Beretta 92FS: History and Specs
One of the most recognizable pistols ever made, the Beretta 92FS is both an enduring classic in the firearms world as well as a robust and reliable duty handgun that has proven itself throughout its history.
The 92FS is easily Beretta’s most successful pistol, having served as the sidearm for countless militaries and law enforcement units all over the world. Most notably, it served as the primary issue sidearm for the United States military from 1985 up until 2017, when it began to be replaced by the SIG Sauer M17/M18. In many ways, the Beretta 92FS is an iconic American firearm as well despite its Italian origins.
It’s also one of the most customizable firearms on the planet, and there are a myriad of aftermarket parts and accessories for the weapon as well, including IWB holsters and OWB holsters.
In this review, we’ll cover the evolution and history of the Beretta 92, and then we’ll discuss the features and specs of this pistol that make it a unique option on the market today.
Evolution of the Beretta 92FS
In many ways, the Beretta 92 represents an evolution of the Walther P38 pistol, which served as the standard issue sidearm for the German army from 1938 to 2004, and the earlier Beretta M1951. The 92 incorporates the locking block barrel design and alloy frame of the Walther P38 with the open slide design and general appearance of the M1951.
The first variant of the 92-series was the Beretta 92, which was first released in 1976 and made until 1983. In 1978, the 92 was later developed into the 92S, which moved the frame-mounted safety to the slide and also added a decock function.
The next variant was the 92SB, which moved the magazine release from the heel of the grip to the trigger guard like most American-pistols, and also added three-dot sights, a firing pin block, and ambidextrous safety/decock levers. This version was submitted for the United States Air Force trials, from which it emerged victorious.
Beretta slightly modified the 92SB by squaring the trigger guard, and also added a curve at the base of the grip to help improve ergonomics, added hard chroming to the bore to improve longevity, and replaced the standard blued finish with a much tougher rust and corrosion-resistant finish called Bruniton. The result was the Beretta 92F.
A few years later, the 92F was altered further by enlarging the hammer pin, which stops the slide from flying off of the frame in the event that the frame cracks. This gun became known as the 92FS, and it’s been the flagship pistol in Beretta’s handgun lineup ever since. The military version of the 92FS is known as the M9, and is also offered to civilians.
Numerous variants of the 92FS exist as well, including the Beretta 92FS Compact, the Beretta 92A1, and the Beretta M9A1 and M9A3. But it’s the 92FS that served as the basis for each of these pistols.
Design and Specs of the Beretta 92FS
The Beretta 92FS’s most distinguishable feature is its open slide design, which helps to improve the smooth feeding and ejection of ammunition. The barrel is hard chromed to reduce wear, and the locking block mechanism that was borrowed from the Walther P38 ensures that the slide is incredibly smooth to operate as well.
The Beretta 92FS has little recoil and muzzle climb compared to other 9mm pistols due to its weight and locking block mechanism. Standard magazine capacity is 15 rounds, but 17 round factory magazines and 18 round aftermarket Mec-Gar magazines are also available (although it’s worth noting that Mec-Gar also manufactures the factory magazines, just not in name). 10 round magazines are also available for states or jurisdictions with restrictions.
Beretta M9/92FS Specs:
Barrel Length: 4.9 inches
Height: 5.4 inches
Length: 8.5 inches
Sight Radius: 6.1 inches
Unloaded Weight: 33.3 ounces
Magazine: 10, 15, 17, or 18 rounds in a flush-fitting magazine
The Beretta 92FS is one of the most successful pistols ever made, and there’s a good reason for it. There’s really no other pistol on the market with a design quite like the Beretta 92 (other than clones such as the Taurus PT92) and it’s likely it will stick around for many years to come even in the face of more modern designs.