Open to comments on Beretta 92 Series


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Plan2Live
June 11, 2011, 08:38 PM
I bought my first (an so far only) pistol as a young lad in 1985. I bought a S&W 459. I chose that model because I liked the idea of an autoloader over a wheel gun and I liked the functionality/familiarity of a hammer. I have never found this gun to be particularly accurate and I am considering adding another autoloader to my small inventory. In the past, I had always discounted the 92f and even heard that they had slide failure problems during the first gulf war. I went to the Land of the Sky Gun and Knife show in Columbia today and picked up just about everything on display. The best fit for my hand honestly seems to be the 92f. I prefer Hammers over Striker Fire, just a mental thing like my fear of heights but I still prefer a hammer. Many of the other hammer guns had the slide release and saftey crowding the same real estate. I searched THR for 92f comments and found very few. Does anyone have any comments to share on the 92? I am leaning toward the a1 variant so I can have the option of an accessory rail if I choose to add an accessory later. I'm all ears.

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txgunsuscg
June 11, 2011, 09:26 PM
Personally, I like the 92FS, which is slightly different than the M9 in military service (a few plastic parts like the recoil spring guide rod and trigger). The trigger is pretty good and it is very accurate. As your round count gets high (more than you'll probably put through it), just watch the locking lugs. If you see cracks starting to form, send it to a smith.

winddummy
June 11, 2011, 09:31 PM
I've owned several over the years (6) and currenty have two. They are high quality hand guns. Slide breakage was not a big issue (only on the internet) The Navy didn't like them and bought some Sigs, which also had some slide failures. Yes they are large and fairly heavy but are accurate and very reliable. Just rack the slide, no other pistol can compare. And no, I am not a Beretta nut, most of the 25 guns I own are S&W and Sig.

xr1200
June 11, 2011, 09:34 PM
In their day they were good guns, but when compared to other new alloy or other steel and even polymer framed guns they are really out dated.

If the US military didn't use it as its standard side arm, it would probably be no longer made.

In comparison the browning hp, sig , cz75 , glocks, xd, fnh are a lot better guns.

9mmepiphany
June 11, 2011, 09:38 PM
I really like the Beretta 92/96 platform and highly recommend it to folks if it fits their hand.

1. The Beretta runs smoother than platforms based on the Browning tilt barrel system as the barrel moves back and forth on a single plane.
2. The feed from the from the magazine is straighter than many other guns
3. The magazine release is easily switchable from side to side
4. Of the pistols with slide mounted safeties, the Beretta is the easiest to push off
5. The locking block is easy to replace without replacing the barrel...the locking block issues were with the first gen blocks, that was 3 gens ago
6. It seldom has ejection problems as it has the largest ejection port in current offerings
7. It's extractor is designed to snap over the rim of a cartridge dropped into the chamber

The Beretta has long been a favorite of armorers for movies due to the ease of converting it to reliable function with blank cartridges...very reliable

rule303
June 11, 2011, 09:39 PM
If it fits your hand well, they are great guns. Accurate, reliable, and built like a tank. IMO probably the best DA/SA trigger pull out there. I prefer the safety setup on the Taurus clone to the original, but the Beretta has a much nicer fit and finsh.

SharpsDressedMan
June 11, 2011, 09:40 PM
None of my guns are outdated. I have a Colt from 1913, and a S&W from 1915. I have a Beretta 92FS, and it will do everything that my CZ, Browning, S&W, and Walther 9mm's will.

Minnesota Wild
June 11, 2011, 09:51 PM
I've shot them pretty extensively and really like the platform. Like has been mentioned, they don't fit everybody's hands. The accuracy of the stock gun is fairly good for a gun designed for military/police applications.

You mentioned the slide breaking issue; I have seen three guns break the slide. All were M9s that had fairly high round counts through them. Unless you are somebody that shoots huge amounts of ammo, I don't think many civilians would shoot the gun enough to ever potentially cause an issue.

Plan2Live
June 11, 2011, 10:13 PM
So far so good. Keep the comments coming, good or bad. This is not a small investment or quick decsion. All opinions are welcome. Once I make my final decision, I will practice enough to be familiar with the weapon but won't be at the range every weekend. This will be a worse case weapon, not a carry gun or daily driver. I'm looking for reliablity and accuracy. For my taste and limited range time, the 1911 platform has a lot going on before you can shoot, thumb here, grip just so back here, just not my style. As I said earlier, I prefer hammer guns so all I ask is let's keep the focus limited to hammer guns. It wouldn't make sense to recommend a truck if I prefer a motorcycle.

Snowbandit
June 11, 2011, 10:28 PM
I really like the Beretta 92 series and have 2 myself. I've carried them as duty weapons and even concealed on occasion. Plenty accurate too. I aced 2 different state and a federal law enforcement qualification course with one of mine a while back.

Not to discourage your Beretta search in any way but you also might also have a look at the FN's made right there in your hometown. Them's some fine weapons too.

maswell
June 11, 2011, 10:38 PM
I shoot mostly HKs, sigs, and glocks. One day at the range I was shooting pretty well, and the guy next to me came over and asked what I was shooting. He handed me his 92 and said, "You seem to know what you are doing -- I cant hit anything with this." I gave him my P9S and took his 92 -- he shot well, I was all over the place.

Now, my hands are small so the 92 was chunky for me -- so it very well may have been the fit. My experience wasnt positive though. I sold the guy on HKs though...

REAPER4206969
June 11, 2011, 10:40 PM
The Beretta 92 series is the best pistol in its class.

george d dennis
June 11, 2011, 10:50 PM
i have a 92a1 and love it. i have glocks, rugers, and a springfield loaded. theres
something about the beretta. im thinking about maybe a second one. berettas been
around along time. i enjoy shooting it very much. good luck with your search.

Got_Lead?
June 11, 2011, 10:56 PM
Plan2Live:

I've had zero problems with mine, and they are very smooth. They seem to function on anything you feed them, at least mine does. They look cool, and if it fits your hand, go for it. One of the better features of the design IMHO is the open breech, you can shoot a lot, and it really doesn't ever gum up or get dirty, the powder resudue and soot seem to be a lot more free to escape than be trapped inside the action, like closed barrel autos with an ejection port. This is nice when you are shooting lead boolits, which seem to gum things up a bit more with the boolit lube and all.

Field stripping is a breeze, takes about 5 seconds. Accuracy seems to be pretty good although I'm not sure why (the barrel dovetails into the frame, rather than the slide, adding a lot more tolerance for mis-alignment with the sights).

The downside of the Beretta's is that it is very difficult to match fit a barrel for target shooting because of the design of the pistol. Military marksmanship units spent quite some effort to get the pistol to shoot to match standards. Closed barrel pistols, 1911's, SIG's, Hi-Powers, Glocks, etc, where the barrel is mated inside the slide are much easier to match fit for the demands of target accuracy. But we're talking about making a 2" gun shoot to 1" or less at 25 yards. That may not seem like much, but it's a pretty good jump for a self-loader. My Beretta is shooting 2 to 3 inch groups at 25 yards, and I really haven't started to work-up an accurate load for it.

I think they are a fun pistol to shoot, have fun.

Anyway, here are some pics:


Comparison groups between the Beretta and SIG 226. The Beretta is shooting about 2 1/2", and the SIG about 2" at 25 yards.

http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z398/1homebrewed/PICT0008c.jpg


Open Port really vents powder and soot, keeping things clean when shooting.

http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z398/1homebrewed/PICT0010c.jpg


Field stripping is easy.

http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z398/1homebrewed/PICT0011c.jpg


One of the few caveats, the barrel doesn't have much dovetail surface for tight support, it can wiggle a bit when in battery, but it still seems to shoot pretty accurately.

http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z398/1homebrewed/PICT0014c.jpg


This is the only support the barrel gets, unlike closed slide autos, where the barrel is supported at both ends by steel, the Beretta barrel is only partially supported, and not by steel, but by a dovetail in the aluminum frame, hence the wiggle factor. It is however, locked into the steel slide with the locking wedge, which does add stability.

http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z398/1homebrewed/PICT0012c.jpg

Shipwreck
June 12, 2011, 01:03 AM
I think you will like the 92A1 if you get it, since you are leaning that way.

