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Posted: 12/6/2001 11:34:28 PM EDT
I need some help.

As a LE Firearms instructor, I have been encouraged to wage a campaign to get new service weapons to the patrol staff in my agency (end of the year and apparently we need to use the last of that budget).

As chiefs of police are usucally somewhat conservative when it comes to $$$, I wanted to get as much info as I could to support rotating out our old handguns, or possibly a change towards another weapon all together (a whole 'nuther topic, I know).

What I'm looking for is this:

Does anyone have any idea on the expected and/or average sevice life of a 9mm handgun (specifically the Beretta 92FS)? Is there anywhere I can find this information in print, so I can present it to my chief? I assume it has to be out there somewhere, but I can't find anything. Beretta must have done some studies prior being awarded the US Military contract.

I have found estimates on the MK-23 SOCOM pistol, putting the barrel, slide and frame at 30,000 rounds... but zip on the 92FS. I guess it isn't a sexy enough pistol anymore.

Please help.
Link Posted: 12/6/2001 11:57:57 PM EDT
I am in no way an expert when it comes to pistol wear. However, it is my understanding that parts like the slide stop and various small trigger parts will wear out on the average pistol (especially Berettas from what I have read/remember) long before any barrel, mag, slide or ect. will.

It has also been my experience with many a police trade in pistol that most experience alot more holster wear than anything else. Usually the LEO trade in pistols I have seen for sale are in perfect mechanical order. I myself have a used LEO Sig P228 that was easily in 95% condition when I bought it!! The hard fact is this: Most LEOs rarely fire there sidearm compared to the average civilian pistol owner. So basically I think you may have a hard time convincing your chief that your department needs new sidearms based on wear and tear alone. Try doing a search for Beretta Dissusion Forums to get more detailed info, but in reality the average LEO pistol (regardless of make/model) should easily last 15-20 years IMHO, based on the little actual usage that they get.

Know I know you may want the latest and greatest weapon out there, but remember that it is our tax dollars you are spending!

Just my .02 cents worth.

Link Posted: 12/7/2001 1:46:41 AM EDT
30,000 was also the spec on the M9
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 2:35:36 AM EDT
Glock 17 = 150,000 rounds, factory had 2 w/ over 350,000 rounds on them.

Link Posted: 12/7/2001 12:06:43 PM EDT
If I recall correctly, about 15 years ago the FBI concluded that any aluminum frame semi would start having frame related problems after about 10,000 rounds. This was their justification for their disastrous adoption of the steel framed S&W 1076. I think the figure is a bit low, but that’s what you’re looking for anyway

You might try calling them at their academy at Quantico, VA – ask for the Firearms Training Unit. Typically, they’re pretty helpful. (I wouldn’t mention the 1076’s.)

The outfit that could help you, but probably won’t, is FLETC (www.fletc.gov). They use several handguns to include Beretta’s in training and put many, many rounds through them. They also track all their repairs. However, they are extremely reluctant to say anything that might be an endorsement or a criticism of some manufacturer’s product.

No vendor is going to give you a straight answer on this.

Remember that if you don’t spend this money for new pistols, the bosses will use it for new drapes!
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 12:20:20 PM EDT
My ballpark understanding of pistol lifespan is aprox. 30K rounds, at most. +P and +P+ would shorten that 30 thou figure.

If your pistols have enough time on them to need lots of spare parts replaced, or they rattle too much, or have become inaccurate, they Need to be replaced.

Why don't you borrow a selection of half a dozen of your most thrashed Berettas available, and show them to your superiors, along with a pretty, brand new HK. "See what we have to work with, boss? The Dept. NEEDS new pistols."
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 12:32:16 PM EDT
The indoor shooting Santa Anita Shooting Range, Monrovia, Calif(20 miles east of L.A.) has a Glock 17 that had gone 500,000 rounds. I believe it cracked a slide at 300,000 and slide was replaced. The range used to replace locking blocks on their 92FS fairly regularly.
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 1:30:54 PM EDT
I have some info that may be helpful, feel free to email!
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 1:45:13 PM EDT
Considering the problems Beretta had with catostrophic slide failures I would approach my supervision as a safety issue. I have heard this debated before, but when a company installs a pin to prevent the slide from striking/injuring/killing the operator during such a "malfunction" I believe the point is moot. I know the local government SRT guys switched to the Glock for the same reason. You probably should also get the figures from the military on service life/time period between arsenal maint. - there testing shows the guns CAN run 30K+ rounds, but I believe that they replace major components @ a much higher frequency.
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 3:07:23 PM EDT
Food for thought. Contact your local police supply house and see what kind of deal they'll give you on your 92F's. Often you can trade your preban pistols and magazines straight across for new weapons.

Glock used to have a program that did this. Several Police and Sheriff departments in Northern California did this about 2-3 years ago. The deal was a brand new glock 17-22 with three LEO mags for the used pistol and it's high cap magazines.

Hope this helps
Link Posted: 12/8/2001 9:54:52 AM EDT
"Most LEOs rarely fire there sidearm compared to the average civilian pistol owner... the average LEO pistol (regardless of make/model) should easily last 15-20 years IMHO, based on the little actual usage that they get."

I guess I needed to be more specific. We qualify four times a year shooting about 180-300 rounds per session. Each officer is also given 100 rounds of ammunition per month to shoot on his/her own time. Every Beretta we own in pushing 12-15 years old at this point, so I believe, if you do the math, this is an issue. Also we are experienceing machanical failures with some of the smaller moving parts in several guns.

I really doubt the "average" civilian gun owner ever attends any type of defencive pistol course, or fires thier gun near this much... I wouldn't consider anyone actively participating with a site such as AR-15.com site "average".

As far as what we would replace them with... thats a whole 'nuther topic.
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