A look at the Beretta 21A

The Beretta 21A Bobcat is a small sleek pocket pistol with a special feature. You can tip the barrel up for loading. The Bobcat is available in .22 LR (like the one above) and .25 ACP. There is a larger model the Beretta 3032 Tomcat which is in .32 ACP.

Some years ago I was talking to a friend of mine and he was asking for suggestions for a pistol for his wife. Due to health issues and hand strength, she was not able to rack the slide on most pistols. I suggest he look into these pistols as the barrel can be tipped up for loading. Not that long later he showed me that he picked up one up, and liked it enough he was using it him self.

Now if someone was to get one for self defense, I would recommend the .25 or .32 ACP models over the .22LR. .22 Long Rifle ammunition doesn’t have as reliable ignition as other calibers.

Some years ago I decided if I saw one at a reasonable price I would buy it. Funny story, I was wanting to buy a Colt AR6951 and was trying to find one local. A dealer 2 hours away from me had them listed on Gunbroker, so I swung by to buy one. Turns out they didn’t keep any in stock and were just drop shipping them from a distributor. I was pretty annoyed, but when I left I took the long way home and stopped by ever gun shop I saw along the way. Well, actually I stopped stopping at the gun shops after the tenth one as I had spent too much money.

I saw this new stainless 21A in .22 for sale, right at the maximum I was willing to pay. I hear they are back in production, had I known that I could have probably shopped around and got a better deal ordering one, but I am happy with this one.

While this pistol has the awesome feature of the tilt up barrel, it does have a few quirks that can make it less than ideal for some people as a fighting self defense weapon. The safety is small and on the left side only. I find it easy to flip on and off when I have the pistol in my right hand, but I can barely flip it off when I hold the gun left handed only. It has a long double action pull. Fortunately the small safety can be employed with the gun cocked.

If I understand correctly, the manual indicated that the pistol is not drop safe with a round chambered. That might be a good argument in it self to go with a more modern pistol for self defense.

When I started shooting it I had a couple of malfunctions in the first few dozen rounds. I haven’t had any more since then. One important note is that the Bobcat does not have an extractor. I’ll come back to why that is important to know. I found if I wasn’t paying attention I could stuff 8 round in the 7 round magazines and that would induce a malfunction. I’m not sure if the other malfunctions I had was due to this.

If the choice for someone was no gun or a Bobcat/Tomcat, I would whole heartily recommend this Beretta. But once we start comparing it to other guns, we see the long heavy double action trigger pull, the small safety, the diminutive sights. It is by no means a bad gun, but we have lots of new options in pocket pistols now.

About 7 yards, give or take

I hate to say it, but I was not getting very good accuracy or grouping out of this pistol. But to be fair I was using old .22 ammo that is likely at least as old as I am. I’ll have to buy some better quality new ammo and see what it can really do. The sights leave a fair bit to be desired.

There is one last big point to make about this gun. I used to hear people say they preferred military guns as they were designed to be shot more and take more abuse. Different designs have different pros and cons. This simple design lacks an extractor. That is not an issue if the pistol is clean. But as it fouls, it will eventually stop function correctly. The little 21A is a whole lot of fun to shoot, but it isn’t a gun for shooting bricks of .22 all day long.

I really like the 21A, and I find it a whole lotta fun. The tip up barrel is a great feature, not a gimmick. But I wouldn’t recommend it as a first choice for a fighting gun. Still far better than no gun.

Now some real fun would be throwing a silencer on it.

Black Wolf Knives Neck/Belt Blade

Today we have another Knife from the excellent custom knife maker, Black Wolf Knives.  This time it’s a smaller neck knife.  These have become common for people to use while in the woods because it can be worn around the neck where it is less likely to be lost.    Of course this also makes a handy way to conceal carry the blade for  self defense. 

The knife comes with  a cord for neck wear and a kydex sheath with an option to run it through your belt. The cord has a clasp that allows it to break away should it get caught on something that is about to break your neck or drag you to some other death.


Above you can see how the  knife closely hugs the belt. This allows for a draw that is amazingly fast. The neck lanyard can be removed or wrapped around the belt to secure it.


