Gun Review: Beretta 3032 Tomcat Inox

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

comments

  1. avatar Specialist38 says:

    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.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      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.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        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.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          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.

      2. avatar Sckarekrow says:

        The INOX models DO NOT have stainless steel frames. They are ALL forged aluminum.

    2. avatar NineShooter says:

      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.

      1. avatar Dan says:

        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.

        1. avatar Sckarekrow says:

          There are frame cracking issues with the INOX models as well. The cracking issue is, however, a cosmetic issue, and doesn’t affect the functionality of the handgun. Much like the cracking issue that existed with aluminum framed 1911s above the slide stop. 1911 builders now just mill out that entire area preventing a crack, or if cracked they just mill out the cracked area and “problem” (read cosmetic) solved.

      2. avatar Everett Walker says:

        I’ve only had one failure to extract/eject with any of the Beretta pocket pistols (minx/jetfire/bobcat/tomcat) This was with one of the jacket-full-of-birdshot loads -not the Glazer but The Fragsafe! Defecator! (sic) * These would sometimes come apart in grocery store meat and sometimes pencil right on through undeformed. They were extremely hot judging from the flat primers and the round that took a death grip on the bobcat chamber but bounced the slide hard enough to create a double feed. Amazing!
        Might not have happened with a Colt Vest Pocket or a Browning though such a thing might well destroy an extractor.

        *he gets very upset if you say his bullets don’t work.

    3. avatar Ben_Franklin says:

      If it doesn’t extract? If the gun is brand new, send out for warranty. If it extracted before and doesn’t now, you know what to do, clean the chamber. I’d clean the chamber with JB non embedding bore cleaner or maybe even a light polish (very light)

  2. avatar Tile floor says:

    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.

    1. avatar Steven Lipsio says:

      You must love the new Sig P365 then. Small and holds 10 +1 rounds of 9mm. For me, my ex Shield is a mouse gun because of its limited round capacity. Adding longer grips to accommodate more rounds is not a good solution in my book since it makes the grips harder to conceal negating the reason I bought it.

  3. avatar Montesa_VR says:

    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.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      ShootingtheBull410’s review of the round, included in the review above, shows otherwise. I was pretty surprised with the results.

    2. avatar Wiregrass says:

      Maybe not the optimum self defense round, but they are still plenty deadly.

      One was just used to kill a PA State Trooper this past weekend.

      http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/01/stolen_gun_traded_for_drugs_us.html#incart_river_home_pop

    3. avatar john says:

      Doubtful. A .22 in any variation surpassing a .32 ACP lacks common sense.

      1. avatar Sckarekrow says:

        “Common sense” would indicate you have not done your research. Penetration, not expansion, is key in sub calibers. There are many .22lr and .22 mag rounds that will out penetrate American .32 acp jhp (which are poor performers) Most European 7.65 FMJ, if not all, will penetrate and out class .22, but your blanket comment is incorrect.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    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.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      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.

      1. Which is why ‘old school’ semi-autos like the 3032 shine in comparrison to newer options. The Tomcat can be safely carried ‘locked & cocked’ with the hammer back & safety on. When home, one can drop the magazine & tip the barrel to remove the round in the chamber. When going back out, insert magazine and tip barrel to insert round in chamber. For someone with limited hand strength, this is ideal. Hammer & slide never need manipulated to go from completely unloaded to loaded with full magazine & round in chamber.

    2. avatar Specialist38 says:

      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.

    3. avatar Sckarekrow says:

      Beretta

  5. avatar Madcapp says:

    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.

    1. avatar Montesa_VR says:

      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/

      1. avatar Patrick says:

        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.

        1. avatar Montesa_VR says:

          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.

