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Posted: 2/16/2009 10:35:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2009 8:20:01 PM EST by xm8]
The following will answer in great detail a very common question asked about the differences between the 92FS and M9. They have the exact same MSRP, overall design, dimensions, operating system, magazines, and accept the same accessories. If that's not good enough for you, read on. I added the M9A1 as well. Hopefully this can get stickied by a mod. Please let me know if you spot mistakes or omissions.

Standard 92FS vs Civilian M9*:

- Dustcover shape: angled (92FS) vs straight (M9)
- Dustcover, right: read manual warning** (92FS) vs "U.S. 9mm M9-BERETTA U.S.A.-65490" (M9)
- Dustcover, left: serial prefix "BERxxxxxx" (92FS) vs "M9-xxxxxx" (M9)
- Backstrap: radiused below beavertail (92FS) vs straight (M9)
- Sights: 3-dot (92FS) vs 2-dot/post (M9)
- Slide, right: "MOD. 92FS-CAL. 9mm Parabellum - PATENTED" (92FS) vs "ASSY xxxxxxx-65490" (M9)
- Slide, left: "BERETTA U.S.A. CORP. ACKK, MD-MADE IN USA" (92FS) vs "U.S. 9mm M9-BERETTA U.S.A.-65490" (M9)
- Retail packaging: blue pistol case (92FS) vs cardboard box with styrofoam (M9)
- Barrel: proof mark engraved along bottom (92FS) vs assembly number (M9) [thanks to Ross]

* - Since there have been countless sub-variations, limited production runs, and older models, the following is worth mentioning to avoid confusion. Older production 92FS and M9s had more in common like straight dustcovers and more metal parts. Markings and serial prefixes have changed over time and are different still with Italian-made guns sold in the US. Current 92FS/M9 retail configurations can feature night sights and aftermarket grips. To keep it sane, this post only details the current and basic US 92FS and M9/A1. For some perspective, read Ross' excellent post below for more details and history.

Military M9*** (Pistol, Semiautomatic, 9mm, M9 / NSN 1005-01-118-2640):

- Metal parts: metal parts (older), polymer / polymer-coated (newer)
- Grips: factory Beretta (standard), Crimson Trace LG-402M (private or unit level purchase)
- Grip screws: slotted grip screws (older), hex (newer)
- Manufacture: first M9s made in Italy, then manufacturing shifted to Accokeek, MD
- Sights: 3-dot, dot / post
- Slide, left: simpler "PB" oval logo engraving
- Hammer: assembly number engraved on either left or right vs plain hammer (civilian M9)
- Serial: no prefix (standard), except for M9s issued to general officers "GO-xxxxxx" vs prefix "M9-xxxxxx" (civilian M9)
- Issued mags: contract Checkmate, Airtronic vs factory Beretta (civilian M9)
- Issued holster: Bianchi M12, Blackhawk SERPA variants

*** - Military guns are subject to a tremendous amount of abuse and wear; parts could get interchanged resulting in variations. Privately-purchased parts being used on issued guns are possible. The 92SB-F (92F) was the initial model selected to become the M9. Those initial slides were all replaced with 92FS style slides as the 92FS became the new M9. Some M9s could possibly have those initial 92F frames and parts. Take a look at Muncie21's post below to see the difference between his 92F style M9 slide and the newer 92FS slide.

M9A1 (Pistol, Semiautomatic, 9mm, M9A1 / NSN 1005-01-525-7966 / USMC only):

- Slide and sights: standard 92FS
- Dustcover style: integrated Vertec / 92G-SD style 1913 rail
- Dustcover, right: read manual warning**
- Dustcover, left: serial no "BERxxxxxx" followed by "Type M9A1"
- Backstrap: radiused backstrap
- Magwell: bevelled vs unbevelled (92FS/M9)
- Grip: front / backstrap checkering vs vertical cuts (92FS/M9)
- Trigger guard: thicker front end and straight outer edge vs curved (92FS/M9)
- Retail packaging: two factory PVD sand-resistant mags vs two factory standard mags (92FS/M9)
- Price: MSRP $750 vs $650 (92FS/M9)

** - "WARNING: READ MANUAL BEFORE USE. RETRACT SLIDE TO SEE IF LOADED. FIRES WITHOUT MAGAZINE."

This is an excellent YouTube video so you can visually see the differences. The author of the video dosen't cover every last detail but the major differences are shown. Hope this helps!
Link Posted: 2/17/2009 6:43:18 AM EST
I hope this gets tacked for all your hard work...... Most likely it wont.

At the start when you talk about the 92FS and the m9 I believe you should also note that some of the older 92fs had the straight dust cover.
Link Posted: 2/17/2009 7:12:22 AM EST
There's no assy number on the 92FS barrel, just a proof mark.

