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Pic 1

By Bryan Snyder

Like many who grew up in the late eighties watching action movies and shooting with family and friends, the Beretta 92 was a staple in our firearms viewing in movies and TV. I bought my first Beretta 92 about 6 years ago, a 92G Elite. It was and still is an utterly fantastic handgun with a buttery smooth action, exceptional accuracy, and a host of other facory custom touches that just make it extremely easy to shoot . . .

Beretta was founded in 1526 and is the oldest continually operated fireamrs manufacturer in the world. Most people know them best for the model 92 9mm, one of the earliest and best known of the “wonder nines” and the adopted 9mm replacement for the US 1911A1 .45 ACP for widespread U.S. military forces, much to the lament of the 1911 fan boys.

Based on my experience with the Elite 9mm, I’ve kept my eyes open for the next Beretta. And in the last couple of months I was lucky to come accross not one, not two, but three new-to-me Beretta 9mm and .40 cal handguns that I just felt like I couldn’t pass up due to their relative rarity, their performance, and overall “cool factor.” This review is for one of these pistols, the Beretta 96 Combat, a 40 cal. SAO pistol with a 6″ barrel.

Pic 1E

This is a special competition model made in limited numbers by Beretta in both 9mm (Model 92 Combat) and 40 cal. (Model 96 Combat). Beretta, for a very short time, imported a relative handful of special edition and competition semi-autos based on the 92F(S) models including the Combat, the Billennium, the Steel, and the Stock models. Due to their rarity and exceptional handling and features, these models command a hefty premium over their base 92FS cousins.Most of these were, unlike all of the “everyday” 92s SAO and some like the Billenniums and Steels had frames made from steel rather than alloy.

My particular find was discovered in a LGS in Buffalo, NY in their used gun cabinet. I almost didn’t buy it as I had already bought another pistol on my bucket list two weeks before and my cash-flow had already been pinched. But the more I thought about it, the more it ate at me, especially knowing that they apparently didn’t know what they had and therefore had priced it to move FAST for the first person who knew what they were looking at.

Luckily, a week later when I called to see if they still had it, it was still there and I drove up the next day to put it on lay-a-way. Six weeks later, I picked her up and it gave me goose-bumps holding it again.

Pic 1d

The fit and finish is typical Beretta, very good. The only unusual wear is located directly under the slide release area of the slide when the slide is retacted. The pistol’s finish is even and absent of tooling marks.

Pic 1b

When people have seen it, the first thing that strikes them is what appears at first glance to be a muzzle compensator/brake.

Pic 2c

It’s actually a barrel weight that’s held in place on a 6″ non-ported barrel by a muzzle nut resembling a type of castle nut and uses a special, included spanner wrench to tighten and remove it for dissassembly and periodic replacement of the special barrel bushing that Beretta uses to improve the lock-up and repeatability of muzzle placement to increase accuracy.

Pic 3


Pic 3c


The barrel bushing that uses the weight and nut to hold it in place, is tapered and available in five sizes IIRC, so they may be replaced after tolerances loosen and accuracy suffers. Luckily, as I have read, if the pistol is well maintained, this takes MANY MANY thousands of rounds to even wear out the smallest bushing (10k-15K rounds). As you can see from the pictures, the barrel is stepped ever so slightly to make room for the barrel nut and bushing. The recoil rod also portrudes from the front of the slide into the barrel weight to keep it aligned and
presses against a spring housed in the weight.

Usually, the second thing noticed about the 96 Combat is the lack of the slide mounted safety/decocker and what looks like a more commonly known 1911 style safety. It is well placed, comfortable, easy to manipulate, and has a nice audible “click” into and out of engagement and is firm enough to be confident in its placement but easy enough to move that one with smaller or weaker hands will not fumble or fight with it.

Pic 5

Pic 5b

The slide the COMBAT series of handguns uses what may be recognized by some, especially Beretta shooters, as the “D” slide, and more specifically, the D “Brigadier slide”.