        2. avatar Sckarekrow says:

          Most of those internet youtube commandos are all glam, no slam, anyway. If proper penetration is achieved, then shot placement is the deciding factor. People have survived in the fight after getting fragged and watching one of their own limbs sail through the goal posts. Their god like decrees of absolute knowledge are bullshit. The only fight experience some of those guys have is with their wife letting them make another video rather than mowing the lawn.
          Even the lowly .25 ACP has rocked many a douchebag, and crimefighter into a dirt nap. Guns shoot bullets- bullets punch holes in things that are not designed to have a hole there, resulting in potential cessation of that thing’s ability to remain an ambulatory thing, and maybe transition into a dead thing. Some bullets are clearly better at it than other bullets. Conversely, some things are better at remaining alive than other things, in spite of the bullets used. For every story about a .32 ACP mag dump failing to stop a 300 lb biker with a necklace made of human fingers, there is a story about a 120 lb. tweaking meth-head who took a .45 ACP to his snot box, and continued to do violent tweaker things. Combat is 1/4 training, 1/4 luck, and the other half voodoo.

      2. avatar Madcapp says:

        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.

        1. avatar Joel says:

          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.

        2. avatar James Peterson says:

          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.

        3. avatar Sckarekrow says:

          All this talk of muzzle energy is useless nerd speak. The end game is decided by where the bullet ended up in 3 dimensions. Caliber regardless. Regardless of transferred energy, what the bullet damaged, or destroyed is the deciding factor. A .22 mag dissecting the frontal lobe is far more decisive than 12 Gauge 00 buck to an asscheek.

      3. avatar Bob Jones says:

        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.

        1. avatar Bob Jones says:

          It’s a myth too!

        2. avatar James Peterson says:

          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.

        3. avatar Skolnick says:

          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.

        4. avatar Don says:

          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. avatar Mr. AR says:

    Aiming at your own boot/foot? Col. Cooper and your Scoutmaster are perturbed.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Guns aren’t magic. They don’t load themselves, and that trigger isn’t going to magically pull.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        I’m just going to assume he was joking.

        1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

          Sigh. Seriously Mr. AR?

        2. avatar Specialist38 says:

          And make sure you prop the pistol up with a sharpie through the trigger guard nextime.

          We’d like to be able to see the pistol better.

      2. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

        But there are always ants on the forest floor, and they’re surprisingly strong for their size!

      3. avatar David Green says:

        Great boots though! Just the right worn in look!
        Unkei

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    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.

  8. avatar Shawn says:

    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

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      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.

      1. avatar Joseph says:

        I was going to ask about that: I know it can be done but is it worth trying? How often does a misfire go off on the 2nd try?

        1. avatar Douglas Pratt says:

          In the hundreds of rounds I’ve fired through my two Tomcats I have rarely had to pull the trigger twice but it has always worked on the second pull. I never had it happen with factory ammo. A few years ago when primers were scarce I loaded some handgun rounds with TulAmmo primers, which are notoriously hard. That’s when I encountered double taps.

  9. avatar C.S. says:

    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?

  10. avatar Michael says:

    Jeremy always has the best reviews at ttag

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      Agree.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Mom, is that you making fake accounts again?

        Awww…you guys are awesome, even if you clearly have bad taste 😛

  11. avatar TX says:

    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.

  12. avatar rt66paul says:

    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.

    1. avatar d says:

      Barrel, not barrell.

  13. avatar George says:

    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.

  14. avatar TexPat says:

    If I could locate one, I would buy one. Great little guns.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      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.

      1. avatar George says:

        Jeremy, do you know if Beretta is currently producing the Bobcat in .25 ACP?

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Yeah, it’s on their site so I do believe they are: http://www.beretta.com/en-us/21-a-bobcat/

      2. avatar joe says:

        That’s what Beretta wants you to believe but the truth is they are nearly impossible to get. I got mine after an extensive search and you won’t find it on Buds or any of the other sites. For all intense and purposes, it’s not available, yes one here, one there but a gun that’s “really in production” can be had at dozens of sites but NOT THIS GUN!!!

    2. avatar Joe says:

      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….

  15. avatar Crowbar says:

    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.

  16. avatar jwm says:

    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.

  17. avatar Wood says:

    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.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      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.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        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.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          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.

        2. avatar Don says:

          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

  18. avatar Gage says:

    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

  19. 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.

