Gun Review Spot's Beretta Tomcat Pocket Pistol Reviews

Beretta 3032 Tomcat .32 Pistol

Beretta 3032 Tomcat .32 Pistol

First Reviewed July 9, 2010
Found in Beretta, Pistol Reviews, Pocket Pistols

Performance4.154.154.154.154.15
Durability4.154.154.154.154.15
Concealability4.774.774.774.774.77
Overall Value44444

The Beretta Tomcat is the newest design in a long series of single action/double action blowback pocket pistols developed by Beretta. Two variants are currently made. The most common is is all-black comprised of a darkened carbon steel slide and a black anodized frame. The second "Inox" version matches a stainless steel slide to a silver anodized frame.

The gun is extremely small, weighing in at only 14 oz. (410 grams) making it easy to conceal and carry. The pistol also features a tip-up barrel that makes it possible for the gun to be loaded without operating the slide. This featured has made the Tomcat a favorite of small frame women shooters who find it difficult to wrack the slide back on larger pistols. The fact that the pistol can be easily carried without a complete overhaul of the traditional female wardrobe is not overlooked by its many fans either.

One of the drawbacks inherent to most pocket pistols is the lack of power associated with the platform. The Beretta 3032 Tomcat takes the high road on this and is chambered for the .32 ACP. This round is known to be a bit more powerful and offer slightly more penetration on average than the also-popular .380.

As with all guns, this one does have some limits though. The current trend toward purchasing "hot" +P ammunition is not a good idea when applied to the Tomcat as a number of cases of the frame cracking under undue stress have been reported.

Features of the 3032 Tomcat include a frame-mounted, thumb activated safety, a 7-round capacity magazine, and a single action/double action trigger mechanism. The Tomcat is often not considered a "true" one-handed pistol due to the fact that it is difficult to manipulate the heel-mounted magazine release with one hand.

Reviews of the Beretta Tomcat pocket pistol can be found below. Newer reviews of this gun can be found further down the page. Please write a review of your own if you've had a chance to use this pistol in the past and can shed some first-hand insight on the good and the bad that comes with owning one.

Reviews

20 Reviews for “Beretta 3032 Tomcat .32 Pistol”
  1. Paul Mattson says:

    Outstanding and dozens of our clients love it!

  2. C Ray says:

    Once we get past the “I don’t want any gun smaller than a .40 S&W for concealed carry” -which is actually an indictment of a CALIBER/ROUND rather than a fair evaluation of a GUN…then we’re looking a great little package. The Tomcat is small but not “too small”. That is, it’s big enough to allow a quick grab and consistent presentation in a stressful situation. The trigger guard allows most anyone to get his fat trigger finger onto the trigger…although the short grip may mean that he might have a tight fit for even only two fingers on the grip and one under the magazine. In comparison, although a Ruger LCP (in .380) is smaller and flatter, it’s almost TOO small to easily get a good grip on pull from a pocket or holster. Like most automatics, the Tomcat can be ammo picky. I tried 13 different rounds from 9 manufacturers and found 3 loads that shoot both reliably and close to point of aim. 3 other loads were prone to FTE. 1 shot to point of aim but unreliably. The other 6 shot reliably but not to point of aim. I own one each of them both in the “Inox” version and the standard blue. Both guns have over 500 round through them. I can detect no problem areas as far as structural failure/damage. Again, like most autos, they need a ‘break in’ period to settle down.

  3. I have the Tomcat and have used it on the range a few times at 20 feet. Easy to shoot. Use it for carry sometimes, depending on my dress and locations visited.. Easy to carry in pocket holster or belt holster. I prefer the belt holster over the pocket holster because access is easier with the former.

  4. Gerry M says:

    Bought mine in 2004 for concealed carry. I shoot about 50 practice rounds every 6-8 months. In 2011 during its yearly shoot, the pistol started to shoot a little left then 2″ left. The barrel realease lever broke out of the frame. Not enough to release the barrel but enough to change the impact point. The factory said this was a fairly common event. I sent it back to the factory via St Louis and a few months later they sent me a new one and charged my credit card $162 for shipping and inspection to honor the warrantee. It was their design problem but I was compelled to pay for it. I thought that Beretta was better than that, guess not. No more Berettas for me or my friends.

