A Beretta « Molto Speziale » !

Some times ago, I found on internet an offer for a « Beretta 1934, nicht original, nur (only) 60 Swiss franks (around $50). »

I asked for a photo… and ran to apply for the legal papers. This pistol was indeed a .380 Beretta 1934… but «molto speziale», very special ! A mini 34, chopped in every dimensions, to better fit the vest pocket of one James Bond who would have understood that the .32 ACP is not so much better than the .25, to stop the bad men of « Specter » !

This James Bond was maybe from the north, because this Beretta wear – like the original with which I had it compared – an «SA» marking ( for Suomi Armee, Finnish Army). Both guns wear also the same fabrication date, 1942 and a very near serial number : 953xxx for the original, 951xxx for the modified.


The gun was chopped 3 cm – 1 1/6” - in length (2 cm – a little 4/5” - for the barrel). The slide was cut and rewelded. All the front was then thinned and the front sight was eliminated. To the back, the rear sight has also disappeared and all this part of the slide has been lowered, to allow the thumb to better hit the hammer. Hammer which was also modified… the ring is gone. The tail of the frame has also been eliminated, to gain some millimeters.

Te frame was shortened 2 cm (roughly 4/5”), as well as the magazine, which holds now only 5 cartridges instead of 7. The mag stop at the rear low of the frame has been rounded and thinned, to avoid any sharp angle against the hand.

The frame was so shortened that, to still allow two fingers around it, the smith had to file the back of the trigger guard. He went a little to far and had to weld the hole he made.

The whole gun was left in the white, except for the black barrel. It seems the original bakelite grips were not ok (lost or broken ?). The Speziale wears today light wood grips (pine tree ?), held by two screws on each side, instead of the original one screw. This is the part of the custom work which seems the least professional.

Result : this Beretta 1934 « Speziale » is a little 5+1 .380 pistol, with the size of a medium .25. The handling is excellent and the recoil is quite bearable. Without any sight, only short range shooting is realist till. But the gun holds the 10 meters target and the James Bond from the north should have felt some confidence, in front of all these red dangers, with the modest weight of its little “Speziale” in his pocket.

All photographs in larger size

Technical characteristics Original  Speziale 
Length  6” 4 ¾ "
High  4 ¾" 3 ¾"
Length of slide 5.1" 4 ½"
Length of barrel 3 ½" 2.6
Length of frame 5" 4 1/3"
Heigth of frame 3 ½ " 2 ¾"
Heigth of magazine 4" 3.1"
Weigth  22.9 oz 17.3 oz
Capacity of magazine 7 cartridges 5 cartridges