  20. avatar Archangel187 says:

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

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      “Inox” is a much better fit as being short for the French (inoxydable) or Spanish (inoxidable) than the Italian (inossidabile) 😛

  21. avatar Tom says:

    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

    1. avatar Tom says:

      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.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        Right. That’s the point of the photo. The text associated with the photo should have made that clear enough 😉

  22. avatar alfred WAYNE cornelius says:

    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

  23. avatar GaryL says:

    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.

    1. avatar Douglas Pratt says:

      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.

      1. avatar Seth Burgin says:

        I love the FS 86 Cheetah tip-up, and have just bought an FS84 and an FS85! Awesome .380s that are an absolute joy to shoot. Mom is not too crazy about carrying the Cheetah 86FS as it is the longest barreled Cheetah made. It’s also a work of art, so she is opting to stick with a 1980 Colt Detective Special I did a trigger, action, and accurizing job on. It’s DA trigger puts a Python to shame now. It has a touch of holster wear, but it is her nightstand gun, for now. She really enjoys shooting the Cheetahs, at the range! I am picking up a Ruger LCP .327 Fed Mag for her. If she can shoot an Airlight .357, that one won’t be a problem. Racking a slide is the main issue. The .327 Fed Mag can be downloaded to .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W long, .32 S&W Short, and even .32 ACP will chamber n shoot from that gun. I might also try a tactical slide racker for a Glock 42 or 43. She can still rack a Beretta PX4 Storm, S&W 59 & 39, & the FEG R9, so I think traction on the slide is the main issue, for now. She just hates carrying the extra weight around. None of those are small or light.

  24. avatar KEN says:

    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.

    1. avatar Joe says:

      If you go to gunbroker.com yes, several show up but these are used guns. Click on “new” and do a search and there are NONE.

      I also went to http://www.gunsinternational.com and again, no new Tomcat 3032’s and no used ones either.

      I stand by my earlier comment at the time I made it and it appears, even now too, that the Beretta Tomcat 3032 is really for all practical purposes, NOT in production. If it were really “in production” you could buy it at dozens of places but you can’t find it hardly anywhere.

      Put it this way: if a gun is in production you can generally find it (new, not used) at budsgunshop.com and this gun is not available there….also not available at gunsinternational.com or at gunbroker.com……

      I only found mine by calling every Beretta distributor I could and even then, I found ONE (that’s all they had) and that was at the last distributor I called.

      So…….it’s really NOT available……

      1. avatar Seth Burgin says:

        Beretta is in the process of moving their factory to a more gun friendly state, now that Trump is in office and the greatest gun salesman ever, Obama, is out of office. The 3032 is still shown on Beretta’s website, and the good folks at Beretta assured me, the guns, and parts for the 3032 will be back in stock, sometime soon.

  25. avatar Don says:

    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

  26. avatar Joe says:

    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.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      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.

      1. avatar joe says:

        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.

        1. avatar Seth Burgin says:

          Some of those are shot from a test barrel that could be as long as 10″, and it is a SAAMI test barrel, NOT a real gun barrel. I have never ever seen any ammo that shot as fast from a real gun, as it did from a test jig & test barrel. That barrel is bolted to a bench that is bolted to the floor. It’s almost always 2x larger than anything you or I would carry. 6″-12″. There is a website called “power by the inch”. It is an effort to give you some idea, what you will gain or lose by changing barrel lengths. When I chrono’ed ammo from the 3032, Bullalo Bore was about the only offending ammo for a 3032.

        2. avatar Seth Burgin says:

          Some of those are shot from a test barrel that could be as long as 10″, and it is a SAAMI test barrel, NOT a real gun barrel. I have never ever seen any ammo that shot as fast from a real gun, as it did from a test jig & test barrel. That barrel is bolted to a bench that is bolted to the floor. It’s almost always 2x larger than anything you or I would carry. 6″-12″. There is a website called “power by the inch”. It is an effort to give you some idea, what you will gain or lose by changing barrel lengths. When I chrono’ed ammo from the 3032, Buffalo Bore was about the only offending ammo for a 3032.

