Tag Archives: 92FS

Go Big

994325_10201226366874642_910207755_nI’m done.  I’m not going to do it any more.  I’m not going to carry a tiny mouse gun anymore.  That’s over.  As a main carry gun, of course.  Maybe as a backup piece, or a hold out.  But no more as my main carry gun.  It’s time to go big.
Why do we carry at all?  Think about this for a minute, or more.  And think about the possible scenarios that might require you to actually have to use your concealed carry gun.  In any of these scenarios, does it play out that you would be better off in those situations with a smaller gun?  Or did you, like me, come to the conclusion that you would rather have as much gun as you can?
You have a CFP, or more commonly a CCW Permit.  Most States do not require you to carry a specific gun.  You have the option to change it up.  If you have the option, why not go big when you can?  Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter to the Anti-Gun Biggots what gun you carry.  They have never said “Oh, its okay, he only has a .380.”   In fact, they have tried specifically to ban small guns because they are more concealable.  Remember they made a run against Saturday Night Specials?  They don’t care.  That being the case, f you are going to get wet, you might as well go swimming.   Should you have to use your weapon, and you end up in a court of Law, they will make no distinctions regarding the size or type.  Or if you are in a store and lift your arm up to reach a top shelf item and someone sees the grip of your pistol. They call the cops no matter what it is and when The Bronze approaches you they don’t make any distinction either.  You are either legal to carry, or you are not.   Size does not matter.
The last several months I’ve been packing bigger guns.  Mostly full sized duty pistols.  Government Model 1911′s, Railed Commander 1911′s, Beretta 92FS and full sized Storms, Glock 22′s.  The smallest gun I’ve carried is a Glock 23. None of these are Mouse Guns or Pocket Pistols.  Each on let’s you know you have a “fist full of Iron”. Or advanced polymer as the case may be.  As I write this, on my hip right now is a Springfield 1911 .45 and there is a great deal of satisfaction in having it on me.
Bigger guns make fewer compromises.  They hold more rounds, are more reliable, more accurate, maybe more powerful, and are certainly more intimidating.  The more intimidating the gun is, the more likely you won’t have to actually pull the trigger.  The only disadvantage to them is the greater challenge of carrying it concealed.   To carry a full sized gun concealed, you are going to have to take a bit more care in your holster and wardrobe selection.
Thankfully the good folks at Crossbreed Holsters can help us out.  The Supertuck is available for many handguns, including the big 92FS.  This holster allows for the big gun to be carried comfortably, inside the waistband, all day long.  For me, that’s the advantage I need.  Because I’ll wear a gun from the time I get out of bed until I give up on the day and go back to bed.
Normally I wear Pancake style rigs, wide, outside of the waistband holsters that help contour the shape of the gun to hide it, and pack more comfortably while wearing normal sized pants.  I find this to be an advantage when riding a motorcycle.  The downside to a pancake rig, is that the length of the gun makes it easier for the muzzle end to peak out from under your jacket or shirt.
This isn’t so much of a problem during most of the year.  But during the peak of the summer, wearing jackets and sport coats becomes less than ideal.  During these times, as much as possible, I’ll wear a Mechanics style shirt or a Bowling shirt.  If one is less fashionable, or a huge fan of Weird Al, you can wear a Hawaiian style shirt.  Anything that can be worn untucked, loose, and can cover up the whole gun.  But this is me and I am not required to wear Business Casual.  But even then, there are still ways to carry a full sized gun.
Not long ago I was talking about packing large handguns with a local Police Officer.  I mentioned that I was packing a Beretta 92FS and he didn’t believe me.  I was in the process of selling him a Beretta but he was balking on the purchase, thinking it was too big to be carried undercover.  I was wearing an Under Armor polo shirt.  You should have seen his eyes when I pulled my Beretta 92FS out, cleared it, and laid it on the counter.  I can’t repeat what he said, but he was clearly surprised that I had it on me as he normally could tell if someone was packing or not.  After that, it became a discussion regarding holsters instead of the gun.  To end this story, he bought the gun and has enjoyed it ever since.
I live in a very rural area of Utah.  My front yard is a farmer’s field.  We get all sorts of wildlife here at “Ogre Ranch”.  Some big, some small.  One night I came home on my motorcycle, late and in the dark.  I shut off my bike and jumped off.  As I stepped around the big KTM Enduro, I saw a dark shadow and eye shine.  Something was there in the shadows beside my house.  I don’t remember drawing, or even making the decision to draw, but suddenly my gun was in my hands and that gun was in a ready position as I was squinting to try to identify what was over there in the shadows.  At that moment, a full sized duty sidearm was very comforting.  The only problem was that I didn’t have a light mounted on my weapon and my normal companion of the Surefire Aviator flashlight was with me but tucked safely in my backpack.  Inaccessible and useless to me as this didn’t feel like a time when I could shrug my pack off and dig through it to find my light.  Instead I was there, gun in hand, waiting until I could ID this thing as a threat or not.  I could hear it breathing.  I could see it’s eye-shine, and that was it.  It really was a freaky moment.  The moment ended though when my wife pulled up and her headlights illuminated what I was in a standoff with.  It was a large Mule Deer Buck.  I can chuckle about it now, but in that moment of looking into the unknown, had I been armed with something small and mousy, I’d probably have been a lot more uncomfortable with the situation.
This goes back to what the great Clint Smith has said.  Guns are not supposed to be comfortable, they are supposed to be comforting.  He is exactly right.  I don’t recall ever being in a situation where I was comforted by packing a tiny little gun.  I remember one time I needed something small and concealable where low profile was critical.  A .25 Caliber Baby Browning the answer.  I could stand there with my hands in my pockets and still be ready to draw that little pistol.  I thought it was a perfect solution.  Until I needed it.  I reached into my pocket and grabbed the little gun, but didn’t draw it.  Let me tell you, that pistol offered no comfort.  In fact, I let it go and instead opted for the ASP Baton tucked inside the waistband.  At least that felt solid.  It felt like a weapon. The .25 felt like a squirt gun.  In this situation, neither was required to be used, thankfully.  But it impressed upon me that the small gun was useless.  Harsh Language proved more potent.  That was the last time I bothered with the .25. I think I remember that I traded it for a few boxes of ammo.
I’m not saying that only huge hand cannons are the way to go.  I’m just saying you don’t have to limit yourself to tiny guns.

