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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beretta Minx .22 Short 950 B and 950 BS

The Beretta Jetfire’s sister is a real Minx.

While the Jefire is chambered for the .25 ACP, the Minx is chambered for the
.22 short. The photos above show a 1960 Italian made 4’’ 950 B Minx (aka M4); notice there is no thumb safety on the left side. Also shown is a post-1968 American made 2’’ 950 BS Minx with the thumb safety. Both hold six rounds of .22 short in the magazine and one in the chamber; the Minx holds two rounds less than the Jetfire. The .25 ACP is a centerfire cartridge and I have found it to have more reliable ignition than the rimfire .22 short. Back in the 1960s, there were arguments over which load had more “stopping power.” While both loads can be lethal, both are woefully underpowered. Since the rimfire is more prone to misfires than the centerfire, and considering that the 950 has no extractor to clear the chamber of a misfired cartridge, the Jefire would appear to me to be the better of two poor choices for self-defense.

Why would anyone prefer the Minx to the Jetfire? One reason I can think of is the cost of ammo; .22 short is far cheaper than .25 ACP. Another reason is that a standard velocity .22 short has a comparatively quiet report when fired, which is something of value if one is trying not to attract attention. NOTE: The standard velocity .22 short may not cycle the action of the Minx properly, you may be better off loading one cartridge at a time via the tip-up barrel. Even with high velocity loads, my 4’’ Minx seems to cycle better than the 2’’ Minx, probably because of the added blowback pressure from the longer barrel. The slide on the 2’’ American made Minx may have more mass than the slide on the earlier Italian gun. The shorter barreled pistol seems to cycle okay after firing a few rounds, maybe due to the added blowback pressure from having a dirty barrel. In brief, I find my older Italian Minx to be more reliable than the one made in America. The Italian guns show some quality hand fitting, including fitting the mag to the pistol. The American made Minx makes good use of “allowable production tolerances.”

The slide on the Italian made Minx is marked “Tipo Flobert”; years ago, I assumed that was the name of some gun-designer working at Beretta. Now I believe it simply means "Type Flobert", “Flobert" being an Italian or European designation for the .22 short, maybe for rimfires in general (
after the Frenchman who invented the metallic cartridge by shoving a lead-ball into a percussion cap. Pronounce it FLOWBARE).

The Minx can be a fun, affordable gun to shoot. I have a bit of sentiment for them; back in the days before guns were evil, my first pistol was a 4’’ Minx.




Borepatch said...

Cool gun!

And your Flobert link is made of win.

ke4sky said...

While larger than your pocket mouseguns, the Mod. 70 "Puma" .32 ACP and Md. 71 "Jaguar" in .22 LR are worth seeking. Mine are equipped with both 3-1/2" and 6" barrels. They have aluminum alloy frames and weigh about a pound with the 3-1/2 inch pocket barrels. When substituing the longer ones they make great small game guns for the rucksack. The .32 ACP gets impressive velocities from a 6 inch barrel, almost 1200 f.p.s. with RWS hardball and over 1300 f.p.s. with the 60-gr. Fiocchi JHP. It shoots 2-inch five-shot groups at 25 yards. I also have a tiny 4 pound rook rifle with 18 inch barrel chambered in .32 ACP which is very quiet, great fun to shoot and more effective than a .22 LR.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey ke4sky, thanks for the information. I've always had a hankering for the Jaguar; dunno why I have never added one to the rack. Beretta makes good guns... I am partial to the ones made in Italy for some reason... must be an just an "old geezer" thing.

James R. Rummel said...

Another good post.




James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey Rowdy, thanks for stopping in. I have seen prices all over the map for them. $150 for rusty, gouged, finishes, $350 for NIB condition if it has the box. Some of the exotic factory finishes may ask a bit more...

$200 - $250 is the usual asking price I see.

Anonymous said...

The Beretta Minx is a fun gun to own and shoot , I have two , one made in the 1950's in Italy and another one made here in America in the 1980's , believe me there is considerable penetration when that little .22 short bullet leaves the barrel of the Minx . I have heard stories that the Beretta Minx was a popular gun used by Mafia hit men back in the 1950's and 60's when a small silencer was screwed on to the barrel , a really most interesting little weapon ,great for shooting rats and other small vermin and much cheaper to shoot than the Beretta Jetfire which is the same weapon but in .25 ACP.

