Throwback Thursday: Beretta 92 Maintenance and Spare Parts Checklist

Beretta 92 semi-automatic pistol with a wrist watch and cumberbun

Among the most respected handguns in the free world is the Beretta 92. Offered in several variations, the Beretta 92 9mm is a formidable, combat-proven firearm. The Beretta also offers something the polymer crowd cannot touch — pride of ownership. There is a lot to like about the Beretta 92, including its storied history.

The Beretta 92 is a double-action first-shot pistol. It features a slide-mounted decocker lever. In most models, the decocker lever also acts as a manual safety.

Beretta 92 handgun left profile
The new Beretta 92X is a serious piece of equipment!

The Beretta 92 enjoys an excellent reputation for reliability. For the neophytes, reliability is simply the propensity of a firearm to continue firing with each pull of the trigger. Longevity is another matter. The pistol also has a good reputation for a long service life. There are a couple of concerns with high round count pistols.

I think a lot of the reason the Beretta is no longer as popular in police work is expense. The 92 isn’t the least expensive pistol, so low bid guns are ushered in. Another issue is training time. Training a shooter to use a pistol with a manual safety takes time. Some of the police trade-in pistols exhibit modest finish wear. Many were carried much and fired little. Other agencies have extensive training regimens, and these pistols will likely have more wear. Let’s take a look at the main areas of concern for the Beretta 92.

Beretta 92 Checkpoints


Magazines are the first on the list, because they are a consumable resource. I don’t like having ‘range magazines.’ I prefer having reliable magazines that always work. Otherwise, I may have a problem with the pistol and blame it on a well-used magazine.

Check the magazine to be certain the feed lips are true and not cracked. Check the baseplate for cracks. If the magazine spring seems too weak as the pistol is loaded, scrap the magazine. Replacement magazines from Beretta or MecGar should be used. Disassemble and clean the magazine occasionally.

Wilson Combat recoil spring for the Beretta 92 pistol
This Wilson Combat recoil spring will last many thousands of rounds.

Recoil Springs

Look at the recoil spring. If the pistol snaps too hard with excess recoil firing standard loads, chances are the recoil spring is worn. Some need replacement at 3,500 rounds, while others may last to 5,000. Recoil springs are inexpensive and easily changed. If the pistol is used, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be pro-active and replace the recoil spring. Keep a spare. If the pistol recoils too much or doesn’t snap into battery when the slide is racked, you need another recoil spring. A worn recoil spring is a common source of malfunctions.


I have never had to replace a Beretta extractor. Just the same, it needs a thorough cleaning. Powder ash, grit, and even pieces of brass may build up under the extractor. Cleaning the extractor is all that is usually needed. Unless, a lot of steel case cartridges were used, or the pistol’s slide was continually dropped on a chambered round, the extractor should not be an issue.

Firing Pin, Safety/Decocker

Be certain to clean the firing pin channel. This is a given with all self-loading handguns. Cleaning the firing pin channel is overlooked. Check the decock lever to be certain it drops the hammer as it should. Take a look and ensure the safety rotates properly, and that the wings of the safety prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin as the hammer drops.

Close up of a pistol safety lever
Be certain the safety functions properly.

If you have a problem with the safety, it is usually due to dirt and grime in the safety mechanism. A concern with the Beretta that many overlook is that the Beretta has grip screw washers. This may not be a big deal, but these little washers keep the grips from cracking under grip screw pressure.

Locking Block

Next in line for inspection is the locking block or locking wedge. First used in the Mauser M96, and then famously in the Walther P38, this oscillating wedge is used in the locked-breech Beretta 92 in place of a locking lug. The locking lug sometimes breaks.

Bullet Weight vs. Pressure Related Failures

Interestingly a large gunsmith shop that services pistols all along the Midwest told me that while it did a lot of work with agencies issuing the Beretta, it saw few broken locking blocks. The ones that were all came from an agency issuing the 147-grain load. This means momentum is harder on the part than pressure.

close up of a locking wedge on a pistol barrel
The Beretta locking wedge occasionally needs replacement — be certain to give it an inspection every few months.

