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Old February 15, 2013, 04:17 PM   #1
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The Beretta 92fs

I had been stuck on wanting to get the Ruger SR9 (possibly SR9c, but leaning towards the full size) until an opportunity to buy the iconic 92fs came up.

A friend of mine was going to buy it but backed out, and his girlfriend's brother is the owner so I got his number and contacted him.

As a point of note you should know I live in Massachusetts, not so much fun for gun owners but it tends to affect prices and such because we can only get "Massachusetts Compliant" guns from FFLs. We can get non-compliant guns from FTF sales, but that's it.

Anyway, I talked to the guy and he's willing to sell me the 92fs, with under 100 rounds fired through it, and 100rds of 9mm ammo for $450. This is what I'd be paying (plus sales tax and ammo costs, so near $500) for the Ruger SR9 from my local gun store.

I've never held or fired the 92fs, so that's the only piece missing. I won't be able to fire it before buying but I'm reading/watching reviews and trying to absorb as much as I can.

Any advice on what to look for/be aware of with the 92fs like, specific issues and such?
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Old February 15, 2013, 05:59 PM   #2
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Not shooting a gun before buying it is problematic, but the Beretta 92FS is a wonderful pistol and for $450 a great deal unless it has been used to a really rough level. New, they tend to be about $550 in non-panic times. Currently I haven't seen them under $600 for a while, and close to $650 is typical.

re: specific issues...

After a particularly high round count, the locking blocks tend to wear out (around 20,000-30,000 rounds). While this is not always the case, it might be worth it to pick up a new locking block and spring. Both of those combined shouldn't be more than $20-30 and will give the pistol tens of thousands of rounds of fresh life. Beretta makes quality, consistent aluminum alloy frames and forged steel slides, and their chrome-lined barrels are wonderfully made. In fact, that was their first business venture in the early 1500s - arquebus barrels! So, other than the locking block and spring, the rest of the gun should have a lot of life left in it.

Since magazines are the most critical part of a properly functioning semi-auto pistol, and Beretta makes high-quality and affordable 92FS magazines, grab a few new ones and save the old ones for range practice. New standard 15-round magazines for the 92FS tend to run about $20-25, and in my opinion are of a higher build quality than magazines from other makers that cost $30-40. The Beretta factory also makes new 17-round flush fits, but those will be harder to find and more expensive. They were made for the new 92A1 series but will fit the 92FS just fine. In addition, Mec-Gar makes high-quality aftermarkets that are just as reliable (in fact, Mec-Gar makes the Ruger SR9's factory magazines). They even make an 18-round flush-fitting one.

Ammo-selection wise, it's one of the least finicky platforms out there. It'll eat just about any shape or weight of bullet. It's also rated for NATO-spec ammo, which means limited use of +p ammo for familarization and self-defense carry shouldn't trouble it. I'm a fan of the 147-grain Federal HST and 124 +p Speer Gold Dot, but there are a lot of great choices in modern 9mm. The 124 +p or 147 +p HST are both great too, and the 147-grain Gold Dot is a performer. 124 +p and 147 in Winchester Ranger-T and Remington Golden Saber also have excellent track records. I'm not a fan of lighter than 124.

The SR9 is a well-made, quality pistol, I've helped two first-time owners pick out that exact gun, but the Beretta 92-series is unquestionably superior in terms of build quality and pedigree, though to be fair the price of each new-in-box generally reflects that. As an additional bonus, while the 92 has a slide mounted safety some find difficult to operate while maintaining a grip (I don't, but I have big hands) the heavy first trigger pull means the safety isn't even really necessary. While the heavy first trigger pull is sometimes criticized, it allows even hard primers on surplus ammo to be properly ignited. If the pull is particularly unbearable to you, you can affordably pick up a "D" trigger spring (the standard spring on the double-action-only (DAO) variant of the pistol, the Beretta 92D). It is somewhat lighter. Also, unlike the SR9, there is no magazine safety to worry about, the Beretta will fire without a magazine.

Beretta doesn't recommend dry firing on an empty chamber, so grab a pack of A-Zoom snap caps from Amazon for about $15.
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Last edited by LockedBreech; February 15, 2013 at 06:15 PM.
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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No expert am I, but the things to look for upon inspection are the same as for any other semi-auto pistol. Look for fit and finish blemishes, any obvious wear on the frame or slide or places where it shouldn't be, finish wear (such as holster wear) which looks excessive for the claimed number of rounds fired, whether the gun is clean and appears well maintained, any damage such as cracks (exceedingly rare on a Beretta) or dents, any rust, etc. It would be a good idea to take along a few snap caps, to test the magazines and pistol for cycling.

