In a sea of plastic mouse guns, the decidedly old school Beretta Tomcat stands out with its Inox (aka “stainless steel” for those who don’t speak fluent Beretta) slide and forged aluminum frame. While this makes it thicker and heavier than a modern injection molded pocket pistol, it pays dividends elsewhere. In fact, the 3032 Tomcat has a few unique features that make for a very good deep concealment piece.

Diminutive in size, the Tomcat is just 3.7″ tall and 4.92″ long. It’s small enough to stash just about anywhere as long as there’s room for its thick-by-modern-standards 1.1″ width. Despite the short height, it still holds 7+1 rounds of .32 ACP in a particularly easy-to-load, single-stack magazine.

Unfortunately, it only comes with one of those — possibly the biggest gripe I have with this pistol, actually. On the plus side they’re only $22 on Beretta’s website, so perhaps the review can continue after all.

It may seem silly to some, but the best feature on the Tomcat is its “tip-up” or tilting barrel design. While tiny guns often get recommended to small people — women, those with small hands, older folks, etc. — it’s usually ill-advised. A tiny gun has a tiny slide allowing minimal purchase and typically has a stiff recoil spring.

In fact, semi-automatic pistols in general can be difficult to manipulate for anybody with less grip strength or dexterity. Just ask the guy I bought my HK P7 from; an older gentleman selling off his entire semi-auto pistol collection due to arthritis that made it too difficult to rack a slide.

On the Tomcat, there’s potentially no reason to ever rack the slide. Push the barrel release lever forwards and the barrel pops up, providing full access to the chamber. Simply drop your +1 round into it, click the barrel closed, and you’re good to go.

This whole process can be done with the safety lever engaged, making it safer than chambering a round in most semi-autos. Plus there’s no fear of bullet setback. Heck, it even allows you to clean the chamber, bore, and breech face without disassembling the firearm at all.

Not that disassembly is hard. Simply tilt the barrel forward until it stops, lift the front of the slide up off the frame, then pull the slide forwards off the rear rails. There are no other pieces.

No, seriously. There’s no guide rod or separate recoil spring. On each side of the frame there’s a little tab sticking up above the grip panel. That tab indexes into a slot in the slide. That tab is the tip of a lever that drives the recoil spring, which is hiding inside the grip staying nice and clean.

Heck, there’s no extractor. This straight blowback pocket pistol has few parts in need of servicing and is a cinch to clean and lube. It can be field stripped, cleaned, lubed, and reassembled properly by even the slowest clownshoe bloghole in the land.

Or just don’t clean it. Mine went 250 rounds straight out of the box running like a champ until I decided it was too filthy to look at and wiped it down. Barrel up, slide off, wipe wipe with some CLP, and back together fast enough to make a NASCAR pit team blush.

Two thumbs up for Tomcat usability, then. Any old crippled midget could load and maintain it and, thanks to the relatively wide, metal frame and .32 ACP chambering, comfortably shoot it, too. The Tomcat is an absolute pussycat on recoil. A declawed, sedated pussycat. Oooh she shoots soft for her size.

She shoots pretty straight, too. At 7 yards shooting offhand, I was circling around the 1″, 5-shot group mark (red bull is 0.75″ on these targets). During rapid fire, the Tomcat stayed on target and outperformed my expectations with its very solid practical accuracy.

That’s not to say shooting this little gun accurately isn’t without its challenges, though. A pocket pistol should be generally rounded and snag-free, which the Tomcat is. Even its teeny little sights get the low-pro, low-snag treatment. Great for carry and for drawing from a holster, but not so good for bullseye competition.

Again though, I was surprised by how well it shot in practice. The raw stainless steel finish of the front sight — an integral part of the barrel, by the way — stands out enough in the all-black rear sight that picking it up was easy. Combined with the low recoil, the Tomcat was a cinch to keep right on target.

Then again, the aforementioned (in what I can only assume was a gun review “first”) crippled midget could run into issues staying on target while pulling the Tomcat’s trigger. Seen above at top is the trigger position with the hammer down, ready for a double-action pull, and above at bottom with the hammer cocked for a single-action pull. In both instances the shooter is presented with a relatively heavy, not particularly smooth trigger pull.

