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Beretta 92

Beretta 92

The Beretta 92 (also Beretta 96 and Beretta 98) is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and manufactured by Beretta of Italy. The model 92 was designed in 1972 and production of many variants in different calibers continues today.

The United States military replaced the M1911A1 .45 ACP pistol in 1985 with the Beretta 92FS, designated as the M9.

Beretta 92
TypeSemi-automatic pistol
Place of originItaly
Service history
In service1975–present
Used bySee Users
Production history
ManufacturerFabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta
VariantsSee Variants
  • 950 grams (34 oz) (92)
  • 970 grams (34 oz) (92S/SB/F/G)
  • 920 grams (32 oz) (92D)
  • 900 grams (32 oz) (Compact/Vertec)
  • 217 millimetres (8.5 in)
  • 211 millimetres (8.3 in) (Vertec)
  • 197 millimetres (7.8 in) (Compact/Centurion)
Barrel length
  • 125 millimetres (4.9 in)
  • 119 millimetres (4.7 in) (Vertec/Elites/Border Marshal/Combo)
  • 109 millimetres (4.3 in) (Compact/Centurion)

Muzzle velocity381 m/s (1,250 ft/s)
Effective firing range50 m (160 ft)
Feed systemDetachable box magazine:
  • 10, 15, 17, 18, 20, 30, 32 rounds (92, 98 series)
  • 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 rounds (96 series)
  • 10, 13 rounds (Compact L)
  • 8 rounds (Compact Type M)


The Beretta 92 pistol evolved from earlier Beretta designs, most notably the M1923 and M1951. From the M1923 comes the open slide design, while the alloy frame and locking block barrel, originally from Walther P38, were first used in the M1951. The grip angle and the front sight integrated with the slide were also common to earlier Beretta pistols. What were perhaps the Model 92's two most important advanced design features had first appeared on its immediate predecessor, the 1974 .380 caliber Model 84. These improvements both involved the magazine, which featured direct feed; that is, there was no feed ramp between the magazine and the chamber (a Beretta innovation in pistols). In addition, the magazine was a "double-stacked" design, a feature originally introduced in 1935 on the Browning Hi-Power.[1]

Carlo Beretta, Giuseppe Mazzetti and Vittorio Valle, all experienced firearms designers, contributed to the final design in 1975.[2]



Production began in May 1976, and ended in February 1983. Approximately 7,000 units were of the first "step slide" design and 45,000 were of the second "straight slide" type.[3]


In order to meet requirements of some law enforcement agencies, Beretta modified the Beretta 92 by adding a slide-mounted combined safety and decocking lever, replacing the frame mounted manual thumb safety. This resulted in the 92S, which was adopted by several Italian law enforcement and military units. The magazine release button is at the bottom of the grip as is customary in Europe. This model was produced from 1978 - 1982.

92SB (92S-1)

The 92SB, initially called 92S-1, was specifically designed for the USAF trials (which it won), the model name officially adopted was the 92SB. Features added include a firing pin block (thus the addition of the "B" to the name), ambidextrous safety levers, 3-dot sights, and relocated the magazine release catch from the bottom of the grip to the lower bottom of the trigger guard. The later relocation of the magazine release button means preceding models (92 & 92S) cannot necessarily use later magazines, unless they have notches in both areas.[4]

A compact version with a shortened barrel and slide and 13-round magazine capacity known as the 92SB Compact was manufactured from 1981 to 1991.[4]

92F (92SB-F)

Vector-graphic of model 92FS

Vector-graphic of model 92FS

A Beretta 92FS Inox with the slide retracted, showing the exposed ejection port and barrel mechanism.

A Beretta 92FS Inox with the slide retracted, showing the exposed ejection port and barrel mechanism.

A Beretta 92FS Inox stainless steel pistol.

A Beretta 92FS Inox stainless steel pistol.

Beretta modified the model 92SB slightly to create the 92SB-F (the "F" added to denote entry of the model in U.S. Government federal testing) by making the following changes:

  • Design of all the parts to make them 100% interchangeable to simplify maintenance for large government organizations.

  • Squared off the front of the trigger guard so that one could use finger support for easier aiming.

  • Recurved the forward base of the grip to aid aiming.

  • Hard chromed the bore to protect it from corrosion and to reduce wear.

  • New surface coating on the slide called Bruniton, which allegedly provides better corrosion resistance than the previous plain blued finish.[5] []

The French military adopted a modified version of the 92F with a decocking-only lever as the PAMAS G1. These pistols have tellurium in the slide, making the steel brittle and as such only have a service life of approximately 6,000 rounds.[6]


The FS has an enlarged hammer pin that fits into a groove on the underside of the slide. The main purpose is to stop the slide from flying off the frame to the rear if it cracks. This was in response to reported defective slides during U.S. military testing.[7]


The Beretta 92's open slide design ensures smooth feeding and ejection of ammunition and allows easy clearing of obstructions. The hard-chromed barrel bore reduces barrel wear and protects it from corrosion. The falling locking block design provides good accuracy and operability with suppressors due to the in-line travel of the barrel. This is in contrast to the complex travel of Browning designed barrels. The magazine release button is reversible with simple field tools. Reversing the magazine release makes left-handed operation much easier.