Anonymous said...

obremer@sbcglobal.net ask: I have a Bertta 950 .22MINX M2 , orginal box, instruction sheet, bore brush. Made in Italy 1966. Have orginal receipt, bought in 9/7/67. I believe it has never been fired. MAGAZINE MISSING, How much do you think it is worth and how do I find a buyer?

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Here is a link to one that was recently listed for $325; I dunno if he got his asking price or not.


Too bad your mag is missing. Back in the old days, the mags were factory fitted to the pistols. If you can find a newer mag (they are no longer made as far as I know), it may take a bit of honing to get it to fit right. With the hammer at half cock, the mag was supposed to fit so tight that it would not drop if the mag-release button were pushed. With the hammer all the way forward, (as it would be after the last shot; the slide does not hold open after the last shot), the mag drops freely. With the newer generation mags, it is hard to get them honed exactly right; some may even fit too loose.

You do have an interesting gun since it may be unfired and has all of the packaging. The highest asking that I remember seeing was around $425 (with mag) but I honestly do not know if the seller ever got an offer.

I’m not an expert on anything, so I am just guessing on values.

Best wishes!


Anonymous said...


I have a Baretta 950 B 22 short.

I'm trying to find the roll pin size for the firing pin retaining pin.

Thanks in advance for your help.


James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there, Gene. Thanks for stopping by.

I have no idea what size the pin would be... my guess is that it would be a metric size.

Numrich may have them in stock.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response James.

I've been searching the web for over a week now with no luck.

Places who do or did sell them are out of stock (and they don't know the size they normally stock).

I may end up buying a detailed manual to find this pin size, and go from there.

Thanks again,


Anonymous said...

you lucked out i have mine out for a broken firing pin the roll pin mic's out at .083IN at it's widest point someone else can fo the metric conversion =]hope that helps

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments about the Beretta Minx , I picked up a used Minx last month at one of our gun shows here in Arizona , I paid $220 for mine which was in brand new condition with box and extra magazine ! Prices on guns can vary from different parts of the country ! The best place to buy a magazine for the Minx as well as the gun itself is a gun show preferably a larger show like Cross roads here in Phoenix Arizona , also check the internet , I have seen a number of magazines for the Minx and Jetfire for sale from various companies .

HFR said...

Trying to figure out the age of my Beretta 950 B 22short Minx. The Roman numerals stamped are " XXI" which means "21". Was this pistol produced in Italy in 1921...??

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Thanks for stopping in, HFR.

There is a long story as to why the Italian made guns are coded the way they are; too long for the space allowed for this reply.

XXI = year 1965

Anonymous said...

i'm looking for a clip for a950 B 22 short beretta.
You can contact me at mt.elkhunter@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...


my minx seems to like these old CCI minimag .22 shorts- i still get an occasional failure to go fully into battery (if I loosen up my grip slightly)

I bought it in As New condition for $200 (plus $40 to my ffl), so maybe it'll improve after a few hundred rounds.

Trouble is, I think these 4 boxes of minimags are the last ones on earth. Is there a jacketed .22 short that you'd recommend?


+1 on the Flobert link, super interesting with the pin fire and volcanic diagrams.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

I've been buying whatever I can find available.

I believe (but don't hold me to it) that Cheaper Than Dirt has some Remington and Winchester (both brands are copper washed lead) in stock.

Anonymous said...

i have beretta mod 71 in . 22 cal. can i convert its caliber into .32 by changing slide and barrel.

Anonymous said...

looking for parts for 950BS short. any ideas

Anonymous said...

I noticed a post where HFR inquired about the roman numerals stamped on the side of his Minx, I have a minx stamped with the Roman numeral XVI any idea what year that may be, or can you post the site where i might find the story behind the use of the Roman numerals? Thanks in advance! RAG

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

My pleasure,

XVI = year 1960

If I remember the site where I got the list, I'll post it in a subsequent comment.

