The 92fs, An Iconic Classic

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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May 23, 2016  •  10:00 AM
I carried 92 for several years in law enforcement. I agree with everything said above.

It's definitely one of the "Gold standards."
May 25, 2016  •  01:26 PM
@locutus Glad you enjoyed the article.
You'll be seeing more from me!
-Chris Zamora
June 2, 2016  •  04:44 PM
The only thing I don't like about my 92FS is that I shoot it better than my 1911. They are great guns.
June 7, 2016  •  09:19 AM
@locutus I carried a Smith and Wesson Mod 36 for 5 years before our Dept switched to the Beretta 92F. Carried that for another 23 years before I retired. I love that gun. I was able to purchase it for $375 when I Retired. Never had any failure to feed or failure to fires. I still use it for HR218 qualification.
June 12, 2016  •  12:41 AM
When I retired from the National Guard, my retirement gift to myself was an M9. I loved it when I carried it, and had confidence in it to do its job if I did mine.
June 20, 2016  •  11:16 AM
Some may think I am crazy, but I think that the Beretta's 92/96 models are the sexiest pistols out their, might even be tied with a 1911, for looks. I have never owned one, but I can tell you that when I go gun "window" shopping, I always find myself stopping at the Beretta section looking a little longer.
July 10, 2016  •  12:09 PM
Carried in Iraq three tours and Afghanistan never let me down. Nuff said reliable and solid
July 11, 2016  •  04:22 PM
chris i see you too went to the houge wrap around finger
grips on your m9a1,did the same to mine after i purchased
it,didnt like the plastic grips on the one i had in the
gaurd,we were the last gaurd unit to switch to the m9 fr
om our 1911a1's,but since i have both in my gun vault my
personal ccw is still my 1911a1 in 38super,good article
July 18, 2016  •  10:28 PM
Hey thanks for the support man.
Yes I did. I found the hogue wrap arounds to be wonderfully comfortable.
I did appreciate the stock grips for their thinness but the hogues were just too comfortable to pass up.
September 18, 2016  •  05:25 PM
Respectfully disagree w Euro style Up safety being faster than the Down of the 1911 platform. If John Moses Browning thought up was better, he would have designed it that way.
January 1, 2017  •  01:09 PM
w/ good oem mags, it feed anything. heavy for 15 rds. but like the 1911, heavy enough to be used as a club to beat an enemy down. ref the safety, deep research will show that the slide safety was a modification by/for the military, as is the mag release location. does not require as much cleaning care as a new unbroken in 1911, but a Sig 226 and Glock new "required" any real attention to detail cleaning. I had my jsoc US&S tuned 1911 physically taken from me by the armory 2d Lt and given an M9. haveing carried the 1911, 226 and G17 on several occasions and NEVER had any problems. carried the M9 in the sand box and had several problems with the action and the trigger bar spring. next trip i swapped the M9 mag base(s) for the flat Sig base plates and no one ever noticed it was Sig 226. never had any more problems in sand & water. last use in somalia, the first 3 rds were issue ball, then corborn 115 +p(+) (+p+ was not a recognized at the time) even with my 1911, shooting people required a clear front sight and shot placement. all that said, I have SEVERAL M9s around, it is not my goto gun, performed a trigger jon and replaced the trigger & hammer spring.. but kept clean and ready i know they will perform if needed. Beretta did make a collector grade M92 with the original safety location.