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Beretta 92S review

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by W.E.G., Nov 22, 2014.

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  1. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Beretta 92S review

    I couldn’t resist the sub-$300 price on the Beretta 92S from Palmetto State Armory.

    I’m quite satisfied with the specimen I received yesterday.
    Not a museum piece by any means, but well worth the price paid.
    It appears to have been very well-kept all these years, but with the exception of some pitting on the safety lever.

    Pics will follow in a separate post to this thread.

    I believe my gun to be from the general lot currently being sold by several vendors of the usual online suspects.

    The gun I received appears to be in perfect working condition.
    Much evidence of “carried a lot, and shot very little.”

    The bore is excellent.
    The bore was dirty when received.
    At first I thought I saw a patch of pitting, which turned out to be just some hairy fouling, and which quickly disappeared after application of bronze brush and Break-Free.

    Break Free is just about all I ever use to clean and maintain guns these days.
    This gun got the usual robust Break-Free enema when I got into the man cave.
    I mean I DROWN the gun in the stuff until it is seeping out of every crack and crevice.
    A couple range trips usually shakes-out any excess, and it ensures that sufficient lube finds its way to the nether regions that would otherwise be neglected unless the owner gives it a full tear-down --- which I will not.

    I field stripped the gun for the Break-Free treatment.
    I did not remove the grip panels.
    For whatever reason, Beretta has the notion that screw slots for grip-panel screws should be only slightly wider than a human hair.
    I don’t own a screwdriver that will fit in that screw-slot, except a screwdriver I got in a kit at the drug store for fixing eyeglasses.
    Removing the grips usually expedites clean-up of the Break-Free enema, but this one will just have to seep until I can get around to modifying a screwdriver to fit the grip-panel screw-slots.

    The muzzle and breech look quite good.
    You will see a whitish artifact from the camera at 6 o’clock in the muzzle pic.
    I’m not sure what causes that artifact. There is nothing actually physically on (or wrong-with) the muzzle to explain the weird white image. Its just a flaw in the photo.

    The slide engagement areas on the frame clearly show use.
    I’m of the opinion that this “use” is more from repeated loading/unloading than actual firing.

    The Italians actually used the lanyard loop.
    You will notice that the lanyard loop shows considerable wear, and that the floorplate of the magazine has a corresponding “dent” from the hook of the lanyard loop compressing the baseplate.

    Sights are miniscule, and pretty much a joke so far as a quality of aiming device.
    Testament to the Italians subscribing to the notion that whoever draws and fires first usually wins, no matter whether “aiming” is really involved.
    Just eyeballing it, I have to say that the horizontal edge of the front sight is slightly off-square with the vertical edge. Not that it matters, because the front sight is so short, you would never notice it in a gunfight.

    None of the springs exhibited any visible wear, or decay.
    The recoil spring, and recoil spring guide look immaculate.

    The magazine looks like its seen a lot of handling and very little use.
    The follower is made of some sort of metal alloy, and is in excellent condition, showing only a small area of wear from engagement with the magazine release lever.

    I tried to get the best pics I could of the various markings.
    It is interesting that the barrel has two conspicuous numbers. The “serial number” on the barrel matches the serial number on the frame of the pistol but for the upper-case letter prefix and suffix that are included on the frame of the pistol.
    The second number on the barrel is very well-executed. A part number perhaps???

    No range report yet.
    If the weather is nice, and the world behaves, I might make it out as soon as Tuesday.
    I’ll try it with some brass-case and steel-case 115 grain range ammo.
    I’d be interested to know what the Italians think this gun is zeroed for – 124-grain NATO load perhaps?
    Whose idea was it that all the 9mm range ammo has to be 115-grain? Can 9 grains of lead, and 0.2 grains of gunpowder really make THAT MUCH difference?

    Also, I picked up a couple of the “correct” 92S genuine Beretta mags from Midway.
    So, those will be tested too.
    I got some 92SF mags also, but that don’t have the cutout in the right place. That will be a project for another day to modify those mags, and see if they will actually work in the 92S.


