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

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.

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Comments (17)

  1. My favorite gun is my 92 fs bi-tone. Beautiful gun, shoots great! Since I got it my other pistols just don’t get used much anymore. Why would you shoot ANY OTHER 9mm?

  2. I bought my 92F in Colorado Springs in 1990 when I was stationed at Fort Carson. After I ETSd from the Army I carried it for about 10 years as a duty weapon with the US Customs Service. I still love that gun.

  3. If we’re talking about hi-powered 9mm.. I purchased a Sig Sauer P229 Enhanced Elite. Now that is a beauty of a handgun, I paid close to 980.00 It shoots like a charm,it’s sexy,and lets not get stated on accuracy(well that’s if your a good shooter I guess) but anybody looking into buying a 9mm. Please look into the Sig Sauer P229 Elite… There is nothing like it.

    1. For high power, the 92 gobbles +Ps perfectly and accurately – plus mine has Hogue finger groove grips and guide rod laser sight – it also takes 20rd mags flush with no impact on concealed carry, draw, or use

  4. I bought it because it looked great and felt natural in my hand. Now to get a really nice 1911. That should cover me for a while.

  5. Purchased my Italian 92F when I was stationed in Germany in ’88. I love it and will only part with it post mortem! It has been a great weapon! Everyone gives the 9mm a lot of greif but don’t forget, the Axis & Allied powers used it to very great effect in WWII!

  6. Mine is a M9A1 and I agree with every word you said… Best part is you when you pull the trigger, it goes bang every frigin time… and no the slide has not hit my face…

  7. I agree the Beretta 92 is a fine weapon, but it is one of my least favorites. For me, the trigger is too heavy and long in DA mode, and too far back causing my finger to bend awkwardly in SA mode. I also do not like the slide mounted safety. I much prefer a frame mounted safety/decocker such as the ones on a H&K USP or Sig 226. I personally carry a Glock. I don’t defend them as the best, but just the best for me.

  8. I’ve owned Model 92F’s in the past but with 9mm, it’s a little underpowered. I got a Model 96F in 40 S&W and have been a happy camper. One thing the Beretta guns are good for is not jamming like other guns.

  9. I have a Taurus 99…a Beretta clone made under the Beretta license. It came with rosewood grips which were pretty but not very functional as the gun moved around a lot in my hands when shooting it. I exchanged the rosewood for Hogue and the groups tightened right up. Now it’s all black and shoots great. Not the most powerful pistol I own but it shoots the best. The accuracy is awesome in rapid fire.

  10. I purchased my Taurus PT92 about ten years ago as I preferred its safety design and price over that of the Beretta. Die Hard was the film that ruled during that time. I too wanted to get the JMB designed masterpiece Browing High Power but found it to be far too pricey…So I settled on the Bulgarian clone Arcus 98 which is an all-metal tank like beast that begs to be fed…

    To sum up, how can anyone not be enticed into purchasing say a S&W Model 29 after seeing the legendary “Dirty Harry” in all of those classic flicks?

  11. You can buy some Hi-Power clones that are good and do cost a little less. My Hi-Power is a Bulgarian clone (Arcus), I got it dirt cheap and I can’t overstate how wonderfully accurate it is. I have a Beretta Bobcat (.22) and Tomcat (.32), they do look nice and are pretty accurate considering their size, especially the Tomcat.

  12. I bought my first Beretta 92FS, in Jan with my Income tax, and it was the best purchase I have ever made I love that gun like it’s one of my kids lol. It shoots like a dream, and it’s beautiful. Another reason why I bought it was because of Lethal Weapon when the character riggs had that beautiful Beretta and he was shooting at that Helicopter like 17 times I was in love.

  13. While yes the Beretta does look nice, but for semi-auto handguns I think the the Browning Hi-Power is more of a visual beauty (it both has function and beauty). Of course there is always the Luger for beauty, but it didn’t have enough of the function. The Beretta does look a touch chunky, while the Hi-Power is more svelte.

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