Beretta 81 and Beretta 84

Beretta 81 vs Beretta 84 (Photo: Beretta)

Beretta 81 and Beretta 84 are members of the double-action family which appeared in 1976. They have met with considerable success both in adoption by many police and security forces and in commercial sales.

Both series of this Beretta handgun was also known as Beretta Cheetah. There are potentially five versions for models 81 through 87.

The features for each version in models 81, 82, 84 and 85 are consistent between models (i.e., the 81FS, 82FS, 84FS and 85FS all have similar features). This is not the case with models 83, 86, 87 and 89, which were not made in all versions.


In many respects, they are updated versions of the well-known Model 1934 Beretta which armed the Italian military forces until 1945, robust blowback weapons with fixed barrels and with the unique Beretta configuration of cut-away slide over the barrel. However, bringing them up to date has added double-action lockwork and magazines of much greater capacity, with a better-shaped butt frame and walnut grips.

Beretta 81 blowback double-action semi-automatic pistol
Beretta 81 blowback double-action semi-automatic pistol (Photo: XY)

The magazine release is in the forward edge of the butt beneath the trigger guard and can be located on the left or right side, as preferred The safety catch is at the rear of the slide and can be operated from either side. When the chamber contains a cartridge the extractor protrudes on the right-hand side of the slide and shows a red indication; it can also be checked by feel in the dark.

Beretta 84 blowback double-action semi-automatic pistol
Beretta 84 blowback double-action semi-automatic pistol (Photo: XY)

The Beretta 81 and Beretta 84 models are identical except for their caliber and magazine capacity; due to changes in the magazine follower, the 9 mm Berreta 84 actually manages to take one more round in the magazine than does the 7.65 mm Beretta 81; the Beretta 84 is also slightly lighter than the Berretta 81, due to the barrel having similar external dimensions but a larger bore. The Beretta 92 was a successor of this gun.

The Beretta pistols feature exceptional accuracy and reliability for their users. It is a product of their innovative engineering and exceptional finish.

Technical specification

Manufacturer: Armi Beretta SpA, I-25063, Gardone Val Trompia, Italy
Type: blowback double-action semi-automatic
Caliber:  7.65 mm ACP (Beretta 81); 380/9 mm Short (Beretta 84)
Barrel: 3.81 in (97 mm)
Weight (empty): 23.05 oz (665 g) Beretta 81; 22.05 oz (640 g) Beretta 84
Magazine capacity: 12 rounds (Beretta 81); 13 rounds (Beretta 84)


  1. Where does the 84 BB variation fall into this ?
    What if anything is different ?
    Are model 84 magazines usable to all model 84 variations ?


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