I have two of them, and they are most excellent guns. My fav of any of the railed models :)

I have eight 92 variants, and the platform has become my fav, actually.

mjsdwash
June 12, 2011, 05:09 AM
I have an M9, mostly for "its neat" purposes, and i can tell you its hard to use the sights, hard to steady, and hard to develop loads for. It liked a pretty good no longer published HOT unique load to make it shoot good. 124 grs at about 1250 fps on my across my chrono. Hammers are an advantage, triggers not horrible, and very easy to clean and maintain. Ide go S&W if I did it agian. Hope that helps

Homerboy
June 12, 2011, 08:27 AM
In their day they were good guns, but when compared to other new alloy or other steel and even polymer framed guns they are really out dated.

If the US military didn't use it as its standard side arm, it would probably be no longer made.

In comparison the browning hp, sig , cz75 , glocks, xd, fnh are a lot better guns.

They are still one of the best guns made, IMO. Rack the slide on a 92 and it feels like it's rolling on ball bearings. Rack the slide on a Glock and it "clunks". They are top notch quality at a very fair price. They're big, but they're a service pistol. I wouldn't carry mine. No plastic pistol can even come close to the Beretta 92. I've owned Glocks, and I'll never own another. They look fugly, feel like a toy, and just lack style. If I could only keep one gun, it would be my M9. The 1911 has been around 100 years. it's not going anywhere, and neither is the Beretta 92. And the SIG is no better than the 92. I've owned a 226. Nice gun, but SIG's are overpriced (rivaled only by HK) and they are no better.

Plan2Live
June 12, 2011, 09:38 AM
Good, stuff, thank you everyone. Interesting comments on the frame verses slide anchoring. You folks have great information. And I really appreciate not getting blasted for not liking the 1911 design, for me. On the accuracy topic, I doubt I will ever be using a pistol to shoot beyond 25 yards so I'm not likely to put a lot of money into accurizing beyond factory specs.

As for the FN, please correct me if I am wrong because I handled a lot of pistols yesterday and didn't keep notes, but I think the FN had the saftey and slide release close to each other like many other pistols. I won't shoot a lot so I don't want to risk getting confused over buttons when/if it counts.

I held a Sig 226 and it could be a contender but still felt a litle fat in my hand.

I really liked the Springfield XD but prefer the hammer. I think the S&W M&P felt decent too, but again, lots of guns and no notes. The Beretta just kept floating to the top and I was trying hard not to show preference on anything but hammer and overall feel for my hand.

red rick
June 12, 2011, 12:06 PM
Take a look at the CZ 75 SA if you like sa pistol with a hammer, it's a reliable tackdriver.

REAPER4206969
June 12, 2011, 05:05 PM
If the US military didn't use it as its standard side arm, it would probably be no longer made.

The Beretta* is one of the top three most used military and police pistols in the world.

*and its clones.

Plan2Live
June 12, 2011, 07:55 PM
I looked at the CZ and it felt as good in my hand as the Beretta but it was another one of the pistols with the saftey and slide release on the same plane and only about 3/8ths of an inch apart.
which just doesn't feel right to me. Too much going on in a small space.

One of the tips I have read over and over here on THR is get what works for you or what you are most comfortable with.

At this point I think I need to find a range where I can rent a weapon and try the 92 out and see if I still like it after I fire it. If not, then the search goes resumes.

Shipwreck
June 12, 2011, 09:43 PM
Just go get a Beretta. Go get 1, or 3, or er... 8... Or whatever :) :)

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/8-beretta-label1.jpg

SpentCasing
June 12, 2011, 10:32 PM
A 92FS with a "D" (hammer)spring is something to experience/enjoy. You cant go wrong by getting a Beretta.

frank c
June 12, 2011, 11:06 PM
In their day they were good guns, but when compared to other new alloy or other steel and even polymer framed guns they are really out dated.

If the US military didn't use it as its standard side arm, it would probably be no longer made.

In comparison the browning hp, sig , cz75 , glocks, xd, fnh are a lot better guns.
I would have to disagree,I just bought a beretta 85fs in 380 auto cal.It is one quality made pistol.

Tomcat47
June 12, 2011, 11:14 PM
Fine piece of machinery! :)

And thats all there is to it!

92FS x 2

Want to get a FS Compact, maybe this year!

EAJ
June 13, 2011, 12:45 AM
Beretta 92FS Inox Yes! :)

http://www.fishkind.com/collection/images/beretta92_02.jpg

hvychev77
June 13, 2011, 01:06 AM
i just bought one earlier this year (92fs-9mm), been wanting one for years!! i'll tell ya, i wish i had just bought it long time ago. if you're already thinking in your mind how great it felt, you'll always wonder if you don't buy one. i assure you as everyone else here has already said, they're well made, accurate to shoot, and are well worth every dime!! you absolutely will not be disappointed....keep us posted on which gun you purchase. Luck to ya!! hvychev77

medalguy
June 13, 2011, 01:07 AM
I've owned a 92FS for about two years and found it to be an extremely accurate pistol. I can drive nails with that thing at 25 feet. I don't worry about using a pistol at any greater distance.

Earlier this week I added a Compact to my collection. I've only had it out twice since buying it, but it seems to be just as accurate as the FS. Both guns are easy to strip and clean, and they handle very well.

I think you would be very well served by that gun. Go get it.

LawScholar
June 13, 2011, 02:22 AM
xr1200, you said the 92 is outdated compared to other guns....what ones, exactly? I would match the 92-series round for round to any other full-size 9mm handgun, including the Glock 17, CZ75, XDM, BHP, or Sig 226 in terms of reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, fit and finish, and looks.

kraigwy
June 13, 2011, 12:27 PM
I was running the AK NG Marksmanship Unit when the Beretta's were adopted. Being a 1911 gun I fought them. I kept my 1911a1, carried and used it for all my qualifications. I was in the postition that no one questioned me regarding keeping the 1911a1. I refused to ever try them

Fast forward many years. I was offered a position as a trainer firearms & EOD in the ME. (Fell through becouse of COPD). Anyway I would have to qualify and use the Beretta. Wife talked me into buying one to practice/get use to before I had to use on.

I did. I could have kicked my self in the butt. I was highly impress. Reliable, Accurate, easy (for me) to shoot. I couldn't see how could not qualify with one.

I've shot the heck out of my 92FS since. Except for the first box of bullets that came with the gun, I only shot cast bullets. First 9mm I ever used that had no problems with cast bullet.

The only problem I have with the 92FS is the 30 years I missed of not having the pleasure of using this gun.

I don't CC the Beretta, too big, I carry pocket carry a 642, but I do use it in out twice montly action type pistol matches.

I don't think you'll go wrong with the Beretta 92FS (I haven't used other Berettas so I can't comment on those).

Kendal Black
June 13, 2011, 01:16 PM
[...] For my taste and limited range time, the 1911 platform has a lot going on before you can shoot, thumb here, grip just so back here, just not my style. As I said earlier, I prefer hammer guns so all I ask is let's keep the focus limited to hammer guns. It wouldn't make sense to recommend a truck if I prefer a motorcycle.

The Beretta works well, shoots straight and the bugs are worked out of it, through long use by the military. It's a good choice. Because so many are in use, parts and accessories will not be a problem in the foreseeable future.

Because you like simple operation, and a hammer, you might enjoy taking a further look at the SIG-Sauer models with the classic DA/SA decocker lockwork, the 22X series. You cannot leave the safety catch in the wrong position, because there isn't one. Carry mode is decocked and a firm press on the DA trigger will fire the gun. If you prefer you can cock it with your thumb.

I think one pistol as good as the other in practical terms. If the Beretta appeals to you, I can't think of a downside. Some 1911 fans were scandalized when the Beretta replaced the old .45 as the service pistol, but the Beretta has proven a good choice, easier to shoot and easier to handle safely.

gdesloge
June 13, 2011, 01:23 PM
What is a ""D" (hammer)spring"?

Thanks -

gd

Lonestar49
June 13, 2011, 01:30 PM
...

Yes, the D-spring (main spring/hammer) is, IIRC, aprox 2.5lbs less than the factory main springs of 10lb

They have been used, for a long time, for competition shootings as well as personal use without concern of light strikes.

Like any spring, the more ya use them, the better/smoother they become, "to a point"..

But most that take out the factory main springs and replace with D-springs find the immediate, lighter, smoother, DA pull difference..

worth the (less) effort

OMMV


Ls

Big_John1961
June 13, 2011, 01:34 PM
If the US military didn't use it as its standard side arm, it would probably be no longer made.


