Browning BDA .380 Auto Pistol

Browning BDA .380 pistol
Browning BDA .380 Pistol (Photo: XY)

The Browning BDA Auto Pistol resembles the Berreta Model 84 in most respects and is actually made by Beretta in Italy, but there have been one or two modifications to bring it to the specification demanded by Browning. Another plus feature is that, in the United States, it costs considerably less than an imported Beretta Model 84.

This model was sold in the United States as the Browning BDA 380. On the right side of the slide is marked Fabrique National Herstal with the FN logo followed by “Made in Italy.” In the same manner as the larger BDAs, the left side of the slide is marked “Browning Arms Company Morgan Utah and Montreal, P.Q.”


The Browning BDA is a conventional blow-back automatic pistol, perhaps unusual in having a larger magazine capacity that is common in American pistols. The principal difference between this and the Beretta 84 is the use of an enveloping slide and the addition of a slide-mounted safety and decocking lever which operates from both sides of the slide.

Browning BDA 380 Auto Pistol
Browning BDA 380 Auto Pistol (Photo: XY)

Depressing this lever lowers the hammer from a full-to-half-cock position and locks it; once the safety is down the pistol cannot be cocked by thumbing the hammer back. Pulling the trigger allows the hammer to fall from the half-cock to the fired position, without touching the firing pin. Releasing the safety allows both thumb-cocking and double-action cock-and-fire action with a single pull on the trigger.


Sights on Browning BDA pistol consist of a fixed front sight and a non-adjustable rear sight which is held in a dovetail groove and can be laterally shifted for zeroing. Accuracy is satisfactory, the pistol grouping within a five-inch circle at 50 yards. The finish is excellent, with walnut grips inlaid with the Browning medallion.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Armi Beretta SpA, I-25063, Gardone Val Trompia, Italy
Marketed by: Browning Arms, Rt #1, Morgan, UT 84050, United States
Type: Blowback double-action semi-automatic
Caliber : .380 / 9 mm SHORT
Barrel: 3.8 in (97 mm)
Weight (empty): 23 oz (652 gm)
Magazine capacity: 13 rounds
1 comment
  1. Bought one for my wife in 1987, new nickel. Ran about 50 rounds through it to get her comfortable , cleaned it and she kept it in her dresser draw. We divorced in 1989 . She died in 2017 and had willed the pistol back to me. I cleaned it oiled it up and shot a mag through it . WONDERFUL I ordered a replacement medallion for it and she is good as new. I carry it in a ‘two shoulder ” concealed carry holster rig from Craft holsters , P239 on my left side and the Browning on my right side .

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