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Range report: Beretta 92a1

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cslinger, May 20, 2011.

  1. cslinger

    cslinger Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I have been on a bit of a Beretta kick as of late and recently picked up a Beretta 92A1. I own, shoot and collect firearms not as a result to placate some tactical or defensive need or desire but primarily because I enjoy the history, mechanics, industrial aesthetics and discipline that comes with them.

    So please keep in mind when I review these guns I don't do so from the stand point of a crack commando, law enforcement officer or school crossing guard. I do so as a low speed high drag schmuck who likes to shoot and share his "toys" responsibly.

    With that being said I give you the Beretta 92A1. I haven't shot a 92 in a long time and always found them large for my itty bitty girly hands. I have, however, always wanted to add one to the collection because of the beauty of their lines and the fact they are an iconic piece of history.

    As always all reviews are out of 5 rounds.

    Like my recent PX4 the fit, finish and attention to detail is very nice on this 92A1. Everything is smooth, no obvious tool marks, gouges, sight misalignment etc. The only real area to knock it down is cost cutting of using the plastic guide rod. It just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of this firearm. It hasn't caused any problems, its just more of an aesthetic blemish. As an aside some folks have complained about it being warped out of the box. I think some of this may be attributed to an optical illusion the spring plays on the eyes as my rod looks a bit warped but without the spring is straight as an arrow.

    Nothing wrong with the trigger, just heavy. No grit or any issues, nor does the long heavy double action pull bother me as I prefer it, but it is a long pull that is heavy. The single action is a bit long but breaks nicely.

    There are simply better guns in this regard today. The 92 is a BIG gun. I mean a really BIG gun with big grips and long reaches. Now that being said I was able to hold and shoot it very well and enjoyed it immensely much more so then I remember. So basically its not that it is poorly designed it was just designed at a time when handgun ergonomics were not at a point where they are today. The backwards safety decocker doesn't bother me because I only use it as a decocker.

    How can you not talk about aesthetics when talking about a Beretta 92. It is the anti Glock. It is one of the nicest looking pistols around. Throw some proper grips on them and they are lookers for sure.

    Out of the box hit right at point of aim. Only shot 100 rounds so far of 115 and 124 grain stuff. I am still learning the gun so I was obviously less accurate then I am with some of my old soldiers. That being said even due to my small hands and the size of the gun I was doing very well. So mechanical accuracy seems excellent and forgiving of my skill.

    Its a big honkin' gun that shoots an itty bitty 9mm bullet. Not much to write home about. Not much felt recoil at all. As a matter of fact most of my accuracy failures were from gripping too tightly and pushing down. Just let the thing shoot and it is dead on. No real recoil at all.

    As I have said so far I have only put 100 rounds of ball through but no issues so far even when jams were attempted to be induced through improper grip etc. I have little doubt the 92 will be nothing but dead nuts reliable.

    At 15 rounds this gun is ridiculous. At 17, which my model came with it starts to make more sense. Mec-Gar 18 and 20 shot mags bring this thing into its own. Its a large gun might as well use it to hold lots of ammo.

    My 92A1 was 630 bucks out the door. That included NIB gun, 3 17 round magazines, cleaning gear, case, box etc. All in all I think this a very good value for an all metal, well known, reliable gun from a long standing company.

    Everybody knows that 92s are not the most durable firearm ever made. That being said the typical failure point, the locking block is a cheap and easy fix. The 92a1, seems to address some of these issues with the newest version locking block, a recoil buffer and thicker slide. For my use I imagine the gun will be plenty durable.

    I am tickled pink with this thing. It is just plain fun to shoot and looks fantastic. I think its priced right, comes with everything you need out of the box and should be as reliable as the sun rise. It is also very easy to field strip and clean.

    Sure it has its ergonomic foibles, sure there are better "weapons" out there but for what I want in a firearm this Beretta nails it. Not only that you can actually now replace the front sight on them. :)

    So at the end of the day I am very happy with my purchase and it has pegged my fun meter in both shooting and pride of ownership. I must confess that I still believe it's contemporary of the day, the SIG P226 is the better gun in all except aesthetics and IMO should have been the choice of the military's replacement of the 1911.

    So here are a couple picks of the new girl and one with my old West German war horse.

    Take care, shoot safe, have fun.


  2. george d dennis

    george d dennis Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Baltic ct
    thanks for the report. i love my 92a1
  3. Jeb21

    Jeb21 Member

    Sep 12, 2009
    Those are beautiful pistols!
  4. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Senior Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    So. Calif.

    Yep, Beretta/s and Sigs, both good company one can rely on..

    Congrats on the better choice of the 92 series (rail and front sight can be changed).

    Guns are tools that, if needed, should allow change that adds to both, the gun and the shooter, be it sight/s, grips, or "main spring changes"..

    You could get a D-spring for her and that would reduce the DA pull weight by 2.5lbs which would feel like you've put 5000 rounds thru her and they just keep getting lighter feeling and smoother with each pull (range shots) or *D-Firing a lot. Same thing with Sigs 24lb factory main springs, one can reduce the DA pull weight, safely, by replacing with a lighter, 20lb, 19lb, 18lb, 17lb main spring, as I did 2 of my P229/40's one with the 17lb and one with the 18lb mainspring, and both have gone over 7k each, without any problems, no light strikes.. But both DA' pulls are quite smooth, light, and feel much shorter, not to mention the SA breaks just get crisper/cleaner. OMMV

    *Or, chambering a snap cap, ongoing practicing of pulls both DA/s and SA's, when gun is not on patrol, so to speak and this will aid in reducing the new, mainspring stiffness, relating to what is felt as long and heavy pulls..

    Sounds like on your SA break, you have a bit of creep, where you can feel it "take up a tad of slack before it becomes "engaged" and the next bit of pressure, she fires..

    This, with use, can disappear, as well with use.. in many cases.

    Give her time, she'll only get better.. as they "like to be ridden.. " ;)

  5. hemiram

    hemiram Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Toledo, Ohio
    I bought a nearly perfect 92FS, with 5 mags, 3 factory, two aftermarket (but they work fine), two sets of grips (rubber and stock plastic, in the box, with all the paperwork, for $405. It's an older one, all metal, and I would have guessed less than 100 rounds through it. It appears to be a police trade (from the writing on a card inside the box) in that was barely fired and never carried. One of my best deals ever.
  6. simonm2211

    simonm2211 New Member

    May 16, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Great review. I agree with almost every score. Thanks for taking the time.

    One small point - doesn't it make more sense for the overall mark to be the average of the 10 scores (39/50 = 3.9 or 4 if rounded)?
  7. cslinger

    cslinger Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I don't average my overall because it's more a score of my personal overall happiness, enjoyment. Sometimes you can own a product with warts but still love it

    FIVETWOSEVEN Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    On the Beretta forum there was a guy that his 92's frame broke....at 100,000 rounds!:what:

    One range report and a quick look over of the gun doesn't allow you to see how durable something will be.
  9. D Rock

    D Rock New Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    Congrats, cslinger and thanks for the review. I like the wooden grips.

    I got my 92A1 last week and haven't shot any thing else at the range since. My first Beretta but not my last.


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