I have to call hogwash on this one. I think these pistol remain in wide use worldwide, and I don't think they are going anywhere.

gdesloge
June 13, 2011, 05:36 PM
Thank you, Lonestar -

gd

Smaug
June 13, 2011, 07:02 PM
OP - 1911s can be an acquired taste. I like mine more each time I take it out.

Beretta 92s, on the other hand, are usually love at first sight. They are on the big side, but it doesn't seem to interfere with function at all. Even my wife with her tiny hands said it feels good.

I owned a Taurus PT-92, which is the previous generation Beretta, withe the frame mounted safety. Keep this one in mind. The finish is not quite as nice as on a Beretta, but the frame seems like a much better place for the safety.

I give Beretta some props for thinking outside the box a bit. The barrel on the 92 moves a bit differently than others. Then, their Cougar had the swiveling barrel that also worked really well.

Speaking of finish, Beretta's is second to none, yet they cost hundreds less than the German guns.

Berettas, in general, are reliable, accurate, a good value, AND they look good and feel good. It is hard to get so many of these virtues in one gun.

The comments about racking the slide on it, are spot-on. It isn't like the sound or feel of it makes any difference to the cartridges, but there's something abouth the human factor while doing it. It is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of anyone who can appreciate fine machinery.

I onced asked someone (username PSP, I think) about the difference between a Beretta (in this case, an 85) and a Bersa (Thunder 380). The Bersa is well respected in the 380 world as accurate, reliable, and soft-shooting. But PSP went on to say: "The Bersa works fine, but it feels like it was made in a tractor factory. the Beretta feels like it was made by people who have been making guns for 500 years." (which is the case)

The only real contenders vs. the Beretta 92 are, IMO:

- Browning Hi-Power (single action only, lower capacity, not as good looking)

- CZ75 (or 85) : Not as well finished, not as good-looking, lower capacity, better grip, just as accurate

I won't put down Glocks to make the Beretta seem better. They are probably more reliable, and just as mechanically accurate, but they squeak sometimes and sound and feel really cheap, and are harder to shoot well. They're lighter and smaller. Glock appeal to the people who think guns are just tools.

Anyway, you seem to have taken a shining to the Beretta, and it is a good gun, so go for it. I don't think you'll regret it, and I don't think you'll crack the slide either.

jeepguy
June 13, 2011, 07:37 PM
i have a beretta 92fs & its great. i have not had any problems with it & find it to be very accurate. i would not hesitate to buy another one.

neilin
June 13, 2011, 07:41 PM
Slide failures were due to using over powered 9mm rounds. With standard rounds the failures would probably have never happened. I believe Beretta beefed up the gun to minimize those failures, anyway.
The Beretta 92 series are excellent weapons, if you like the 9mm cartridge.

dfsixstring
June 27, 2011, 05:07 PM
I recall, many years ago when the military changed over to these. I was in the service at the time. I was very impressed with this pistol. I was an MP and carried it daily both here in the US and overseas.

I recall being able to shoot a relatively tight grouping at 25 yards - with a gas mask on. We were required to qualify under extreme conditions at the time. I loved the weight, oversized grip and butter-like trigger these had.

I was at my local indoor range (Larry's Pistol and Pawn) on Saturday and noticed they had one on the rental wall. I got it and ran a few mags through it. It all came back to me. The first shot at 15 yards was dead center. I'm so used to shooting lighter handguns these days that this thing felt like it had no kick at all.

If I could afford one - I'd buy one today just for nostalgia.

Whiskey11
June 27, 2011, 07:16 PM
I made the mistake of buying one...


...now my XD45 Tac will get no love at all. :evil:

It is certainly an accurate bugger with 52 shots in a 3" grouping (and a few fliers) at 12.5 yards while shooting from sandbags. 9mm is cheap as chips and the trigger is amazing in single action. Trigger breaks like glass and the reset is silly short compared to the XD. My hands are on the side of huge, so I added the hogue grips to mine and it makes an even larger difference on comfort for me.

There is only one cure for wanting an m92, and that is buying one. It may not be the smallest, lightest, or even best 9mm out there, but it is one heck of a great firearm!

yuppiejr
June 27, 2011, 10:44 PM
"In their day they were good guns, but when compared to other new alloy or other steel and even polymer framed guns they are really out dated.

If the US military didn't use it as its standard side arm, it would probably be no longer made.

In comparison the browning hp, sig , cz75 , glocks, xd, fnh are a lot better guns."

I'm not following the logic, "old" design does not = bad... it's not like the Colt 1911 style pistol fell off the face of the planet when the US military moved to the Beretta M2 sidearm... good designs including the Colt 1911, Browning High Power/CZ75, Sauer 38h (later Sig P230/232) and Beretta 92 have evolved and improved over time because the basic design was sound. The same may be said for modern Glock pistols or the various poly + alloy autos that have come after (XD, FNH, etc..) - they have the shoulders of giants to stand on and much to prove before I'd throw out a blanket statement like they are "a lot better guns."

I'd argue we live in a pretty golden time of firearm design... the sheer variety of quality pistols that can be purchased is staggering and the power of the internet tends to mean even the worst, most neglected designs can be brought to some level of function with a bit of reading and elbow grease.

KurtC
June 27, 2011, 11:03 PM
and they already have a D spring. :cool:

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e85/Stutzen/96D008.jpg

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e85/Stutzen/96D-SD017.jpg

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e85/Stutzen/92Dbrig011.jpg

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e85/Stutzen/92DtypeM002.jpg

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e85/Stutzen/FDE003.jpg

Jonah71
June 28, 2011, 11:11 AM
I asked my local gun shop owner to let me know if a used 92 showed up at the shop. His response was "OK, but you have that CZ why would you need one?" He should know by now it's not a question of "need."

SigP229R
June 28, 2011, 01:49 PM
First full size semi-auto I ever bought was a 92f and it was the gun I used to qualify for my ccp. I liked it so well I bought a 92fs Centurion first of this year. My estimation is one of the best most rock solid pistols ever made,

Paul7
June 28, 2011, 02:39 PM
So far I'm not too impressed with the 92. I bought a new Italian-made one and have had numerous failures the first two times out. Seems to be lessening but still........:confused:

Whiskey11
June 28, 2011, 03:20 PM
Paul, what kind of failures? What ammo? Estimated round count? I have only put 250 through mine but zero failures of any type.

Paul7
June 28, 2011, 04:02 PM
After 300 rounds, I've had FTE, FTF, and slide not locking back on the last round. Ammo was Federal and Tula, which my beat-up old P6 and Israeli BHP have had no problem with. So far it is rivaling Kahr for junkiness. Hopefully it will break in but as of now I have zero confidence in it for anything but a range gun.

If I have to send it back, I have to pay to ship. :fire:

john5036
June 28, 2011, 04:16 PM
The 92FS was my first pistol. I'll never sell it, it's a keeper... so, +1 to every positive thing said so far about the platform.

It's worth a try-out to see if it's amenable to you.

ForumSurfer
June 28, 2011, 04:37 PM
I owned one and would love to own another. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about it. I really, really, really dislike slide mounted safeties, though. But that is just personal preference.

I only use the D models. No annoying levers...

Are the D models double action only? I've never researched nor shot one. Those are some nice looking berettas you have!

Rob96
June 28, 2011, 04:54 PM
In their day they were good guns, but when compared to other new alloy or other steel and even polymer framed guns they are really out dated.

If the US military didn't use it as its standard side arm, it would probably be no longer made.

In comparison the browning hp, sig , cz75 , glocks, xd, fnh are a lot better guns.

You state the 92fs is an outdated design yet site guns like the BHP and CZ are being better. I really don't understand your logic. I carried the M9 as a duty weapon in a very hot humid environment and it always went bang. Never any issues of rust. Despite its size for caliber, is any easy pistol to shoot well. I owned a CZ-75. It would choke on 147gr loads. With 115 and 124 gr loads it would begin to suffer feed issues before getting through a box of ammo.

Have read writings from guys, both active and retired Special Ops that hve used this weapon in real situations and really have nothing bad to say about it. Even one current member in SF has written he shoots the 92fs best despite other platforms feeling better to him.

KurtC
June 28, 2011, 05:18 PM
Paul7

Ammo like Federal AE, WWB and Tula is often underpowered for use in stock Berettas. Berettas leave the factory with springs rated for NATO spec 124 gr loads, which are +P or even +P+. Your slide is not coming rearward enough to time properly. Try cycling the same rounds thru by hand. If all function properly, then the ammo is underpowered. Competition shooters who use light loads will switch to a lighter spring.

