Equipping for disaster

Firearm Review: Beretta Model 92-A1

By Blaise Uriarte

The Basics

The Model 92 has a long history with some controversy. The pistol is an evolution of earlier designs, and borrows some design elements from earlier guns such as the Beretta model 1922, the Browning Hi-power and the Walther P-38. Beretta 92 pistols began production in 1976. Production lasted until 1983 when the 92S was introduced. The pistol was redesigned several times and evolved into the 92-FS model, which won the contract as the sidearm for US armed forces in 1985.

Beretta 92 pistols (designated as the M9) have been under scrutiny since they were adopted. Many issues in regards to catastrophic failure with the pistol have been reported. These issues have been addressed by some slight design changes. In 2006 the Center for Naval Analysis surveyed troops returning from Iraq who had fired their weapons in combat. Over 50% were dissatisfied with the performance of the M9.

This gun is one of the most recent models available. It is a single/double action pistol, built on an aluminum frame and chambered in 9mm Luger. The gun features; a hard chromed lined barrel, with a locking system similar to the P38, double-stack 15 round magazine, Bruniton finish, an accessory rail machined into the dust cover, three dot sights, and a slide mounted safety/de-cocker.

The Ammo

This gun is chambered in 9mm NATO. This round is also known as 9mm luger, 9mm Parabelum, and it is the most popular handgun round in the country (outside of .22LR). 9mm is a straight type rimless pistol cartridge. Ammunition can be had in several bullet weights and endless configurations. Most loads feature a 115 grain projectile, firing at about 1200 feet-per-second. 124 grain loads are also very common, and 147 grain loads are popular.

The Range Test

Throughout the course of about 150 rounds down range, there were no malfunctions. Test ammo was Federal and Aguila 115 grain loads, some Winchester PDX1, and Hornady Critical Defense. The gun has a good feel to it and recoil is smooth and predictable. I would actually say that recoil is considerably light.



This ten shot group at ten yards shows that the gun groups well. It appeared to be shooting low at ten yards. This is about a three inch group, and it did perform consistently along those lines.

I found the single action mode of fire to be very smooth and fairly light. Double action on this pistol is very heavy and borderline unusable. Of all the times I fired it in double action mode I think I hit the target once.

The Pluses

This pistol has a good weight and feel to it. The contour of the grip is ergonomic and comfortable, and I like the feature of the safety/de-cocker. This gun is relatively high capacity. More capacity is definitely an advantage, especially in use against the undead. From the range test of this firearm I see no reason to question the reliability and durability of this gun.

The Minuses

The 92-A1 is heavy in comparison to some of the polymer guns out on the market. Double action firing on this gun is definitely no fun. Fortunately one would only fire in that mode on the first shot of a magazine if the gun is carried loaded.


Overall this is a good gun. The 9mm round is good enough, it has a high capacity magazine, good safety mechanisms, and it shoots well. It is also pretty easy to maintain. I have always been biased against this pistol, but after using one I don’t have any real reason to be. I would recommend this gun for your arsenal against the undead. Of course no gun is good enough to replace good training. As always, stay vigilante and be prepared.

Special Thanks

I would like to extend my gratitude to my good friend Brad who allowed the use of his personal pistol for this article.

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