Gun Of The Week: Beretta 80X Cheetah

posted on March 1, 2024

Welcome to another American Rifleman Gun Of The Week video, and in this episode, we’re checking out the Beretta 80X Cheetah. Except this 80X isn’t completely new. Rather, it’s the return of the old Beretta 84, though with a number of helpful and much-needed updates. Watch our video above to see it action on the range.

Beretta 80x Cheetah gun pistol right side black in background with text box overlay GUN OF THE WEEK AMERICAN RIFLEMAN XX arrows

Beretta introduced its original Cheetah in the mid-1970s. Back then, there was a whole line, from the .32 ACP-chambered Model 81 to the .22 LR-chambered Model 89. There were single-stacks and double-stacks, and one, the Model 86, famously had a tip-up barrel design for easy loading. For the tenth Cheetah pistol, Beretta focused on updating the classic Model 84, a double-stack design chambered for .380 ACP.

Beretta Cheetah pistol GUN OF THE WEEK text on image overlay

In the 80X Cheetah, Beretta borrowed the popular, and comfortable, Vertec configuration from its updated Model 92 lines, reshaping the backstrap to have a vertical profile rather than the rounded heel of older designs. Both the backstrap and frontstrap include texturing that provides more purchase. The Vertec grip profile is smaller, too, making it easier to get a comfortable hold if you have smaller hands.

Beretta 80X Cheetah pistol gun black metal closeup stamping grooves serrations GUN OF THE WEEK text on image overlay

Another frame update is the addition of a two-slot Picatinny accessory rail at the front, making it easy to add a light or laser. The gun also includes Beretta’s X-Treme S trigger group, which features DLC coating on select internal components to produce a smoother, cleaner trigger pull. The trigger’s overtravel is also adjustable to shorten the reset distance down to just 1 millimeter.

Beretta 80X Cheetah gun details tiles mosaic nince images arrangment man shooting gun pistol closeup metal plastic parts AMERICAN RIFLEMAN PRESENTS text on image in central box

At the top end of the gun, the rear of the slide is milled to accept optics-mounting plates. The white-dot rear sight is built into the cover plate, matching up with a dovetailed white-dot front sight. Beretta fine-tuned the slide weight and recoil spring on the 80X to make the gun easier to manipulate, and the pistol’s .380 ACP-chambering combined with its aluminum frame construction is all designed to make the gun more shootable than many other compact handguns.

Beretta 80X Cheetah parts disassembled view slide recoil spring guide rod barrel magazine frame on white

Another important update on the 80X Cheetah involved the magazines. Classic Cheetahs are known to have problems with hollow-point defensive ammunition, largely due to a design element found in the original Model 84 magazines. New 80X Cheetah magazines will work reliably with hollow-point loads. Original Model 84 mags will also work in the 80X Cheetah, but only FMJ rounds will feed reliably when using these original magazines.

Beretta 80X Cheetah pistol on wire stand with magazine left-side view GUN OF THE WEEK text on image overlay

On the range, it’s clear that all the fine-tuning and upgrading of the Cheetah platform combines to make a gun that is comfortable and easy to shoot. Unlike some other handguns aimed at the recoil-sensitive, the 80X Cheetah doesn’t suffer on the magazine capacity front, having 13 rounds of .380 ACP in each mag. We also appreciated the easily accessible, frame-mounted, ambidextrous thumb safety, as well as the generously sized slide-stop lever and single-sided, push-button magazine release. If you’re in the market for an easy-shooting, durably built and capable defensive pistol, the 80X Cheetah is worth a look.

Beretta 80X Cheetah Specifications
Manufacturer: Beretta
Action Type: blowback-operated, double-action, centerfire pistol
Chambering: .380 ACP
Barrel: 3.9"
Frame: Vertec-style, black aluminum
Slide: steel
Sights: three-white dot, dovetailed front; fixed square-notch rear, removable optic plate
Magazine: 13-round detachable box
Overall Length: 6.9"
Height: 4.9"
Width: 1.4"
Weight: 25 ozs.
MSRP: $819


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