Pic 5c

The “D” model slide lacks any slide mounted controls on slide and is used for Beretta’s DAO line of pistols based on the 92/96FS series. THe Brigadier nomenclature indicates that this model uses the beefed up slide that came into being when Beretta introduced the 40 cal. models. This heavier slide was also subsequently used on select 92 FS 9mm models. The slide is thicker in is side rails and around the locking block area, enough that it is easily visible to the eye.

Pic 5d


It makes an already durable handgun even more so and is, for the casual shooter, “overkill”.

If you shoot higher pressure rounds or shoot “extreme” amounts though, it is nice to have for the piece of mind and well…it just looks cool. For the Combat series and other models Beretta made that were SAO, the standard “D” Brigadier slide was used but with a notch cut out for the safety lever and the “dot” pictogram above the cut-out. As an aside, readers should know that MOST holsters, especially kydex or other thermo-molded holsters for the standard 92/96 F/FS series will NOT fit a model with a Brigadier slide, they are simply to wide. SOME leather holsters, depending on the level of attention given to the molding and retention will accomodate the Brigadier slide, but even then will likely need a good break in period. Be sure to ask BEFORE you buy, if you have a brigadier slide.

Pic 6

When compared to a more standard model 92/96, Other notable changes that are visible are the extended beavertail on the combat and the slightly curvier, elongated trigger guard. Only the more limited edition pistols have these with the standard models either having the “hook” style of the 92FS or M9 or the oval of the older 92SB and newer A1 series.

Pic 6b

The beavertail, IMO, is for looks only. I can’t imagine how you could hold a Beretta 92 style handgun and get “hammer bite”. It does look cool though…Same for the trigger guard, IMO, it was done for looks and served only to differentiate from the more standard models.

Pic 7

Something you’ll notice as soon as you pick up a COMBAT or other special model is the MUCH more aggressive checkering. It is such that adding or modding the stock grips for more grip is, IMO, a waste of time. While the grips are smooth and very comfortable, you really have nothing to worry about as far as losing your grip IMO. When you are holding this pistol, you are aware of it. Both front and back are very well done, with neat, crisp lines that come to sharp points.

Pic 7b

Also, there is a factory mounted, oversized magazine button that is also checkered, larger in diameter, and longer to promote positive release and ejection of the magazine with minimal, if any, shift in your firing grip. I have hands that on a scale of 1-10 for mens size hands would fall in as a “5” and can eject the magazine with no shift in grip, something I cannot do with the standard factory button.

Next up are the obviously target orientated sights.

Pic 9


Pic 9b

The rear is fully adustable for windage and elevation and the front sight is a dovetailed, raised blade that has a bold white dot. There are, IIRC, 3 various heights of blades available from the factory.

Pic 9d

Included with the pistol is a Beretta marked sight key and allen wrench. The wrench is used for another feature that the standard Beretta, and most other pistols on the market don’t have, pre and over-travel adjustment screws for the trigger.To adjust them one unlocks the slide through the typical Beretta method and slides it forward enough to expose the magazine well from above, from there one can use the wrench to adjust and fine tune the trigger.

Looking at the underside of the trigger you can see the adjustment screw and how it interacts with the rear of the trigger. The trigger is very nie and I would say it is about 90-95% as good as the best 1911 trigger I have experienced. It has a very short, light take-up and very crisp, short break. Mine is set as close to zero over travel as I can manage in order to get a positive reset.

When it comes to shooting it, it took some getting used to as all my other semi-auto pistols are glocks or SA/DA and none with a trigger as light or as short as this. With this trigger it is possible to get off very past pairs, to the point where I will need lots of practice to take advantage of the speed advantage this pistol offers. The weight and balance of the pistol is overall pretty neutral, with a full magazine, it swings well and the large front blade is easy to pick up on the move. The smooth, straighter trigger feels very good and manipulates easily.

AS a competition gun, this would do well IMO, in the hands of a skilled shooter. I will need more time to really take advantage of the features this offers. It COULD be used as a defensive CCW but it is fairly large.

