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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, new gun owner here.

I just bought a Beretta 85. I've shot pistols, but I'm definitely a beginner. I researched quite a bit, and I'm very comfortable with my choice. I've read a lot of critique about this gun, and I guess i don't understand a lot of the debate yet. I bought this for self-defense, and the stun baton I have just isn't giving me the security i need. After some practice and work with the weapon, I plan to apply for a CCW.

The first thing I loved about it is the safety features. I REALLY like that the gun doesn't fire when the magazine is out. That safety feature alone really gave me, a new gun owner a lot of comfort. I've been good about following the instructions in the safety course, and I'm humble with my experienced military/ex military friends who help me stay rigorous with the standard safety practices, but that really was a big deal for me.

A lot of people don't like the size/power ratio. This is the discussion/debate I don't understand too well. First, I fired a number of those light little 9mm guns, and man, I'd be lucky to hit a truck with those little things! Plus, they're so light, they jump like crazy! The same was true for the little .380s. The same stuff people were talking about as a problem: Too much weight for the caliber, too large for the caliber, were kind of a good sell for me. I'm sure some of you experienced hands can keep a solid grip on those little guns, but I had serious trouble! Sure, I guess I can learn, but, honestly, I'm struggling to learn with this gun, I respect the heck out of you guys who can make nice tight groupings at 5 yards consistently - still struggling. But the 85 iss VERY comfortable in my hand, and the weight and size is a big part of that. It may be because i'm a small guy, but pretty strong for my size. So, honestly, I like the things a lot of people complain about. Perhaps that will change.

I also wanted a really dependable gun that could shoot straight. I'm sure there are a lot of others out there, and I still have a lot to learn, but I need to HIT the target for the thing to work! Hand comfort and weight really played into that for me as a positive. I can at least track my mistakes with this little guy and learn - some of those others made it hard to think past getting and keeping a solid grip. Sorry, I know I'm new and suck as a shooter, but i'm being honest, here.

I don't understand the caliber debate either. I'm mostly in an urban environment, and I wanted a caliber that was going to penetrate the target enough to give me the defense i needed at a fairly close range, but not much more. Also, God forbid I have to pull the thing out one day - I'd like a gun small enough to carry, but big enough to LOOK CLEARLY like a scary gun at 5-10 yards at night- so that hopefully I don't HAVE to fire it. That was another appealing feature about the size of the gun. I felt it was right on that line. I really don't think at close range a 380 ISN'T going to do what I want it to, and if, God forbid, I have to fire it, I wouldn't want it to go through three apartments behind the target, either. So, I don't know, the smaller caliber was MORE appealing to me in that context, too. The debate on that seems to be more power, more power, MORE POWER, really only considering the target... but what about what is behind and around my target? That's where the bigger is better debate just sound strange to me. I've heard the fragmenting and mushrooming bullet arguments on that, but those seem to support the effectiveness of the 380 as much as support toning down the larger calibers in urban settings.

Well, I guess I'm putting myself on the firing line here with this little post, so fire away, and I'm glad to learn, but, either way, I love the gun, and learning to shoot is fun, especially with a gun that fits me.

Thanks, great forum!
 

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Practice, practice and practice.
I have a 84 and 92. Both are nice shooters.
It is best to get the tight groupings at 2 to 3 yards and then go to longer ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice! I'll look for ranges in my area that will let me practice at that range. Right now, the ranges I've tried won't let me go closer than 5 yards. I'm willing to bet that's pretty standard around here, but I'll try to get some buddies take me into the boonies at some point and try that out as well.
 

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Start with lots and lots of dry-fire (empty gun) practice.
You need to learn how to hold it tightly, while at the same time letting your trigger finger move loosely.
It's a skill that develops over time.

Use the forum's search function, and search on the word "isolate."
Read everything that you find.

You may feel comfortable about your pistol's magazine-disconnector feature, but it could be a liability if you ever find yourself in a real fight.
A much safer way to assure that nobody but you fires your pistol would be to maintain control of it at all times. If other people live with you, teach them gun safety.

It would help to take a beginning pistol-shooting course, since you need tips on how to control a pistol which is completely new to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your reply! I liked the magazine feature as a guard against my own stupidity, not someone wrestling my gun away from me. But that gives me food for thought, thanks!

And thanks about the course. I took the course before buying, and that's great advise! Applying the lessons consistently away from the instructor with a different gun is a whole learning curve in itself!