An agency issuing the 115-grain +P+ had no issues. Likewise, pistols that break slides seem to be those used with suppressors or heavy loads. Beretta fixed the slide problem decades ago. Beretta also changed the geometry of the locking wedge.

Beretta claims the locking block is good for 22,000 rounds. That is reasonable as the locking wedge was designed to be a replaceable resource in common with a recoil spring. The replacement may be made every 5,000 rounds to stay on top of things.

Beretta’s change to the locking wedge was a benefit to the design. Beretta sells a refresh kit for the Beretta consisting of the recoil spring, Beretta 3rd Generation locking block, locking block plunger, and locking block pin, but I have not seen these in a while.


Field Stripping

Safety first, be certain the chamber isn’t loaded. To field strip the Beretta 92, start by removing the magazine and locking the slide to the rear. Rotate the takedown lever downward and release the slide lock, allowing the slide to run forward. Pull the recoil spring and guide rod out of the slide. This is all that is needed for routine cleaning and maintenance.


The Beretta 92 is a formidable handgun and among the handguns I trust most. Maintenance demands are simple. The pistol field strips easily and is among the most reliable handguns ever made. If you take care of it and train well, it is sure to take care of you.

Are you a Beretta 92 fan or hater? Do you have any other maintenance tips we may have missed? Share your review of the 92 in the comment section.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February of 2022. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and clarity.

  • Field Stripped Wilson Combat Beretta 92 handgun
  • Wilson Combat guide rod for the Beretta 92 semi-automatic handgun
  • Wilson Combat trigger for the Beretta 92 pistol left view
  • Beretta 92 handgun left profile
  • pistol safety and extractor springs
  • Wilson Combat trigger for the Beretta 92 pistol front view
  • Wilson Combat recoil spring for the Beretta 92 pistol
  • Close up of a pistol safety lever
  • Beretta 92 semi-automatic pistol with a wrist watch and cumberbun
  • close up of a locking wedge on a pistol barrel
  • Field Stripped Beretta 92 pistol
  • Beretta 92 handgun right profile

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees 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 (42)

  1. The statement: “The Beretta also offers something the polymer crowd cannot touch — pride of ownership. Is an “egotistical” slap in the face for a whole lot of other firearms makers! Ever heard of Ruger, Smith&Wesson or the best selling pistol the Glock? This statement almost made me not read the article. However, I’m glad I decided to read it. It is well written and full of good advice.

  2. bought my first 92fs in 1981 ($525) when the military picked them up. Bought another one after the first one was stolen. I paid $27 more in 2009 than the first one. not bad. It now identifies as a “9MM wireless hole puncher” in case I have to use it in Amerika, so as to avoid any legal problems.

  3. I own many handguns, and the Berretta 92FS is the most accurate. I carried an M-9 in Afghanistan and that one was also very accurate and always reliable. The only problem I have ever had is that it seems like Army issue and even factory magazines seem to be weak. When I deployed to Afghanistan, I replaced my issue magazines with ones contracted to the Taiwanese Army. The Taiwanese Army magazines had a stiffer spring and were blued with a smooth finish, not the rough parkerized finish of GI magazines. It might seem trivial, but it gave me more comfort and have always worked flawlessly, I only wish I had bought more. Even my son used those same magazines when he deployed to Afghanistan.

  4. I love mine. 92 FS. Italy made. I will never get rid of it. I don’t carry it anymore. I did for a time. It is big, but reliable. I owned a PX4 full size once also. Another great gun. Berettas are well made. Hell they’ve been making firearms for almost 500 years!

  5. Good article. I’m ‘middle of the road’ on the Beretta 92/M9, aka ‘World’s Largest 9mm’. 😉
    I spent a few years working p/t at a LGS/Indoor Range. One of the rental guns was an Italian Beretta 92. It got rented a LOT, and range ammo was most often cheap 115 gr FMJ. Rental guns were all essentially torture tested – they never got cleaned unless they went down. (Not my store, not my business). I was surprised at the number of locking blocks that broke on that gun. No round counts were ever kept, and there were times that getting a replacement block in a timely fashion was problematic.
    I got a deal on a barely used Taurus PT92, a non-decocker model, so enabled to safely be carried ‘cocked and locked’ with the frame-mounted safety.
    It was pressed into service as a loaner for many CC and SD classes a partner and I taught. It’s always run 100% with whatever was put in it, and has been shot quite a bit.
    I’m no Taurus fan – but they have that design down pat.

