Got the gun home, after hunting for shell casings for nearly an hour in the grass. I field stripped it by pulling down on the catch forward of the trigger and removed the central block, recoil spring and barrel from the slide. As I wrote before, this gun is nearly impossible to put together wrong, and despite my reservations about part of the central block being plastic, it's in a position that shouldn't pose a problem with durability. One concern of mine was due to the rotating barrel and the need for a feed ramp as a part of the frame. Since the frame is a fiberglass composite, it bears mention that the ramp is also composite. However, there is a metal insert inside the ramp that in theory protects this part from wear as cartridges are fed into the barrel. There was virtually no wear on mine after firing 150 rounds through it, and it should never be an issue.
I just wouldn't use steel case ammo, but this is more preference than actual study. Federal rounds at Walmart (if you can get them) are about $12 for 50 for 9mm and TulAmmo (made in Russia) are steel case and about $10 for 50. The latter are steel case and burn a lot dirtier than the former. Considering the price of solvents to clean this garbage out of your gun, I would rather use the more expensive ammo myself. Another tip to get the barrel and the rest of the gun clean: Use brake cleaner rather than solvent as it's a lot less expensive than solvents meant for guns. Unless you use unjacketed rounds for practice, there's simply no need for the expense. Some have recommended Ballistol or Rem Oil as a good all purpose solvent and for the most part I agree. Since I can't get Ballistol locally, Rem Oil is my lubricant of choice along with a toothbrush and the brushes that came with the gun. Gun grease is also a good idea the wear surfaces. As for cleaning patches, just save your old socks and same some more money. Unless you have a penchant for spending money, a starter kit for cleaning this gun should cost you less than $15.
The magazine springs have also loosened up to the point that I can even load them without the plastic loader. Don't get me wrong, as it's still faster to use the tool. Nevertheless, it's comforting to know you don't have to spend time looking for a misplaced loader if you need to load the magazines.
Speaking of loading, nearly any ball round with a full metal jacket and a brass case will load and feed, but hollow points seem to be a little more finicky. Remington makes good products, and their ball ammo is pretty accurate and easy to feed for the price, but the HD Ultimate Home Defense is bit tricky, at least for this writer to load into the magazines. Hornady Critical Defense, or their less expensive but equal Zombie Max rounds load in almost as easily as ball ammo does. The real reason is likely the round is 1/8 an inch longer than the latter as well as the raw edges of the bullet on the Remington.
This writer can't imagine they would cause a problem in actual use as I haven't fired any of them yet, but ease of loading is a consideration. At nearly a dollar a round, these aren't really meant to be used for practice other than proving they work in a particular gun. If you have extra money, I'd recommend trying different kinds and once you find one that works stick with it. In my neck of the woods, the Zombie Max is $20 for 25 rounds and the HD is about $28 for 25 rounds.
Although I'm still a little miffed about Beretta eliminating the Tritium sights from this otherwise well made gun, I did have to reverse the magazine release because I'm left eye dominant and going to try and shoot left handed for more accuracy. Although the instructions say to use a center punch, I did fine with a large darning needle and a padlock to tap the needle down. Now the gun is ready for use as a lefty. I look forward to more practice with this gun, although I hope to never have to use it in a defensive situation. I never meant to have this blog to review guns, but in a few weeks I'll have the opportunity to review a blast from the past; pun intended. Maranatha!