Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Underrated Beretta M9 Pistol

The M9 and newer 92FS pistols are made in 

One of my favorites, the original “Die Hard” with one of my favorite actor Bruce Willis as policeman John McClain.  It’s set at Christmas during a terrorist attack at a large multinational corporation.  Of course the real star is the Beretta 92 pistol.  With it Bruce dispatches several bad guy terrorists. 

The pistol became a Hollywood & Television Icon in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Beretta became an icon of the late 80s in that movie, the same way the S&W Model 29 became an icon of the 1970s in “Dirty Harry”.  The Beretta 92 became the archetypical wonder 9 pistol, even equipping the U.S. Military since 1985.  The 92 is a great gun, and Die Hard is a great movie.
I never liked the Beretta 92SF (the military M9) since it replaced one of my favorite handguns, the iconic M1911A1 in US. Military service.  Like many soldiers at the time, I heard the rumors which stated the adoption of the M9 was a NATO payoff to the Italians.  Or the pistol was inferior to the other entrants in the trials such as the SIG 226 or the Czech 75. None of these were true. After three deployments to combat zones with the M9 and experience with other contemporary 9mm handguns, I think the M9 may be the most underrated 9mm pistol of all time. The M9 is exceptionally accurate for a service pistol and is a delight to shoot. It’s often criticized for a large grip, but the grip is contoured and comfortable for my medium–small hands.

The Beretta with 15 and 20 round Beretta factory magazines.

The Beretta 92FS has the smoothest action and cycle of any pistol. The slide almost feels like it is ball bearings.  The pistol’s feel and performance inspire confidence. The pistol is roundly criticized for its grip thickness, magazines, open slide design, locking block design, and finally “weak” 9mm cartridge.

Modern holster and ammunition choices make the M9 and excellent combat pistol.

These are complaints which are really not specific to the Beretta M9. The M9 grip, like any grip is comfortable to some and uncomfortable to others. This is a common complaint with widely issued pistols. Some newer designs have interchangeable back straps, so the user may select the most comfortable. While this may work in Police departments, I doubt it the military, beyond Special Operations Forces, will use this feature. The military has subcontracted for non-Beretta magazines. Some of these are poorly performing, others are just fine.   Aftermarket magazines cannot be blamed on the pistol.  The open slide, used in many very successful designs such as the German P.38, is proven and is not a liability. The same goes for the locking block, many critics illustrate it as failure point, except it rarely if ever fails. No more than any other part in competing designs.

The M9/92FS has served with distinction in the harsh conditions of the War on Terror

Finally, the weak 9mm cartridge, while at its best with hollow point bullet designs, has been successful for over 100 years. The performance of FMJ bullets in any caliber is a matter of wide and heated debate. The number of shots fired by pistols in modern combat is miniscule. Therefore many of the “reports” made by returning combat veterans really are based on perception and not facts derived by use. FEW Soldiers or Marines fire pistols in combat, when it happens, the Beretta M9 performs to the standard. Obviously, the military thinks the same this, and has delayed trials for an M9 replacement by at least another year.

1 comment:

  1. I used to like Beretta M9 semi automatic pistol my whole life. But now my personal favorite is Ruger LCT. Anyways, this review is the most informative I have ever read about Beretta M9. Thanks for writing the review.

    Best Regards,
    MA Gun License