Project: bullseye beretta 9x pistol.


July 25, 2012, 06:22 PM
Here is the plan:
1. Get a beretta 9x series frame obtained beretta 96D
2. Get a slab sided slide 96D
3. Get a 9mm barrel - sourced, need monies so I can do the deal right
4. Install a D mainspring came in the 96d
5. Install a wolf 16 lb recoil spring
6. Install Steel guide rod lucked out, older models had em
7. install wolf trigger return spring assembly
8. install a WAL barrel bushing, or something of the sort
includes threading barrel
9. install adjustable rear sight
10. install better front sight
includes milling slide for dovetail
11. improve slide to frame fit
may include extensive frame modifications and custom fabrication
12. perform trigger job if needed, requirement 3-3.5 lb SA trigger
may include conversion to DA/SA from DAO Conversion done
13. install frame safety (yes, the exist)left side of frame easiest place to do
14. install better grips or grip panels Hogue wrap arounds installed
15. ceracoat to make pretty

ok folks.. other suggestions, or ways to do this are greatly appreciated.

For those who dont know what a WAL barrel bushing is

The 92 series barrels rest "loosely" in the end of the slide. A WAL bushing threads onto the barrel and is tapered at the back in to center the barrel in the slide, making a tighter fit. It must be removed to take the barrel out. It basically makes sure the barrel is resting the exact same every time.. much like the function of the 1911 bushing (besides holding in the spring and allowing for disassembly of the slide)

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July 25, 2012, 07:41 PM
Sounds like a cool project. Here is a pic of a typical 92FS 25 yard group; pistol unmodified except for a trigger job. Good luck with your pistol. The groups should come in at half, or better!

July 25, 2012, 08:04 PM
With the factory barrel I've aquired.. I'm doubting that.. With me behind the trigger.. double that.

July 25, 2012, 08:08 PM
So something like a Tony Kidd custom Beretta that took all the military records from the 1911...except you want the frame mounded safety from the Combat model

Jim Watson
July 25, 2012, 08:21 PM
Is Tony Kidd still doing Berettas? The only thing I see on his www is expensive 10-22 gear.

David Sams is the first I ever heard of to truly accurize the Beretta.

July 25, 2012, 08:23 PM
Not anymore...there is more money in 10/22 work

July 25, 2012, 08:38 PM
9mm, pretty much, since the 96D has no safety right now.. and it's SA is way too light to not have one. There's a guy on the that is actually retrofitting frames with safeties.. though I have a couple ideas of my own.

Jim Watson
July 25, 2012, 08:52 PM
I have been trying to tempt Bruce Gray into developing a proper frame mounted thumb safety for Sig-Sauer with no results. (No, I don't want a P220 SAO and I don't want to pay for an X-Five. I have a very nice GGI P226 that would be even nicer with a safety.)

July 25, 2012, 11:40 PM
Jim.. it appears that for the frame safety to be mounted in the beretta, you end up replacing the hammer retention pin, beveling the hole, and cutting a slot to the top of the frame on one side.. Not familiar with the internal mods required.

July 25, 2012, 11:50 PM
He won't because he doesn't see it as offering any improvement in shooting...after all, he took a DA/SA to Bianchi Cup and never drop a first shot from the holster

July 26, 2012, 12:21 AM
One of the local smiths builds a few as a sideline to 1911s and revolver work, very interesting stuff. No frame mount safety mod. though. His contact info, no website: I believe he has his barrels made, might be a good source to talk to.

July 26, 2012, 01:16 AM
Guns and Ammo did something similar about a year or two ago. I don't think they went quite in depth as you are, but it was still fun seeing long range hits out of a 92FS.

Good luck.

July 26, 2012, 08:10 AM
I'm backpedaling on the frame safety.. This gun is already a range toy, I see no reason to add the safety.. and it'll save huge costs and will be one less thing to deal with.

Same with the slide to frame fitment. The sights are fixed to the slide, so as long as the barrel/slide lockup is good and tight (reason for the bushing), and consistent.. slide to frame should matter little. Also, it's hard as all hell to do on an aluminium alloy frame like the 96D I already have. If I had a steel framed 92 with a frame safety already.. I'd be in heaven.

gunnuttery - got a link? I'd be interested in seeing what they did as well. Might change the way I go about things. I should be getting the 9mm barrel in oct.. getting it threaded in January, and having the thread protector/bushing manufactured in February or March.. just got to marshal my play funds right.