  6. I carried a 92 for years until I switched to the G19. Got the itch again last year and got a couple early 90s Stainless models and an 84F. I recently cheatedon Beretta and got a Turkish 380 and a stainless Taurus 92. The 380 is a nice shooter but the Taurus has a bad extractor or spring so I ordered a Beretta part to replace it. According to research they’re interchangeable. Parts will be here in a few days. Wish me luck.

  7. I gotta be honest. Mostly great info, but i disagree with the author… go buy a new mag when the springs get weak?? are you FREAKING kidding me? you just talked about taking apart and cleaning the mag periodically… buy a three pack of mag springs at brownells for WAY cheaper than a new mag (even the MecGar mags are pricier than just replacing the springs). Gave me a few thoughts about a couple spares I should probably add for my M9.

  8. The first pistol I bought when legally old enough to purchase from a dealer, was a Beretta 92S that was 40 years ago! I transitioned to a 92F when my agency allowed us to go from revolvers to semi-auto in the late 80’s. This happened after one of our officers was killed and emptied his 6 rounds at the shooter. Having 16 rounds available can make a difference without the reload time of a six-round revolver. I carried that Beretta for the next 15 years. Never gave me a problem, I still carry Beretta’s today, currently own 5. Love the brand and quality. I have other handguns, but my EDC is a Beretta.

  9. My Pietro Beretta 92F was one of the first handguns I ever bought around 25 years ago. Gunsmith client of mine recommended it and boy am I glad he did. It is hard to beat in terms of feel, accuracy and reliability. I recently picked up a 2nd one that is identical, plus had the opportunity to get the “little brother” 84BB in .380. It is the same gun, just shrunk down a bit. Love them all – shoot them all! All made in Italy. Never had a problem with any of them. One of the most reliable handguns every made! If there was only one gun I could have, it would be my Beretta 92F. Like some of the others who commented, I recently picked up a Beretta CX4 Storm in 9mm, so all the magazines are interchangeable – great SHTF bundle – a 92F on each hip plus the CX4 Storm carbine.

  10. Carried the 92FS while I was active duty US Coast Guard. Started with the 1911 45 cal. Then the military went 9mm with be 92FS. I personally prefer the Beretta 92FS. It is an easier and more accurate fire arm. I own a Beretta 92FS. I added a TDI accessory rail and an Olight 800 lumen light and green laser. Made in Italy of course.

  11. The 92FS was my first handgun. I’ve added “a few” more to the safe since then, and the Beretta is still my go-to firearm. From the Beretta family, I’ve added another 92FS, 96, along with a couple 84s and 87. I know a lot of people talk about the weight of the 92FS being too heavy to carry comfortably. This all has to do with your gear, and clothing style. I would say the ease of getting back on target for subsequent shots, and downright reliability regardless of the conditions more than make up for this concern.

    I noticed one previous comment mentioned a Sub-2000 using a Beretta magazine configuration. I have followed the same approach in 9mm, allowing me to have multiple platforms at hand using the same ammo and magazines.

  12. I’ve had a 92D with fixed combat sights for 20 years or so. I originally picked it up to be able to practice for the Marine Corps range in my off time. I found one available at a good price so I went with it on a whim. Being that the D version is double action only I was a bit put off by it at first. The mechanics were different than my M9 service pistol so training with it was not a 1 for 1 comparison. Over the years I have grown to appreciate the 92D. All I have to do is draw, take up the slack of the trigger to a clean break, and repeat. No fumbling with a safety or cocking or decocking a hammer. There is no suprise second shot. You get the same reliable trigger every time. It’s accurate, simple to dissasemble and clean, and ruggedly constructed. I could drop the thing down a flight of stairs pick it up and still hit the target no problem. I also feel safe and confident carrying in condition 1 with the hammer down and no external safety. Like another commenter I have also adapted my sub2000 to take beretta mags. Friends have asked me why I didn’t sell the beretta once I got a G19. Put simply, I am far too familiar with this reliable work horse to ever let it go.

