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Old December 13, 2019, 08:27 PM   #1
libiglou
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yet another beretta 81 post

Hey guys

There has been a number of treads concerning this pistol lately and I just wanted to add to the discussion. My experience is diff then most folks so here it goes.

I've been interested in guns and all things military since I was in diapers(my mom has pictures of me in with her broom(my m1 mowing down the make believe Nazi's invading my house) Anyway, my parents are from Italy and as a kid we use to go there every few years to visit family. One summer while visiting, my uncle informed everyone that his pistol license was approved and he was getting a gun. (he was doing security work so he needed the gun) While everyone was concerned I was excited and couldn't wait to see his new pistol. My mom made sure I was nowhere near my uncle when he was armed. One day at a family get together at my aunts farm my uncle whispered in my ear if I wanted shoot his pistol. I was excited beyond belief. I followed him around to the back of the house facing the cactus trees and other crops. He pulls out his Beretta and shows me the manual of arms and then standing behind me with his fingers over mine I fired my first pistol and thus began my love of firearms.(Man was my mother mad at him)
So what does this have to do with the 81? Well I'm pretty sure it was the 81 that I fired(summer of 78 or 79) but I have some doubts. I spoke to my uncle and he got rid of the pistol long ago and doesn't remember the model number but knows it was 32acp in caliber(it was very mild shooting and accurate.)He is up there in age so confirming what I shot is going to be tough
It could have been a 70 or 34 ,both were made in 32acp so who knows but as soon as I saw the 81's for sale I knew I had to have one. Took a little time since I live in a restrictive state but today I bite the bullet and bought one from Robertson trading since they sell them with 10 round mags. Should be getting it next week. I will post again when I can give a proper review. Firing this gun is going to bring back some very pleasant memories of my time in Italy with my crazy uncle. Sorry about the long tread but I wanted to share.
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Old December 14, 2019, 07:18 AM   #2
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Maybe the Beretta you shot that day will be the one that makes it's way to your home. Maybe? Good story... thanks.
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Old December 14, 2019, 08:11 AM   #3
jar
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Just to jog your memory ...

1935:


70:


81:


The first two are single action only while the 81 is DA/SA. Do you remember whether the trigger was like the 81 or solid like the others?
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Old December 14, 2019, 07:45 PM   #4
libiglou
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Jar , nice collection. I can't remember anything about what I shot except it was black(Bluing) and the grips felt wide but then again I was either 10 or 11(40 years ago) when I shot this pistol and my hands were small and still are. I do remember aiming at some cactus pears(There everywhere in Sicily. Like weeds) and seeing them explode when I shot them. I emptied the mag and my uncle removed it and was in the process of reloading when My mom and aunt came running around the back of the house and seeing him with the gun in his hand and me nearby freaked. They actually started hitting him. He was laughing but I knew I wasn't going to get to that second mag. The fun was over and I would not shoot another gun till I joined the army. I decided last night to look further into this. I'm probably going back to Italy sometime next year and I'm going to find out actually what model I shot then acquire it . Till then the 81 should keep me happy.

Sidenote: My uncle visited the US 10 years ago. I took him to the range and he got to shoot my ak,ar,desert eagle etc. He was like a kid in a candy store. Almost everything in my collection is banned in Italy(then again NY is not far behind)
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Old December 23, 2019, 12:18 PM   #5
libiglou
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Hey Guys

Well I finally got my 81. I bought it from Robertson Trading post in the excellent condition grade and besides a few dings and scratches it was in pretty nice shape. No holster wear. Happy with that.Applied a coat of oil and man did it shine up real nice. The bluing on these guns is unreal. They don't do them like that anymore. At the range I did experience some issues. First of all it came with a modified Mecgear mag(10 rnd) that was brand new and hard as hell to load. With aquila ammo I was getting stovepipes every pull of the trigger. I then switched to Fiocchi ammo and it improved to maybe one stovepipe out of 10 rounds but I noticed as the mag broke in even the aquila ammo stovepiped less. I gave up after about 40 rounds. My fingers were killing me. I have the mag fully loaded at home for further break in. The pistol itself shot great and was very accurate for what it is. Overall pleased with the purchase. I do want to get at least 1 to 2 more mags and switch out the grips since they are scratched and thick. This pistol would look fantastic with wood grips. Also planning on reloading for the 32acp. Starting to acquire components for that so I will keep you guys posted were this all heads. Shooting it def brought back memories of my time in Italy. Thanks
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Old December 23, 2019, 04:51 PM   #6
jar
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Beretta has the 81 mags in stock, new and for the 81 itself. More expensive but I've never had an issue with them and even kept one of my old ones when I gave away may old 81 and bought one of this herd.



