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Beretta 92 Slide Separation Problems

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Confederate, Apr 12, 2009.

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  1. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    We've all read about it, I guess. The military had some problems with the slide coming off the frame and zapping some guy in the face. After denying the problem for the longest time, Beretta finally beefed up a part of the frame. Then the problem stopped. Or at least it ceased being an issue.

    Now what I've wondered is: was this design problem...flaw, whatever...found on the original Italian 92s -- the ones with the magazine releases on the bottom and the subsequent ones by the trigger?

    Some people have said since the designs were identical, the older Berettas should have the same flaw. Others disagree and said the Italian models were better made and made from slightly different materials.

    Also, what about the Taurus pistols? Were there any problems with them? Well, other than they're Tauruses:D?

    I once talked to the fellow at the Naval Sea Systems Command who told me about the Beretta problems some time before it all hit the media. He insisted that the damn slides could come off any time after about 6,500 rounds. He maintained that they had subjected them to microscopic inspections and that the ones that subsequently failed showed absolutely no signs of excess stress -- no hairline fractures, nothing. They just failed. That got me wondering about the old Italian pistols, since a friend of mine has one and asked. I'd never really though about it. The NAVSEA fellow said none of the guns failed before 6,500 rounds...not one...but all the ones that did fail failed after that number and with no prior signs of stress. At the time, he said he wouldn't give a plug nickel for a 92, and it made an impression on me.

    Anyone know the story on these?

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tully M. Pick

    Tully M. Pick Member

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    It had nothing to do with the design. The tellurium content of some production runs of slides was a little too high and made them more brittle. I can't remember too much more than that since it was nearly 20 years ago that the problem was dealt with. I remember it because it was a big deal in the early '90s and we had to check all the slides on our new M9's in the Marine Corps armories. Unless this is referencing some other problem, which could very well be. They were very new at the time they were issued in my unit.
     
  3. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    So do you know whether the Italian pistols had the same tellurium contents as the later pistols? And if you had your shot at an M9 made today or a 92 made in Italy, what would you prefer?
     
  4. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    Beretta Model 92FS was created to correct the reported slide separation problems with the Beretta Model 92F.

    Due to problems with the Beretta Model 92F, US Navy SEALs adopted the SIG P-226 instead of the Beretta.
     
  5. Oro

    Oro Member

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    If you are considering buying a Beretta 92 made after like 1987, this just isn't a problem. It was an issue on military contract runs in the mid 80s, and very limited to them. If anything, the 92 is a very OVER built gun for the 9mm (which is the source of much criticism of them); the metallurgy problems were very specific and limited.

    I am an experienced shooter of the 92/96 and think them an adequate gun and overall I am not a huge fan, but worrying about slide separation at this point in time - 25 years after the problem - is just not a criticism they deserve.

    I would get the 92 Italian one. Among the small and odd group of Beretta 92 collectors, it would be more desirable and retain or gain more value in the long run. If having a desirable, reliable, and valuable handgun is the priority, instead I would get a Colt, S&W, or Sig.

    Yes, but it was gun-by-gun, not limited to a specific, limited run like the Beretta. Random production dimensions, unreliable parts and steel, and just the general junkiness of Taurus. Beretta 92's and the Taurus rip-offs are not in the same league. I'd rather have a possibly slide-breaching Beretta over any Taurus, any day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  6. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    I thought they determined the problem to be with the ammo rather than a slide/pistol issue?
     
  7. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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  8. uh-oh

    uh-oh Member

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    I resemble that remark. ;)
    There was a metallurgy issue isolated to a few pistols which failed, assisted by NATO-pressure 9mm. The problem was corrected, but enough agencies complained about the slide breakage and requested a beefier slide the Brigadier slide profile was created, with the slide about 0.125" thicker and the 90two still has (without the humps). It's really not a problem and there are plenty of people, including competition shooters and the like, with several tens of thousands of rounds through their 92s without widespread breakage of slides. I've only seen one documented example on the Beretta Forum where someone's standard 92 slide broke. Most of the time, the locking blocks will go first, but they need to be replaced every 15-20K anyway (earlier if you're a worrywart).

    And, sad to say, the second half of your statement is true. I've found out the hard way, and the fickleness comes in waves. There are many variants of 92s out there, some are much more desirable (to anyone, usually the low-number runs of Billennia, Stocks, Combats, and Steel-Is) but outside of a Beretta enthusiast, a 92 Vertec Inox is just a silver-colored 92FS.
     
  9. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Try guys.

    I believe this was mostly a Department of the Navy issue since some of the first casualties of this were some SEALs doing some early testing with one and some Marines a little while later.
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Ernest Langdon campaigned a Beretta 92 (I don't know the variant.) in IDPA in the 1990s.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_167_28/ai_110457285/

    He is reported as saying that a stock Beretta 92 will run well over 20,000 rounds with no parts replacement. But with matches on the line, he did a lot of preventive maintenance.

    His maintenance schedule was as follows:

    "I put in a spring pack (LTT package: recoil spring, trigger spring, trigger bar spring, cost $5) every 5,000 rounds. This keeps the trigger spring from ever breaking, I tear down the top end every 10,000 rounds, clean out all the carbon and unburned powder and install a new firing pin, firing pin spring and striker. Cost for these parts is $11. At 20,000 rounds I rebuild the top end. I replace all the slide parts subject to wear; extractor, springs, firing pin and such. Cost for parts is $40. I'll also fit a new locking block ($70) at this point."
     
