Looks and size? Well it’s really all up to you. Chances are if you like the famed beretta M92 then you’ll like this as it is essentially a scaled down version, smaller than the 92 compact carry but larger than say, a Beretta M1934. The finish is matte black and while upon inspection is obviously plastic it does not look in any way plasticky.
What’s it like to use? Gassing up the magazine is a doddle, however as with all WA mags you must remember to pull down the tab on the back of the magazine before gassing or it will all spray out the top of the mag. Loading the mag must be done by holding down the follower and putting the BBs in by hand, there is no speed loading tool supplied such as the ones found with the SV and Para Ordnance series. Care must be taken to ensure all the BBs fall into a double stack formation as otherwise the gun may jam.
Loading the magazine into the gun is weird as there is no definite click to tell you when it is being held properly. Racking the slide is also a bit disappointing as a plasticky sound is made, still, the functioning of the gun is very smooth.
Once the slide has been racked you can either fire away or use the de-cocker to drop the hammer without the gun firing leaving a round in the chamber. The gun may then be fired by either manually cocking the hammer and then firing (this gives a light and short trigger pull) or pulling the trigger the full way which cocks and fires the hammer in one go (long and heavy trigger pull). Using Abbey Predator gas at house temp the slide cycles very fast, crisper than my old standard KSC Glock 19 did on the same gas. It will fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. There is almost no recoil to speak of, however I do not find this to effects the firing experience as you don’t really expect much from such a small gun. You can get about 2 and a half magazines worth of BBs from one fill of gas.
On the range The grouping was about 2 ½ inches at 8 meters, not bad for such a small gun, however, lining up the sights as you would a normal pistol you end up shooting about an inch low over short ranges, you must put the bottom of the white dot level with the half circle shaped white marking on the rear sight to shoot perfectly straight.
Take down and hop adjustment First ensure the magazine is removed from the gun and that the safety is not engaged. Rotate the disassembly lever downwards, the slide should pop forward slightly and can now be pulled off the frame.
To adjust the hop up use the thinnest allen key provided and insert it into the grub screw in the bottom of the chamber, holding the slide so that the barrel is pointing away from you turning the grub screw clockwise will increase hop and anti clockwise will decrease hop. The hop up is very sensitive on this pistol and turning it only ¾ of a full turn caused the gun to jam.
The site chrono measured 230-260fps with a 0.2g bb (about 0.6-0.8 joules) amazingly good for such a cold day. After being left in my SAAV (South African assault vest) for most of the day I finally had to pull it out. It emptied the magazine straight off no trouble and locked back on the last shot, fairly impressive. It performed better than any other gas gun on that day. Range with the hop properly adjusted was extremely good, slightly less than that of my upgraded G3 variant (305-315fps with a 0.2g).
Conclusion If you want a small pistol for compact carry or any other reason but don’t want the more common options (Glocks) then the Beretta definitely stands out as a great performer, those of you who love the classic look of the 92f will undoubtedly also love the M84.