One of the more interesting group of handguns in the Beretta booth at this past SHOT Show that took place a few weeks ago are the new re-vamped and re-designed Beretta 80X Cheetah models.
The Beretta Cheetah or “80 Series” are classic compact, straight blowback hammer-fired .380 Auto pistols dating back to 1976. All members of the Cheetah line are descendants of the “70 Series” family of sub-caliber pistols, which in turn are descended from the Beretta M1934/1935 lineage. Like the “70 Series” before them, Beretta Cheetahs were offered and chambered in all of the classic handgun “sub” calibers like .380 Auto (Models 83, 84, 85m and 86), .32 Auto (Models 81 and 82) and even .22 LR (Models 87 and 89). The Cheetah family has several sub-variants: some pistols take single-stack magazines while other use double-stack magazines. And different generations are either B, BB, F, FS (no different than how Smith & Wesson “dashes” their revolvers). 80 Series pistols were manufactured from 1976-2017.
During the recent 2023 SHOT Show, Beretta revived this product line by adding the latest members of the 80 Series family, the new Cheetah 80X pistols. Currently, these can be had in all-black or with a two-tone bronze anodized frame and black slide. 80X pistols still work off of the original blowback design and are chambered in .380 Auto with a magazine capacity of 13 rounds. They can be carried cocked-and-lock or shot like TDA pistols. Their frames have been redesigned and re-contoured, and these new frame take after the same lines seen on the modern 92X series Vertec frames. This time around, the dust cover is Picatinny railed for accessories. The new frame is contoured in such as way that people with smaller hands should not have any difficulties gripping it assertively. Most importantly, these new 2023 models come with optics-ready slides to making it easier to mount a slide mounted red dot sight. Overall, the latest members of the Cheetah family are optimized for carry, especially with their compact form-factor.