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Old December 24, 2019, 08:02 AM   #7
Eric 53
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Definitely look into magazine issues. I own two of these guns along with four surplus mags. One mag is problematic as all get out, it looks like the feed lips are a bit farther apart than on the others. I'll get failures to feed consistently with that particular mag, with the live round pointing straight up- caught between slide and frame.
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Old December 24, 2019, 10:57 AM   #8
libiglou
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Eric. That's exactly my issue. I might call Robertson this week to get another mag The problem is I can only have 10 round mags so my options are limited. They seem good to deal with and the rep told me to call with any issues. Will see. I was getting the feeling a mag breakin is not going to fix the problem. You confirmed that.
Jar. I looked at the berretta site and only 12 round mags are available so that's a no no in my state. If they made a 10 rounder I would jump on it in a heart beat.
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Old December 24, 2019, 11:12 AM   #9
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I keep thinking I should get one of these while they are still available for a reasonable price. Trouble is that I am a terrible impulse buyer and in recent weeks I have picked up a NIB '67 vintage Walther PPK, a 1937 S/42 Luger and a 1916 Artillery Luger and am now pretty much flat broke until I recover from my latest round of buying.

If I can, I am going to try and see if I can raise the money to pick one up after the first of the year. If you don't mind me asking, how much did it set you back?
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Old December 24, 2019, 02:54 PM   #10
libiglou
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Mine was $270 but that included the modified 10 rnd mag plus $30 for the transfer. You can them cheaper at classic or Aim depending on condition. Once their gone the price is only going to go up. I paid $90 for my mosin nagant rifle 6 years ago.Well pricing now is approaching $300.Something to think about
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Old December 25, 2019, 07:09 AM   #11
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I recently picked up a pair of Beretta 84 10 round mags at a gun show, $20 for the pair out of the budget box, and took them apart, using a tack hammer, I carefully tapped the feed lips down from .34" to .30". They now work fine in my 81 and still only hold 10 rounds. There is a Youtube video which shows you how to do this, I just use a smaller hammer than the guy in the video. Just be aware that the magazine is stamped 380acp on the side and the base plate.
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Old December 27, 2019, 03:45 PM   #12
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I got one and have been very happy with it. I will likely pick up another if I can while the price is down.
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Old January 11, 2020, 08:22 PM   #13
libiglou
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Hey guys

Well I got another mag from Robertson and took i her to the range today. All is good. She shot great and I love the mild manners of this pistol. Man you can't go wrong with the 81 at this price point. Future plans are to convert a 84 mag and different grips. Plus a reloading setup for the 32. Get em before their gone.
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Old January 12, 2020, 08:33 AM   #14
Eric 53
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Good deal, I was hoping you could get your mag issue squared away. Was thinking about taking mine out for a quick shooting session today. I may take my problematic mag and attempt to squeeze the feed lips together a bit. I can push a dummy round out slowly (got some with brass cases on Ebay) with my finger, and it'll snap straight up not even halfway out.
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Old January 12, 2020, 11:35 AM   #15
libiglou
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That's the first test I did when I got the mag. I knew it was good to go when I could not push out the round with my finger which is what happened with the previous one. Obviously the range trip confirmed it. I even scored some 32acp brass when a range member who was shooting a PP in 32acp left his brass. Good day
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Old January 12, 2020, 02:19 PM   #16
Eric 53
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Made it out this AM, fired 50 rounds with no failures. Also shot my .40 PX4, and then my buddies' .44 magnum. The recoil differences in these firearms was pretty stark!
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