The Beretta 92 has been effectively serving in the United States Military since 1985 when it was officially adopted. It has also been serving in our nation’s law enforcement duty holsters even before that time. Without a doubt, it has to be the most controversial service pistol ever adopted, with the possible exception of the 1892 Colt double action .38 Long Colt revolver that replaced the previously issued .45 caliber Colt Single Action Army.
There have always been complaints about the Beretta 92. It’s too big for its caliber, it’s too heavy, it has that double action trigger system that is difficult to manage, its 9mm chambering is puny, and so forth. One complaint that I have NEVER heard is that Beretta 92 is unreliable. And that is the start of the reasons why I trust my life to the 9mm Beretta 92.
5 Reasons to Trust the Beretta 92
1. The Most Reliable Semi-Automatic Pistol on the Planet
In my experience, I believe the Beretta 92 to be the most reliable semi-automatic pistol on the planet. I have never, ever had a 92 jam, double feed, or stovepipe, regardless of the type of ammo I ran through it. The open top slide design is the reason. The slide runs below the barrel instead of over it. Once it retracts during the firing cycle there is nothing but open air for empty cases to run into.
2. Smooth Cycling That Feels Like It Is Riding on Ball Bearings
If you have never hand-cycled the action of a 92, you should. The slide feels like it is riding on ball bearings. I have always thought that the Beretta 92 cycled like a custom gun. Smooth cycling enhances reliability.
3. A Low-Recoiling Handgun
Even with the heaviest +P+ 9mm loads, the 92 is a low-recoiling handgun. It is very easy to keep on target. Which brings up another point. The 9mm civilian and police defensive loads available to us today are head and shoulders above what was available in 1985. I am as comfortably armed with this 9mm as I am with a 1911 .45 — plus I have more rounds on tap.
4. A Safer Double Action/Single Action Trigger
I have found that Beretta’s traditional double action/single action trigger with the hammer dropping safety offers more advantages than the oft-claim disadvantages. The trigger pull is set up in a double action (like a double action revolver) first shot sequence. This means that it takes approximately twelve pounds of trigger pressure to fire the first shot. This also means that there is a lot less likelihood of an un-intended round being launched downrange if ones finger is on the trigger. Once the first shot is fired, or the hammer is cocked, the subsequent shots fired in the single action mode. Single action shots take much less trigger pressure to fire because the trigger is performing one SINGLE function-releasing the hammer to strike the firing pin. In the DOUBLE action mode, the trigger is cocking the hammer AND releasing it. That is why the single action trigger pull for the 92 runs in the 4 pound range. With just a little bit of practice, the aforementioned trigger “transition” from double action to single action during a firing string can be easily mastered. Eventually you don’t notice the transition at all.
5. More Firearm Safety Benefits
The safety/de-cocker lever on the slide is also a safety plus, although not everyone uses it to its full advantage. The firing position of the safety lever is up. Applying the safety by pushing it down causes an additional function to occur. It de-cocks the hammer and allows it to fall safely on a live chambered cartridge. In the down position, the manual safety is active. Since I carry the 92 while on as well as off-duty, I like being able to engage a safety should a struggle over my gun occur. Many overlook the key feature of this arrangement: you can apply the safety before loading and charging the pistol this way, and the hammer follows the slide forward while the safety remains on. Push the safety lever up, and the 92 is ready to fire. Virtually no chance of an AD when the 92 is readied in this manner. I have made it a habit to check the safety position with my 92 as I draw to make sure that the pistol is ready to fire. All it takes is a bit of practice.
There you have it — my opinion of the Beretta 92. I know it’s not for everyone, especially those with small hands, but I know it is for me.