AI4FR Virtual Militaria Items Tour 

United States Items

 

This Beretta model 92FS Inox was manufactured on April 27, 2000 according to the company records. It is a self-loading pistol that operates using a short recoil, delayed locking block system which actually yields a faster cycle time and delivers exceptional reliability. The 92FS is a semi-automatic pistol that has been chambered for the .9mm Parabellum cartridge. The pistol has been designed to operate as either a double or single action firearm that utilizes an external hammer and an open-top slide. The forged frame is made form aircraft-quality aluminum alloy that has been anodized grey to match the color and finish of the stainless slide and barrel. The High definition three dot sight system includes a blade front sight that is built as part of the slide and a square notch rear sight that is drift adjustable for windage only. This 92FS is fed by a staggered column 15 round detachable box magazine. The pistol utilizes a reversible push button magazine release that is located at the bottom rear corner of the trigger guard. An empty magazine will easily eject from the pistol under its own weight. The pistol also features an ambidextrous thumb safety located above each grip. When engaged the safety acts as a decocking lever and even moves the rear firing pin striker out of alignment with the front firing pin which makes it impossible for the hammer to strike it. The pistol has a 4.9 inch barrel with 6 grooves using a right hand twist and completing one turn in 9.8 inches. The pistol has an overall length of 8 1/2 inches and an unloaded weight of 34.4 ounces. This firearm does employ a slide hold open mechanism to inform the operator that the last round has been fired. The black rubber grip panels are not original and were manufactured by Hogue. The word "inox" in the model designation of this weapon is short for the French term "acier inoxydable"(stainless steel). 

The Beretta 92 pistol design first appeared in 1976 and was developed by Beretta designers, Carlo Beretta, Giuseppe Mazzetti and Vittorio Valle. This firearm design evolved from some of the earlier Beretta pistol designs such as the M1922, M1934 and the M1951. The 92 series kept the open slide design that was used on the M1922 and M1934 pistols while picking up the alloy frame and locking block barrel design from the M1951.  

The 92FS has been designated the M9 by the U.S. Military and not only meets or exceeds all U.S. Military testing guidelines, it totally rewrites them. The pistol has been chosen as the standard sidearm of many nations and law enforcement organizations. In order to have reached this status, each pistol must pass a battery of over 3,000 quality control checks. Some of these test include such standards as insuring even the smallest part from one pistol will completely interchange with that of another pistol. When Beretta puts this pistol design through its paces, the average pistol can fire 17,500 rounds without a stoppage. While testing 12 pistols in front of Army supervision, this pistol design shot 168,000 rounds without a single malfunction. Beretta was just getting started as the average life of the slide is over 35,000 rounds which is the point at which U.S. Army testing ceases. The average durability of the frames is over 30,000 rounds and for the locking blocks it is 22,000 rounds. As a matter of fact, the Beretta pistol turned out to be the most reliable of all the pistols that were tested in the 1984 competition which resulted in the U.S. Military contract being awarded to Beretta. Slowing down to think about that for a second, this means that the average frame or receiver will last for 8 hours and 20 minutes at a rate of fire of one round a second!! According to Mark Keefe(editor in chief) in an article that appeared in the February 2014 edition of the American Rifleman the U.S. military in January 2009 announced a contract for 450,000 pistols. The article goes on to state that this was the largest military pistol contract awarded by the U.S. government since WWII.

The barrel-locking mechanism of the 92FS operates by the use of a locking block underneath the rear of the barrel just forward of the chamber. When the pistol is first fired, both the barrel and slide recoil for a short distance together. Then the locking block is driven down which disengages the slide from the barrel and stopping any further rearward travel of the barrel. The slide continues its rearward movement on the frame where it extracts and ejects the spent case. Toward the end of the rearward travel by the slide, the hammer becomes cocked. The recoil spring located on a guide rod underneath the barrel has become compressed by the rearward movement of the slide. The now fully compressed recoil spring drives the slide forward causing a new round to be stripped from the magazine and driving it into the breech. During this process as the slide moves forward, the barrel is re-engaged and just a short distance later the return travel of the slide has ended. With the slide fully forward, there is now a fresh round in the chamber, the hammer is cocked and the pistol is ready to repeat the process the next time it is fired.   

