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Beretta 92F/FS

From Academic Kids

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The Beretta 92SB-F, Beretta 92FS, Beretta 92G, and Beretta 92FS Inox are semi-automatic, locked-breech delayed recoil operated, double/single action pistols, chambred for the 9 mm Parabellum cartridge, designed and manufactured by Beretta.

The Beretta 96 is a version that uses the .40 S&W cartridge. The slide, barrel and magazine of the Beretta 96 have been adapted to this calibre.

Contents

History

After the interest the Beretta 92SB had created in law enforcement, sports shooting circles, and the US Armed Forces, Beretta refined the design of the Beretta 92SB into the Beretta 92SB-F and in slightly modified form the Beretta 92G. Beretta did this to participate in military pistol selections in the United States (Beretta 92F, U.S. Military designation of "M9") and in France (Beretta 92G, French Military designation of "PAMAS").

Specifications

Beretta modified the Beretta 92SB slightly to create the 92F and 92G. First it redesigned all the parts in such a way that they would be interchangeable between pistols, in order to simplify maintenance for large government organisations. Beretta modified the trigger guard at its front so that one could use finger support for easier aiming. Beretta changed the front angle of the grip to allow for better instinctive aiming. Beretta hard chromed the barrel bore to protect it from corrosion and to reduce wear. Last Beretta applied its new patented surface coating on the frame called Bruniton which provides better corrosion resistance than the blued finish the Beretta 92SB had. On request of the French, for the Beretta 92G it removed the manual safety and modified it into a decocking lever.

Intended market

The Beretta 92F was designed for use by major military and law enforcement agencies. During the 1984 M9 pistol trials organised by the US Army, only the Beretta 92SB-F and the Sig P226 qualified, based on its price the Beretta 92SB-F, now renamed Beretta 92F was selected. The excellent GLOCK 17 was not accepted to take part in the trials because of its lack of visible hammer and manual safety. The GLOCK 17's high strategic materials content was also viewed as problematic in times of war. However, the US government demanded a re-test as the US manufacturer Smith & Wesson protested vigorously over the results. The new 1987 M10 trials would confirm the selection of the Beretta 92F. During the pistol trials in France the Beretta 92G also turned out the winner, however the French wanted to manufacture the Beretta 92G under license in France where it would be called the PAMAS-G1. In both cases, initial units would be produced in Italy until US and French based manufacturing would get underway.

Design advantages

The Beretta 92F, with its slide mounted combined manual safety and decocking lever, is very easy to load and unload in a safe fashion. With the safety on, the slide can be manipulated without the risk that touching the trigger would fire the pistol, because the safety disconnects the trigger. The improved magazine release button makes the reloading of the pistol very swift. The safety levers are also placed on both sides of the slide, a feature that enables left handed users to easily use the Beretta 92F. The magazine release button is reversible, another feature that allows left handed users to make the most out of the Beretta 92F. The Beretta 92F retained the reliable function from the Beretta 92SB; properly oiled, cleaned and maintained it would hardly ever fail to function in a moderate climate. The hard-chromed barrel bore reduces wear and protects from corrosion. The Beretta 92G — which lacks a manual safety — is somewhat less safe to operate; however it is faster into action as no safety needs to be deactivated.

Early problems

Beretta now had two major contracts, about 500,000 units for the US Armed forces and around 230,000 units for the French armed forces. This with both clients wanting to receive their pistols as specified in the contracts. In the case of the Beretta 92G, the French would supply the slide steel to Italy, until GIAT would start licensed production. Somehow, at some point in time, Beretta decided to use 5,000 semi finished slides intended for the French to build pistols for the their US customer, this in order to meet deadlines. Not much later after the US Armed forces had accepted these pistols, a few slides of Beretta 92Fs and some older Beretta 92SBs started to crack and fly off. An investigation would later indentify the lot that had been made with French steel slides as well as US manufactured 9 mm Luger ammunition that was not within specifications. It was also discovered that the locking block required a design change to increase its service life. But until this was resolved, something had to be done to reduce the risk for the user of being struck by the rear half of the slide. The solution was the addition of a slide retention device in form of an enlarged hammer axis pin, the result was the Beretta 92FS. Since then, near all modern Beretta pistols are fitted with such a simple means of user protection. During this time, there were some tests being done with a closed slide, this did however somewhat reduce the reliability of the pistol. Beretta designed a new slide, but this slide would not be disclosed nor enter production as the reason for the slide failures had been discovered, later this slide became known as the Brigadier type slide.

Limitations

The Beretta 92FS has the same limitations as the Beretta 92. It is not well suited for use in deserts, jungles and arctic areas. While it will perform quite well in such harsh environments, any negligence in spring maintenance and cleaning will reduce its reliability. The Bruniton finish applied on the Beretta 92F/FS wears away over time which can lead to corrosion and more slide-to-frame play. The barrel surface, unprotected in the open slide, is prone to corrosion.