Walt Sherrill
July 26, 2012, 11:19 AM
You might do a search on the US Army Marksmanship Unit's Berettas, which their gunsmiths worked over some years back. They got them shooting pretty nicely.

I've read a couple of articles on what they did to get top performance, but couldn't hzard a guess of where to look now for those articles...

One of those gunsmiths was David Sams, and he's now a civilian gunsmith. A search on his guns and techniques might help.

July 26, 2012, 11:56 AM
I should be getting the 9mm barrel in oct.. getting it threaded in January, and having the thread protector/bushing manufactured in February or March.. just got to marshal my play funds right.
Be aware that one of the problems is cracking the front sight bridge when you install a front bushing...and that is before even weakening it by cutting it for a dovetailed front sight base

July 26, 2012, 02:06 PM
Thanks for the heads up. All of the bushings I see look like they would impact the slide upon returning to battery (well, technically the slide would impact it).

I'm planning on doing it a little differently. I plan on the bushing NOT touch the slide face so much as take upthe extra room in the hole. Basically, I'm threading the barrel, and my thread protector will be a sleve that is .001 smaller than the ID measurement of the slide opening. I might make it .005 smaller, just to give it less wiggle room. That close of a fit shouldn't cause any extra stress on the slide. I might have it taper from .009 too small to .003 too small, so there is even a little slop on the travel back. The sleve/thread protector will extend back far enough to actually have the slide riding it the whole cycle instead of running up the ramp onto the bushing ever time..

I've got a friend that does machining all the time.. so I just have to see if I can get it made of stainless. I still don't have a clue as to its outer diameter yet, as I havent mic'd my barrel or the barrel opening.

I found someone who does the frame rail inserts.. so that might be back on the table.. maybe not... which ever way the wind blows you know.

Walt .. these articles that I've found are what I'm basing the upgrades on. And Sam, the guy you mentioned.. is who I found still doing the frame rail inserts.. I won't be doing a match barrel, but just about everything else is in the works.

July 26, 2012, 03:10 PM
The sleve/thread protector will extend back far enough to actually have the slide riding it the whole cycle instead of running up the ramp onto the bushing ever time..
Sound like that might'll be helped by the barrel not having to drop as it unlocks

July 26, 2012, 05:14 PM
9mm, exactly. Sam, of or whatever it is listed above.. he's only a couple hours away from me!! No need to mail, just drop it off!

He's going to price out what the rails would run me.. might as well have one of the original guys who did it do mine. He didn't know how to price it though, he has never had anyone request just the rails...

Guess I'm an oddball. He also uses some setscrews in the action or slide to snug up the barrel.. I'm using a bushing sleeve and a heavier spring to attempt the same. His way is most likely superior.. or he wouldn't have continued doing it.

Walt Sherrill
July 26, 2012, 05:20 PM
I don't understand why, after going to the trouble to do all that other work, you're not going to a match grade barrel, too? (Maybe the barrel is OK, as is?)

Did the USAMU unit keep stock barrels?

July 26, 2012, 06:11 PM
No they didn't. They used over sized custom gunsmith fit barrels

July 26, 2012, 07:02 PM
I may upgrade later... But the stock barrel for 80 bux was hard to pass up. And it may accomplish my goals. If not... I can always upgrade.

Besides..this is as much about what is necessary for accuracy, and what isnt. Some things will suprise me, others will tirn out to be not nearly as important as people think.

385 was the quote cor the rails.

Jim Watson
July 26, 2012, 08:35 PM
He won't because he doesn't see it as offering any improvement in shooting...after all, he took a DA/SA to Bianchi Cup and never drop a first shot from the holster

I bet he does a lot of gunsmithing work that he does not feel a need for on his own guns.
It's a business.
I can only conclude that it would either be more work than he thinks he could get paid for or that it is effectively impossible, calling for drilling a hole in a piece of metal that is not there.

July 26, 2012, 08:39 PM
Wouldn't it just be cheaper tp buy something like the Sig X5 and be done with it?

July 26, 2012, 09:07 PM
Is your intention to shoot Bullseye with it for the center fire match or to shoot the CMP EIC matches or both ?

Either way, you are putting the cart before the horse with installing a stock barrel.

The stock barrel can shoot okay at 25rds, but WILL NOT group at 50yds.

Answer the first question and we can go from there.