  11. Yosemite**Sam

    Yosemite**Sam Member

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    I have seen several several broken 92f slides in recent years and several cracked slides as well. Of the cracked slides that I have seen, the cracks began on the left side of the slide near the PB in an area adjacent to the locking block cut out. The locking block cut out is the thinnest portion of the slide.

    As far as those Beretta's where the slide actually broke and came off the rear of the gun they were all high round count guns all in excess of 30,000 rounds. Again, I'm only referring to several Beretta's that I'm personally aware of the breakage.
     
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I know the later military models have a headed action pin meant to keep the rear of the slide from blowing back at you if it breaks, but am not familiar with the commercial models. Be worth a look for your peace of mind.
     
  13. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Question - what guns run 30k rounds and don't need parts replacement?
     
  14. 9x19sig

    9x19sig Member

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    Question - what guns run 30k rounds and don't need parts replacement?

    Answer- Ruger revolvers
     
  15. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    What guns? Well, the Ruger Security-Six for one. Skeeter Skelton said he knew of three of them that each had 30,000 rounds through them, and only one was starting to spit lead.

    As for 9mms, I'd be willing to bet my S&W 659/5906 would come close. Ditto on my 645.

    Getting back to the Berettas, according to some, the 92 alteration didn't really fix the problem of breakage, but simply made it impossible for the slide to hit the shooter in the face when it did fail. Based on the Navy's experience, according to the articles cited, the military 92 was given a service life of 5,000 rounds. Yeeech.

    Is it safe to say that slide failure (regardless of when it happens) can cause grave injury to the shooter, even with the older Italian 92s? In other words, do Italian-Beretta shooters have anything to fear from slide failures, even after, say, 8,000 rounds, or 15,000 rounds?

    I like Beretta 92s and was considering getting one, but I'd want it to have a respectable service life and be completely safe to shoot. My friend who owns an Italian model feels the same way and I blame him not.

    Based just on what I've read, only the later, modified Berettas are designed to prevent catastrophic slide failure. Also, would any Berettas be okay to fire +P rounds or is that playing with fire? My overall feeling about Beretta has been colored by how they blamed everyone but themselves for the 92 failures and 2) how they ignored the consistent and persistent problems with their .32/.380 Tomcats. Their attitude is, as Glenn Beck would say, "Boo-hoo. Sucks to be you!"

    I also can't say that the 92s are "overbuilt" when there are so many Rugers, Colts, Sigs, Smith & Wessons on the market specifically designed to be tough. Glocks, too, I think will take +P rounds.

    I'd love to hear from some of these Navy Seals who got a face full of Beretta. I imagine if it happened to me, I'd be shooting revolvers. Can anyone really get over something like that?

    (BTW, that fellow I talked to at Navy joked that they should sell each 92 with band-aids, iodine and tweezers. He was ticked.)

    .
    .
     
  16. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    Gee..........my 18 year old Beretta has never had a slide seperation. I did have a locking block break a few years ago, but after 15 years (time of breakage) and who knows how many thousands of rounds..........

    I replaced the locking block and the pistol is back to 100% again.
     
  17. Yosemite**Sam

    Yosemite**Sam Member

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    The newer version of the 92f is the 92fs. The only differences between the two are:

    1) The hammer retaining pin has a head on it and it appears to look something like a half moon "washer" protruding from the frame adjacent to the hammer.

    2) The slide has a cut on the bottom left rail where the "half moon washer" is recessed into when the weapon is assembled. I use the term "half moon washer" as a way of describing how the safety feature appears on the 92fs.

    If the slide was to break, the "half moon washer" running through the cutout in the bottom of the slide, would prevent the slide from coming off the back of the frame.

    The 92fs does not prevent slide breakage, it merely prevents the slide from blowing off the back of the pistol if it does break.
     
  18. Myles

    Myles Member

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    It was my understanding that this was a stress fracture, at the ejection port, that had originally come up during strenuous SEAL training, which involved 500 rounds per day, using +P+ loads.

    Very tough conditions on a weapon never expected to have that much put through it.
     
  19. golden

    golden Member

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    Never seen a slide separation

    My agency used to issue the BERETTA 96. We never saw a slide separate. When a BERETTA started to wear out, it was in the locking lug area.
    The lugs would ground down the slide cut out and would also become rounded at the corners. The gun would still function, but you could tell it was on its last legs.


    The last 96D I was issued had started to have this problem. However, it never jammed or misfed before I traded it in for an H&K P2000.

    I could see the slide moving back and forth when I fired. This was the first time I had ever seen this happen. The issued gun had already been used by several other officers and had several thousand hot .40 caliber rounds through it.

    The Brigadier reinforced slide was not developed for the 92, but for the 96D Brigadier issued by the U.S. I&NS. It was needed to overcome the wear of the 155 grain .40S&W load.
    I also have a 92 Brigadier and it shoots great, so it should last for a very long time with 9m.m.

    Jim
     
  20. Onmilothesameone

    Onmilothesameone member

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    Glock and H&K USP pistols that are used as rentals and documented are numerous examples of handguns that go through 30,000 rounds with very minimal maintenance and no parts replacement.

    Beretta M9 pistols have a far greater incident of locking block breakage than actual slide seperations.
    The trigger springs are even worse than the locking blocks for incidents of breakage.
    Both the blocks and the springs are easy fixes.
     
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