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Beretta mod. 418

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Beretta Pocket Pistol cal. 6,35 mm

We do not know exactly in which year Beretta began producing its first 6.35 calibre pocket pistol. The dates suggested by various sources range between 1919 and 1922, but it is possible that these guns were already being planned before the First World War. The exigencies of wartime naturally demanded that precedence be given to other products which were better suited to military needs. Therefore work on the little 6.35 was resumed only at the end of the conflict. The first version of this gun was very similar to the Model 1922; nearly a scale model in fact, with the single but important innovation of the spring-loaded firing pin which took the place of the internal hammer. Mechanically, this constituted a step backwards compared to the larger calibre model, and was probably taken due to considerations of size. In every other way the two pistols are identical, and share the trigger mechanism fitted with an escaping disconnector which is typical of all Beretta pistols of that period.A short time afterwards the second version of the 6.35 calibre Model 19 appeared, with an automatic grip safety fitted on the frame backstrap. Presumably this device was added with the aim of overcoming the reduced level of safety which is inherent in guns with a striker type of firing pin.

Mod. 1920

I version

Serial numbers from 100000 to around 106000

Mod. 1920

II version

Serial numbers from around 106000 to around 112000

Mod. 1920

II version

Serial numbers from around 112000 to around 155000

Mod. 1926

 

Serial numbers from around 155000 to around 187000

 
 
In 1926 a third version of the 6.35 calibre pocket pistol was introduced, in which the workings of the firing mechanism were completely redesigned to incorporate a disconnector similar to the one used in the 1923 model. It was a simple and economical modification, which contributed to the fame and commercial success of this automatic pistol. The innovation involved a slight modification to the left grip, and can easily be seen without the need to dismantle the gun. With these improvements the pistol can almost be considered a new model, the Model 1926.
The only modifications that followed were small cosmetic changes, which for the most part involved the design and material of the grips. The name was changed, however, to become first the Model 1926-1931, and later the Mode] 1934. In any case these various model numbers can be found only in the Beretta catalogues. Ali the guns manufactured up to the mid-1930s are marked simply «BREV. 1919», and subsequent models until the end of the war are marked «Brevettata», with no further details. On similar guns produced immediately after the war we find the same «Brevettata», but more often the abbreviation «Brevet».
As we have seen the production of 6.35 calibre pocket pistols continued from the beginning of the 1920s until the middle of the 1930s before Beretta felt the need for a change (apart from the mechanical alteration in 1926). Towards 1935, however, the appearance of this pistol must have seemed hopelessly outmoded, and an improvement in the design of the handgrip was proposed, making it similar to that of the Model 1934. Later afterwards a cocked firing pin warning was also introduced. This consisted of an extension to the pin itself which extended from the back of the slide when it was in the cocked position. Apart from this, the «small Berettas remained more or less unchanged in that most of the essential parts the barrel, magazine, etc. are interchangeable.
 
This very successful gun remained in production until the middle of the 1950s, overlapping with the production of the more sophisticated guns which Beretta had developed in the meantime. Towards the end of the 1940s a frame in light alloy was also developed for this pistol. Slight aesthetic modifications were added shortly afterwards, evidently to inject new life into a product which had been born more than 30 years earlier.

Mod.1926-31

I version

Serial numbers from 187251 to around 198000

Mod. 1934

Serial numbers from around 603700 to around 608300

Mod. 318

Serial numbers from around 609000 to around 610000

Mod. 418

Serial numbers from around 611000 to 658016, from 10001A to 99999A, from 00001C to 46410C

 
 
 
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