  13. I carried a Beretta 92 for the last 18 years of my career as a police officer. I was also a firearms instructor and a Dept. Armorer. We uses +P+ ammunition for the vast majority of my time there. We had a few locking block failures early on, but after Beretta improved the locking blocks I don’t believe I ever saw another failure. The Beretta 92 served us well.

  14. My favorite handgun, I have 2. My first handgun purchase was the Beretta M9. I bought a second one years later. I bought a Taurus PT92, because it was cheap, and very similar. The only handguns that are more accurate than my M9’s (in my hands) are match grade, which cost a lot more.

  15. I have a mid eighties Beretta M92FC, made in Italy. It’s a beautiful conversation piece although not one of my favorites to shoot. It has a 13 round magazine. It is beautiful to behold. I’ve kept it all these years.

  16. I have a 92s with the Euro heel mag release. I like it as much as my m9 with thumb mag release. So what if it takes a fraction of a second longer to slap another mag home I put the lead thru the target every bloody time and thats what matters most. I clean it every 500 rds or so and after close to 25,000 rds. without a failure except when I used a x&*% 30 rder. which failed to load more than it loaded. Gave it to my nephew who don’t mind the inconvenience. I made him promise to only use it on the range and for target practice and not protection. Did I mention that unlike a Block er, I mean Glock it just looks GOOD!

  17. I’d like to point out that the military mag failures were do to DOD buying cheap Checkmate mags that did NOT meet Mil Spec. When DOD went back to Beretta and MecGar (under contract with Beretta) the mag problems ceased.

    I have a full size 92D (their double action only) for concealed carry (I’m a big boy, very big lol) and with the Beretta IWB Holster it’s surprisingly comfortable whether walking or sitting in the car. I’ve had FS and M9 before but prefer not messing with decockers and safeties for a life threatening situation. I also prefer no hammer tail to get caught drawing and the same weight trigger pull every shot.

    Mine’s very accurate. Even grouped nice when fired in rapid succession as might be needed to save my life

  18. I have a 92G & have no complaints whatsoever with it, never had a problem with it mechanically. I actually bought it after the first “Lethal Weapon” movie came out(1987). So I bought it late 80’s to early 90’s. The G model is a de-cocker only & not a safety, which I personally prefer. It’s not the only gun I bought after a movie came out & made a gun famous. I bought a S&W Mod. 29, 44 mag. after Clint Eastwood & Dirty Harry, long before my model 92.

  19. I like the M92. I’m not sure the new M17 is any better or worth the hassle of replacing the Beretta. The M92s I have tested were disappointing in the accuracy department. 5″ groups at 25 yds were the norm. I have a SIG P320 in the box but haven’t tested it for accuracy yet. Another problem with the 92 is installing a front night sight: You must mill off the factory sight and cut a 1/4″ dovetail groove from front to back, not perpendicular (side to-side) to the slide like a conventional dovetail. I have also experienced a warped right grip panel on an M92. That panel holds the trigger bar in place and caused a malfunction. All in all I still think it’s a good gun and I would carry one with confidence if my Glock ever has a problem. God bless and stay safe.

  20. As a retired USAF Security Forces Combat Arms Instructor I can remember when we got the M9 brand new to replace the SW M15 .38 Cal Revolvers. I’ve also shot them when we had the slide issues and had one break on me. We got the kits and replaced the parts on each M9 assigned. After thousands and thousands of 9mm ball down range I can say I am very comfortable with the M9. Very reliable. I do not own one but after reading this article I may look into getting a used one and doctor it up some.

  21. I’ve had a 92FS for quite a number of years, and have put quite a few rounds through it. The best thing I ever did was put some Hogue grips on it, it was comfortable before, now is feels like part of my hand! Love this gun!!!