For the U.S. military, the Beretta 92FS or M9 was intended to replace the M1911A1. The first U.S. military unit to field the weapon is thought to have been SEAL Team Six. It has now become the standard sidearm for the U.S. military and has seen service with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies through out the United States. This pistol design has also been adopted by numerous nations from around the world. It has been used by the special forces units of the Albanian military as well as their Republican guard and state police special forces. In France it is used by their military and known as the PAMAS G1 or Pistolet Automatique de la Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Etienne or automatic pistol of the Saint Etienne manufacture. In Italy it is used by all branches of the Italian armed forces and police agencies. In Mexico it has nearly replaced the Heckler & Koch USP that was used by their special forces. The pistol is also in use with some federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in Mexico. Other countries that have adopted this pistol design include Algeria,  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain and Turkey.

This pistol design is quite possibly the most common sidearm in the world today. After all, it was designed by the oldest firearms manufacturing company in the history of the planet with its roots dating back nearly 5 centuries to 1526.  

The photographs on the left are of the front and back of the Beretta model 92FS Inox, while the pictures on the right show the top and bottom of the pistol. The pistol is shown with the magazine installed in each of these photographs. The black rubber grip panels are not original and were manufactured by Hogue. The original grip panels are a checkered plastic with a sandblasted black matte finish. The word Inox is short for the Italian word "inoxidable" which means non-oxidizing. The Inox models have many of their parts made from stainless steel. These parts include the barrel, the slide along with the extractor, the safety and the right side manual safety lever, the trigger and trigger pin, and slide stop lever. 

A number of additional features have been built into this pistol design to help aid the shooter. Both the front and back of the grip on the 92FS has been longitudinally grooved which will aid the shooter in acquiring a firm grip. The bottom of the grip frame is flared slightly which will enhance pointability and aid in the control of the sidearm. Even the trigger guard is squared off and grooved at the front for a solid and functional rest of the index finger when shooting with a two hand hold.

The open top slide design as seen in the upper picture at the right will virtually eliminate jamming or stovepiping. This open top slide design will also allow the user to easily load the chamber one cartridge at a time for training purposes or in combat situations should the magazine become lost or damaged.

 As mentioned in the text at the top of this page, the pistol is equipped with a reversible magazine release button that is positioned next to the trigger guard for either right or left handed shooters. All of the pictures on this web page feature the magazine release button on the left side of the frame which is commonly seen for right handed shooters.  

The photograph on the left shows the markings that are found on the right side of this 92FS pistol. The slide inscription reads as follows, "MOD. 92FS-CAL 9mm Parabellum-PATENTED". This marking indicates that the Model of the pistol is 92FS and that it has been chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. The slide inscription also indicates that this pistol design has been patented. The two line inscription underneath the slide has been stamped on the frame and reads as follows, "WARNING: READ MANUAL FOR SAFE USE" and then underneath that is "FREE FROM BERETTA USA ACKK. MD". While this pistol was manufactured nearly a decade ago, the instruction manual is still available free of charge from Beretta U.S.A. The company has also made it available in a free downloadable version on their website.

The photograph on the right is of the markings that are found on the left side of this pistol. The inscription that has been stamped on the slide reads as follows, "BERETTA U.S.A. CORP. ACKK. MD. - MADE IN USA". This slide legend indicates Beretta United States of America Corporation and tells us that the company is located in Accokeek, Maryland and also that this pistol was made in the U.S. At the right of this inscription is found the Beretta logo consisting of the capital letters PB inside of an oval. While some might argue that the letters "PB" should indicate "Perfect Pistol", the letters actually indicate "Pietro Beretta".  

