Anyone who has been into guns knows that Beretta is a big name in the gun world. They have been making things that go “bang” (some would argue “click”) for about 500 years. They are THE oldest gun makers in the world today. But let’s skip ahead so you don’t fall asleep. In the 80s they put forth their 92 model for the military trials, went toe to toe with some other big names in the gun world, and came out the other side with Sig. Now this is the point where people will claim this gun was better than that one, argue and fight over the details of the testing, blah, blah, blah. Let’s just get real here for a minute. No matter what the legends state, the fact is that Beretta won the M9 contract. This is how Beretta came on the map in a big way and enabled them to build a reputation for world-class manufacturing of tough duty weapons.

People will talk and talk about what gun would have done this or that better than the M9. I highly doubt that any other pistol would do much better, seeing how the military treats its gear. I was one of those guys who carelessly lugged around gear too. As a grunt, I didn’t get time to gingerly place my stuff here or there at my own pace like civilian operators do. Though, we treated our weapons as best we could, because that’s how we learned to handle them. But no matter what, you and your gear were going to be put through the grinder during your time in. After seeing what I put my weapons through, just by using them, I have great admiration for the Beretta M9/92. This pistol has a story of love and hate with people across the gun community, but the reasons are vague and most are based on echoing whatever some forum operator stated. The biggest thing is that apparently everyone who has ever raised their right hand has had a personal “experience” with the M9.

Now I know that a good amount of the pistols did have problems in schools and such where they’d just shoot them until they died, but the same happened with rifles and MGs. Units like mine would use a pistol for so long and then hand them off to schools or wherever when they got a new batch. Most of the people who were in units like mine (infantry) didn’t really complain about the pistols, only their rifles. I usually hear people who were in noncombat units that would complain about the M9 being crap. Now in my experience, most people in the military don’t rate having a pistol or even qualifying, so I find it interesting when all these people complain about the pistol.  But I don’t remember units that were deploying in a combat role, bringing along weapons that weren’t good to use. The military may not make the best decisions for its people, but it doesn’t use complete crap.

Just so everyone understands how the military orders their guns, lets look at how they dictate quality. The military places orders for guns and specifies some things like metal type, barrel making method, finish type, etc. depending on the gun. Then they proceed to give their expected tolerances such as + or – 0.000000000000002 MM for the finish, and + or – 0.000000000000001 grams for the weight of this component, etc. Okay, so I’m dramatizing it a little, but the tolerances have to be really consistent from one gun to the next. Every component is scrutinized and tooling is changed at a faster rate that the tooling used to make commercial products, to ensure perfect manufacturing quality and 100% interchangeability with pistols made today and the ones made 30 years ago. This means that the military is getting the best  work that the company can offer as far as QC for those specific orders. So if the military gets crap, what do you think you have? Remember though, all the company is doing, in some cases, is making what the military tells them to make. It may have been the company’s  basic design, but now the military will dictate certain details. Like if McDonalds was hired to make burgers for the military MREs. But the bun has to be gluten-free, and it better taste the same and be the exact same consistency.