Oh, and the dry fire - WAY yeah! Helps a lot, but I'm still flinch firing too much instead of squeezing... nice grouping on the bottom left of the target, though (lol)! grrrr. So, I need practice!

I'll check out those posts!
 

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I had a model 84 for many years and an 85 for a few. You can't make those things jam.
The 84 fit my hand perfectly. The 85 fit almost as good for me. You should get many years of service from that Beretta.
I found both to be Great point shooters.
With today's S/D 380 ammo I feel like you should be fairly well armed.
Congrats on a fine choice.


Sam
 

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Howdy Cheetah owner. You should check out berettaforum.com and find the Series 80 threads. You will learn ALOT.

As an 84F owner, I truly appreciate the accuracy of the Cheetah. I hope some day to nab an 85F as the trimmer frame lends its self to CCW.

On the mag safety, as you advance in your shooting skills you may want to remove this and guess what, its easy. Again check the site above. The mag safety is actually an option with some pistols having it and others not.
[on the 84 its a simple spring removal, on the 85, I believe, there is a spring, action bar, and screw to remove all under the RH grip]

My Cheetah is a natural pointer for me and keeping all shots on a 6" paper plate at 15 yards is rather easy - yes I've been shooting for many years.

As for the .380 aka 9short, many in Europe rely in the .32 auto for self defense. It was a standard police round for years so a smaller cartridge is not totally without merit.

It may not be so much about power as it is 1) accuracy, 2) shot placement, 3) number of effective rounds. These may sound the same but there is a difference.

My 84 has 13 rounds, your 85 is only 8. [not counting chamber] Being that a .380 is what it is, "marginally effective, marginally ineffective", the prior items really count.

Where you hit a target can mean the difference between a disabling shot and one that just PO's the assailant. Even if your accurate.

Together these two items make the difference especially with a .380 round, but then if the gun lends itself AND you hone your skills through practice,
the .380 becomes quite potent especially at the ranges an altercation requiring its use will typically happen.

The advantage of the higher capacity model is both weight of pistol (can lessen felt recoil) and a plethora of lead to throw at target.
But even 8 rounds delivered accurately and effectively, can do the job.

This leads to the other tactic tip for .380 users is:

Keep shooting until the threat is down and stopped. [Never stop with a single shot or some joe-kool-ish double-tap]

Again 13 rounds makes a dent, and 8 rounds with a quick mag swap is 3 rounds ahead of mine. [until I reload - ;)]

Of course any self defense action needs to be based on effective and correct training as well as drills and live fire practice.
 

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Congrats on the 85. I have an older model 84F (13 rds and no mag disconnect). It is my warm weather CCW when cannot effectively conceal my CZ. It has NEVER failed me and I don't feel under protected with the .380. Practice (a lot) with cheap ball ammo and find a reliable self defense round. You will be fine with the .380 unless you are planning on going into a combat zone. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone! I'm actually quite comforted with the training required for the .380 round that I hear you guys pointing to. It means I have to develop the proper discipline and familiarity with the weapon that I really feel is paramount to carrying a lethal weapon around in a responsible way. I'm honestly pretty nervous about taking this step, but I'm not a spring chicken anymore, and don't have the testosterone fearlessness I used to when I was a younger man, and the housing crash has really changed my neighborhood for the worse. Back in the day I just would have depended on guts and grace, but... well, I'm not that young man anymore.
 

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Thanks everyone! I'm actually quite comforted with the training required for the .380 round that I hear you guys pointing to. It means I have to develop the proper discipline and familiarity with the weapon that I really feel is paramount to carrying a lethal weapon around in a responsible way. I'm honestly pretty nervous about taking this step, but I'm not a spring chicken anymore, and don't have the testosterone fearlessness I used to when I was a younger man, and the housing crash has really changed my neighborhood for the worse. Back in the day I just would have depended on guts and grace, but... well, I'm not that young man anymore.
I know where you are coming from. My spring chicken days flew the coup years ago. If things go really bad....I am too old and slow to run. My only choice is to stand my ground and rely on my training. I practice almost every weekend.
 

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Sounds like you made the best choice for you. I'm a .45 kinda' guy myself. But I'll tell you this, I certainly would not volunteer to get shot with a .380. You've chosen the best gun that suits your needs and one of good quality from a reputable manufacturer. Fortunately you are open minded to the advise of others and willing to take the proper courses. Because of that I doubt that you'll ever have to use it.
 
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