  27. avatar Gary says:

    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.

    1. avatar Seth Burgin says:

      I can’t get good (any) expansion out of .32 JHPs from my 3032, so I just stuck with FMJ Winchester white box. The Model 21As in .25 ACP and .22 LR both give great expansion, using Hornady, Speer Gold Dot, I think Fiocchi makes a JHP .25 too, and CCI Stingers, well at the ridiculous hot loading those have they mushroom open nicely too. Chucking some .32 ACP bullets in a lathe wowing out a hollow and handloading them to +P works, but it cracks the frames on the 3032. I might try Hydroshock again.

  28. Very good comments it help me alot

  29. avatar Robert Miller says:

    Is Leligh Ammo Good for my 3032 Tomcat, Grain ? /fps/Ft lbs?

  30. avatar Seth Burgin says:

    My Tomcat has been such a part of my carry routine, I have 5 or 6 magazines for it, and the Sig Sauer P228R it accompanied for almost 9 years had around 10 magazines, but I picked up a pair of Model 21As in .22LR and .25ACP. Honestly, the 3032 has a much better sight picture and with practice I have a developed good fast volleyball sized group from the diminutive Tomcat at 20-25 yards, and smaller groups at 7-10 yards, so if I have to, I can put those little anemic 32 ACP rounds on target faithfully & fast. JHP .32 ACP generally does not hit hard enough to expand, so rather than give up 11 grains of weight for a useless hollowpoint, I stick with 71 grain FMJ Winchester white box flatnose. The 21A .25ACP is actually fun to shoot, compared to the 3032. Those JHPs mushroom out beautifully well too, as do CCI Stingers in the .22LR Model 21A. The 3032 is a tad larger, and has markedly better sights! I graduated to the Glock 43, and then I started leaving the big Sig Sauer behind and backing up the little Glock 43 with the Tomcat, for daily errands. I spent a small fortune buying mom, who is 82, and has arthritis, a Beretta 86FS, tip up .380, but that gun is like a miniature 92FS, only with a tip up barrel. It’s not a small gun, but it is a whole lot of fun, and for now, mom is staying with the Colt Detective Special for the nightstand. That one is loaded with +P SWCHP 1970s FBI loads.

  31. avatar willie says:

    got a bit of a chuckle out of the review – it was posted in 2017, but a search using Beretta’s serial number database shows the pistol was made in 2014 – so a review of a 3-year-old gun…

    i just snagged a 2018 INOX 3032 – i truly hope Beretta has resolved the frame-cracking issue – but since a caution was included in the box, i’m not holding my breath..

    i mean, really? when a $200 Kel-Tec P-32 polymer-framed pistol w/an aluminum receiver can eat nearly any ammo on the market, this ‘stainless’ pistol has to use low-powered ammunition?

    seriously?

  32. avatar Ricardo says:

    beretta tomcat safety on, hammer cock, then i press the trigger thoroughly and after taking off safety the hammer goes down automatically… Seems like if it is a decocker but we know this little gun doesn’t have that.
    Any idea about this…?
    Regards

  33. avatar Pocketgunner says:

    I will stick to the Beretta Pico. The two I have, had been totally reliable. Soft, mild shooters. Second strike ability, beautiful build and have plenty of room from receiver to grip. Never had any bite after thousands of rounds through these guns and Probably the best sights in class. I suspect that Beretta did not make the Pico in 32.cal, simply because it already is such a mild shooter. By the way, I have a size large hand and long fingers.