The knife itself is the usual outstanding quality and comes suicidally  sharp for a nitwit like me to handle so of course I cut myself with it first thing.  The blade has a durable finish that mimics parkerizing but if you don’t like that you can get a range of style. even mirror polished.   The length keeps it under most states legal limit making it safe to CCW if you aren’t in a free state.  The knife is small but still the same  excellent quality as the rest of the hand made custom blades from the maker.

And of course thanks to the rivets you can lash the sheath to most gear.

A Self Defense Story

A member of AR15.com recently took the time to write up  his experience of having to use lethal force to save at least two people not counting himself. He  has graciously allowed us to share it here.

I’ve been debating posting this for a while. I got a call from the prosecutor last week telling me that the ‘official’ investigation is finished, and that he was definitely not pursuing any charges. He also said to my wife that I was a good man, and a brave man, and that my actions were heroic. Me? I’m doing okay… as long as I don’t start thinking about anything too much. My wife is having a hard time with it, considering the fact that she witnessed everything from approximately 10-15 feet away. She already sees a counselor, I’m debating going to one, but I would need to find one that is not an uberliberal, which is a problem around here.

OK, here goes.

It was a normal Tuesday night, I was in the process of making tacos, as we had invited the older two kids over for dinner. I had just got a text from my wife that she was on the way home from the YMCA and that the youngest had gone home with his sister. This was a VERY good thing, as he didn’t witness anything…. I don’t even want to think how traumatic it would have been for him.

8PM rolls around, I hear someone screaming bloody murder. I figured it was kids playing outside. I saw my wife’s car sitting out front so I went outside to say hi. I walked outside to my wife screaming “My God, he’s gonna kill her!” as she’s on the phone with 911, and see my neighbor across the street striking his girlfriend in the face while she’s sitting on the ground, as the girlfriends 9 year old daughter hits the dude in the back with what looks like an aluminum T-ball bat. He grabbed the kid and threw her about six feet.

This occurred in seconds. At that point, when I saw the dude pick up the bat, I ran inside and grabbed my handgun off my desk and went back out. I did not want to see someone get their head caved in. When I came back, at this point, the daughter had run in the house, and he had the woman down on the ground and was trying to choke her with the bat on her neck. I crossed the street, came to the ready position, and told him to get his ass off of her or he would be shot. This distracted him enough that she got him off her and he stood up and looked at me. I ordered him to sit his ass down and wait for the police, he threw the bat toward me.. at this point, the woman ran inside with her daughter and locked the door and he sat on his porch.

At this point, I’m just waiting for the police to arrive… he had other ideas. At this point, he stood up, shouted “YOU DON’T KNOW ME MOTHERFUCKER”, and started rapidly moving toward me, I started retreating backward, around 10-15 feet but I knew that my wife was back there, along with one of the other witnesses, so I couldn’t just run home… this guy was going to hurt anyone he could get his hands on, or beat my ass and take my gun away if I let him get too close.. he was quite a bit bigger than me and definitely spent a good amount of time at the gym. When he was about 5 feet away he lunged at me, and I shot him four times in rapid succession. The whole time he was approaching me I was yelling “STOP, DON’T DO IT!, STOP!, STOP!” His legs just collapsed under him and I will never forget seeing the blood rushing out. At this point my wife told 911 that he had been shot and I was told to put the weapon down so I sat it on the back of my wife’s car and just stood there and shook, and waited. The cops got there 30 seconds after I had shot… 30 seconds. The whole situation lasted from 8:00PM to 8:03PM when the wife hung up with 911 after the police arrived.

I remember, after the shooting, feeling like the world is coming crashing in on me. The first officer put me in cuffs and had me sit in the back of the car while they did the preliminary investigation. He was extremely kind. I remember sitting in the back of the car praying for the soul of the man I had been forced to shoot, praying for the mom and daughter, praying for the well being of my family. While I was in the car, I noticed that my left hand and arm was covered in blood spatter. The evidence tech took pictures of this, and then the officer helped wipe me off. During this time also, one of the lady officers on scene sat in the vehicle to use the computer, and said to me,”You know that you’re a hero to that woman and little girl.” That remark helped to calm me down a lot. About 2-3 hours later, the officer came back to the car and told me that the county prosecutor, who was on scene, had told him to uncuff me. He told me to just stick around but don’t touch anything, I would have to go to the station and make a statement. I asked if I could go into my apartment and see my family and he graciously allowed that, I just wasn’t allowed to talk to my wife about anything regarding the situation, as we had not made our statements. I went back outside and was approached by the Chief of Police for our town and he said,’What you did was heroic, you saved them.’ He told me that they had had prior dealings with the man and that he was a dangerous individual.

