Beretta announced, at the 2010 Shot Show, the arrival of the Beretta 92A1, aka M9A1 9mm handgun. Beretta isn't messing around with this gun. The introduction to this new generation of the 92/926 series of successful pistols is a welcomed sight by many a Beretta pistol owner, including yours truly.
I'm a huge fan of Beretta pistols. I currently have a stainless Beretta 92 FS (I hate the word INOX and will not refer to mine as such) that I bought back in late 2001 for my 21st birthday. I had the opportunity to get into the Glock community, or the 1911 community, the revolver community, the Springfield, community, etc, but I chose Beretta because they had (and still have) a combat proven system that is reliable, caveman simple to operate, and easy to maintain. Plus, the 15 round capacity (at the time) could not be beat. The Beretta 92/96 series are very large handguns. They are not meant for people with small hands. For me, that's no problem because my hands fit comfortably around the grips.
Trying to keep up the success of the 92/96 series, Beretta introduced the 90-two and 90-six pistols, which were basically weird funky versions of a platform they already had. I personally wasn't going for it, and I have a feeling most Beretta fans weren't either. It seems to me that it was a flop. Of course, the only redeeming factor was a 1913 picatinny rail incorporated into the frame underneath the barrel. This rail allows for adding lights or lasers to the weapon, giving it more versatility than a gun without.
The new 92A1 benefits greatly from the fact that, while it has a bunch of my ideal Beretta wish list items, it still remains faithful to the tried, tested, proven, and very loved platform that made these weapons so popular in the first place. The lines, the ergonomics, the function, the levers and releases, the magazines... everything as it should be and it just got a whole lot better.
Welcome to the 21st century Beretta! Here's what makes this new Beretta so awesome!
1. 17 round magazine! That gives you two more than previous Berettas. Additionally, the new Beretta uses the older Beretta magazines. This also means that the old Beretta uses the new Beretta magazines. That means my old Beretta can hold 17 rounds too!
2. Removable front sight. You may replace a damaged front sight or simply change to a different one if you want. That's huge! That's my biggest gripe about my older Beretta; my front sight can't be removed.
3. Accessory rail! Yes, finally a good pistol with a 1913 standard picatinny rail! It allows the mounting of lights and lasers.
4. On the .40 caliber 96A1, there is a recoil buffer to increase service life.
5. Captive recoil spring assembly. 1 piece assembly which means less parts to field strip and possibly lose. Note, I NEVER LOSE PARTS! But hey! It could happen!
6. Rounded trigger guard. Well, that doesn't really bother me, but it makes the gun look pleasing.
7. And of course it is available in either 9mm or .40 S&W. I'm personally a 9mm guy.
Okay, of all those things, I think 1, 2, and 3 mean the most to me. Those are the three things I wish my gun came with originally. I solved number 1 by buying 17 round magazines for my older Beretta. But when I buy the 92A1, it will come with three additional 17 round magazines! YES! That's like $80 in magazines alone!
I think, of all my guns in my collection, my Beretta 92FS is my favorite. I'm now going to make it my mission to give my stainless beauty a little competition.