Eventually I managed to clamp the lilliputian mohaska into TTAG’s Dvorak TriggerScan to provide y’all with a better idea of exactly what a 3032 Tomcat trigger feels like. In blue above is the graph of a long, gritty double action pull weighing in at a peak of just under 10.5 lbs, and in red is a much better — still significant room for improvement — single action pull of about 5.4 lbs.

Actually, aside from a bit of polishing to remove the roughness and grit, I think these trigger pulls in both weight and travel distance are basically ideal for this type of self-defense pistol.

Also on the topic of safety, when the Tomcat’s manual thumb safety is engaged it blocks the sear, locks the slide, and prevents a decocked hammer — yes, the safety can be engaged with the hammer down — from being fully cocked (though it can be half-cocked). The gun can also be carried cocked-and-locked.

While there is no decocker function, the tip-up barrel design can increase safety here as well. Simply tilt the barrel to move the chambered round out of the danger zone before manually lowering the hammer.

There’s another danger zone right behind the Tomcat, though, in particular for a shooter with dude-sized hands who’s used to gripping a gun nice and high.

I had to consciously hold it lower than my muscle memory dictates, less I wanted a kiss from the slide.

A final, unique note that may warrant some training time is the location of the magazine release. It isn’t in the standard spot just rear of the trigger guard, and it isn’t a European-style heel release, either.

The button finds itself floating somewhere in-between, low and to the rear of the left-side grip panel. I found it best to use my left thumb to press the button while using the rest of my left hand to strip the magazine from the gun.

On the range this tiny pistol feels surprisingly good in the hand. Even a man hand. I think it just may well work for anybody. It certainly shoots soft and straight enough to suit any shooter.

It was completely reliable for me except with the Underwood loads featuring Lehigh’s Xtreme Cavitator projectile (review with gel block results here). Although it would have been nice to see it function without the occasional feeding problem, it’s hard to hold that against the Tomcat considering the very unique bullet design. The pistol fed every other FMJ and hollow-point I got my hands on.

Overall, choosing a metal gun in a polymer age can be about more than nostalgia. The width and mass make it incredibly soft-shooting, and the tip-up barrel design means it’s accessible to shooters of any strength or dexterity level.

Specifications: Beretta 3032 Tomcat Inox

Chambering: .32 ACP
Magazine Capacity: 7+1
Slide & Frame Build: Inox (stainless steel) slide, forged aluminum frame
Trigger Mech: DA/SA hammer-fired
Sights: Metal. Fixed front, drift-adjustable rear
Barrel Length: 2.4 in
Overall Length: 4.92 in
Overall Height: 3.7 in
Weight: 14.5 oz
MSRP: $485

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Accuracy * * * * 
It ain’t an Olympic pistol, but considering the size of the gun and its sights I’m pretty impressed. Especially on the range while shooting in more of a practical style, its accuracy was great.

Reliability * * * * 
Other than having some issues feeding the Xtreme Cavitator bullets reliably enough to, well, rely on them beyond dropping one into the chamber as my +1, the Tomcat ran smoothly and confidently. Its simple action works well.

Concealed Carry * * * * 
It isn’t as light or as skinny as the polymer .32 options on the market (heck, there’s no shortage of lighter, skinnier .380s), but it’s still a teeny tiny “mouse gun” and it conceals easy as pie.

Ergonomics * * * 
Totally fine, just watch out for slide bite.

Customize This * *
Other than replacement parts, there are a couple wood grip options and various holsters, but not much more.

Overall * * * * 
The Tomcat is a deep concealment classic and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the softest-shooting, most accurate little pocket pistols I’ve encountered and the tip-up barrel design is awesome.

[EDIT] The review originally identified both the slide and the frame as stainless steel. This is not the case, and the review has been edited to reflect that the slide is Inox (stainless steel) while the frame is forged aluminum. Apologies for the error. — JS

70 Responses to Gun Review: Beretta 3032 Tomcat Inox

  1. I have always liked Beretta’s metal pistols.

    I stayed away from the Tomcat due to the frame-cracking problems (may be alleviated with the wide slide upgrade) and lack of an extractor. What happens when you get a round that doesnt extract? I’ve seen it happen with the 950 and 21 pistols.

    They also made a tip-up 380 for several years but it died (cost, weirdness).