    Right side
    (white "smear" on frame below external trigger bar is just a reflection from the oily surface - finish is intact there)
    DSCN2493_zpse8abbade.jpg

    Left side
    DSCN2492_zps2c4b82c0.jpg

    Muzzle
    DSCN2482_zps4f5f19d1.jpg

    Breech
    DSCN2481_zpscbbc5065.jpg

    Front sight
    DSCN2463_zps58fe7051.jpg

    Frame wear
    DSCN2476_zps0ddb5094.jpg

    Frame wear 2
    DSCN2471_zps885fe2ad.jpg

    Serial numbers
    DSCN2465_zps952c08aa.jpg

    Proof mark right side of barrel
    DSCN2468_zps6cb5c416.jpg

    Proof mark link lug
    DSCN2469_zpsa6048082.jpg

    Proof mark frame
    DSCN2470_zps7bcef724.jpg

    Grip screw and mag-release button
    DSCN2490_zps73302c25.jpg

    Hammer face
    DSCN2479_zps0d573268.jpg
     
  2. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Mag well
    DSCN2477_zps215fa4db.jpg

    Magazine markings
    DSCN2485_zpsa6b4e4a3.jpg

    Magazine follower 1
    DSCN2486_zpsdcd12adc.jpg

    Magazine follower 2
    DSCN2487_zpsa2fbf6e0.jpg

    Magazine baseplate
    DSCN2488_zps8f7c3f7b.jpg
    /
    Gun in box
    DSCN2499_zps68c8b66f.jpg

    Box
    DSCN2495_zps27f96c85.jpg

    Box label
    Untitled_zpsa6ad836a.jpg

    Below, you will see the safety-lever pitting I mentioned earlier.
    Judging from the looks of the pitting, I would estimate the pitting was the result of human blood that was left on the gun after some unfortunate Italian gendarme got the palm of his hand caught between the barrel and the slide during his annual qualification.
    The peril of the “open top” slide.

    I traded-away my previous 92SF for three reasons:
    1. I got a sweet trade on a .22 Smith and Wesson “kit gun” in excellent condition.
    2. Let’s face it, the grip on any Beretta 92 series is seriously FAT for being just a 9mm, and OK… my hands just aren’t that big. But don’t believe the rumours.
    3. Beretta bite. That 92SF bit the palm of my hand viciously! Yes… 100% my fault that I let it happen, but after that, I had queasy feelings about that gun.

    Now, about that pitting.
    When the Beretta 92 series bites, it REALLY HURTS, and you WILL BLEED.
    The area of the gun where the blood from your bloody palm will land is on the back of the slide in the area of the selector.
    The area of the pitting on the 92S was pretty hairy-looking (rust) when I received it, so I jabbed at it with an old copper penny until all the rust-bloom was knocked-off, and then I worked on it a bit with a dental pick to dig any residual human matter from the pits.
    You will see it in the pics as a silvery-shiny (and still somewhat pitted) area.
    I’ll keep Break-Free on the afflicted area, and live with it. Every service gun seems to come with a scar.


    Safety pitting
    DSCN2458_zps5424ec09.jpg

    Beretta bite 1
    Berettabite4_zps7ae3bfd8.jpg

    Beretta bite 2
    Berettabite3_zps04839e6b.jpg

    Beretta bite 3
    Berettabite1_zps94a1a905.jpg

    Beretta bite 4
    Berettabite5_zps701ff289.jpg

    Beretta bite 5
    Berettabite2_zps3de57dd0.jpg


    At the end of the day, I have to say that it was this picture of a couple Marines and a person whom I assume to be an errant indigenous populant in Somalia that made me always want to still have a Beretta 92.