  34. avatar Pocketgunner says:

    I find it interesting when I compared your review of the Beretta Pico, which I found to be entirely off base. The Pico has a Stainless Steel receiver, chassis and all parts except for the Modular grip. Best sights in class with ability to change out to night sights, a much lighter trigger at 8-8.1 lbs of pull, re-strike capable, stainless steel mags and even a steel follower and one of the most mild shooting 380’s on the market. Very little muzzle flip. In fact, I believe the Pico did not come out in 32. cal simply because it already was so mild to shoot.
    I own two Pico’s. Both have been totally reliable. One gun now well over 3,000 rounds flawless, the other 1500. And for the life of me, cannot understand why the Tomcat cost so much more? Unless the unique design of the tip up barrel. I do like that feature.
    Yes, you messed up on the Pico review, but you did great on the Nano. Thanks for the review. By the way, the PICO is plus P rated. Not many pocket gun get that rating.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Keep in mind that I reviewed a gen 1 Pico right after they came out. Beretta took much of my feedback and built it into the gen 2 Pico, which came out not very long after. I 100% stand behind everything in that review as completely factually accurate. BUT that doesn’t mean it all applied to the Pico after Beretta updated it and changed all sorts of stuff.

  35. avatar Ben_Franklin says:

    I have put about 1,000 rounds through my Inox. Wary of the frame cracking issue I have only used Aguila <120 ft lb ammo and, so far so good no sign of cracks. Reliability could be better because I have had about 20 in jams in 1000 rounds, mostly failures-to-feed (this gun did not feed reliably when i used flat tip or hollow point, or any ammo besides round nose so that is all I use now for this gun. After polishing the feed ramp in the chamber (with a dremel, barrel shaped felt wheel and blue max polish) and shooting Aguila round nose ammo exclusively, the jamming problem has disappeared. I bought a bunch of Winchester flat-nose and these jammed consistently against the feed ramp, about one FTF every other magazine, so i just used up all the Winchester flat nose and quit buying it.

    Beretta warns in the owner's manual NOT to dry fire the gun and, this is no idle warning! It is NOT just boilerplate or over-caution by the designers as I thought at first, so this warning should definitely be heeded! Because after I ignored the warning and dry fired several times anyway (maybe 30 or 40 times) sure enough the firing pin tip broke off at the range, after 600 rounds (despite using snap caps for dry firing no less). The replacement firing pin is cheap enough at Midwest Gun works, (less than $20) but I broke 2 different pin punches trying to pound out the F.P. retaining pin. I had to buy a set of short punches and pound them good and hard just to get that retaining pin out – it was tight! I swapped in the new firing pin and spring and I replaced that F.P. retaining pin too, for good measure. The new F.P. retaining pin fitted a bit too loosely going in, and I felt it might try to walk itself out eventually. So I applied a match-head sized blob of blue loctite on the pin head before tapping it back in. About 500-600 rounds later the retaining pin shows no signs of working loose and of course, i have quit dry firing this gun for good!

    I was somewhat concerned by the lack of an extractor in this gun but so far there have been no failures to eject the spent cases. Naturally i make a point to give the chamber a good scrubbing every cleaning time. This is a fun gun, very small and easy to handle, but again beware of frame bite, if you put many rounds through it in a day your hand might be smarting a bit due to the way the gun fits in even average sized hands like mine (the angle of the frame is a bit too sharp for a long shooting session). I really dislike reloading mags at the range so i bought 10 of them to load in advance – almost all of them OEM Beretta type magazines and these work the best. When it comes time to disassemble the magazine for cleaning, use care as the mag spring is quite powerful for its size and will launch along with the follower given half a chance. Do i regret buying this gun, no! Would i buy another one, also no. Not unless Beretta came out with another tilt barrel gun chambered in .380, then, definite maybe.

    A fun gun, easy to handle, small and light and fairly pleasant to shoot; and the tilt barrel is a very useful and practical feature that makes the gun very easy to load and to unload and make safe. But if this were my only gun, I'd want almost anything else: .32 ACP is really too small for serious self-defense, and even worse, I do not consider the gun reliable enough to bet my life on unless I literally had no other choice of gun.

  36. avatar Pocketgunner says:

    What is interesting is the fact that the Pico shoots as mild as a 32.cal or at least close and you get a much better built, gun. All stainless steel sub-chassis, Modular design, great sights with the ability to change out to night sights, high top quality stainless steel magazines, re-strike capability. I have two of the Pico’s and they are the most reliable of all the Pocket guns I own, and I own many. They run like sewing machines. As a collector, I would consider the Bobcat, but not for carry or any amount of shooting. Really do not understand the high cost of the Bob cat unless it is just the tilt barrel design is expensive to manufacturer. I own the Kel-tec P32 and for Carry it is a much better gun and very reliable. Shoots the Underwood ammo just fine.

