The Beretta 21A Bobcat is a semi-automatic pistol that is available in both the .25 ACP as well as .22 Long Rifle. This review is of the .25 ACP model (the .25 ACP is also referred to as the .25 Auto). The Bobcat is designed as a ‘pocket’ pistol for concealed carry or as a backup gun for police officers and others. Weighing in at about 12 ounces and being less than 5 inches long and 4 inches high the Bobcat is certainly a highly concealable gun.
The Beretta 21A Bobcat is a double action pistol with an exposed trigger making it capable of being fired single action. The tip up barrel design of the Beretta is different than what many people may be familiar with but it is not difficult to get used to using. The tip up design does allow for a good view of the bore when cleaning and assists in keeping gunk from falling into the action while cleaning. The Bobcat is also easy to disassemble for full cleaning as well. The Beretta 21A Bobcat is of course not designed for super accuracy. At about 10 yards, the Federal Ammunition that I had shot into about 2 ½ inches in the Beretta. This level of accuracy will certainly suffice for the purposes of a pocket pistol. In a gun such as the Bobcat .25 ACP functioning and not accuracy is of prime importance. The Beretta Bobcat that I have was purchased used. The gun had obviously been neglected for many years. I fired the pistol in this state (after assuring the barrel was not obstructed or significantly rusted) to see how it functioned. About 30 rounds were fired through it with no failures of any sort. The Bobcat’s trigger was more than usable. The small Bobcat’s grip was not difficult to use and the pistol did point well.
The .25 ACP is an anemic round even when compared against the .32 ACP and the .380 Auto. Even the .22 Long Rifle and its smaller bullet produces more energy than the .25 ACP. One reason that I have heard for the continued existence of the .25 ACP is that the short and fat round feeds more reliably than the long and skinny .22 Long Rifle. Regardless of its lack of exciting ballistics, the .25 ACP is still better for poking holes into a bad guy than nothing. In any case, I would highly recommend that a person interested in a small backup gun move up to a .32 ACP or .380 Auto. However like many people whose budget drives their firearms purchases, the reason that I own this pistol is simply that it was purchased at a great price. Currently the Beretta 21A Bobcat can be purchased for about $280, with used models selling for significantly less depending on condition.
While the .25 ACP would not be my first choice of caliber for any pistol that would be used for personal defense, the Beretta 21A Bobcat is a nice little gun that will serve the purpose for which it was designed well.