Thanks for stopping in!


James A. Zachary Jr. said...

I edited the original Minx post to include a link to the date codes of the Italian made guns.

Anonymous said...

Some years ago, I got a 950B manufactured in Brazil (serial D290xx). It seems to work correctly with 22 Sh. CCI minimag.

THNC said...

Found a 950-B in a 2 drawer file cabinet in the garage that belonged to my mother. It was in the original box with $34.50 written on the inside of the box. Checking the markings it turns out to be a 1960 model and made in Italy stamped with the "Tipo Flobert". I recall her shooting out the back door at squirrels in her pecan tree... Thought it would be in terrible shape after being forgotten. Took it to one of the local shops and they lubed it, ran a snake thru it and fired 5 rounds without a miss. I've been shooting it for about 2 months now. Pretty sweet little shorty!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

THNC, that is a great find! Congrats.

keith said...

You wouldn't happen to have any 22 short mags for a 950 bs would you?

thanks- great site!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Keith. I was lucky enough to score a couple spares a few years ago, but they are not for sale. The supply of them sure dried up in a hurry.

Thanks for stopping by.


THNC said...

Keith... don't know anything about these folks but I'd like to have another mag myself. Worth a look.... ???? http://www.ammoclip.com/B/beretta_950.htm

Jordan said...

Just picked up a 950 minx factory mag for $25 shipped & I feel lucky.

Anonymous said...

Strange that today December 2010 except for North American Arms that sells their .22 short mini-revolver there are no companies offering a revolver or an automatic pistol in the .22 rimfire short only ! Sometimes it is nice to have a small weapon like the little Minx to stop a criminal rather than shoot an indiviual with a larger caliber and kill them ! I own the little Minx and believe me there is far more bullet penetration with the high speed hollow point .22 shorts than the average person realizes ! Penetration is much better shot out of the Minx than the same bullet shot out of the North American mini-revolver ! The little Minx is fun to shoot and is nowhere as expensive to shoot as the pocket .25 autos ! Wish that Beretta would bring back an updated Minx , they are still very popular little guns especially with the older ladies !

Anonymous said...

Until recently I had a like new US made 950B that I had bought new on a whim several years ago for $175. It was not very reliable for the first 3 or 4 boxes of .22 short ammo except with Remington brand. But after it was broken in it became 100% reliable with all brands of ammo I tried except CCI, which I think must have a harder brass case, and being rimfire it requires a harder strike by the firing pin. I carried it often as a BUG to a 2" Taurus .357 mag, but after buying a Keltec .380 for that role I used it to settle a small debt I owed my brother in law. Now I wish I had it back, it was fun and cheap to shoot and the Keltec is neither of those.

jlo said...

gud day .were can i buy magazine 4 tipo flobert cal22 950b made in italy its same as posted . tnx

jlo said...

were can i buy magazine 4 tipo flobert 950b tnx

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Go to the url below.


NOTE: The old Italian made pistols like yours had very exacting fitting, including the fit of the magazine. You may have to do some polishing and honing in order to get it to fit just right. The American made pistols were sloppier.

Thanks for stopping in!

chris said...

i just bought a BRASIL made 950b 22 short
does anyone have info on it? i have found tons on the italian and us ones but NOT a thing on the brasilian ones,perhaps trade resrictions it was illegally imported? to look at it it looks like the way early models with no saftey and no traditional date marking anywhere. just a six digit serial on the Right hand side of frame above trigger gaurd.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Chris, thanks for stopping by. The pistol was imported legally.

The source for the information below is at the following url


During its period of manufacture, the Model 950 B was also produced in a Beretta facility in Brazil, and some of these pistols were imported into the United States. The Brazilian-made Model 950B was produced with Beretta tooling and under Beretta supervision. These guns were identical in every way to those made in Italy, including the markings on the left slide flat. On the right side of the slide, they were marked "MADE IN BRAZIL".

Anonymous said...

Have a Minx 950b SN# C11071. The tip up barrel is stamped 11071. I am trying to date this as I bought used at a Pawn shop. On the side with the crest stamped, there is IAX stamped perpendicular to the crest. Cannot see any other date stamping on either side. Any thoughts?