My favorite feature is the SAO. It takes a great pistol to the next level of shootability. My least favorite feature is well….I’m not really sure. At this time, I am really hard pressed to find something I don’t like. If forced to choose, I guess I would have to say the lack of the Elite style skeletonized hammer.

For accuracy testing, I shot a target from 35 yards using winchester white box ammo from sand bags on a table. At this time I have about 400 rounds through it and it has been completely 100% reliable. I fired 30 rounds. Temp was 76 degrees and we are at about 1500ft ASL. I fired at another target to get it on paper at that distance and fired for record at the target shown.

Pic 12

With more time and familarization, I think I can do better but it is a good start.


Beretta 96 Combat


Caliber: .40 S&W
Length: 8.5 to 9.5
Barrel length: 4.9 to 5.9
Capacity: 10 + 1
Weight: 38 to 40 oz.


Ratings (out of five stars):

Style * * * * *
It’s a sexy bitch. Unique and easy to use. Demands attention when you have it out at the range.

Ergonomics – Shooting  * * * *
Everything is in a nice easy to locate and use spot. Feels excellent in the hand. Only thing one may gripe about is it doesn’t have the 1911 grip angle.

Ergonomics – Carry * * *
You better be a big guy or dress around your gun at all times to carry this as a CCW option. Doable but not easily.

Reliability * * * * *
NEVER had a malfunction with this pistol at all, nor any of my other Berettas.

Customizable * * * * *
Most of the stuff is factory done. Can change sights, adjust trigger etc.

Overall * * * * *
I’m thrilled with this and it is my favorite handgun at this time. Planning on shooting alot more 40 cal.

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  1. I have a Beretta 96, I absolutely love just about everything about it, but the Trigger on it and every beretta I have ever tried is a mushy mess.

    It’s like a wet sponge the way it feels.

  2. Minor nit to pick: when you say “at about 1500ft ASL” you mean 1500 MSL.

    ASL == Above Surface Level, or the ground at the current location
    MSL == Mean Sea Level, or the height above the designated average sea level.

  3. Would not have thought to buy one (M-9/92), ever (not even with the movie influence thingy) except our Uncle asked me to carry one around, and use it for a pillow, for a year, in a place that sucked.

    Came home and could only afford a police remand 96, and would not trade that for a new house.

    When I say, you’ll have to pry my cold dead fingers off “it” I mean my old, holster-worn, shot-in Model 96.
    Bring a pry-bar beotch!

    • Couldn’t agree more. I’ve carried a ’96 Centurion for about 3 years now and aside from the “Oh, I can’t put a light on this” complaint (regrip just solved that for me if I choose to solve that problem) it’s the best thing I carry in my truck, wife and dog included…

      Beretta has been making guns for almost 500 years and they’ve figured out that reliability matters most. These things just plain work.

  4. Great review – thanks. I’m a Beretta fan as well and I always like to hear about unusual variations. Gotta keep my eyes open for one.

  5. Nice review! This pistolis sweet. Love all the mods they did esp the trigger and safety lever. It would be perfect if it was a 9 and not a 40. But great deal you got.

    • While I would have preferred a 9mm. The 40, in the Berettas anyway, have the benefit of being able to RELIABLY shoot/cycle 9mm with only a barrel and mag swap. A bar-sto 357 sig barrel would make 3 calibers I can shoot from this one pistol.

  6. I’m so jealous that is so cool, I’m even more jealous to think you probably got it for less than 700, from what you said. I’ve gotta have one, I love my 92a1 but all the little detials you listed about this gun made my mouth water.

    • TTAG apparently trimmed down my review as there are pics/info missing, but I can only wish I got it for only $700. In this condition, these are $2k pistols. I got it for a decent amount under that though as the dealer did not do his due diligence.

  7. I recommend proofreading and revising your articles before posting. Some of the mistakes are distracting and take away from the article’s authority.

    Otherwise, it sounds like a cool range toy to have! I don’t know about that rear sight, but it looks like it shoots very well.

    • Thanks, it does shoot and handle VERY well. Even with the muzzle weight, the 40 is much more “snappy” than the 9mm.

