The 92fs, An Iconic Classic
Let's start with a little history.
Since it's introduction as the "92" in 1975, where it shattered the world's standards as a multi-purpose firearm, Beretta's most popular series of pistol has been used by over 44 nations in varying degrees of use. It's traveled from the hands of domestic police all over the world to some of the world's harshest combat situations.
Through over 6 different variations and modernizations, as well as countless styles, the 92 series pistols have indeed been there, and done that.
Love it, or hate it.
The 92fs is an absolute icon. Regarded by some as the first true refinement of the earlier 92 series pistols, this firearm is currently in use all over the globe with several variations.
It's a firearm that is praised by some and loathed by others. It's revered for its impeccably smooth first round double-action pull and ease of use, but chastised for being finicky about ammo and having some reliability issues, depending on the environment.
Now, I've been through countless semi-automatic pistols, bought and sold over the last few years. I can say without a doubt that this is one of my favorite pistols.
Personally, I have owned a 92fs/m9a1 for almost a year now where it has resided as a main-stay in my personal arsenal. When I first purchased it, I was hesitant to trust it against some of the previous pistols that I've owned and resold. I was looking for a firearm that I could not only rely on, but also enjoy shooting. I found one in the M9A1.
I truly cannot express how much I enjoy this pistol. Having a full-metal frame; it uses aircraft grade aluminum alloys to keep the weight down, yet it's heavy enough to feel like you're holding a man's gun. I've shot plenty of Glocks in various calibers, none of which can give me the same "ZING" as this Beretta. I've always chosen metal framed pistols over their polymer colleagues though both have their pros and cons. I've easily put at least 1000 rounds through mine, and only ever experienced malfunctions when using the cheapest aluminum cased rounds I could find.
The first round trigger pull in double action, mentioned previously, is impeccably smooth. Weighing in at roughly 13lbs, though heavy, the pull is relatively consistent and the break is quite predictable.
The single action trigger pull (roughly 5lbs) is more than satisfying compared to other standard semi-automatics and the reset is incredibly crisp, with a distinct "CLICK" that can be both felt and heard when the trigger comes back into battery. Even through it's lightweight design follow up shots are a breeze. Muzzle flip is quite controllable and the sights are easily acquired.
To my surprise, it consistently ejects to the right, unlike other open-top style pistols like the P38 and the Desert Eagle. Both have a tendency to fling brass directly up and skip casings off the user. I once had a spent casing from my Walther P1 drop directly onto the bridge of my nose and my eye-pro, a distraction to say the least. It's nice not to have to worry about such an issue with the Beretta models.
The 92fs is also wonderfully accurate in my experience. I've heard and read complaints from others that they are not satisfied with it, but I have no gripes with it. I can shoot quarters off the corners of paper targets at 10 yards with relative ease.
Featuring an ambidextrous safety/de-cocker, this as a carry pistol, definitely gives the user peace-of-mind. The firing pin is in two parts. When the safety is activated, it turns the first section of the pin at an angle so that it cannot be physically struck by the hammer, simultaneously taking it out of battery. Though mounted on the slide, which has proven to have less lifetime reliability than that of frame mounted safeties (such as the one on the Taurus PT92). I've yet to hear any horror stories of safety failure.
Given the safety's position, however, it does prove to be a little more difficult to activate and deactivate than if it were mounted on the frame, especially for someone with smaller hands. Also, I would've chosen to have the safety activate when flipped up, rather than down. That way when preparing to fire, the safety is more easily manipulated. Seems to make more sense to be able to engage a target faster, than be able to disarm your weapon faster.
My final summation:
The 92fs is an absolutely wonderful firearm. Whether you're Military, LEO or simply a citizen exercising his or her right to protect themselves, the 92fs really doesn't leave much to be desired. With its reliability, ease of use, iconic aesthetics, and countless accessories and modifications, there's a reason this is such a cult-classic. I predict I'll be keeping mine for many years to come. It's a solid 9/10 in my book. It would easily be one of my favorite firearms of all time if Beretta would make up their minds on the placement, use, and manipulation of their slide mounted safety design.
For anyone interested in buying a reliably solid, enjoyable pistol, you can trust this Beretta to be around longer than you will. For me, the 92fs is an easy choice.