Paul7
June 28, 2011, 05:44 PM
I will try that Kurt, but I am leery about guns that require special ammo. IMHO, a gun should work with ALL factory ammo.

marb4
June 28, 2011, 05:52 PM
My 92FS has been 100% with all ammo except Federal. I've had some failure to extract with Federal as well as one time when it did not lock the slide back after the last round.

It shoots all the other cheap stuff ok but seems to really like 124 grain rounds. They seem to give much more consistent and forceful ejection patterns.

I'd make sure the pistol is cleaned well and properly lubed. Be sure to get any grime from under the extractor as well. Maybe try some hotter loads for a while then go back to the cheaper stuff.

KurtC
June 28, 2011, 06:29 PM
Paul7,

Try looking at the other way around. I'm leary of any ammo that is not designed to work in all guns. It's like putting Regular gasoline in an engine designed to run on high octane Premium. Performance will suffer. ;)

Whiskey11
June 28, 2011, 11:23 PM
I've not tried any other ammo (heck only shot 250 rounds through mine in the week I've owned it :D) than the Magtech "Shootin' size" box. All 250 went bang. Not sure what the issue is, but I don't really plan on shooting much of any other factory ammo. Maybe another 250 round box of Magtech (it's not horribly expensive at 68$) for the brass to reload. After that, I'm reloading it all!

Madcap_Magician
June 29, 2011, 11:02 AM
My only experience is with the M9, but I found it to be reliable, accurate, light-recoiling, and easy to shoot. Only ding is unavoidable, it's a big, thick service pistol and doesn't lend itself to easy concealment.

Nakanokalronin
June 29, 2011, 11:29 AM
Out of all the DA/SA guns out there, the Beretta 92 series is the only one I care for.
Every one has a "D" spring in it but I do wish they where all decocker only like my Elite. Safety is off with one in the chamber for any 92 that I use for defensive purposes so having the lever automatically flip back up would be nice. Its the reason I put a set of Stealth levers on my PX4sc.

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg20/scaled.php?server=20&filename=92fs.jpg&res=medium
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg823/scaled.php?server=823&filename=92a12.jpg&res=medium
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg402/scaled.php?server=402&filename=birgadierelite.jpg&res=medium
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg26/scaled.php?server=26&filename=92compact.jpg&res=medium

I've never had a problem with any ball or HP ammo from 115gr. to 147gr. in standard or +P configuration. If someone is having a problem you can either shoot it more to break in the spring, cycle the slide while watching TV or put in a lighter recoil and hammer spring.

2ndamd
July 1, 2011, 12:58 AM
Beretta 92, Sig 226 and a CZ75 with a trigger job are the three best 9mm's in the world (argueably). I happen to prefer the Beretta after owning all three.

Maple_City_Woodsman
July 1, 2011, 01:15 AM
I will try that Kurt, but I am leery about guns that require special ammo. IMHO, a gun should work with ALL factory ammo.

Oh good-grief! Just change the spring - they cost about $5 and take 20 seconds to install.

Guns are not magic talismans. Guns are simple machines that obey the laws of physics. There is no logic in being 'leery' about a gun that doesn't like your pet brand of cheap ammo.

Your insistence that all guns should shoot all ammo also shows an ignorance of what it takes to make ammunition, as well as a lack of familiarity with manufacturing in general.

Sorry to beat you up so bad, but your not exactly thinking with your noodle.

NoirFan
July 1, 2011, 12:19 PM
I don't have one, but a buddy does and I shoot it a lot on range trips. Personally I consider it more of a range or target gun than a defensive weapon, simply because the grip so so big and awkwardly shaped for me. I can never get a good grip on it right off the draw, but if I take my time and carefully set my hands on it then it becomes a very stable and accurate shooter. The trigger is smooth and heavy, which is to my liking. I'm a DA revolver fan and the Beretta DA trigger is kind of similar to that of a good S&W revolver. I have to agree with all the comments on the feeling of the slide. It really does feel like it's moving on greased ball bearings. The whole thing is a very classy-looking and solid-feeling gun, but I wouldn't choose it for defensive use because of the grip and the bulky size. You may not have those issues.

As an aside, the Beretta 92 will accurately shoot an entire box of 380 ammo without any damage. I did this when I was young and stupid and someone left the open 380 box sitting next to the 9mm box.

chicharrones
July 1, 2011, 12:55 PM
My experience with my own 92FS is that it is a first rate and well made all-metal pistol. It never failed firing any plain jane FMJ or JHP ammo I put down the barrel. After 5 years, I finally sold it just because I got tired of jockeying it around in my hand to hit all the controls. If it had a frame safety or if my hands were bigger, I'd probably have kept it.

As it stands, I've got a CZ75D PCR Compact coming in to replace it. I opted for a decocker pistol just because I've gotten away from manual safeties whenever possible.

Still, the Beretta 92 is a great lookin' classic pistol. I do believe everyone needs at least one all-metal auto-loader and the Beretta is a great choice.

Paladin7
July 1, 2011, 04:26 PM
I owned an early Italian made 92F that came with both the Walnut and Plastic grips... Fit and finish was very good, very smooth action and functioning, and very reliable. I think reliability is the 92's strong suit.

Cons for me...

Way too big for CCW
Accuracy is not on par with some of its competitors
I don't like the safety and its manual of arms - you need to train to flick it up on the draw no matter how you carry it (on or off safe) to be sure the safety is disengaged before you fire. I don't see any reason to learn or take the time to do this when there are other more concealable options available


They also make a DAO version btw that eliminates my concern with the manual safety.

So, bottom line, if you are ok with the size and manual safety they are fine guns...

Jeb21
July 1, 2011, 06:45 PM
I am a huge fan of the 92fs. I bought a police trade in that I use one as an occasional CCW and for IDPA competition. I have several thousand rounds through it, mostly of cheap Winchester white box 115 fmj, Federal 115 fmj, and Remington 115 fmj. Never had a problem. I did not expect the like this pistol because it is not size efficient anymore. It fast became one of my favorite pistols. I bought a second Italian made 92fs. It is also wonderful.

I put fancy wood grips on mine, put a "D" model mainspring on it, replaced the plastic guide rod with a metal one, put in a new factory weight recoil spring and changed out the lock block with a new factory model (total cost for all products just over $100). So my total expenditure for this wonderful shooting police trade in was $450.

Get one you if it fits your hands. I believe you will really enjoy it.

Zundfolge
July 1, 2011, 07:14 PM
I dislike slide mounted safeties ... if this wasn't a problem for me I'd probably own a couple.

For those of you with the DAO guns, how well can the trigger be tuned? (I've shot CZs with nicely tuned DA triggers that were wonderful).

Of course if I ever stumble across an 92 or 96 Steel-I version for sale at a good price, I'll just have to snag it right up (has frame mounted safety ... like a Billennium which don't ever show up at anywhere near a good price).

Onmilo
July 1, 2011, 07:33 PM
The only people who really don't like the Beretta 92 series handguns have.
A. Never owned one.
B. CCW every day and the guns are just a bit too large for that.
C. Are .mil or ex military with little or no love for weaponry to begin with.

One of my first semi auto handguns was an early Model 92 Compact and I still own a Beretta today which is an M9.

DrDragon
July 1, 2011, 07:37 PM
Ammo like Federal AE, WWB and Tula is often underpowered for use in stock Berettas. Berettas leave the factory with springs rated for NATO spec 124 gr loads, which are +P or even +P+. Your slide is not coming rearward enough to time properly. Try cycling the same rounds thru by hand. If all function properly, then the ammo is underpowered. Competition shooters who use light loads will switch to a lighter spring.

The above brands, Monarch, and Remington UMC are ALL that I have used in my 92FS. Over 1000 rounds (over half of which have been Tula and Whitebox) at the range without a single malfunction. Acquaintances of mine have had no problems either. Maybe the poster's was just a lemon? Could also be dirty, or having problems due to not keeping wrists firm during recoil (I hate to call it limp-wristing :))

Mine has been a great, reliable gun. I own an SR9, LC9, FNP-9 (DA/SA with decocker, which, as to the OP's worries about the controls being to close....you shouldn't, it's an awesome, simple 9mm), and G19....none of which give quite the feeling of smoothness the 92FS does when racking the slide and shooting.

