Tag Archives: Beretta

They don’t make it, but I want it.

Beretta_90TWO

The Beretta 90-Two.  Beretta’s best and worst in one single package.  Let me explain why.

On one hand, it’s absolutely the best.  The best handgun Beretta has ever made.  It has all the latest features and updated good looks that really take it into the next century.   I love the swept lines and new contours in the frame on the safety levers.
On the other hand, it has the worst name they could have given the pistol.  I had people come to me at the gun counter and say “I want a Beretta ninety two.”  Yes, I have that right here.  “No, a ninety two.”  You get my point.  It’s name was made of confusion.  Had they called in a 2092 or something, it would have worked.  Colt and STI did similar things for the “1911″ and it worked.  Worked just fine, without being cute.  In fact, it was more descriptive and accurate if a name.  People knew what you were talking about.
The internal buffer and the dovetailed sights are both features of the 92A1… and that’s great.  But the 92A1 doesn’t have the fresh new look.
I’ve been wanting one of these more and more this year.  For no specific reason.

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Here’s the other gun I’m wanting.  The 92FS Compact.  I have no real justification for it.  It’s only a little bit smaller than the standard 92FS.  A little shorter in barrel and slide, a little shorter in the grip frame.  So it’s really not so “Compact”.  It’s more of a 92 “Commander” in that it takes the gun that feels rather large and turns it into a gun that feels “Just right”.  I can’t describe it any better than that.  It just felt oh so very “right” when I drooled on one at the last gun show I went to in Utah.  I passed it up, but the gun has been on my mind ever since and as of late as been doing laps like a motorcyclist in one of those round steel cages.

Both of these guns are very high in Want Factor for me.  I want them bad.  But I can resist buying them because of rational reasons.  But rationality can only go so far.

Now, if Beretta made a 90-TWO Compact.  I’d just have to throw my hands up and surrender to the Beretta Trident and do something very foolish to quickly raise the money to buy one immediately.   Because that’s what I really want.  I don’t think I could take living in a world that has that and me not having one.

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.

Top Service Pistols for 2014

I’ve talked about the best choices for Concealed Carry, but what about for the guys who have to carry openly?  Law Enforcement, PMC, Security Contractor, or general Open Carry use, these are going to require a different type of handgun.  Basically as much gun on your hip as you can get.  Full sized, full capacity, none of the compromises required for Concealment.

SIG 226/220.  This full sized SIG is a classic and the choice of a great many gunslinging professionals.  A big capacity and rugged construction combined with reliability and accuracy. It’s everything you could want in a Side Arm.  Unless you want a larger caliber.  The 220 everything you like about the 226, but in .45 Auto.  This big bore auto is known as “The Thinking Man’s .45″ and that does indeed make sense when you’ve spent time with the gun.  Same capacity as a 1911, but offers a decocking DA/SA fire control profile.  This is probably the safest autoloading handgun I know of. (226 included)  They are also very accurate.

Glock 17/22.  Depending on your choice of 9mm or .40 cal, these guns are probably the first choice of more police departments than anything else.  Very low bore axis, and a simple striker fired trigger mechanism makes these guns very easy to shoot well with once you get used to the triggers.  17 rounds of 9mm was an improvement over the typical 15 rounds others guns had, and 15 rounds of .40 cal is nothing to sneeze at these days.

Glock 20/21.  10mm or .45, these full sized beasts give you everything you need to pull duty on a dark and storm night.    A lot of Law Enforcement Officers are running the 21 and I know a few that are running the 10mm.  15 rounds of 10mm is a lot of firepower.  With good accuracy and legendary reliability – A Glock is never a wrong choice.

Beretta 90 Series.  The 92FS, 92F, M9, M9A1, 92A1, 90-TWO, 96, 96A1.  Shooting the big Beretta is like driving a Cadillac.  Big, comfortable, comforting, reliable and accurate all with Hollywood good looks.   Beretta has a lot of visual style, but what I like best is the almost straight line feeding.  Mine can feed empty casing.  Super smooth action as well, thanks to it’s unique locking block.  The Beretta won the US Army contract for a good reason.  Like it or not – and I know I’m going to open a can of worms here – it kicked SIG’s ass in the Trials.  It kicked everyone’s asses in the Trials.  So much so that the Army actually had to “dumb down” the test just so the SIG could stay in the race and the Beretta wouldn’t be a lone competitor.  The 90 Series is battle proven around the world.

