5 Beretta 21A Problems You Should Know

The Beretta 21A or the Beretta 21A Bobcat is a semi-automatic pocket pistol. It is extremely lightweight and highly concealable. Its defining feature is the tip-up barrel. This simplifies loading, unloading, and checking load status.

But there are a few Beretta 21A problems you should know about.

The Beretta 21A has to frequently deal with failure to feed issues. Among other problems, there are cycling issues, dealing with stuck magazines, and failure to fire problems. It may even face issues regarding reassembly.

Let’s look at the features and specifications of the gun before moving on to the guide to get your Beretta 21A problems fixed.

Features & Specifications of the Beretta 21A:

Beretta 21A Specs
Cartridge6.35 (25 Auto)/.22 LR
Capacity7 Rounds
Barrel Length2.4 Inches
Weight11.8 Ounces (Unloaded)
Length4.92 Inches
Width1.1 Inches
Height3.7 Inches
SafetyFrame-Mounted Rear-Locking Safety
SightsFixed Low-Profile Sights
Common Beretta 21a Problems
Beretta 21a

Common Beretta 21A Problems and Solutions

Before moving onto the Beretta 21A troubleshooting phase, here is a quick glance on some of the issues and solutions to the problems of this firearm.

Quick Overview of the Problems and Solutions

Beretta 21A ProblemsSolutions
Failure to FeedEliminating limp-wrists, changing ammo
Cycling IssuesAvoiding mini mags, changing the ammo, using factory magazines
Stuck MagazineCleaning/replacing the magazine
Failure to FireCleaning the gun, replacing the hammer spring
Disassembly IssuePushing in a protruding pin between the slide and the frame

1. Failure to Feed:

Failure to feed issues are also quite prevalent on the Beretta 21A. As you will see throughout this article, the CCI Mini Mags are not very compatible with the Beretta 21A after it has been broken in properly.

The 21A seems to handle the Mini Mags pretty well when it’s brand new. But as it is broken in slowly, it loses compatibility with the mini mags. This could cause FTF issues.

However, a dirty gun and limp wrists may also introduce feeding issues to the gun. A dirty gun tends to cause a lot of issues for this firearm as you’ll soon find out.


Make sure the gun is clean. Well lubricated, but not excessively. The second step is to make sure you are not holding the gun too loosely or too tightly. As both could have an impact on the internal mechanism while shooting.

And finally, try to avoid CCI mini mags after the gun has been properly broken in. Federal AutoMatch .22LR 40 Grain ammo tends to be a pretty good match for the Beretta 21A.

However, you should experiment and try to find which ammo works the best for you and your gun. Both performance-wise and budget-wise.

2. Cycling Issues:

The Beretta 21A, especially the .22LR variant, is said to be quite picky with the ammo and faces pretty frequent cycling issues.

CI Target Mini-Mag 22 LR
CI Target Mini-Mag 22 LR

The issue seems to be especially affecting the gun with the CCI mini mags (Fig 1).


As stated above, since the issue seems to occur most frequently when using the CCI Mini Mags, you should avoid that ammo. But some have stated that the mini mags tend to work fine during breaking in the gun.

But after the gun has been broken in properly, they fail to be cycled properly. This is when you should experiment with other ammo types.

Beretta 21 Bobcat Magazine .22lr 7Rds

Fig 2- Beretta 21 Bobcat Magazine .22lr 7Rds

Also, it is advised to stick to the factory magazine. Beretta 21 Bobcat magazines (Fig 2) are easily available on the Beretta online shop.

3. Stuck Magazine:

When you depress the magazine release the magazines are supposed to drop out freely without any obstruction.

However, with prolonged usage, there may be wear on the magazine that could cause a bit of resistance while pulling the magazine out.

Another issue could be excessive lubrication and a dirty gun. The combination of dust, dirt, and lubricating oil can create a type of gunk within the gun, which could also cause the magazine to get stuck.


The first step is to always keep your gun and your magazines properly cleaned. Excessive lubrication can also be harmful. Hence, lubricate only as much as needed.

The second step is to check the magazine. You may see a small spot where the phosphating is getting slowly worn off. You could try to polish the part which has worn off.

But if that does not resolve the problem, you should opt for a replacement factory magazine.

4. Failure to Fire:

The Beretta 21A may often fail to fire a bullet. It might also leave a small dent at the back of the shell.

