Beretta 92FS Service Pistol
Considered by many to be a legend in it's own time, the Beretta 92FS is a true clone of the M9 service pistol with little difference between the two other than the serial numbers.
When adopted by the US military in 1985, the 15-round capacity of this gun's magazine was a welcome step up from the standard 7 rounds that the M1911A1 held. Some decried the downsizing from the larger .45 cartridge to the 9mm, but the overall increase in firepower and the fact that the 9mm cartridge was so widely distributed throughout America's allies sealed the deal.
Beretta 92FS pistols are known to be a bit heavy, but much of this is the result of the fully loaded magazine as the frame of the gun itself is made from aircraft-grade aluminum in an attemp to shed as much excess weight as possible.
Both single-action and double action firing is possible with the pistols trigger setup. The long double-action pull is the standard for the first shot as the gun is always in the decocked posotion when the safety is on but as the hammer is external, the gun can be manually cocked to allow a traditionally more accurate single-action shot to be placed if desired.
At the time, a number of the safety features introduced in the 92FS service pistol were heralded as groundbreaking. The thumb safety performs two functions that effectively make it physically impossible for the gun to fire. The first is that it effectively breaks the firing pin in two so if the safety is engages, no forward connection between the hammer and chambered round exists. The second is that the safety itself is the decocking mechanism for this pistol. Rotate the safety down into the "safe" position and the hammer automatically decocks which means the gun cannot be carried in single-action mode and subsequently dropped if the safety is properly engaged.
If you are wondering what would happen if the gun was dropped with the safety off and the hammer cocked, a third, firing pin blog internal safety mechanism is integrated into the interior of the gun itself. The firing pin block is a physical obstruction between the resting firing pin and the round that remains in place until the trigger is fully depressed. These three safeties work together to make the Beretta 92FS one of the safest service pistols money can buy.
These guns feature easy disassemply. To field strip, simply rotate the safety latch and remove the slide assemply the barrel and recoil spring assembly can be removed for cleaning and maintainence. This was a significant improvement at the time over the 1911.
Both front and rear sights are combat style and are permanently integrated into the slide. Both sights use a white-dot system that provides a high visibility confirmation of both sight alignment and sight picture.
The Beretta 92FS service pistols feature a true ambidextrous design. The safety is both right and left handed by default and the magazine release can be converted to left hand use in a matter of minutes.
A black, no glare, corrosion resistant BrunitonTM finish is seen most commonly with these service pistols but Beretta also makes a Inox version that appears to be stainless at first glance. As only the slide is stainless steel and the frame remains aluminum the Inox guns are uniform in appearance but not composition.
Reviews of the Beretta 92FS service pistols are found below. All full-size, 15-round guns regardless of finish are to be reviewed here. Surpluss M9 pistols can also be included in this review set. The newer, 92A1 and 96A1 models hold closely to the 92FS but as they are higher capacity and feature integrated accessory rails, have their own independent review sections.