So I’m sitting here…

…With this Beretta 92 in my hand.  And I’m looking at it…  It’s just gorgeous.

BerettaDTOM

It’s worn.  Well worn.  But still tight and smooth and accurate… just a great shooter.  My wife and I ran an errand real quick.  She had a Red Box video she needed to return.  Well, we get to the Red Box location, which isn’t the best spot in town for hanging out at a vending machine at night.  She’s about to bounce out… and turns and says, “Okay, you got my back.”  And then she says “How are you going to back me up?”  She hadn’t noticed I had a weapon on.  Plus 1 for the G-Code OSH Standard on a simple Paddle.  I was able to jump up, slip on the OSH+Paddle, and away we went.  No bothering with threading a holster through the belt loops or such.  Speed to Action… I like that.  I’ve become quite the fan of the paddle.
I said, “9mm, Baby.”  To which she nodded and then exited the OPC.  (Ogre Personnel Carrier) There was a couple very suspicious and thuggish looking types milling around at the corner, from which the Red Box isn’t very far away from.  I felt quite confident with the big Beretta.  Stoked up with a 17 round mag of Hornady Critical Duty.  The thug with his hands in his coat pockets and a hood up over his head would not have been able to have reached my wife before being completely ventilated.
I wasn’t even worried about that though.  The thug was more concerned about the bitter cold than my wife with her DVD of Much Ado About Nothing, as Directed by Joss.  It was a bone chilling 46 Degrees F out there.  Brrrr… I actually turned on the heated seats.  But that’s another story.
Sitting at home now, with the Beretta… I have to say, there is something about the 92.  It’s large, solid construction, it’s heft, I have to say… I really like it.  A lot.  It’s just about the only DA/SA gun that I actually like anymore.  At least, like enough to want to buy one, or to bother taking out and shooting.  The way the action feels like it’s on roller bearings… so smooth… so… creamy.  And thanks to Slipstream and a D-Spring from Beretta, the trigger feels just as smooth as well.  This old battered Beretta… It’s just gorgeous to me.