    The size and feel of these pistols is great and the AlleyCat model has great sights. Maybe I worry too much about a failure to eject.

    • I believe the Tomcat frames were aluminum in nearly all of the other models. The only one Beretta USA still sells is the Inox here, which is fully stainless steel for both slide and frame. I forgot to mention in the review, but this pistol is made by Beretta here in the U.S..

      I’m not really sure how much function an extractor has on a straight blowback gun like this other than aiding in a consistent ejection pattern (distance and angle), although the Tomcat was better in that regard than you might expect, and allowing the user to manually eject a loaded round from the chamber. With the tip-up barrel, that second reason is no longer needed and a round can be easily removed from the chamber by just opening the barrel and tipping it out. Actually, in many cases the spring-loaded barrel mechanism will fling the round out when it opens haha.

      • Interesting. Obviously, I haven’t looked at the Tomeat in a while. The Inox Pistol I handled had an aluminum frame.

        I bet the all steel feels solid. I might pick one up for grins. I especially like the Inox with black furniture. Doesn’t affect performacne but it sure looks nice

        Still worry a little about a stuck case. But I don’t have to carry it – just shoot it.

        Thanks for the review.

        • Apologies, guys! The frame on the 3032 Tomcat Inox is aluminum. I incorrectly believed it was stainless steel based on what’s on the product info pages on the Beretta USA website. The article has been corrected.

          FWIW, after doing some further research it does appear that the wider, heavier parts on the Inox model resolved the vast majority of frame cracking problems that it’s fair to say too many people experienced with the blued steel model. I did also see a significant amount of claims and demonstrations that the crack always happened in the same non-structural spot and was cosmetic in nature only. It looks like a lot of owners and gunsmiths simply ground it out so it wasn’t visible and didn’t cause a burr or just continued shooting and didn’t worry about it. Obviously, yeah, this is not ideal and it’s a concern and a design problem and shouldn’t happen. While I found a couple instances of the Inox ones doing it, they’re clearly extremely rare. My example survived a few boxes of Herter’s 73 grain FMJ, which a lot of people say is a bit hot and heavy for the Tomcat, plus a five boxes of the Underwood-loaded Lehigh Xtreme Cavitator rounds, plus a box of Speer Gold Dots and a box of what were either Magtech or Fiocchi FMJs. The frame has no flaws.

    • Specialist38, I agree with your concern over potential ejection problems. I’ve seen way too many rounds of dented/damaged/out-of-spec factory ammo to willingly carry a pistol that has no way to forcefully manually extract a recalcitrant round that fails to fully chamber or fire.

      I’d also encourage folks to research how Beretta handled the alloy Tomcat cracked frame problems. Read several different threads/discussions to get a good feel for the problem and their response. It was eye-opening for me.

      • The cracked frames were only with the black version which had a more narrow frame similar in size to the model 21 Bobcat in .22 – it could not handle .32 ammo so after many years it was discontinued and only the wider frame stainless/Inox version is available. Note that older Crimson Trace laser grips for the matte Tomcat will NOT fit the Inox Tomcat due to the thicker frame.

        Mine shot great and super accurate for a little pistol and I nailed at least two rabbits years ago. The tip up barrel is the real hero feature of this pistol and if you have arthritis it’s a dream come true for a pocket pistol.

  2. My uncle had one he tried to sell me. It’s a really, really handy gun, and very well made. But my dislike for mouse guns prevailed and I stuck with my Shield for a carry piece.

  3. Isn’t .32 kind of a discredited self defense caliber? I thought I read some where that even a .22 WMR is a more effective stopper. Easy to shoot, easy to carry, effective defense caliber. Choose two. Physics is mean that way.

  4. Huh. This has seriously piqued my interest. I am looking for something for my father who is getting up there in years now. He had recent surgeries on his hands/wrist/arms to alleviate grip problems and I am not sure if he can reliably operate traditional semi-auto pistols any more — in terms of racking the slide and avoiding “limp-wrist” problems. As a result, I was starting to research smaller revolvers, especially in .22 LR or .22 WMR to reduce recoil. (Yes, I know .22 LR is far from optimum as a self-defense round in a handgun. Nevertheless, it is far better than a larger caliber that someone cannot shoot due to a disability.)

    This makes me wonder if a brand new Baretta Tomcat might be a better option.

