Remembering the Beretta M9 / 92F
Kevin Felts 02.23.17
Ammoland has an excellent writeup of the Beretta M9. For those of you who are not old enough to remember the 1980s, it was an era of rapid handgun evolution. Police departments all over the nation went from revolvers to semi-automatic handguns. The military went from the 1911 to high capacity 9mm handguns.
With the new military handgun test and the adoption of the Sig P320, we are witnessing another changing of the guard. The Beretta and hammer fired handguns are losing ground to ever more popular striker fired and polymer framed.
1980s and Beretta
In 1986, I was 18 years old and was an avid shooter. For some reason, I was especially interested in the military trials being conducted for a new handgun. I knew the military was making history and wanted to read as much as I could. I read magazines such as Shooting Times over and over, as if trying to absorb every word.
When I turned 21 years old and bought my first handgun, it was a Beretta 92F. I was very proud of that handgun. Not only was it the first handgun that I bought, it was the same one that passed all of the military test. If the Beretta was good enough for the military, then it was certainly good enough for me.
At the same time as the military test, there was also the FBI test, which made things very interesting.
With the adoption of the Sig P320, various websites such as Ammoland have been publishing excellent articles on the Beretta. Reading those articles is like walking down memory lane.
During the 1980s, there was a wide variety of handguns that were dropped on the market: Ruger P series, Beretta, Glock, Sig, to name a few. Beretta beat them all, even the Glock. The Sig P226 was a very close second, which is why various law enforcement and military units picked the P226.
Reading the recent articles is like a trip down memory lane.
I wish there was more focus on the past and present military requirements. In the 1980s the military requirements were published in various magazines.
- Lanyard connection
- Decocker or safety
- Fire X number of rounds without a malfunction
Those requirements made impressions on young men such as myself. I would look at a handgun and if it did not meet the military requirements, I usually did not consider the handgun for purchase. My thoughts were if the handgun did not meet military requirements, why should I buy it?
Here we are over 30 years later, and I still look for the features set forth by the military test in the 1980s.