"YIPPE KI YAY!!"
-John McClane, Die Hard
I'm willing to bet you've seen it before, it has been use in countless action movies, it was the standard issue sidearm for the U.S. Army, and it is an icon of American gun culture. Yep, it's the Beretta 92 (or M9, if you're an Army guy). When the U.S. Military need to replace the M1911, the oldest gun manufacturer in the world produced something the Americans deemed worthy of succeeding John Browning's famous design. I recall a lot of you have a personal dislike for this weapon, I know that up until recently, I did too. However, I think that this is unfair. The M9 was a fantastic design, and like most girls, you don't know you like it until you get to know it (for legal reasons that's a joke). So, today I will present you with 5 reasons the Beretta 92 deserves another look.
As I just mentioned, the Beretta 92 replaced the M1911 as the U.S. military's handgun of choice. Now, let's face it, the 1911 was getting old, but it stuck around just long enough to be in Black Hawk Down, so, there's that. Anyway, as you should all know, the military has an EXTREMELY high standard when it comes to reliability. Beretta claims the average M9 can run over 17,000 rounds without stoppages. Which, although isn't unheard of, is impressive. Part of it's reliability stems from it's exposed barrel, one which is practically a trademark of Beretta pistols. This makes the ejection port huge, which reduces the chance of the spent casing getting stuck on it's way out, increasing reliability.
You should have expected this! As we all know, Italian guns are naturally good looking, like the Beretta ARX-160, The Benelli M4, and the SPAS-12. Beretta has a very good reputation of high-quality, and if anyone insults your 92, calls it gangster, asks where your white tank-top is, you can always just turn up your nose and remind them it's Italian.
This is perhaps, what made me not hate this gun, for those of you who don't know what a “locking block” is, allow me to introduce you to the basics of short-recoil, locked breech operation. When a recoil operated gun goes off, it yeets the slide backwards, and if the cartridge is too powerful, it will explode the guy (or gal) shooting it. To keep this from happening, handguns usually have certain locking mechanisms, so the slide will slow down, and hold in the pressure of the cartridge for a moment, until the pressure has dissipated. Almost all modern handguns, such as the M1911, the Glock 17, the HK P30, etc, etc, all use John Browning's “Tilting Barrel” mechanism, which works by having the barrel only lock into place when the slide is forward, then hold down the pressure once the gun goes off. It works great, is compact, but isn't as accurate as the locking block mechanism. The locking block works with the barrel held in place, but still able to fly back a little, so as to hold down the pressure. This renders the Beretta 92 a little more accurate then most handguns.
I have only three things to say... exposed barrel, alloy frame, and nice curves. 😳 😆
The frame is alloy, and this makes it a little thicc (that's the correct spelling, mind you.), but also more durable, controllable, and not so top-heavy. Some people like it, some people don't, but in my opinion, metal frames are better for duty pistols, as size and weight isn't quite as much of a concern. Also, polymer frames make the gun feel weirdly light, in the wrong places. In addtion, metal frames make for less muzzle flip, as not only do they have added weight, but most of the mass on polymer framed guns is in the slide, therefore, most of the mass is yeeting backward, causing the gun to be even less controllable.
Hopefully you now agree that the Beretta 92 is actually a good gun. Of course, does this mean it needs to be your new favorite pistol? No, it's not even my favorite pistol, not even one of my favorite pistols, but that's just cause we all have different preferences. The fact of the matter is, this gun deserves respect, as it is a very fine piece of Italian engineering. If someone says it's their favorite gun, they have many good reasons for it, not just because it looks cool. Which it does. Thank you for your time, and have a nice day.
Want to learn more about the gun mentioned in this article? I'd like to encourage you to check out these videos, and maybe even research for yourself!