Fast forward another hour, and I’m sitting in the office area of the police station waiting to make my statement, watching the officers check in the evidence… I saw them check in my gun and they confirmed that I had fired four times, I wasn’t sure if it was four or five, and that there was blood on the slide, they checked in the bat, and they checked in a chunk of hair and scalp that had come from the mother. And a few other miscellaneous things.

While I was sitting there, finally in some kind of light, I noticed blood stains all over my shirt and pants. He was REALLY close when I shot him. Anyway, gave my statement, kept it simple and to the point. Had my wife bring me new clothes so they could put mine in evidence and I walked out and got in the car, and cried… a lot… probably the most I’ve cried since my mother died in 2000. My wife said to me,”I used to say that my father was my hero, but no, you’re now my hero”. My wife had gone through a similar domestic violence situation with her first husband and barely escaped alive, I couldn’t be there to protect her from him, but I could be there for this. The officers thanked me repeatedly for being cooperative and they were completely awesome, I have nothing but love for them.

I’ve gotten a few more details as time has passed. Apparently he had told her that one way or another that he was going to die that night and was going to take her with him. I know that they had had some rough spots, they lost a baby back in January. My son works with his brother in law, and he was described as a mean drunk.

I picked up my firearm (Sig M11-A1) a month after everything had happened, and the PD had cleaned the blood off of it and oiled it to prevent rust, thank you again to them.

The call I got from the prosecutor this last Monday was illuminating. I asked about the toxicology screen, and his BAC was .228, and he had THC and anti-depressants in his system. The prosecutor was not sure about steroids as he said that they generally do not test for that. All I know is that he charged someone that had a loaded weapon pointed at him, so something broke inside his head.

I went shooting for the first time since the event this last Saturday.. and it just felt good… this is the hobby that got me through the deaths of both parents, and countless other stressful life events.

I’ve heard the word hero used multiple times… I’m not a hero, I only did what I had to do so that I can face myself in the mirror every day. The heroes are the guys that do stuff like this every day, The police, fire departments, the armed forces. They keep walking back into the mouth of hell repeatedly to save others. They are heroes.. I’m just a regular guy trying to keep my little corner of the world safe.

Also, one thing I’ll never forget, a male neighbor screaming ‘My God, won’t somebody help her!’ while he stood there and watched…. I don’t know how to feel about that, it just saddens me at the end of the day.

And a big thank you to my daughter for being there for her mother and I, and my son in law for watching his brother in law so that he did not have to see the scene.

Take aways from this.
1> I need formal training.. I’m ok, but I could be a lot better. My wife is also offering to go, which is a first, she needs to be able to defend herself when I’m not around. I think she understands that now.

2> CCW insurance? Is it worth it? I know that I was lucky in that I live in a gun friendly state with good politicians, it could have gone far worse legally.


Where are they now – Muzzle Standoffs

The second AR15 upper I purchased had a Phantom flash hider with the crenelated front pin and welded to it.

It looked the the bottom flash hider in the picture.  Not only was the Phantom flash hider a superior flash hider, it could be used as a pain compliance tool on others.  The sharp front on it would cut holes in my rifle cases.  I chose to get rid of that upper for that reason.

Shawn and I were just talking on the phone and he mentioned pistol Standoffs.  That got me wondering what ever happened to them.

Some years back, there seemed to be a very short burst of popularity of having a standoff on a pistol in case you have to fire at contact distance.  That popularity seems to have died off quick.

I mainly saw Standoffs sold for the 1911, Glock, and CZ.  I did a quick search to find a good picture of one, and I see that ProofMark still sells one for $120.

