Beretta 85FS .380ACP

The .380ACP cartridge represented a compromise for me between small enough to carry and big enough to stop the bad guy. Let me share my decade long testing of this weapon / cartridge with you.


  1. Triple check that the weapon is unloaded. Eject the magazine. Cycle the slide. Lock it back, look and feel to insure an empty chamber.
  2. Lock the slide into the open position.
  3. Push the takedown button in on the left, holding it there while you rotate the takedown lever (on the right side) 90 degrees down (counter clockwise)
  4. Hold the slide and release the slide stop. The slide assembly should come off in your hand.
  5. Carefully remove the recoil spring and guide (it will shoot across the room - not a captured spring)
  6. Remove the barrel from the slide.

Reassemble in reverse.

Like many of the Beretta designs, the Model 85 has an open slide. Once you've got it field stripped, take a look at the slide and realize that, caside from the mechanisms housed in the back end, it's one big ejection port. The one malfunction I've never seen with a properly maintained and lubricated Beretta pistol in the 84, 85, 92 or 96 families is a stove pipe.

I've found that my Beretta 85 will fit in many leather holsters meant for Government Model style pistols. Obviously, if the holsters have thumb straps they will be too loose to be of use, but if it's an open-top "slide" design holster, it'll probably work. For off-duty carry this is quite a comfortable little gun. With nine in the weapon and a spare magazine of eight more (17 rounds total) you can feel relatively well stocked for typical off-duty requirements. (How many of you still carry a five-shot revolver and no reloads?) On the other hand, if you aren't confident that the .380ACP rounds will reliably stop bad guys then a different caliber weapon may be for you. I qualify with this gun each year simply so that I can carry it should the need and/or desire occur. I've found it to be reliable, reasonably accurate and - with the exceptions noted above - easy to handle / shoot.

Stay Safe!


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