    1. avatar Ben_Franklin says:

      I bought a Tomcat because I like Beretta and I can’t buy a Cheetah in my (police) state anymore but for some reason we’re still allowed to buy a Tomcat. I was looking at the Turner’s ad (Turner’s is a sporting goods chain here in caliornia) and happened to see that they had ONE Tomcat, at their warehouse available for sale – so I went down and bought it. Anyway, I like that the Tomcat is all-metal, it’s smaller by far than any of my other guns (I would not want a Tomcat to be the only gun I own). I like the “old world” design and craftsmanship (they’ll never make guns like this ever again) and I like the tip-up barrel. Makes checking the gun a breeze, while also impressing people occasionally. Girls like it, maybe because it almost looks like a toy, and it’s easy to load without fighting the slide. As for reliability? I tried some flat nose bullets, which jammed the gun at least once per magazine, so I shot up all the flat nose and now I stick to round nose FMJ ammo. Also I took my dremel, polishing tip, and some JB bore paste and polished the feed part of the chamber for 20 or 30 seconds… then I put some on a .30 cal swab and cleaned up the chamber too. No more feeding problems after all this.

      1. avatar Douglas Pratt says:

        I can relate on the Cheetah. I have almost all of them (the Model 86 is my dearest friend), and I went to complete my collection when some Model 81s came on the market. I had to buy it without a magazine because of NY’s stupid SAFE act restricting mags to 10 rounds. The 81 is double stack .32ACP. If it had been an 82 single stack, I would have been able to get the mag.

        It’s a shame the Cheetah isn’t made anymore, it’s a wonderful design, but I can see how it can’t compete in the marketplace. A Pico is in my future plans.

  37. avatar HoldFast says:

    I bought the Tomcat (new) a couple of weeks back. 49 rounds in (Aguila 71 Grain FMJ ) and it failed – it looks like the slide jumped the frame.
    Now the slide wont click easily into place on reassembly and the barrel struggles to seat properly.
    Its gone back to Beretta so will see what they say.
    Shame, I like this pocket gun but I no longer trust it and will most likely trade it back to the dealer.

    1. avatar ben_franklin says:

      As you have surely noticed by now, there’s a trick to getting the slide back on! Every time I field strip the slide takes 2 or 3 tries to reinstall back on the frame…. almost every time I wind up with the slide stuck, half-on/half-off seemingly frozen in place. All that means is, the slide and frame are misaligned and needs to come off for another try – no big deal! Just tap the slide up and off the frame and start again.

      YT videos can help, too.

      BTW i already broke a firing pin in less then 1000 rounds, per my post above – . When Beretta says “DO NOT DRY FIRE” by golly they meant it!

      1. avatar HoldFast says:

        Agreed on the need to align carefully. Slide removal and reassembly was not an issue before it malfunctioned – which happened as it was being fired. The trigger mechanism was also damaged (failure to engage hammer in DA). Anyway, it’s with Beretta.

  38. avatar John Hoffnagle says:

    Nice little gun. I purchased mine several years ago, and have never fired it…never even bought any ammo. The problem ? I have arthritis in my index finger, and the trigger is so hard I am unable to pull it. I have several other guns and do not have this problem with any of them…never have I seen such a hard trigger. Is there any way to adjust this ?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Not really. A lighter hammer spring would drop the double action trigger pull weight but it would reduce the strength of the primer hits. The only real solution for range use would be to cock the hammer manually and shoot only in single action. A gunsmith could drop that weight down but I don’t think it’s worth it. I’d get a different gun instead like a S&W Shield EZ.

