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The Beretta Model 84

The Umarex CO2 version of the Beretta Model 84 is a faithful recreation of the original. This one holds one 12 g CO2 capsule in its removable magazine and can hold 17 .177 BBs. Fans of the Italian classics are going to love this BB gun.

The Beretta Model 84 is almost completely gone from the collective concealed carry lineup. In a way, the old Beretta (and the subsequent Taurus guns built on the same design) mark an interesting footnote between the end of the revolver’s dominance and the acceptance of polymer framed pistols. In that brief window when Americans were looking for something other than a wheel-gun, guns like the Model 84 took off.

It is big for a .380. The .380 mouse guns perfected by companies like Kel-Tec made these more robust designs instantly obsolete (unless you have big hands and/or suffer from a decline in hand strength). For those people who want a softer shooting pistol that they can still hold onto easily, the 84 shines.

And part of what is seen here is a design that’s pure Beretta. The 92FS (or any of its variants, including the M9, and the 96s) have very similar lines. The open slide is a trademark of the Italian company and something they’ve been experimenting with in various forms for more than a century.

Umarex’s take on the 84 would be a useful training tool for anyone who still carries a Beretta or Taurus. It is a dead ringer for the original and will easily fit the same holsters. While some of the manual of arms is decidedly unique (like the magazine which will hold more BBs than an 84 will hold .380), it works in much the same way.

This gun has the same heft and girth as an original. The safety works the way the Beretta safeties do. They are mounted on the slide and not on the frame, and rock down to fire.

My absolute favorite part of this gun is the short reset on the trigger. The initial pull is about what you’d expect for a BB gun, or a Beretta 84. Yet it resets fast and with just a very short amount of travel. The result is a gun that rewards good trigger discipline. If you slap the trigger, you’ll miss this. If you pull once and then tease out the next shots, you will find a nice tight group on your target.

The accuracy is solid, and the trigger is what really makes it happen. I habitually drove this thing as fast as I could, marveling at the responsive feel during the rapid fire. Slow fire, though, is where it shines. The short travel of a follow-up shot means the nuances of grip and sight alignment matter.

Operation is intuitive. The CO2 capsules are housed by the magazine. BBs load there, too. Loading requires some dexterity but isn’t complex. With a couple of magazines, it is easy to replicate a magazine change. Simply load the same number of BBs into the magazine to match the round count of a .380 magazine and get to work.

The magazine release drops the mag nicely, too. The CO2 capsule in the magazine adds a bit of weight to it, making the experience more realistic. Like many BB gun magazines, getting the .177 BBs in can be frustrating, especially if you have bigger hands, but it gets better with practice.

In the end, there’s nothing I would grouse about on this gun. It is a spot-on Model 84, stunningly reproduced in BB gun form.

Oddly, Umarex hasn’t chosen to include this in their Legends line. It is worthy, for sure. The build quality and the attention to detail make this one of their best. In the end, I think it comes down to the fate of the original Beretta. There are plenty of us out there (of a certain age) that have a nostalgic soft spot for the Model 84, but it was never a legend. Classic, yes, but legend?

Don’t let that color your impression of the Umarex, though. The list price on this is $85.55. You’ll get your money’s worth out of it at that price, for sure.

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1 comment

  • John Hinckley: January 13, 2018

    I’m beginning to think that a Umarex designer has planted a hidden camera in my garage office – I’ve had a real Walther PPK/S for many years, I have several WWII vintage (1941 and 1945) Walther P.38’s, my Beretta collection includes 84’s and 85’s, and I’m really proud of my Colt Single-Action Army. Keep up the good work!

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