Review: Is the Beretta A3 Ready to Be the Military’s Next Sidearm?

Beretta A3 with ammunition box pistol case

The military is making noises concerning a new sidearm. There is some controversy. Handguns, for whatever reason, seem to come with more emotional attachment and a sense of history than the rifle. I believe, that as a close quarters combat pistol, the Beretta 92 is lacking the most important attribute a sidearm should have and that is wound potential.

There is junk science in the world, and I choose to ignore it—as will most professional soldiers and peace officers.

Beretta A3 with ammunition box pistol case
The Beretta A3 is the latest in a long line of 9mm Beretta military handguns.

There is much to be said for the military simply ordering the pistols they need without going through a cumbersome trial. Congressional oversight is all well and good, after all, it is our tax money (As if congress has a good record for spending our money). The pistol should be vetted in an exhaustive trail but that isn’t that difficult. All it takes is time, personnel, and ammunition. The Beretta A3 isn’t a new pistol but a modified Beretta M9/M92. Senator John McCain felt that the Army should choose the caliber first. From his report:

“The Army plans to conduct ‘an open caliber competition,’ which means the choice of caliber is left up to the discretion of industry. But the caliber of the cartridge and the type of bullet it launches is arguably the most important performance component of the handgun,” the report states.

Army officers have made comments such as ‘just buy a bunch of Glock 19 9mm pistols’, a reasonable trend. There are certain requirements in the Army circular for the MHS pistol (Army Modular Handgun System) that cannot be met by many pistols but which may be met by the Beretta A3. The A3 is an updated Beretta 92. That isn’t a bad thing as the Beretta’s primary advantage is reliability. It is accurate enough for any foreseeable handgun task.

Beretta 92 and Beretta A3 back to back grip comparrison
The Vertec grip, left, results in considerably better handfit for most hand sizes.

The requirement for a capability to use a suppressor in certain roles is met by the A3’s threaded barrel. This barrel may be retrofitted to existing Beretta 9mm pistols easily. The pistol’s sights may be supplied with Tritium inserts. The pistol is delivered with a light rail for use with combat lights. A big advantage is that the pistol features the ‘Vertec-type’ grip. This is a thinner grip allowing those with small hands to use the pistol well. A high-capacity pistol isn’t always tolerant of small hand sizes. The Beretta features a double-action first-shot trigger. The trigger is pressed to fire the pistol. The hammer is then cocked by the recoiling slide for subsequent single-action fire. The safety lever also operates as a decocking lever. The Army wants a manual safety. A pistol without a safety abrogates many of the advantages of a self-loading pistol.

The Beretta is easy enough to fire well with light recoil and modest muzzle flip. Tactically, there is nothing that may be done with the SIG P226 or the Glock 17 that cannot be done with the Beretta. In long-range and slow-fire accuracy, the Beretta is superior to most pistols save perhaps the SIG, but it takes a fine shot to demonstrate this. The new Beretta pistol will be able to use existing holsters, magazines, and spare parts in stock for the Beretta 92. Ammunition supply isn’t impeded.

The Beretta A3 is a good upgrade over Beretta 92 and Beretta 92A1 pistols. It will serve the Army’s needs well. This is simply reality. The problem is training. The Army trains its men and women but little with the handgun. It isn’t unusual for the average soldier to go for years without firing the handgun past an initial familiarization in training. The Beretta has a good safety record and it is easy enough use well.

Beretta A3 FDE quartering to right side
The Beretta A3 features a light rail, a solid feature that is demanded on modern combat pistols.

As for its competitors, we don’t really know what their performance would be like in the sandbox. We can predict that it is an even bet with certain types of pistols—DAO types without a safety—there would be more negligent discharges. Beretta fans will be pleased and Colt 1911 fans will have to bite the bullet and let the deal go ahead without undue rancor.

As for training the soldiers, there are certain select budget teams in the U.S. Military that fire many thousands of rounds in the handgun on a yearly basis. These teams are well equipped and highly trained. Those who need the 1911 .45, and prefer the pistol, will obtain one. The Marine Corps, as an example, uses the Colt 1911 Rail Gun for special operations groups. If the Army is going to continue with the 9mm high-capacity pistol, the Beretta A3 is as good as any and better than many.

Will the Beretta A3 prevail as the Army’s next service handgun? What are your impressions of the Beretta 92 of Beretta A3? Share your opinions or experiences in the comment section.