That one actually looks pretty nice compared to others I have seen.  It combines all the desired features of a Muzzle Standoff.  It looks pretty rigid, and has a surface with a profile that would encourage compliance of someone it was pressed against.  It appears to have an inserted glass breaker.  There is also a rail on the bottom so that it doesn’t remove your ability to mount a light or laser on your pistol.

Why is the Muzzle Standoff not a massive popular commercial success?

  • Cost:  Not a great deal of people want to drop $100+ on an accessory.
  • Perceived need:  Many people buy their firearms to be toys, or don’t expect to be in a close fight.
  • Possibility for failure:  Debris or clothing can get stuck between the standoff and the slide and induce malfunctions, or the standoff can get bent or damage allowing for malfunctions.  The polymer frame of the Glock can flex enough to cause some standoffs to create reliability issues.

Striking with the firearm or contact shots are a serious concern.  There is the very real possibility to push your pistol out of battery where it wont fire if the muzzle is in contact with the target.  Firing a shot at contact distance can cause enough flesh, meat, and bone from the target to come back into a firearm and cause a firearm to stop working.  Striking with a firearm can break it.

Self defense tends to be up close, and there is the possibility of having to grapple or ground fight with a pistol is something you NEED to prepare for if you choose to carry a pistol for self defense.  But despite all that, the issues of contact shooting can be mostly mitigated with training and techniques.  It is not good to spend money on equipment when training would be better.

When Guns are Outlawed only Outlaws will have Video Games

I am not so old as to have gray hairs, but I remember long ago listening to people rant about the problems caused by Rock and/or Roll.  They would preach how the world was formed perfect, then the taint of this loud profane music ruined everything.  Before, there was no war, violence, premarital sex, venereal disease, or Islam, but all was ruined by Lucifer’s words leaking out of Elvis’ lips.

Sadly, these well-meaning elders of ours were wrong, they picked the lesser of two evils.  They did not have the insight and technological prowess to realize the real scourge of the earth, video games.

Some of the foolish misguided few might talk of silliness like security, mental health, or personal responsibility, but they are wrongly shifting the blame from the true threat, Q-Bert and company.

People were too trusting and did not realize that evils such as the transsexual Ms. Pac-Man was teaching people to pop pills and believe in the paranormal ghosts.  These poor victims of the arcade were being robbed of their quarters while their head was being filled by the excrement of Satan’s anus.

People will always be quick to point fingers away from what they care about and unto the things they don’t, but we need to band together and point out the real threat to our perfect Christian society; the Nintendo Entertainment System.

I really wish I didn’t have to hear and read crap like this constantly.

There has been a resurgence of this in my local media after a shooting at a video game competition in Florida.  They were playing an ultra violent football game called Madden 19.  Where are the cries to ban football?  For the children, of course.  The Connecticut State Attorney showed that apparently school shooter Adam Lanza was a big fan of the horrifying violent game Dance Dance Revolution.  Where are the cries from the Mothers of America demanding that dancing be banned?

Back in 2012 our loser rep LaPierre tried to blame violent video games for school shootings.  Even back in 2012 Trump tweeted blaming video games.  President Trump has backed off from that stance.  On the other side kids and adult who play games are pointing fingers at gun owners claiming that firearms are the source of all evils.

There are a few simple parts to this:

  • Blaming video games makes us look stupid.  Very stupid.
  • Blaming media helps promote fans and creators of these forms of media to blame us.  They already want to shift the blame and they would gladly point it at us.
  • This doesn’t help SOLVE any issues.

I think many would rather blame someone else then look at the real root causes of problems, or taking responsibility for security and self defense, etc.  It is the easy way out.  I think all the Call of Duty and similar violent games helped make a whole lot of people who have grown up to be gun owners.  I used to hear of people who bought a Beretta due to Lethal Weapon, or a .44 due to Dirty Harry.  Now I meet many a person who bought an ACR or SCAR due to Call of Duty.  Hell, I’d bet that half the public sales of the Magpul Masada/Bushmaster ACR and the FN SCAR come from people who fell in love with them from using them in video games.

In the end, trying to blame a form of media is just going to make things worse for us.  It doesn’t help anyone.