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Beretta Cheetah
Beretta 84F-JH01.jpg
The Beretta 84F Cheetah.
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin Italy
Production history
Manufacturer Beretta
Produced 1976–2013
  • 81FS: 685 gm/24 oz
  • 82FS: 630 gm/22 oz
  • 83FS: 640 gm/23 oz
  • 84FS: 660 gm/23 oz
  • 85FS: 620 gm/22 oz
  • 86FS: 660 gm/23 oz
  • 87BB: 570 gm/20 oz
  • 87 Target: 835 gm/29 oz
  • 89: 1160 gm/41 oz
  • 172 mm/6.77 in: 81, 82, 84, 85, 87
  • 177 mm/6.97 in: 83
  • 185 mm/7.28 in: 86
  • 225 mm/8.86 in.: 87 Target
  • 240 mm/9/45 in: 89
Barrel length
  • 97 mm/3.82 in: 81, 82, 84, 85, 87
  • 102 mm/4.02 in: 83
  • 111 mm/4.37 in: 86
  • 150 mm/5.91 in: 87 Target
  • 152 mm/5.98 in: 89

Action Blowback
Feed system

Magazine of capacity;

  • 7 rounds: 83
  • 8 rounds: 85, 86, 87, 89
  • 9 rounds: 82
  • 10 rounds: 87 Target
  • 12 rounds: 81
  • 13 rounds: 84

The Beretta Cheetah, also known by its original model name of "Series 81", was a line of compact blowback operated semi-automatic pistols designed and manufactured by Beretta of Italy. They were introduced in 1976 and include models in .32 ACP (Models 81 and 82), .380 ACP (9 mm Short) (Models 83, 84, 85 and 86) and .22 LR (Models 87, 87 Target and 89). Beretta discontinued importation of the Cheetah to the United States in 2013, however it is still a currently available model in Europe per the Italian Beretta website [1]


81 and 82[edit]

These two models are chambered for the .32 ACP cartridge. The 81 has a double stacked magazine with 12 round capacity, while the 82 has a single stacked magazine with nine round capacity and resultant thinner grips.

83, 84 and 85[edit]

These models[2] are chambered for the .380 ACP (9 mm Short) cartridge. The 84 has a double stacked magazine with 13 round capacity, while the 83 and 85 have a single stacked magazine with seven and eight round capacity respectively, and resultant thinner grips. The 84 and 85 have a 3.81" barrel, while the 83 has a 4" barrel.


The model 86 is also chambered for the .380 ACP (9 mm Short) cartridge, but differs significantly from other models in the series, because it has a redesigned front end with a tip-up barrel that hinges at the muzzle to open the breech. This allows the shooter to load a cartridge directly into the chamber and not have to operate the slide.


There are two distinct 87 models both chambered for .22 LR. The standard model is similar to other models, but the 87 Target has a longer barrel and slide, can accept optical sights, and is single action only.


The model 89[3] is also chambered for the .22 LR and is designed for competition and range training, with a lightweight frame and ergonomic grips.


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.

Base versions (no letter suffix)[edit]

Base versions of models 81 through 87 are noted for having a rounded trigger guard and generally fewer safety features than subsequent versions. Safety is ambidextrous and frame-mounted. The frame is alloy, the slide is blued steel and the standard grips are wood.

B versions[edit]

The B versions of models 81, 82, 84, and 85 introduced an automatic firing pin safety, a shorter extractor and grooved front and back straps.

BB versions[edit]

The BB versions of models 81, 82, 84 and 85 have more serrations on the slide, white dot and post sights and other subtle changes.

F versions[edit]

The F versions of models 81, 82, 84 and 85 introduced the "combat" trigger guard with a squared-off front that allows for a finger hold, plastic grips, a proprietary "Bruniton" finish, a chrome-plated barrel and chamber, and a combination safety and decocker lever, which when operated in the middle position disconnects the trigger bar from the hammer, and in the upper position lowers the cocked hammer.

FS versions[edit]

Current production models of .32 ACP and .380 ACP Cheetah pistols are in the FS configuration (e.g. 81FS).[4] In models 81, 82, 84 and 85 they include internal improvements over the F versions that are not visible during casual inspection.

Recently (2014-2015) both 84fs and 85fs .380 models have been available new for sale in the U.S. They are occasionally available in both the Bruniton and nickel finishes.

Browning BDA 380[edit]

From 1977 to 1997 Beretta built the Browning BDA 380, which is essentially the model 84BB with a standard ejection port (instead of an open slide), a slide-mounted decocker/safety and a spur hammer.




  1. ^
  2. ^ 81 Series (Cheetahs) semi-auto Owner's Manual
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Регистрационный номер: 3.1/003 Пистолет служебный BERETTA - 84"
    Постановление Правительства Республики Казахстан № 1305 от 28 декабря 2006 года "Об утверждении Государственного кадастра гражданского и служебного оружия и патронов к нему на 2007 год"

External links[edit]

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