safety was as a hammer block to prevent a round in the chamber from being inadvertently fired from a blow on the hammer.

It was interesting in that I saw the gun again in a different gun shop (Pedersen's gun shop...father or Rex Pedersen a gun engraver of some high reputation in later years.), and was told that they acquired it from officer Lamb...for some strange reason, officer Lamb had re-acquired the Beretta and sold it yet again...he must have been enamoured with the design as much as or even more than I was.
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