Beretta 92 Service Pistols

Beretta M9A1     Beretta 92 FS   


The Beretta 92 is the pistol that replaced the M1911A1 in U.S. military service.  The Beretta 92 is a modern 9mm pistol.  It fires double action for the first shot and single action on subsequent shots.  Its magazine holds 15 rounds of ammo.  Additionally, another round can be safely carried in the chamber and the pistol also has an external safety/decocker.  However, it does not have a magazine safety and thus, can fire manually chambered rounds in an emergency.  The Berettas most distinctive feature is its cutaway slide which makes it one of the most reliable semi-automatic pistols, since it eliminates the possibility of shell casing catching on the slide while cycling.

The Beretta 92FS was selected, after a very contentious series of trials, as the U.S. military's primary sidearm in 1984 with an initial contract for over 320,000 guns.  It was designated as the M9.  Though, being a 9mm, it does not have the stopping power of the M1911A1, the M9 is more reliable, more accurate (as issued), easier to disassemble and clean in the field, and it carries more than twice as many rounds, at 15.  The less powerful caliber was chosen to ensure commonality of ammo with NATO allies.

The adoption by the U.S. military led to its adoption by hundreds of U.S. law enforcement agencies and several other U.S. government agencies.  It is also used by the French Military, Italian Military, and many other foreign military and police forces.  Though there have been several other competitions to select a replacement pistol, in the end, the U.S. Military has stayed with the M9.  In fact, a recent order was placed for over 600,000 guns to supply the U.S. Military and nations getting military assistance from the U.S., especially Iraq and Afghanistan.  The marines have even ordered around 20,000 of an improved version called the M9A1.  

Beretta 92FS, top and Beretta M9A1, below.


© Richard Murphy 2011 - 2017 - No reuse or reproduction of the pictures or content on the Radarms site is permitted without the express written permission of Richard Murphy.   If you are interested in a license to reproduce any the pictures or content, contact Richard Murphy at radmacs@mac.com.