    • Small .22lr and wmr revolvers that are suited for concealed carry have a small downside for the hand impaired.

      In order to consistently crush the rims of the rimfire rounds the trigger pull has to be quite heavy. Maybe too heavy to be comfortable to people with hand and arm weakness/pain.

    • I would always go with Centerfire over rimfire for defense. Rimfires are always more finicky in pocket autos. If I was going rimfire it would be a revolver so I could trigger another if it didn’t go off.

      Limited hand strength would be a major reason to consider a Tip Up barrel pistol. Revolver trigger pulls are tough in most rimfire.

      I find it interesting that ruger and smith have heavy trigger pulls on their revolvers but pistols like the taurus ply22 have very light pulls.

      My BS meter says that’s an excuse for lazy manufacturing To say a rimfire is tougher than a Centerfire primer (especially CCI) is silly. I have a K22 with a 2lb single action and 8 pound double action that fires anything walmart sells. If it won’t ignite then no amount of hammering will set it off.

  5. Great little gun. There should be more 32 ACP designs on the market…its a good, albeit underappreciated caliber. Actually, in the United States, it would be more accurate to call 32 ACP a deeply misunderstood caliber. If you think 32 ACP is incapable for use as a self-defense caliber, then I’ll be happy to show you to the corner, and give you a dunce cap to wear.

    • So you agree with me that the .22 WMR is a suitable defense round?

      It must be very nice to be the self-appointed keeper of the dunce caps. You might want to get started on herding all your dunces into the appropriate corners.

      You could start with Grant Cunningham, writing on standard .38 special loads: “There just isn’t enough energy to drive a bullet deeply into the target and expand it at the same time.”

      Or Rob Pincus: “The .380 is not a recommended option for home defense.”

      Or any number of people in the discussions below:

      http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/handgun-stopping-power

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/09/daniel-zimmerman/question-of-the-day-is-32-acp-enough-gun/

      • Madcapp was being a bit snooty, I’ll agree. But…
        When I’m old(er) and grey(er) and can no longer effectively operate my weapon of choice due to arthritis or what have you, my weapon of choice will change. .32acp? Maybe. .22WMR? Also maybe. or .380 or .22lr. Whatever I decide I can be most effective with. Grant Cunningham, Rob Pincus, and the rest of the “professionals” can disapprove all they want if it makes them feel better. If my choices are 1) a Ruger .22lr single ten (with a side of New York reload), 2) a rolled up newspaper, or 3) just roll over and die, I know what my choice will be.

        P.S. I like your “physics is mean that way” comment. I’m stealing it.

        • Actually Pincus and Cunningham both freely admit that the .22 lr has proven to be lethal, and both give examples of people who survived torso shots with rifles. Cunningham is the revolver guru and he likes the .38 +p, nothing smaller and nothing larger. Pincus was a big .40 and .45 guy who now has settled on the 9 mm. At least they both recommend the cheapest caliber for their respective weapon choices.

          I think buying the box of shells with the recent bullet advances makes any caliber more deadly than the old days.

      • Montessa, you could certainly defend yourself [more than] adequately with 22 WMR, its got 325 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. I’d just advocate the use of a revolver with any rimfire choice.

        • Out of a 2″ barrel 22WMR has around 100ftlbs of muzzle energy.

          I’m not saying a sharp stick is better. 22WMR and 22LR will penetrate 12+ inches in gel reliably with correct ammo selection. But it’s not that great.

        • Really? 325 ft lbs of energy? Ya, out of a very long barrelled rifle. We are talking about handguns here. Your comment, alas, is nonsense, and, irrelevant, immaterial, and inconsequential, to quote a famous tv attorney.

      • Since the crack is a hairline fracture I don’t believe it affects the function of the gun. I know it doesn’t affect mine. Matter of fact the hotter the load the better it cycles. I love the FMJ 32 ACP with lots of muzzle energy / fiocchi or Buffalo Bore. There is a definite advantage in being able to fire more accurate shots with less muzzle flip. That is the optimum weight for that amount of recoil. The Underwood stuff is a mith.