  5. I thought stovepipes were virtually unheard of on this pistol, according to Berreta, even with different ammo, 71gr. I get 1 every 30 rounds. very disapointed so far but i’ll keep trying different ammo, got a few left to try.

  6. Mark Connolly says:

    I bought the Tomcat for my wife about 2 years ago, as she lost the use of the .38 snubnose revolver that she formerly used for conceal protection. My wife is very small with small hands, and found it very difficult to use as double action pistol, due to strong trigger pull. I had my Gunsmith massage/ polish all moving parts to lighten pull, and it helped, but she still has issues with gun.She can’t rack it, which is not a big issue, due to the cool tip out barrel, but the recoil is a bit much, even though only a .32, due to 14oz light weight. Also a huge issue with this gun, particularly with people with BIG hands, is the danger of being cut badly as the slide kicks back. This happened to me once, and to my gunsmith, who needed stitches!! Seriously, watch your hand near thumb base doen’t get in the way of this or you will NOT forget it. It requires one to grip very firmly, and low to prevent being smacked. It just barely hit my wife once as well, and she has very small hands.The slide has the two very sharp ends on either side!
    Other than the blood- tales, this is a fun little gun to shoot, and easy to conceal, however I am looking for a .38 or .357mag in the Luger LCR, or a .38 snubnose revolver like she used to have and love, because when Mommas unhappy, wer’e all unhappy!!

  7. Adam says:

    I got a tomcat in trade and let’s just say I’m not impressed! I’ve had eaight stove pipes and three failure to feeds out of 150 rounds. I bought a kahr mk40 and love it!!

  8. Adam says:

    I took my tomcat out today and had three stove pipes and two failure to feeds and one failure to eject. That’s with two different mags and fore different kinds of ammo. I also tried gold dot spears it seams to make no difference. I’ve also had several occasions win I took the tomcat out of my uncle mikes pocket holster the mag release had bin pushed wile in the holster and the mag fell out! Any way otherwise I thank it is a nice well made pocket poper. I just wish it was one I culd depend on. I carry a ruger lcp380,kahr cw40,kahr pm40,kahr mk40,desert eagle micro 380 and a XDM 45. But the tomcat stays at home.

  9. P.J. says:

    I have had a Tomcat .32 for over 10 years. I take it out and put a box of ammo through it about once per year. I have never had a problem with its performance. Never a jam. Never an FTE. It’s quite accurate for a pocket gun, and it has enough weight to feel like a real gun in your hand, rather than a toy. Also, it has an exposed hammer, SA/DA action, and a safety lever for old-school types who want more control over the operation of the gun than they can get from the DAO pocket guns.

    Drawbacks: This gun kicks harder than you’d expect for a .32, despite the solid feel of the gun. Compared to a Kel-Tec or similar polymer guns, the Tomcat feels pretty heavy in your pocket. For that amount of weight in your pocket, you could have a 9mm now (LC9, PF-9, Nano, etc.). The 14-18 oz. pocket 9’s were not available when I purchased the Tomcat. I can only imagine how those kick, because I haven’t tried one yet.

    Because of the weight to power ratio, I’m thinking of switching to a 9mm DAO pocket gun. But the Tomcat is a very compatible gun for a lot of people who want a reliable pocket pistol with the features not found on the new polymer DAO’s.