      As for the mistakes…yeah, I noticed them too. I literally did this review last minute in note pad and sent it in 15 min before the deadline on a notebook with sticky buttons. This is actually trimmed down from what I sent in, other pics and info were trimmed space I guess.

  8. Good review. But a Buntline Special Beretta? Won’t be much concealed carry done with it.
    I’ll stick to my S&W 25-2 in .45 ACP with the 6 1/2 in. bbl, thanks.

    • Lol…Beretta Buntline, I like it…If you think this is crazy, wait till we see if my other review made it in time nd is published….You’ll know it when you see it. As for the 25-2…great revolver, I carry a 625-6 3″ Lew Horton.

  9. Nice find! Also, it appears that this pistol was set up for a left handed shooter, since the safety is on the right. That makes it even more rare!

    • It is actually ambi. There are several guns in the photos, so you may have been looking at the wrong picture–look for the one with the rear target site to figure out which is which.

      • Correct, the other models pictured were for reference regarding the other items I mentioned so readers could see examples compared to it and how it differs or evolved using parts from other models.

  10. Cool gun, but what is up with 3 dot sights on what is obviously a competition gun? I know they named it “Combat” but come on. And the grips don’t look like they were made for this model.

    • Beretta makes those sights with the dots as well as white outline. Mine just happened to get the dots. As for the grips, they are factory originals and fit very l actually. They are plastic but are VERY thin compared to stock 92 plastic grips and are not interchangeable due to the cut-out for the safety selector.

  11. Looks nice. I like how it has (almost) the compensator look without having a compensator. One of these days I am getting a Beretta like the one Jean Reno used in “Leon”. Google it, good film and also a cool gun in it (the internally threaded barrel was especially cool).

    Also, isn’t steel an alloy? I know it is a nitpick so feel free to ignore.

    • I don’t particularly remember the pistol Reno used in “Leon”, but my first thought on seeing this one was that if the weight on the end was a couple of inches longer and had some ribs on the sides this would be a dead-ringer for the “Auto-9” in “Robocop”…

      • If my other review makes it, you will see a “robo-cop” pistol…You will know it when/if you see it. 😉

  12. There are a lot of haters for the 92. While I consider it to be dated and not the number 1 choice for either combat or concealed carry, I have had nothing but luck with mine.

  13. Nice review.

    I have no idea why Beretta called this series of competition pistols “Combat.” These pistols were actually made for IPSC competition. There were the 92 Combat (9×19), 96 Combat (.40) and 98 Combat (9×21). Hence the single-action only setup on the guns. It was meant to be drawn from a IPSC, not duty, holster, and then tick rounds downrange in rapid succession. The accuracy is more than good enough for IPSC or IDPA, but not a bullseye gun.

    If Beretta had exported more of the 98’s into the US, the 9×21 might have caught on better than it did.

    I’m not near my Blue Book just now, but I think what you should check out how few of these pistols Beretta shipped to the US. They’re not at all common, and if you ever consider selling it, price it accordingly.

    • Can you use 9×21 in a 9×19 or vice versa? I remember reading that the 9×21 while having a longer casing has the bullet set back further – making the OAL of the cartridges very similar.

      • If you put a 9×21 cartridge into a 9×19 chamber, the slide won’t go into battery as you’re going to have too much case sticking out of the chamber.

        If you put a 9×19 cartridge into a 9×21 chamber, your slide will go into battery and you can most likely cause the cartridge to fire, but it might be messy since the cartridge will be headspacing off the extractor hook.

    • Honestly, no point in them pushing the 9×21. The only reason it exists is to allow civilians to own comparable pistols to the military that do NOT chamber a “military” caliber that some countries, Italy being one of them, mandate for private ownership. It offers NO ballistic advantage over 9×19.

      • There would have been for the “Combat” version of the 92, because it was marketed as an IPSC/competition gun.

        In IPSC guns, competitors want two things at once: maximum magazine capacity and “major” power factor (which is easily achieved by a .40 S&W or .45 ACP, but not by a 9×19 with any bullet weight or +P loading).