        • The beretta Tomcat probably works well in the Lehigh 32acp ammo they produce. The Tomcat is one of their two test pistols, with no negatives reported. Underwood uses the Lehigh bullet design, with hotter charge, producing greater fps, and muzzle energy, as well as slightly greater penetration. The Underwood cartridge works well with the kel tec p32, which is one of their test weapons, and admittedly, not well with the Tomcat. If you’re looking to minimize recoil without sacrificing lethality, the Lehigh should be one of the best options out there. I own the p32, and now plan to get the inox. That should be perfect for the wife and daughter. I also have the lcp 1& 2, prefer the 2, and will now carry it with Lehigh ammo.

        • I have a wide-slide Tomcat with a cracked frame. It had about 500 rounds of Fiocchi 73 Grain FMJ through it when it cracked. In my instance the “bridge” did not just crack, but the whole thing broke off.

          If that broken piece didn’t jam the gun (the only time my Tomcat has failed), I might not have known there was anything “wrong”. Once I disassembled the gun and removed the broken sliver, beam, bridge, span, structure, whatever it is called, it worked fine, again.

          While Beretta’s lawyers might vehemently disagree, an argument might be made that the Tomcat is a more reliable firearm after it cracks than before! With an un-cracked Tomcat, there is a risk that it will crack in such a way that the, whatever it is called, fully breaks off and jams the gun — like it did with mine. After it cracks, that particular risk goes away.

          Knowing its limitations, I feel very comfortable using my cracked Tomcat as my EDC. It’s reliable and I can hit with it, and that is more important to me than raw horsepower (YMMV).

          I agree that the 32 ACP not a “man-stopper”, but it has its place — especially if you can hit your target more than one, two, or five times.

          Since a 32 ACP is not going expand reliably, or impart hydrostatic shock, I figure an FMJ round is going to cause the same damage as stabbing the attacker with an 8 inch phillips screwdriver.

          A screwdriver to the thigh is not going to stop a determined thug, but I’d much prefer to run from one who has a deep hole in his leg, than run from one who is in perfect condition.

          Likewise, having to tangle with a violent criminal who has three screwdriver-sized holes in his chest is a better proposition than having to engage one who is intact.

        • I carry Glaser Safety rounds for the first 2 rounds, the other 6 (one in chamber, 7 in magazine) are SilverTips. The safety rounds will tear the target badly and the hollow points will insure a kill.

          NEVER had a jam with my Titanium Tomcat.

  6. Many years ago, I shot the .22 version of this little gun. there were two adults and our sons shooting. Funny thing was that out of seven shots, it usually tossed one wide left of the target. Handy little thing, though.

  7. Lack of an extractor is a much bigger deal than most think. This means the manual of arms is significantly different than other autoloaders and creates a safety issue as the round is not ejected when the slide is racked. It also means it’s more difficult to clear in the case of a misfire

    • Tilt barrel. Push the release lever and the round is flung out of the chamber. …yes, I realize this isn’t as quick as tap-rack, but clearing a loaded round from the chamber is made very easy by the spring-loaded, tip-up barrel design…

      DA gives you “second strike” capability as well.

  8. Slide and hammer bites are common problems with these Beretta mouse guns, and it’s even worse with the Beretta 950s with the even smaller beavertail. I’m also wary using these without an extractor… However, I’ve never had a problem with mine. Dare I say the keltec p32 is a better gun?

  9. I used to have one of these, though it was an Inox “wide slide” version. Turns out it was too heavy and too wide (shame on me for believing otherwise when purchasing) to be an tolerable pocket carry gun. Even though the .32 Tomcat was easy to shoot, off to the LGS “Used” counter it went where it sold quicker than I thought it would.

    Don’t miss it.

  10. I have a Le Poche pistol. It is french and they also made a police officers gun. These do not allow you to rack the slide, you have to put in a round in the tip up barrell. It is fine for what it is, but this design is an old one and Berretta did not start it.

  11. I have a new Tomcat and I love this little pistol! I put a drop of white model paint on the front sight and that really helped to pick it up. I would agree, too heavy for the pocket. I carry mine in a Bianchi model 105 holster.

    • Any gun dealer should be able to order one up from Beretta or a Beretta distributor. They’re in current production and are available, even if they aren’t popular items for most retailers to keep in stock.