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Sorry, but my sources did not turn up any record for your pistol.

Rob Mitch said...

I have a Beretta 950 B made in 1968 i believe. (XXIV)It is a little different though. The barrel finish does not match the gun. Looks like it may have been black paint before it mostly came off and now has a rusted patina. It is extended one and a half inches and is threaded. Is this very common? Here is a link to a picture of it. http://s558.photobucket.com/albums/ss30/RobMitch49/?action=view&current=Beretta950B22short.jpg


James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Rob,

That is one cool looking pistol.

I believe it is an uncommon piece... it looks like the barrel was custom modified to take a suppressor. It makes me wonder about its history...

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing the photo.



Rob Mitch said...

Thanks Zack,
I have wondered about it's history also. I do know it was sold in a lot of about 30 or 40 pistols and revolvers by a police department here in Texas in the mid or late 80s. They were disposing of these after a cleanout of an evidence room of stuff left over after old cases had been cleared. Some of them probably just confiscated from people that shouldn't have them. The majority were lower quality such as RG10, Clerk, Raven and such with a few better like this Beretta and a couple of Colts and a Ruger mixed in.
This Beretta is marked "Made in Italy".

Anonymous said...

Just bought a 1968 950bs in aboput 80% blue. Missing grips, Hasnt had hardly any rounds through it. Got it for 40 bucks. Couldnt pass that up.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The little Minx is a nice little gun, sad that it is no longer made nor are there anymore .22 short rimfire only handguns offered to the public (with the exception of the North American mini-revolver), these little pistols are fun to shoot, produce less noise and recoil than the larger center-fire handguns, are good for pest control, and stopping a criminal attack without killing the attacker, yes sometimes you may want to stop an attack without killing someone, a .22 short to the criminal's leg !

Anonymous said...

I wish the heck I could find out what exactly the "T" model refers to on my Jetfire 950T / .22 short (circa 1957) pistol. I can read all day about the "B" and "BS" models, but nothing I read so far mentions the "T" model. I don't know what is different about it. I need a set of grips and have no idea if the Minx grips will work.

Eddie V said...

I inherited a U.S. made Minx 950BS a few years ago. I believe it is a first or second year production from the Maryland factory. I purchased several new-in-package magazines from Numrich/GunParts when I got the gun. For plinking, the cheap Aguila shorts from Midway USA work well. I brush/swab the barrel out every 20 rounds or so, and it functions perfectly. Once you figure out where your Minx groups at what distance, you can shoot it fairly accurately.

Anonymous said...

I have a 950 B in .22 Short that was made in Brazil. Its in almost perfect condition. Got it from my grandfather who thinks he may have gotten it around the late 50s early 60s but he cant remember. It has no date markings like the Italian made guns, just a serial number and the slide markings. It doesn't have a safety either and the grips are all black and say minx with the trident logo. If anyone can help figure out how to find a date on this it would be great, Thanks.

Murph said...

Rob's 950B has an aftermarket barrel made by SWD in Atlanta GA back in the 80's, threaded 7/16-14, to fit their silencer kits.

I had one of those with a silencer on it, worked well, the extra back pressure made the pistol cycle much better.

The other item was a 1/8" thick piece of steel, 1/2" wide by about 3/4" long, when you tip up the barrel to load the pistol, you would insert this UNDER the barrel, locking the slide closed.

That, used with the silencer, made for a VERY quiet pistol, worked well for dispatching vicious animals.

Anonymous said...

I was out shooting my Beretta Minx the other day and it really is a fun gun to shoot and if carried it is far superior to the North American Arms mini-revolver of the same caliber, there is more penetration with the Minx as it is an automatic, plus faster firing and eloading ! I shot at a hard back book about 6 feet away using CCI high speed .22 short, and had a pentration of over 300 pages, it definately would cause a criminal pain if he were shot in the chest wth this little weapon ! Strange why .22 short rimfire ammo is more expensive than .22 LR ? When the long rifle ammo is more powerful ? The Minx is a great little gun for dispatching rats or other pests or a gun to give to grandma who wants a gun for self-defence but is recoil shy !