But if the tip-up barrel is used to feed the rounds, one at a time, single action, the issue seems to cease mostly. But it may also fail to fire as well. But in a lesser frequency.

The issue can be narrowed down to either a dirty gun or an issue with the hammer spring.


Beretta 21A Hammer Spring

Fig 3- Beretta 21A Hammer Spring

If the issue persists even after cleaning the gun, the solution is to replace the hammer spring (Fig 3). You can easily find a replacement hammer spring for the Berretta 21A online.

5. Disassembly Issue:

Some users have found it quite difficult to reassemble the Beretta 21A. Especially since the slide does not seem to go back into its position.

The issue seems to be with a pin. This may have worked its way partially out of its chamber. And since there is not much room for tolerance in such small firearms, the pin interferes with the slide coming off the frame.


You should take a look at the semantics of Beretta 21A. That might give you an idea about where that pin is. Or you could also see it protruding inside your gun if you shine a flashlight from one end.

One user solved this issue by using a pen-knife blade between the frame and slide, in order to push the pin back in enough to allow the slide to come off the frame.

You should never force the slide off of the gun. You should always check this pin before disassembling the gun every time.

User Feedback on Beretta 21A

The Beretta 21A is known to be one of the most reliable guns on the market. Although it has overwhelmingly positive feedback on the market, some users have raised their voices about some of its issues.

One user made a thread on Fire Arms Talk discussing how he had to deal with a failure to feed issue with his Beretta 21A.

Another user commented on Reddit that the Beretta 21A is well made. Even though the .22LR variant is quite underpowered.

Some have also complained that the gun is pretty picky about ammo, and won’t cycle properly on every type of ammo. As can be seen on this thread from the Smith and Wesson forum.

On the other hand, one user on the Rim Fire Central forum has mentioned how reliable this gun is, as his father has owned one for a pretty long time. But he also mentioned it being pretty picky about the ammo.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the action on the Beretta 21A?

Semi-auto blowback.

Does the Beretta 21A have an extractor?


Is the magazine single-stack or double-stack?


How many finishes are available for the Beretta 21A?

Two finishes. Black and stainless steel.

Is the magazine release recessed?



The Beretta 21A has overwhelmingly positive feedback due to its reliability, regardless of its small problems which are very insignificant. It has pretty great accuracy and provides good service.

In the unlucky event that you have run into any of the Beretta 21A problems, this article will guide you through how to get those fixed as soon as possible.

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  1. I had many a failure to feed issues early on. However it wasnt the guns fault. It was mine. It was more of a failure to load properly. I would use the screw on the follower to take the tension off the spring before i dropped in a round. Seems ok right, Many 22 have helpers for the follower. But in reality the follower on the 22 doesnt have a steep angle to make sure the rims dont lock. So basicly i was giving the ammo rim lock. dont press on that screw just shove the rounds in so each is in front of the last and youll notice the lil popper runs so much better.

  2. I have an older Bobcat 22LR and I have found that I have little to no issues when I shoot with Remington Hyper Velocity
    yellow jacket rounds opposed to CCI ammo. When I was taking my CCL CLASS I used this little gun on the ranged to qualify although my Instructor wouldn’t let me use my 357 because of reloading times so I pulled out my Bobcat and didn’t want to use it but after the first mag I slipped in another one and started to enjoy it. Thankfully I had 4 factory mags loaded and hit center on nearly every shot. I had just got this gun and was pleasantly surprised with its accuracy. So far I have not had any issues with jams or misfires although when I was using the CCI ammo it did jam 2 times and since switching over to Remington Yellow Jackets I’ve never had an issue. That being says it is imperative that after firing this little pistol I take the slide off and do a thorough
    cleaning on the gun. They are simple to breakdown and clean. Overall I would rate this gun compared to other small 22LR I have experimented with, a 8.5 – 9 and tbe itbers at 6-7.5. Over all I’m happy I have added this to my collection. I had an old 410 single barrel shotgun and an older gentleman I frequently see at yard sales asked me one day if I had any shotguns and I asked him what he had to swap it for and he pulled out this beretta bobcat and I was reluctant af first although I never used that old 410 do we traded I immediately bought a new set of grips and a trigger spring and took the gun completely apart and put a wider trigger on it and it has become my EDC piece. Couldn’t be happier.

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