The 92FS is a "living" design, while the M9 is static.

Originally the 92SB-F was adopted as the M9. Beretta dropped the "SB" part of the designation because such along name wasn't as marketable as simply "92F". The 92F and the M9 as frist produced were identical in all aspects but markings. Even the sights, etc.

The Army then requested Beretta engineet a system to retain the slide in case of separation to prevent operator injury. Beretta came up with using a larger head hammer pin and a channel cut in the slide to clear it in normal operation. If the slide does separate, the back half (the part that can be otherwise blown off) now would run into the head of the hammer pin and remain on the frame. ALL M9's were retrofitted with this modification, and Beretta incorporated this in civillian production as the "92FS".

At this point the M9 and 92FS are still identical, except markings.

As time goes on, we see the 92FS get changes, like three dot sights standard, etc.

When Beretta brought out the 96 in .40S&W, the first had straight dust covers and developed cracks due to the higher pressure cartridge. To prevent the cracks, Beretta changed the 96's dust cover to a slanted design. To simplify the production line, all 92/96's shared the same frame, which now had the slanted dust cover. Though not needed on the 92, not having to make two different frames saves money, simple as that.

The radiis'd backstrap came a little later but before the steel parts were replaced with plastic.

So you get an evolution of the 92, while the military's M9 stayed pretty much the way it was from the begining. The major reason for this is any change to the milspec requires all sorts of paperwork, engineering study, and a variance to be granted. For simple things like the dust cover for example, that wouldn't make any difference in the 9mm M9 anyway, there was no point in changing things. With other items, like improved internal parts, etc. it's sometimes was cahnged. For example the plastic parts are now standard in production because they work fine, save money, and simplify things. The newer locking blocks are also USGI standard, mainly because they work better, therefore increasing mean round between failure, and save money because Beretta only has to make their current standard part.

While the M9's overall desgin remains standard, as parts get replaced on individual guns in service, different parts get used. Older parts get used first, so for example, you might find a new M9 with plastic parts and an old locking block, or most steel parts with a plastic trigger, or all sorts of combinations. This is because of the parts on-hand get used and, like all USGI guns, you end up with variations. The Army doesn't care about "correct". In fact a "correct" issue weapon could have mismatched parts simply because that's the way the Army works.

A note on the M9 rear sight. The rear sight has the postions for either the dots or the i. It just depends on how they get painted. Also the user is authorized to repaint his rear sights if his fade. So it doesn't take much imagination to see that you'll find both three dot and dotted i in service due to the operator "repairing" them the way he liked
Link Posted: 2/17/2009 10:52:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2009 12:31:42 PM EST by xm8]
Originally Posted By Ross:
There's no assy number on the 92FS barrel, just a proof mark.

Thanks for the excellent info in your post, you are quite the expert. Original post edited to reflect the above, also cleaned up the wording to be more concise and uniform. Keep it coming guys!


Originally Posted By MartinD:
At the start when you talk about the 92FS and the m9 I believe you should also note that some of the older 92fs had the straight dust cover.

My initial intent is to only provide a comparison with the most recent 92FS, but you bring up an important point and a footnote has been added, thanks.
Link Posted: 2/19/2009 2:46:05 PM EST
This is a very good thread clarifying a very common problem.
Link Posted: 2/23/2009 7:16:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2009 7:21:34 AM EST by MartinD]
bump/tack

edited to add /tack
Link Posted: 3/2/2009 6:32:02 AM EST
Bump
Link Posted: 3/2/2009 8:43:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By MartinD:
bump/tack

edited to add /tack

I agree!

MAX
Link Posted: 3/8/2009 8:41:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ross:

The Army then requested Beretta engineet a system to retain the slide in case of separation to prevent operator injury. Beretta came up with using a larger head hammer pin and a channel cut in the slide to clear it in normal operation. If the slide does separate, the back half (the part that can be otherwise blown off) now would run into the head of the hammer pin and remain on the frame. ALL M9's were retrofitted with this modification, and Beretta incorporated this in civillian production as the "92FS".

Seems I've got one of the M9 slides that were not retrofitted. Found this out when I tried to put the slide on a newer B92 frame with the large hammer pin.






Link Posted: 3/8/2009 3:48:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/8/2009 4:22:15 PM EST by xm8]
Thanks for the support on this thread guys! I've decided to leave the comparison among those three guns so to avoid the post getting too bloated and overwhelming. For now, I've updated it to be less verbose in places and added an intro. Muncie, awesome pictures - I have never actually seen an M9 from before the FS features were added. Very much appreciated!
Link Posted: 3/8/2009 11:25:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By muncie21:
Originally Posted By Ross:

The Army then requested Beretta engineet a system to retain the slide in case of separation to prevent operator injury. Beretta came up with using a larger head hammer pin and a channel cut in the slide to clear it in normal operation. If the slide does separate, the back half (the part that can be otherwise blown off) now would run into the head of the hammer pin and remain on the frame. ALL M9's were retrofitted with this modification, and Beretta incorporated this in civillian production as the "92FS".