 

My disagreement with Grant Cunningham and Rob Pincus…

My disagreement with Grant Cunningham and Rob Pincus regarding the Beretta 92FS.

I checked out a podcast that Rob Pincus was guesting on not too long ago.  The question was asked “What gun do you hate when they show up at your courses” or something along those lines… I forget, it’s been awhile since I heard the podcast.  Rob’s answer was “The Beretta 92”.   Now, I respect Rob a great deal, and while we differ in opinion on something, I always respect his opinions and positions because he always has a well reasoned explanation for them.   

Rob tends to not like the Beretta because it’s large and heavy for it’s caliber… it is.  It has an old fasioned DA/SA Trigger mechanism… it does.  And it has an upside down, slide mounted safety lever.  Yup.  It has that too.  This is a trifecta of good reasons not to like the Beretta.  Rob is a believer in consistency, and a good consistent and simple trigger mechanism as in a modern striker fired pistol gives the shooter some advantage… Yes, that’s true too.
But I still disagree with him regarding the Beretta 92.   More on my rationalizations later.
This morning I read an article by Grant Cunningham on why the Beretta 92 is an inefficient handgun for defense.  And now I’m like “Oh come on.”  I like Grant, and respect his opinions as well.  However, I disagree with him on the Beretta 92.

“When you need to use your handgun, it should ideally come out of the holster in a ready-to-fire condition without you needing to do anything extra before pulling the trigger.”

I agree, Grant.  And here is what I do…  When I holster the Beretta, I then flick the weapon Off Safe.  The Beretta is certainly safe to be carried in such a manner.  Because in order to fire, the trigger must be pulled all the way to the rear to move the rather large and over-sized firing-pin block up and out of the way of the firing pin.  Also, the trigger being pulled to the rear moves the hammer back against spring tension, into the firing position before it can be released to fly forward to hit the firing pin.  These things are not going to happen on their own if the weapon is riding in any holster of half decent quality.   Anything that could impact your holstered weapon hard enough to cause a discharge… Well, you’ve either been hit by an RPG or rapidly moving Osh-Kosh built M-ATV armored truck.  Either way, you’ve got bigger problems to worry about than the risk of a 9mm wound in the leg.

As far as DA/SA trigger pulls go.  This is a training issue.  I’ve seen many shooters running DA/SA guns, do so with great skill and with great results.  SIG’s, HK’s, CZ’s, S&W’s, and most self loading guns that are not 1911’s or Striker Fired Polyguns are in fact DA/SA guns.  A shooter can and will get used to the trigger mechanism if they will actually get out to the range and fire their weapons once in awhile and practice with them.

Here’s the thing that the DA/SA guns have over most of these Striker Guns… That SA pull.  I’ve fired some DA/SA guns with triggers so good it makes you want to go slap Gaston.  Even with my tricked out Glock trigger, which is really dang good… It’s not as good as the SA pull on my Beretta 92.  It just isn’t.  Because mechanically all that trigger has to do is release the hammer.  In the Glock and M&P, the trigger still has to pull that striker back just a little more before it can release.  This gives it just a bit more take up… a little longer… just not quite there where a good SIG or Beretta or CZ trigger can be.  I won’t say HK, because they have triggers like toggle switches, but that’s because the Germans believe in Corporal Mortification or something… I don’t know.
But back to the Off Safe Carry, the process is simple.  After firing, you decock and safe the weapon, holster safely, and then flick the weapon off safe.  Done.  The most dangerous moment in handling the weapon is when holstering.  And holstering a decocked Beretta 92FS is probably the safest gun you could ease into any holster.  It doesn’t get safer.  The trigger is disconnected and the firing pin transfer is rotated 90 degrees away from the firing pin.  There is no way a round could go off in this condition.  No matter how sloppy your reholstering is.  Once safely nestled in it’s holster and everything is good… *Flick*  Your weapon is now read for a rapid draw and fire without worrying about an external safety.