July 26, 2012, 10:16 PM
Browning.. you can buy accuracy, or you can build it up. One is spending money, the other is a total education on your firearm.

rem. Neither I want a gun capable of it. Interesting.. I've seen stock barrels capable of grouping with match barrels. Lets not throw the baby out with the bath water... Try it and see what we can wring out of the gun before we decide what cant be done.

July 26, 2012, 10:34 PM
Good luck in your endeavors.


July 26, 2012, 11:15 PM
In all honesty, I'll probably want a match barrel in the end.. but might as well experiment with the cheap option before destroying the expensive one. Match barrels are starting at 200, then threading, locking block. You're talking a 300 dollar barrel before all is said and done. If I need a threading that isn't normal.. I'm running a larger financial risk doing it to a match barrel, especially if my idea is untested. The stock barrel I'm getting for 80 includes a locking block, with threading (first try.. may have to redesign) it'll be in the neighborhood of 150, with custom thread protector.. probably in the neighborhood of 225. I'm still up on the match barrel price wise, and will have two reusable parts when I'm done, and a verified or disproven solution.

July 26, 2012, 11:22 PM
got an idea for the safety...

If I push the action bar down a couple millimeters, the trigger disconnects. If I can thread a bar, through the frame, and have it do that.. I should be able to get a one sided safety, using the action bar itself as the spring loaded detent (similar how the plunger works on the safety of a 1911). Basically, its a lever hooked to a rod through the frame (have to avoid the mag somehow.. placement is key here), terminating at the other in with a grooved elipsis. The elipsis routes the action bar through the grove, the action bar spring keeps it there. Have the safe part of the elipsis ground with a plateau, and the action bar will hold it in safe.. can be done the same with the fire position. Probably wont need to do any relief cuts in the grips/slide.

July 27, 2012, 12:27 AM
I'll look for the issue of G&A and try to get it to you. I just did a brief search online and didn't see it. I didn't look on their site but I doubt they'd have there directly.

July 27, 2012, 09:12 AM
looking at it.. I might be able to replace the hammer retention pin.. looks like maybe only need to add one hole to the frame and it should be a low stress part...

July 27, 2012, 12:57 PM
Why not buy a used first gen Beretta 92 that has the frame mounted safety? there are several on gunbroker right now. Then use the original slide, or get a 92D slide, or 92D Brigadier slide, which is reinforced, and has dovetailed front and rear. For all the parts you intend to swap out, to include these changes might save some $$$ on parts or smithing.

July 27, 2012, 01:19 PM
because I already have the 96?

I'd be swapping springs no matter what. A new slide would run more than just getting a new barrel, threaded, and custom thread protector.. and then I'd still have to thread the barrel that came with the gun and get the protector.

July 27, 2012, 04:36 PM
The price for the early 92 is under $400. You will end up paying how much just to do the rail inserts? Plus or minus $400 will be small change for the spare parts, and "already-converted-frame" of the 1st gen 92. Hell, sell off the slide & barrel assembly, and the frame would be closer to $200.

July 27, 2012, 10:37 PM
It's still 200 more than I need to spend. As I stated earlier in the thread.. I might not do the safety and the rails at all. This is probably going to end up being a range gun anyways, so no real need for an external safety. I could just go and do all of this stuff to a taurus pt99 I've got.. makes no sense to me to buy another gun for spare parts when I have two capable candidates right here.

July 31, 2012, 11:41 PM
mulligan barrel in today. Since it was designed to work on a 9mm slide vs. a 40 slide.. I'm having it checked out by an armorer who has the go/no gauge and headspace gauges for 9mm to make sure I'm not shooting a time bomb.

August 2, 2012, 05:51 PM
Got stiffer recoil spring in route (16 lbs vs. 14)
Got a lighter hammer spring (17 vs. 18 stock)
got a reduced power triger conversion unit from wolff in route as well.

August 7, 2012, 02:24 PM
Stiffer spring in. Feels better, especially if I want to run 40 out of it. No powder puff loads with this one in.

Hammer spring also in, increased trigger pull. It takes less to compress the spring completely, but the spring is longer, so there is more preload on the spring, resulting in a heavier trigger. Since they are so cheap, I'll slow cut it down till I'm happy with it.. I have the stock D spring as a backup.

Conversion unit for the trigger spring drops right in, nice and smooth, no grittyness. Looks like it will be more reliable than the normal trigger return spring, and it is slightly lighter.

Pics of the conversion spring installed will be forthcoming.. cant get to the pics atm.

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