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Beretta 81 mod to 32NAA & groups


xtriggerman

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Hello folks, I bought this Beretta model 81BB recently exclusively to convert to 32NAA. My goal is to match its grouping abilities to a 32NAA casing loaded with Lehigh 55g all copper defense bullets. For now, this is what the used M81 can do at 30 feet shooting off a wooded 4X4 block as a frame rest. Prior to the rechambering, the average speed of some pretty old PMC 71g FMJ loads were 962 fps out of the 10 round string. The PPU averaged 914 fps.
  To do a conversion on a Beretta Model 81, it simply requires renting the reamer from 4D rentals for a total cost of $47 bucks, adding a model 84 380 magazine and some ammo. No other mods are needed since Beretta uses the same bolt face in their 81/84 model slides. The thick gripped Beretta is a most comfortable gun to shoot. In 32ACP its a real kitten. Stepped up to the new chambering and you know immediately, this aint your grandfathers ACP! The 80g Defensive HP's stepped out at an average of 1067fps in the pictured 10 shot string. I'm looking forward to see what kind of velocities I can generate with the 55g Lehigh copper pills. They should have some serious splash out of the Beretta's 4 3/4" barrel. Then I couldn't help giving the Guardian a go at the 30 foot target with the PMC's. There is some evidence of slight key holeing out of the Guardians shallow rifling but hitting the paper regularly at that range with those sights is still acceptable in my view.  ;D
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10 minutes ago, xtriggerman said:

Apparently Beretta uses the same recoil springs in the 32ACP and the 380ACP according to the parts listings. 

No wonder the .32 is such a sweetheart.

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I was looking to see if the 84 or 85 models could also be converted with a donor barrel, just for the sake of curiosity. But so far I don't think there's a barrel source...

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2 hours ago, TomInMN said:

I was looking to see if the 84 or 85 models could also be converted with a donor barrel, just for the sake of curiosity. But so far I don't think there's a barrel source...

Yeah, model 81 barrels are pretty much hens teeth. The very only option aside from buying an 81 is something I'v been thinking about. Numrich has Taurus model PT 57 barrels. That is a 32ACP barrel exactly like the 81 except its scaled up by about 20 percent. Iv been thinking about buying one and lathe turn and mill the smaller barrel dimensions out of it. Its a bit longer so it could be threaded and most of all, unlike the slightly loose Beretta barrel fit to frame, I could cut it to a press in friction fit to my frame, eliminating the wandering target hits all together.

  The other issue I'm trying to uncover is PTG makes the chamber reamer. The odd thing is on their web sight they list 2 different reamers. A standard 32NAA finisher and a 32NAA SAAMI spec reamer. I called them to see what the difference is and the woman said one "may not" be US made. Thats BS all PTG reamers are in house, so I emailed them the question. Nothing yet. The standard reamer is a bit oversized IMO with fired case expansion of .009 and a few cracked necks on the hornady fired casings. I'm hoping the SAAMI spec reamer is a bit tighter around the cartridge. That way, I could make a real "Target" barrel out of a PT57 barrel.  IDK, what folks would pay for one but its a play project that might have some stumpy legs on it!

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