Increasingly, it has become popular to reduce handgun weight and cost as well as increase corrosion resistance by using polymers. Starting around the year 2000, Beretta began replacing some parts with polymer and polymer coated metal. Polymer parts include the recoil spring guide rod (which is now also fluted), magazine floor plate, magazine follower and the mainspring cap/lanyard loop. Polymer coated metal parts include the left side safety lever, trigger, and magazine release button.[8]


To keep in line with the introduction of laws in some locations restricting magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, Beretta now manufactures magazines that hold fewer than the factory standard 15 rounds. These magazines have heavier crimping (deeper indentations in the side) to reduce the available space while still keeping the same external dimensions and ensuring that these magazines can be used on existing firearms. Beretta also produces 15 round "Sand Resistant" magazines to resolve issues encountered with contractor made magazines, and 17 round magazines included with the A1 models. Both magazines function in earlier 92 series and M9 model pistols.

Italian magazine manufacturer Mec-Gar now produces magazines in blue and nickel finishes with an 18-round capacity, which fit flush in the magazine well on the 92 series. Mec-Gar also produces an extended 20-round blued magazine that protrudes below the frame by 3⁄4 inch (19 mm). These magazines provide users in unrestricted states with a larger capacity magazine.


The French-made PAMAS G1 variant.

The French-made PAMAS G1 variant.

The Beretta 92 is available in many configurations and models:


Beretta 92 Compact L owned by the Royal Malaysia Police.

Beretta 92 Compact L owned by the Royal Malaysia Police.

Beretta/Wilson 92G Brigadier Combat, a cooperative effort of Wilson Combat and Beretta. It features heavy Brigadier Slide, stainless match barrel, single function ambi-decock  and a refined action.

Beretta/Wilson 92G Brigadier Combat, a cooperative effort of Wilson Combat and Beretta. It features heavy Brigadier Slide, stainless match barrel, single function ambi-decock and a refined action.

90Two(2006-2012)The 90two is a 9mm/.40 variant of the 92-series with a redesigned, thicker slide and frame to accommodate an accessory rail, fullydovetailedfront sight and .40 S&W pressures. Other features added include a captive recoil spring, internal recoil buffer, user changeable monogrips and 17-round magazines.[9]
92A1 / 96A1 (2010–present)The 92A1 and 96A1 were introduced in 2010, based on elements from the 92FS and90two.[10]
Centennial(2015)The 92 FS Centennial limited edition (500 units) commemorates adoption by the Italian Military of Beretta's earliest semiautomatic pistol, theModel 1915. This Centennial 92 is notable for its frame-mounted manual safety and single-action-only mechanism. The Beretta medallion in each wood grip panel displays the anniversary dates in Roman numerals, which are also engraved on either side of the steel slide. The pistol is packaged in a custom M2A1 ammunition can bearing the Centennial logo.[11][12]
M9A1(2006–present)The M9A1 was adopted by theUSMCin 2006. It adds a 1-slotPicatinny rail, more aggressive front and backstrap checkering and a beveled magazine well for easier reloading of the weapon. M9A1 pistols are sold withphysical vapor deposition(PVD) coated magazines developed to better withstand the conditions in the sandy environments inIraqandAfghanistan.[13]
M9A3(2015–present)The M9A3 (the M9A2 concept never went into production) was released in 2015, as a potential upgrade for the US military, in response to theModular Handgun Systemtrials. The main updates to the M9A3 were a 3-slot Picatinny rail, thinner vertical grip, removable wrap-around grips that can be swapped between Vertec-style and 'old' M9 style,[14] fully removable sights and a universal slide, which makes the gun convertible from decocker-safety to decocker-only mode. The tip of the barrel is pre-threaded to facilitate addition of a suppressor.[15] Additionally, the M9A3 comes with 17-round sand-resistant magazines in a beveled shape for easier reloading.
Wilson Combat 92G Brigadier Tactical(2014 to present)Made in collaboration withWilson Combat,[16] these pistols differ from the standard Brigadier in that they have a military standard 1913 picatinny rail, all steel controls (as opposed to the polymer coated steel), decock only feature (G-model), 4.7" target crowned barrel, fluted steel guiderod, thin profile G-10 grips, rounded trigger guard, the lighter hammer spring used in the "D" model, Elite II hammer, and their own unique serial number with a "WC" prefix among other features.
Elite LTT - Langdon TacticalThe Elite LTT was introduced by Beretta in 2018, in conjunction with renowned firearms trainer Ernest Langdon. The Elite LTT is heralded as the ultimate shooters 92, bringing together sought after features from previous iterations of the pistol. The LTT uses the Vertec slide with front cocking serrations on a modified M9A1 frame, and wears Langdon Tactical G10 grips. The pistol comes equipped with G-Model decocker, dovetailed front sight, steel trigger and guide rod, improved springs, and a 4.7 inch stainless barrel with target crown, just to name a few of the more prominent features.[17][18]