  

The Beretta model 92FS incorporates a rotating firing pin design. The photograph on the left shows the pistol in the safe position with the hammer being manually held back by the thumb of the photographer. The arrow is pointing to the rear part of the firing pin(striker) that has been rotated out of alignment with the front part of the firing pin. If the pistol was dropped or the hammer was pulled back and let go, the hammer would harmlessly strike against the flat of the slide and no amount of forward momentum would be created with-in the front firing pin. The picture on the right shows the pistol with the safety off and the firearm ready to fire. Notice now that the rear part of the firing pin mechanism is now visible and is in alignment with the front firing pin.

Besides the rotating firing pin, this pistol design incorporates a number of other safety features. Unless the trigger is pulled and held completely in the rearward position, the front part of the firing pin will be blocked from any forward movement  Even if the pistol is dropped and strikes the ground muzzle first or hammer first, the firing pin can not strike the primer of the cartridge. The manual thumb safety lever is spring loaded so it is either positively in the on position or positively in the off position. The thumb safety lever also functions as a decocking lever. When the safety lever is in the off position, it takes just a slight bump for it to spring forward into the off position.  

The arrow in the photograph on the left is pointing to the chamber loaded indicator which is actually the head of the extractor. The neat feature about this device is that when there is a round in the chamber, not only is this device visible, but it can also be felt by the touch. What this means is that when there is a round in the chamber, the head of the extractor protrudes out ever so slightly and can be both felt and seen which indicates to the shooter that there is indeed a round in the chamber.

Try to picture this scenario, earlier in the day it was time to pull the pistol from its resting place for a general cleaning. You finish the deed and place the pistol back to rest not giving it a second thought. A week or so later your wife wakes you up from a deep sleep because she heard the window in the other room come crashing in. You grab your trusty 92FS to confront the assailant and as you are quietly making your way toward the bad guy, your heart is pounding and your mind begins to race...."did I remember to store the weapon with a round in the chamber?"...."If I rack the slide now I will give away my position you ponder". You know it is much to dark to see any type of chamber loaded device and through the haze you remember that with a touch of a finger you will know right away whether there is a round in the chamber or not. You know right where the chamber indicator is located as its placement is unmistakable on the right side of the slide. You feel for it and quietly thank yourself because you did remember to load the pistol before putting it away. This happens just as you hear another rattle from the darkened room ahead. You now fully understand that the wife was not dreaming and she really did hear some thing. You round the corner, with shaking hands, fully awake and cursing your heart for beating so loudly, but you muster the strength to move forward because you are confident in the pistol. As you make your way around the corner, it is then that you realize that the noise that you and the wife heard was your beloved cat getting into a little mischief. At this point you are probably fighting back the urge to test out your night shooting skills. You know that you would never hear the end of it from your wife and friends should you take out the cat, or worse yet, miss it altogether. So you secure the weapon and go back to bed for the night.

OK folks, that was just a short story to help visualize the usefulness of the chamber loaded indicator and under no circumstances should a firearm ever be stored while loaded, especially if there are children in the home.

The photograph on the right is of the pistol in its factory hard plastic carrying case. In this picture the pistol is shown with a set of rosewood grip panels installed.

  

One hand disassembly.

On some of the unique firearms on this site I have left disassembly instructions due to the unique nature that is involved to get them field striped. With the 92FS, disassembly of the pistol can be easily accomplished while using just one hand. The disassembly latch on the 92FS makes it one of the easiest guns to disassemble in my opinion. To accomplish this one handed, first and as always, double check to be sure that the firearm is not loaded. Next grab the top of the pistol with the left hand and with the index finger(trigger finger) push in on the disassembly latch release button located on the right side of the frame. While holding the button in, push down on the disassembly latch lever with the thumb and gently allow the slide to move forward under spring pressure and ease it off the frame. It is that easy and just takes a matter of a few seconds.

  

  

Resource:

Beretta website located at: http://www.beretta.com

Beretta 92FS instruction manual

American Rifleman February 2014 article by Mark Keefe

Wikipedia website located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_92  

      AI4FR                                                                                                                                                                                                  AI4FR                                                                                                       AI4FR

Copyright © John Whitt 2017 All rights reserved.