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Beretta’s diminutive tilt-barrel pistol, the 21A Bobcat, has been in production since 1984. Chambered in .22 LR and .25 ACP, the Bobcat lives comfortably in purses, night stands, glove compartments, fanny packs, and pockets. Looking to entice the modern shooter with a classic gun, Beretta has released a few good-looking Bobcat (and .32 ACP Tomcat) flavors complete with threaded barrels for suppressed use.

I got my hands on a Kale Slushy Bobcat and put it through its paces.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

I mean…come on! This thing is tailor made for showing off at the range and on the interwebs. It even looks great at an ATF party.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

“Kale Slushy” means a slide and barrel that are Cerakoted OD Green.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

The frame is anodized in a forest green color with a hint of bronze (at least according to my camera) and the textured G-10 laminate grips have green, tan, bronze, brown-ish, and other shades blended in to pull it all together.

Ammunition for this and all TTAG reviews is sponsored by Ammo To Go. You can support TTAG by shopping at Ammo To Go for ammunition and more.

It’s a very good-looking little pistol. The Kale Slushy Bobcat stands out, yet it also blends in. A great color scheme, well-executed.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

The Bobcat’s most notable feature is its tilt-barrel design. This makes it (and other Beretta models like it) uniquely well-suited to folks with diminished hand/grip/arm strength.

With full access to the chamber, the 21A Bobcat can be operated without the user ever racking the slide.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

That downward-facing lever in front of the grip panel, just under the slide, is the release lever for the barrel. Push it forward and the barrel pops up under spring power, the lever returning automatically back to its resting place.

Insert a round into the chamber, click the barrel back down into place, and the Bobcat is ready to run. No need to ever manipulate the slide.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

A double action/single action (DA/SA) pistol, the American-made Bobcat can be carried with the hammer forward for a longer, heavier trigger pull on the first shot (about 10.5 pounds). Lowering the hammer with the barrel tilted up eliminates the risk of a negligent discharge without requiring a built-in de-cocking mechanism.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

If you’d prefer a shorter, lighter trigger pull (about 5.5 pounds), the Bobcat’s hammer can be cocked manually and the gun will run in single action mode. The two photos above show the location of the trigger when the Bobcat is in double action versus single action mode.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

While reaching the trigger isn’t an issue on the little Bobcat as it can be on some larger pistols when in double action mode, the trigger does come fairly close to the front of the trigger guard. If you have fat fingers or want to fire the Bobcat with gloves on, you may want to stick to single action just for finger clearance purposes.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

The Bobcat’s manual thumb safety is right where it should be, up at the top right of the frame. Down for “fire” . . .

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

Up for “safe.” The lever is small and sculpted, but snicks down reliably with a sweep of the thumb and clicks into place with a sharp, snappy detent.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

The two included steel magazines are skinny and easy to load. A thumb tab on either side of the follower allows the shooter to pull it down as 22LR rounds are dropped into the top. Beretta 21A magazines hold seven rounds.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

Deviating from where you’d typically find it, the push-button magazine release is in the left grip panel, down toward the heel of the Bobcat. Mags don’t drop free, but they do come out easily.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

With its ½x28 threaded barrel, the Kale Slushy Bobcat obviously begs to be suppressed. I’d recommend a small, lightweight silencer since it’s such a small pistol.

The pros at Silencer Shop can help you find the right one. A JK Armament 105 VERSAX22 is seen above.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

Out on the range the Kale Slushy is barrels of fun. It’s such a tiny little guy that it actually moves and provides some feedback, whereas many .22LRs just kinda sit there.

Despite its extremely small sights, I shot the Bobcat fairly accurately. It put up legitimate little groups with varied types of ammo.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

I think the largest group I shot was with CCI Mini-Mag ammo as seen above.

Maybe I was flinching more than usual, as blowback from this little kitty cat is quite noticeable when shooting suppressed with high velocity ammunition. With standard velocity ammo I felt only a small amount of debris coming back toward my face — like three grains of sand flying in the wind — but with really powerful .22 rounds like Mini-Mags and others the blowback was annoying.

It wouldn’t stop me from having fun on the range or using the powerful stuff for hunting, but it was annoying. Some of this is to be expected with any straight blowback firearm, of course.

Given the small size of the Beretta 21A though and its open-top design when the slide reciprocates rearward, it doesn’t do much of anything to deflect blowback. I’d definitely recommend shooting standard velocity or silencer-specific ammo when shooting suppressed.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

One aspect of the 21A Bobcat to keep in mind — Kale Slushy or otherwise — is how you grip it. As I may have mentioned, this is a tiny little gun. It has a little beavertail, but it’s a little beavertail.