Anonymous said...

I know of a Baretta 950 B .22 cal Minx dated XXII (1966). It has a plated frame and stainless barrel & slide. It still has the original
magazine and a low serial number
0012 on the frame and flip-up barrel. The owner bought it new but does not have the original box.
The Minx is in excellent condition
except the sub-standard Italian plating that is flaking off the frame. The owner says the plated/stainless finish and low serial number make it more valuable than other Beretta Minx
950 B's. He is asking $400.00 and
I want the gun. Is he about right
on the value of this Minx .22?

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

No idea as to a fair price. The long barrel Minx brings more money than the short barrel Minx and the $400 is somewhere in the neighborhood of what some folks will pay for a long barrel Minx. I was not aware that Beretta offered a stainless version of the Minx, but just because I never heard of it does not mean that they did not. I have seen a few that were plated by gun smiths.

Anonymous said...

Last week was the first time that I ever seen an individual carry a Minx as his carry weapon ! I guess that isn't too bad as long as a person knows of the limitations of a weapon that shoots .22 short rimfire, penetration is far superior with the Minx over the North American Mini revolver in the .22 short, needless to say I think I would rather carry the Minx for protection over any of the two shot derringers, the range with the derringers especially the .410's are unbelievably bad,unless buckshot is used, my airgun has better penetration and is far more accurate ! Getting back to the Minx a great little weapon, why was it discontinued ? It is still a popular used weapon at the gun shows especially with the older women !

Berserker said...

Too cool!
I just inherited a "Tipo Flobert" 950B .22 short (I guess it's made in Italy?) from my grandpa and it's quite nice. My Aunt says Grandma used to carry it all the time in her purse and used to shoot it and was good with it, but it barely looks used, to me, except for some wear on the bluing of the magazine.

I'm also interested in learning which types of ammo work best in these. I suppose since it's a semiauto it's better with hotter loads, as the action would need some extra oomph to cycle properly.

I'm also gonna look for a spare mag to fit but I'll probably end up stoning it a little so it will fit, as this one appears to be a genuine Italian made, older one.

Another question for you: Is this gun a single action only, a double, or a single/double? And is it safe for dryfiring? I can't imagine it would be good for it, since it's a rimfire, but I'd like to check around first before squeezing the trigger.

Thanks for the uber-informative post!


James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Berserer, thanks for stopping by.

It's a single action.

Regular dry firing is not recommended, but the slide does not hold open after the firing last round in the magazine; clicking on an empty chamber after that last round does not seem to do harm.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

My Minx, which I pulled off the shelf after some 40 years, jams when loading, nearly 100% of the time. As the bullet enters the barrel, the rim of the cartridge pops up when leaving the magazine, a condition that has been described to me as "stove piping". Are the "nibs" of the magazine worn or damaged? Where can I see details of what they should actually look like?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous, your Minx was pulled off the shelf after 40 years, jams !I would say clean your weapon very well and use a good quality gun oil, if it still jams try different brands and if it still jams suggest you get another magazine for your weapon ! I own the Minx and love the little gun, but they must be kept very clean as not to jam !

Tonya Basham said...

I have a beautiful 950B made in Brazil that was my mothers. Serial #C24347 and the numbers 347 on the flip up. Hubby says the finish is 95% plus. I have what I believe is the original clip. I would like to know what year it was manufactured and approx value.

Ryan Ponce said...

My 950 sometimes ejects and reload no problem... but lately it wont eject or reload, what will cause this problem?

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Ryan,

Did you change brands of ammo recently? The Minx often will not cycle properly (eject and reload) with standard velocity .22 short ammo. The boxes of .22 short labled "High Velocity" work best.

If the pistol has not been cleaned and oiled in a while, the slide velocity may be too slow because of the grime.

Hope that helps! Good luck, and thanks for stopping by.


littleshot said...

I have a Minx that was given to me new in the 1970's. It is a great little gun and small to carry. Lately, It has been failing to fire. Upon inspection, there is a dent in the shell, but not discharged. Any suggestions?

