The Bobcat Model 21 is Beretta's older pocket pistol. The gun is almost exactly the same as the Tomcat in form and function with the significant difference being in that it is chambered for either the .22LR or .25 Auto. This review set is for the .22LR version of the pistol.
The Beretta's Bobcat functions as a double-action-only gun which is streamlined to provide a snag-free presentation on the target when drawn from the pocket. The gun weighs in at just 11.5 ounces and is less than 5” in overall length. Regardless of its small size, the gun is known to handle well as Beretta engineers have done a good job in matching both the frame and barrel to the specified cartridges. This pocket pistol is known to provide good accuracy at close range and its reliability is above average as well.
All Bobcat pistols feature a tip-up barrel which allows the gun to be both loaded and cleared without any attention given to the slide. This is a major advantage to some shooters who tend to prefer revolvers for the simple fact that racking a slide proves difficult for them. The Bobcat pocket pistol features internal safety systems as well as an external thumb safety.
The Model 21 Bobcat comes in two finishes. The most common setup is a black steel slide matched to a black anodized aluminum frame. A second “Inox” version trims the slide in bright stainless steel complementing a bright aluminum frame.
Below you'll find all available reviews for the Beretta Bobcat pocket pistol in .22 Long Rifle. Please write a review of your own if you've had the chance to use this gun in the past so your experience can benefit others in the worldwide shooting community. The .25 Auto Bobcat has its own review set so please be sure to submit your review in the proper place.
Bought the Beretta Model 21A from a friend used. Took it out and fired two clips through it and it fired well with out problems. I was not very accurate with it but it is a close range pistol and since this gun is for my wife I think she could defend herself with it. However I took her out a week ago to fire the Beretta and we shot two clips threw it with one jam. I cleared the weapon and she finished the clip. The third clip the slide locked back with the hammer in firing position. As she handed it over to me to clear it fired ! The trigger was locked back and the gun was very unsafe. I cleared the Beretta and we reloaded the clip and the gun continued to lock back and malfunction. The ammunition I fired through the Beretta was Remingtons Golden .22LR. I looked it up on the internet and saw where several folks said it was dirty ammunition and they had problems with it in automatic rifles and pistols. I've taken the gun to a gun smith to get his take and for him to clean it. I think the recommendations prior are probably correct. You need to shoot quality high powered ammunition and clean firing quality ammunitions. One of the reasons I do not like automatic's is they can fail at the worst times due to being dirty. My carry is an 8 Shot .22Mag revolver and it funcitons and fires.
In this gun, as well as the old High Standard .22 derringers, you should use CCI ammo. CCI's have thicker rims, and these allow the firing pin to make full contact. Some of the ammo with thinner rims gets dented by the firing pin, but it does not hit deep enough to fire the cartridge.
I have had a Bobcat 22 caliber for a couple years in the black finish which is a parkerized finish. I could only pull the action back with difficulty and it would not eject all of the different kinds of ammo I had. Being a tool and die maker by trade I took the gun apart and polished areas that the parkerized finish had made the gun difficult to cycle. There are two main springs that are actuated when the gun fires. I cut each spring shorter by an 1/8". After this work the gun will fire any ammo I put in and I can pull the receiver back half the effort required before I did the work to the gun. I realize this may not be for everyone, but I wanted the pistol to fire at all times which it does now.
I have sent the 21A back to the factory for warranty service. No change. I have tried mini-mags, stingers, etc. No change. I have lubed it, prayed for it, done everything which I could do. No change. The manual discourages the use of high-powered ammo. Yet, that is all I hear on the reviews. This object is the Yugo of firearms. All it does is fail to feed. It is of no use as a concealed carry gun and no use on the range as all I do is fight it. BTW I am a military veteran and grew up in rural Oklahoma and am familiar with firearms. I have a Ruger Single Six which I love.
I have an older bobcat that shoots .22 shorts only. It also requires high velocity ammo to function properly. I'm thinking about getting a new 21A Inox but the description at the top of this page says that the Bobcat is double-action-only. Mine's not. Is this true? I know the Taurus knockoff is DOA but has Beretta gone that route also?
