I have long been a fan of the Beretta 84FS Cheetah aesthetics. It's a sharp-looking pistol that resembles similar models on the market but with enough of its own touches to make it unique. Made from a combination of plastic and alloy, the Beretta 84 is lightweight and versatile, making it ideal for use as a daily concealed carry.
Once Upon a Time in Italy
The Beretta 84FS is made in Italy and then shipped over here to the States. It's interesting to note that you can find the Beretta 84FS Cheetah on the manufacturer's Italian website, but not on its American one.
As a pistol that's been around since the mid-to-late 1970s, it's pretty easy to track down used models of the Beretta 84 for sale.
There are brand new versions if you're opposed to buying used, but it will cost you significantly more. With that being said, could the Beretta 84 Cheetah be such a well-made pistol that you'll have no issues buying a used model? On the other hand, if you are looking for your first gun, buying used should not be an option - take a look at this review instead.
To answer that, we need to take a closer look at this fabled gun to see if it lives up to the hype.
Beretta 84fs Cheetah Features Galore
Today, the FS-designated Beretta Model 84 has enough features to please a variety of preferences, including:
- Single-action/double-action trigger
- Frame-mounted ambidextrous safety decocker
- Reversible magazine release
- Blowback operation
- Magazine safety
- Holds 13 rounds
- Red-dot sights
And that's only the start of what this 380 ACP pistol brings to the table. Depending on your tastes, the Beretta 84 comes in either a nickel-plated or matte black variant. The latter looks fine, but there is something classy about the nickel version of the Beretta 84 that the black can't compare to.
The black Beretta model comes equipped with plastic grips, while the nickel pistols give you the choice of walnut or plastic grips.
The Beretta 84 is a very well-crafted pistol with a unique sight system. The grips feature a checkered texture design, while the rear and front portions of the frame are grooved for added grip.
The sights are designed with red dots, where the front sight is a complete red dot and the rear sight shows only the bottom half. Aligning these dots until you see one complete red dot allows for accurate aiming.
Although I was accustomed to the more common white-dot layout, I found this setup to be surprisingly workable. Many users praise the Beretta 84, with some owning it for decades. The fat grip, resulting from the stagger stack magazine, fits comfortably in the hand.
Additionally, the pistol's capacity to carry rounds is impressive, allowing for extended firing without interruption. The wood grips add a touch of elegance to the firearm.
However, the Beretta 84 is highly regarded as a great shooter, and owners cherish their enduring connection to this reliable and accurate weapon.
I really appreciate how sturdy this Beretta cheetah gun feels. The Beretta 84FS has very little play.
The slide feels crisp and moves smoothly on the alloy frame. Aesthetically speaking, the Beretta Cheetah is a breath of fresh air.
The finish is appealing, and the matte appearance gives this double-action gun a bit of a utilitarian look. What's more, the barrel is well-balanced, both in appearance and tactical function. In concordance with the grip, the two work well together.
You won't find an accessory rail on this self-defense handgun, but that's part of what makes this model look so balanced. And speaking of balance, the Beretta 84FS feels wonderful in hand. Its weight is evenly dispersed throughout the pistol, making it easy to hold and shoot. For other top home-defense options, follow this link.
I've used my fair share of handguns that are simply too heavy along the barrel, causing some issues with reliable, consistent aiming and accurate firing.
On the Beretta Cheetah 84FS, the thumb safety serves as the decocker. You can see a small red dot whenever you have the safety lever down, letting you know that the gun is ready to be fired. However, you can always leave the lever in the up position, just like a Model 1911's thumb safety. In doing so, the trigger becomes disengaged from the hammer.
Whenever you are ready to fire the handgun, simply move the decocker lever in the down position. One aspect worth mentioning is that I found the decocker to be quite stiff and somewhat difficult to push up.
Cause for Concern
The possibility of accidentally decocking the pistol is slim. Furthermore, whenever you push up on the decocker lever, it tends to release about halfway, requiring substantial pressure to complete its activation.
Now, with that said, there is an area of great concern here. Even with the decocker moved to the halfway position that I just described, squeezing the trigger will cause the hammer to hit the firing pin, thus firing the gun.
Therefore, you must always make sure to keep your finger off of the trigger when actuating the decocker, as there is no margin for error.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
One of my favorite aspects of the Beretta 84FS Cheetah is its ergonomics. I find them to be reminiscent of the Model 1911. The pistol feels great in hand. Aiming is absolutely on point here, thanks to the stellar grip-angle. Wherever you aim the Beretta 84FS is where it's going to shoot.