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 (49)

  1. It is important to understand that I am a Beretta guy. I carried a 92 SB Compact as a cop but was stuck with the 1911 when I served (retired USN in 1988). That said, the idea of knockdown is over rated if you can’t shoot. The 92 series has a serious advantage over a 1911 IF you use double- or triple-tap. The ability to control the second and third round makes the 92 usable across a larger group and the extra capacity provides for double- and triple-tap ability.
    The limiting factor to military ball ammo is the lack of expansion. Granted, a .45acp will provide more striking power than a .38 Special, which is what it replaced, but a double-tap done properly will provide more damage, especially with a FMJ Ball round.

  2. It is my opinion that we are not legally bound to use ball ammo in theaters of operations. I see no problem with using 147gr hollow-points, Our snipers hit tagets with devastating rifle rounds and people want to cry about what kind of popgun rounds are carried.

  3. No doubt the 9mm killed many of our troops. I own several(although none of them killed anyone!). I will say I have never liked the Beretta 9mm because in my experience it has marginal accuracy. They are generally reliable, yes and a good gun, no doubt. I have found the CZ (I own a P-o7) to be more reliable and more accurate. Whether or not our military goes with the ‘one shot kill AKA .45 or the higher magazine capacity of the Beretta 92 variants is a matter for the powers that be. All I can say is that I carry a 45. My recovery and requisition of target is faster with my Kahr CW45 and has been my experience with other 45’s,( Kimbers and Colts) that I have carried than with my 92 . In combat training second tap delivery has been more reliable as far as on target delivery with the heavier caliber. There is nothing wrong with 9mm. It is a good round and has been around for some time and the military wants to have cheaper ammunition that can be carried in larger quantities. However, I still hold my opinion that Beretta may not be the best platform for our military if the decision is made to keep the 9mm. CZ has, in my opinion, a more reliable, lighter, and more accurate platform with the ’75 frame.

  4. We went with the 9mm to make euro-weenies happy. A great Trumpian move would be to go back to the 1911, with the enhancements and rail. It is the best silenced pistol cartridge, a one-shot-stopper, an intuitive pointer, and reloads and returns to battery fast. That no pistol points like this thing is not minor. If you grab it in the dark, you know how to hold it, and it is far easier to shoot longer distances with accuracy with than the burrito handled M9. There are reasons why 1911’s dominate IPSC shooting and not Berettas.

  5. I’m not sure if it meets the modular design requirements, but I have wonder why Beretta didn’t offer a version of the PX4 Storm to the military. They make a “Special Duty” but as I see it’s only a different color with an extended threaded barrel. Maybe that is all that is required as it already has an accessory rail. The polymer framed pistol has the exact controls as the M9, so not much re-training is required. It field strips in 3 seconds and goes together just about as quick. The rotating locking barrel only requires a cylindrical slide bore and should retain its accuracy much longer than any Browning tilt barrel design. The piston has a low barrel axis and the felt recoil is low. I’ve small hands as I’m a small person. My .45 PX4s recoil isn’t much more than my 9mm Ruger’s. The PX4 is available in the 3 primary calibers. There is only one round difference in capacity between the 9mm (15) and the .40 S&W (14). The weight of the fully loaded .45 is about the same as my all steel 9mm P95 Ruger. I’m not a hardcore Beretta fan, I just did some research for my first .45 autoloader.. I estimate I put 2,000 rounds though the pistol without a single failure. The gun is still tight and I think it would pass any reliability test.

  6. Like many others, I was sad to see the U.S. military bow to “the powers that be” and sh_ _ can the 45ACP in favor of what was then a weak cartridge, the 9mm. Although 9mm bullet technology is far beyond what it once was, there are still reasons the 45 caliber may be a superior military cartridge. As for the Beretta pistol, I have never been a fan of the design, and it is a rather large, heavy pistol. For those of us with larger paws that is all well and good, but it is not adaptable to smaller hands as are several of the new crop of polymer wonder-pistols, many of which are available in several caliber choices to boot. I am still a fan of the 1911 in 45ACP, but what will be, will be. We can only hope that the military pulls their heads out of their behinds and chooses what is
    THE ABSOLUTE BEST sidearm for our troops. Fat chance, eh?

  7. I like the Beretta and the A3, I am sold, that said I love my 1911 but that may be more that it was issued to my dad in ’34, went to the Pacific, Korea and Vietnam, then handed off to me from ’67-94 US Army Infantry. Which brings me to the point of PLASTIC guns, REALLY! soon as one of you boys can get you hands on a piece of plastic that has not just been around, but been around the world more than once and its still shooting as good as it ever did, let us know.