Beretta Px4 STORM.  This is Beretta’s newest service auto.  It uses a unique rotating barrel action with a traditionally Beretta like DA/SA trigger mechanism.  This action makes the Storm a soft shooting pistol as it takes more energy out of the recoil.  Like the 90 Series, the sights and the barrel maintain their relationship, they are very accurate shot to shot.  With good triggers and comfortable recoil – it’s easy to be a good shot with the Px4 STORM.  Even the Mid sized version… But the full sized is seriously just a pussycat.  You can get it in 9, .40, and .45 auto.  It’s one of my favorite new autos.

S&W M&P.  S&W decided to get serious with the Poly Striker platform and forced Glock to rush the Gen 4 to market.  Smith took a lot of LEO sales away from Glock. The Swampy as some call it, is a good pistol and a huge step up from Smith’s prior Glock Attack, the SIGMA.  *shudder*.   I bought one for my eldest Son, who upon getting the pistol, loading it, and having never fired it before – drilled the X in the target as perfectly as an Olympic Marksman from 20 yards.  They are accurate guns.  Like my Glocks, his Swampy has never failed.

Walther PPQ.  This gun surprised me.  The prior P99 was a gun that surprised me too.  500 rounds of mixed ammunition, it never failed.  But it had a couple characteristics that made it an oddity.  Such as the push down mag release and the top of the slide decocker button.  The PPQ does away with the decocker on top and gives the gun a normal and familiar mag release. Honestly I didn’t mind the P99′s mag release and I found that I would use my trigger finger to drop the mags, just like I did with my HK.  The PPQ is now available in either 4 or 5 inch barrel lengths and in 9mm or .40 caliber.  The PPQ feels good in the hand and is probably one of the best and most under-rated service autos on the market.  Let me put it this way – I really want a PPQ and will be buying one this year. Or Trading for it. A few years ago I had said that Walther was struggling to maintain it’s validity.  The PPQ anchors it.

Springfield Armory XDM.  Good trigger, good sights, and huge capacities make the XDM a solid choice.  If you can get passed it’s “only a mother could love it” looks.  While I’m not the biggest fan, I have to respect it. They are super accurate and easy to shoot well with.  I know owners who have dumped a lot of rounds with astounding accuracy through their M’s.

HK P30 and HK45.  The Germans really do engineer some fine hardware.  But the P30 and the HK45 are both over priced and in my opinion over rated.  With a standard trigger package, I find their triggers to be lacking in the quality of trigger pull that I would expect from such expensive guns.  And I don’t like glow in the dark toy like sights that come on them stock.  Again, for such an expensive gun, I want Tritiums on it right out of the box.  Don’t get me started on the price of spare mags.  For what you pay for an HK, it should come with Tritiums and 4 spares.  All that aside – these guns deserve consideration.  They are sharp looking, and they feel good in the hand.   You can not go wrong with an HK, you really can’t.  They are very well made.  And after you dump enough rounds through it… Cost wise, would be enough to put a kid through a 12 credit semester of college, the trigger does feel pretty decent.   They do look good… Like new BMW or Mercedes good looking.  Pistol-Training.com’s Todd Green did a long term test on the P30 and it ran some 93,000 rounds before forced retirement.  You could buy a new car for that much… Or you could afford to get sick or even have a (small) accident under Obamacare for that much money.  I believe that none of his other tests have run that distance… Which ultimately makes the HK’s probably the best choice out of the lot.

 

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.

This is a great email

I normally don’t post emails that I get… namely because I just flat out get too many of them. And I may not answer them all. But I do read all of them.

Hi Ogre,

My wife and I have been batting around the idea of purchasing a pistol or two for a few years now. Considering some recent events, on both national and local scales, we are making that more of a priority. We’ve visited our local Cabellas and a couple of independent shops, test fired a few pistols, and so on, but we’ve still got some lingering uncertainties about exactly what we want. With that in mind, I thought it might be worthwhile to ask someone who knows about guns, and isn’t going to try to swamp us with a load of BS in hopes of making a big sale – i.e. you. (If you already have something like this on your site, I apologize for missing it.)

I understand that “what do you recommend” is a difficult question to answer without some additional info, so here’s what I think you will need to know to provide some useful advice:

1 – The primary purpose will be home/personal defense, and by extension target shooting to build up the relevant skill and confidence that we’ll need to use the weapon properly.
2 – We’re reasonable sure that 9mm is the ammo size we want – Good stopping power with not so much recoil as to be problematic for inexperienced users like ourselves.
3 – We want our weapon(s) to be semi-automatics. I’ve seen enough that I am confident in the mechanical reliability of newer weapons, and we also like their recoil-damping capabilities compared to revolvers.