    …and now I gots me one again!
    Berettainyourface_zpsa022e573.jpg
     
  3. golden

    golden Member

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    It is not a bad gun for the money

    W.E.G.,

    I have one of the S models from an earlier importation. It is in similar condition minus the rust on the safety. The two things that stood out about this pistol was:

    1. The sights are not as good as the more modern BERETTA 92/96 models.

    2. The double action trigger was not as smooth and light as my guns which are all D models, so they have the lighter springs from BERETTA.

    I was surprised how easy it was to adapt to the heel button trigger release and the only criticism I heard came from a relative who did not like the non-standard (compared to the M-9 he was issued) magazine release.

    It otherwise worked like all BERETTA 92 pistols, reliable and accurate.

    Jim
     
  4. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    Nice gun good write up....

    Here is mine I picked up from the same importation but from a different vendor. I personally do not mind the sights. I find if I fill in the sight picture and keep the front sight level then it is spot on! I have shot about 25 rounds down the pipe and it functioned 100%. The guns have been back through the Beretta factory so they are good to go as far as springs and locking block IMHO.

    My DA pull is a little heavy. 11.8 lbs on avg of 5 pulls. The SA is 5.3 on avg of 5. I am going to get a D spring to try to lower the DA a bit.

    Mine is proof marked on the slide the same as yours. BU = 2004. My barrel has a proof mark date code of BH =1996. It is believed that these were built in the before 1982 and then put into storage. Italian proofing laws does not require that guns being sold to LEO/Military be proofed. These guns were proofed later 1996-2004 in order for them to be sold into the commerical importation market. That is at least the most logical explanation of the later date codes and proof marks.

    92s-2_zps4ae84544.gif

    92s-3_zps7a0bdd5d.gif

    92s-4_zps145f12cd.gif

    92s-7_zpsde45ea20.gif

    92s-8_zps1011290c.gif

    92s-5_zpsd462457e.gif
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  5. nathan

    nathan Member

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    If its a Beretta, its good no matter what ! What an awesome price , too. Since these are made in the 1970s, so no MIM parts of any kind. Thats a big plus...
     
  6. KTXdm9

    KTXdm9 Member

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    Thanks for posting WEG. Mine should arrive at my FFL tomorrow. Can't wait to get it to the range.
     
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    VAgunner

    Great photos of one very clean and well maintained vintage Beretta Model 92S.
     
  8. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Love the entire 92 lineage. Even to my not so huge hand, there is no semiautomatic that feels better in my grip. For the price you paid, I think you did really well. I would love to get a few more myself, but my carry piece, Rosa, would get jealous. She's a hot blooded Italian beauty.
     
  9. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    What a nice old Beretta! If I were young again and looking for my first handgun, I'd be all over that 92S! :cool:
     
  10. geekjon

    geekjon Member

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    I'm happy with my purchase. It looks to be the same condition at WEG's. I bought some rubber Hogue grips and dremel'ed out both sides to work with the magazine release.

    I have a question though. In trying to get the mainspring out, I've removed the roll pin that holds the lanyard loop in place. I assumed that the lanyard loop would just come out at this point, but it didn't. Does the magazine release need to be removed to get the lanyard loop out, and if so, does anyone know how to do that?
    5k5JJGR.jpg
     
  11. m9meatball

    m9meatball Member

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    Dumb question: I thought the 92 was the original then the 92f then the FS. Where does the 92S fit in?
     
  12. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    As much as I loved the Berettas in my life, the Taurus P92 Stainless for $350 has suited me better.

    Taurus92_1.jpg

    It's gorgeous, plus it shoots well.

    .
     
  13. geekjon

    geekjon Member

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  14. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Member

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    Yeah. No way would I buy the police trade in S when the Taurus PT92 is new at similar price and newer technology.
     
  15. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    ^^ True today... but for investment, in 10 years these Berettas will command a premium and the Taurus will just be a used Taurus.

    Which is why I've got a SS Taurus P92 sitting next to me now and a half dozen of the 92S's sitting in my safe.


    Willie

    .
     
  16. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Member

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    No way will these hold any value in the future.