        Along came the 9×21 in the early 90’s, during the time when IPSC competitors were re-discovering the .38 Super and loading it to super-hot levels. The IPSC rules state that you can’t load a round in excess of SAAMI MAP’s. Conveniently, there is no SAAMI MAP for the 9×21 (at that time), so you could load a 9×21 to very high pressure levels. Now you had the best combo an IPSC competitor wanted: high mag capacity and major power factor.

  14. That is a beautiful gun that can back up it’s looks with performance. I hate to say it but the best handguns are coming out of companies with European roots IMHO.

    • Well… Beretta has been making guns for longer than the US has existed. So they should know a thing or two.

      Personally when it comes to pistols the CZ-75, Tokarev and Makarov are my defintion of beauty. The Beretta is just cool, especially with a compensator.

    • That’s not because of a lack of talent here in the US. It is because:

      a) too many gun companies are infected with the typical American MBA disease.
      b) too many American gun buyers don’t want to pay what a good gun costs. They want Walmart quality in everything they buy.

      In what seems to be a bizarre bit of perception, Americans will balk at paying more than “X” for an American-made high end product (like a car or a gun), but they’ll happily drop much more than “X” if it is made in Germany or Italy. Beretta makes guns that cost between $5K and $90K in the shotgun market, and they sell they quite easily into the US.

      Remington used to make a rather nice O/U shotgun called the “32.” How nice? Judge for yourself:

      What happened to that Remington design? American buyers wouldn’t buy it in large enough numbers. So Remington sold the rights off, and the Remington 32 design eventually became the Krieghoff K-32, and subsequently was improved as the K-80, a shotgun that costs around $10K today.

  15. A couple nits. First, unless you typed this review on your cell phone, you should type words out rather than use shorthand like IIRC and IMO. Second, steel is an alloy.

    Otherwise, nice review. I had never seen this gun before and it was an interesting gun about which to read (just covering my butt).

    Personal attacks may now commence.

    • Yeah, I know, I rushed to finished this and submitted it literally about 15 min prior to deadline, in note-pad, on a lap-top with a buggy keyboard…

      As far as steel/alloy…you and I know that, and so do some others, but in most common usage, especially firearms, “alloy” is generally recognized as another term for aluminum while “steel” is used in reference to stainless/carbon steel.

      Hopefully, I will not be as rushed next time and have me to type it on another computer. No-doubt, if my other review gets posted, it will have similar issues as I used the same computer. Hell, even typing these responses, I spent twice as long as needed correcting errors due to the laptop not recognizing my key presses…Sigh…

      • Hey! It was still a nice review despite the rush. And as far as using terms like “alloy” as a synonym for “aluminum,” I’m just too anal to cave to common misusage. I’m cursed! 🙂


  16. I know this is unrelated to the article, but is anyone getting Firefox blacklist site warning when trying to visit TTAG site recently? Just pop up on multiple TTAG pages and this is the first time it ever done it to me.

  17. The Truth About Guns likes to trumpet that their gun reviews tell the unvarnished truth in gun reviews naysayers and manufacturers be damned.

    The real truth is that the site’s reviews, including Nick’s, are amateurish. Case in point, statements that the writer has never had a malfunction in any Beretta ever.

    So , this is a fun essay showing a unique pistol and it’s features, but “the truth” about this gun cannot be divined from the gushing prose penned by just another guy with a keyboard.

    • So, Skyler, you are essentially calling me a liar, so why not come out and say it? After all, you have ALL the facts and pertinent information to do so right? And you’re right, it was amateurish, all the “320” entries were, we did not get paid for them and I am not aware that any of the entrants are professional writers, so at least you got that right, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

      I have five Berettas, FOUR of them were purchased in the last 2-3 months and each have about 5-600 rounds through them after my getting them and thoroughly cleaning and going over them. I use a quality U.S. made ammunition and quality name brand/grade A magazines. My first Beretta, also pictured in the review, a 92 ELITE, I’ve owned for about 6 years and for about five has been one of my regular IDPA pistols for local matches and I have multiple thousands of rounds through it with NEVER a hiccup. How could that be?!? In world where handguns are extremely reliable how is it so unlikely that a person could have a WHOLE FIVE pistols that he has never had a malfunction in?!? CRAZY RIGHT?

