Beretta 92FS torture test


August 21, 2007, 05:51 PM
I fished this off the Net:

"The Beretta 92FS," by Christopher Bartocci...
...published in Krause Publications' Handguns 2001(13th Edition), states the following information:

"With the gun's major criticisms in mind, I wanted to see how the M9/92FS would stand up to a 20,500 round torture test using mostly +P and +P+ ammunition. I purchased a stock 92FS from a local gun distributor and made some calls for some high-power ammunition. The ammunition used in this test is as follows: 9X19mm (NATO, Parabellum/Luger) manufactured by Winchester/Olin Corporation.

Beretta U.S.A. claims their pistol is serviceable to 35,000 rounds and that it will function under the most adverse conditions. Beretta U.S.A. claims 'the average reliability of all M9s tested at Beretta U.S.A. is 17,500 rounds without stoppage.' The ammunition I chose was the hottest ammunition available and I would not recommend anyone put high round counts of +P+ ammunition through any alloy-frame pistol regardless of manufacturer.

The first thing I did was fire for out-of-the-box accuracy, I used the 115-grain +P+ ammunition and at 15 yards the 15-shot group measured 1.5 inches. I had nine magazines loaded up and someone loading magazines as I emptied them and, within 20 minutes, I fired 500 rounds with no malfunctions of any type...

The next day I began firing 2,000 rounds of the 127-grain +P+SXT, by far the hottest 9mm ammunition I have ever fired. There were no malfunctions of any type using this ammunition. Over the next 3 days I fired 8,000 rounds of 9mm NATO, the standard M882 Ball ammunition issued to U.S. military personnel. The M882 ball cartridge is rated as a +P cartridge by SAAMI specifications.

The barrel was cleaned every 2,000 to 3,000 rounds. It would take us 45 to 50 minutes to fire 1,000 rounds and, at times, the pistol would become too hot to handle. I fired 1,000 rounds of Winchester USA 115-grain 9mm ball with no problems and the pistol, after 11,500 rounds, was still delivering groups in the 1.5-inch range.

At this point, the pistol was totally disassembled and cleaned. Then I fired an additional 6,000 rounds of the 115-grain FMJ with only one malfunction. There was one failure to extract due to an under-powered cartridge, not the pistol.

After about 15,000 rounds I began to notice some pitting on the right wing of the locking block. I recommend changing this part when pitting is noted, but this was a torture test and we wanted to see how long the gun will last.

As of now 17,500 rounds have been fired and I headed back to the range to fire the remaining 3,000 rounds. Finally at round count 19,498, I had a locking block failure. The left wing of the locking block broke and the pistol's slide locked up. By pushing down on the broken wing with a drift punch, the action was freed and the pistol subsequently disassembled, revealing some minimal frame damage - but nothing that would affect the operation of the pistol. I changed the locking block and within 10 minutes I was back in action and concluded the test with no other malfunctions. The last 15 rounds were fired for accuracy; the group measured about 1.75 inches at 15 yards. The accuracy had hardly changed at all.

The locking block survived 19,948 rounds, which included 2,500 rounds of +P+, 8,000 rounds of +P and 10,000 rounds of standard 9mm ball. One friend of mine put it best: 'You fired $4,000 worth of ammunition out of a $450 handgun and broke a $60 part after 19,498 rounds were fired, what more could you ask?'

I feel very few pistols will ever see this round count - except for a military pistol. For many years I have heard people claim the Beretta M9/92FS was a fragile gun because of those early, isolated incidents. Following this torture test, I know this gun is far from fragile! There is no question in my mind the pistol is serviceable to 35,000 rounds; I would not be surprised to see it last 50,000 rounds. The Beretta M9/92FS is, in my opinion, one of the most reliable firearms ever produced - and this test proved it."

My question would be: Was the level of accuracy over the length of this test maintained by the Beretta's chrome-lined barrel or would other pistols have done comparably?

If you enjoyed reading about "Beretta 92FS torture test" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 21, 2007, 05:56 PM
Define "combat accuracy."

August 21, 2007, 06:02 PM
is a taurus pt99 the same firearm? should one expect it to function as well?

August 21, 2007, 06:24 PM
Accuracy requirement as defined in MIL-P-48655 (AR) for the M9:

"At a range of 50 meters (54.7 yards), the mean radius for a 10-round shot group shall be no more than (A) 8.0 centmeters (3.5 inches), or (B) 4.6 centimeters (1.81 inches) greater than that for the same ammunition when fired from a test barrel, whichever is greater"

August 21, 2007, 06:24 PM
The Taurus is a "copy" of the Beretta.

What you can expect of it depends very much on the materials workmanship of the particular specimen. These features do vary enough to warrant close scrutiny of the actual item you are considering acquiring.


August 21, 2007, 07:15 PM
I serve active duty in the USAF and I can tell you that at least in my squadron, the M9 doesn't function well in sandy environments when it's not well lubricated and cleaned constantly. This is true for the M16A2 as well.

I'm not sure any pistol, rifle, or carbine could function well in Iraq or Afghanistan under such conditions. In my squadron, the failures of the M9 and M16A2 has more to do with inadequate training; however, there are perhaps other designs better suited to neglect than what we're currently issued.

Rather than firing +P+, your test would have been more convincing if you ran the gun dry and in the sandy environment that the M9 is currently deployed in.

I don't mean to be overly critical, but I get the feeling that you're a fan of the M9 which is why you tested it under ideal conditions rather than real world conditions.

August 21, 2007, 08:12 PM
Uhhh, read the original post. Some gunwriter did the test.

August 21, 2007, 10:24 PM
I read somewhere that the Government pays $185 for a M9, someone show me another gun for that price that will outperform the M9. Sad part is, that contracts go to the lowest bidder. I love my 92FS, I think a 9mm is great SD round but not a good combat round. I think it's time to move on from the M9 platform and a adopt a more powerful and simpler to use sidearm platform.

My friend (who is in Iraq training police forces) told me they issue the Iraqi's
G17/19's for their standard sidearms and the GI's are jealous.

If you enjoyed reading about "Beretta 92FS torture test" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!