Romanian patrol officers were handed their brand spanking new Beretta semi-automatic pistols at a ceremony on July 29, complete with fanfare and Interior Minister Marcel Vela. The police officers held their new weapons just until the camera crews left at the end of the festivity when they had to hand them back, as they had not yet received training to use them.
They eventually did take possession of their new weapons on August 6, after the mandatory training. In fact, the new Beretta PX4 Storm pistols are a far cry from what they’ve had so far: the venerable Carpați Md. 1974 pistols, which — as their names suggest — were first introduced in 1974, a copy of the German Walther 1935 PP/PPK pistols, made at the small arms (and bicycle) factory in Cugir.
The old pistols had a small magazine capacity (eight rounds) and often jammed or, worse, discharged unintentionally, so police officers mostly carried them for show, fearing to actually use them.
The new, nine-millimeter Berettas have a magazine capacity of 15 rounds and are used by law enforcement in 16 countries around the world.
Romania has bought 25,000 pieces, and, as they will be assembled locally at the Romarm factory at a significant discount, the per-unit cost is reported to be EUR 400 compared with the more typical cost of EUR 750, before volume discounts.
Title image: Handover ceremony of the new Beretta pistols in Bucharest, on July 29, 2020. (source: Youtube)