Over the past 30 years, the Beretta 92FS 9mm has become a popular firearm for law enforcement use and in the homes and hands of civilians. We thought we’d give another look at this handgun, to review what has now become a classic.
The Beretta 92 series began to be manufactured in 1976, influenced by designs from earlier in the century. After a few initial Beretta models, it was re-worked in order to compete in a competition for the a new military handgun model. In 1985 the United States military adopted the Beretta 92F as its primary sidearm. Designated the M9 (now called the M9A1, with the addition of an integral rail), this handgun has seen service throughout the world, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Considering the market for which it was originally intended – as a military combat handgun – the design addresses the main concerns of shooters who may very well have to depend upon it for their lives. It is made to be accurate, reliable and durable under harsh conditions and when used in extremely stressful situations. It has a chromed barrel and chamber to reduce wear, even after firing a large number of rounds, and the Brunition finish (a Teflon-based coating) is highly resistant to corrosion and wear, as well as being non-reflective.
The DA/SA action uses a short-recoil, delayed locking-block system. This provides a faster cycle time, which helps provide greater accuracy for follow-on shots. The open-slide design was used to help prevent stove-piping. Beretta’s attention to manufacturing to precise tolerences is also credited for the handgun’s reputation for reliability.
The 92FS is a full-size handgun. Overall, its length is 8.5″ and 5.4″ high, with a width of 1.5″. The weight is 33.3 ounces, unloaded. Since the gun was designed to be a holstered sidearm, these are comfortable dimensions, but they probably don’t lend themselves to a comfortable concealed carry. (There are other Beretta models in the 92 series which would serve better.) For an in-house or vehicle defensive handgun, and certainly for the range, the size and weight are comfortable and certainly useful for absorbing perceived recoil.
The three red-dot sights are mounted on a 6.1″ sight radius, providing a good sight platform. It does not include an accessory rail. For greater stability and aiming, the trigger guard has a curved, checkered fore-edge, where the index finger of the off-hand can rest.
Controls include an ambidextrous safety/decocker and a red loaded-chamber indicator. There is also a disassembly latch which allows for easy field-stripping without tools. The release button for the 15-round magazine can be changed to either side by the owner, without gunsmithing.
As a standardized, high-capacity handgun chambered for the popular 9mm caliber, the Beretta 92FS has proved itself to be accurate, reliable, durable and easy to shoot. There’s something more, however: this is a handsome handgun. The sleek, classic lines have attracted shooters for years, and that’s something worth celebrating. Happy birthday, Beretta 92FS.