    The Army is foolish to pass up the A3 which was offered as a NO COST Contract Mod and save a ton of money in training and fielding costs to gain WHAT?????

  8. This conversation will never end. I’m sure it has been going on from the day an army carried guns. I’m 69 years old and I’ve read just about every article on guns for the last 45 years. From what I’ve gleaned, my conclusion is that an army needs a weapon that is accurately manufactured, reliable and can function flawlessly in the various environments that the army will operate in. As for caliber, larger is not better if you’re going to use hollow points. Tests have shown that hollow points expand more efficiently when the speed of the round is high. So it has been found that 9 m.m. hollow points expand better than .45 cal. hollow points. There are other factors such as being able to do quick follow up shots accurately. The lower recoil of the 9 m.m. enables one to do that with the 9 m.m. resulting in what is called better ‘combat’ accuracy.

    1. As expert witness on terminal pistol ballistics in court, I have to say that a 9mm in JHP beats a .45 ACP in FMJ hands down in stopping power. But a .45 ACP in JHP seldom expands and creates a TCC (Hydrostatic shock wave) that gives the JHP design its greater stopping power. It i snot that the bullet expands and gets ‘bigger’ it is that that expansion is the incompressible body fluids that propagate the hydrostatic shock wave that causes expansion that counts. You have to push the velocity of .45 ACP, or reduce bullet weight to get the 1150 fps needed for that hydrostatic shock wave. Since the US Military is adopting JHP (expanding ammo) the 9mm is fine for stopping power and increased hit probability due to less recoil and muzzle flip and thus recovery time..

  9. Why are they called peace officers? Their job is to enforce all laws no matter how unjust/immoral with the threat of violence. No one has a problem criticizing corrupt politicians, but they would be powerless if “peace officers” were not out here carrying out their will.

  10. Why not polymer? The quality of such pistols today is amazing, and if something in the Army breaks, it is generally, historically, easily replaced. I would pit my new Walther PPQ M2 .45 against anything in this non-competition.

    1. I can tell you that the trigger on the PPQ M2 is much too light for combat, it’s a dream on the range but is not suitable as a combat sidearm. I’ve seen several people pick it up and ND it immediately. I think Beretta was trying to keep the parts compatibility and manual of arms as similar as possible so there’s no way that this design could be replicated in polymer. Keep in mind this was built with a military contract in mind. No change in training, no change for armorers, minimal change in supply chain, minimal change in cost’s, etc. I actually think this would have been the most cost efficient option.

  11. Well, sadly it won’t happen. Beretta offered to upgrade existing weapons in the DoD’s arsenal at a cost of less than 250.00 per unit to A3. The Army declined. As far as the armchair commandos talking about ‘knock-down power’, they are clueless. With today’s ammo (and yes, we CAN use hollow point….we didn’t sign any fool convention on that…go look it up!) the differences are less and less. .357 sig is a terrible idea. 1911? Yep, also bad….Look, A Glock or similar 9mm is just fine….You don’t need the external safety (The army is slowly coming into the 21st century on that one!), but you do need a reliable weapon in any condition. Leave the relics back where they belong. For the record, I’ve carried a pistol for all of my military career which started in 80s. I was issued a 1911….happy to relegate it to a nightstand. Wish Beretta would have gotten the contract, but it IS a boat anchor compared to others available.

  12. No Glocks or other plastic guns.
    Their grips suck when wet and the plastic is not as good as metal, even an alloy.
    Most of all, let us be done with the 9mm unless a better bullet is installed. Military ball sucks for everything, even shooting paper (wadcutters and semi-wadcutters are better).
    Glock’s latest guns have been recalled for unreliability. They may be great guns for girls and people who need lots of rounds to hit something, but they are crap in the hand and on the street. They are, however, the choice of thugs…

  13. The Sig 320 hands down.
    I bought a Berretta 92 back on the 80’s as soon as the services adopted it. As a Distinguished Pistol Shot in the Marines, I dearly love the M1911 .45 I shot in matches and went Distinguished with in ’78. But I figured I ought to have the current issue pistol. Carried and shot that pistol through retirement in ’93 including to DS/DS as my battalion was short of pistols at the time. Sold it in ’97.
    Went to buy a carry pistol last spring at the MacDill BX looking for a Glock 19. They were not in stock so they showed me a S&W and the Sig. It was love at first touch. The 320 has an out of the box trigger that feels like a Quantico armorer put crisp 3 lb trigger on it even though it is at least 6. As you no doubt know, it is totally modular for grip size, barrel length and caliber. Sig has a manual safety model for the military need. No other pistol can honestly rival it for the MHS requirement. I know Glock has the LEO world sold partially through cost leveraging, but if Sig doesn’t win the MHS contest it will be because Glock outright bribed some generals.