  22. I have a 92FS – great gun!
    The only problem that I’ve had was after shooting 200 rounds of Monarch brand ammo, the gun would jam so I stopped buying that ammo and the problem went away. Though, it’s not as accurate as the H&K.

  23. I picked up a Beretta 92S that was a used police issue gun from Europe and I absolutely love the feel of it in my hand. It’s rugged and a great shooter. Only downside with the 92S is it has a low grip mag release

  24. I have a M9 and a 92FS. The parts are interchangeable yet one’s made in SC and the other in Italy. I got the .22 conversion kit and it works great to permit cheap target practice.

  25. I have a Berreta 92FS, a type M Compact (single stack, 8 round), and had the Vertec. I have to say the 92FS is the most accurate of my semi-automatic handguns which includes a Glock 17, and Kimber 1911; in fact, the 92FS issued to me that I carried in Afghanistan was also extremely accurate, maybe I just shoot better with it. I carry the type M Compact daily with a spare magazine, giving me 17 rounds in a very manageable package with its 4″ barrel.

  26. I picked up my 92 (I say 92, not M9 because when I purchased the weapon, the US had yet to make its formal decision on the weapon to replace the 1911). Yes, I am that old. That weapon rode in my survival vest for 20 years, was fired frequently, and while I can’t say it ever went through a formal desert torture test, I can tell you that over the years it was exposed to more ocean-going salt spray that Popeye the Sailor Man and has never failed to function. The weapon is still a frequent and flawless performer at the range, and despite my owning any number of more modern weapons is still my go-to when it comes to home defense. With normal periodic maintenance I anticipate my grandsons will someday take the weapon to the range and enjoy shooting it as much as I have.
    Yes, the Beretta 92 was a tad more expensive that the other wonder 9’s of its era, but you get what you pay for. If a weapon says “Made in Gardone V.T.” on the slide, buy it. You won’t be sorry!

  27. I bought a 92FS from a friend who didn’t like it. He only fired it about 100 rds. It has been the BEST used firearm I have ever owned (out of 25 or so).

    I came across a used “Police trade in” 96 complete upper in .40SW. It differs from the 92 in the fact that the safety on the 96 is a de-cocker ONLY. Otherwise they are identical in form and function.

    So in a matter of 10 seconds at the range I can change from 9MM to 40SW by just changing the slide and swapping to the correct magazines.

    RD count is down by a few in the 40SW mags VS the 9MM mags, but I love the versatility.

    I love the beretta so much when I bought my Kel-Tec Sub 2000 I ordered it to use Beretta mags in .40SW caliber.

    Both now sit in a Pelican Case with 1000 RDS and Dozens of mags as a SHTF combo.

  28. The Beretta 92FS was the first pistol I ever bought . Mine is the stainless Enox. Hard to find myself working my way up to a better gun when you start with one of the best. Wilson combat has a lot of parts for it too.

    I put a factory Target rear sight on it , a skeleton hammer , a beveled mag feed lip , and of course , the Wilson combat performance spring kit.

    Not that any of the above changes needed to be made , but wow , anyone that shoots it at the range is totally impressed. Also I don’t think I’ll ever own a Glock

  29. I bought the Girsan 92, $300 cheaper than even a used 92. The locking wedge is different and the rest of the weapon is the same as a Beretta. So the Army in its tireless wisdom gave me all the spare parts I can need for combat in Afstan…and would take them back upon return to the world. Also my Army Issued weapon had a plastic rod…my Girsan is machined aluminum. Regardless, I love the model and will always be looking for a deal…also all my mags also fit my Charles Daly PAK9…so one bullet fits my 92, PAK9 and my derringer backup! I have 30 n 32 round mags that fir both!!! So pleased!

  30. I am a fan of the 92FS. Have had one in stainless for 25 years and another blued version for 20. They just fit my hand perfectly and are accurate out of the box. I’ve run several thousand rounds through both with zero issues. Wilson Combat makes some nice upgrades for this particular gun.

