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Old 01-12-2007, 05:07 PM
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Beretta Model 76 Accuracy



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I just bought a Beretta Model 76. Everything is excellent except it doesn't shoot good groups. I get about 1.25 to 1.5 inch groups at 50 feet from a bench rest.

5 or 6 shots will be within 1/2 inch, but then 4 or 5 will be awful and destroy what might have been a good result.) This with various types of ammo including Aguila Standard Velocity, Aguila Sub-Sonic, CCI Standard, Remington 6122, and Wolf Match Target (expensive stuff).

I checked the muzzle and the rifling ends abruptly, just about perfect looking. The bore is shiny, rifling looks perfect, yet crappy groups!!

The 87T shoots great groups (1/2 to 3/4 inches at 50 feet) under the same circumstances and with the same kinds of ammo.

If looks could win matches, all I'd ever have to do is show this Model 76 and I'd walk away the winner! It's a fantastic great looking gun to my eyes. It's got a very good crisp trigger, is very reliable, shoots anything, but so far, it's not going to be useful for any matches because it doesn't shoot well enough.

So here's the question: Does anyone have experience with the Model 76? Do you get good groups? Is there anything anyone can suggest to improve the accuracy?
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:00 PM
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The most likely (and obvious) possible cause is that the barrel shroud is slipping. I had one which would give fits if there were any trace of lubricant between the barrel and
the shroud. I loved that gun, though. It had the sweetest trigger I ever felt until I got a S&W 41.

Other than that, keep trying different ammo. It may like one brand better than others. You may never get gilt edge accuracy, since the 76 is basically a conversion of the 70 pocket pistol.

Stryker60
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2007, 08:51 PM
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Hi Stryker60,
Thanks for your reply.

I am not sure how to separate the barrel and the shroud. I guess the pin about 2 inches back from the muzzle has to be knocked out and then the barrel will get free. I don't see anything else that might be holding it. (No manual came with the gun). Did you ever separate the two?

I tried moving the barrel within the shroud by hand and it seems very solid and doesn't move at all.

Would you recommend that I knock out the pin that holds the barrel and clean the surfaces?

Do you recall what ammo worked for you?

Does the fact that this gun is just a conversion matter?

Also, it impresses me as strange that the 87T (similar in many respects) shoots so accurately while this one doesn't.

By the way, I had a 41 and it was very finicky about ammo. The only reliable ammo in the 41 was Remington 6122. It didn't work at all with Aguila. Also it was heavy. The trigger was good though. Is yours finicky?

The 76 is a great looking gun. The semi-anatomical wood grips are very comfortable and pretty. Reliability is excellent. I wish I could mount a dot sight on the gun to perhaps test it better, but I think it would require drilling into the gun which I won't do- it's too pretty!

Do you still own/use the 76?
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartypants2 View Post
Hi Stryker60,
Thanks for your reply.

I am not sure how to separate the barrel and the shroud. I guess the pin about 2 inches back from the muzzle has to be knocked out and then the barrel will get free. I don't see anything else that might be holding it. (No manual came with the gun). Did you ever separate the two?

I tried moving the barrel within the shroud by hand and it seems very solid and doesn't move at all.

Would you recommend that I knock out the pin that holds the barrel and clean the surfaces?

Do you recall what ammo worked for you?

Does the fact that this gun is just a conversion matter?

Also, it impresses me as strange that the 87T (similar in many respects) shoots so accurately while this one doesn't.

By the way, I had a 41 and it was very finicky about ammo. The only reliable ammo in the 41 was Remington 6122. It didn't work at all with Aguila. Also it was heavy. The trigger was good though. Is yours finicky?

The 76 is a great looking gun. The semi-anatomical wood grips are very comfortable and pretty. Reliability is excellent. I wish I could mount a dot sight on the gun to perhaps test it better, but I think it would require drilling into the gun which I won't do- it's too pretty!

Do you still own/use the 76?
I still have the 76, somewhere. Several years ago my wife "helped" pack away all my guns and ammo in preparation for a summer visit from relatives with young children. I have not yet located all of them, and one of the missing is the 76. Like you, I wanted to attach an optical sight, but there were no provisions for such. I suspect my attempts to attach a scope may have contributed to the loosening of the barrel/shroud assembly.

As to separating the two, if memory serves there are two allen screws on the bottom of the shroud between the trigger guard and the muzzle. These screws fit into slots in the bottom of the barrel and hold the shroud (and sights) together. If you do not notice any movement, I would not bother to separate the two, as the shroud is cast aluminum and repeatedly removing the screws will eventually wear the threads. After the fact, I am not sure that this arrangement is sufficient to take the added weight of an optical sight. One of the lightweight holographic type sights might be light enough.

