Firearms

Review: Girsan Regard Gen 4 Pistol

Girsan Regard pistol right profile 9mm

At first glance, the Girsan Regard Gen 4 looks like some type of elevated Beretta 92. As you look more closely, nothing changes that assessment. The Girsan Regard is a straight-up copy of the proven Beretta 92. Well… with a few improvements.

Would a shooter wishing to own a reliable, accurate, and useful pistol find the Girsan a wise choice? If the shooter is on a budget, and the price of a new Beretta is daunting, the Girsan makes a lot of sense. Plus, the Gen 4 isn’t exactly a standard Beretta. The one used for this review had the 92A1 light rail, as well as a few internal improvements.

Girsan Regard Gen 4 pistol with TruGlo weapon light attached
At home ready with a TruGlo combat light, the Girsan 9mm is a formidable choice.

The Girsan Regard features the same open-top slide design as the Beretta 92. The pistol isn’t a locked-breech type in the sense of the 1911, but the breech is locked until the pressure abates. Rather than using a locking wedge, angling camming surfaces, or barrel lugs, the Beretta 92 lockup uses an oscillating wedge. The wedge slides and tilts as the pistol operates.

The Beretta/Girsan Regard system uses a hammer-fired action. The trigger is a double-action first-shot. The trigger both cocks and drops the hammer. A transfer bar is contacted by the trigger, and the trigger presses the transfer bar into contact with the hammer. After the pistol fires, the slide cocks the hammer for subsequent single-action shots. The system is a good one for most uses.

The longer trigger action provides a degree of safety, as does the manual safety. The result is a pistol that you may reasonably feel safe keeping fully loaded at home ready. While I recommend a holster, many shooters simply drop the Beretta into the waistband when making a milk run.

The Girsan Backstory

Girsan has landed several military contracts. It is familiar with the NATO standard Beretta and, like many Turkish outfits, I am certain it has done work for Beretta and Benelli. It has perfected machine work and enjoys an excellent reputation. The pistol is, in many ways, a close, but not exact, Beretta copy.

The only real difference in the Beretta and the Girsan Regard was the locking wedge. This little wedge appeared to be angled differently — perhaps, a bit heavier as well. Beretta changed its locking wedge/locking block many years ago to a more robust design. Even so, these things didn’t begin breaking in less than 3,500 rounds and, in many cases, never broke in high round-count pistols. This was considering the original design. Later-model Beretta pistols were improved.

Barrel locking lug on a pistol barrel
The barrel block/locking wedge has been beefed up.

The newer design of the Girsan addressed the problem of locking wedge fracture that has existed since the system was designed for the Mauser 1896. The same system was also later used in the Walther P38. This improvement will not be obvious to the casual shooter. However, it made a lot of sense to improve on a trouble spot when Girsan re-engineered a proven design.

Girsan Regard Features

The Girsan features forward cocking serrations. The sights are dovetailed, so they may be swapped for night sights or other types if desired. The finish is a low-key matte black, not a standard Beretta finish, but acceptable for a service pistol.

The frontstrap featured slight finger grooves. Coupled with the serrated backstrap, the pistol felt good in the hand. The grip felt smaller than the Beretta, but it wasn’t.

The grips were thin but offered excellent hand purchase. This was where the primary difference in feel was most noticeable. The Girsan grips are G10 types.

Girsan Regard Gen 4 pistol with blue G10 grips and TruGlo weapon light attached
The pistol is very similar to the Beretta 92. The Girsan features forward cocking serrations, a light rail, and unique G10 grips.

The grip panels feature a window to allow examination of the magazine. Since the open-side magazine is easily visible, there is some utility in this. The magazine holds 18 rounds. The magazine is well made of good material.

The pistol features an enlarged magazine release and a well-designed safety. The takedown lever sets at a slight angle compared to the Beretta. It worked fine.

Takedown was simple enough. Unload the pistol and remove the magazine. Lock the slide to the rear. Ensure the chamber is empty. Rotate the takedown lever. Release the slide lock, and the slide runs forward on the frame. The magazine spring, spring guide, and barrel are easily removed. Maintenance was simple.

On the Range

During the range test, I loaded the pistol with a good mix of whatever was in the ammunition larder. Mostly, this was PMC FMJ, a few steel-cased rounds, and Federal American Eagle 9mm FMJ. The pistol takes Girsan/MecGar magazines. It also accepted Beretta 92 magazines. In dry fire — prior to firing on the range — several things were noticeable.