    They were mass produced, are police trade ins, are on a platform still used, are a lower/less robust variant of that platform, and what do they offer but a bad looking safety and crappy mag release?

    For example, the P1s/P38s have some value because they stopped making them.
     
  17. Rubber_Duck

    Rubber_Duck Member

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    I'm with you on that. Remember when all those surplus SIG P6s came in and were selling for $250 and SIG owners were poo-pooing them because an equivalent P225 was 3 times the price? Now look how much those surplus P6s have gone up in price.
     
  18. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    $259 is a STEAL. My FiL has been wanting a 9mm. He won't find a better deal.
     
  19. golden

    golden Member

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    Many versions

    Meatball,

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!

    The original BERETTA 92 had a frame mounted safety like the 1911 series of pistols and the heel mounted magazine release. This is the BERETTA that the Brazilian military bought and was the original version of the TAURUS 92.

    The second generation replaced the frame mounted safety with a slide mounted safety and became the S. The slide mounted safety is a hammer dropping design and lowers the cocked hammer when the safety is engaged.

    Later on, the firing mechanism was redesigned to prevent the gun from firing if dropped or bumped, this is the F model. Also, the magazine release was moved to the present location at the rear of the trigger guard. That was necessary for the U.S. military trials.

    Jim
     
  20. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    "They were mass produced, are police trade ins, are on a platform still used, are a lower/less robust variant of that platform, and what do they offer but a bad looking safety and crappy mag release?"


    Collectability for serious Beretta collectors, a new generation of which is bred every few years. There's always a ready collectors market for early examples of everything as years pass by.

    Once these are gone, price will rise. Witness the now $400 CZ 82's that sold two years ago for $199 and you might understand. The SIG P6 as listed above is another example. Appreciation of quality surplus firearms is pretty predictable. Remember $149 Swedish Mausers? I bought (ahem) twenty five of them, hand picked in person from Navy Arms. Their sale just financed a nicely restored museum quality VW Karmann Ghia, of all things. Remember the 1935 banner marked Mauser police carbines from Chile that SARCO had in about 1985? $149 each. Again, I bought 20 of them. Sold the second to last one a year ago for a cool $grand. Don't remember those things? Then take some advice from the old man: These are WAY undervalued at present.

    If you like a little speculation in your investments, buy a box of them.


    Willie

    .
     
  21. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    Nice write-up, thank you.

    I agree that looks like blood pitting. Maybe it's me, but blood seems to leave a very distinctive mark.
     
  22. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Even though Tuesday's weather was quite satisfactory as expected, the two days before Thanksgiving came with the equally-expected annual melt-downs at the house.

    Looking like Sunday is going to be a sweet day weather-wise.
    I should probably put my ear plugs in now to drown out any further impending melt-downs. If anybody says "Christmas Tree," I think I'll have a melt-down of my own.

    I'm definitely going out to shoot the Garand and the 1903 on Sunday.

    If the little pit at the end of the road isn't too crowded, and I can still hold my mouth right, after four hours of getting banged by those rifles, I'll try to run a few mags through.

    I'm not necessarily counting on making it another 20 years so I can "cash-in," but I reckon I'll have a little fun with 'em before time runs out. If I end up making a nickel off one or two, I won't be heard to complain.
     
  23. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I bought a Swedish Mauser too... for $89. It is very accurate and worth a lot more now. My FiL just ordered one of these Berettas. If he doesn't like it he can just sell it for a profit in a few years. But he will like it. Thanks for the heads-up on the great deal! :)
     
  24. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Member

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    I guess I am trying to be argumentative :)

    I fail to see how this has sentimental value, collector value, or value.

    It is only 200 dollars away from a new 92. It's used. The mag release is not favored by anyone. Heck, you can by a used 92 for nearly the same price.

    Of all the other pistols you mentioned, none are currently produce.

    Where is the value?
     
  25. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    All three standards you mention are completely subjective. The only thing objective about it is that it can shoot 9mm projectiles, one for each pull of the trigger, 16 times until empty.
     
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