    • Just bought one yesterday. Must have been last one available in the US. Beretta customer service said they are available and their website still shows them but they are so impossible to find that for all practical purposes they are not available. Available means major sites like budsgunshop.com will have them but they don’t!! Do an internet search and you will find none. Anywhere! Berettas site lists about 15 beretta specialized dealers and I called them all. A few numbers were disconnected. A few were not open when I called. I found one gun at the last site I called and it was his last Tomcat. Link is here:

      http://www.beretta.com/en-us/dealer-locations/

      Beretta customer service was useless. Couldn’t provide me with a dealer who had this gun!!! Can you imagine GM (or their distributor) not being able to give you a dealers name and number that sells their product? Well Betetta couldn’t give me a dealer who has a Tomcat. Gives them a bad rep when they advertise a gun and then the public can’t find them anywhere….

  12. I just got started on my Beretta collection after a friend of mine who bought a gun store made me a great deal on a pair of them someone traded in. I have to admit, they make a damn fine pistol. I have always liked the look of the little Tomcats, and after this glowing review I am going to have to get one. Thanks you for the excellent review.

  13. I actually like the tilt barrel concept in semi autos. If you’re thinking of buying the Beretta because of hand impairment try it first. The triggers on the Tomcats I’ve used have been from bad to really sucks.

    I don’t know if I’ll buy another gun. I’ve already got more than I can use. But if I ever come across another pop up barrel Beretta .25 I’m buying it. Just cause.

  14. I had twi blued Tomcats crack their frames. They crack through the top of an elongate hole through the right side of the frame where the trigger acts on the draw bar to run the hammer. Beretta warranty replaced my first one with another Tomcat, and replaced the second broken one with a 9000s, which I promptly traded even-Steven for a Kahr P9.

    IIRC, their manual now includes a statement about bullet weight/velocity.

    Aside from breaking two, I loved the pistol, and remained “on the hunt” for something comparable. An all stainless gun would be interesting, but your pics look like an aluminum frame.

    I never did replace it with something in the same size class, I got into a Kahr PM9 and more recently a Ruger LCR. I think I’m better off with both of those, though I still sometimes consider a mouse gun again. Usually in summer in FL, but then the LCR seems to be pretty invisible in cargo shorts.

    • Apologies, Wood! The frame on the 3032 Tomcat Inox is aluminum. I incorrectly believed it was stainless steel based on what’s on the product info pages on the Beretta USA website. The article has been corrected.

      • Would be pretty cool if they built one in all SS, but then the complaints would be about it being too heavy. Maybe they should just mill away the offending area? If it breaks so easily it can’t contribute much to overall frame strength.

        • Yeah, it’s kind of weird. Everyone seems to think that sliver of metal covering where the trigger bar exits the frame is aesthetic-only, and it’s the exact part that always cracks if a crack happens. Beretta clearly went with a heavier slide to reduce slide speed and how it impacts the frame in that area, but didn’t go so far as to engineer a little buffer there (so there’s no metal-on-metal impact), increase the thickness of the strip of metal over the trigger bar, or remove the strip of metal (either leaving it open or replacing it with a plastic or steel cover insert), etc. I suppose it depends on the owner’s personality as to how big of a deal it is for them. By all accounts a crack there, should it happen, is a non-issue, but obviously considering it’s part of the frame of a firearm it’s completely understandable if an owner finds that unacceptable.

        • Beretta made a 3rd model of the Tomcat, besides the blued steel and the inox slide/barrel, they made a J320600 model that has inox slide and barrel but a titanium frame. I have one, and it is absolutely reliable. No cracked frames on the titanium tomcat. I have over 1,000 FMJ and silver tips through it and zero mis-feeds and the frame is still perfect. They only made about 1,500 of them.

          Don C

  15. Before anything else I’d first like to say that while I owned my Alleycat, it was an awesome handgun. Everything from the size, the night sights, and the crimson trace laser grips, it was an awesome carry gun. I agree with everything that was stated in the article both positive and negative. So with that said, I’d like to give owners of the tomcats a warning. I’m sure that mine was an isolated issue but I did experience a pretty catastrophic failure with mine. Due to a lack of better words, the trigger transfer bar failed. Investigation did lead to a semi-negligent discharge in a safe direction when the bar caught (Operator Error). I don’t know why it broke but it happened so I just wanted to let others know. After a call to Beretta customer support they paid to have the weapon shipped, repaired, and returned promptly. It was some of the best customer support ever received. All things considered it was offloaded pretty quickly. I couldn’t really carry a gun that I couldn’t trust. But I do really miss the cute little guy. .02

  16. I don’t know if they’re still available, but the Guru Pocket Holster is a great way to carry a Tomcat in a pants pocket. It has a leather shield plate that has several functions: it causes the holster to look like you have a wallet in your pocket, it catches the edge of the pocket to hold the holster in position, and it guides your fingers into a perfect grip when you slide your hand into your pocket. I carry mine in the right front pants pocket, so reaching for my wallet in a stickup situation will produce something entirely different.