Do not grip the pistol really high on the beavertail if you have man hands. It’s very easy to get too high on the Bobcat.Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

Which may end up looking a little like this. Don’t be stupid like me. You aren’t shooting an IPSC stage with the Kale Slushy and you aren’t Operating. Place your hand where it belongs and don’t let your chubbiness flow over the beavertail. It’s where it is for a reason.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

Aside from the horrific flesh wound, that’s a cool looking setup, though, eh?

Both the front and rear sights (see the previous two photos) are machined directly into the barrel and slide, respectively. They’re about the style typical of a WWII gun, but they worked for me.

Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy .22LR

Beretta’s 21A Bobcat has been a popular pistol for nearly 40 years, and for very good reason. It’s reliable, accurate, and a ton of fun. With a couple modern touches like a threaded barrel and a great-looking color scheme, Beretta has done a good job making it appeal to a new, younger audience looking for cool, unique firearms to collect and show off on Instagram. Which describes me exactly.

Run the right ammo with your silencer to avoid a mild microdermabrasion and don’t grip the poor Kale Slushy too darn high and hard, and you’ll be extremely happy together. This thing is just plain cool.

Specifications: Beretta 21A Bobcat Kale Slushy

Action: Single/Double
Barrel length: 2.9 inches
Caliber: 22 LR
Capacity: 7+1
Height: 3.7 inches
Length: 5.4 inches
Width: 1.1 inches
Weight unloaded: 14.5 ounces
MSRP: $649 (about $599 retail and Beretta currently has a $150 rebate offer as well)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability  * * * * *
The Kale Slushy Bobcat ran 100% without a single hitch shooting five or six different types of ammo from low-power, subsonic stuff up to ultra velocity rounds.

Accuracy  * * * *
Given the teeny sights, the darn thing shoots more accurately than I expected.

Instagram Factor  * * * * *
It’s an attention-getter!

Overall  * * * *
I love it. It’s fun, it’s quiet when suppressed, and it looks great. Super unique, too, with a compact silencer on it. If they modernized the sights or went crazy and allowed for an optic to be mounted on top of the barrel or something, I’d probably give this bad boy five stars.


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    • The sights.

      It’s a common misconception that tall sights are required for shooting suppressed. They’re not. The suppressor is in front of the sights, which means you can line the sights up totally normally. While a small part of the suppressor may or may not obscure some of your view of the target, it’s really not a big deal at all. Iron sights already obscure much of your view of the target in the first place. A sliver of suppressor adding to that mix really doesn’t change anything.

  1. it costs $3000, but you CAN convert this gun into something 8″ OAL, including the silencer, that groups 2″ at 25m, with large luminous sights (front sight on the silencer) the pop up barrel is gone, and an extractor is added. So is a Taurus PT22 extended mag The thumb safety is extended, the trigger’s over travel is gone, and so is the DA trigger pull option. The barrel’s pop up release has been converted into a lock that keeps the slide shut, for maximal noise suppression. Metal is added to the slide, so as to keep the slide from blowing-upon so soon/easily. This reduces the noise that comes out of the ejection port when the slide cycles normally. This makes for a superb hiking/trail gun. I pair it with a Sig P938 9mm, in case real power is needed. I use the 50 gr, 2000 fps Liberty Arms 9mm solid copper hp ammo. 450 ft lbs.

  2. Putting optics on these guns defeats their purpose. You get ear wax on the front sight, then pull the trigger.

  3. Someone makes a mod for the 21A that ‘locks’ the slide to the frame, but there have been reports it mangles the aluminum frame. It entails ‘notching’ the slide so the safety can be rotated upwards.

    What I have been wondering, is can I lock the action with a single hole through the steel of the slide and the lower barrel locking lug? Then just use a bit of drill bit shank slid in to lock the action when desired.

    The threaded 21A ‘Covert’ is a nifty little pocket pistol.

    Jeremy – Keep a supply of trigger return springs on hand, you will need them…

  4. Beretta must have had their head up their ass when they discontinued the Jetfire m950 .25 acp as it was much smaller than the newer double action model 21. The 21 is just too big for a pocket pistol as compared to the much smaller model 950 Jetfire.

    The Jetfire was accurate easily out to 25 yards and I was just shooting mine last week alongside the sleeper of all .25 auto pistols the Titan/Targa .25 acp. It too was accurate and above all also reliable.

    And if you think the .25 auto is not lethal guess again. I could give you pages of shooting incidents were a woman or a man blew an assailant away with the .25 acp and sometimes with only 1 shot. In one case a guy leaving a bar was jumped by 3 thugs and he shot all of them with one shot apiece and killed all 3.

    • Fascinating. The greatest champion of gun control pretending he has experience and knowledge that he doesn’t.

  5. The only reason I would buy this is because its Beretta. It would likely never be shot.

    I don’t go to the range to show off.

    • “The only reason I would buy this is because its Beretta. It would likely never be shot.”