18-round magazine for the Girsan Regard
The Girsan Regard’s grip panels feature a window that allows examination of the magazine.

The trigger action seemed smoother than the Beretta 92. The double-action press was slightly smoother than the Beretta 92 I had on hand. The single-action press is tight but not quite as smooth as the Beretta.

The pistol was certainly capable of good performance with the trigger action. Firing offhand in a fast-paced personal defense cadence, I kept the hits in the 10-ring at 5 and 7 yards, and the 9-ring at 10 yards, firing double-action.

Once I transitioned to single-action fire, the pistol was easy to use well to knock out the X-ring at 15 yards. The Girsan magazine was reliable and easy to load. Speed loads were very fast. Recoil was modest — as it should be in a handgun this size and weight firing the 9mm Luger cartridge.

I fired the pistol for absolute accuracy at 25 yards. I added a couple of defense loads to the range ammunition I had already tested. I also fired the three practice loads I had used in combat firing. I fired three-shot groups and braced against the MTM K-Zone shooting rest. I took my time, firing single-action.

Load3-Shot Group
Tula Steel Case3.9 Inches
PMC FMJ4.0 Inches
American Eagle 124-grain FMJ3.0 Inches
Federal 124-grain HST2.9 Inches
Speer 124-grain Gold Dot +P3.1 Inches
Three-shot groups at 25 yards from a shooting rest.

The Girsan is accurate enough to ride with! On a side note, I don’t feel the need to order a Centurion-type barrel from Girsan. I like Centurions. However, I liked my gun so much that I shortened and polished the barrel before re-crowning the muzzle. If you’d like the same, simply send this to a reputable gunsmith.

Girsan Regard Gen 4 Specifications

Finish: Blue/Black
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 18+1
Barrel Length: 4.9 Inches
Overall Length: 8.6 Inches
Weight: 2.15 Pounds

I carried the pistol in a DeSantis Speed Scabbard. I like the fit and finish of this holster. This isn’t a softly-molded pancake holster, but a holster molded to the handgun it’s designed to fit. (I ordered this holster for the Beretta 92A1 with rail.)

With three belt slots allowing good adjustment for rake and cant, the DeSantis Speed Scabbard is a fine choice for daily carry beneath a covering garment.

Are you a Beretta 92 fan? How do you think the Girsan Regard Gen 4 compares? Share your review in the comment section.

  • Bob Campbell shooting the Girsan Regard with a pickup truck in the background
  • DeSantis Speed Scabbard holster with 3 belt loop holes and brown leather
  • TruGlo weapon light attached to light rail on a pistol
  • Girsan Regard Gen 4 pistol with blue G10 grips and TruGlo weapon light attached
  • Barrel locking lug on a pistol barrel
  • 18-round magazine for the Girsan Regard
  • Girsan Regard pistol right profile 9mm
  • DeSantis Speed Scabbard leather holster with pistol
  • Bob Campbell aiming down the sights of the Girsan Regard Gen 4 pistol
  • Girsan Regard Gen 4 pistol with TruGlo weapon light attached

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
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 (4)

  1. Sir,

    It depends on whether you want a double action first shot gun like this one or the single action Canik. The Canik has been around quite a while and has delivered good reliability and performance. So- it may get the nod for now. The Girsan is more rightly compared to the Beretta.

    For the money the Canik is a great gun.

  2. I go way back to owning the original Beretta 92 and the excellent Taurus PT92. Beretta was always the standard which other copies were judged. We all know Taurus’ story and their 92’s are excellent copies of the Beretta at a significant price difference. But things change over the years, you cannot find a Taurus anywhere in gun shops/shows today and the retail price has climbed up close to Beretta, so much for a good affordable alternative. Enter Girsan with their new Regard that looks like a modernized Beretta. This is a Turkish company that deserves serious merit. At the range, I was shooting my new Beretta Inox and another member let me try out his Girsan. It fired and handled beautifully just like my Inox. I was amazed to see that I punched out the X ring at 15 yards with a tighter group than any of my previous Beretta sessions. My Inox is an Italian masterpiece, but if I had it to do over again, I would have bought the Girsan instead and saved a small fortune. We have reached the point where modern machining has gotten so good, that many inexpensive guns are just as good as their premium rivals.

  3. Enjoyed the read, very informative.
    If I were in the market for a full size 9mm Auto I would definitely go handle this gun. The excellent review did what it was suppose too!

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