  14. I also think the CZ is probably the best choice….SP-01 tactical should meet there needs and then some.I only have the 75b,but I love it…it is my favorite full size 9mm.That is for a duty pistol,of course.G19 for ccw all day long…..What about the CZ -85 in 45 acp?Now thats some knockdown power!!!!

    1. I agree. I have a P-07 that is more accurate, lighter, and delivers less felt recoil than my Beretta 92. It has never jammed, digests hp’s and fmj with equal reliability and is so tough you can drop it in a toolbox, pick it up a year later and it will deliver the same performance as the day you bought it.

    2. CZ pistols are only now becoming widely noticed by the US shooting community. I’m astounded by the number of experienced “pistoleros” who have never held nor fired a CZ. The 75B, PCR, RAMI, P-01, all point, shoot, and cycle beautifully and are better than “combat accurate.” Need .45ACP? CZ 97, a big duty-quality pistol. Polymer? P-07, P-09, RAMI P. I love my 1911s and my FNX-45T but CZ ends up on top for use and carry. the US Military could do a lot worse and not much better.

  15. I really like my M9a3 but it does have some teething issues related to the coating. Within a hundred rounds both red “dots” fell off the safety and Beretta STILL has not released the g-decocker kit…
    They also coated the crown of the barrel which is now chipping off and doesn’t bode well for long range accuracy.

  16. All I can say is CZ. Once you fire one, end of story. NO polymer! CZ SP-01 tactical. Now if CZ USA could only keep up with demand.

    1. No question – see my post above for a big +1 to your statement! I am not happy with availability of some models, however – much gnashing of teeth trying to find a P-01 or P-07 Omega UG suppressor-ready. Two local well-connected-with-CZ LGSs just throw up their hands when I inquire. Grrrrr!

  17. I like my 92F that I’ve owned over 20 years. When I go into the woods to gohhunting or working cattle I do prefer my Colt 1911. You never know when you might run across a herd of wild hogs in south Texas.

  18. Roberts’ article hits all the main points for retaining a Beretta, although his main complaint–lack of one-hit stopping power for 9mm–somewhat misses the mark. If the military issues +Ps as a service round and goes with something other than a JRN, the Nine can deliver plenty of stopping power, as many LEO agencies, including the FBI, are rediscovering. The key ingredient, though, for any handgun is shot placement; and since the 92 is an exceptionally accurate pistol, the missing element is more and better training.

  19. Beretta makes decent handguns. The upgrade should definitely be on the caliber. There are just too many people walking around that have been shot with 9mm. It’s a very real fact. Handguns are last resort in a fight. If it comes down to that, we owe our military better firepower than a 9mm. .357 sig takes up the same magazine space as .40 cal and is signicantly more powerful. Hopefully the military tests several calibers to determine which one is the best compromise of power and capacity. What’s the point of high capicity if it takes half a magazine or more to drop 1 trained soldier. Our military isn’t fighting the Trayvon Martins of the world.(I hear that argument a lot for the 9mm)

  20. Call bs on this one. The glock is tried and true and is used in 9mm and 45acp in chosen units.
    Far as the 9mm debate on paper its a good round with proper shot placement or replacing standard nato round ball but with the added expense i dont see that being feasible and proper shot placement only works well on said paper.
    Id go with the Glock 45 acp it only has a couple rounds less than 92 can be easily fitted with threaded barrel as needed for op even in field due to ease of total field stripping
    With the changeable back straps it can fit small to large hands.
    If recoil is a issue which in day the 45 1911 never was it could be model fitted with laser cut breaks
    But with less training for a total weapon transfer and a standard military system for all branches that would even make the 1911 fans happy go with a m3 /92 type model in 45 acp with the added bones of double stack mags.

  21. With proper training capacity far out weighs knock down power. With the use of a 147 grain bullet for the 9mm you increase the standard knock down power and you still have extra rounds. Personally in a fire fight I would rather have more available rounds then have to reload more often. I am in agreement with the lack of training, I spent twenty years in the Navy and only shot a sidearm once. I believe all of our military should where side arms when ever in uniform and be proficient in there use.