    One thing that I would add to this excellent article is some advice if you go beyond basic field-strip type maintenance to replacing/upgrading internal parts:

    1- order extra extractor springs and firing pin springs. Replacing them is one of those “need 3 hands” jobs and you are guaranteed to have some fly off during repair/upgrades; or
    2- get a plastic bag big enough to hold the pistol and both of your hands and perform the spring work inside the bag so that when that little spring invariably flies off, it stays in the bag; or
    3- both 1 & 2

  31. I’ve had a 92FS for close to 20years, never had any issues. I have used ot in competition shooting. Most the time I get made fun of, until I smoke everyone with it. It has never let me down, is the most reliable weapon I have ever owned. Still looks brand new. Thousands of rounds fired through it. I love my Beretta.

  32. I bought my first 92 18 years ago, always wanted one, and when I went to purchase it, they had a Border Marshall edition which caught my eye. It’s basically a 92fs that says Border Marshall in white script on the slide, and comes with factory nights sights.
    The didn’t make many of them, and from my research, it’s not worth much more than a regular 92. I love it for several reasons. Shoots great, very accurate, super reliable, and there’s the cool factor of the Border Marshall edition. Most people have never seen one. I recently bought 2 Metgar flush fit 18 round magazines which are great. One in the gun and one in the mag pouch gives me 36 rounds readily available. Love that one so much that I recently bought a Wilson Combat 92. I was very fortunate to even find one. I actually found 2 for sale. One brand new, never fired, the other, test fired and put away in a safe. I opted for that one because it was $1000.00 less than the brand new one. When I received it, it was as described. Might as well have been brand new. Took both 92’s to the range, test fired side by side. As accurate as the Border Marshall is, the Wilson Combat is noticeably even more accurate. Same shooter, same loads, more accurate. I feel like I got what I paid for. Also, there’s the cool factor with the Wilson Combat too. I love them both and strongly recommend any 92 model. I feel the same about a 92 as I do about a 1911, everybody ought to own at least one of each!

  33. Just purchased a used model 92D
    My son and I put 100 rounds each through it with no issues what so ever
    We used 115 grain blazer aguilla and winchester
    Really like this gun
    Has a nice feel to it

  34. i wasn’t a fan of the Berretta until deployed to Iraq in 04/-05. carried it 24/7. only problem was the mag springs. with a loded mag they were only good for a week or so then wnet soft. Wolf springs were impossible to obtain. so just rotated mags every few days or so. had to strech them out constantly. got back to states and after several years bought an talian version with heal release. mags a little hard to find but i have accumulated about a doz. springs seem more firm than the US models

  35. I have owned a 92FS for several years. It is so well made, easy to care for. I like my Glock just a little better, but if this was my only choice for carry I would be fine with it.

  36. I was fortunate enough to pick up a 25th Anniversary M9, which is a Beretta 92. It is one of our favorite guns for range shooting. It’s a big gun for a daily carry pistol, but with the right belt and holster can be carried safely and will give you confidence. If you’re a fan of the model you might look at the Girsan Regard, which is a Turkish made clone and which is very well made and accented.

  37. My 9 mm Beretta 92 is one of my favorite handguns. For me, the hand grip fits my hand better and more comfortably than all other handguns and the mechanical function has been flawless.

  38. Great article! Can be applied to ALL firearms, not just this one. Magazines, few know magazine brushes are available for deep cleaning/lubricating magazines, and like this article informs, many function failures are due to poorly maintained magazines, instead of ammo. For those Glock lovers, there is a tool called the Mag Popper (around $20), which is the only tool I have found that will open a Glock 44 magazine without damaging it, and the upper end model includes the Glock front sight wrench, as well as the Glock tool. PARTS: A note to the wise: With ammo being scarce, primers and powder being non existent, it is only logical that parts are next. STOCK UP NOW!

  39. Well mine is a Wilson combat 96A1 and I love it. It handles like a dream and the snappy reputation of the .40 is nowhere to be found in the 96. I replaced the sights with XS big dot set and I’m quicker on target with the big dot than with the SRO on my G23. The Beretta 92/96 is a great platform, naysayers be damned.

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