If you were looking for new sub compact .380 pistol, Beretta has a new option for you.
As small as .380 Mouse Guns go, it looks good. Looks like it’s for little lady hands… I think I’d have to use chopsticks to hold it. But it’s cool looking, and it looks like it has good sights too.
…With this Beretta 92 in my hand. And I’m looking at it… It’s just gorgeous.
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 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.
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.
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 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. 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.
92A1/96A1. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m a fan of your guns, I really am… But it seems you have a hole in you line up that needs filled.
You guys need to come out with a simple, slim, low bore axis, striker fired pistol.
No rotational locks, slide mounted safety, or anything else that adds width. You teased us with the Nano… We know you could do it. Yes, I’m saying Beretta needs to make a Glock. Imagine a pistol with Glock-like simplicity, but with some Italian good looks and feel. Actually, look hard at the Caracal pistols. That trigger is fantastic. I could have one… And I want one… But something about it is off. I know Beretta could do a better job of it.
The action of the 92 is interesting, and applied to a striker gun could be something fantastic. If it could be done slim wise.
For the month of November, I carried a Beretta 92FS, and nothing else. Here’s what I relearned and had hammered into my head. You absolutely can carry a Full Sized automatic handgun for Concealed Carry. At first it was unusual because the gun was larger and heavier than what I was used to packing. When Adams Holsters sent me the new Sharkhide Crossroads rig, all the sudden packing that beast of a Beretta became much easier and comfortable for all day carry.
When I say all day carry, what I really mean is “If I’m wearing pants, I’m wearing my gun”. And the Beretta, once I got used to it, was really no problem.
The Crossroads rig is a nice wide pancake style outside of the waistband type holster. This distributes the weight and the profile and really is the most comfortable type of holster you can use. The big 92 just became a part of me for the whole of November.
By week 3, I was very much enjoying the big gun.
There were a couple times when having a big service auto was indeed a greater comfort. There was a moment when I came out of a location late at night and walked across the parking lot to my Bike. A couple large, thuggish looking guys were parked not very far away, leaning on their truck, drinking beer. I make no judgement on their poor choice of domestic horse-piss, or their choice of Brokeback music they were playing. But what concerned me was their increased level of attention to me as I approached. Having the Beretta almost whisper to me “We can take them”, was a great assurance. The other time was when I came home, and through the shadows, a brief flash of red Eye Shine caught me by surprise. In the story I wrote, “UPRISING USA” and “UPRISING UK”, I have evil characters called “Red Eyes” which are demonically possessed zombies. And here at Ogre Ranch, I just saw red eyes shining in the shadows along the side of my house.
I jumped off my bike, drew the Beretta and covered where the eye shine was. I could see something there… but I didn’t know what it was. My flashlight… I had one with me… was in my backpack, doing me not a damn bit of good. The Beretta in my hand allowed me to stand my ground when a more sane man would have backed off. Just then my wife drove up in her Explorer and the the sweep of her headlights illuminated the creature that I was damn near ready to light up.
It was Mule Deer Buck… Just standing there, looking at me, sniffing at me. It turned and bounded off as the car passed.
Having a large creature breathing and standing there… and you don’t know what the hell it is… it can be disturbing. Bears are in the mountains just behind Ogre Ranch… and I hate bears. Pooh even makes my trigger finger itch. The idea of having a bear here did not make me happy. We had one before, about seven years ago. A small black bear. No big deal, but still… it’s just the bear that mauls more people than any other. A 15 round mag full of PDX1 backed up with a couple 20 rounders was plenty enough for a bear. Even a shadowy nightmare bear. Nightbears. I hate Nightbears. We also have Cougars out here. Lots of them. Older women and the Mountain Lion types… Both are highly dangerous… And their are the Coyotes and Feral Dogs that come around too. But the eye shine was much higher than cougars and canines.
I had to laugh a bit as the big buck deer bounded away and disappeared. It’s the unknown thought made that brief moment rather scary. In that brief moment, the big service auto was a comfort and a half. Of course, I’d rather have had one of my 12 Gauges, but I didn’t feel like I was holding a squirt gun.
November is now passed and that means I have the option of not wearing my Beretta 92FS. December First, I put on my Glock 23L and instantly appreciated the lighter weight of it. But as the day went on, I found myself missing the Beretta. The heft of it. Pulling it out, the Glock just didn’t have the pleasing lines and good looks of the Beretta… it was disappointing. I’ll be rolling with the Beretta more often now.
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.