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Beretta 92X Full Size Pistol – J92FR921– REVIEW: Beretta 92FS Semi Auto pistol
By FRED TOAST FROM gunsdiscreetsupplies.com
Back about a million years ago, after graduating college, I decided I needed a handgun. At the same time, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about guns and shooting. However, I had seen Lethal Weapon and I liked the gun Riggs carried: the Beretta 92FS.
I especially liked the Christmas tree scene early in the Lethal Weapon movie. You know the one: “That’s a real badge, I’m a real cop and this is a real [effin’] gun.”
Yes, the good old Beretta 92. Fifteen-round magazines. Double-action trigger. Good enough for the military to adopt – they called in the M9, of course. Even a number of police agencies including LAPD adopted it as well.
Clearly, Martin Riggs used it without complaint. Not only that, but I especially liked how Riggs couldn’t miss, right? Even when the muzzle didn’t point at the targets he perforated. (And I kind of liked how it didn’t recoil too!) After all, the clowns on the A-Team couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn (from the inside) with their Mini-14s.
With all this stuff going for the Beretta 92, it seemed like the perfect choice for this 22-year-old just out of college.
Looking back, I wasted a lot of time, money and ammunition trying to self-learn how to shoot that gun well. A few years later, I enrolled in Mas Ayoob‘s then-Lethal Force Institute I class as my first formal training. (Today the same course is known as“MAG-40”.) I soaked up the attention of Ayoob, Robert Houzenga and Andy Kemp. Believe me, I needed plenty as I didn’t know jack. Beretta 92X Full Size Pistol – J92FR921
In the end, I shot a 299 out of 300 on the final qualification. Good enough for third place out of probably 30 or 40 serious shooters and a few newbies like me. Frankly, I came out of that class shooting better support-handed than I went in shooting with my strong hand. And I also met some outstanding people including a few I call friends to this day.
As much as I like Beretta as a company, I don’t recommend Beretta 92FS to folks. Unless people want a big, bulky, relatively heavy gun with a double-action trigger that’s tough for beginners to shoot well.
The gun does have its utility, though. I learned that double-action trigger pull at LFI and that skill has served me well. If a person can master that long, double-action trigger in a Beretta 92, he or she can shoot about any handgun well.
In fact, Massad Ayoob “rode the trigger” with me to show me how to shoot that challenging first shot in a Beretta 92FS. Riding the trigger with new shooters has helped me watch countless kids and adults experience that “a-ha!” moment.
Seeing their faces light up makes my time teaching all worthwhile. Yes, folks, once you have the fundamentals of stance, grip and sight-picture out of the way, 90% of making good hits has to do with good trigger control.
In the end, I have lost more than a couple of Beretta 92s to tragic boating accidents. And if you sneak a peek into my nightstand, you’ll find a Beretta 92FS all snuggled up next to a tactical flashlight, extra magazines (loaded with Winchester Ranger 124gr JHPs), extra M1 carbine magazines (loaded with Hornady Critical Defense), a few loose shotgun shells (mostly reduced recoil 00-buck) and some electronic ear muffs.
Yes, I have owned or shot a lot of different handgun brands and models over the years, yet my first handgun purchase still resides in the nightstand for the time being. Beretta 92X Full Size Pistol – J92FR921
At least until the twins start crawling, then it’ll have to go elsewhere.
The Beretta 92FS – Review of a Classic Firearm
By THOMAS MIX FROM gunsdiscreetsupplies.com
Ever since the US military chose it as the new standard-issue pistol, the Beretta 92FS became a classic. It’s not only a favorite of military and law enforcement pros, but it’s starred in many movies, television shows and video games.
In a northern Italian valley known for rich veins of iron ore, the Beretta Forge landed it’s first contract to make gun barrels. It was October 3, 1526, and Bartolomeo Beretta agreed to make 185 barrels for 296 ducats.
Fast forward to the 1980s. The US military’s surplus of the M1911 pistol had dwindled. They had issued the .45 caliber single-action semi automatic pistol since before World War I.
Because of the looming threat of war with the Soviet Union, the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation(NATO) needed to standardize munitions for logistical purposes. They chose 9mm for pistols and submachine guns.
The time had come to replace the M1911 with a newer design.
It had to be durable.
I had to be reliable.
It had to be accurate.
And most of all, it needed a heap of safety features.
They sent out a call to compete for the contract. Beretta and 8 other gun makers answered. In 1985, the newest configuration of the Beretta 92 won the contest.
The military version of the Beretta 92FS is called the M9 pistol. Beretta’s factory in Gallatin, Tennessee produces the M9. Beretta makes the civilian 92FS model in Italy.
Here’s what the 92FS/M9 offers:
Double/single action semi-automatic.
4.9” (125mm) barrel.
2 15-round magazines.
5.4” (137mm) height.
8.5” (217mm) length.
1.5” (38mm) width.
6.1” (155mm) sight radius.
33.3 oz (945 grams) unloaded weight.
Beretta 92FS Durability
The Beretta 92FS has survived some of the harshest elements:
Exposed to temperatures from -40ºF to 140ºF.
