Brandon's pocket dump
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Brandon’s pocket dump includes a mil spec Beretta M9. No surprise there: Brandon’s military law enforcement. He couldn’t carry a different handgun if he wanted to. Should he want to? Or is the M9 a perfectly adequate gun for armed self-defense? Ex-mil readers are invited to comment, as is anyone who’s ever pulled what passes for a trigger on the Italian-designed, American-made pistola.

edc everyday carry concealed carry

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  1. I’m a fan of the 92/M9. I’ve got one myself in a Galco vertical shoulder rig that I’ll carry fairly regularly.

    I did modify mine a bit though. It’s got Hogue grip panels, Beretta skeleton hammer and D spring, and Wolff trigger conversion unit with one of their recoil springs a pound or two over the factory rating. It runs very well and I’m happy with it.

    • Oh, and I forgot I also put in Beretta’s de-cocker kit a few weeks ago and it was overall a pretty smooth mod to make. The suggestion on their website to put the slide in a gallon ziplock bag to contain any flying pins and springs was a good idea too.

  2. The m9 is a great gun, but it’s pretty big and heavy for its caliber. For open carry that’s not an issue but for conceal carry it’s not optimal. I’d actually really like to see a 10mm Berreta, the frame and slide are certainly large enough to handle that caliber.

    • Personally I want one in .357 Sig. I think I’ve seen a conversion barrel for the 96 online before but if they made something along the lines of the 92 compact in .357 even if it was a little larger I’d be all for it.

    • The frame and slide may be able to handle it. The locking block is another story altogether. The locking block is prone to cracking and breaking under 9mm pressures. I wouldn’t imagine it would fare too well trying to fire 10mm. I’ve seen as many as four out of 15 pistols break on military ranges due to locking blocks either breaking completely or cracking. There’s a reason that people in the military who have a choice like Special Forces do not carry a M9. Well the locking block and almost universally garbage magazines. The rounds aren’t just supposed to fall out right?

  3. The M9/92’s trigger isn’t as clean/crisp as the best hammer/sear designs can be made, and there’s not much you can do about it, with the way the trigger pull is transmitted back/up into the slide on the M9/92.

    They’re easy to field-strip and clean – as long as that is as far as you ever go.

    Once you get into a detailed strip on a M9/92, all bets are off. If you’re not an experienced gunsmith (“experienced” means “self-taught in the art of containing wild springs and detents from flying across the room”), you are quite apt to lose springs/detents/etc that come launching out of the M9/92, especially in the slide.

    You need metric pin punches to detail strip a M9. These are often pretty expensive compared to common English-sized pin punches. Metric roll pin punches are even more expensive. I made my set of metric punches by putting drill blanks into a 5/16th piece of steel round stock with a 6-32 set screw to hold it in there. This way, when (not if) they snap off (esp. in the 1mm and 1.5mm sizes), I don’t cry about the issue, I just go get another drill blank and shove it into my homebrew punch.

    The M9 uses metric roll pins. Beretta’s spec calls for them to be replaced on every detail strip, and they cost a bit of money and bother to order in.

    It’s a quality firearm, but the slide makes it apparent that it was designed by a committee.

    • I can’t talk my nephew out of buying a ’92 as his first legal age pistol purchase, as much as I have tried.

      I will, however, be sending him a copy of your warnings on detail stripping the beastie…

      • Most people will never, ever have to detail-strip a M9/92. If they don’t roll around in the mud, or talc-fine dust, and they’re not playing “rise from the shore’s edge operator,” there’s little need to detail-strip most handguns.

        Most handguns, I could teach most anyone here how to detail strip, once you have the correct tools (a set of gunsmithing screwdrivers, pin punches, brass hammers, etc). Having the correct tools to do a detail strip is essential – but there aren’t that many tools needed on most handgun designs. The Glocks need only a 3/32″ pin punch. The 1911 doesn’t need any, if you know how to do it, but if you don’t, a 1/16th pin punch would be nice, along with the correct screwdrivers. S&W revolvers need only a couple of screwdrivers, a Colt revolver needs only a couple of screwdrivers, etc – and some training what you’re doing. Most handguns won’t launch parts across the room once you know the sequence in which to do things and you’re using the correct techniques to strip them.

        The M9, however, is in a whole ‘nuther class of gun. Even experienced gunsmiths swear at the thing as it is launching bits and pieces across the room. I’ve known experienced gunsmiths to do the strip while their hands, their tools and the pistol were contained in a transparent plastic bag, so as to retain the springs in a confined area.

        Don’t get me wrong here – it is a quality firearm, not a piece of cheap-assed plastic slapped together. It is, however, not designed for easy detail stripping.

        • As a guy that spent years rolling around in dust, sand, and mud with an M9, I can attest to never having to need to detail strip it. I’ve never known any solider, regardless of condition, to do so. I field stripped mine regularly, and blew it out with an air compressor every chance I could find one, maybe once a month or so. The pistol ran like a spotted ass ape. I’d go back to war with it any day.
          I have one with well over 20,000 rounds through it now. It has never been detail stripped.

  4. I carried a Beretta 92 under a loose fitting shirt for years and (as has been commented here before regarding the oblivious nature of most people) no one ever blinking at the slight bulge is created. I ultimately switched the 92out for a P229 for no other reason then I felt like carrying something different for a little while. In a year I may go back to the 92 or even my pawn store rescue M9.

    • Same here. I carried a 92FS in a Galco Miami/Jackass rig under a rotation of lightweight cover shirts (aloha indeed!) for years, and never once had a problem. As a “house gun” or EDC, I’ve never found a gun I like better.

    • David, I spent quite a bit time with units that had a choice, and almost everyone chose the M9. I still regularly teach and train with members of several SFGs, as well as a few NAVSPECWAR sailors, and many still chose the M9 over their alternative pistols, the G19, 17, and 22.
      When, only for about 9 months, I had the choice between the G19 or G17 or the M9, I chose the M9, as did everyone on my team.

    • David. There may be a technical term for it. I don’t know. But I do know that soldiers really, really believe that whatever they aren’t carrying is better gear and they want it.

      Ask me how I know this.

  5. Spectacular gun, unless you have small hands. Phenomenally reliable, very accurate, fast shooting with great capacity. Get either Wilson Combat or Earnest Langdon to make it even better for you, and swap the safety out for a G model style. If I could conceal carry it, my Langdon smithed 92FS would be my EDC.

  6. While an SF Weapons Sergeant was working with the designated marksmen in our unit, I stepped off to the side of the range and conducted some practice with my issued M9. He wandered over for a moment and watched me. Remarked that I seemed well practiced with the handgun. Yes, I have been carrying one as an issued weapon since 1995 when our MP unit transitioned from the 1911. I assumed his ODA chose a different handgun. He pulled his M9 out. Every member of his team chose the M9 as a sidearm.

    I really think the US Army should have chosen the M9A3 that Beretta offered. Same end items made it a cost savings. But whatever.


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