Video Review: Beretta 80X Cheetah Pistol

With its retro heritage and future-tuned fittings, this tenth-generation .380 Cheetah wowed our testers, ensuring its spot as NRA Gun of the Week.

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posted on March 20, 2024

The Beretta Cheetah is a true "Generation X" gun, having been "born" in the mid-1970s. It was revolutionary for the time, with an entire line of semi-autos in a wide variety of calibers. One favorite from the Cheetah family was the Model 84, a double-stack design in .380 ACP. Although it was an instant classic at the time it was introduced, it had a flaw that caused the Model 84 Cheetah to, over the following years, fall to the back of the pack of semi-autos from a burgeoning list of manufacturers. But Beretta never forgets a great design; they just update it. That's where the newly revamped Model 84--now dubbed the 80X--comes in.

What do we mean? Well, the classic 1970s-era Cheetah had issues with hollow-point defensive ammunition, primarily because of a design element found in the original Model 84 magazines. That has been completely fixed and then some. 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.

Other great updates include a re-engineered grip, a slide that's precut for optics, fine-tuned recoil spring and slide weight and a smoother, cleaner trigger pull. Our testers commented, "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."

Check out this terrific video from our friends at American Rifleman to see how the Beretta Cheetah made NRA Gun of the Week!  

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