Transitional Beretta 92Ses Available Through PSA

The historically interesting – though obsolete – Beretta 92S pistol is available for an excellent price from Palmetto State Armory, blogs WeaponsMan. The 92 series, once described by Andrew Tuohy as “the best handgun you should never buy”, went through a series of evolutions, taking it from something closer to a reimagined Walther P39, to the newest railed models available from Beretta.

The 92S fits in the earlier part of the 92’s history. It was the first model to feature the slide-mounted, combined safety/decocker, a request from European law enforcement agencies. However, it still retains the early heel magazine release, which makes it virtually antique by modern pistol standards.

At 290 bucks, it’s an easy sell for the historically interested handgun shooter, though.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Ron

    I remember reading or seeing somewhere the SEALs, based on their previous experience with S&W pistols, were responsible for the slide mounted safety decocker.

    • erwos

      I don’t fault Beretta for having a version with a slide safety/decocker. It really does make sense for certain customers, and was considered a key feature at the time of release.

      What I fault them for is not keeping a version around with a frame safety. They’ve made them occasionally, and I’m having a hard time believing they’re that much harder to make.

      • FourString

        Yep the only closest option is a Taurus PT92 but if you want Italian build quality with a frame safety then sigh

        • Ron B

          I own an early (circa 1984) Taurus PT92 which is identical to the Beretta 92S shown above, except that Taurus moved the safety (no decocker) to the frame. Taurus bought the Beretta 92 factory in Brazil in 1982-83 and the initial Taurus versions were made on Beretta 92 tooling with Beretta trained personnel; not Italian. The Taurus PT92 is still made in Brazil although the company is Italian. Gun Review: I love my PT92!! Slick action, no problems with the European mag release and pretty damn accurate.

      • idahoguy101

        I’ve seen photos of a Beretta 92 target pistol with a frame mounted safety. Never seen one in person. Safe yourself the trouble and own a Browning Hi Power. I like Beretta and Browning pistols

        • erwos

          I have a custom Israeli BHP, and it is a dream to shoot. I just enjoy my early Berettas with frame safeties, and wish I could get a 92 with the same.

    • Raven

      And then the SEALs went and adopted the P226 anyways, after the slides on the Beretta broke.

      • Lance

        Not accurate they improved the M-92F to FS and corrected the problem.

        • Raven

          The issue was bad metallurgy in some of the early batches, and it was corrected fairly quickly. But the SEALs went with the P226 anyways, because after you get broken slides hitting people in the face, your trust in a weapon is pretty low.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Not just that, Beretta initially blamed the SEALs for what happened while claiming the pistols were perfect and nothing needed to be changed.

          • Patrick R

            Sounds like Beretta to me.

          • Steve_7

            Actually the problem was eventually traced to batches of overpressure ammunition supplied by Olin, testing was performed at Elgin AFB to establish this. As a result, the DoD had to compensate Beretta for the FS changes. I’m not sure there ever was a problem with the metallurgy on the US guns. Apparently the Italians supplied a rum batch to MAS as the French blamed that for their slide seperations, possibly some of those slides were used in guns supplied to the DoD.

      • idahoguy101

        SOCOM warriors have their own purchasing authority. They use all types of non standardized weapons. The SEALS prefer their SiG’s over the M9

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Interesting 92 version, but heel mag release….*shudder*

    Never again, fooled me once with that!

    • iksnilol

      Heel release isn’t bad for guns intended for conceal carry… or if you have to shoot weakside. I can still remember the embarassing moments when I accidentally pushed the mag release on a Sig P226 when shooting left handed. Now that is shudder worthy.

      • Manny Fal

        There’s also the technique of carrying two pistols for a quick new york reload.

    • Eric

      Now this is a heel mounted magazine push button release no the heel mounted cheese grater one.

    • FourString

      I can’t imagine trying to drop a mag with one hand using a heel mag release x.x maybe this is partly why you don’t see them too often in new pistols

      • billyoblivion

        That’s because Europeans don’t drop their mags. They retain them.

        Thus they’re putting their hands “down there” anyway. This way the mag doesn’t move until it’s time.

    • Manny Fal

      There is also the ‘target shooting’ posture for a pistol where the left hand is cupped underneath the pistol grip. Using this grip would make magazine changes not as slow as they would seem.

    • dan citizen

      meh, I’ve carried plenty of heel release guns, never bugged me.

  • Lance

    Interesting piece of Beretta history. Overall the mags for it are much harder to find since it has a bottom grip mag release. Prefer most to buy a current M-92FS or a M-92A1,

    • Guest

      From regarding mags: Aftermarket magazines may not have the cut for the 92 and S mag catch.
      GI M9 magazines do not. Making the cut is trivial, but Beretta magazines
      are not outrageously priced or hard to find. We have heard that Taurus
      mags do, and do not, fit, but have never tried them (we believe Taurus
      has discontinued all its Model 92 clones).

      • Ron B.

        Taurus still offers its PT92 under its large-frame model, upgraded with American mag releases, decocker/safety, and rails for lights/lasers.

    • For years, both Taurus and Beretta offered magazines with notches cut for both positions.

  • Don Ward

    Italians sure know how to make sexy cars, sexy women and sexy looking guns.

  • Madcap_Magician

    Yes, but for $290 it’s hard to beat…

  • ph43drus

    I bought one today. I’ve always wanted one of these, though I would have preferred the older one with the frame mounted safety.

  • kevin kelly

    What’s with the quote,”the best handgun you should never buy”? Anyone know what that even means?

    • It’s a very good handgun that is nevertheless undesirable versus other, cheaper options on the market.

  • T78

    Think I just found my next gun. That’s a great deal! Bud’s Gun Shop and Classic Firearms are selling the Model 92s as well.

  • TokenGimp

    Price Is Right.