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Most of our readers know what a plinker is. For those who are new to the shooting sports, “plinker” refers to a rifle or handgun, typically chambered in .22 caliber, and often used for recreational shooting and informal target practice, such as at tin cans for instance, which make a “plink” sound when hit (hence the name “plinker”). There are many guns that make good plinkers, and this series of articles looks at some of the most popular .22 handguns among them. The first five articles in the series may be found here, here, here, here and here.
In far northern Italy, near the Swiss border, the Alpine waters of the Mella River run through the Val Trompia, a valley in the Columbine Mountains. The region’s soil is rich in iron ore, and in 1526 Bartolomeo Beretta capitalized on that resource by building a forge in the valley town of Gardone and producing gun barrels. Today, the Beretta family is still in the firearms business, making their company –Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta– the oldest and longest-running gun manufacturer in the world. The family’s first handgun, an automatic, debuted in 1915, and with it the open-top slide that has been a hallmark of Beretta pistols ever since. From then until now, Beretta pistols have seen service, officially and otherwise, in almost every transnational conflict of the past hundred years, culminating most recently with the M9 adopted by US forces in 1985.
Market - Series - Pistols - Versions - Model
Designed for the civilian market, the 70 series pistols were essentially improved versions of the model 1934 that served the Italian military from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s. Chambered in .32 ACP and .380 ACP the 1934 was a simple and reliable design, and in 1958 Beretta updated it and called the new pistol the model 70. Other than its sleeker,...
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