I have not been able to locate a manual yet, but here is a link to a pdf file of the manual for a Model 70, which serves as the basis for the 76: http://stevespages.com/pdf/beretta_70.pdf

Here's a link for a copy of a 76 manual on Gunsamerica: http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976711330.htm

The only issue about it being a conversion is that it is not, and likely never will be, a true target grade gun. That is not to say that it won't be accurate. It probably will be more accurate than most plinkers. The 87 was the replacement for the 76 and allegedy suffered some of same problems, although I have no personal experience with the 87. I loved the 76 because it was so light, it had a great trigger, and had the finest sights I had ever used up to that point.

I used to have a link to a gentleman who had 76 parts, including the barrel and shroud. He advertised a "kit" to convert the 70s/71 to the 76 configuration, and vice versa. As I recall they were about $200. I lucked up a few months ago and picked up a 70 barrel and slide on ebay for almost nothing. Guess I will have to try to locate the 76.

http://www.gun-parts.com/beretta/

Mine was not particularly finicky as to ammo, so I don't remember what shot best in it. According to legend, in its heyday the 70 in .22 with a suppressor was very popular with the Mossad.

Edit: Aha! This website: http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/6144/mod76.htm

may explain what you were talking about in regard to the pin holding the shroud and barrel together. Apparently there was a 76s which had two screws and no pin. I guess I have a 76s and you have a 76.

Stryker60

Last edited by Stryker60; 01-12-2007 at 11:06 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2007, 08:53 AM
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Hi Stryker60,
Thanks for all the good info you provided. I see the 2 screws at the bottom of the shroud, so I believe that I too have a 76s.

I 'Googled' the Beretta 76 and found the source for the conversion kits that you mention at 'Bob's Gun Shop'. He sells conversions from the 70 to the 76 for $200, just like you said.

I have a Model 87 (Berettas present high end .22) It is an excellent shooter, shoots anything very accurately (I have gotten 1/2 inch groups at 75 feet with a dot sight from a bench rest).

The 87 has a rail so optics are very easy to mount. The 87 trigger is nowhere near as good as the 76. It is soft and mushy rather than the crisp trigger of the 76. Also, the 87 is too light for real target work. But it is utterly reliable, shoots anything well, and has excellent workmanship. I am very happy with it and I would recommend it to anyone.

Since the barrel feels very solidly attached to the shroud in my 76, I will skip taking it down any further than the normal cleaning mode.

I have a theory about why tbhe 76's accuracy isn't good. The barrel of the 76 makes contact with the shroud over its entire length. By contrast, the barrel of the 87 is connected to the shroud only at the front end of the barrel. Most of the 87 barrel floats free within the shroud.

I know that when bedding a rifle barrel, you avoid making contact with the stock anywhere except the support points front and rear.

I'm guessing that Beretta learned this the hard way and now makes their latest gun so the barrel has minimal contact with the shroud.

However, it's also possible that I just got an inaccurate example. So please find your old 76, and see what kind of accuracy you get out of it. Maybe they were all relatively inaccurate, or maybe mine is just a bad one.

As I said early on, if beauty could win matches, all I would have to do is show my 76, and I'd walk away the winner every time.
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:25 PM
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Manual for 76

Smartypants2,
A funny story dealing with the manual for the 76. I bought a 76W NIB in March 1982. Apparently it must have been one of the first ones imported into the USA because when I got it home and opened the box all the instructions were in Italian. I called Beretta USA in Accokeek, MD to complain. I got this comedian of a receptionist and after listening to my tale of woe she asks me, "You mean you're not Mafia? What are you doing with that gun?" Then she laughs and says she will send me a translation. Trouble was it was the instructions for the 70S. I've never fired the gun and so it has been little concern to me. If you can read Italian I will be glad to send you a copy.

Wayne38
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Old 01-13-2007, 08:52 PM
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Hello Wayne38,
I can't read Italian either. However, if it has pictures, I might well take you up on your offer. Thanks.

My Model 76 seems to be less accurate than I expected. As I said earlier, it shoots about 1 1/4 to 1/1/2 inch groups at 50 feet with various ammo. I would expect to get half that size with this gun. I wanted to determine whether this was just my gun, or that's the way they all are.

Why didn't you shoot it? Do you still have it? Are you still into shooting? If so, what gun do you shoot?
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Old 01-14-2007, 02:14 PM
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I have an early model 76P and the manual, in english, one page, two sided, with pictures and parts breakdown. I can scan it and make it available on-line if you want it.
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Old 01-14-2007, 02:35 PM
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Hello s3dcor,
I would very much appreciate getting that information. You can email it to me at '[email protected]' if that is convenient.