This method is not new or unique by any means.  I know many Military Personnel who carry in this manner and are trained to carry in this manner.  It’s safe and efficient and requires very little training to get used to doing.  1 day at the range.  That’s it.  Drill the motions for awhile, and then reinforce throughout a day of shooting… pretty much done.  This is not solving a Rubik’s Cube.  Give the Students more credit.    Many who detract the Beretta’s mechanics make allowances for the 1911′s.  Yet the Beretta has a couple distinct advantages.  One, the Beretta’s safety when carried Off Safe is only manipulated after the fact.  When everything is cooling back down and the gunshots are still ringing in your ears and your getting your breathing back into control… your checking yourself and following your training and thinking again.  The 1911′s safety is manipulated in the heat of the “Oh Shit” moment when you “Skin Leather” and all your thinking about is that Treat Target that’s closing that 21 Foot Rule distance like a Saber Toothed Cheetah.  It’s in that moment with a 1911 that you have to remember to sweep the lever Off Safe.  Easier putting it on when reholstering than taking it off when drawing.  See my point?  Two, the other big advantage with Beretta is that I can load and unload the weapon, press check, and do whatever in need to with the Safety On.  With the 1911, any slide movement has to be done with the safety off.  And since you are gripping the weapon when doing it, you most likely also have the secondary grip safety disengaged as well.  How many 1911 Operators out there have a 5 Gallon Bucket of Sand they use for Clearing and Loading in their home?  Not many? Who’s safer?  Advantage Beretta.  I’m not saying a 1911 is unsafe here.  But if we are boiling down Shooters as  thick headed cavemen, I think I’d much rather see the students with a Beretta than a 1911.  Personally I do cringe when students bring 1911′s shorter than 4 inches… but that’s because those guns are going to be jamming like a jazz band before the end of the day.  And I’m saying this as a guy that loves 1911′s.  But it’s an Aficionado’s gun.  An Expert’s gun.

The gun is large and doesn’t fit everyone.   True.  But if I am buying the gun for myself and it fits me, then why the hell do I care if it might not fit someone else?  This is my gun.  Don’t “What If” unlikely scenarios that support your throwing your weapon to a small handed partner to support your argument.  Leave such moves for the next Die Hard movie.   Sure the 92 is a large pistol.  My hands are not all that large, and it fits me.  I can shoot the Beretta quite well.  And I enjoy doing so… Because evidently shooting the same gun that has served both Military and Law Enforcement roles around the world for the last 30 years is something again to grinding your own flour and baking your own bread these days.  Quaint and rustic.  Like rolling down a car’s window with a crank.
Here’s the deal… The 92FS/M9 pistol is a fantastic handgun.  It’s battle proven around the globe. It’s both accurate and reliable, and has proven to be more accurate and reliable than most. It’s passed all the tests and it’s leaped all the tall buildings and it’s still serving strong.  It’s one of the very best handguns in the world.

Apple iPhone’s iOS7 Review

The reason for this video was really just to give me an excuse to test out the Beretta 92FS after installing a new D-Spring in it which dramatically effected the trigger pull.  In fact, it cut the weight in half, or so it feels.   This one shot was the first live round I fired through it after I changed it.    To say the least, I am satisfied.  The Double Action pull, which I fired later, was also just as impressive.  Much lower weight than previous, with an overall better feel.  If you have a 92 series pistol, the D-Spring swap is a must.  It just is.
The truth about the iPhone – yeah, it’s a real iPhone, and it was mine, and I really shot it.  However it died the day I bought it because it got a little damp riding in the same pocket as my Droid phone in a water proof jacket, in a water proof pocket… but what moisture got in evidently killed it.  None of the “fixes” actually fixed it.  It was just DOA.  So I kept it.  Always with the intent to shoot it… because Apple.