  39. avatar George M. Kalinowski says:

    I just purchased a NEW Tomcat . Went to range today with 5 boxes of ammo , 5 different brands : American Eagle , Magtech , Remington green & white , Winchester white & red and Blazer ; all 71gr FMJ . I fired 2 mags of all 5 brands . With EACH mag , I had either 2 or 3 Failure To Feeds. I was wondering , what range ammo are people having the least problems with ? And do you think my high # of Failure To Feeds was ammo related or some other problem ?

    1. avatar Douglas Pratt says:

      I have fired all those brands through my Tomcats with no feeding issues. I use mostly American Eagle for practice.
      I would say, you may be experiencing break-in. Run 500 rounds of inexpensive ball ammo through it and see if it smooths out. If you have access to a competent gunsmith you might see about getting the feed ramp polished. If none of that helps, check with the Beretta factory. I sent one Tomcat back to them years ago (when they were still in Maryland) to deal with a broken firing pin, and they fixed it and sent it back with no charge, even though it was my fault for too much dry firing.

      1. avatar George M. Kalinowski says:

        Thank you for the input . I plan on running at least a couple 100 thru my new Tomcat next week .
        I am lucky , I am an hour’s drive away from a Beretta Service Center . If , after I put 500 rounds thru the Tomcat , I am still having problems with Failure To Feed , I will take the drive to the Beretta Service Center for ramp polishing and a complete look-over of the firearm .

      2. avatar George M. Kalinowski says:

        My new Tomcat problems continue . A couple days back , I cleaned / lubed my Tomcat with a go-over with Ballistol . Then I returned to the range for day 2 of testing with my leftover ammo from day 1 and it’s failures : American Eagle 71 gr FMJ , PMC Bronze 71 gr FMJ , PPU 71gr FMJ & Remington Green & White 71gr FMJ. For every magazine shot , I loaded 7 bullets in magazine and one in the barrel . I shot 21 magazines worth . 168 bullets fired and 35 failures to feed / eject . Only 4 of the 21 mags fired had zero failures .Approx 50% of failures were empty casing stuck in ejection port and the other 50% of failures were BOTH empty casing and next bullet in magazine BOTH stuck together in ejection port . I am lucky that I am one hour’s drive away from one of Beretta USA’s 5 regional service centers . I dropped the Tomcat off yesterday . I will report back here after I pick up the Tomcat

        1. Yes, it’s time to return it. There’s no breakin-related reason for your problems with it. I’m confident that Beretta will make it right.

  40. avatar David Green says:

    Hello all,
    I have the Tomcat in the Wide Slide version and have experienced no problems other than trying to replace the grips. Something fell out and I couldn’t get it back together. Took it to my gunsmith and he couldn’t get it in working order either. So I called Beretta and I paid to ship the firearm to them. They reassembled the pistol properly and installed my after market bonded ivory grips. They test fired the weapon several times. They did this at no charge even though it was my screwup. They even paid the return shipping! I cannot fault their customer service. They went above and beyond!
    David

    1. There is a little ball with a spring underneath that makes the detent in the safety, and that will vanish if you aren’t prepared for it. That’s one important Tomcat pro tip. Another is that the pin that holds in the firing pin is tapered and very difficult to remove. Don’t dry fire without a snap cap. If you break the firing pin, have a professional replace it. I tried to do it myself, and wound up using some words I haven’t heard since I worked for the Navy.

      1. avatar Ben_Franklin says:

        I broke my firing pin, from dry-firing, I guess (I used a snap cap for most of it but the pin broke anyway). The gun had about 700 rounds through it. And, yes, the firing pin retaining pin is pressed in very tightly! And if you use a long punch to try and remove it, the punch is probably going to break. So I bought a short punch and used that to remove the retaining pin. Sometimes a series of taps combined with a good hard wallop now and then works better to make the pin come loose.
        I didn’t stake the pin afterwards. For that matter, I have a Beretta 92 and I don’t stake the extractor pin for that either. I just get the pin most of the way in and put a drop of loctite blue on the head of the pin. This works fine and never had one secured like this come loose.

