Beretta’s New 80X Cheetah at the BUG Match (feat. Symtac)

Back in 1975, Beretta introduced a line of mid-size semiauto pistols. The Model 81 was in .32 ACP (intended for the European market) and the Model 84 was chambered for .380 ACP for Americans. These both used double-stack magazines, and single-stack versions followed a few years later (the 82 and 85). Additional models were also available with a variety of safety and control configurations.

Well, at SHOT Show this year Beretta introduced its reboot of the Cheetah, now called the Model 80X. It now uses an aluminum frame, slim grips, ambitious controls that allow carry either cocked-and-locked or decocked, and an optics mounting cut. It is only available in .380, and uses a 13-round magazine. The DA trigger in particular is fantastically good.

I’m joined today by Matt Haught of Symtac Consulting, who has been shooting Model 81 Berettas for a long time, and who is excited to get a chance to try out the new 80X on the clock. Much to his chagrin, I did manage to beat him – but only by a single point. The match was a lot of fun, and it’s hard to complain about a pistol that we were able to take 2nd and 3rd place overall with…

Disclosure: Beretta did not pay us for this, but did send the gun for free.


  1. Nice to see old school self defense and police/securityforces/military type guns being showcased as truly practical when first made and still fill a role today.

  2. ian, now Beretta needs to come out with a model 86X Cheetah with the “Tip Up” barrel, also in .380. It would be perfect for shooters who have a problem racking the slide, specially for senior shooters, or even younger shooters that don’t have the necessary strength.

    Beretta may, or may not, be aware that the Beretta 86 Cheetah is highly spought after in the U.S. When they discontinued it (in the 90’s?) they were selling new for ~$600. Tbey are now selling for $1700-$2200…when you can find one. Since tbey were not considered “carry guns,”they are usually in VG condition, in the original box. They were “home protection,” guns usually sitting in a dresser drawer.

    Beretta is missing out on tbe US aging shooter market if they don’t make an 86X.” You may want to pass this information on to them.

    Keep up the great work!

    • That is a good idea, my 73 yr old mother can’t really press two buttons “water saving bullshit” this in a country… Famous for rain; anyway that is a point “News to me @ 42” racking a slide may be hard. Pop up barrel ideal. Good idea. Target a market.

      • On a bog; the flush, nothing up with her per se… But just, weaker… I suppose.

        Tip up barrrels are a good idea. Foot flushers for bogs also, weight… Advantage like.

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