      Or maybe reliability has become so common place in QUALITY handguns, using QUALITY ammo in QUALITY mags with an attentive owner who takes care of his firearms. How many rounds did the Berettas in the military trials go before/between failures? How many glocks have insane track records for rounds fired?

      It seems likely that you may not have the experience or exposure to firearms to go off “half-cocked” and critique, criticize, or simply call people liars, and should just be ignored and allowed to wonder off into the background like a dumbfounded liberal who’s been bitch-slapped with a dose of logic and critical thought.

      Since I’m rather fond of British slang, go sod off you dodgy tosser and go troll where people will give shit about what you think… perhaps…

      • I didn’t call you a liar. I just think that if you’ve never had a malfunction then you haven’t had much experience.

        • Sigh…Ok, where did say I’d never had a malfunction?…. I DID say I haven’t had any malfunctions with any of my Berettas. This is still true.. Perhaps I take better care of my weapons than you do or use better ammo, or hell maybe just plain luckier, in any event, it makes it no less true.

          Since you are such an accomplished writer and know everything, perhaps you should write your own reviews since you have so much extra time, know-how , and experience and educate we, the unwashed and ignorant masses.

          If TTAG reviews bother you so much why even read or comment on them, go somewhere else and be happy.

        • And you’re rude. My objection was not to you as a person, though you have chosen to make this a personal attack on me and whatever you might imagine my politics to be, but to the standards of TTAG on reviews. That this was a 320 submission does not excuse that they bill this as one of their gun reviews. That you are not a regular reviewer but that your submission is treated as such speaks volumes for the quality of their reviews. But then, they pretend the Nick Leghorn is an international firearms expert and consultant, so . . .

          I’ve shot lots and lots of Berettas, most especially with the Marines, and while they are quite reliable, they are not free from all malfunctions.

          My point in all this is not to malign you or how much fun you have shooting, and I even said I enjoyed reading the description of the weapon being discussed. My point is that light hearted discussion is all good, but the presentation as though it were a serious review, just like all their other nonserious reviews, is misleading.

        • ” I just think that if you’ve never had a malfunction then you haven’t had much experience..” – Never go full retard, bro.

          “I’ve shot lots and lots of Berettas, most especially with the Marines.” – Now, I know why your Berettas were so shitty.

          “That this was a 320 submission does not excuse that they bill this as one of their gun reviews.” – Did you not see the [P320 Entry] next to the title. Stop going full retard, bro.

  18. Hey – You can’t shoot .40 cal! It’s snappy, flippy, recoily, snappy (twice for emphasis) and has too much muzzle flip. Choose 9mm, or you’re wrong. (/sarcasm)

  19. Yadama, your insults not withstanding, TTAG claims to be a hard hitting, no holds barred place to learn the gritty truth about guns. This was a fluff piece. If it were simply a story about buying an interesting and rare gun it would have been great. But it was presented as another TTAG review complete with star ratings.

  20. Very nice! This seems like it could have been a better “offensive pistol” than the SOCOM / Mark 23, if it had come in .45 or if they were happy with the 9mm or .40. I like this as a P320 entry. It’s a very good review on an interesting, fairly unusual gun. Kudos

  21. I have an Elite II, and Elite 1A and a 90-Two. I think Beretta doesn’t get the credit they’re due for how unique these guns are….everybody knows the typical 92/96 models but not the special ones.

    I’d love to pick up a Steel I, a Combat or a Stock. I have a lot of pistols and these are by far my favorites.

    • I have a 92FS INOX and two 92 Stocks with thicker Uncle Mike’s rubber grips. Removing the barrel bushing everytime for field stripping is a pain, but otherwise it’s the best 9mm I’ve had the pleasure to shoot.

      Beretta should make a .45 modelled after this form factor.