        1. avatar Douglas Pratt says:

          Interesting about the Loctite. I was afraid of marring the slide after I broke the first punch… I’m a writer, not an engineer, and I don’t have much confidence in my physical abilities unless I’m running a keyboard or a reloading press. Unfortunately my gunsmith son moved to Seattle, so off to the factory it was, and we’ve been happy ever since. The second Tomcat started having loud-click-instead-of-bang, and I was afraid it was firing pin city again, but it turns out the cleaner I used to use had gummed it up. Some Kroil at both ends and we’re back in business.

  41. avatar NotEnoughGuns (AndyM) says:

    Obviously late to the party but I just picked up one of these myself. I originally wanted one because of the Underwood “Cavitator” load but since it wasn’t reliable with it and traditional hollowpoints won’t penetrate deep enough, I held off.

    But Lehigh scrapped the cavitator bullet design and now Underwood has the Extreme Defender. And yes, it feeds in the 3032.

    Love this little gun. I carry it at work and when not at work it’s a BUG. Just wish Crimson Trace didn’t discontinue their lasergrips for it…

    1. avatar Douglas Pratt says:

      Agree on the Crimson Trace. I have two Inox Tomcats with a laser on one, and it’s great.

  42. avatar Joseph says:

    Thank you for the most thorough and detailed review I’ve seen, and I’ve been looking at a bunch. I’ve fired pistols only a few times in my life but my first gun is the 3032 Inox being delivered tomorrow. Mind if I ask a few questions?

    What happens if you rack the slide while it’s both chamber loaded and magazine loaded? Unless Berretta somehow made that impossible?

    If the weapon is at half-cock can releasing the safety cause hammer drop?

    I’m assuming half-cock gives you single-action travel distance but double-action resistance? With the long DA pull that sounds good, but is there a reduction in safety?

    Can a gunsmith reduce the DA resistance pull by a couple of pounds?

    I have read that racking the slide is much easier with the hammer back (I have arthritis, fyi). Could you chamber by racking this way? Safety on, cock the hammer, rack the slide easily, tilt the barrel, safety off (must do that to drop the hammer, I assume?), drop the hammer, safety on, reset the barrel.

    When traveling with the weapon unloaded what’s a good way to carry a loose round to load by tilting the barrel when you get there?

    Thanks again, especially for the trigger profile.

    1. avatar Douglas Pratt says:

      If you rack the slide with a round in the chamber that round will be extracted and the next one in the magazine will be fed.

      You’re right, it is not easy to rack the slide unless the hammer is cocked. Fortunately there is almost never a need to do this. The safety locks the slide in place so it cannot be racked. If you need to uncock the hammer safely, tip the barrel up and hold the hammer with your thumb as you release it. Even if your thumb slips, nothing bad can happen with the barrel up.

      Practice will probably show you that there isn’t that much difference in accuracy between the DA trigger pull and the SA. I like the extra safety of the heavy DA pull.

      There’s really no reason not to carry it with a round in the chamber. The safety is very positive, and you have that nice long DA trigger pull on the first round.

      I don’t know if they’re still available, but I have a lovely pocket holster from The Guru. It has a flat panel that is hinged to the holster at the base. In your pocket that panel looks like a wallet. Slide your hand in between the panel and the holster, and your grip is perfectly placed for the draw.

      I hope you enjoy your Tomcat as much as I have mine!

      1. avatar Joseph says:

        Thank you, Doug. The gun has been delivered and I have 8 more days on the California waiting period.

        I’m disappointed that there don’t seem to be laser bullets for dry fire practice in .32. Heck, I haven’t even been able to find .32 tap caps yet.

        1. avatar Doug Pratt says:

          I agree with your frustration over the lack of .32 laser cartridges. There are snap caps available, but not lasers.

      2. avatar Joseph says:

        “If you rack the slide with a round in the chamber that round will be extracted and the next one in the magazine will be fed.”

        I’m afraid that’s not correct. According to the manual because there is no extractor working the slide will not eject a round in the chamber, so the gun will jam if the both magazine and chamber are loaded and you rack the slide.

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