Difference between Beretta 92FS and Beretta M9
When assessing or even contemplating the purchase of a handgun, one of the most widely recognized names is the Beretta. It is one of the oldest and most trusted manufacturers of firearms in the world. Located in the iron mining area called Val Trompia in Italy, it is thought that Beretta’s forge began operations around the year 1500, although the first documented transaction did not occur until 1526. Quickly gaining popularity, the company became the second largest gun barrel maker in the region by the end of the 17th century. Having provided weapons to multiple countries globally during times of war, Beretta has maintained its status as one of the most popular and preferred manufacturers of handguns.[i] The company has multiple series of handguns that are widely distributed, however, two of the most popular are the 92FS and the M9. Though these two handguns look almost identical, there are some differences.
Since the Beretta 92FS and the M9 look almost identical, it is no surprise that they have many of the same specifications. They both use the same caliber ammunition, 9 mm; both can be either double or single action; both have a barrel length of 4.9 inches; both have a length of 8.5 inches and both weigh 33.3 ounces. However, the key difference here is going to be in the finish and the sights. The standard finish for the 92FS is Black Bruniton with a Black Synthetic Grip,[ii] whereas, the standard finish for the M9 is Blued, with a Synthetic Grip.[iii] There are also a few standard features on the M9 that are not found on the 92FS. For instance, while the 92FS has white 3-dot sites, the M9 has white dot-and-post sites. The M9 also has a special M9 prefix series serial number and military-style markings on the barrel.[iv] However, both the 92FS and the M9 have variations of their models that may have other options. This comparison simply looks at the standard, base models.
Given the long history and the popularity of this model of handgun, it has spawned many variations. With the Beretta 92FS, there is also the 92FS INOX, which has the same technical specifications, but features a stainless barrel and slide, with the frame anodized to match colors and the controls can come in either a black or stainless option.[v] The 92FS typically comes with an ammunition capacity of 15; while the 92FS Italy and the 92FS INOX Italy have the option of holding a capacity of either 10 or 15.[vi]
The Beretta M9 does not have true variants of the model, but it has gone through 2 ‘updates’. The first is the M9A1 which was introduced in 2006 and added a 1-slot Picatinny rail allowing for the attachment of lasers, lights, and other accessories. It also has a more aggressive checkering and a beveled magazine well for easier reloading of ammunition. This model also comes with physical vapor deposition coated magazines which were developed to withstand conditions found in the Middle East. The other update is the M9A3. [vii]
The Beretta 92SF has a slightly longer history than the M1. The 92FS evolved from the earlier Beretta models M1923 and M1951 and its immediate predecessor, the Model 84. The final design was approved in 1975 with production beginning in 1976. The design has evolved to maintain the Beretta’s smooth feeding and ejection of Ammunition.[viii]
The Beretta M9 is essentially a military specification Beretta 92FS used by the United States Armed Forces. The decision to adopt a uniform sidearm for all five branches of the US forces was made in the 1970s. Beretta put forth several variations in selection rounds that included other firearm manufacturers. The Beretta was finally selected in 1988 and has been in production since 1990 and has been widely, indeed almost exclusively, among the US military since that time.[ix]
Despite the M9 being the military specification 92FS, this model is still used by some militias around the world. Among the countries that use this model, are Armenia, Malaysia (10 Paratrooper Brigade and Grup Gerak Khas of the Malaysian Army as well as the General Operations Force of the Royal Malaysia Police), Nepal’s Special Forces, Slovenia, and the Los Angeles Police Department within the United States. There have also been many copies of the Beretta 92FS in production. Most notably, is when Beretta sold a factory to Taurus in Brazil where the PT92, as a Beretta replica, was produced. France, Taiwan, South Africa and Egypt have all produced Beretta copies.[x]
The primary users of the Beretta M9 are found within the US armed forces. It has been the standard issue sidearm of the United States Navy, Army and Air Force since 1985. The M91A experienced limited issue within the Marine Corps. There was also a M9 General Officer’s Model that was a special issued model for General Officers in the Army and Air Force. While the Coast Guard has historically used the M9, they have mostly been replaced. As of January, 2017, the standard issue as the US’s service pistol is no longer the Beretta M9, having been replaced with the SIG Sauer P320.[xi] The M9 is also used in foreign country militias. Among the military forces that use the M9 are the Afghan Commandos, Colombian forces, Costa Rica, Jordan, Libya, Sri Lanka, and Singapore.[xii]
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[i] Beretta. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://www.cabelas.com/product/Beretta-M-Pistols/1097039.uts
[ii] Beretta 92 Series Pistol Specifications. On Cabela’s. Retrieved January 31, 2017 from http://www.cabelas.com/product/Beretta-Series-Pistols/728474.uts?searchPath=%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FcategoryId%3D734095080%26CQ_search%3Dberetta%2B92%26CQ_st%3Db
[iii] Beretta M9 Pistol Specifications. On Cabela’s. Retrieved January 31, 2017 from http://www.cabelas.com/product/Beretta-M-Pistols/1097039.uts
[iv] Comparing M9, M9A1 & 92FS. On Beretta’s website. Retrieved January 31, 2017 from http://www.beretta.com/en-us/comparison-chart/
[v] Beretta 92. On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_92
[vi] Beretta 92 Series Pistol Specifications. On Cabela’s. Retrieved January 31, 2017 from http://www.cabelas.com/product/Beretta-Series-Pistols/728474.uts?searchPath=%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FcategoryId%3D734095080%26CQ_search%3Dberetta%2B92%
[vii] Beretta M9. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_M9
[viii] Beretta 92. On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_92
[ix] Beretta M9. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_M9
[x] Beretta 92. On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_92
[xi] Beretta M9. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_M9
[xii] Beretta 92. On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_92