Seems I've got one of the M9 slides that were not retrofitted. Found this out when I tried to put the slide on a newer B92 frame with the large hammer pin.

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee55/gdean5261/Beretta%2092/IMG_4600.jpg

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee55/gdean5261/Beretta%2092/IMG_4610.jpg

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee55/gdean5261/Beretta%2092/IMG_4603.jpg


All M9's were retrofitted with NEW slides. The slides themselves were not modified. The old "F-type" slides were simply removed and a new "FS-type" slide installed along with the newer-type hammer pin. The old slides were disposed of because now they didn't fit. Obivously your's is one of those that was supposed to be turned in, but wound up for sale somewhere. It's pretty common for that to happen. For example, when they started replacing the old Checkmate mags with the new ones, a bunch of them ended up at gunshows for sale. We'd get messages to turn-in a certain maker's M16 mags for being out of spec, and sure enough the next gunshow you'd see a bunch of them for sale. It's well known that many M9 slides ended up on the market, rather than disposed of. It's not a part that needed to be tracked for any reason, and with the "replace at X number of rounds" going on just prior, there were plenty of early M9 slides laying around to be spirited off to the gunshows/open market.

It was something to be on the lookout for back in the day before Beretta was selling M9's to civillians. There had been a batch of USGI M9's made available for private pruchase by NG pistol teams. Some characters were putting these replaced M9 slides on a civillian 92F and selling them as one of those rare M9's for big bucks.

Your slide is probably 100% fine as far as quality goes.
Link Posted: 3/9/2009 9:15:38 AM EST
Wow Ross, you are just chock full of Beretta information! How did you become so knowledgeable?
Link Posted: 3/9/2009 2:40:11 PM EST
Ross, hope my post didn't come across as challenging your info. What you posted previously did not match was in my hands...guess there's an exception to every rule.
Thanks for supporting us Beretta shooters with your experience and knowledge.!!

Link Posted: 3/10/2009 5:30:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/10/2009 5:31:07 AM EST by Ross]
Originally Posted By muncie21:
Ross, hope my post didn't come across as challenging your info. What you posted previously did not match was in my hands...guess there's an exception to every rule.
Thanks for supporting us Beretta shooters with your experience and knowledge.!!



No offense taken. I had gone back and figured that I needed to explain better what the retrofit actually was. I could have been clearer.

Wow Ross, you are just chock full of Beretta information! How did you become so knowledgeable?


I lived through the fielding, and all the problems first hand. The rest I figured out on the internet, which has a great deal of factual information in addition to the BS spewed on many a site. For example, nearly all the problems with the M9 are well documented by the GAO and available on their website. When I finally bought my own, I decided to dive into it's history.

Prior to the M9 in the Army, I had a S&W 4" .38 Special, so to me the NIB M9 was a heck of an upgrade.
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 3:39:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2009 3:42:44 PM EST by booger-hooker]
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 5:38:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2009 5:51:51 PM EST by beavo451]
Originally Posted By booger-hooker:
... what I would need to get to be the most "similar" to what I carry every day at work? ....


A M9....

Oh yeah and it's "magazine".
Link Posted: 3/15/2009 10:31:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By booger-hooker:
Now to only find more 92FS Compact clips for my wifes Beretta.


CDNN Beretta mags

CDNN has factory new 13rd compact mags for the L. If she has a single-stack M, your best bet will be to go to Beretta directly or just haunt the auction sites.
Link Posted: 3/16/2009 7:30:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2009 7:31:44 AM EST by booger-hooker]
Link Posted: 3/22/2009 4:12:03 PM EST
Thanks to all who posted info. You really did help!!
Link Posted: 3/23/2009 8:26:25 AM EST
bump / tack
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 1:00:58 PM EST
You should add the brig and other models to this list.
Link Posted: 4/8/2009 6:26:57 PM EST
Originally Posted By MartinD:
You should add the brig and other models to this list.


Ask and ye shall receive! Click! Also a shameless bump for this guide!
Link Posted: 4/17/2009 7:53:23 AM EST
bump
Link Posted: 4/28/2009 7:31:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/29/2009 12:58:37 PM EST
The left side of the slide on my 92FS is marked as follows.......PIETRO BERETTA Gardone V.T.- made in Italy.......Right side of slide is marked as follows..........Mod. 92FS-Cal. 9 Parabellum- Patented then below that is Beretta USA Corp, Ackk, MD
Link Posted: 5/21/2009 5:19:21 PM EST
Time for a bump
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 2:30:10 PM EST
bump - zoom to the top where you belong
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