The Best of the Beretta 92

Classic, black metal-framed Beretta M9 9mm handgun

There are plenty of guns deserving of the descriptions, iconic, prolific, classic and timeless. Some are iconic because of their
romantic notoriety, such as the Tommy Gun. Others are timeless and classic because of the length of time they have been in production and the frequency we see them in the movies and TV shows, such as the 1911 and AR-15. Some firearms are prolific due to the sheer volume of production like the AK-47. However, few firearms are justifiably described using all those words. The Beretta 92/M9 is one of those very few firearms.

Design on the Beretta 92 (M9) started in 1970 with Beretta designers Pier Carlo Beretta, Vittorio Valle and Giuseppe Mazzetti. The group utilized Beretta innovations from successful pistols in the past such as the straight feed—no feed ramp between the magazine and chamber—and double-stack, high capacity magazine of the Model 84, as well as borrowing from the locking block barrel design of the Walther.

Early military adoptions came from the Italian Navy and Brazilian Army shortly after the Beretta 92 was presented in 1975. The Beretta 92 operates double/single-action with an open slide and short recoil delayed locking system. It proves itself year after year, meeting our militaries’ strict requirements. Test after test shows the Beretta M9 will shoot 10-shot groups of 3 inches or less from 55 yards. Currently, the Beretta 92 is available in four configurations and four calibers.

Over one-million Beretta M9s have been contracted to international military and police forces. At last count, in 2012, Beretta produced over 600,000 Beretta 92 handguns for the U.S. military.

1911 purists are not happy about it, but the Beretta 92 is as iconic, classic, timeless and prolific as they come.

The following six articles are the Shooter’s Log best of the best stories on the Beretta 92.

Art of the Gun: Beretta 92 Series M9

The art of the gun is more about the aesthetics, rather than functionality of the gun—gun porn if you will—and the Beretta 92 is “like a fine Italian suit.” In this post, you will find a short history of the pistol, but most importantly, eight professionally taken photographs of the Beretta 92 in different configurations and finishes—many of them owned by Cheaper Than Dirt! staffers. Save the images straight to your computer or mobile device and lust after the beauty of this piece whenever you want.

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

It all started in 1979 when the Joint Service Small Arms Program began searching for a new side arm to replace the 1911. Since the first model, the Beretta 92SB, the gun has gone through a few modifications and versions in its 20-plus-year military history. Find out some of the Beretta M9’s history and why one law enforcement officer chooses this particular piece in our weekly firearm of the week homage to the Beretta 92.

In Defense of the Beretta 92

It is hard to argue a pistol that has served our country for 20 years. Though many have tried to compete, our military keeps choosing the Beretta M9 for its general-issued side arm. Undoubtedly, 1911 fans and purists will argue this choice, but gun writer, Mike Branson makes a strong argument for the Beretta 92. Try reading, “In Defense of the Beretta 92” without being slightly convinced.

Old Reliable: The Beretta 92

Gun writer, competitor and Top Shot competitor Caleb Giddings states his case why the Beretta 92 is a viable contender if you are looking for a metal-framed, double/single-action pistol. You might just be surprised how well this gun could suit you after reading this piece, “Old Reliable: The Beretta 92.”

Beretta 92 FAQ

The Beretta 92 is such a popular firearm it has its own FAQ page! If you have questions—we have answers! This post lists 13 of the most common questions we receive about the Beretta 92. If you have read stories about fatal malfunctions, we clear those up, as well as addressing what parts are compatible, which ammo to use and how to mount accessories.

SHOT 2015—Beretta M9A3

Even though the military rejected Beretta’s latest modifications, upgrades and improvements to the M9 does not mean civilians cannot appreciate the new model. As we glimpse into the future in this article, this short story gives you a run down of what is to come for the Beretta M9/92… and a lot of us can’t wait!

Do you own a Beretta 92? If you had to defend it against a die-hard 1911 owner, what you would say? Tell us in the comment section.


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 (19)

  1. Having fired both pistols extensively under various conditions, I can say without reservation that through 92fs is a DECIDEDLY superior pistol to a 1911. Admittedly, a bit of personal prejudugicell is involved here. The 1911, for me, is ergonomically horrible. Whereas the Beretta fits my hand perfectly. I’very had more than a few 1911s fail me mostly because my hand is of such a size and shape that unless an extended grip safety is installed, I do not fully depress it. I consider the concept of a grip safety to be a brilliant solution in search of a problem, anyway. Just one mans opinion. For a man with large hands, the Beretta is the way to go. The 1911 has a great track record, to be sure. It just doesn’t work for me. If the Beretta didn’t exist, I’d still be a revolver guy! Ruger GP100 or Smith 686 of course! Thank you Beretta for 490 years of great guns!

  2. I love my 92fs it’s easy to use clean and maintain. I also love my 1911 great to shoot but it’s a pain to clean! I’m glad I have them both and I would buy more of them.

  3. Berretta is the maker of the finest weapons available. I cannot wait to be able to purchase the M9A3, and would appreciate being notified when they become available to the public.

  4. I deployed to Afghanistan in ’06 -’07 as part of an infantry unit. My MOS at the time was 91W, field medic. That particular pistol saved my ass countless times.

