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The M-21 also has some unique features of it's own, like the flip up barrel for loading single rounds, or checking the chamber. This particular model is chambered for the 22 long rifle, rather than the loathsome 25 acp that seems to be the curse of most small pistols. There are 25 acp, and even 22 short versions being produced (Jetfire, and Minx models), but the 22 long rifle is the best caliber of the three.
An amazing amount of thought and care went into the design and production of this little gun when compared to others of it's ilk. This is the highest quality pocket gun I have ever seen, although the Walther TPH is reputed to be of similar quality. The gun is frighteningly easy to clean. You simply tip up the barrel and pull the slide off of the frame. There is not even a recoil spring to worry about as the slide is driven forward by a captive spring inside of the frame.
The only criticism of the gun is more a matter of this whole class of guns rather than one of this particular model. Guns of this size are very difficult to shoot with any degree of accuracy. The sights and the guns themselves are just too small for precise shooting. On the other hand, a friend of mine is considering getting this gun for his mother whose fingers are badly twisted by arthritis. She has not got the strength to pull a slide back, but can easily pop up the barrel and load a cartridge, then pull the trigger in double action mode, making this gun a semi-auto alternative to a small revolver. The barrel is flipped up by pressing forward on a release button located just under the slide, on the left side of the frame. This is a convenient way to check for a loaded chamber, or to manually load a single cartridge.
This is a part of a whole series of small, "vest
pocket" style pistols produced by Beretta. Unlike other manufacturers of
little pistols, Beretta actually seems to take these pint sized firearms
seriously, and does not consider them to be simply entry level guns, or cheap
little pistols for people who do not know any better. Small size, and bantam
caliber aside, this is every bit as much a fighting tool as a Colt M1911,
or Beretta's own M-92. It is also light, easy to carry, and fun to shoot.
Twenty two ammunition is cheap, and is available everywhere.