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Old 05-17-2012, 15:53   #1
Metal Angel
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How do you guys feel about the Barretta 21?

I had the opportunity to shoot a Barretta 21 (.22LR) yesterday, and before this, never cared a lick about these guns. That thing was so awesome though! The trigger was great and it seemed really accurate for such a small gun! Right now I don't have a .22 that I love, and I want one that I will love because it's so reasonable to shoot. Would it be dumb to have one of these instead of a more purpose built target pistol like a Mk III? It may also serve as a "something is better than nothing" carry gun. Because my current EDC ends up being more of a EODC (every other day carry). I wouldn't dream of a .22 being my primary EDC, but it wouldnt hurt to have one rather than nothing. Really though, I think this question is more about the 21 as a range gun... I just think I might enjoy it more than a Mk. III or the like.
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Old 05-17-2012, 16:02   #2
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I had the opportunity to shoot a Barretta 21 (.22LR) yesterday, and before this, never cared a lick about these guns. That thing was so awesome though! The trigger was great and it seemed really accurate for such a small gun! Right now I don't have a .22 that I love, and I want one that I will love because it's so reasonable to shoot. Would it be dumb to have one of these instead of a more purpose built target pistol like a Mk III? It may also serve as a "something is better than nothing" carry gun. Because my current EDC ends up being more of a EODC (every other day carry). I wouldn't dream of a .22 being my primary EDC, but it wouldnt hurt to have one rather than nothing. Really though, I think this question is more about the 21 as a range gun... I just think I might enjoy it more than a Mk. III or the like.

Never seen one but my wife has a cute little .22 made by Taurus that is a copy of a gun made by some Italian company called "Beretta". Seems to be a nice little gun.
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Old 05-17-2012, 16:02   #3
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Ive owned a couple of them over the years. Dont have one now.

Mine were well made, and functioned OK, if kept spotlessly clean. They seem to get grumpier sooner than most of the other .22's Ive owned.

They are a little big and chunky for a pocket pistol, and .22,s arent the most reliable either. If youre thinking of one of these for that, Id look to something else.
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Old 05-17-2012, 16:20   #4
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I had one for a long time and just sold it last year.

I wouldn't say that it was unreliable at feeding. I have a big stockpile of Winchester .22 and it likes that ammo fine.

The problem I did have with it was that sometimes it wouldn't fire. I don't think the firing pin hit the primer as hard as my other .22 guns. The primer would be dented but it didn't fire. If I rotated the cartridge so that it hit a different part of the rim, it always fired.

At first I thought that this was just bad ammo. The thing is that I have 2 .22 rifles and another .22 pistol and I put a lot more rounds through them without any failures.

For that reason, I decided it wasn't worth having. I would prefer to have a larger caliber for self defense and I don't want to get in a gunfight with a gun that may not fire, even if it was only once every couple of hundred rounds.
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Old 05-17-2012, 16:28   #5
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I had one in .22 Short. It was the least reliable gun of the hundreds I've owned; it never got through more than two rounds in a row without some sort of malfunction, and I tried every brand of ammo on the market in it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 16:28   #6
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The primer would be dented but it didn't fire. If I rotated the cartridge so that it hit a different part of the rim, it always fired.
Thats a very common rim fire problem, and one of the main reasons I dont like carrying them. Its just the nature of the beast with that type of primer. Ive had it happen with all my .22's, and pretty much with every maker of ammo.
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Old 05-17-2012, 16:45   #7
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What's a Barretta?

J/K


I have a Beretta Tomcat in 32ACP that runs great. I have no experience with the rimfire.
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Old 05-17-2012, 17:50   #8
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What's a Barretta?

J/K


I have a Beretta Tomcat in 32ACP that runs great. I have no experience with the rimfire.
Sorry about the spelling... My phone auto corrects from Berretta to Barretta. I was just to lazy to fix it.

Makes sense that the .32 would be more reliable... But this gun's main purpose for me would be plinking hundreds of rounds at the range, and .32 isn't cheap! I really don't consider anything .380 or less a good defensive caliber, and if I bought this in .32 or .25, I wouldnt be doing high volume shooting with it like I could with .22. The CC option would truly be a secondary purpose to range plinking. Like throw it in my pocket if I planned to carry nothing otherwise. Still, even a plinker can be no fun to shoot if it jams all the time. I know that's an inherent problem with rimfire, but it sounds like guys are saying this one jams more than other rim fire pistols... I don't want a jammomatic. Plus it's secondary purpose as CC would truly be defeated if I couldn't be pretty confident in its reliability.