93R machine pistol

The Beretta 93R is a significantly redesigned 92 to provide the option of firing in three-round bursts. It also has a longer ported barrel, heavier slide, fitting for a shoulder stock, a folding forward grip, and an extended magazine. Unlike other Berettas in the 90 series it is single-action only, does not have a decocker, and very few are around today.[5] []


Turkish Beretta 92 copy, the Yavuz 16 Compact.

Turkish Beretta 92 copy, the Yavuz 16 Compact.

The Beretta 92 was designed for sports and law enforcement use and, due to its reliability, was accepted by military users in South America and other countries all over the world.

TurkeyTurkish companiesMKEKandGirsanmanufactured a copy of the Beretta 92F as Yavuz 16 for theTurkish Armed ForcesandGeneral Directorate of Security.[19][20] There has been speculation that these were being made under contract from Beretta. Some of these pistols were imported into the United States by the company American Tactical Imports as the American Tactical 92 or AT-92. Yavuz 16 was exported to Canada, Colombia, Georgia, Malaysia and Syria.[21]
BrazilAfter a large order of original 92s for the Brazilian military had been completed, the factory was sold toTaurus, who continued to make the gun as thePT92. These notably differ from modern 92s by their frame mounted safety rather that their slide mounted safety.
EgyptEgypt had produced the Beretta 92 under license as the Helwan 920 with the magazine release button at the bottom of the magazine.[22]
South AfricaVektor Z-88 (see alsoVektor SP1).


AlbaniaAlbanian police and special force of police[23]
AlgeriaSpecial Intervention DetachmentBeretta 92FS[24][25]
BrazilBrazilian Armed ForcesTaurus PT-92[24]
CanadaCanadian Special Operations Regiment
Vancouver Police Department, being phased out in favor of the SIG Sauer P226
ColombiaColombian Army
Colombian Navy
Colombian Air Force
Colombian Naval Infantry
Beretta M9
Yavuz 16[21]
EgyptEgyptian ArmyHelwan 920[27]
FranceFrench Military, Gendarmerie NationalePAMAS G1100,000 (97,502 in 2002)1989[28][29][30]
GeorgiaGeorgian PoliceYavuz 16__[21]
IndiaMizoram Armed Police, MARCOS92S[31]
IndonesiaKomando Pasukan Khusus (Kopassus) special forces group of the Indonesian Army___[32]
Komando Pasukan Katak (Kopaska) tactical diver group of the Indonesian Navy__
ItalyItalian Armed Forces and various police forces[29][33]
Ivory CoastUnknown usersBeretta 92F[34]
JapanVarious specialized detective units of the Prefectural Police DepartmentsVertec__[35]
JordanJordanian Armed Forces (JAF)M9__[24]
LuxembourgUnité Spéciale de la Police of the Grand Ducal Police92F_[37][38][39]
LibyaLibyan National Army (LNA)M9__[24]
Malaysia10 Paratrooper Brigade rapid deployment forces of the Malaysian Army92FS[40]
Grup Gerak Khas special forces of the Malaysian Army_
Malaysian Road Transport Department92 Compact L__[41]
MaltaArmed Forces of Malta92FS[42]
MexicoVarious branches of the armed forces__[26]
MonacoCompagnie des Carabiniers du Prince_[43]
PakistanPakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Law Enforcement92F[44]
PeruArmed Forces of Peru, Peruvian National Police__2010[24]
PhilippinesPhilippine Army, Philippine National Police___[45]
PortugalMilitary Police___[46]
South KoreaRepublic of Korea Navy[47]
Russian FederationLaw enforcement groups__2010[48]
SloveniaSlovenian Armed Forces92FS_1991[49]
South AfricaSouth African Police ServiceVektor Z88_1992[50]
SyriaSyrian ArmyYavuz 16__[21]
ThailandRoyal Thai Army92fs__[51]
TurkeyTurkish Armed ForcesYavuz 16[21]__[24]
General Directorate of SecurityYavuz 16[21]__[24]
United KingdomBermuda Regiment92F[52]
United StatesUS Armed Forces, designated as the M992FS_1985[29][33]
US Border Patrol___[24]
US Immigration and Naturalization Service___
Minneapolis Police Department96D__[53][54]
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)92F & 92FS[55]

See also

  • Beretta 93R

  • Taurus PT92

  • List of Beretta 92 models


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