Beretta, also known as Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta, is an Italian arms manufacturer established in 1526, making it the oldest active arms manufacturer today. Way over in Brescia, Italy – about 4300 miles away – the Beretta 92FS is manufactured. The company has been owned by the Beretta family since its inception and now has a factory in the United States – right down the street in Accokeek, Maryland. That is where the Beretta M9 is manufactured.
The Beretta 92 series is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Beretta. Production began way back in 1975 with the model 92, which has since evolved into over 20 different variants, including the 92FS, designated the M9 by the United States Military, which replaced the M1911A1 in 1985 as the official sidearm of the United States Armed Forces.
Before getting into the subtle differences between the Beretta 92FS and the Beretta M9, let us discuss the specifications of the 92FS. The Beretta 92FS, known for its accuracy and reliability, features a 4.9-inch barrel and an overall length of 8.5 inches. The lightweight, forged aluminum frame gives the pistol a weight of just over two pounds. The barrel is chrome lined, which provides enhanced resistance to rust and corrosion. It also lends itself to easy cleaning and maintenance. The 92FS also features an ambidextrous external thumb safety that doubles as a decocking lever. There are also several internal safeties, which include both a firing pin block and a rotating firing pin striker that serves to prevent accidental discharges. As noted, the pistol is chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum (9mm) and includes two 15-round magazines. Additionally, the features an open-slide design, which virtually eliminates jamming and allows for hand-loading cartridges for a "15+1" overall capacity. Finally, the pistol includes fixed iron sights, which allow you to hit targets up to 50m with pinpoint accuracy.
Now, let us move on to those subtle differences. As noted, the Beretta 92FS and the Beretta M9 are not so different. The biggest, and most obvious difference, is the name. All other differences are purely cosmetic. Upon visual inspection, you will notice that the 92FS includes a user warning to consult the owner's manual prior to operation. The M9 does not include this warning. The 92FS features a slightly-angled dustcover and a radiused backstrap, while the M9 features a straight dustcover and a non-radiused backstrap. The rear sight on the 92FS features two dots, while the M9 sports a single half-moon. The final difference may speak to the overall quality you can expect from the location of the manufacturer. The American-made 92FS is shipped in a plastic carrying case. The American-made M9 comes in a cardboard box. Just a thought.
The final interesting piece I have to offer is the fact that all pistols from Beretta's 92 series are chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum (9mm). This provides for interchangeable magazines.
Whether you want a pistol that is near identical to the official sidearm of the United States Armed Forces or you are just looking for a high-quality piece, the Beretta 92FS is an excellent choice. Consider the 92FS for any of the following:
- Target shooting
- Match shooting
- Personal protection and self-defense
- Much more…