BUT, it is a HUUUGE gun. I only use it for fun, but I would probably grab it in a bad situation where size wasn't an issue.

halftrack
July 1, 2011, 07:43 PM
5 or 6 years ago i owned a black 92fs and stainless 96 (.40). swapped frames and slides and had 2 2-tone pistols which shot just like before--great. sold them and regrettably didn't own a beretta until i bought a 92fs compact a couple of weeks ago. haven't fired it yet but it's sweet. and "made in italy" on the slide is cool.

webfox
July 2, 2011, 04:05 PM
OP, I bought my 92FS for home protection, not CCW, just as you state is your intent. (Though, later I did qualify for my CCW with it.) Mine was purchased new at a gun show, and it was made in Italy. I like the safety decocker, the loaded chamber indicator you can feel in the dark, and the DA/SA option on the first shot. I would recommend you practice the DA at the range to get used to the difference.

I have larger hands than most, though I'm not a big guy. I have no trouble controlling my shots with it.

I've never had a FTF with it. The only times I've ever had a FTE were when it was very dirty and I was shooting my own reloads. I have put at least 8 boxes of Federal ammo through it, and never had an error once with them.

I've put about 2000 rounds through mine in the last 10 months. (Good thing I reload.) There are no cracks or unusual signs of wear.

I've been thinking about getting another semiauto for CCW, but I am quite spoiled by the quality of this firearm. Nothing else really pleases me when I hold it.

SharpsDressedMan
July 2, 2011, 05:48 PM
My stock 92fs, with Teddy Jacobson trigger job (but otherwise stock), just shot a 4" 50 yard group today (handloads with 147grFP match bullets). I think it is starting to break in! :)

Kendal Black
July 2, 2011, 11:25 PM
To sum up a bit, it is a bit wide in the butt, but a very fine shooter, & too big for CCW but the military didn't buy it for that.

The AMU guys were shooting these at Perry last time I looked. If that don't beat all!

webfox
July 3, 2011, 04:39 AM
Well, you can CCW it with a windbreaker, but that's kinda obvious in the summer now. :)

KJS
July 3, 2011, 07:08 AM
I prefer the safety setup on the Taurus clone to the original, but the Beretta has a much nicer fit and finsh.

Taurus sets the bar pretty low when it comes to fit & finish. Last year I bought a Taurus PT92. I'll have to plead temporary insanity. It looks more like it was deported from Brazil rather than exported.

SharpsDressedMan
July 3, 2011, 08:03 AM
Most people could conceal a Beretta 92 effectively with an inside the pants holster and a Hawaiian shirt (or any shirt worn outside the pants). I really don't know what all the fuss is about. Sure, it won't be as comfortable as a more slender gun, but it can be done.

Shipwreck
July 3, 2011, 09:16 AM
I have concealed carried a Beretta 92 for over a year and a half now - even in the summer...

It's not that hard...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/Carrygear2.jpg

postalnut25
July 3, 2011, 02:06 PM
I think the 92fs is a good weapon. I just prefer the G model over the FS model. I like the decocker only option, not the safety.

Obsidian
July 3, 2011, 02:32 PM
C. Are .mil or ex military with little or no love for weaponry to begin with..

Hmmm. Rather all inclusive with that statement with out justification. Here I had been a Direct Support repairman and Armorer for the Army for several years. I tend to love weaponry, so that really is inaccurate.

However having repaired many hundreds of them, and serviced several thousand I can offer some insight in to the finer workings of this pistol.


For a shooter, it shoots well. I would say it shoots as instinctively well for non proficient new shooters as well as the vaunted 1911A1 series. It is very forgiving in the accuracy department.

Reliability.. This is where I will kick up a dust storm. When its kept free of dust and grime and the like, including the overuse of oil or getting it wet it is flawless till high round counts. However having seen many, many cracked locking lugs to outright failures it gives me pause.

As to the cracked frames you have heard about, yes it was related to very hot ammo in some high round count guns. All current incarnations of the pistol have an addition to the frame and the slide on the left side of the pistol to the rear that looks like a big circle. That was added to keep the slide from embedding in to your forehead if it fails.

For a military side arm it is what it is. I think that perhaps there are better tools for the jobs at hand, but they are serviceable enough. And the Army does keep floating proposals to adopt a different pistol/caliber round.

My personal misgivings however have to do with failures of springs, broken firing pins and other problems. I've seen the trigger bar spring lost more times than I can count, as well as that spring itself failing. Just a bent up piece of wire. And for a weapon that is shot little in the military, compared to a rifle, the M9 is serviced at a much, much higher percentage than the M16/M4.

Now again, yes the over all percentage of malfunctions due to bad parts is low compared to the body of how many I saw for yearly services. But it is high enough that I have some serious misgivings in recommending one.
Does that make it a bad weapon to use? Not necessarily, but I've had enough experience with them to say I would not go for it myself. But as you see in this thread, many many people swear by them.

Shooting them as others have stated is rather easy and it is easy to shoot them well. I would classify them as I would not recommend anyone to purchase them. But I would not say not to buy one either if that makes any sense to anyone. I'm not against Beretta at all with this either, I like a lot of their products and they are all engineered well.

Just my thoughts and observations on this.

SharpsDressedMan
July 3, 2011, 03:01 PM
Spend enough time with a handgun, and you get to see it's weak points. Not that much time yet with a Beretta, but I have had enough with the 1911A1 .45 to see loose plunger tubes wedge the safety up, front sights fly off, firing pins & springs crack separate, and firing pins & retainers flatten enough to bind the firing pin at the rear. ALL guns have some weak points, or are fired enough to develope some. I think if you are under 5000-7000 rounds for a handgun, you can easily justify selling it, and buy a new one of the same, to stay topside of wear and tear deterioration, much as some buy a new car every couple of years. You get the best of the best, and do not have a gun, or car, break down as soon or often. The depreciation/loss can be written off to "self defense" appropriations.....after all, what is your life worth? It's when we get sentimental over a "tool" that it bothers us. A military "operator" would probably be happy to get a sidearm upgrade every few years. Allow for break in, and you are ready to go again.

38sp4life
July 4, 2011, 04:00 PM
The Beretta 92 is a amazing gun. I love everything about it. I can feed it 124 gr. reloads and factory fresh rounds and it does not care. I love my revolvers more but if I shoot a semi auto that is the one I use most.

Paul7
July 5, 2011, 11:57 PM
Update on my new Italian 'problem' 92FS: 100 rounds of Federal and Tula through it yesterday with no issues. I'm thinking it was the spring needing breaking in as some here suggested.

It sure is accurate. I like the big grip some complain about, it seems to soak up recoil pretty good.

38sp4life
July 6, 2011, 07:06 PM
Paul 7. What I had done with a brand new semi, is to load the clip with the nunber of rounds it calls for. Let it sit for a week or two then take the rounds out and let it sit for a week. This will streatch the spring and it be able to be accomadate the loading of rounds for the range or home. I hope this helps you. And enjoy that 92.

Chindo18Z
July 6, 2011, 08:48 PM
The only people who really don't like the Beretta 92 series handguns have.
A. Never owned one.
B. CCW every day and the guns are just a bit too large for that.
C. Are .mil or ex military with little or no love for weaponry to begin with.

I really don't like the Beretta 92.

A. I own one (and have owned several since the 1980s). My first 92 live-fire was in 1983 ( 2nd JSSAP XM9 test guns). I've been issued one continuously since about 1993 (I was equipped with the 1911A1 prior to that).

B. I've CCW'ed the M9 for extended deployments to the Middle East, Europe, & Africa. It's a large envelope for the 9mm and just generally a big pistol for concealment...but CCW is doable with the right holster & clothing selection. I've carried one for a civilian CCW on occasion, but usually have left it at home in favor of other (smaller) weapons.

C. I'm .mil and have always enjoyed firearms.

I tend to keep a 92FS at hand so that I always have a copy of my issue weapon to practice with, but over the years, I've frequently sold or traded my Berettas anytime I wanted to buy something else. Inevitably, I just get another one so that I have something to fill the approximately $500 worth of M9 holsters I own. :)

I'll echo Obsidian's observations. It's a functionally reliable handgun but susceptible to mechanical parts failure (locking block, trigger spring, trigger return spring) with high round count usage. My unit shoots more 9mm out of Berettas than any equivalent sized element in the US Army. We break a lot of them. On the other hand, at more modest usage levels, the weapon will reliably feed and shoot anything you can stuff into the chamber, delivering decent accuracy under all environmental conditions.

I've had M9s break on me or my people (usually in my presence) on every single combat deployment I've made since the mid-90's. The three parts listed in the paragraph above were the culprits for about 98% of those hard broke failures.

