Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by thunderbyrd, Nov 24, 2021.
If its an older production gun, it would be a good idea to install the latest generation locking block. Newer guns have polymer and polymer-coated wire small parts such as the guide rod, mag release, trigger, mainspring plug and sometimes the LH safety lever. Beretta sells a steel parts upgrade kit for about $70 which is easy to install and makes a huge difference to the overall smooth operation of the gun.
Some magazines have fragile polymer baseplates, with very old examples using aluminum plates and the newest ones have polymer-coated sheet steel plates. NZ Performance makes very nice billet alloy replacement pads.
I cant honestly remember a single malfunction personally shooting a 92- though my buddy did manage to crack the barrel lug on his, which of course jammed the gun solid. It was a very high-mileage retired police gun and this was something of a fluke.
Mine are all acceptably accurate or better. Try it, I bet you'll like it.
Here is an Ernest Langdon (essentially Mr. Beretta M9/92FS) video where he covers some of the features of the M9/92FS
Mine have been good, reliable, soft, and accurate shooters. They feel good in the hand and point naturally.
I wasnt always a fan. Always thought they looked big and clunky, right up until I got around to shooting one. Now I have three.
Buy it, you wont be disappointed.
Many hate them for being unreliable in sandy conditions, big awkward and heavy.
Others do not.
I am one that never did like them for several reasons.
When we first got to Saudi for Desert Shield in 90, the M9 was untested in that type of environment. I wasn't going to be a test dummy so I scrounged an old "battle rattle" 1911A1 instead. The other reason I don't care for the M9 is that the thing just doesn't fit my hands well and I never could shoot it as good as the 1911A1.
They may "look" big and awkward, but they really arent. They arent heavy either, at least compared to guns of similar size.
Ive seen a lot of thirty second hand complaints on the sand thing. Ive also heard that the military had a bunch of bad contract mags about the same time, and that was actually the source of a lot of the complaints.
Over the years, Ive seen and encountered similar problems with runs of USGI 1911 contract mags too, so its not something thats just a Beretta problem.
Very reliable and very accurate. It has the largest ejection port among service pistols, so stove pipe jams are almost unheard of. Any jam is easy to clear because of the large port. Also one of the smoothest shooting pistols around due to it's fall-block locking system.
Depending on the age of your 92, you'll likely want to install the latest locking block and change all the springs. While you're changing the springs, it wouldn't hurt to install a "D" mainspring rather than just replace it with the DA/SA spring
They're good, solid service pistols. Mine have been reliable, and I shoot them as well as most full-sized service pistols.
If it's a good deal and it fits your hands well, then there's no reason not to, IMHO.
They fit your hand (grips are large).
You like the DA/SA trigger system.
You don't mind the slide-mounted safety/decocker.
You aren't planning to upgrade the front sight. (It is integral to the slide in the standard models.)
Then I think you'll be happy with the gun.
The ones I've had were very accurate and reliable.
DA trigger is long but, in my experience, smooth and not too heavy. SA triggers are pretty good--I found no cause to complain.
Mags are common and prices tend to be reasonable.
Consumable parts have generally been easy to find and reasonably priced. (Although right now, for some reason I can't seem to find locking blocks for sale.)
There is a decent variety of upgrade parts from Beretta and aftermarket sources.
Know lots of folks who had to use them and had budgets to shoot a LOT. Poor maintenance practices, and most of all the Checkmate magazines did not go well. The mags were parked inside. Rough. Talked to a couple who just sanded down the inside and oiled it and had no problems but the replacement program fixed the rest. Sure the desert didn't help, but these magazines were a nightmare in all environments.
Plenty hate it because of the cult of the 1911. The safety goes "the wrong way," it's not "a caliber that starts with a 4" and so on.
The locking blocks did experience cracks. These were relatively rare and mostly very high round count guns (either dedicated training guns or tier 1 units who shoot 1,000 rounds a week), and tend to crack a bit at a time, so any inspection cycle at all showed future danger, well in time. If by some miracle you find a 30 year old gun that hasn't gotten the updated block, I am pretty sure it's still a warranty / recall replacement even for civilians. Not sure if they do the big-pin thing to avoid slides coming off if you forgot to check for locking block failures, but I bet they do.
Due to mil service, and plenty of police back in the 90s also, lots of holster options. You can get snazzy Safariland ones for a song, instead of the couple hundred they are new. Plenty of aftermarket stocks, sights, other updated parts. Use some caution with holster compatibility re Brigadier, Vertec and the various railed ones. Dust cover and slide changes can mess with holster fit at least, but otherwise most things are interchangeable.