  22. as a retired gunsmith and combat vet if i was to be sent back into harms way i would have a 1911 70 series on my hip.
    for the most part there is nothing wrong with the berretta,it is simple to strip and shoots well.a better choice is the browning hi power and the cz 75 if you must have a double action pistol. the cz also is available in 45 40 10mm as well as the 9mm.the 3 guns i mentioned are made of steel ,not plastic or alloy and can be armory rebilt for generations
    so i guess for me it would be !.1911 45 75 45 or 10mm
    3.browning hipower 9mm

  23. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. About 14 years ago I purchased two Beretta 92F’s for my twin children. It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made. I have long since passed them to my children and they do practice with them. One of my children is a girl and with the grips that comes with the Beretta are perfect for her small hands. Plus growing up with the firearm, both of my children are very familiar with the Beretta. I think that the A3 will do great. I just wish that I could afford the new barrel. But it works great for home protection.

  24. The Berretta A3 is not addressing its basic deficiency which is the lack of knockdown power with a single shot. Unless the M92’s caliber is upgraded to .45 ACP then it doesn’t matter how many “bells and whistles” Berretta adds to the pistol frame, it will never be anyone’s first choice for CQB except the numbers crunching bureaucracy

  25. I’m a retired Army Sergeant First Class! I could understand why many soldiers would go untrained on the Beretta A3, because many units in the Army doesn’t allow lower enlisted to wear a handgun. Also many units who do allow the men/women in the unit to have the Beretta A3, they would only fire it during qualification which is only done yearly. So many military personnel are not getting proper training.

  26. I’m throwing the bs flag on this one. Nobody likes the beretta…..mines jammed plenty of times during qualifying….something that doesn’t happen with my Glocks or HKs. To go with an upgraded POS, would just be a huge morale dumpster dive.

    1. Never had a problem with my M9, kept it clean, performed regular service. Only problems I’ve ever witnessed were operator malfunctions. You can’t perform with a weapon you don’t really know. Never had a jam, and fired plenty of rounds in all kinds of climates. Never had a problem with “stopping power” – always double tap anyway. M9 was a welcome replacement for M1911s that had too many parts for regular Joe’s to lose, and by the time the replacement M9s came they were as lose fitting with their worn out parts as a 90 year old’s jeans. Long story short – I loved my M9, also bought one for personal use when Beretta made first 6000 available for personal purchase for then current service members. Love it still, now outfitted with a better quality laser than we had in the unit.

    2. If you Beretta jams then something is wrong with it and you should get it fixed. I have shot tens of thousands of rounds through dozens of Beretta 92/M9 series guns over 20 years and do not ever recall having a problem with jamming. I wore out a few recoil springs which slows the slide down and I have broken some locking blocks but the gun continues to fire.

      Seriously, get the gun checked out if you cant figure it out. Could be a magazine issue.

  27. It isn’t the Beretta that doesn’t make a good wound, it is the caliber.
    Just like the .38 Special, the 9mm is a piss poor killer, requiring either a half dozen random shots or a well placed double-tap–that is why they train that way and have huge capacity magazines compared to the 1911.

    The 9mm is no more powerful than the .30 carbine and that isn’t good enough. People can be taught to shoot bigger cartridges and practice is the key to keeping that skill. BUT, you can also improve the cartridge’s performance by picking a better bullet–ball ammo is a piss poor choice to cause serious wounds. Yes, they are not what the people who fantasize about “clean” wars and “non-devastating wound channels” but they will keep our soldiers alive; that is what is important.

  28. I’ve carried mostly a Browning Hi-Power since RVN 1971. Easily carried, utterly reliable, narrow enough to be concealable. In my next career, when my department required da/sa type pistols I went to a Browning BDM–so I am not anti-9mm. I was in charge of training and the armory when our unit first transitioned to the Beretta, and have nothing in particular against that pistol. But the military is still constrained with ball type ammunition, unable to take advantage of the modern effective loads for this (or any other) caliber. For that reason, I would prefer to make a .45 caliber hole instead of a .36 caliber hole. The SIG 227 appears to fit all the design requirements met by the Beretta, with addition of a threaded barrel, although it does not have existing repair parts in inventory. I have not seen an extensive torture test of the 227, but it may be the best of both worlds–da/sa, decocker for safety, .45 cal., adequate capacity, similar manual of arms, reportedly very reliable. And it does come in a compact ‘officer’s’ type model that can be purchased ‘off the shelf’ for those requiring a more compact package. My experience with the Glock was mostly first generation so I’ll leave that discussion up to someone more knowledgeable. I do think the Military should look at the 227.

