Beretta Model 1935
Semi-Automatic Service Pistol
The Beretta Model 1935 was a lighter-slide version of the preceding Model 1934 semi-automatic pistol design.
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The famous firearms concern of Beretta was founded in 1526 by Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta out of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. Since then, the family name has lived strong and become one of the most respected gunsmithing companies in the world - as well as one of its oldest. One of their first initial pistol successes (and their first attempt at a semi-automatic design) became the Model 1915 chambered for the 7.65x17mm (Short) cartridge and used by the Italian Army in World War 1 (1914-1918). However, it was not formally adopted as a standardized sidearm despite its wartime showing. Regardless, this began the long line of Beretta semi-automatic pistols that continues today as other evolved forms began to appear during the critical interwar years leading up to World War 2 - there proved the Model 1915/19, Model 1922, Model 1923, Model 1931 and Model 1934 as examples. In 1935, Beretta introduced their latest modern offering - the Model 1935 - featuring the classic Beretta profile lines and utilizing the 7.65x17mm Browning SR (.32 ACP) cartridge.
The Model 1935 came about as a Beretta attempt to head off competition from emerging foreign designs. The firm, therefore, set about in modifying their existing Model 1934, chambered for the 9x17mm Short (.380 ACP) cartridge to accept the 7.65x17mm Browning SR (.32 ACP) round. To this was added a lighter slide component together with a more streamlined exterior. Production of the Model 1935 began in 1935 and would span into 1967 to which 525,000 units would be produced. This allowed the weapon to see combat service in World War 2 and beyond for it proved itself a most reliable and high-quality weapon even under the most deplorable of circumstances (if adequately maintained). Issuance was initially to Italian Air Force officers and flight crews as a self-defense measure. It is noteworthy that the .32 ACP cartridge was considered rather light for military service, lowering the pistol's effectiveness at range and the weapon was further limited by its 8-round magazine capacity. Regardless, the sidearm was a high respected design and prized by local, allied and enemy forces throughout World War 2.
The Model 1935 relied on a proven blowback, single-action, semi-automatic function featuring a muzzle velocity of 925 feet per second and feeding from an eight-round detachable box magazine fitted into the base of the grip. Due to the rather short length of the grip, a curved spur-type extension was added at the front base to ensure a proper hold. The trigger was solid and seated within an elliptical ring. The slide sported ribbing near the rear sides for a surer grip when managing. A tang overhung the area just above the thumb along the grip to further increase the operator's hold on the gun. The slide sported the usual Beretta "cutaway" appearance over the forward section of the barrel and fielded the iron front and rear sights. The barrel protruded a short distance ahead of the slide to form an exposed muzzle. Outwardly, the appearance of the Model 1935 followed the lines already established by the previous Beretta offerings. As with other semi-automatic pistols, the Model 1935's slide would remain open after the magazine had been spent, though closing when the magazine was formally removed from its well (as opposed to remaining open until a new magazine was inserted).
The German military took on stocks of the Italian Model 1935 during the latter war years and the type saw service/use with other powers including France, the United Kingdom and the United States.