Have you ever bought a gun just because it looked cool? I cannot believe I am saying this but that is the reason I recently bought this one. In the words of Austin Powers it has MoJo and it is one sexy beast. In the late 1990s, a friend of mine purchased one and we went shooting. I was sporting a repulsive Smith and Wesson 5906 that was an issued duty weapon. He pulled that black beauty out and I was in love. I faintly thought I heard music. Up to that point, I hated semi-autos, excluding the 1911. I saw all the new pistols as wannabe 1911’s with a sub-par cartridge. The designs looked sub-par as well at that time. The double-action trigger pull was a disaster
All that changed that morning on Stage Coach Road just outside of Colorado Springs. Here was a double-action pistol that looked like nothing I had seen before. It was not trying to be anything else—it was its own statement on the gun world. This was my first Beretta 92FS and I liked it. It was almost 20 years to get mine. My own Beretta 92FS, to be entirely honest mine is an M9, but what the heck.
Our gun of choice this week was the result of tweaks and modifications from its gun of origin, an improved version of the Medello Model of 1951. In 1976, it became the Model 92. A year later, the first modification was to the safety. Today, we know this as the de-cocking lever. This was the Model 92S. When the shooter pushes the de-cocking lever downward, it pushed the firing pin forward so it cannot make contact with the hammer, which subsequently drops. In looking at my M9 with the lever pushed downward, the firing connector tilts upward. You can beat on the hammer and it will not engage the firing pin. Obviously, this is a terrible idea as it will ruin your gun, and if I am wrong, you are in a world of hurt.
During the transitional era of police departments from revolvers to semi-auto pistols, organizations were leery of the single action 1911 pistols. Carrying holstered while cocked-and-locked or in Condition One, made departments nervous about accidental or negligent discharges. They were looking for a good double-action / single-action (DA/SA) type pistol. This means that the first round fired is in double action, the shooter pulls the trigger, the hammer cocks at the same time, and then the following shots the trigger is already cocked, this creates a shorter trigger pull.
Furthermore, the issue of firepower was at the forefront. This means simply having more ammunition available on the officer. The 9mm Parabellum was the cartridge of choice as it was the smallest effective cartridge. Our fabled 1911 was on its way out.
Having been a police officer during this era, I can tell you that the double-action trigger on these new weapons was an abomination. The first and most important shot for an officer is the first shot. With that trigger pull they were a sorry excuse for a weapon. Then came the Beretta 92 series and all that changed. While I may not be the biggest proponent of the 9mm in this platform, I had to have one, and do.
However, it was in 1979 that the real story of this weapon began, it was in that year that the U.S. JSSAP (Joint Service Small Arms Program) began its search for the replacement for all branches for the old warhorse, the Colt 1911. While several national and international companies competed, the competition was lengthy and the clear winner was the Beretta 92SB. In 1985, after some modifications, it became the Beretta 92F. Further modifications and it became the 92FS in 1990. From that point, the military designated it as the Pistol 9mm M9. Controversy has reigned since this weapon’s adoption. Those controversies are too numerous to list. However, as a .45 ACP and .40 S&W user, this is the only 9mm I own today. It shoots like a dream and NO the slide has not come off and hit my face! That Internet chatter is comical to those who really shoot the things. When Glocks are unsafe, Remington 700 safeties are unsafe, and 1911s in Condition One are unsafe, then I’ll check my M9 slide. Other than that, go back to your video game. I do love Call of Duty though.
Have you ever gone out with someone just because of the way they looked? Well, I did and her name is Beretta 92FS. So far so good, I’ll keep you posted.