Here’s what we’ve tried so far, and our impressions:
Beretta 92FS / M9A1 – This is our overall favorite to date. We especially like how the decocking lever and slide release work, although when test-firing, the accuracy seemed a bit random. That could be our lack of skill, or because the specific weapon is a range gun that anyone can use, and has probably had 50,000+ rounds shot through it by now. We found the slide to be a bit stiff when racking in a round. I thought it would have been a bit large for my wife’s hand, but she said she was comfortable with it. I kind of wish the decocking lever were below the slide, but you can’t have everything.

Beretta PX4 – This was the easiest for my wife to use, and she also likes how the slide will not manually operate one a round has been chambered. I don’t care for that as much, as it seems to make removing a dud round without dropping the magazine difficult. The rotating bolt also seems to be more mechanically complex.

CZ 75 – This one seemed to be a knockoff of the Beretta 92 – This one seemed loose, our shots went all over the target, otherwise the differences we noted were mainly superficial.

Kimber Team Match II – This one was a near-immediate reject for us. The slide was so stiff my wife could barely operate it, and while the grip safety is nice, it seemed that when we racked the the slide, the lever safety would come off and we would have to manually re-engage it. Neither of us liked the thought of accidentally firing a round because the safety came off when we didn’t expect it.

I know there are many other manufacturers out there – S&W, Springfield Armory, Sig, Glock, Wathers, HK, etc. etc. etc. Each with various pros and cons, but if we spent the time to handle and test every one, we’d spend months thinking about it and enough money on range fees to have bought one or two pistols.

If there is anything else you need to know in order to make recommendations/suggestions, please drop me an e-mail.

Thanks much!

This is how to write an email of this type… he gives me enough background information so that I might be able to give the best possible response. Because normally my response would be “Get a SHOTGUN and a GLOCK.” Because I know those work and without any additional information, that’s the best that could be done. “Oh, for you, I’d get the SIG 226. Absolutely the SIG 226.” Yeah, see, I can’t do that, because I don’t know you and that means everything. How big you are or are not, how you dress, where you go and how you get there etc. And this guy knows that I don’t know him, so he fills in the details.
No, don’t send photos of yourself… Unless you are a Smokin Hot Mamma wearing something small and thin. Other than that, just fill in the information like this guy did.

Now, to answer the question.  Let’s get to it!

The Beretta is indeed one of the finest fighting hanguns you can get, and if your wife can handle it, it’s a solid choice.  They are extremely accurate and reliable.  Your evident problems with accuracy though, means it would require some additional range time with the gun, which is great, but you need to do that before you can carry it.  So while I would recommend it… that’s a commitment you would have to make.  I’ve sold several to women who say that like the feel and have no problem with the gun’s grip size, but it is large.
Mechanically the CZ and the 92 are about as different as a V-8 and a Wankle Rotary Engine.  Both are great, but operate differently.  And like the guns, I like both engines.  The CZ is a great handgun, one of the best.  In fact, the late Jeff Cooper hailed it as one of the most advanced 9mm pistols you could get.  I’ve had several and all of them were very good.   You can’t go wrong.
The Px4 Storm, is once again, a very different system mechanically and operates just like the 92 from the Operators standpoint when shooting.  The upshot to the Storm is that more novice shooters will find the Storms to be more accurate and softer shooting thanks to that rotating action taking some energy from recoil.
For general use as you indicate, I’d say go for the Beretta Storm and get to know it better.  The barrel and locking lug should be lubricated with some Slipstream Grease while the rest oiled normally with a good gun oil… such as Slipstream Styx.  You can order those off Amazon.com or CrusaderWeaponry.com as you wish.
For some other pistol options, I am of course a fan of the Glocks.  A Model 19 would fit the bill perfectly for both of you, if you can both handle a 92, the 19 would be no problem.  A Gen 3 19 is the way to go as pulling the slide back for your wife will be no problem.  Another pistol to look at if you can find one, is the Caracal F.  Much like the Glock in that there is no exterior manual safeties, but the internals are different and the trigger is better, smoother.  I really like the Caracal and have shot one rather a lot.  I could probably be tempted to trade off something to get one.  The Caracal has a grip more like the CZ and much less blocky like a Glock.  Butter smooth action too.   Take a look.

With these options, it’s just a matter of taste as to which one would best suit your needs.