Full Video Review Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdj-JehdnzM
The Beretta 418 is an eight shot pocket pistol chambered in 25 ACP. It’s development is rooted in Italy’s turbulent post World War I effort to arm the civilian market. The famous Beretta firm came out with their first examples in 1919 but it would not be until the 1930s that the Beretta 418 as we know it today reached its final form.While it was never intended to be a service pistol for the military many officers and enlisted men in both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany had them for personal protection during World War II.
The one reviewed was made in 1953 toward the end of production in favor of more modernized .25 ACP handguns like the Beretta Jetfire and eventually the Bobcat that comes to dominate the 25 caliber handgun market. The 418 was the fictional character James Bond’s gun of choice until opinion chose the Walther PPK instead. He is seen in the first film, Dr. No turning his Beretta in for the PPK that had more “stopping power” though the movie prop was a M1934 Beretta 380.
The m418 fits in the palm of the hand and holds eight bullets in its detachable steel magazine. It has the open slide typical of Beretta pistols and features a European magazine release on the butt of the gun. Pressing the release back allows you to pull the magazine free to reload. Awkward by American standards but handy so one does not lose the magazine. The gun, like many pocket pistols of the era, is striker fired and has very low fixed sights. It also has a thumb safety. Pushing the safety up parallel with the slide makes the gun safe. Lowering it down prepares it to fire. The gun must be cocked in order to fire.
As mentioned before the gun is chambered in 25 ACP. Esteemed in its day, the 25 ACP is considered under-powered even compared to the 22LR cartridge but the 25 ACP offers more reliable ignition because its a conventional centerfire cartridge. Nevertheless, the 25 ACP has saved man and woman for years and continues to do so even though more powerful cartridges in small guns are now available.
Firing, shooting, and owning the Beretta 418 has been a pleasure. For a gun that is now sixty years old I have never had a failure or jam as well as far more accurate than one would describe a “belly gun”.
The gun is loaded by inserting the magazine with ammunition into the butt until it clicks then pulling the slide rearward and letting it fly forward to chamber a round. The safety can then be engaged. To unload or reload, push the magazine release on the butt of the gun back and pull the magazine free. Then pull the slide rearward to clear it for loaded ammunition.
Official testing occurred at point blank range of about one foot to the target, seven yards or twenty one feet from the target, and then twenty five yards from the target. Rapid fire shooting was easy due to the low recoil and power of the 25 ACP round as well as the light, predictable trigger pull. Though small caliber pocket pistols are normally used at extremely close range I shot the gun lastly at twenty five yards or seventy-five feet away. Most bullets fired landed on the torso target and two inch groups are possible with a steady hand.
After well over a year of shooting and enjoyment I still find the little 25 ACP Beretta 418 in a kitchen drawer knowing that if trouble comes knocking I can act immediately to dissuade a threat. And while the 25 ACP bullet is low powered I would never feel unarmed. Given the reason small pocket pistols exist, that is the name of the game all along.