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.