I don't know... Seems like cheap fun if it worked well... Might just have to decide if I want to take the chance or not.
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Old 05-17-2012, 18:06   #9
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I think part of the problem with these guns is the lack of an extractor. As I said earlier, mine worked fine when they were spotlessly clean, but as they got dirty, they got finicky pretty quick.
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Old 05-17-2012, 18:14   #10
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What's a Barretta?

J/K


I have a Beretta Tomcat in 32ACP that runs great. I have no experience with the rimfire.
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Old 05-17-2012, 20:27   #11
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I had a 950 for quite a few years (single action, .25 auto) but sold it off. I have since picked up a 21A which is slightly larger and DA/SA. I like it! I wouldn't advise it as a target gun, but it is a fun plinker. I keep mine stashed in the console of my Jeep and sometimes throw it in my pocket for a quick trip somewhere. Mine is dead nuts reliable with CCI Mini-mags.
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Old 05-17-2012, 20:30   #12
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I'd much rather have the Beretta 87 Cheetah, personally.
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Old 05-17-2012, 23:28   #13
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My dad gave me a stainless 21A in .22. It's a neat little guy but it isn't very accurate. It functions great but the accuracy is a bit disappointing.
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Old 05-17-2012, 23:31   #14
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I'd much rather have the Beretta 87 Cheetah, personally.
Definitely a nice gun, but I think the reason I had fun with the 21 was because it was so small. My dad has a Mk. II and a high standard and I just don't have a lot of fun shooting them. It's like shooting an air gun or something. Not saying the 21 kicks, but it at least feels like you are shooting a firearm.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:52   #15
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I had one in .22 Short. It was the least reliable gun of the hundreds I've owned; it never got through more than two rounds in a row without some sort of malfunction, and I tried every brand of ammo on the market in it.
I have one and its NEVER misfired or jammed,I don't shoot it anymore but it ALWAYS worked
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:00   #16
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I have had Ruger's Standard and a MkII but liked the Bobcat better. Mine ran great on Mini-mags, and tolerably accurate to 7 yd. or so.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:06   #17
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I have had one for over 20 years. Works fine on Mini mags and stingers. Bulk ammo is hit or miss. I do not shot it much.
I keep telling myself I should sell it but then I tell myself it's cheap to shoot.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:22   #18
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It makes a very cool suppressor host!

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Old 05-18-2012, 08:24   #19
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I have one in .22 short and .22lr. Both work 100% if you keep them clean and feed them good ammo.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:32   #20
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I have the .22. Really nice gun. Also have the .25 version. Never had any issues with either, although I think the .25 should be inherently more reliable. .25 expensive to shoot. Since I got my LCP I don't carry the 21A very much. Still, it's a very nice gun. You can't go wrong if you want one. Best.
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Old 05-18-2012, 14:58   #21
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Old 05-18-2012, 21:53   #22
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I had one many years ago and sold it. My was finickier than one that my buddy had. It did better with a non Beretta magazine. Go figure! I gave my original ones to my friend and they worked for him just fine. My old 21 would shoot Winchester 40 grains HP/solids and CCI Stingers just fine.

I never used it for CC because I have other small handguns that I used.

After I bought a Kel Tec P3AT that was smaller, lighter, more reliable with "bigger" ammo there was no point in owning the little 22 auto.

The best thing it did do was is that my wife used it to pass the Utah auto part of the CCW course. She has very small hands!
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Old 05-18-2012, 22:18   #23
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The 21 in my opinion is too small to be a general purpose plinker or small game Pistol, the calibers are too small for self defense. I can't think what it can do that a LCP or any number of small .380's can't do better.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:43   #24
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I have an inox version and love it. It rides on my ankle every day. It's super accurate, and 100% with anyCCI ammo
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:24   #25
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My 21A is one of the guns that I'll never get rid of. It's been a jewel for about 20 years and is in my pocket several times week (mostly here around the house)--scary reliable with CCI mini mags and accurate for what it is.

The 21A is a pocket gun only IMO and to compare it to an Ruger MK is almost apples and oranges. It's not necessarily a joy to shoot, but to each his own. I've got 2 MKs, as well, and they're just pure shooters--not useful in any way for SD, but SWEET--one of life's (not so simple) pleasures.
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