Art of the Gun: Beretta 92 Series M9

Classic, black metal-framed Beretta M9 9mm handgun

I would be remiss not to feature the Beretta 92 series as an Art of the Gun. Just about every movie ever features the models in the 92 series. Issued to most U.S. military service members since 1985, Beretta 92s ship to every corner of the Earth. It isn’t hard to see why: with that classic Italian sense of style, interchangeable parts, and a large capacity of 9mm, the Beretta 92 is a handgun for the masses.

The Beretta 92 is like a fine Italian suit. With its slick black coating, smooth lines that seem to ooze class, and contours that fit your hand like a nice Armani jacket fits your torso, every inch of the Beretta 92 seems designed for style. However, it isn’t just a pretty gun for those wanting to match their carry weapon to their new Ferragamo accessories. Put through rigorous military testing in the 1980s, the Beretta 92 passed the trials and entered into service as the M9. The Beretta M9 replaced the M1911 as the standard issue sidearm in 1985, and only a few special branches have chosen different sidearms.  Often imitated, but never duplicated, this “Wonder 9” has been in production for nearly 40 years, and it doesn’t seem like it is going to out of style any time soon. Though it has its issues (what firearm doesn’t?), the Beretta 92 wouldn’t have become so popular and still be so ubiquitous today if it didn’t have something right going for it.

If you’d like to read more about the Beretta 92 series, check out these other articles:

Firearm of the Week, The Beretta 92 Series, Pistol 9mm M9, the One with MOJO

In Defense of the Beretta 92

Old Reliable: The Beretta 92

Beretta 92 FAQ

Let’s hear from you: Have you ever owned a Beretta 92 series? What are your thoughts on it?

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. I qualified EXPERT with the 1911 as an US Army MP. After discharge I bought a PPKS (9mm/380) ( AKA Jimmys’ gun) from an LEO 40 years ago when he decided to get the 357 Ruger Security Six Bicentential for his off-duty carry. It was my night stand gun but purchased a Beretta Jaguar 22LR for fun and practice. I always liked the Berettas’ feel better than the PPKS. Two years ago while visiting my son, we went to an indoor range, and I brought along both the PPKS and the 22, and he brought his Beretta 92 A1 (9mm) . After he out scored me on our first targets (I hadn’t practiced in years) he suggested I try his Beretta. I loaded it with 6 rounds, took my stance, suddenly I was back in my 20’s, in uniform, and looking down the sights of a handgun that fit me. All 6 were in the X and 10 ring. My Son (a little red-faced) claimed it was luck, so changed the target and reloaded with the max (17 rounds) and blew out the center so that it was impossible to actually count the holes. My son jokingly made the comment that he would from than on always ring my door bell and wait for me to answer the door when coming to visit me. After we finished our time shooting we went upstairs and I marched over to the gun counter and purchased my own 92A1 and about 500 rounds. As far as this old soldier is concerned the 92 is the best handgun made and has claimed it’s RIGHTFUL place in my nightstand.

  2. I have a Taurus PT 92 AFS in nickle that i bought at a gun show for $250 just before the gun panic. These are made in the old Beretta factory on the Beretta machines with the Beretta employees in the old Brazil factory sold to Taurus when Beretta was forced to produce their 92’s in the US. for US Army supply. Taurus has changed it a bit over the years but it is still very much the original Beretta design. It is a big, heavy handful, for sure, heavier than any polymer .45 but with a rail and 17 rounds, 9mm double stack, and almost seven inches of sight radius it is a formidable night stand weapon.
    I’ve fired a few hundred rounds, never with a problem that I didn’t cause. I found out you can’t limp-wrist it. I’ve never fired a Beretta 92, I just wonder if there is any real difference. My Taurus works very well. wonder if

  3. I have to agree with G-man. This pistol is a bit big for folks with small to medium sixed hands. Although I’ve never used a model 92, I was forced to carry a model 96 Brigadier in .40 for years and I always felt it was an oversized hogleg, especially with my smaller hands. Very accurate in .40 caliber though. I have fired the 92 once and discovered it was a very accurate weapon in 9mm and it’s recovery in this caliber was good.

  4. The Beretta model 92 should be a good pistol, in my opinion, it is a modern version of Walther’s P-38. I have a wartime P-38 and I love it. It only has a single stack magazine, but, it shoots very well.

  5. As my service pistol, I always fired expert marksman with this gun; but I have to admit I really hated its uncomfortably large size in my medium sized hands.

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