I own a Baretta 21A. I was going to sell it, as I had excessive failure to feed (FTF) and failure to eject (FTE)problems (see the many complaints on this model in other posts). Am I very glad I didn't sell this excellent little gun. All issues resolved! First: the gun is "somewhat" ammo sensitive. The CCI Stingers and Mini-Mags will work the best. Why? Because they are higher powered ammo! The gun has no extractor. Remember "for every reaction there is an equal opposite reaction?" You have to hold this gun firmly; almost like you're pushing forward to insure the gun won't push you hand back negating the force of ejection. Clean then lubricate it well. I use light gun grease on the rails. You can tell where to use grease from looking at the metal to metal wear marks created by the slide after having fired the gun for a number of rounds. NOW OPERATE THE SLIDE - big difference? I use light oil on the hammer mechanism, and also on the firing pin. I also clean my magazines, and put very light oil on the inside of the magazine - the result - no FTF problems. If I had gotten rid of this gun and later learned the information above I would have been very upset to say the least. It will fire as fast as I can squeeze the trigger as smooth as glass! Again, all issues resolved! Question: Would six (6) 22lr rounds in a perpetrator cause as much tissue trauma as 1 of a larger caliber? Consider: re-sighting (re-aiming) guns with substantial recoil i.e. larger caliber bigger kick; they're more difficult to keep on target. A 22lr can be held on target easily - negligible recoil. Accuracy? Make an effort to keep your front sight on target before, through, and after the break (fire) point! I target shoot this "belly gun" at 50 feet.
The 21A has no extractor. It relies on the blowback of the round to open the slide enough for a little finger that protrudes from the face of the slide to tip the spent casing to the side and out of the way. This works well with the right ammo but with the wrong ammo it will constantly jamb. I use cci stingers and have shot hundreds of rounds through mine in 20+ years with good results. Is it the right ccw gun? .22s are too light in my opinion but no other gun is more concealable.
I bought a used Model 21 that was the gloss finished with wooden stocks.I thought with its tip-up design I could carry shotshells while fishing in snake territory. I've not had any feeding problems as of yet. I have used a hundred rounds of CCI Stinger with complete reliability. However at 7 yards my pattern looks as if it came out of a shotgun.It looks as if I may have some imperfections at the crown which I'll have a gunsmith look at. My Beretta 950 .25 auto is so accurate that I can consistantly hit spent shotgun shells at 7 yards. I even harvested a squirrel at 15 yards during hunting season. I won't get rid of this one but I sure wish that .22 would shoot as well. I'll keep trying. Could be shooter error.
I've had my 22A since 1990 (when they came blued with wood grips). Over the years I found it to be reliable with any 'coated' .22LR name brand ammunition. For me, it seems the naked lead was the cause of the stove pipes. I never got a 'jam' (as I would define it), but the spent casing failed to fully eject, so a 'stove pipe', or 'chimney'. I suspect it was that lead built up in the barrel more quickly with the uncoated bullets. Fast forward 15 years to last week. It has sat in its rug in the safe and I have discovered that it fires the first round fine, but the second round does not feed. The first round ejected and cleared without incident. I have purchased a new magazine for it as I strongly suspect that leaving the magazine fully loaded with the spring under tension all those years was not a good thing to do. I haven't had a chance to shoot it, but worst case is I have an extra magazine and a mystery to solve. So, don't fill your magazine to capacity unless you are shooting through the rounds. Leave a little space for the spring so it is not completely compressed for extended periods of time. I also caution against use of this gun by someone who can't at least pull the slide far enough open to clear a stove pipe/chimneyed round. Although the tip-up barrel is great for those with weaker hands, if you can only get one round off and can't clear the slide in case of a misfeed or stove pipe, then this gun may not be a good choice for you. I also have a North American Arms .22 magnum revolver. I find it to be a better pocket pistol because I don't have to fight an awkward safety. I like my 22A to shoot for fun and as a 'drawer gun' (because I don't need the safety that way). For a carry pocket pistol, I prefer the NAA. I also regularly carry a Walther P-5 Compact (9mm) and have recently purchased a Glock 26, which will replace the Walther as my primary carry as it has now become a collectible. YMMV
Don't worry about this 22 auto. Keep it clean, use a very light gun grease on the moving parts, use a fast powerful bullet, and it will shoot like crazy. All this stuff I read about non-reliabilty and stuff like that, I can only say one thing, clean little semi-automatics, even the saturday night specials, run like greased lightning when they are treated like they should be. I am a xxxx (can't tell you), and in case you do not know what that is or who I am; I am one of those guys who, in effect and in legal court proceedings; terminate parental rights. Terminate means final, no visitation, no phone calls, ever, with your kids. Well they deserved it. Anyway, after about a decade of this work, there are some people who hate me. And I guess I can see why. Anyway, what do I carry? Sometimes a Glock 36 45, sometimes a Colt Mustang 380, and almost always a Bobcat 21a. I just plain will defend myself with this pistol. It is not the biggest, nor the baddest, but it is in my pocket. I know what I am doing; I hope you do too.
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