Beretta 92's are fine pistols, very reliable and well made. Many consider the 92 to be a bit large, however. Beretta designed it as a "service sized" (full sized) pistol....because they intended the primary market to be police and military.

Pistols tend to be a personal thing, as regards feel (whether it "fits your hand"). So, do handle the 92 a good bit and dry fire it a few times, to be certain that you are comfortable with the feel of it, before purchase.
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:26 PM   #4
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I would avoid the 92. Strictly personal opinion.
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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I would avoid the 92
I'm considering one myself.

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Old February 15, 2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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My M9 is by far my favorite pistol.
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:54 PM   #7
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My Beretta 92fs is one of my favorites. It is extrordinarily reliable. The action is butter smooth. The trigger is good and the gun is accurate. The price for the one you are considering is good. The grip is on the larger size, but most men shouldn't have a problem... some women might. The Beretta 92fs is a quality gun, well worth the price.
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Old February 15, 2013, 07:01 PM   #8
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I find drive by opinions like "I would avoid the 92" to be less than worthless. If you have some information why then please share it. I own a 92FS Inox and love it. Please elaborate.

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Old February 15, 2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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I have both, a 92FS Inox and a stainless SR9 fullsize. Both excellent guns but totally different as previously stated so I won't repeat the physical differences. The quailty of the 92FS is better than the SR9 and I tend to shoot the 92FS more accurately. I haven't had a problem with either with over a 1000 rounds through each gun. If I were buying the gun for home protection or range duty, it would be the 92FS. For carry it would be the SR9. I like both guns and would never part with either.
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Old February 15, 2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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The only negative thing that I can say about the 92fs is that it is too large to easily conceal. It is a great range and home defense weapon.
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Old February 15, 2013, 09:45 PM   #11
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That is a good deal from what I have seen lately. I have been trying to find one and the cheapest I have found new is $650 OTD. If you can handle it first and decide that you like it I would jump on the deal.
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Old February 15, 2013, 10:36 PM   #12
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I was just trying to be nice. I would be happy to expand.

The majority of my experience is with the M9 which I hated in the military. They are heavy and bulky without the benefit of being strong. I have never seen so many cracked frames on a firearm than I have on M9s. Beretta liked to blame this on high pressure rounds. There is a good reason no one who actually need a side arm in the military carry an M9. In My experience the people who like the M9 had never shot a handgun before and thought that shooting it was fun. Little recoil and fairly accurate. It is fun to shoot and some of them will run for a long time. You talk to experienced guys who carried them in the field and you will not get a glowing report.

The ergonomics are terrible for me, and anyone else with average sized hands, some people like em that is simply a personal preference thing.

With anything when you look at that is produced in huge numbers you are going to see a lot of failures also. Beretta makes some good guns too.

So again. Personally I would avoid them. There are much better guns out there for less money. I don't care for 9mm anyway but if I had to choose between the two I would go with the ruger. I would probably even take a glock over a M9. Just looking at just 9mil autos the M9 would be hard pressed to make my top 10.
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Old February 15, 2013, 10:57 PM   #13
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Am new 92fs owner

$450 is a great price. I paid $600 for mine NIB from a guy who bought it but claimed to never have shot it. I got three clips clip carry case and a holster included. One of the clips holds 18, and I got 100 rounds too.

I haven't shot mine much but bought it after shooting a buddies at the range. It was so accurate and smooth I had to have one.

I'm not expert, but it's a great gun at a great price.

Live well, be safe
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Old February 15, 2013, 11:03 PM   #14
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I picked up a used one this last summer. I got the 92fs, four 15 round magazines, and a leather holster. All for $425. I am very happy with it. Although my first time handling it I will admit I got a part of my hand caught in the slide after releasing it. Don't ask how because I still don't know, but it hurt and I learned my lesson. It's a great gun. I wish I had more target 9mm I would be out with it more often.
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Old February 15, 2013, 11:05 PM   #15
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They are excellent and bullet proof guns. Clearly, they withstand the rigors of going to war both with military and police service. I have NEVER had a fail to feed, fail to eject or any other problem with my 92, nor have I seen any with any other of the couple of dozen that my fellow deputies carried. They digest every kind of ammo I've ever seen from lead semi wads to ball to big mouthed HPs from 90 grn to 147 grn, standard, +P and +P+. I have shot thousands of either heavy Silvertips or heavy +P Hydrashocks through mine. It's as tight and smooth as the day I got it.

