Finally, I got to take the Beretta out shoot it. As with any polymer firearm, durability is always a concern. In fact the very gun I bought was spurned by a woman because it was "plastic." I immediately put it on layaway. Economy pistol or not, I like the feel and ease of use as well as the value. However, a gun can look great in the case and feel good in your hand, but as accurate as a salt shaker when you try to hit anything with it. It can jam, stovepipe and misfire like a wet firecracker as well. These are far more important than looks whether it comes to bragging rights (not that I'm into that at all) or defending your life with it. I'm all about function over form any day.
I put 150 rounds from three manufacturers through it, and it ate them all equally well; no jams, misfires or other tomfoolery. It fires the rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger. As this is a double/single action pistol, the trigger pull on the first round will be heavier than those of each subsequent round. Despite many reviews to the contrary, the first pull was very smooth and light and each additional pull was even more so. Even without firing a pistol in the past 20 years or so, this one was very easy to get a good grouping with at 21 feet or so (After all, this is a defense gun and not a competition shooter. A 3 1/2 inch barrel isn't going to be too accurate beyond that for most of us). I used the sights and they do a decent job, but adjustable ones would be better, but sacrificing some durability. As they are right now. you could use these against a door or tabletop to rack the slide in an emergency. This might not work so well with less solid sights.
When is comes to the hyperbole about accuracy, low recoil and easier follow up shots I was less inclined to believe it. When I pulled the trigger, recoil wasn't just light it was nearly a non issue. Rather than worrying about recoil, you can easily place follow up shots with maximum control. With as many rounds as I cycled through it, the slide only bit my hand once, but that was due to operator error when gripping it with both hands. I quickly learned to put my left thumb next to my right and out of the way of the slide. No harm done. Reloading is also very easy and the issue with the magazine release disappeared with practice.
One minor gripe I have with is loading the magazines as they are double stacked. Having a loader is mandatory and this requires moving this device down on a round while pushing the next one in and then getting the tooth of the loader back on each round. It takes practice to do smoothly and the manual is not clear at all on doing this. I've seen better loaders than the one Beretta supplied me with and intend to get one soon. I can't imagine the plastic tooth on this thing lasting more than a 1000 rounds or so. Regardless, it's good to have a spare. Without it, you will fight the spring after loading more than seven or eight of the 15 rounds. A part tre is coming. Maranatha!