Langdon makes hilariously nice updated 92s, and sells almost all their parts, many of which can be dropped in.
I somehow don't have one now but need to again, so if anyone sees a deal for surplus 9 mms of most any type, but especially old school no rails, post or DM me and nag me to buy one this time!
As a suppressor host, they are quiet and supremely reliable, owing to the hammer fired design and the linear barrel travel.
I like traditional double actions. I have plastic fantastic striker fired guns, but the S&W 3rd gens, CZ-75 pattern guns and Beretta 92s are my preference by a huge margin.
They are bigger than they need to be, the grip is a bit large and I'm not crazy about the backwards safety/decoker design. I can live with DA/SA, but I just like the Sig 226 version better. Not that I think the Sig is a more reliable, accurate pistol. I just like how it fits me and how the controls work better.
And now that the Beretta has been replaced with the Sig M17 and M18 I like that design even better.
If the price is right, you should give it a try.
So the Beretta 92 originated with the Walther P-38. It is practically a copy of the design with some minor refinements. The P-38 was a breakthrough design in innovation because it was Double-Action/Single-Action and thereby dispensed with the need for a manual safety. While the PPK preceded it as a Double-Action, the P-38 also had a locked breech whereas the PPK was only blow-back operated. Manual safeties on single-action automatics like the 1911 and most pistols prior to the P-38 are problematic for large organizations of indentured users (armies, police agencies, governments, etc.). Inadequate training and/or failure to absorb training or follow instructions inevitably results in the safety not being on when it needs to be on, and/or being on when it needs to be off. Walther designed and produced a solution in the P-38 that combined the safety inherent in the long, deliberate, heavy double-action pull of the trigger for the initial shot like a revolver, and the subsequent short, crisp single action trigger for successive shots. It isn't a perfection solution conceptually or in execution, but it was nonetheless an important innovation. The Germans lost the war and the P-38 became part of the spoils so to speak.
By 1954, Smith & Wesson had copied the P38 and entered their "Model 39" in the US service pistol trials that year. The '54 trials were one of the several attempts by the US Army to find a replacement for the M1911. A bunch of brass came to realize the Germans had invented a better mousetrap and thought they could make things better by adopting it, but obviously not everyone agreed. They did apparently agree that the MG42 was worth copying and adopting (chambered in .308) as the M60.
It was in '79 that the US started on yet another quest to replace the M1911, this time with a determination renewed by the perceived need to adopt the 9x19mm NATO standard cartridge. They would go through three iterations of trials before they picked the Beretta that became known as the M9. The S&W Model 39 had now evolved into the Model 59 and then then Model 459. It was still an evolution of the P38. Beretta had made its own evolutionary adaption of the P38 called the 92FBS. It proved to be more reliable with a greater MRBF. I won't summarize all the handgun testing the US government did in the early 1980's. It suffices that the 92 was adopted as the M9 and that it was and remains an evolution of the Walther P38. Walther did enter its own P88 into the trials, but it failed drop tests and proved to have poor durability.
The action type introduced with the P38 was adopted by SIG, H&K, CZ, and subsequently all the copies of those. That isn't to say that those did not continue to innovate and introduce new design breakthroughs. The DA/SA design remained dominant until Glock made the striker-fired action the most popular today. The striker-fired action was introduced in a handgun first by Heckler & Koch, and a pistol, the P7, with this design was entered in the 80's US handgun trials. It featured the unique squeeze-cocker. H&K also entered another pistol which featured a polymer frame and was striker-fired but was DAO (no partially pre-cocked striker). For whatever reason, these innovations didn't really catch on until the Glock began to gain acceptance about a decade later.
The 92 is almost certainly one of the best mass-produced iterations of the DA/SA automatic pistol, along with the CZ and Sig. It's most distinguishing feature is the open slide design. It's popularity waned almost certainly because of the heavy weight incurred from the metal frame along with the additional cost of machining that in comparison to substantially lighter weight polymer frames that are also much less costly to produce. In addition to the weight and cost, the DA/SA pistols fell out of favor due to the inconsistency between the first and subsequent trigger pulls. A consensus seemed to form around the idea that so long as the trigger pull was long enough, it was sufficient to prevent unintentional discharges without a manual safety or a heavy-weight double-action. The pull weight to discharge the gun and the trigger reset distance that's favored among buyers seem to have been creeping down over the years. If a person prefers to learn the DA trigger and even wants a manual safety in addition to that, the 92 delivers both.
Both Borchardt C93 (the first mass-produced semi-automatic pistol) and Luger pistols were striker-fired designs that originated before 1900.
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