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Classic Pistols - Beretta 92 - header image

Pistol Gunfighting

Classic Pistols - Beretta 92

The Beretta 92 burst onto the scene in the mid 1980s. It was the gun the 1911 crowd loved to hate. Cats and dogs were predicted to move in together when this was adopted by the US Military as the M9. The "crunchenticker", is what it was called by the Colt 45 devotees, and anyone that brought it to class was met with derision and ridicule by the staff at the prominent gun schools of the day.

But nearly 30 years later it is still around. I prefer Glocks, and SIGs if working DA pistols, but a professional man-at-arms can do well with anything that is put in his hands. I never seriously carried the Beretta, but I bought one from the now defunct B&B sales in North Hollywood in direct preparation for a contract in Italy with Benelli. Along with learning Italian it seemed like the professional thing to do.

I had carried a S&W 5906 for years so I was not unfamiliar with the system. I trained up with it and carried one just like it in 9x21 on "the Italian Job". Having compared notes with LEO and Military guys from the US and overseas I have some observations on this weapon.

  1. It is extremely accurate. The Italians know how to make weapons...perhaps better at it now than Americans. In fact, there is evidence that would confirm that the word "pistol" comes from the Italian town of Pistoia, where the original Berettas were said to have been handmade. True or not, you cannot deny the Italians know how to make quality. The Carbinieri are NOT carrying Colts, Glocks, nor Smith & Wessons.
  2. The slide design virtually eliminates many of the more common malfunctions. I have never seen a Beretta malfunction.
  3. The trigger is a double action/single action deal, but it can be easily managed. See discussions on the topic we have published in the past.

Here are some pointers for the system:

  • Carry the weapon "SAFETY OFF". Guys that tell you to carry it "safety on" are misguided and don't know what they don't know.
  • In the holster, the weapon should be set to half cock. This moves the hammer back about 1/4 of an inch and decreases the pull weight by a few pounds. Try it before you disagree. You still have a 6-8# trigger pull this way and it is quite safe. Subsequent shots will all typical single action.
  • Thumb cock the pistol for difficult, or for longer shots, it is perfectly acceptable and encouraged by me to pull the hammer all the way back to single action.
  • The weapon is handled and manipulated the same as any other pistol. There is a step I add with the slide mounted decocking lever-equipped weapons. Every single time you manipulate the slide, thrust the firing hand thumb forward in the movement that disengages the safety. Do this automatically whether that decocker has been activated or not. We call it "shoot the marble".

That's it...FWIW, I like the Beretta.