If you feel it doesn't fit your hand, that's one thing. If that's the case, then it's likely you won't feel comfortable with any dbl stack auto. As dbl stacks go, it's one of the thinnest. If that's the case, you'll want a 1911 or similar single stack. But I know plenty of small frame men and women who shoot them voluntarily, their choice of weapon, and they are all happy with them as cops and target match shooters.

I have no problem at all carrying it concealed when I care to, in an IWB holster or Mexican carry.

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Old February 15, 2013, 11:35 PM   #16
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Get the beretta.

About the locking block durability, mine is a first year production nearly 40 years old and has chewed thru countless rounds of walmart ammo. The 92 is utterly/boringly reliable more so than my glocks. My 4th gen glocks have already thrown 30+ cases to my face since break in, while I have only ONCE taken a "slide to the face" from the 92...and that wasnt even the guns fault! Bad magazine spring

Beretta has since then developed three generations of improved locking blocks, each one more utterly reliable than the last! The locking blocks are modular and allow for fast tactical swap in combat situations (one of the major advantages over Sig p226) That's what I call innovation and support!

Last edited by TxFlyFish; February 15, 2013 at 11:41 PM.
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Old February 15, 2013, 11:38 PM   #17
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I just bought a new 92FS. They are a good value for a well made 9MM. I've been shooting semi-auto pistols regularly since the early 90's and just never got around to getting the big Beretta. I didn't like the safety, and it just didn't tickle my fancy. Boy was I wrong. It is a very well made, reliable, and accurate pistol. I enjoy shooting it as much as my CZ's, and BHP's and that is saying a lot.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:33 AM   #18
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Considering the 92FS is not the same as the M9 then I don't really think that your bad experiences in the military apply here. Beretta identified a few short comings with the M9 and the latest release is the 92FS. I don't think you have to worry about cracked slides or locking blocks any more.

By the way I was in the Air Force for 22 years and carried the M9 and loved it. I'm also not a newbie when it comes to firearms. All I can say is to each his own but I don't think you will NOW find a more reliable handgun. To be honest it is not a great carry weapon (it is too big in my opinion) but it is a great range and home defense weapon.

Once again this is only my opinion.

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Old February 16, 2013, 12:03 PM   #19
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Get the Beretta! It is the best design for a pistol in my opinion. I have nothing bad to say about it at all. Some people may complain about the safety mounted on the slide but I think its a great place for it. Get it, clean it, lube it, and you won't be disappointed!
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:14 PM   #20
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At $450 I would buy the 92.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:20 PM   #21
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I also own an M9 and was certified and carried one at times in the USAF. Mine has had many rounds through it in the 20 years that I've owned it and is still running fine. Berettas are well made and they fit my hands well. I actually have a few genuine Beretta 40 round mags for mine and have never had a problem shooting mine with the large capacity mags. The price seems fair, if the seller is truthful about the condition.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:53 PM   #22
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The Beretta 92fs (and M9 obviously) is a time-tested, superior "trial by fire" combat design that will serve you well in any self-defense situation. I think more is made of the pistol's supposed huge size than is merited by reality.

I'm of the opinion that the asking price is more than fair for the condition as described. Try it on for size and, if it fits, buy it. For the price you've been quoted, you'd probably get most, if not all, of it back should you later decide to sell it.
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Old February 16, 2013, 06:18 PM   #23
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The M92/M9 is possibly the most stone cold reliable 9mm combat pistol in existence. It maybe considered large by 'modern standards', but it makes up for it when it comes to shootability! In a market that's become over saturated with plastic and stamped metal designs, chock full of problems because they were designed with a priority on cheap manufacture, the Beretta still looks damn good by comparison!
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:20 PM   #24
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I have a SS 92FS, I just wish I could convert it to decocker only. I don't like the safety on it. I have to use the slide lock on reloads or I sometimes putting it on safe by accident. It is really a good shooter. I play IDPA with it.
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Old February 16, 2013, 11:27 PM   #25
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I would go with the 92 over the Ruger. And that's saying something because I am quite the Ruger fan. I have, love, and regularly use the 12 gauge red-label, M77, GSR, and 10-22. The 92fs is the only Beretta I own. I wouldn't worry about purchasing one used, and would gladly do so for that price as long as it shoots and doesn't look beat to hell.

My take on the 92 is about like PSP said- the action is as smooth as butter. The reliability and accuracy I have experienced has been fantastic. You just have to be in the mood for a full size pistol- cause the 92 is certainly that.
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