Italian firearms law is complicated but essentially all citizens are allowed to possess 3 ”armi comuni da sparo” (common firearms), which are usually handguns, 6 “armi sportive” (sports firearms), 8 antique firearms designed before 1891, and an unlimited amount of ”armi da caccia” (hunting firearms),but we’re not allowed to own any “armi da guerra” (military firearms). All firearms in Italy are designated into those categories usually by calibre and in the case of sports firearms by purpose. What this means is that when I buy a new handgun I have to give up one of my existing firearms, or at least get it registered in someone else’s name.
Until last week my 3 common firearms were a Beretta Px4 storm, Beretta Px4 storm subcompact and Beretta 21 A Bobcat. I used to have a Beretta 8045 Mini Cougar which I had to give up, i.e. pass on to my sister, when I bought my. Px4 storm subcompact. After a lot of persuading from Rob, I decided to replace my Beretta 21 A Bobcat — or pussycat as Rob calls it — because it only fires 22LR rounds and just isn’t a manstopper. So last weekend I bought a replacement: the Taurus 856 .38 Special +P in Blue Stainless Steel. It’s apparently the gun issued to the Singapore Police Force, which is strange because most police forces issue semi-automatic pistols.
I chose to go with a revolver instead of another semi-automatic pistol because of I never fired a revolver and the .38 Special +P has nearly as much stopping power as a 9mm semi-auto and a lot more than a 22LR semi-auto. The Taurus 856 is 629 g (22.2 oz), 165mm (6.5″) in length, with a 51mm (2″) barrel. Like the 21 A Bobcat it’s a DA/SA. It has a reasonably comfortable rubber gripped handle and it’s a 6-shooter. The 21A Bobcat 22LR only took 7 rounds although it was a much smaller gun. One of the reasons I chose the Taurus 856 is that I’m petite — 160cm (5′ 3″) and 49 kg (108 lbs) — and it’s supposed to have less recoil than some other snubnose revolvers but it still has more recoil than my Px4 Storm and a slower firing rate between rounds.
At $441 dollars it’s reasonably priced and is overall a much better defensive choice than the Beretta 21A Bobcat 22LR. Still, I don’t think I’ll be keeping it long: I’m a semi auto girl.