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Old November 17, 2019, 01:17 PM   #1
dahermit
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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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Old November 17, 2019, 01:40 PM   #2
dahermit
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Officer Lamb must have passed years ago, so I am sure that he is not going to be offended by my mentioning him.

It is interesting that his replacement as village constable was John "Buzz" Angel, who just happen to be in a LURP unit with my brother Roger during the Vietnam war. I remember my brother telling me the Buzz carried a Browning H.P. loaded with hollow point ammunition as his duty weapon...that peaked my interest also in that I have always been a fan of the Browning H.P. also.
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Old November 17, 2019, 04:52 PM   #3
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The only Beretta I currently own is a 1934 .380, vintage 1943 and marked Army issue. Nice pistol. But most of these old pistols are best used for fun at the range. I will get mine out and check, but if memory serves, it's more accurate than I am.
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Old November 17, 2019, 08:10 PM   #4
dahermit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ligonierbill View Post
The only Beretta I currently own is a 1934 .380, vintage 1943 and marked Army issue. Nice pistol. But most of these old pistols are best used for fun at the range. I will get mine out and check, but if memory serves, it's more accurate than I am.
Whoops...the 1934 was chambered in .380, not .32 auto as I posted earlier.

Last edited by dahermit; November 17, 2019 at 08:17 PM.
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Old November 19, 2019, 03:52 PM   #5
jar
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The 1935 was the 7.65 version and mine has a safety and is pretty accurate as well.
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Old November 19, 2019, 04:16 PM   #6
dahermit
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Originally Posted by jar View Post
The 1935 was the 7.65 version and mine has a safety and is pretty accurate as well.
Can you cock the hammer and then put the safety on? As I remember, my Beretta would only allow the safety to be applied when the hammer was down.
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Old November 19, 2019, 06:44 PM   #7
FITASC
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My 1942 war version of a 34 isn't bad accuracy-wise, but the slide bite just tears up the web of my hand. If it wasn't a family WWII bring back, it would go.
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Old November 20, 2019, 12:47 AM   #8
Ibmikey
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The Beretta is a robust and very accurate pistol that will function each and every time called upon by the shooter. My pistol feels good in my hand and is exceptionally accurate with ball ammo, unfortunately it also has a biting recoil that is more noticeable as time passes.
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Old November 20, 2019, 09:00 AM   #9
jar
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Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
Can you cock the hammer and then put the safety on? As I remember, my Beretta would only allow the safety to be applied when the hammer was down.
Sure can. That's how I carry it; cocked and locked.
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Old November 20, 2019, 09:02 AM   #10
jar
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Originally Posted by FITASC View Post
My 1942 war version of a 34 isn't bad accuracy-wise, but the slide bite just tears up the web of my hand. If it wasn't a family WWII bring back, it would go.
Is it slide bite or the hammer? If I hold mine too high the hammer will bite me.
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