A Brief Over-View of Beretta’s 90 Series pistols.

92FS

92FS & 96FS.   Standard Beretta 92/96 series. 3 dot sights.  This is the classic.  Used in every movie ever made through the 80’s.  Used by Law Enforcement around the world during that time.  It’s a great looking handgun.  Solid.  Accurate.  Reliable.  Shooting it is like driving a Cadillac.  Much like the Cadillac’s of the 80’s, which were overly large, heavy, and under-powered.  Yes, we make holsters for this.

M9

M9 Commercial.  Same as Military issue.  Uses dot-bar sights, but otherwise identical to the 92FS.  Used by just about everyone in the US Military who has no choice of what pistols they are issued.  Those who have the option tend to roll with the SIG P226 or a 1911 (Looking at you, MARSOC) or really whatever they feel like at the time as long as it’s not the M9.  Still, the M9 is a great pistol and will always be a great pistol.  Yes, we have holsters for this.

M9A1

M9A1.  railed version of the M9 with checkering.  Notice the straight and flat forward edge of the Trigger guard.  You can see this was built to not just have the option of a light mount, but to actually run with a light mounted to it.  I think they had the X300 specifically in mind when they designed this gun.  Yes, we have holsters for this.

92A1

92A1/96A1.  Railed version of the 92, but with a dovetailed front sight post, internal recoil buffers in the 96 version, no checkering like the M9A1, and note the rounded trigger guard.  The rail is Picatinny and not the normal universal rail.  This rail is bigger than the normal rail, which requires a completely different mold which we’ve not made yet.  Beretta made this gun different from everything else, not because these changes made for a better pistol, but because Beretta doesn’t like you, or concepts like “compatibility”.  NO, we do not have holsters for this at this time.

90-Two

90-Two.  Rounded trigger guard, new grips, and note the new slide profile.  Sights are dovetailed, there is an internal recoil buffer, and note that the rails come with a removable Rail Cover over them.    No, we do not have anything for this one, and we don’t need to as Beretta has killed off this gun.  Probably the best of the 90 Series guns Beretta has made.  And it’s a great looking and feeling gun too.  But it didn’t sell very well, because Beretta doesn’t know how to market their tactical guns.  That, and they gave it the worst name they could have possibly given it.  How do you say that?  “Ninety Two”.  Just like their other gun, the “Ninety Two”.  Brilliant.

 

1115

I’m switching up my carry ammo for my Beretta.    According to Hornady my previous carry load, their XTP Custom 115 grain load, zips out at 1155 FPS.   I used to really like the XTP’s, and the Winchester SXT’s, which were about the same.  With the ammo drought going on, the load I wanted to get for my Beretta 92FS was the PDX1′s, were just not available.  I’ve actually been waiting for those suckers to come in since I got the 92!
Today, we did get in some 9mm defense stuff.  1 case.  Just one.  So I snagged some.  Hornady’s new Critical Duty 135 grain +P.  These suckers are stepping out at a very respectible 1115 FPS.  Only 40 FPS slower, but a lot heavier.   Felt recoil is increased some… I feel more push, but not as sharp of a kick as I was expecting.  Accuracy is spot on.  I dig that.  And the fact that’s as heavy as my old favorite .40 cal loads.  This is a comfortable load for me and a comfortable load for the big full sized Battle Handgun Beretta 92FS.
Accuracy and Reliability are there, and according to all the reports I’ve read, the Terminal Ballistics are there too.  I hope I never have to find out though.

Half way through Beretta Month.

Let’s see… We’re at the half way point.
What are my impressions?