Since we aren't going to get rid of it anytime soon, I've simply grown accustomed to accepting the mechanical roll of the dice represented by the M92. That and I keep personally purchased spare parts handy. And I carry an issue 1911 or Glock whenever possible.

My current "personal" M92FS hasn't given me a lick of a problem, but it's still at a relatively low round count. I'll probably keep it. I've got all those holsters...

BTW: for those who are not familiar with what we are describing when discussing broken locking blocks...

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=145115&stc=1&d=1309998398

Imagine the broken chunk (one of the locking block lugs) separating at the instant of firing/recoil and being jammed hard into your rails somewhere under the forward part of the slide. This is something you clear with a shop vice, a mallet, and a prying tool. If you are fortunate, there isn't any catastrophic damage to your aluminum lower and rails. More frequently, the gun is screwed and requires a trip back to the factory or depot level maintenance. If you are attentive and lucky, you might detect a hairline crack in the block while you have the weapon disassembled for cleaning. More often, it simply lets go (without prior visual warning) while you are firing.

Just something to think about.

SharpsDressedMan
July 6, 2011, 10:47 PM
Why doesn't the Army just replace the locking block as scheduled bi-annual maintenance, possibly along with those springs? Kind of like replacing batteries in your smoke detector.....

Chindo18Z
July 6, 2011, 11:06 PM
We do.

It's a built-in design flaw, regardless of generation of locking block or adherence to maintenance schedules. The guns just don't hold up under extended hard use.

easyg
July 6, 2011, 11:14 PM
The Beretta is not a bad gun, but it is big, bulky, and heavy for a 9mm pistol.

Screwball
July 6, 2011, 11:37 PM
It's a built-in design flaw, regardless of generation of locking block or adherence to maintenance schedules. The guns just don't hold up under extended hard use.

Tell that to guys on BerettaForum with well over 100,000 rounds through their 92s.

A locking block is a replaceable part. Saying a gun doesn't hold up do to them breaking would be along the lines of criticizing every design since spring fail in short order.

Chindo18Z
July 7, 2011, 12:11 AM
Tell that to guys on BerettaForum with well over 100,000 rounds through their 92s.

Yeah...I was waiting for that kind of inevitable reply.

Tell ya what...

Tell that to several of my guys looking at their broken Berettas after just a few thousand rounds fired in a week.

Tell that to an organization (mine) that fields, maintains, and employs over 10,000 Beretta M9s with multiple millions of rounds fired annually.

Saying a gun doesn't hold up do to them breaking would be along the lines of criticizing every design since spring fail in short order.

It would be more along the lines of me saying that I'll sell you a sporty car that gets great gas mileage, has plenty of looks and power, seats your whole family, and is thousands cheaper in price than the competition. Just one little thing...at speeds above 70 mph, the front wheels occasionally disintegrate...but don't worry...they're replaceable. ;)

I criticize Berettas because they have broken significantly more frequently than any other military pistol I've ever used (as a shooter, as an instructor , and as a combatant). Unfortunately, that's been common knowledge in my organization for many years. YMMV.

All pistols can break. That's an individual state of affairs that any firearm is subject to. When an entire fleet develop a reputation for regularly doing so, I take specific notice. :rolleyes:

Screwball
July 7, 2011, 11:45 AM
Yeah...I was waiting for that kind of inevitable reply.

Tell ya what...

Tell that to several of my guys looking at their broken Berettas after just a few thousand rounds fired in a week.

Tell that to an organization (mine) that fields, maintains, and employs over 10,000 Beretta M9s with multiple millions of rounds fired annually.

Not for nothing, but unless you can attest for each pistol's regular maintenance, it doesn't mean much.

If those pistols are running the same recoil springs for 10,000 rounds, a broken locking block is a good thing compared to detached frame rails. A block is cheaper than a barrel or entire pistol, isn't it?

Maybe you should be looking more critical at the maintenance of the pistol instead of the design.

It would be more along the lines of me saying that I'll sell you a sporty car that gets great gas mileage, has plenty of looks and power, seats your whole family, and is thousands cheaper in price than the competition. Just one little thing...at speeds above 70 mph, the front wheels occasionally disintegrate...but don't worry...they're replaceable. ;)

Not really. Again, there is a maintenance schedule that goes for springs and alike. If you don't rotate the tires, and have the wire showing on each of the front tires, is that the design when tires blow out at high rates of speed? It is not like locking blocks are going at a high rate, being if they were, the military would have got rid of the M9 by now.

Problems are coming up with the M249s, being most are starting to show their age. You think a handgun is any different?

I criticize Berettas because they have broken significantly more frequently than any other military pistol I've ever used (as a shooter, as an instructor , and as a combatant). Unfortunately, that's been common knowledge in my organization for many years. YMMV.

All pistols can break. That's an individual state of affairs that any firearm is subject to. When an entire fleet develop a reputation for regularly doing so, I take specific notice. :rolleyes:

Then please, show us some numbers on failures. I know you wouldn't be able to do this, but a list of maintenance for each pistol that failed would also be beneficial.

I only state that because I see two possible routes. Either they are passing their service life due to lack of maintenance (or are just old, as what occurred with the 1911) or there is an overgeneralization going on.

Stony Lane
July 7, 2011, 01:37 PM
I use a Beretta Elite II in USPSA, IDPA and Steel competitions. I've fired thousands of rounds - my guns are well maintained. The only failure I've had is the trigger return spring (in practice) due to many more thousands of dry-firings. Before each shooting season I replace it.

("Felt recoil" on the Beretta is less than my XD's or M&P.)

See this video, he has fired MANY thousands of rounds more than me!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue8_uN0OIVs&feature=player_embedded

Chindo18Z
July 7, 2011, 03:07 PM
Chindo18Z: It would be more along the lines of me saying that I'll sell you a sporty car that gets great gas mileage, has plenty of looks and power, seats your whole family, and is thousands cheaper in price than the competition. Just one little thing...at speeds above 70 mph, the front wheels occasionally disintegrate...but don't worry...they're replaceable.

Screwball: Not really. Again, there is a maintenance schedule that goes for springs and alike. If you don't rotate the tires, and have the wire showing on each of the front tires, is that the design when tires blow out at high rates of speed? It is not like locking blocks are going at a high rate, being if they were, the military would have got rid of the M9 by now.

I said wheels (metallic)...not tires. You do magna-flux the wheels on your vehicle weekly don't you? You do replace them every six months don't you? Sure you do.

Screwball: I only state that because I see two possible routes. Either they are passing their service life due to lack of maintenance (or are just old, as what occurred with the 1911) or there is an overgeneralization going on.

They have indeed passed their service life and not for lack of maintenance. The military actually has a robust maintenance mechanism. For instance, my unit retains the services of highly experienced civilian contract gunsmiths and assigned MOS Armorers, providing an on-site gunsmith shop and parts. We are fairly ruthless in both inspection and scheduled parts replacement. Nevertheless, the weapons fail. Just unlucky that way, I guess. :rolleyes:

As to overgeneralization...if you look over this multi-page Beretta gush-fest...you'll notice only a couple of contradictory opinions. You might want to file away the info from those rather than discard the observations out of hand. ;)

The Beretta's problem is METAL FATIGUE on certain parts. Those parts are poorly designed for extended high-round count use. Frankly, the reason the military did not notice for many years was that the guns were not shot very frequently (a couple of hundred rounds per year). When training paradigms changed, we discovered that the M9 wasn't a weapon for high round count usage. DoD had to order half a million new ones precisely because the original fleet (procured late 80's through early 90's) HAD worn out and it was easier/cheaper to replace them with new ones than get increased funding for a new design of pistol. USSOCOM was well along the road to replacing ours with a different pistol back in 2004-2005, but the money dried up...so we are stuck with them.

I have been shooting and carrying the Beretta professionally for 28 years in an organization that owns many, shoots them a lot, and has a better than average idea of what works, what doesn't, how to keep tools working, what the competition uses, and what constitutes adequate performance for our purpose. In my outfit, I'm one of the instructors and training managers for that weapon system.

This thread asked for comments on the 92 series and I've offered mine. I stand by every observation I have made.

Whiskey11
July 7, 2011, 05:15 PM
I wonder if the locking block problem could be resolved by better materials...

For the civilian shooter, I think it is a great gun. Changing locking blocks, while annoying and pricey, happens infrequently enough. Even at the rate of over a thousand rounds a month, we are talking about 2.5+ years of use before on is recommended to be changed. You will have already replaced the recoil spring some 6 or 7 times and probably a few other springs as well.