It's worth noting that since this Beretta is considered a midsize handgun, the grip isn't very long. As such, those of you with larger hands will be faced with a bit of a quandary. I, too, prefer longer grips. However, I found this one to provide just enough to hold on to.
If you've had any experience with a Glock 19, the Beretta 84FS Cheetah is no different when it comes to the grips. So, if you like the Glock 19 and the way the gun felt in your hand, you're going to like this Beretta. In fact, you may find that you like the Beretta 84 better due to its slightly smaller size.
Aside from the grip's somewhat short stature, there is some good news for individuals with big hands. Being a double-stack model, it's wider than traditional grips. Moreover, the panels are fairly thick. All combined, the total width measures 1.37 inches.
Smaller Hands Beware
And as you might already be aware, that's considerably wider than most handguns. If you're a consumer with smaller hands, you might find the Beretta 84FS Cheetah to be a bit too thick for your liking.
If you're a fan of the Beretta 84 but wish it was slimmer, check out the Model 85, instead. As a single-stack pistol, the grip is indeed quite a bit slimmer, measuring at just 1.18 inches.
Beretta designed the Model 84FS in a way that makes field stripping a breeze. Let's take a moment to walk through this process to give you a better idea of just how easy field stripping is on this gun.
First, always make sure that the gun is unloaded, so remove the magazine.
2. Release Disassembly Latch
You'll find the disassembly latch release located on the left side of the frame. Press this button and then make sure to rotate the right-side disassembly latch 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
3. Pull Slide Assembly
Next, you want to pull the slide assembly forward and off of the frame.
4. Remove Guide Rod and Spring
After removing both the steel guide rod and spring, you can proceed to remove the barrel.
And that’s all there is to it. If you wish to disassemble the Beretta 84FS Cheetah and further, the manufacturer advises that you take it to a qualified gunsmith rather than attempt it yourself.
Shooting the Beretta 84
One of the first things I noticed about the single-action trigger pull is that it's fairly heavy. You're looking at about 7.5 pounds of pressure needed to actuate the trigger pull. As such, shooting groups can prove to be challenging.
I could definitely feel it in my hands after a few shots were fired. You'll need to be well acclimated to a heavier trigger pull before becoming proficient with the Beretta 84 gun, despite its appealing design for concealed carry. It's important to be mindful of the trigger and how it can affect your experience.
In terms of shooting capabilities, I found the Beretta 84 gun quite enjoyable. It's easy to shoot on its own, but the trigger does slightly diminish the overall enjoyment. Additionally, the weight required to fire the gun affects accuracy more than it should.
Overall, the Beretta 84 is one of my favorite .380 pistols, and it offers the flexibility of a conversion to 7.65mm with a simple barrel and magazine swap. Rapid-fire drills are a breeze with this firearm. I've carried the same Glock 21 on duty for 22 years, yet the Beretta remains my personal favorite.
I own two of these, both single stacks in Brunton and nickel finishes, and they feature the squared trigger guard and safety with the de-cocker. They are easily the finest .380 pistols ever made. Concealed carry pistols always involve compromises.
In my opinion, 9mm is better suited for experienced shooters who have mastered recoil management through extensive practice. For beginners, it's advisable to start with a moderately sized firearm that fires a lighter ammunition. The Cheetah is a highly attractive option in this regard.
The Beretta 84 is undeniably a solid gun that boasts an impressive appearance and comfortable grip. However, its shooting proficiency could be improved, primarily due to the stiff trigger. If you're in the market for a self-defense firearm, it may be worth considering other options that provide a more user-friendly shooting experience.
In certain shooting analyses, 380 pistols have shown slight advantages over their 9mm counterparts when it comes to stopping attacks. This could be attributed to factors such as accuracy and speed of follow-up shots, which are closely intertwined.
Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to carry the Beretta 84 as my primary weapon, especially with the advancements in .380 loads available today. Its ample ammunition capacity, well-balanced frame, and manageable recoil make it a fantastic all-around package. In fact, I would readily entrust it to my mother or sister for shooting practice.
In my opinion, the Beretta 84 ranks among the finest 380s ever produced. Its aesthetic design, concealability, textured grip, and numerous other features contribute to its overall appeal.