The 30X – Beretta Unleashes a Wildcat

I love the Beretta series of tip-up guns. I’m not sure why, but something about the clever design and downright cute nature of these guns appeals to me. I own four of them at this point and aim to own them all sooner or later. Imagine the solitary tear that rolled down my cheek when, in December 2023, Beretta announced they were killing the series. I wasn’t psyched, to say the least. So imagine my joy when Beretta released a new series called the 30X series. Beretta has been embracing X longer than Elon Musk, and it typically means a gun is a more modern version of a legacy design.

Putting the X In 30X

In this case, the Beretta 30X series revives the 3032 Tomcat in a reimagined form. The Tip-up series has always been a niche gun that’s slow to change. The 30X series represents a gradual evolution of the Tomcat into something more modern. Beretta advertises the gun as your ‘Get Home Gun’ option. The purpose is a small but effective gun that can be stored anywhere with relative ease and carried in a pocket, in a bug-out bag, or something similar.

The 30X series are still .32 ACP guns, and while many balk at the cartridge, I’m a fan. It’s small, fast, and penetrates pretty well. The round has been around forever, and the best loading for self-defense would be an FMJ rather than a hollow point. With the right ammo, the gun is more than capable of stopping a threat. The new 30X packs eight rounds of .32 ACP.

The 30X wears a longer, threaded barrel to accept muzzle devices. A suppressor, for example, would be a great way to top the gun off. This is a direct blowback gun, so there is no need for a piston or Nielsen device for reliable operation. The gun comes with suppressor height sights, and those sights are dovetailed, which makes them replaceable.

Yep, It Has Optics

One of the options for the rear sight is a plate to accept micro-sized optics. While plates aren’t an optimum system, they are just about the only one that works with a gun this small. A micro red dot allows you to completely ignore any issues with a short barrel and sight radius problems. The downside is a lot more bulk for what’s essentially a pocket pistol. As a get-home bag gun, I guess it doesn’t quite matter, but it’s interesting to see the addition of bulk instead of elimination of it with a gun this small.

Another big advantage was the presence of a push-button barrel release. This push-button device allows the barrel to pop up to load or unload the gun directly. This push-button design makes it easy to tip up the barrel.

The trigger has been greatly improved. The older Tomcat trigger was quite heavy and long. The new model is much lighter and about the same length. It was tough to tell at SHOT. The difference in weight is immediately noticeable.

The best upgrade was the frame durability fix. The old Tomcat frames had a habit of cracking when hot ammo was used. The newer 30X series boasts a frame that’s supposed to be twice as durable, so I have to assume it’s much less prone to cracking.

A Mouse Gun

While looks are arguably the least important feature of a gun, the new 30X features an undeniably awesome look. The wood grips and competing grays on the gun look fantastic. I’m pretty dang excited to see the 30X hit the market and will happily add one to my collection.

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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.


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