  10. Jack Blankenship says:

    When I read reviews it always amazes me why people will get rid of a gun, when an easy fix can correct the problem. I’ve owned a Beretta 3032 for years and i never leave home without it. Sure there have been a few problems at first, but they were easily fixed, and you don’t have to be a gunsmith. Many people complain about Stove Pipes or Jams. Sometimes this will occure if not broken in properly or the use of European 32acp Ammo. But for the most part, all that is required is a replacement Magazine. I had occasional stove pipes (failure to eject and feed),in 2 our of 4 Factory Magazines. Hummm, I ordered two of the Promag Magazines, one 7round, one 10 round. No more stove pipes, even with Hollow Points. Mags are the biggest cause of Jams. As for the Cracked Frames, I’ve put over a 1,000 rounds thru mine and no problem. Of course I stick with the Factory Spec’s. Keep the Ammo at or under 133 lbs of Energy. As far as it being too big or bulky, Not even. It’s a perfect fit in my back pocket, fast and easy to get to and no outline. I’ve had dozens of pocket pistols and the little 3032 Beretta recoil is a pussy cat and easy to control. I have big hands and it has never bitten me. To me, it is the pefect pocket pistol.

  11. stan jones says:

    I have owned my 3032 TomCat for over a year. It is accurate, gives enough kick but not too much. It is compat and easily hidden. But it jams every twenty rounds or so using the Magazine that came with the new weapon. I have tried hollowpoint ammo and that is the worst. Now using FMJ rounded tip and still the frequency is bad. A screw has come out of the grip after only 150 rounds. Last week the safety broke and is locked in the “off” position. I have shot no more than 200 rounds through the weapon with these problems. I have zero confidence in the weapon due to jamming and the safety is now useless. To mail it off for inspection and repairs will cost way too much money. Tomorrow I will call HQ customer service in Maryland and see what they can do for me. Two Baretta dealers have told me the gun has been aproblem for Baretta since day one, and that I should return the gun to Baretta and ask for a replacement or for a credit for a new Baretta weapon.

  12. Grammar Nazi says:

    Good gun. I prefer the Inox version to the black. No problems so far in about 400 rounds and the accuracy is acceptable for its intended purposes.

    What does bother me is that people who can’t spell and can barely construct a functional paragraph are allowed to own firearms. Scary…

  13. Ron M. says:

    Just bought the Tomcat 2 days ago and put over a 150 rounds thru it. No problems at all. I do agree with an earlier review about the plastic pocket pistols. I have a Taurus TCP and while it has the .380 power, I hated the fact it wasn’t easy to grip or shoot with large hands. I like the fact that the Tomcat has a thumb lift safety as well. So far, I’m impressed with this little kicker. At 7 and 10 yards, it stayed tightly grouped in head and heart shots and at 15 yards, torso shots were consistent. It’s a good “get off me gun” and that’s what its intended use is. Overall, it’s easy to use, easy to conceal and easy to maintain.

  14. eddie c says:

    I have owned and carried a Tomcat for two years.It was my gun of choice for many reasons.
    1. so concealeable no one knows I carry.
    2. small enough so you ALWAYS carry.
    3. reliable(after 200 rounds broken in not a single ftf or fte in the next 1000 rounds. ANY ammo.
    4.It will hit a dinner plate at 15 yards every time.
    5. you can disassemble and clean it in 5 minutes.
    This gun is no joke! Nice features like tip-up barrel and single/double action make this a superb small ccw. I also own an LC9 but find the tomcat shoots smoother and straighter!

  15. Scott Frey says:

    I just bought a used Tomcat 32 and absolutely love it! I am new to handguns and CCW and this fits the bill for everything I wanted in a first CCW. The tip up barrel feature is great in that I can hold a full mag in the gun, without one in the chamber for safer carry…but, simply dropping a round in the barrel allows me to be ready if needed without the worry of forgetting to rack the slide in a sudden situation. Also, when carrying with one in the chamber, the extra protection of the safety feature is great for a first-timer like me. Fits the wallet holsters great and its not seen at all. A friend and I just put 100 rounds thru it at 6-7 yards with no problems with any of the ammo, and the grouping was the diameter of a soda can. And though it has a long pull on the first shot, the remainder of the rounds take little effort against the trigger to get the shot off. And its so incredibly easy to take apart to clean. Absolutely love it! ( its got my Ruger LCP beat hands down! )

  16. Jerry N says:

    My Tomcat 3032 is new and I’ve only shot has been terrible.