    As for the Tomcat itself, I enjoyed mine so much I bought a second one (both Inox). I put so many rounds through the first one that I eventually had to replace the firing pin. The only issue I have ever had was when I decided to take the grips off for a deep clean. The detent ball under the safety vanished and I had to get another one from Brownells.

    And the larger pop-up barrel Beretta mentioned in the article? That’s the Model 86 Cheetah. A truly splendid firearm. I wish Beretta would put it back into production. .380 is a perfectly acceptable self defense round, and older folks with a little arthritis in the fingers (me) can shoot the Model 86 all day long and still pick up a fork at dinner.

  17. “Inox” is short for “inossidabile”, meaning “stainless” (literally “un-rust-able”) in Italian.

  18. A few things to consider: the 3032 original blued non-inox version has a card in the case that specifically states standard (USA) 32acp ammunition of up to 130 lbs/ft or less are to be used. The European chambering of 7.xx browning (such as the Fiocci @ 159 lbs/ft) is not to be used. I mistakenly shot a few magazines of the hotter euro ammo through my 3032 (non inox) with no issues. Overall, I have put over 1k rounds of standard pressure 32acp through mine with no ill effects, no visable wear, etc… looks & operates no worse for the wear and I bought mine very lightly used.

    Like all blowback handguns, limpwristing will cause a FTF/FTE. That is not a mechanical error any more than a standard transmission automobile stalling if a driver doesnt clutch when coming to a stop. You limpwrist, it jams = improper grip, not bad gun.

    I am considering making a video that shows me shooting (another) 1000+ rounds of the recommended winchester white box ammo through it with no stress cracks. Unfortunately, the hotter (non-SAAMI) euro ammo chambers in 32acp, so a bunch of idiots have cracked their frames by using overpressure ammo & dont want to be out $350 so they cry ‘bad frame’. Beretta may be an Italian company, but this model was only manufactured in the Maryland, USA plant and only offered in the 32ACP chambering, not the browning chambering.

    FWIW, NRA Certified Instructor – Basic Pistol, MD QHIC Handgun Instructor

    • One other note: the photo in the article demonstrates an improper grip. The web of the hand (between thumb & index finger) should be below the apex of the beavertail. Any portion of your hands above the beavertail is asking for slidebite.

  19. Talked ex wife into buying new one 2 weeks ago. She couldn’t rack slides on anything else. Anyway out to the desert this morning. 17 rounds down the tube, mag release and spring come out in her hand. It’s broken off. What a pos. I sure wouldn’t want to bet my life on a beretta

  20. I am a real fan of Beretta pistols, especially the 84FS Cheetah in .380 (what an absolute jewell!). Yesterday I purchased a new 3032 Tomcat for my wife who has been wanting a smaller pistol for easier handling in-and-out of her concealed carry purse. I had kept an eye out for the Tomcat for awhile, and my local gun shop told me they just received several new ones this past month. Interestingly, the one I purchased is labeled “two-tone” on the box (Inox slide / black anodized aluminum frame). The top of the barrel is stamped “stainless”, and the slide is stamped “Made in USA – Gallatin, TN”. My dealer indicated that the Tomcat pipeline had gotten somewhat dry while production has ceased at the former Maryland facility, but it appears that NEW production has now begun at the new plant in TN. My wife is delighted with the ergonomics & features of the Tomcat, and is looking forward to getting it to the range.

    • Good to hear from another Cheetah fan…a man of good taste. They don’t fit all hands (for some reason both my son and daughter find them too small to be comfortable) but mine have always made me look better than I really am. My personal favorite is the Model 86. I wish they would bring that one back.