I’m well pleased with the Beretta.  The Size and Weight, I was expecting to become a problem.  The gun is heavier than anything else I’ve carried these last few years and it does pull my belt down on one side a bit.  But then again, I’ve also lost a lot of poundage and the belt is looser than it as ever been.   I prefer to use Pancake style OWB holsters for comfort, and this probably helps a great deal.  But do to the overall size of the Beretta, I have found that it can print depending on what I am wearing… namely a loose fitting Under Armor Polo if I lean forward or bend down to pick something up.  Other than that, the gun stays well hidden and doesn’t cause any problems.   The length of the barrel, being that full length fighting gun, does mean that the holster can at times Peakaboo out from under a jacket or shirt tail or sweater.  But since this is fall, if I’m not working, I favor nice baggy hoodies anyways so this is no problem.

I still love the Full Size feel and the confidence this gun radiates.  The accuracy is great and I can hit very well with it.  I’ve changed the thick rubber grips off of it for OEM polymer grips, which may seem like a downgrade, but they fit my hand so much better, so it’s a plus for me.  I am liking the Beretta more and more as time goes on.  I am not ready to give up on my Glocks any time soon… but the Beretta is indeed going to be a regular gun in the carry rotation from now on.  I intend to use this in more active roles now.  I should have used it at the MAG-40 class, where I am confident that I could have scored my 300 instead of the 298.

The downsides to the 92FS as a Daily Carry Gun.  A.  It’s size.  It IS just a very large handgun and if this was the peak of summer, packing it concealed would be more of a problem as I can’t wear Hoodies.  Packing it Open Carry, like I can do around here easily, does attract a few eyeballs, but no one has said anything.  It’s more overt than my smaller, less interesting Glocks.  B.  I wish the 92FS’s used a Dovetailed front sight post.  While this pistol does have Night Sights, being a former LEO weapon, I would have loved the chance to tap in a different front sight post, such as a Mepro or a Big Dot.

So to sum this up, I’m giving it an 8 out of 10 at this point.

No Glock November

It started as a challenge. A gauntlet thrown. No Glocks for the Month of November, just Beretta, and specifically, just the Beretta 92FS, which I just happen to have.  I can’t give the details, or any better explanation… but I have my reasons.

I came into the Beretta 92FS which was owned by my Brother, which was owned by my Friend, which was owned by evidently a Cop according to Beretta.  But all that is not important.  The important bit is the challenge its self.  The fact that the Beretta is “Too Big” and “Too Heavy” and it has the Safety in the wrong place and it’s just wrong to Carry and that you can’t do it.  Well, yeah, I can, and I am.  In fact, it’s mostly Open Carried when not at work, which is no big thing out here in my part of the world.  Lots of guys Open Carry around here.  And since the Election, the numbers of Open Carry that I’ve seen has gone through the roof.

Back to the Beretta.  I got it well used.  Thanks to another friend at Beretta, I’ve changed the locking block, springs, and the grips back to OEM.  This required the grinding of the Grip Screws as they were too long and locked the magazine in tight like it was bolted in… because it was.  So I had to shorten them.  This took all of 4 Minutes.  The thicker rubber grips were just a touch too thick for my hands. With the OEM’s back on, I like it much better.  Fits my hand and points better for me.  I am digging the gun.  It’s a good 92, and according to Beretta it’s a Law Enforcement gun that came from the factory with Night Sights.

So now that everything is ready for duty, I’m going to pack nothing but this Beretta for the rest of the month.  No 23′s, no 22′s, no 17′s… Not even an M&P, and no 1911′s. Just Beretta, and just this 92FS.
All carry and all pistol shooting is Beretta.  This is going to be a challenge because I am so used to the Glocks.  My G23 in my Adams Holsters Sharkhide rig has been a part of me.  I am no stranger to the 92.  I had one before, years ago.  I sold it and got a CZ-97B, and that turned into another gun that I don’t remember… Springfield maybe.  Yeah, that’s what it was.  But I had a nice 92 that I had picked up almost brand new.  To be honest… as much as I liked it… I wasn’t that good with it.  Well, I’m a much better handgunner now, so I’m not bothered with going from crisp single action like triggers to this DA/SA style.

Another challenge was thrown and accepted.  Next month, it’s SIG.