Today, let’s take a closer look at the ubiquitous Beretta 92FS pistol.
Beretta first produced the 92 series pistols in 1976. However, the original 92 pistol design didn’t stay unchanged long. The same year, Beretta swapped the frame-mounted safety for a slide-mounted safety/de-cocker and called it the 92S. In 1981, Beretta made the safety/de-cocker ambidextrous, added a firing pin block, and moved the location of the magazine release to just under the trigger guard, changing the designation to 92SB. From the 92SB, in 1984, Beretta reshaped the trigger guard, chrome plated the chamber and barrel bore, and began using their proprietary no-glare Bruniton™ finish (replacing the original blued finish). This was the model submitted for the military testing, designated as the 92F. Although the tests that resulted in the Beretta 92 FS replacing the M1911 A1 as the standard issue sidearm for [most of] the US Military took place nearly thirty years ago, there is still much debate in the firearms enthusiast community over whether or not that was an appropriate decision. Initially, there were some reports of the pistol’s slide flying backward off its frame, only to smash into the face of the shooter. To address this, Beretta enlarged the hammer pin head (to prevent the slide from separating from the frame, even if it broke). This model, developed in 1989 is what we know today as the 92FS, designated in the military as the M9 (or M9 A1, for the models including a rail, aggressive backstrap checkering, and PVD coated magazines).
Weight: approx. 2.1 lbs.
Frame material: aluminum alloy (the INOX models feature stainless steel frames)
Slide material: steel
Barrel length: 5.0 inches
Price range: $600-$775
Where You’ve Seen It
Just about everywhere. There is a huge laundry list of movies, television shows, and video games that feature this iconic handgun. Some of the most notable films featuring the Beretta 92FS include Die Hard (it’s John McClane’s—played by Bruce Willis, sidearm in all 4 films), Lethal Weapon (Mel Gibson, as Det. Martin Riggs, totes it for the original and its two sequels), Terminator 2 and 3 (carried by the T-1000, played by Robert Patrick in 2, and by the T-X, played by Kristanna Loken in 3), Boondock Saints (both MacManus brothers, and their partner, Rocco wield 92FS pistols, as played by Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and David Della Rocco) and countless others.
You may have noticed the 92FS in one of your favorite television shows over the years as well. It’s made appearances in The Sopranos, Monk, Lost, Supernatural, and the Walking Dead (yep, that’s what Andrea carries). The Beretta 92FS, and its military counterpart, the M9, are also often featured in video games. A few of my favorite examples are Battlefield (2, 3, and 4), Max Payne (original and Max Payne 2), Splinter Cell (Conviction, Double Agent, and Chaos Theory), and the Resident Evil series.
There are plenty other games, movies, and tv shows where this popular Beretta crops up. What are some of your favorites that weren’t mentioned here?