I still stand by my choice in it, even if it means my XD gets very little love now.

Zundfolge
July 7, 2011, 05:35 PM
Chindo18Z, what currently made handgun do you think would outlast the Beretta?


Also what would you guess is the average round count on these failed M9s?

Is this a common problem only after X number of rounds or are they failing right off the get-go?

Dogguy
July 7, 2011, 06:10 PM
I like the Beretta. What's not to like? It's Italian, sleek and beautifully made. But it's big. It has known mechanical weaknesses (as detailed above as well as in numerous sources elsewhere). SIGs fit me better. I don't own a Beretta.

Shipwreck
July 7, 2011, 06:36 PM
Changing locking blocks, while annoying and pricey

The locking block kits can be found for $35 - For almost the past year, that's been the cost. They may go up again, but they can be found for cheaper than the $60+ that some places still charge. Beretta USA was selling them for 1/2 price for a long time.

Shipwreck
July 7, 2011, 06:37 PM
Yes, here: http://www.berettausa.com/products/92/96-locking-block-kit/

Chindo18Z
July 7, 2011, 07:11 PM
From Zundfolge:

Chindo18Z, what currently made handgun do you think would outlast the Beretta?

In no particular order (and based upon personal experience and observation):

1. Well for starters, the several hundred issue M1911A1s in my unit arms rooms have already wildly outlasted their newer M9 stablemates. Those M9s have already all been replaced due to wear and tear since their original issue during the early 90's. The GI 1911s simply Soldier on...

2. Any all-steel BHP

3. Any Glock

4. CZ-75 / 85

5. SIG 228 / M11 (we use them side-by-side with the M9)

6. Any HK USP variant

7. Springfield XD

8. Zastava CZ-99

9. SIG 220

**10. (S&W M&P w/ caveat)

** I would be willing to bet my money on adding the S&W M&P to this list based upon anecdotal evidence, but I do not have any significant trigger time with the weapon, nor have I encountered it in a military setting. Time will eventually tell.

Also what would you guess is the average round count on these failed M9s?

Average of ~5K (no guess); a few have let go as early as 2500-3000 rounds; many more last well beyond the 5000 or even 10,000 mark. In one battalion I was assigned to, we simply replaced every single M9 annually. Old guns sent to depot, new guns shipped in as replacements. Our standard for locking block replacement became set at 2500 rds. During one nine month period, we suffered 47 broken locking blocks out of 83 weapons assigned to my company. And we weren't even close to being the element that fired the most rounds per weapon, per year.

It's not a law an immutable of physics dictating that all M9s disintegrate at a certain round count...it's just an observable trend (over 15 years) that 15%-20% of the weapons will crap out during high round count training workups. This is merely an annoyance on a home station flat range...less so when it happens to you while deployed to a hostile fire zone. Which has happened to my guys (on mission with me) on several occasions in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Spare parts (and entire spare weapons) are problematic when you are living in a remote cave-complex along the even more remote Waziristan border (which I did).

Is this a common problem only after X number of rounds or are they failing right off the get-go?

Occasionally right off the bat. More often somewhere to either side of 5K by up to several thousand rounds.

For more reading on the topic, here's an old thread from over at TFL, including a locking block poll, where 14 (18%) out of 76 users of civilian model Beretta had experienced locking block failure; also some additional decent photos:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=386334&highlight=chindo18z

Bear in mind that I think the Beretta would be one of the worlds all-time greatest handguns...if a few parts would hold together more reliably. Other than that issue, the Beretta 92 has everything going for it (with the possible exception of size for shooters with small hands). It's accurate, functions in all environmental conditions, delivers high capacity in a controllable package, feeds just about anything you can stuff into a magazine, delivers bomb-proof safety features for expert and idiot alike, and generally "looks" sleek and efficient. Beretta is a quality manufacturer. It's an easy gun to love until you turn over the log to see what's beneath.

Today there are aftermarket springs available that virtually eliminate the trigger spring / trigger bar (return) spring foibles. Unfortunately, DoD has not incorporated them into the repair system. The latest generation of locking blocks last longer, but the fault is still not eliminated. The weapon continues to feature the over-sized flange on the hammer pin because very occasional slide separation is a fact...not a fantasy. And for financial reasons, the military elected not to go with the humped reinforced Brigadier slide that Beretta came up with to prevent that catastrophe.

I remain conflicted about the pistol. My heart (and hands) tell me to embrace it. My actual experience with the weapon leads my brain to wonder what the hell someone was thinking when they equipped our entire force with it. I would never recommend it today as a departmental or organizational weapon. And yet, with proper attention to round count and parts, I feel it makes an excellent self-defense weapon for the civilian user.

I'm sorry if I'm goring someone's ox, but members deserve to read more than unicorns and rainbows...

Whiskey11
July 7, 2011, 07:21 PM
When I said pricey, I meant overtime if you keep it that long and shoot it that often.

I would be curious to know why there are so many failures at 5000 round mark for .mil m9's and at a much higher round count for civillian owned ones. I would also be intersted to know how the plastic buffer in the m92a1s changes the number of rounds down range prior to failure.

I'm aware that .mil 9mm is like +p loadings for us, but why wouldn't beretta take that into account and compensate for it with stiffer recoil springs and better materials.

Chindo18Z
July 7, 2011, 07:43 PM
Whiskey11: I'm aware that .mil 9mm is like +p loadings for us, but why wouldn't beretta take that into account and compensate for it with stiffer recoil springs and better materials.

I dunno...and you got me. But keep in mind that the Beretta was adopted during a Cold War time frame where the average expected round count for a pistol was measured in mere hundreds of rounds per year. At that rate, just about any pistol could be expected to last for many decades. Regardless of the military service life specifications called for, it was doubtful that any pistol would actually approach max round count during its first few decades of service...by which time everyone involved in the procurement process would be safely retired. :scrutiny:

As we entered a renaissance in offensive pistol usage (CQB, transition drills, etc.), we found that the widget we had purchased didn't actually measure up to vastly increased levels of firing. On the other hand, I've been through shooting schools and train-ups using ancient UK SAS issued Browning Hi-Powers where we fired the exact same ammo (in quantity) with no issues whatsoever.

Defense procurement is, as they say, a "Low Bidder" game. We bought lots of things during the Cold War that were guaranteed to work...but didn't. Anyone remember the M561 Gamma Goat? The M231 Port Firing Weapon?


On a more positive note, a number of years ago, when I first began looking for civilian market replacement locking blocks, they were all in the $70-$80 range and Beretta USA didn't offer them. Now they do (and at a reasonable price of around $35).

Tom609
July 7, 2011, 11:04 PM
I'm very pleased with my 3 year old 92fs and have put 3625 rounds through it to date. Except for a box or two of store bought ammo early on, it has been fed a steady diet of 124 grain Lead RN bullets powered by 3.5 grains of Bullseye. It has not once jammed or failed to fire. For me it's strictly a range gun and a pleasure to shoot.

mr.scott
July 8, 2011, 02:01 AM
I don't have a Beretta or even a Taurus. I have the ATI C92.
It's a Turkish made, Beretta 92 Centurion clone and it has been flawless. Shoots like a dream. I'm better with this $300 gun than I am with my $750 HK P2000.

The only drawback is ATI is worse than Ruger with all the dang roll marks and warnings on the gun.

Even the finish is as good as the beretta.

jackpinesavages
July 8, 2011, 06:07 AM
If you can get one reasonably, find one of the Italian made 92s. Big difference in trigger and overall action feel. Great pistols.

Sean Smith
July 8, 2011, 09:25 AM
Concerning military vs. civilian Berettas, I was issued an M9 for almost 6 years in the military, and after shooting a new 96FS (US made, and not even the updated 96A1), I can tell you that subjectively the civilian Beretta was leaps and bounds nicer in every single way. The difference was kind of stunning actually. I don't know if this is normal but it's something to think about. If nothing else I imagine it's easier to ensure quality when making small batches for civilian sale than when you're cranking out huge lots of guns all at once for a government order. Could that be a factor in civilian market Berettas racking up round counts that would make a military-issue M9 jealous? Maybe.