Soaked in saltwater.
Dropped repeatedly on concrete.
Buried in sand, mud, and snow.
Source: Alex Zidock in Popular Mechanics, December 1983, p41.
It’s made to last. The 92FS tested at 35,000 mean rounds before failure (MRBF).
The inside of the barrel has a chrome lining which reduces wear and resists corrosion.
The 92FS has Beretta’s trademark Bruniton finish. It resists rust better than traditional blueing. The 92FS Inox comes in a chrome finish. Beretta 92X Full Size Pistol – J92FR921
Beretta 92FS Safety
There arose a controversy over safety while carrying the M1911. The best combat-ready condition was Condition One:
A round in the chamber.
Thumb safety on.
A lot of people worried about soldiers and police officers carrying a cocked gun.
There was not any real risk of accidental discharge. The M1911 had two safeties:
Thumb safety – a lever that locks the slide and hammer.
Grip safety – a lever on the backstrap which the firing hand presses in while gripping the gun. The gun won’t fire if the grip safety isn’t pressed.
Some tried carrying in Condition Two:
A round in the chamber.
Thumb safety on.
Condition Two had one major problem. With the hammer uncocked and a chambered round, the firing pin comes in contact with the round’s primer. A sharp impact to the gun, such as dropping it on concrete, could cause it to fire.
Many users carried in Condition Three.
Thumb safety on.
The trouble with Condition Three was the need to rack the slide, that is, pull it towards the rear, before shooting. And it takes a couple of seconds, which is a lot in a confrontation. Beretta 92X Full Size Pistol – J92FR921
Since the Beretta 92FS is a double/single-action semi-automatic, you can carry with a round in the chamber and safety on. You fire the first round in double action. In other words, you pull the trigger to both cock and fire the gun in one movement. During recoil, the slide cocks the hammer, and you fire the following rounds in single action.
It has an ambidextrous safety lever. Whether you‘re left-handed or right, it’s easy to turn the safety on or off with a slight thumb movement. When you engage the safety, it also uncocks the gun. It places a barrier between the firing pin and the cartridge. The hammer falls without firing a round.
Some shooters complain about the safety on the 92FS.
It’s not needed. The Beretta 92FS is a double-action/single-action handgun. When it’s not cocked, it’s in double-action mode. It takes about twice the pressure on the trigger as single-action. There’s no real risk of accidental discharge.
If you have small hands, it’s difficult to operate.
It’s easy to forget to release the safety. You can overcome this with practice.
You can get an aftermarket kit to convert the FS to a G configuration. That is, the safety/decocking lever becomes a decocking lever only.
Another safety feature you’ll find on the 92FS is the red loaded chamber indicator. A chambered round pushes up the red marker on the slide. When the chamber is empty, the marker drops down.
It also has an external hammer so you can tell at a glance if the gun is cocked.
Beretta 92FS Accuracy
At 50 meters (about 55 yards), a skilled shooter will get a shot grouping of less than 3” – that beats the military accuracy standards.
The 92FS comes with fixed tactical three-dot sights. They make it easy to get a bead on your target. Line up the two dots on the rear sight with the single dot on the front. Get a sight picture where your target sits on top of the three dots.
A drawback to the three dot sights is that it’s hard to get a good sight picture in the dark. Fortunately, you can get aftermarket night sights, and it’s housing design lets you easily install a laser.
Beretta 92FS Reliability
Model 92 Berettas feature the open slide design. This helps prevent “stove-piping,” the malfunction where a spent casing gets stuck in the ejection port. It also makes it easy to inspect the chamber. Beretta 92X Full Size Pistol – J92FR921
The US Navy Seals field tested Beretta model 92 handguns in the 1970s. They suggested that the trigger guard should have a more oblong shape. The Beretta company took that feedback and designed an ergonomic tactical trigger guard that allows easy movement of the trigger finger and provides good support in one-handed shooting.
The 92FS is designed for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. It has a reversible magazine release so you can set up for left-handed magazine drop with no need for a gunsmith.
The disassembly latch makes cleaning and maintenance easy. No tools needed. Pull back the slide and release the lever. Then separate the slide from the frame. Now you have access to the gun’s working parts.
A new Beretta 92FS comes with two 15-round magazines. You can get aftermarket magazines for the 92FS with up to 30 rounds capacity.
The Beretta 92FS is not very expensive. Its retail price is about $600.
Some say that the Beretta 92FS is too large for concealed carry. You’ll have to wear clothing that won’t show a bulge – difficult in hot weather. But a lot of owners say they’ve carried it inside the waistband for years without any problem.
There are a ton of aftermarket upgrades and accessories for the 92FS. You can add a laser, night sights, a suppressor (if it’s legal in your state) … all kinds of stuff. Beretta 92X Full Size Pistol – J92FR921
It’s true that the US Military recently awarded the contract to Sig Sauer for the P320 to replace the Beretta. But after more than 30 years as the choice for military and police professionals, we can expect its popularity to continue.
Do you own a Beretta 92FS? Need a gift idea for a 92FS owner?