The Beretta model 1934 is a compact, semi-automatic (or self-loading) pistol which was issued as a standard service firearm to the Italian armed forces beginning in 1934. It is chambered for the 9 mm Corto, more commonly known as the .380 ACP.
In the early 1930s, the Italian army was impressed by the Walther PP pistol. Beretta did not want to lose a big military contract to their German competitor and designed the M1934 for the Italian Army which accepted it in 1937. This model was followed by the M1935, which was similar to the M1934 in most respects, except that it fired a .32 ACP (7.65 mm Browning) cartridge.
Fitted with the characteristic Beretta open slide, the M1934 has a very reliable feeding and extraction cycle; the elongated slot in the top of the slide acts as the ejection port. It is made with relatively few parts and very simple to maintain. The M1934 is very robust in construction with a service life believed to be over 100 years if properly maintained.
Beretta Model 1934 pistol is a simple blowback operated weapon. It uses typical 'Beretta-style' open top slide design, with return spring located below the barrel. The barrel is stationary during firing, but can be easily removed for inspection or maintenance. Trigger is of single action type, with exposed hammer. Manual safety lever is located at the left side of the frame, above the trigger, and requires full 180o rotation to engage (lever pointing rearward, letter 'S' exposed) or disengage (lever pointing forward, letter 'F' or red dot exposed). The same safety lever is used as a slide lock during disassembly, to hold slide to the rear. There is no dedicated slide stop mechanism, but the slide remains open after the last shot, being captured in the open position by the magazine follower. The slide automatically closes itself on the empty chamber as soon as empty magazine is withdrawn. The single stack box magazine holds 7 rounds. Magazine release is located at the base of the grip.