Combat use

During the first Gulf war, the quite new M9s performed very well. However, years later, due to poor maintenance and being used with sub-standard U.S. issued magazines. Magazines purchased by U.S. Soldiers at their own expense while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (The "War on Terror") seemed to fix this problem. Also a laser aiming device located in the hand grip became a popular unit level purchase item. Many soldiers serving in military today, though never having used a military M1911A1 .45 cal, still feel it to be the rightful pistol of the U.S. Military and show animosty towards the M9. In Iraq, many soldiers and Marines felt that the M9 is more effective halting cars than their rifle, not due to its knock-down power, but because the sight of a pistol being drawn still reminds Iraqis of the days when the Sadam Hussein era goverment would execute people with pistol, not a rifle. Hence, he who has the pistol is in charge.

Sports use

Because of the acceptance of the Beretta 92FS by the US Armed Forces, even more civilians have purchased Beretta pistols. As this market turned out to be more demanding concerning durability and corrosion resistance, Beretta made the Beretta 92FS Inox, which has its slide and barrel made out of stainless steel has far less corrosion problems. The Beretta 92 has evolved into high volume shooting sports pistols such as the Beretta 92G Elite II, Beretta 92 Combat, Beretta 92 Stock, Beretta 92FS Brigadier and many other types.

Technical data

Type: Beretta 92SB-F/F

  • Trigger system: Single-action or double-action
  • Calibre: 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity: 10-15-17 rounds depending on magazine
  • Frame material: Aluminium light alloy
  • Slide and barrel material: Carbon steel
  • Grip material: Plastic
  • Barrel length: 125 mm
  • Length: 217 mm
  • Height: 137 mm
  • Width: 39 mm
  • Mass: 955 g
  • Safeties: Slide mounted combined safety and decocking levers. Loaded chamber indicator. Firing-pin safety.
  • Magazine release: Lower trigger guard, reversible.
  • Production years: 1983 - 1987.
  • Production location: Beretta Italy

Type: Beretta 92FS/FS Inox

  • Trigger system: Single-action or double-action
  • Calibre: 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity: 10-15-17 rounds depending on magazine
  • Frame material: Aluminium light alloy
  • Slide and barrel material: Carbon steel or stainless steel
  • Grip material: Plastic
  • Barrel length: 125 mm
  • Length: 217 mm
  • Height: 137 mm
  • Width: 39 mm
  • Mass: 945 g
  • Safeties: Slide mounted combined safety and decocking levers. Loaded chamber indicator. Firing-pin safety. Slide retention device.
  • Magazine release: Lower trigger guard, reversible.
  • Production years: 1987 - present day.
  • Production locations: Beretta Italy, Beretta USA, Others under license.

Type: Beretta 92G

  • Trigger system: Single-action or double-action
  • Calibre: 9 mm Luger
  • Capacity: 10-15-17 rounds depending on magazine
  • Frame material: Aluminium light alloy
  • Slide and barrel material: Carbon steel
  • Grip material: Plastic
  • Barrel length: 125 mm
  • Length: 217 mm
  • Height: 137 mm
  • Width: 39 mm
  • Mass: 945 g
  • Safeties: Slide mounted decocking levers. Loaded chamber indicator. Firing-pin safety. Slide retention device.
  • Magazine release: Lower trigger guard, reversible.
  • Production years: 1987 - present day.
  • Production location: Beretta Italy, Beretta USA

Type: Beretta 96/Inox

  • Trigger system: Single-action or double-action
  • Calibre: .40 S&W
  • Capacity: 10-11 rounds depending on magazine
  • Frame material: Aluminium light alloy
  • Slide and barrel material: Carbon steel or stainless steel
  • Grip material: Plastic
  • Barrel length: 125 mm
  • Length: 217 mm
  • Height: 137 mm
  • Width: 39 mm
  • Mass: 940 g
  • Safeties: Slide mounted combined safety and decocking levers. Loaded chamber indicator. Firing-pin safety. *Slide retention device.
  • Magazine release: Lower trigger guard, reversible.
  • Production years: 1992 - present day.
  • Production location: Beretta USA

Production

Most models are manufactured by Beretta in Italy or in the USA by Beretta USA. However, the Beretta 92G/96G Elite II and Beretta 92FS/96 Brigadier Inox are only manufactured by Beretta USA, as are the Vertec series. The Beretta 92/96 Combat and 92/96 Stock are only manufactured by Beretta in Italy. Italian made 92s have a nicer surface finish, while US made ones have tighter tolerances. In all other aspects they are equivalent.

Note

The SIG P226 was considered equivalent to the Beretta 92F (the original model, entered in the U.S. Army sidearm replacement trials/XM9 Pistol Trials held by the US military in 1984). The lower cost of the 92 is the reason why it won the XM9 trials. By todays standards, neither the SIG P226 nor the Beretta 92FS can be considered as state of the art, but both remain excellent pistols. SIG owners prefer the SIG and Beretta owners the Beretta; side by side the differences are not huge and neither can match expensive Sphinx pistols for overall qualities, HK USPs for their versatility or GLOCKs for abuse in the field.

See also

External links

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