The Beretta 8000 (Cougar) series pistols are produced and manufactured by Beretta of Italy.
The Beretta 8000 first appeared on the market in 1994 as a more compact alternative to the full-sized and dependable Beretta 92 service pistol in order to offer a compromise between ease of carry, concealability, firepower, and accuracy.
The Beretta 8000 was originally developed for the .40S&W cartridge, which was a relatively new cartridge at the time. The pistol was later also manufactured in other calibers, such as 9 x 19 mm, .357 SIG and .45 ACP. These Berretta 8000 pistols are suitable for use by civilian and police for self-defense.
Beretta Cougar 8000 series pistols are locked breech, recoil operated semiautomatic pistols. These handguns utilize a relatively rare rotating barrel locking system. It is in this system that one barrel rotates on recoil to effectively unlock itself from the slide. The pistol's rotating motion of the barrel is tightly controlled by the stud on the bottom of the weapon. This stud follows the cam track within the steel frame insert. The Beretta 8000 decreases stress on the frame and peak recoil by an insert that is mounted on the recoil spring and is buffered. The frame of the Beretta 8000 is constructed from a very lightweight aluminum alloy. The traditional version of the of the Cougar is known as the F model. This model has a double action trigger and a non concealed hammer. It also includes an ambidextrous safety / decocker levers, positioned on the slide of the weapon. The D version of the weapon is double action only, and therefore has a spurless hammer and is without safety / decocker levers. The Beretta 8000 Cougar utilizes a double stack magazine system in .40, .357 and 9mm calibers and in .45 caliber models uses a single stack magazine.
The Beretta 8000 series pistol comes available in multiple calibers in selected F, G or D designations.
* 8000: 9 x 19 mm, 15-round Beretta magazine capacity
* 8000L: 9 x 19 mm, lighter, more compact, Beretta 13-round magazine capacity
* 8000L Type P: 9 x 19 mm, lighter, more compact,15-round Beretta magazine capacity
* 8357: .357 SIG, 11-round Beretta magazine capacity
* 8040: .40 S&W, 11-round Beretta magazine capacity
* 8045: .45 ACP, 8-round Beretta magazine capacity
The F configuration is the basic version of the pistol with double action trigger, ambidextrous safety/decocking and an exposed hammer (located on the slide).
The D configuration is double action only ("DAO") with no safety/decocking levers and a spurless hammer.
The G configuration is both DA/SA variant with a unique "decock" only feature. The pistol features an exposed hammer including an ambidextrous decocking levers (on the slide). There is no safety feature on this model.
The Beretta 8000, 8040 and 8045 come in a Mini size variant weighing about 140 g less than competitive models also with a barrel that is nearly 25mm shorter. This type of variant also comes in D and F configurations.
Several of the models are available in an Inox variant which comes with a stainless steel barrel, slide and other parts.
The Beretta Cougar 8045 was produced between 1998 and 2004 in the D and F specifications. The Mini 8045Cougar was also manufactured in similar configurations. It was not produced in the G configuration.
8045 Cat Pack
Beretta USA showcased the 2000 special edition kits to accompany the Beretta 8045F Cougar in 1999. Within the kit of the 8045F, included a special edition case as well as charcoal laminate grips with inlaid cougar medallions and a lapel pin. Numerous kits were sold but no full fingers wee released.
The Los Angeles Police Department received a special 8045F from Beretta USA. Beretta positioned a 4" barrel on the weapon pursuant to the LAPD's requirements.
The Cougar is now manufactured by Stoegar which is a subsidiary of Beretta. Stoeger produces Cougars in Turkey in the 9x19mm and .40S&W cartridge. Beretta USA imports the Stoegar Cougar from Turkey.