Another thing to think about is that almost nobody practices with +P ammo, but military 9x19 is all +P. That might not sound like a big difference, but if you hit the locking block 5% harder than the design can really handle that doesn't mean you're giving it just 5% more wear. It could easily be 100% more wear, or even more. For civilian shooters who might only put a couple of magazines of +P self defense ammo through their gun over its entire lifetime this is irrelevant of course.

harmon rabb
July 8, 2011, 03:25 PM
I have concealed carried a Beretta 92 for over a year and a half now - even in the summer...

It's not that hard...

Anyone can conceal anything, it's a matter of how much effort you want to make. If you want to pull on any random pair of shorts and and random t-shirt, you're not going to be able to carry a 92 in the summer. If you're willing to find the right holster, and are willing to select your clothing properly, you can do it.

Shipwreck
July 8, 2011, 08:43 PM
Anyone can conceal anything, it's a matter of how much effort you want to make. If you want to pull on any random pair of shorts and and random t-shirt, you're not going to be able to carry a 92 in the summer. If you're willing to find the right holster, and are willing to select your clothing properly, you can do it.

I wear cargo pants 99% of the time outside of work. I carry IWB at 3 o'clock with a comptac holster. I'm not a huge guy - 185lbs, 6'1"

As long as the t-shirt isn't one of those super thin and super tight $5 wal-mart specials - I have no issue with hiding the 92 with just regular t shirts.

No, I do not carry it if and when I carry shorts - I could, if I wanted to wear cargo shorts. But, I always thought they look funny. So, if I do wear shorts, its more exercise type shorts. And, without a belt, I can't carry like that.

But, I wear more cargo pants 99% of the time. Only time I really wear shorts is when I wash my car.

mr.scott
July 8, 2011, 10:11 PM
jack - Not anymore. At the last gun show I compared a US and a Italian side by side and the US one was better all around.

Gunner442
July 9, 2011, 12:21 AM
I carried a M9 for 20 years in the service, and have thousands of rounds ( firearms instructor/competitions, etc) and never had an issue with the pistol. Sweet shooter, and accurate. The military had a problem with cheap(low bidder) magazines a few years back. Stick with Beretta mags and you should not have a problem.

IdahoLT1
July 9, 2011, 12:36 AM
Chindo, no disrespect to you but if I had to believe the testing at Berettas factory with government officials watching or an anonymous internet forum member, Im gonna believe the former. With Govt. officials watching, the Beretta M9's averaged one malfunction every 20,500 rounds. This is a far cry from your claims. From my own personal experience, Ive shot over 5000 flawless rounds through my 92F(made in 1989) w/out touching a thing(locking blocks or recoil springs). I have no idea how many rounds had been through it before I owned it but it had been shot a lot. Im taking your opinion with a grain of salt.

prickett
July 9, 2011, 01:14 AM
I've owned several over the years (6) and currenty have two. They are high quality hand guns. Slide breakage was not a big issue (only on the internet) The Navy didn't like them and bought some Sigs, which also had some slide failures. Yes they are large and fairly heavy but are accurate and very reliable. Just rack the slide, no other pistol can compare. And no, I am not a Beretta nut, most of the 25 guns I own are S&W and Sig.
he he! just got an email back from taurus saying my PT-99 (taurus version of the beretta) is being returned with a replaced broken slide.

i've had both the typical broken beretta/taurus parts: broken slide and before that, a broken locking lug after a shot count of less than 7K.

something else to consider is the inability (unless the design has changed recently) to change out the sights to fiber optic or tritium.

Chindo18Z
July 9, 2011, 01:14 AM
Im taking your opinion with a grain of salt.

I don't believe anonymous internet posters either.

This thread asked for comments on the 92 series and I've offered mine. I stand by every observation I have made.

YMMV. ;)

Onmilo
July 9, 2011, 10:07 AM
I'm still waiting to break a slide or a locking block on a Beretta,,,

Whiskey11
July 9, 2011, 01:56 PM
I think chindo brings up an interesting point about nato ammo, I just find it hard to believe that a pistol designed to function with that ammo would fail so high with it and beretta NOT fix it. I would hope that the new versions would at least try and fix the problem.

But comparing civvie ammo round counts to nato counts is a stretch.

leadcounsel
July 9, 2011, 10:00 PM
The Beretta 92 series, (aka the M9 in the military) is one of the few handguns I don't really care for. It's alright, but there are much better ones that are less expensive, more rugged and more reliable and less cumbersome/bulky.

My first gun was a 92 so I had some sentimental attachment. I didn't care for it after getting more experience with other guns.

I've shot my personal one many times but also carried one in Iraq many many months. Much training with one. I don't care for it.

Others that are better and smaller, less expensive, etc. are the CZ 75, Glock, XD, Hi Power, S&W M&P.... you can do much better than the 92.

DesertVet
July 9, 2011, 11:10 PM
I was issued and carried the M-9 for 10 years in the US Army. I carried it all over Europe, put a fairly high round count through them traing CQB. I carried one in Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.I found them to be accurate and reliable when maintained to Army/unit SOPs.
The malfunctions I witnessed were due to poor quality aftermarket magazines the Army had supplied and running the weapon without proper lubrication. While it is not my very first choice of a 9mm pistol, I have carried them in arguably the most dangerous places in the world and into combat. I would carry one again if needed and I am confidant it would perform as needed if properly maintained/cared for.
I have three currenly in my personal inventory, one with a high round count in the neighborhood of 20,000 rounds....no problems yet.
Also, the civillian US made Beretta 92FSs that I own are IDENTICAL to the weapons I used in the Army except markings on the slide. The newer ones seem to be different with plastic parts and angled dust covers....not sure if its better or not.
It properly maintained, lubricated, and good quality magazines are used, the M-9/Beretta 92FS will perform as well as needed for any defensive uses of a 9mm sidearm in my experiences. I used them in combat, used them extensively in military training, used them as sidearms during high risk protection details, Quick Reaction Force missions, and Counter-Terrorism / Force Protection missions. I have also used this weapon in the past for Law Enforcement duty.
NOT my very 1st choice for a 9mm but it is still a good choice!

DesertVet
July 9, 2011, 11:25 PM
A good friend of mine who was involved with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center's transition to semi auto pistols some years ago in Glynco Ga, was a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, helped set up the International Police Academy in Jordan, is also former Special Operationand has been a DOD contractor since 2005 in some of worst places on the planet SWEARS by the 92FS for what it's worth.

Proud Southern Son
July 10, 2011, 07:55 PM
I'd like to offer my not-so-unique perspective on the 92. Like Chindo, I have a fairly extensive history with this particular pistol. However, my experience has been law enforcement and civilian specific, and have never handled a military issue gun. I've shot some supposedly "NATO spec" rounds, but at nowhere near the number of Chindo, I'm sure.
When I first came into the business about twenty years ago, the Beretta, the S & W third generations, and the Sigs were the most popular carry guns in this region (Glocks were still made fun of here). I was in the Beretta camp. I've also been an enthusiast for longer than I've been the police, so I tended to shoot a lot... not just at mandatory range sessions, and even reloaded my own ammo for practice for a period of time. In the late nineties Glocks became more accepted and in about '04 I started carrying my issue Glock 23 on a regular basis. Besides my issue gun, I also regularly shoot one of my 92s and a personally owned Glock 22. I give all my guns about the same attention when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. I'm not one that keeps a good round count, but I figure that I've shot about equal amounts through both platforms, maybe still a little more with the Beretta design. I also would bet that I've seen fellow officers put similar numbers of rounds through each platform at training events and qualifications. I've owned several other types of pistol, but these are the only two handguns with which I would ever claim to be extensively familiar.
Here's what I've seen: Reliability-wise, I've probably seen equal malfunctions in Glocks and Berettas. Personally, with my guns, I've experienced more malfunctions with Glocks (very few). Durability-wise, I've seen more parts breakage with Glocks (usually recoil guide rod assembly or extractor). Personally, with my guns, I've experienced a broken extractor on a Glock, a broken slide catch on a Beretta 96 (.40 cal), and a broken firing pin on a 92.
Having said this, I trust Glocks and Berettas equally. I now carry a Glock every day on the job. My home and family is defended with Beretta when I'm not there. I can't give a higher endorsement than that to any gun. Admittedly, my endorsement is worth no more than the next "anonymous internet poster", but this thread was about opinions, right?
As a side note, I did own two 1911s in the past. Never could get either (both big-name manufacturers) to shoot more than a couple of hundred rounds without a malfunction. I won't go back that route, and I'll never again pay a gunsmith to make an expensive gun work as it was designed. Mighta been just bad luck on my part, but it sure wasn't my imagination.

Just as Chindo, I also stand by my observations.

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