John Mallia said...

I have a vintage 1960 Minx, Italian-made (no safety). I have four extra magazines which will fit, feed, but not release. Any suggestions on home fitting, or is this a project too big for my skill level (medium to low)?

Anonymous said...

I had one of these Beretta 950 B 22 short,18 boxes of ammo and $25 I traded up to a Savage 17 HMR,2 5 round magazines and a Tasco sight and shoulder sling. Just wanted to know who got the better deal please leave comments

Jay Jones said...

Good forum

Anonymous said...

I have an Beretta 950 minx .22 short ext. barrow; where can I buy the complete slide?
(Slide with firing pin and firing spring)or just the firing pin and firing spring? Rumrich does not have it at All! please help is needed!

Anonymous said...

MidwestGunworks.Com has a large selection of Beretta 950 replacement parts. The direct link to 950 barrels is posted below. Good luck.


Paul Boisvert said...

My 83 year old father wants another mag or two for his Minx M4 long .22 Tipo Flobert. All I can find online are an occasional mag for the short version. Are the mags interchangeable? Are there any mags for the Minx long that hold more than six rounds? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

James Zachary said...

Hey there Paul, thanks for stopping in.

I know of no company currently making replacement magazines for the Beretta Minx (caliber .22 short). There are pleny of factory new magazines for the Beretta Jetfire (caliber .25ACP), but none for the Minx that I am aware of.

As far as I know, the long barreled Minx pistols marked "Tipo Flobert" were all made in Italy and the one mag that came with each pistol was actually FITTED to that particular pistol (that may have been true for the Italian made short barreled Minx pistols as well). In any case, you may run across some OLD STOCK, UNUSED magazines for the Minx, but they likely will be an ill fit into your father's pistol; they may function well OR they may jam every other round; there is no way to know in advance.

To my knowledge, six-rounds was the max capacity for all mags that were available for the Minx.

My best to you and your Dad.


James Zachary said...

Hey Paul, one more thing; both the short barrel and long barrel Beretta Minx fire the .22 SHORT, NOT the .22 LONG or .22 LONG RIFLE. Further, it has been my experience that most Minx pistols function better with the HIGH VELOCITY .22 short rounds; the standard velocity .22 short rounds don't seem to have the oomph needed to cycle the slide reliably.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what to replace if the barrel does no spring open when you flip the lever?

CoolHandLou D said...

Could anyone tell me, please, if a 950 B and a 950 BS use the same mag?

BTW, in reading through the comments about cycling prpblems, I turned my gunsmith use on my 950BS and, while I had great difficulty firing more than 3 rds successfully, it now cycles like I should think it always should have!

CoolHandLou D said...

I'm not sure if my prior attempt to pose "took" or not, but apologies if this is a duplicate...

Could you tell me, please, if a 950 B and a 950 BS .22 shorts use the same mag?

Also, I read earlier about cycle problems. I too had great difficulty regardless of load getting my short barrel to fire more than 3 rds. I turned it over to my gunslith who did a rather quick cleanup of all friction points, and now it fires like a dream! 7 rounds consecutively without a problem consistently!


James Zachary said...

Hey there Lou!

The answer is both YES and NO. The (usually Italian made) 950 B .22 short pistols had the mag fitted to a particular pistol ... very close tolerances ... those 950 B pistols can use the 950 BS .22 short magazines but those mags may fit a 950 B bit too loose or a bit too tight ... they may feed and function ok or they may be unreliable ... it's kinda hit or miss. The older 950 B pistols worked best with the mag it came with; if you had a half-dozen original 950 B pistols and scrambled the mags on a table, finding which pistol fit best with which mag would be entertaining.

The 950 B original magazine would drop free and easy out of the pistol only when the hammer was all the way forwards (like after firing the last round in the mag) OR when it was fully cocked ... if it was at "half cock" the mag was very tight ... on the 950 BS pistols the mags all fit pretty much the same no matter what position the hammer was in.

Anonymous said...

I have a long barrel Beretta Minx, fires the .22 SHORT but i need a replacement barrel.can any one help me locate a used barrel?

James Zachary said...

