Tag Archives: M9

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.

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.

 

Packing the M9

Last weekend I ended up with my friend Mike Kupari’s old Beretta 92FS.  This is the same gun that the US Army just bought another 100,000 of.  I’ve been packing it since I got it, which is about the same time Beretta made the announcement.

The Beretta is a huge pistol for 9mm.  The grip frame is massive and the magazine capacity is less than it should be for a gun of this size.  Only 15 rounds when other guns with smaller grips are able to pack in 18 or so.  But this isn’t a big deal to me.  The gun has a lot of character.  It’s easy to shoot well with.  And it’s not too heavy.  It carries well enough in the good Pancake style holster I have for it.  But it can print thanks to the Beretta’s slide mounted safety.

Overall, I really like it.  I do prefer packing a full sized handgun, or a Mid Size, compared to the popular Sub-Compact options.

100,000 More Beretta M9’s for the Army

Beretta has announced that the US Army is set for the M9 for another 5 years and has ordered another hundred thousand M9 handguns.

So there you go… No new Army handgun for some time to come.  Sorry guys.

Of course, the M9 isn’t all that bad, when running off of good Beretta made magazines.  It’s full sized frame makes it controllable, confidence inspiring, and it’s both accurate and reliable… again, when running off factory mags and not after market.    Of course, my problem isn’t the gun, but the chosen caliber.  Maybe we can get an upgrade kit and make them all .40’s at least?  No?  Oh well.  The 9mm has done a good job with what it’s had to deal with.  The problem though is that the US Military has to use FMJ ammunition, where as we can run good JHP’s if we like.  If the Military could use some good old Hollow Points, then I think the complaints about stopping power would diminish greatly.

If not HP’s, then how about EFMJ’s?  Expanding Full Metal Jackets.  They look like regular Ball ammo but expand on impact.

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I can’t understand this.

Last week I did something I probably shouldn’t have… Okay, I know that’s a list that goes all the way to the floor, but I’m talking about one particular thing.

I pulled a Beretta M9 out of the case and really looked at it again.  I felt it.  Cycled it.  Stripped it down and examined it closely.  Now, the Big Beretta is nothing new to me… I’ve owned two of them but they never really inspired me or made me feel all that interested in them.  I got them just because.

Now, looking at this Beretta… Feels good in the hand.  Big and Curvy and Sexy… It’s been growing on me.

Here’s the odd thing.  I’d want it in 9mm.  I’d pretty much just keep it stock save for Slipstreaming.  Because really they are fine just like that.  Huh.  I don’t know why I’d even want the thing.  I prefer SIG and Glock… Single Actions over Doubles.  But I am digging the M9 right now.  I just don’t know why.