Beretta 96


November 6, 2006, 07:41 PM
I just picked up a lightly used one of these as i wanted a full size .40 S&W pistol. There seems to be a lot of info around about the 92 but not much about the 96. I realize that they are very similar, but what are the diffferences? What's your experience with this gun?

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Shawn Dodson
November 6, 2006, 09:29 PM
I carried the 96FS as a personally supplied duty weapon on patrol and never had a functional problem with it. It was exposed to freezing weather, snow, & heavy rain. I chose it because I wanted the longer sight radius provided by the 5" barrel. I didn't bother jumping through hoops (at the time) to obtain 11 rd magazines. The 10 rounders served me just fine.

I carried it with the manual safety engaged, requiring me to always go through the motion to disengage it as part of my presentation. Experience taught me to simply slide my firing hand thumb along the top edge of the grip panel to disengage the safety. The technique worked flawlessly for me. Prior to this technique I "touch sensed" the manual safety lever as I disengaged it. However the tactile "touch sense" technique failed me whenever the lever was already in the disengaged position (usually as a result of closing the thumb snap on my holster), and when the situation didn't match my expectations (I didn't feel the lever with my thumb) I'd realize something was "wrong," which caused me to pause and investigate the situation. Through experimentation I found that if I slid my thumb across the top of the grip panel, using the grip panel edge as my tactile indicator, instead of the manual safety lever, I was desensitized to the position of the lever. If it was engaged, my thumb would automatically disengage it. If it was already disengaged, I wouldn't notice it and drive on.


November 6, 2006, 09:34 PM
OF all the 40 cals I have shot or owned, the 96 is the nicest of the bunch :D

Alan Fud
November 6, 2006, 10:50 PM
I have to agree, the 96's are the best full-size .40S&W autoloaders around. Really wished that they offered the compact model with a rounded trigger guard -- that would have made a fantastic CCW ...

November 6, 2006, 11:33 PM
My friend has one and loves it. Although a good sized gun he carries it concealed much of the time. I've shot it quite a bit myself. Nice gun.

November 7, 2006, 02:57 AM
I bought a new one at Gander Mtn for $489. Put about 900rds through it so far, first 300 were WWB, the rest have been various reloads. Get some 15lb recoil springs, change them every 2-3k rnds. 900rds no failures yet, rivals my buddies Springfield 1911 in accuracy. I just picked up a Taurus 24/7 DAO in .40, havent shot it yet. Wanted a cheap beater range gun, I love the Beretta so much I almost feel bad pounding rounds through it.

November 7, 2006, 11:17 AM
I've got a 96FS Inox, bought it NIB about 6 yrs ago. It's been a wonderfully reliable gun! I don't shoot it enough anymore (love the 9mm ammo prices, hooked on them now), but when I did it seemed very accurate to me. It's by far the smoothest operating gun I've ever handled. Operating the slide feels like it's lubed with butter, lol.

One other thing, don't shoot Wolf through it! I guess I was the last one to hear it :uhoh: , but Wolf can do harm to some firearms and I found out the hard way, lol. I put about 20 rds of Wolf thru it, and then had a FTE. :confused: That was the first I'd ever had. I tried to get the casing out of the barrel, but it was lodged in the barrel (still in place from being fired, not even partially extracted) so hard that I had to have the guy at the counter get it out with a screwdriver from the front! Well, got it out, loaded up the next round, bang...same thing. This time, I got the casing out w/o any tools, but after a struggle. I looked the gun over real thoroughly this time, only to find out that that first stuck casing had snapped the tip of the extractor off. Ouch! Ordered a part from Beretta and had the 'smith put it on...about $20 total cost. No biggie.

I'm convinced the problem was all ammo related and still have every bit of confidence in my Beretta. I'm sure you'll love the gun, enjoy! :D

November 7, 2006, 03:57 PM
Thanks guys, I'll reload tonight and go to the range after work tomorrow.

November 7, 2006, 06:06 PM
I bought a NIB surplus Beretta 96D .40 for about $580.00USD in 1997. It was a great buy. The pistol was Robar NP3 plated(with 2 plated mags), night sights, rubber grips. It shot well and I had no major problems with it. The only issue was the large size.

The 96 series is the exact same as the Beretta 92-F(9mm). They take the same parts and work in the same way. I would buy the 96D again but it's really meant for uniform duty use or protection.

Rusty ;)

November 7, 2006, 06:30 PM
96D is the pistol I had along with a couple of Glocks(23&27)before I gave up the forty. The 96 is one fine sidearm. If I were still policing on the road and had my choice of sidearms,a 96 would be it.

November 7, 2006, 07:57 PM
I have a Beretta 96 FS. While I have absolutely no complaints with its quality, reliability or accuracy, I rarely take it out of the safe. The grip on my particular gun seems overly large for my hands - especially since the standard magazine only holds 11 rounds of .40 S&W ammo. The trigger each for the DA first shot is quite a stretch for me, but you may not have any such issues.

November 8, 2006, 04:25 PM
Took it to the range after work today, one of the advantages of going in early is leaving early. Ran 200+ reloads and a few Gold Dot 180 Grain hollow points, to check for functioning, no problems at all. Some of the rounds were some 165 Berry Plated with light powder charges that I use for practice with my Kel-Tec P40, theyt functioned perfectly as did the warm reloads with the 155 grain lead bulets. I am very pleased. The gun fit my large hands very well, the double action trigger pull was smooth but way too high an effort. I will train myself to shoot it like my Sig P220, hammer down, safety off and cock on draw, no more nasty double action pull. When I concentrated, the accuracy was pretty good, but I can rapid fire on that range and like to do so and then the accuracy goes to a warm underground sort of place.

Shawn Dodson
November 8, 2006, 07:53 PM
Suggest you consider replacing your DA 96FS hammer spring with a DAO 96D hammer spring.

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