Pocket pistols provide a compact, lightweight approach to concealed carry and what better model to explore than the classic Beretta 950 BS.
The Beretta 950 BS’ history begins in the 1950s with its predecessor the 950B. Manufactured by the Italian company and imported to U.S. consumers, the 950B’s reach was effectively halted in 1968 by the Gun Control Act due to its lack of external safety. Beretta was on top of it though, popping a manual safety on that pocket pistol thereby creating the Beretta 950 BS for American consumers.
The pistol garnered praise and popularity in the 1980s, appearing in a rash of movies like Octopussy, Lethal Weapon and The Big Easy, to name a few. Near and dear to many hearts, the 950 BS has remained an option for those wanting to par down their carry load.
The Beretta 950 BS
Chambered in .25 ACP, the 950 BS brings a centerfire round to the pocket pistol arena. Boasting a 2.4-inch barrel with weight hovering just under 10-ounces, the Beretta 950 BS offers a capacity of 8+1 rounds. As previously mentioned, the 950 BS sports a manual safety and also still opts for the half-cock — a nice feature for concealed carry enthusiasts.
The 950 BS provides a unique action featuring a flip-up barrel. It makes sense given how small this gun is, making slide manipulations extremely difficult. Beretta sticks to a steel upper and alloy lower, giving the gun a nice feel. At the range alongside Winchester 50-grain ammo, the 950 BS faired well at 5 to 7-yards.
Though Beretta put the kibosh on the 950 BS design, relegating it to collectors and the used market, the company does manufacture the Beretta 21A. The 21A offers a similar slimmed-down design sans the flip-up barrel. While I wouldn’t carry either as my primary carry gun, the Beretta 950 BS and it’s updated partner the 21A make excellent back-up guns.