Numrich has parts, but it looks like they are sold out of barrels, and it looks like they only list the 2'' barrel ...


Bill Ellis said...

Hey Guys, I am quite impressed with the detail that I have found in this remarkable thread. Good Job. Now to the point. I picked up a Beretta 950BS in .25. It is US made by F.I. Industries (so made after manufacturing started in the US but before Beretta USA took over the Jetfire). Based on the Warranty card it was made after December 31, 1976 but before 1988 when Beretta USA record keeping started. Beretta USA Customer (Lack Of) Service was not able to help me place a manufacture date on the gun. I own many (many) Berettas and I am quite familiar with proof markings and date codes, but this little gun has none, other than the F.I.I. proof on the barrel lug which I have come to learn probably means an Italian proofed barrel assembled in the US. The serial number is BER01620V. Does anyone have a reference for the "lost" Beretta serial numbers between Italian made and Beretta USA made guns? Thanks guys!

"Zack" said...

Hey Bill, THAT is some stuff I never ran across before. Very interesting ... thanks for posting it.

I just found a bit here and there doing a quick search but it doesn't look like it would be what you are looking for.


Please give us an update if you score some info. Thanks again!


Bill Ellis said...

So I seem to have an enigma wrapped in a mystery! While often frustrating, it is also what makes collecting firearms fun; especially the older ones. After further research and help from Zack (thanks for the assist on GunValuesBoard.com) I have determined the following:

Mr. J.B. Wood in his book “Beretta Automatic Pistols – The Collector’s and Shooter’s Comprehensive Guide” states “along with several other fine European pistols, the Model 95OB was caught in 1968 by the new U.S. importation restrictions, and was banned because of its small size. For about 10 years, none of these excellent little guns came to America. Then, in 1978, the J. L. Galef company and Beretta arranged for production of the small Beretta at the Firearms International factory in Accokeek, Maryland, a facility that later became Beretta U.S.A., Incorporated. By the time this occurred, two important changes had been added to the pistols. The firing pin was now an inertia type, allowing safe hammer-down carrying with the chamber loaded, and there was now a manual sear-block safety, located at the top rear corner of the left grip panel.

The new American-made pistols were designated Model 950BS, the added "S" obviously a reference to the manual safety. On the left slide flat, the marking on the .22 version was "BERETTA-Mod. 950BS — .22 Short". The .25 marking was the same, except for the cartridge designation, which was .25 Cal. . On the right slide flat, early pistols were marked "MADE IN USA BY F. I. IND. ACKK, MD.. This latter marking was soon changed to "MADE BERETTA USA CORP., ACKK, MD. .” Unfortunately Mr. Wood does not specify how soon the markings went from F.I. Industries to Beretta USA.

User “ECS III” on the GunValuesBoard.com website states that “the BER serial number was initially used by F. I. Industries from 1977 - 1978 when they manufactured the 950BS .22 Short Minx and 25 ACP Jetfire under license from Beretta. When Beretta took over the operation they continued use of the BER serial number for a few years afterwards.

The Beretta USA website states that it was founded in MD in 1977.

Now to compile the facts. My warranty card in the serial number matching box references guns manufactured after December 31, 1976 which means this gun was manufactured after that date. Mr. Wood references the deal between Beretta and F.I. Industries as being founded in 1978, however other detail points to that actually occurring in 1977. If it is true that F.I.I. only manufactured Jetfires between 1977 and 1978 with BER serial numbers, and if Mr. Wood is correct that Beretta USA “soon” changed the right side marking to "MADE BERETTA USA CORP., ACKK, MD.” Then it likely narrows down the manufacture date on my little Jetfire from late 1977 to early 1978 due to my low serial number (BER01620V). To strike a corporate agreement, tool up, test and then bring to production in one year is a tall order so I am going with… 1978.

"Zack" said...

Thank you Bill Ellis! We are in your debt.

That is some kind of detective job you just performed.

Awesome job ...

Anonymous said...

Those of you interested in Beretta tip-ups might like to see the presentation of different models at: http://berettaforum.net/vb/showthread.php?t=123635

It is the largest published collection of such handguns.