      You’ll want to shoot it, it feels really, Really, REALLY nice in the hand with those contoured wood grips…

  6. It bothers me they only hold 7 rounds for such a fat little pistol but they are extremely unique and entertaining to shoot. Love mine

  7. I would like to shoot this in .25 ACP. With a small suppressor, it would work extremely well. The reliability of centerfire ammunition is an inherent issue with the .22 Long Rifle.

    “Where the rubber meets the road” is my main concern. when the chips are down, you cannot afford to hear a “click” when a “bang” is the imperative.

  8. I had a Tomcat in .32 ACP once. It did well for what it was. I have to admit it looks like it would be fun. Those grips not so much. Guessing they’re VZ. Looks like a wood rasp.

    • On mine, they are wood.

      Pick one up to inspect the next time you are in a gun store, they are substantially thicker than the usual flat plastic grips.

      Your hand just naturally falls into the grip. The first time I picked mine up, it was a “Where have you been hiding all my life” vibe it gave off…

  9. Gun makers used to appeal to old school gun owners with finishes that sounded like classic gun smithing, blue or stainless steel. Beretta has Inox. Then it was military style: Olive drab or OD, parkerized, then various finishes like Tennifer, nitrided, cerakote. Desert tan, FDE, Coyote…

    Now I guess they are going after the Whole foods shopping, kambucha swilling millennials with a kale smoothie?

    Gun looks cool, finish and grips and threaded barrel are nice. Ugh kale though!

    • On mine, the slide is blued, the frame has a flat black coating on it…

    • Now, I appreciate mouse guns, and have a couple, but this kale milkshake thing is a little too hip for my taste, at least while sober…

  10. “Mags don’t drop free, but they do come out easily.”

    Is this due to drag from a magazine interlock safety? Can it be removed or disabled?

  11. Tritium Sights are they desirable and are they worth the money?

    Maybe for you they are but not for me.

    Most people do not realize that to be able to actually use a Tritium sight it has to be so dark that you cannot identify your target which can get a member of your family accidentally killed in the middle of the night. Using a flashlight is far safer to avoid an accidental death.

    I remember reading an article in the now defunct, but sorely missed, weekly paper “Gun Week” that a foolish and paranoid Cop heard someone in his kitchen one night and shot him dead. It turned out to be his son that came home early from college. If he had used a flashlight instead his son would never have been accidentally killed.

    One must also realize that Tritium Sights are actually on good for one shot because the muzzle flash will blind you for the next shot. Again a flashlight is far better to use and contrary to the trend to mount a flashlight on your weapon that is a big mistake as well. Anything electronic is subject to malfunction especially when subjected to the sharpe recoil of a firearm. It is also far better to hold the flashlight in the non shooting hand and away from your body because if a criminal sees a flashlight that is what he is going to aim for and if the light is mounted on your weapon that is a path for the bullet to travel right back to you.

    Tritium Sights also only have on average a “half life of 5 years” and it’s time to go to all the expense of buying a new pair of sights.

    The only thing that Tritium Sights are good for is that you can often find your gun in the dark much faster because if the sights are still new they are usually bright enough to show you where your firearm is at.

    • Disregard what dacian said about night sights and the use of lights. He’s wrong (again) and just plain full of shit. The only thing that surprises me is that he didn’t trot out the old myth about strobes disorienting people. They don’t.

      • But the TV commercials for the Tac Light show the strobe totally flustrating a large ugly man waving his hands in the air.
        It was on TV, it has to be true!

        Besides, I just came her to say “kale slushy.”

  12. I have owned and shot the Beretta 21A for many years and love it. Having the barrel threaded and a suppressor would be great if wasin a free state, instead of Illinois.
    If you want more power out of your gun, try the Girsan MC14T in .380ACP. It is the larger version of the tip up barrel and would be great with a suppressor as well.

  13. Beretta has done a good job making it appeal to a new, younger audience looking for cool, unique firearms to collect and show off on Instagram. Which describes me exactly.

    Get off my lawn.

  14. I almost skipped the review due to the word “slushy” in its title, not wanting to even consider buying any gunm with a “slushy” trigger. Usually, describing a gunm as “slushy” means a warning that it has such a god-awful terrible trigger that nobody should ever buy it.
    A manufacturer naming its gunm “Slushy” is like an automaker naming their gun a “Lemon.”
    Something must have gotten lost in translation from the Italian manufacturer, like when Chevrolet tried to sell the Chevy Nova in South America and learned that Nova, in Spanish, means “Doesn’t work.”

    Fortunately, I opened the review anyway and learned that “Kale Slushy” just means a slide and barrel that are Cerakoted OD Green. Who’d have thunk it?

  15. I was given a Jennings J-22 twenty five years ago or so. An FFL had it and it had been returned to him twice. At first it would not shoot more than 2 rounds without some sort of jam. I tinkered around with the gun and more so the magazines and now it will shoot anything you load the magazine with. I have seen these. They are very nice. I just don’t need one, that crappy old Jennings just keeps on shooting.

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