  5. After it replaced the S&W Combat Masterpiece M-15, I carried the M-9 the remainder of a 20+ career in a military combat field. In peacetime, conflict and war, I trusted my life to it. I trusted it to protect my Comrades In Arms. I trusted it to protect the Citizenry of this Country. I trusted it to defeat any foe in every part of the world, desert or jungle. It fired everytime. Wet, dirty, muddy, snow, or sand filled…regardless of the climate, never a malfunction. It NEVER let me down!

  6. I am sitting on a new Brigadier by Wilson Combat, with both the SRT and Magwell upgrades. Beautiful gun. From reading about Beretta (I have owned a PX4, great shooter), I know I ought to keep it. However, I also have several custom CZ pistols as well as modified DA/SA Sigs. I am trying to convince myself to just say “screw it” and make the Brigadier a keeper!

  7. My father a 1911 fan told me to think hard on chosing my first pistol. I chose the 92 after reading up on it. I stand my ground on saying it is one of the best pistols I have ever shot. And safe from accidental discharges when using for EDC (Every Day Carry) and Competition. Very accurate and reliable. I let all 1911 fans shoot it and laugh as their minds quickly change. Thank you Beretta on great firearms

  8. I had my 92FS modified by Wilson. They even put a fiber optic sight on it for me. I can now rack it with 2 fingers. I can group abou 1-2 inches at 25 yards. I own 30 1911’s, even the new Ed Brown Special Forces and the Nighthawk Predator III. What is my favorite gun to shoot, my Beretta 92!!’

  9. I’ve got the Taurus clone of the Beretta 92, the PT-92. It’s a little gussied up with its stainless steel slide, but regardless — so far it’s been a dream. I’ve even tried to get it to jam or misfire by throwing as much poorly aimed lead downrange as I could, but it’s never failed me.

    I suppose that after maybe the 15th magazine, something might happen, but I’m not Warren Buffett or Bill Gates and I simply can’t afford to burn through 200 rounds in less than 2 minutes. But I could if I wanted to.

    Yeah, it takes longer to change a magazine than to empty one. That’d never happen in a real-world civilian shooting episode. It’s kinda sweet, though.

  10. I fell in love with the M9 when I first shot it. I met up with a friend at the range to buy a Keltec P-11 from him & he brought his M9 with him. I told him that when he was ready to sell it to call me first. He also let me borrow it when I did my first CHL test. A few months later I got the call. Now over 5 years after I first shot a Beretta I have an even dozen of them, including the awesome Billennium 🙂 Most of them are 96’s, but I still carry 92’s from time to time.

  11. I have carried this weapon into harms way over the course of a long military career. I also had a real job when not active. and on that job I carried an issued Glock in .40 S&W. I have owned several types of .45 ACP pistols, from 1911’s thru all the polymer frame models. Long story short, if I had to choose a weapon to defend myself with, it is going to be my M9 9mm pistol with a seventeen round Mec-Gar magazine. I have never had a failure to fire or any kind of problem from my M9. I find most of the combat situation problems tended to be from the use of worn out parts and a lack of expertise with their treatment and repair. Excellent side arm.

  12. The only time I’ve had a mis-feed is with a 30 rd. mag. The extra cap. mags have given me problems with my 1911’s also. I’m not quite as accurate with the 92 as my 1911’s but I have 20 times as much range time with 1911’s.

  13. I own a 92 FS and it’s my best shooter. For me I shoot it and get the best groups of any of the other guns I shoot. I recently bought an 85 FS 380t, but Haven’t shot it much yet, I have my own pistol range and have been rebuilding it and when I finish I’ll get more time to shoot. I’m thinking it will be just as good as the 92.

  14. Between my original Colt 1911, my S&W 645 and my Baretta 92 I prefer to carry and shoot the Baretta. It’s more accurate for me and more comfortable to shoot.

  15. I have owned many 1911’s and even the wonderful Les Baer Model as well as various Colts. I love shooting the 45 but when it comes to what I will grab when the time comes it will be the Beretta 92FS or A1. This pistol is easy to control and you can carry tons of ammo…. can’t wait for the new model… I own the FS and A1 and have used some of the “earlier” models. This is a wonderful accurate firearm… I will own the 92A3 and hope it comes out soon.

  16. These are very nice guns. My wife and I each own one, and although my EDC is my XD .45, her Beretta never leaves her side. Reliable, easy to shoot, and trust me, my wife is dead accurate with it.

    A lot of the noise about reliability in Iraq was actually more of a magazine issue. With good mags these are very reliable guns.

  17. What’s not to love about this gun? I have an FS with internal laser sight, threaded barrel capable of accepting suppression, tritium sights, Hogue grips, and 20rd mags – shoots accurately and reliably and an easy carry in winter jacket, shoulder holster, or iwb small of back under light jacket or untucked shirt

    1. It’s easy to defend the 92 against the 1911. The 92 has won all military competitions against the 1911. The 92 carries more “Payload” and is far more accurate than ANY 1911. Military now carrying the 92 over the 1911
      are imminently more satisfied. The Beretta M9 is simply a better firearm!

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