Quick Review: Beretta 3032 Tomcat 32 ACP Semi-Auto Pocket Pistol
Russ Chastain 07.10.17
The Beretta Tomcat 3032 is a diminutive 32 ACP pocket pistol which is pretty cool, but can be problem-prone. I had one for a few years; here’s the rundown.
That little button towards the rear of the grip between the screws is the magazine release. The safety is visible at rear of slide, and that little lever below the slide and aft of the trigger is the barrel release; pivoting the knurled portion forward allows the rear of the barrel to pop up, so you can load or unload the chamber without racking the slide.
The safety locks the slide forward when it’s engaged (by moving it upward).
The Tomcat has a small frame–pretty much the same frame used on 22 rimfire and 25 ACP Beretta pistols. And while it’s plenty strong for those cartridges, the 32 can be a bit much for it to handle. Add that it’s made of aluminum, and it’s easy to see why some Tomcat owners end up with cracked frames.
My Tomcat served me well enough except for one problem (see below). It was used when I got it, and I guess I fired a few hundred rounds through it while I owned it. But in the end I just wanted something more powerful to carry, so I traded it off.
The Tomcat mag holds 7 rounds of 32 ACP, making it an 7+1 gun.
That’s the trigger bar above the trigger, just below the slide; the slot for this bar is what makes the frame a bit weak.
Trigger pull on this SA/DA gun isn’t great; the double action pull is too heavy for my 8-pound trigger scale to read. The single action pull weighs about 4 pounds, which isn’t bad — except that you’ve got to take up a mile or so of trigger slack first, and a bunch of creep later, it will finally break.
The double-action pull actually felt better to me; it’s smoother and the trigger breaks farther forward than when it’s in SA.
I was impressed with the accuracy of this little pistol, but although the frame remained intact, it did give me some trouble. While shooting it at the range, the slide wouldn’t go all the way forward. Turned out, the hinge pin for the barrel (visible just below slide near front of frame) had moved over to one side, and was binding the slide. I drifted it back into place and it worked fine again, but that pretty much ended any sort of love affair between me and this popper.
Push the barrel release forward, and the barrel will pop up like so, exposing the chamber. To load, you can just slip in a cartridge and pop the barrel back into place, and just like that, you’re ready to rumble.
This view shows how easy it is to load the gun with its barrel popped up. Cleaning the Tomcat’s barrel is pretty easy, of course.
Hey, it’s a pocket pistol, so the sights ain’t gonna be much. The front sight is part of the barrel; don’t mess with it. The rear sight can be drifted right or left to correct for windage errors, but don’t get too anal about the sights; this is pretty much a belly gun after all.
My Tomcat came with a small hard case that worked pretty well, and even had a spot for a spare magazine.
The 3032 Tomcat is blowback-operated and has no extractor to pull out empty cases, so you’ll need to keep the chamber nice and clean.
I passed this pistol on to a new home some years ago, and I don’t regret it. I just couldn’t trust it as a carry piece, so it wasn’t much good to me.
- Weight fully loaded (7+1) with Magtech 71-grain HP ammo: 16.65 ounces
- Weight unloaded with empty mag: 14.55 ounces
- Length: 4.9 inches
- Width (thickness): 1.1 inch
- Height: 3.9 inches (including mag)
- Barrel Length: 2.4 inches
- Sight radius: 3.25 inches