  17. Jerry N says:

    My Tomcat is new. I’ve only shot 50-100 rounds thru it and its been terrible. A lot of FTF problems. I’ve tried Fiocci hollow points and it gets jammed and wont feed after1 or 2 shots. Privvi ammo (also hollow points) are better but not much. Its frustrating since I also own a Bobcat (.22 LR) and I absolutly love it. Everything about the Bobcat is fabulous, which is why I eagerly bought the Tomcat (for the larger caliber). I emailed Beretta asking them to recommend a specific type of ammo but have not received a reply. Can anyone out there tell me what works in their Tomcat? HELP !!!! I’ll keep trying other ammo and even a new magazine but I think this gun is on my “short” list.

  18. tom h. says:

    I have owned a 3032 tomcat for about 8 months now. It has replaced my other handguns for concealed carry and for basic home defense purposes.

    As far as ‘stovepipes’ go, I will ask the reviewers if this occurred on the first round fired. I find that since it is such a small firearm and uses a ‘light’ caliber round, that folks often underestimate it and fail to grip it tight enough. Since it is a blowback design, and lacks a mechanical extractor, ‘limpwristing’ will almost always result in a fail to extract (FTE) or fail to feed (FTF) situation. I often fail to grip it tight enough on the first round I fire at the range and get a FTE/FTF situation. It is ALWAYS remedied when I grip it tighter during subsequent rounds.

    I have been a ‘bad boy’ and fired fiocchi ammunition that produces 168 lbs/ft muzzle energy (similar to 380 energy levels) in mine. After a couple boxes of this “over-powered” or +P ammo, I still do not have any frame cracks. I have the standard, older model 3032 tomcat without the inox or wide-slide. In all honesty, I think that out of the tens of thousands of tomcats made, about 20 or 30 have actually had a cracked frame. Similarly, I have heard of the 92FS/M9 suffering from cracked frames – however, I used these extensively during my time in the USMC Infantry and never had any problems, nor did I observe any problems with any of the M9’s that were issued to others in my platoon. I honestly think that their reliability and durability is as good or better as compared to other handguns.

    As far as my ‘credentials’ go, I am a former Infantry Marine, having served in a Weapons Platoon in an Infantry Company. I have extensive training with 45ACP and 9mm handguns. I currently own handguns in 22LR, 40S&W, and 32ACP and shoot each caliber frequently.

    With any new auto-loading firearm, you must allow it a ‘break-in’ period of at least 200 rounds. In addition, polishing the feed-ramp is a necessity. If you haven’t polished the feed-ramp, and have shot less than 500 rounds through it, yet complain of FTF of FTE failures, then you haven’t properly broken-in the firearm and demonstrate that you are not qualified to discuss the pros and cons of various handgun models. Above statements of “I have shot 100 rounds and it has frequent FTF” should be discounted due to the inherent ignorance of the standard ‘break-in’ procedures for any auto-loading firearm.

  19. blinddog says:

    I bought a Tomcat for my wife, but before I gave it to her I took it out for a good workout at the range. I shot both round ball and hollow point and did not have a problem, the pistol performed perfectly.I will go along with Tom H. and say that the stove piping etc. is probably caused by limp wristing, the pistol must be held firmly. All in all I really like the pistol and think that it will make a fine defensive firearm for my wife. If you buy one when you first take it out remember to clean the barrel after every 10 or 15 rounds to keep it clean during the break in period. That will help the performance of your new pistol.

  20. Javier C. says:

    I bought a Tomcat back in the 1990’s. Found it to be easily concealable and light enough to carry all day without discomfort. Kept it until the day a nephew graduated from Police Academy. I had promised him a choice of any of my concealable handguns as a gift for successful completion of the courses. He looked at all three pistols in that category which I owned, and chose the Tomcat over a Walther PPK/S in .380, and a Star M40 Firestar in .40 S&W caliber.
    I plan on buying another Tomcat when they become more available again. Want the INOX version this time, if I can find it.

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