Rediscovering the Beretta M9 – Range Update

Old School becomes ‘New School’ after a fashion.

I carried & qualified with issue M9’s on active duty when our S&W M-15’s were replaced in the late 80’s (the Smith was a great revolver, but not up to tactical employment…just sayin’).  We immediately liked the M9 it a lot – had a lot more rounds, more powerful than the .38 Special the USAF seemed to be enthralled with for so many years, was magazine fed, could be field stripped in about 3 seconds, and was accurate as the Smith (which was very accurate) give or take (the M9 has fixed sites; the Smith had adjustable) for qualification to 25 meters, and if you were serious, you could practice and hit to 50 meters on a human silhouette target to 50 meters.  The decocking lever caused us a bit of anxiousness until we found out it worked, and the safety lever was easy to learn, though  reversed from a 1911 (the 1911 safety is pushed down to go to ‘fire’ and the M9 is pushed up).

Liked it so much I had a Beretta 92C (Compact) POW (Personally Owned Weapon) from 85 until I sold it before I returned home in 92.  I didn’t want to go through the paperwork to have it added to my orders, and then stuck in my ‘hold baggage.’  In hindsight, it was a bad decision, but I digress.

Years flew, and then I started looking at them again a couple of months ago.  Mostly because the M9 is being phased out of the service, and I’m thinking ‘CHEAP MAGAZINES and PARTS.’

Found a safe queen with a purported use of less than 2 boxes of ammo on gunbroker almost new for about $200 less than retail, and it was a M9, not the 92FS.  Basically, the civilian M9 is a military copy (because it’s not property of the US Government) though everything else down to the lanyard loop, (including the markings) are the same, and was sold around the 20th anniversary of the pistol’s service use.  Came with 4 original mags to boot, so how could I lose?  The only thing Beretta did that really isn’t good is the op rod is now plastic (steel replacement already on the way).

After inspection, the round count was probably right; not a bit of wear internally.  It was like taking a new pistol out and looking it over.  It is really sweet, too, except for that famous looooooooooong first trigger pull if shooting double action.  But I can get used to that again.

So, the first thing is to break it down and clean it (and that’s where I was able to see the lack of wear internally).  Especially if it’s a used gun, even though it was a safe queen.  Then, after about an hour of refamiliarization with dry fire, mag change outs, and such, made sure it was lubricated to specs, and ready for the range.  Everything is functional, so it’s off to the range this morning to wring it out with a couple hundred rounds.

That’ll be part 2 of this post.  Until then, here’s what she looks like:

Now, don’t think for a second I’m giving up my Glocks or Kimbers; just adding this to the stable of proven ‘go to’ sidearms.

Get yourself some range time.


Ok, didn’t have a lot of time today, but in 45 minutes I was able to check the inherent accuracy of this pistol pretty well with both deliberate aimed fire as well as some 1 & 2 shot drills.  I fired at 10 meters, indoor range, Winchester 124gr FMJ finishing up with some Federal 124gr HST.  The first two pictures are to simply show the distance and the first 15 rounds.  The pistol is worth having, especially if you’re just getting started and want a reliable pistol.  The offset group to the left of center is not the weapon; it’s my poor vision.  The last picture demonstrates why the M9 eats anything.  The magazine puts the rounds almost perfectly in line with the chamber, so there’s no worry about ‘bullet bump’ that can cause failure to feed.

The indoor range – 10 meters, 50 ft small bore target augmented with a 3 inch Shootnc target.

The inaugural magazine – 15 rounds, aimed, deliberate fire at 10 meters.  My eyes suck, but the pistol is top notch!

Why the Beretta M9 eats any kind of ammo, and yes, that’s Federal 124gr HST getting ready for a trip downrange.


7 thoughts on “Rediscovering the Beretta M9 – Range Update

  1. anonymous

    Cool . I’m glad you found a great deal. No experience whatsoever with them, my ‘wondernine’ of choice is the CZ-75. An aquaintence has a 9mm and .40 S&W so I have some experience with them. Pretty accurate (the 9mm anyway) and magazines are very easy to find. Some bad luck with after market magazines, so he now sticks to factory and has been smooth sailing ever since. Gobbles various brands with no problems.

  2. James D

    Ishka. All I got to carry when I was in was one of those crappy old WWI Colt 45s. Not that I’m complaining. Even as sloppy as the parts were, I managed to qualify expert six years running. (Not that that means anything these days ‘cuz now my eyes are so bad I can’t even see the barn!)

    But, gosh, now I want to find a new toy. Down, Dog! Down!

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