      Thank you for noting that the Tomcat is back in production; I was hoping they wouldn’t drop it. It really is a fine little pistol. One commentor was concerned about the lack of an extractor. The only time I’ve had a failure to extract is with some of my handloads that weren’t sized properly or were underpowered. Hasn’t happened in years, and never with factory ammo.

      I hope your wife enjoys the Tomcat as much as I have enjoyed mine. I have put as much as 300 rounds through a Tomcat in an afternoon, and unlike most pocket pistols my wrist didn’t hate me afterwards. I have a couple of spare magazines, and like to load them and lay them out with a single round beneath each one. I flip up the barrel, put the loose round in, snap it down, and with the top of the pistol firmly in the palm of my left hand, insert the magazine and use the heel of my right hand to snap it firmly into position. The safety is positioned perfectly under my thumb. I like the grip extensions (bought from Brownells) so much that I have added them to all my spare magazines; they don’t interfere with any holster I’ve used on a Tomcat. I have carried Tomcats with a Guru pocket holster and with a clip-on holster in the small of my back.

  21. Bought a used Beretta Tomcat 3032 Two Tone for my wife a few months ago. Bought it for her for the very reason that she did not have the strength to rack a slide on anything else we looked at. She has fired the gun several times and loves it. She is a smaller woman but the recoil and trigger pull has not been a problem for her. Since it was used, I did find after buying it the small crack in the frame. I had done a lot of research on the gun before buying one but somehow missed anything on the frame problem. Have since done a lot of research on that as well. Im not really concerned. The gun fires just fine with no problems. I have actually bought another one. It is a full Inox with wood grips and I’m bidding on another. For the person who said that can’t find them anywhere. You can find them on Gun Broker.com, Guns International. com and a few other places. Just Google Beretta 1032 for sale and you will find a lot of different places to get them.

  22. If you can get a hold of a Beretta Tomcat J320600 (there were only 1,500 of them made) they have a titanium frame instead of aluminium. Far superior. They also have the inox slide and barrel.

    Don C

  23. Be very careful of the ammo you use. I think Beretta says to limit muzzle energy to 130 ft lbs so these high power self defense rounds greatly exceed this limit. Even the 73 gr ones have about 155 ft lbs. The saving grace may be that these numbers are measured out of longer barrels than the Tomcat so these same rounds when used in the Tomcat will have less energy than advertised but may still exceed the 130 ft lb limit. Remember the frame cracking problem????? Don’t chance cracking the newer Tomcats by using much more than 130 ft lbs.

    • 130 ft-lbs is fairly high for .32. Not sure there’s much ammo in the U.S. that exceeds this. Nothing I fired through it does… Gold Dot was the closest at an advertised 123 ft-lbs.

      But, yes, the owners manual (which hasn’t changed one little bit since the gun was first made! Haha) states the 130 ft-lbs thing. I believe this is basically saying not to use European ammo designed for sub machine guns like the CZ Scorpion. There’s overpressure 9mm that’s also basically just for sub guns like the Uzi and MAC-whatever, too. Hard primers and high power.

      • Here’s some that I found that exceed this limit of 130 ft-lb:

        Fiocchi, 73 gr, 980 fps, 155 ft-lb
        Fiocchi, 60 gr, JHP, 1100 fps, 161 ft-lb
        Bufalo Bore +P 75 gr, 1150 fps, 220 ft-lb
        Seller & Bellot, 73 gr, 1043 fps, 176 ft-lb
        Bufalo Bore +P 60 gr, 1100 fps, 161 ft-lb
        Browning, 73 gr, 984 fps, 158 ft-lb
        Corbon Self Defense, 60 gr, 1050 fps, 150 ft-lb

        All I am saying is that there is a lot of ammo out there that if you mistakenly picked up, would greatly exceed your guns limit.

  24. Among .32 caliber ammo I have purchased for my wife’s 3032 TC are the following:
    Gold Dot JHP – 60 gr. @ 960 fps – 123 #/ft.
    Aquilla FMJ – 71 gr. @ 905 fps – 129 #/ft.
    Privi Partizan (PPU) – 71 gr. @ 902 fps – 128 #/ft.
    Remington UMC – 71 gr. @ 905 fps – 129 #/ft.
    Federal Hydro-Shock – 65 gr. @ 925 fps – 123 #/ft.

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