Also, do you shoot your 76p? If so, what kind of bench rest accuracy do you get out of it? Do you use it for matches?
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:31 PM
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Tale of the Beretta model 76W

Smartypants,
To answer your questions:
1) Why did I not shoot it? I really didn't want the gun when I bought it. My dealer was trying to get me a Bernardelli Model 100 but they had just stopped making or importing them. He got the Beretta 76W instead because they were very similar in appearance and talked me into taking it. I later got the Model 100 so the 76W was just put on the shelf. I did shoot the Model 100.
2) Do I still have it? Yes, I have never sold a gun in my life. Have given 3 away but never sold one.
3)Am I still into shooting? Sort of. I'm 69 years old, my eyes are not what they used to be and I don't belong to a gun club in Roanoke. Still belong to 3 in Delaware though. I have a high school buddy who comes over from Lynchburg once a month and we go shooting at an indoor commercial range.
4) What gun do I shoot? My CCW piece (PPK) always and then the latest purchase that I have made provided that it is not NIB. If I were still able to try for super accuracy I would be shooting a Series 101 High Standard Supermatic. I love that gun. I think my most accurate Beretta is my Model 949. It is one of the actual guns used by the Italian Olympic Team in the 1952 Olympics.

Wayne38
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:22 PM
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Hi Wayne 38,

Thanks for the reply.

I sold many guns, but one sticks in my mind that I shouldn't have sold. That makes me very hesitant to sell unless I really don't like the gun over a number of years. I find that I come back to guns and like them again, even if I temporarily have a grudge against one of them.

I use a dot sight to help with my 63 year old eyes. They are really great.

I never heard of a Beretta 949. Do you have a picture of it or some way that I could see it on line?

I have a High Standard S-101 with the built in compensator in the barrel. Is that the one you mean. I bought a second barrel for it, and had it drilled and tapped so I could mount a dot sight on it.
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:26 PM
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Beretta Model 949

Smartypants,
I wish that I could post a picture of the Model 949 but I am Technology Challenged and don't have a clue on how to do it. There is a good picture of it on page 89 of J. B. Wood's Beretta Automatic Pistols. It is a true target gun with a 8 3/4" barrel with a compensator and barrel weights. According to Wood's book they only made about 500 of them.
Yes, my H-S series 101 has compensated barrels along with a complete set of weights. The only pistol that I have red dots on is several barrels for my T/C.

Wayne38
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:55 PM
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Hi Wayne 38,
I'll try to pick up a copy of that JB Wood book. Does it include the Model 76 and the Model 89?

My High Standard S-101 has plastic grips and I have been unable to locate semi-anatomical wood grips for it, hence I shoot matches with my Hammerli 208S, which is a great gun.

The Model 76 is reliable, beautiful, but shoots poor groups. Today I shot from bench rest: 2.2 inches at 25 yards (Federal Premium Gold Medal); 1.8 inches at 50 feet (Wolf Match Extra); 1.4 inches at 50 feet (Aguila Standard Velocity).

I can generally shoot better than 1 inch groups from a bench rest with iron sights, so I think in this case its the gun and not me. I use a 6 oclock hold to clearly see the sights.

I showed the gun to the captain of our team, and he said not to worry about it. He said: "So it doesn't shoot good groups. So what?" I guess thats one way to look at it.
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:43 PM
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J.B. Wood's Beretta Automatic Pistols

Smartypants2,
It has the Model 76 but not the 89 since it was written in 1985. I have had excellent results in locating hard to find books at www.abebooks.com . It is against my principles to modify a gun in any way from the original factory configuration but I made an exception for the H-S series 101. Like you I wanted to replace those original plastic grips with wooden ones. I searched for years and could not find an original set anywhere. Someone told me that H-S never made any for that series so I just quit looking. One day at a GunShow at Valley Forge, PA. I found a set of Herritt target grips marked S-101 and bought them on the spot. Not only did they enhance the looks but they also greatly improved my accuracy. You might try Herritt and see if they still can make them.
You are so lucky to have that Hammerli Model 208. I have been looking for one of those for years. I have a Hammerli Model 280 but it is nowhere near the pistol that the 208 is.

Wayne38
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:37 PM
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Hi Wayne38,
I ordered the book from Collectors Firearms which has it in stock. There is a new book by that same author about Beretta guns which I will probably order sometime soon, but I'm gonna look at this book first. Thanks for steering me to it.

I will call Herritts and see if they have an S-101 grip.

My Model 76 is in excellent condition and I feel lucky to have gotten it, even with the problems I described. I saw 3 of them at GunsAmerica at $385, $395 and $585 plus $35 Shipping plus $35 FFL transfer fee. I saw this one at my local gun store for $225 including tax and I jumped on it. The ones on GA disappeared in hours.

I also have a Beretta Model 87 (in addition to the 87T) that I got off the bulletin board at my range. It certainly is no target gun, but it will easily win beauty contests.
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