  22. I carried a Beretta 96 Brigadier .40 S&W DAO from 1997 to 2004 in Miami, FL as an inspector with the former U.S. I.N.S. (later the U.S. C.B.P.) and put about 12,000 rounds of full pressure 40 cal ammo (RP 155 gr HP) and never had a malfunction. Saw many different types of malfunction with other officers but it was mostly from stove pipe jams from failure to firmly grip the pistol or a weak recoil spring designed for 9mm that was later changed to a heavier recoil spring designed for the higher pressure .40 cal. In spite of the weaker spring, I never had problems for the year I used the weaker spring and the pistol did not suffer damage. The 96 Brigadier had a snappy recoil but it was very accurate out to 100 yards in spite of a very longtrigger pull of about 3/4″. Being federal officers, we had to qualify every three months in daylight and once a year at night time in a 72 rounds, 360 points timed targets PPC style course from 1.5, 3, 7, 15 and 25 yards. Once I attended a special one week course in New Mexico taught by former Border Patrol officers that included metallic silhouettes, PPC style timed target and long range shooting at 100 yards. It never failed me. I did enjoy shooting it but I had to turn it in for a H&K P2000 (when US customs and INS merged) which I could never shoot as well as the BER 96 due to the P2000’s smaller size, shorter barrel and shorter sight radius. The shooting protocols also changed as US Customs forced the adoption of their 30 rounds, 3, 7 and 15 yards course. This was a revolver course which they adapted to the P2000 by forcing us to load only six rounds in a 12 round magazine. How moronic can an agency get? It is still that way to this day (2014). Fortunately, the US Border Patrol never had to endure such stupidity since they are independent form USCPB. The 96 Brigadier was originally the weapon originally selected by US Border Patrol to replace their revolvers and INS just jumped in the bandwagon. I still have a 92FS in 9mm I bought at a US Army Rod and Gun Club at the Rhein-Main Air Forse Base, Germany in 1986 while stationed in that country with the US Army. and it also fun to shoot in spite of a heavy trigger (12 lbs) in DA but it is accurate in SA shooting with a relatively lighter (7 lbs) but clean trigger pull. It is a good weapon and if you want one, there is nothing wrong with the 96 Brigadier, but it is not a weapon for weak handed.

  23. what kind of hammer is that on the 92/96? It looks much more skeletonized than the elite II hammers i’ve seen.

  24. Bryan if your interested in selling it or know of another for sale please let me know. Great Review. Typos and all.

    M Thaler

  25. Great review, Please let me know if you want to sell it or know of another for sale. I am in the market.


  26. Bryan can you email me. I wanted to get you opinion on a 96 combat I’m about to buy.
    I thought you could review a few pictures and give me some advise.
    [email protected]


    • Never saw your reply until now. Sorry! Hopefully you got a nice 96 Combat. If not, mine’s going up for sale shortly. 😉

  27. Just checking in with the author. Please sell me this weapon. I love Berettas. I only allow Berettas in my house :). I also have a big preference of the .40 over the 9mm. I keep looking and looking for any collectible Berettas in .40. That Combat to me is the Ultimate model. I have 3 px4’s (all three sizes are .40), a 96a1 and an ARX 160. About to pull the trigger on the Arx 100 if I can find one below 1500. If you want to sell I would pay immediately. Think about it! I do own 3 nice AR’s. Let me know if you have any interest! Btw, Great read on the article!

    • Two years later…lol… Just saw your reply, and yes, I’m now looking to sell this.

  28. Have a 96f Brigadier Border Marshall 40 S&W that I picked up new in the case in the late 90’s. Is a Border Patrol special that was ordered then backed out on so they went to the open market. Has the flush muzzle and all other standards for that issue, ambi-rolling block safety, Tritium 3 dot sights…..still glowing. Most accurate and overall best ammo I’ve used, and I have tried them all in 16+ years, is TUL. This piece is now like my hand’s extension. I’ve taken other guy’s Benjamins over bets on beer bottle caps @ 25 yards. Stella, her name, is totally factory stock…..’nuff sed.Oh, you guys do know that the edged trigger gaurd is for tapping holes in skull-caps. These guns are designed for being used.

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