  29. I do not know much about the military choice of handguns. But I know my son who is a captain in the army and has flown an Apache Long Bow in two tours one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq absolutely love his 1911.

  30. It makes complete sense to adopt the A3, simply because of already having the the 92A1 and the support inventory. But when was the last time the government made a decision that made perfect sense? There enters the problem. They will spend millions more testing, supplying and supporting any other model. What do they care, it’s not their money. We can only hope that common sense will prevail.

  31. NDs are not a firearm problem; they are a trainings d leadership problem. Using that as justification to eliminate DAO or non-external safety handguns is a red herring. As for competitor performance “in the sandbox,” first, that is why there is testing, and second, do you think that other handguns were not in use by other units and militaries there with live performance results?

  32. The Beretta is a superior pistol to the cheap-azz Glock. It is more accurate and reliable, too. HOWEVER, Beretta needs to make the pistol in .45ACP – and double stack at that. I carry a SA/DA SAR K2 full size all steel .45ACP pistol with a capacity of 14+1 rounds, in the winter, under my jacket. It is heavy but reliable and a tack driver. (The Turkish Military and other countries’ military’s use the exact same pistol.) I am not saying we should – we should stay with Beretta – but in .45ACP.

    1. Female servicemembers could never use it…
      I would be happy with 40sw or .357 Sig which can both already be configured for the Beretta(Beretta 96).

    2. Good point, Red! For 500 years innovation hasn’t been a problem. I own the PX4 9mm and they do offer the same in .45. But it’s “too pretty” for service. They should be able to re-engineer a .45 in the M90 series.

  33. The limiting factor in wound potential for the M9 is the military’s requirement to use FMJ ammunition in compliance with the Hague Convention. However, the military considered this minor in light of other factors specific to their weapons doctrine.

    1) Front-line soldiers are issued rifles as their primary weapons, and all pistol calibers perform terribly by comparison.
    2) The majority of ammunition expended is for cover fire, and a smaller caliber lets you carry more cartridges for the same weight.

    The calculus is different for LEOs or civilians. They have access to hollow point ammunition, generally use a pistol as their primary weapon, and are very unlikely to be in extended fire-and-maneuver engagements lasting hours or days.

  34. Speaking of calibers, what ever happened to the lowly 357 sig? It is such a good performing round for longer distance, and is in use I understand with the National Park Service. The price of the ammunition, with increased production, would be lower. (OK, I’m busted. That is really my motive, as an owner of the Glock 33 in 357 sig) But then just retro-fitting the current Berretta I would imagine, would be the most cost effective option

  35. I spent 26 ‘good years’ in the US Army and USAR. For many of those years I was first on a Pistol Marksmanship Team and later on a Rifle Marksmanship team. In all of that time I knew of very few officers that could qualify with the .45 1911A1 even at 25 yards. That was the reasoning that the 9mm was adopted> lack of recoil and more accuracy for the officers. My suggestion calls for more money to be spent because it entails Berretas for the wimps, er, officers and either 1911 A2s, (a hi-cap weapon> 15 rounds in .45) or 10mm semi-automatics for everyone else. I’d suggest the RIA hi-cap 1911 A2, but it doesn’t have a decocker. I believe that FN makes a hi-cap .45 that does have one although it is a bit pricey at around $1100, but since when did the government balk at spending a lot of money?!

  36. As a retired Army officer, having served from 1963 to 1984, my sidearm was the M1911. I had no problems with most of them, and early in my career I purchased my own Colt Government Model, finding that my .45 was far more accurate than the rack models that I had been issued over my 21 years. When the defense establishment began it’s search for a replacement for the M1911, I viewed with interest, many of the candidate pieces that were under consideration. I understood that we would be bound by NATO STANAG to consider only pieces chambered in 9x19mm, and that really didn’t bother me all that much since I have always figured that shot placement was more important than caliber selection… least to some degree. When the Beretta M92 was selected and fielded, I watched with interest to see how it would fare, and after several years I figured that it was going to be alright as our principal service pistol, notwithstanding the need for other calibers and models for special application. That said, I ultimately purchased my own M9, and I am quite happy with it. I also purchased a SIG P228, as it was later adopted as the M11…..a special application item. In the interest of interoperability with with our NATO allies, I figure that we will likely stick with the 9x19mm cartridge, which does have a fairly good historical record of use in combat…..both military and domestic. Only time will tell where we actually go in the future.

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