Beretta 1934 Silver - Western Arms
To mark 10 years of the Beretta/WA licensing agreement, Western Arms launched the Beretta 1934.
After some while, they launched a silver finish version (this one) and a two tone (silver frame, black slide) version. They also released a black version with a silencer.
In the Box
The typical (but tiny) beige WA box contained the gun, the manual and a few pieces of paperwork and a few BBs. There's no hop adjustment allen key or loading tool.
There are two initial impressions of the 1934. First you are struck by how tiny it is (just 6 inches long), but as soon as you pick it up, you are struck by how solid and heavy it feels.
The markings are well engraved as you come to expect of WA and the overall shape, feel and build quality are all high. Almost needless to say, with a gun from WA, there are no visible seams on the 1934.
The sights are very simple, to the point of rudimentary, but suffice for a gun of this type and are, obviously, based on the real thing.
The magazine has an extended curved finger grip at the front, which gives it a comfortable feel in the hand.
The trigger, safety, recoil rod, magazine latch and hammer are all made of metal.
The 1934 is a single action gun and lacks a decocker, but with this gun WA introduced a mechanism, a "Transfer hammer system", that allows you to pull the trigger, and let the hammer down gently, without releasing the gas from the magazine.
This is a useful feature and works well and is seen on all the recent SCW models, although WA don't recommend you do it often.
The tiny magazine is held in place with a simple magazine latch on the base of the grip, which holds the magazine very securely and it looks and works much like that on the P38. Amazingly, it holds two rows of BBs giving an impressive capacity of 20 rounds, plenty for a backup weapon and saving the plinker from having to constantly reload.
For anyone used to the modern Berettas (M9s, Cougars, M84s) the 1934 is quite unfamiliar. The safety is on the frame and doubles as a slide lock (although it does not engage when the magazine is emptied).
Part of the reason the 1934 feels so solid and well made is that the grips are (in a bizarre reversal of most real steel) made of zinc alloy, whilst the frame of the gun is heavyweight material ABS. The grips are nicely engraved and feel good (and cold to the touch) in the hand, although on this version the grips are coloured brown and supposed to look like wood (which they fail to do, although, once again, I suspect this replicates some genuine grips rather than being a WA affectation).
The silver finish, however, seems slightly odd. The slide and frame are almost grey in colour. I cannot believe this is a mistake on WA's part, given the variety of silver finishes they offer, but it looks rather like the cheap 'silver' grey finish on cheap spring pistols, which is a shame, even if it is an accurate reflection of the real steel.
There are, however, no grounds for complaint about the quality of the finish, which is even and flawless, with the exception on this example of some minor 'bubbling' on the metal safety catch.
There are quite a few markings on the gun. The left side of the slide is marked "P.BERETTA - CAL .9 SCURT - Md 1934 - BREVET" with "GARDONE V.T - 1941" below that.
On the right is a serial number "11403", which is repeated on the frame. The right side of the slide also bears the standard WA Beretta licence agreement, which (to me) detracts from the overall appearance of the smaller Berettas (the M84 and this 1934), although on this silver gun it is very faint, suggesting the silver paint slightly infills it.
The grips bear a PB script in gold medallions and there's a lanyard ring on the rear of the left side of the grip.
The foresight is a simple silver blade, but the rear sight is a metal blade with a V indentation. I found the combination of a dark rear sight and the silver foresight strangely hard to use, mainly in that I found it difficult to find the edges of the foresight blade in the notch of the rear.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the 1934 delivered reasonable accuracy.
The best 5 rounds (the sequence is shown as squares on the target) fell in a 2.25 inch (5.5 CM) radius, with all 6 spreading over 3.75 inches (10 CM), although it must be said I was not shooting well that day as all the tests required two attempts of 6 to deliver fair results. In similar conditions, the black gun (which is basically the same) delivered much better results.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Power wise, as you might expect from such a small gun, things are less impressive.
Over 10 shots, the 1934 averaged just 170 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas and Excel .2g BBs) indoors (at 12C).
Even allowing for the cold, experience suggests this would only equate to about 200 fps at 20C, so it is never going to work as a practical skirmish sidearm, but that was never the intention of either the real steel or airsoft pistol.
Remove the magazine and push the slide back to the lock position.
Push the barrel back into the slide and it will angle upwards (see photo below) and lift backwards out of the slide.
Once the barrel is out, the slide and recoil rod and spring will slide forward off of the frame.
Overall, the 1934 is an impressive little gun.
Barely bigger than the palm of your hand, but a fully functional GBB, it provides an interesting alternative (albeit at a higher price) to those tiny pocket NBBs as a last-ditch backup weapon.
Even as a collector's piece, it is worth considering, with lots of unusual and unfamiliar features on a GBB and being one of the few non Beretta 92 or Colt 1911 based guns around.
Personally, I would stick with the simple black finish, as I found the silver unconvincing, but each person must decide that on their own and the overall finish is of a high quality.
Weight : 560g
Realism : ***
Quality : ****
Power : ***
Accuracy : **** - I've been generous here, as the black gun performed very well.
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