Beretta M9A3, Down But Not Out

After the U.S. Army’s rejection of the initial M9A3 proposal, Beretta is trying again with a new Engineering Change Proposal. American Rifleman’s Mark O’Keefe reports:

Beretta, the maker of the standard-issue “U.S. Pistol, M9” for 30 years, has submitted to the U.S. Army its Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) to the contract signed in 2012 for up to 100,000 pistols as another attempt to improve the pistol bought by its largest single customer. After the widely reported rejection of Beretta’s ECP in late January, Beretta resubmitted through proper channels again, letting the Army know it can make the changes it wants—not necessarily all of them. The resubmission took place about 10 days ago, and Beretta has not received a thumbs up or down from the Army at the time of this writing.

The M9A3 incorporates a number of improvements identified by Beretta, soldiers and the Request for Proposal (RFP) of the relatively new Modular HandgunSystem (MHS). Beretta has done a good job of updating a pistol designed in the 1970s, tweaked into the M9 of 1985, and used by soldiers since the Reagan Administration, to make it more suitable for the modern solider—meaning one that has many features needed on a military combat handgun today that is also more likely to fit all soldiers’ hands.

Reasons for the rejection are not clear at this time, as the Army initially said there were too many changes. But the Army and other branches often incorporate more numerous ECPs from its contractors, regardless of the “weapon system.” The MHS, which you can read about here, I am told is on hold at this time. And the M9A3 was not eligible for participation in that trial, anyway.

Will the M9A3 be realized as the new US Army handgun? Hard to say, but it’s not difficult for me to imagine it going either way.

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


  • BattleshipGrey

    I think the Army has their mind made up that they’re not going with Beretta. Congress may tell the Army to pound sand in the end anyway.

    • sadlerbw

      This seems about right. They said no once. I don’t expect them to say anything different this time. The only part I’m not sure about is whether they will eventually end up going with Beretta or not after the pistol trials. Someone wants to spend the next couple months/years running a pistol trial, and they look determined to do it come hell or high water. I’m not sure they care who wins, but they do seem to really want to run that competition.

    • Hikerguy

      Agreed. I think the army has made up their mind and have no further interest in the Beretta design at all. They want a .40/.45 caliber weapon that is modular. Beretta would be better off to submit a modular .40/.45 caliber Storm variant instead.
      As with all new procurement programs they (the Army) made up their minds what they wanted before the “required” trials anyway. This whole affair will turn out to be like the carbine trials. You know, congressmen from districts that manufacture handguns will gum up the trials as they did in the carbine competitions.
      In the very end, after millions of dollars have been spent for trials and development
      we will still be using the 92. We would be better off, at least in my opinion, to replace the 92 with something like B&T MP9 or The new SIG Sub-PDW model, since it would be more effective as a last ditch weapon than a pistol anyway.
      In the meantime, Beretta is like a jilted lover who just doesn’t understand the meaning of “no”.

      • J.J

        I like your idea to replace the pistols with a machine pistol like the B&P mp9. I loved that gun ever since it came out and was the Steyr TMP.

        • Hikerguy

          They are pretty cool, eh?

      • 2wheels

        I agree to an extent, I think our military should look into some kind of PDW to augment (not replace) handguns that are carried by people who can’t have a rifle on them at all times.
        After all, that is the entire reason that guns like the P90 and MP7 exist.

        • Hikerguy

          True. I like the MP7 and the P90 as a pistol replacement, but they are very expensive and fire a non-standard cartridge, which would be okay if you totally dropped pistols as a personal weapon. I do know that FN makes a pistol that uses the same cartridge as the p90. Don’t see the Army as going that way at all.
          I would go with the B&T MP9/SIG PDW for the fact they are 9mm. I do recognize some pistols to be kept as niche weapons, such as MPs, so there would be ammo compatibility with the pistol. The MP9 will also fire some of the 9mm AP rounds available today. To me it is more practical in 75 yards and less than a pistol or MP7/P90, because any distance much greater you will likely grab an M4 anyway. BUT…I just do not see the Army doing this either other than special forces use.
          If I were a betting man, 2wheels, I ‘d put money on a pistol design in .40 coming from Austria, Switzerland, or the Massachusetts/Maine area.

          • BattleshipGrey

            I can’t speak for the others, but the PS90 was being sold by FNH to LEOs for around $700 recently. You know they’d sell it for even less to militaries if they bought enough of them.

          • Hikerguy

            Buying in bulk would help. They could even help by making them here at the American FN plant.

          • 2wheels

            I don’t really see cost or a new caliber as being serious issues for our military. If they want it bad enough they’ll find a way.
            But in reality, our military hasn’t shown any significant interest in acquiring either a 9mm submachine gun or a body armor defeating PDW.

        • Phil Hsueh

          It’s funny that you mention that, a friend and I were just discussing that yesterday, basically we felt that the US military should invest in some sort of PDW for vehicle and air crews. This would give those issued only a pistol something a little better and for those like LAV crewmen, who only are issued M16s, something more compact and easier to get at and use than even an M4.

      • Lance

        Doubt they will leave 9mm NATO commitment and too much inventory left over.

        • Hikerguy

          This is most likely the outcome. I really cannot see why they should change anyway from 9mm anyway.

  • Weaponized_Hotdog

    Get that safety/decocker off the slide and we’ll talk……

    • Don Ward

      Yes. Because all guns must be designed to account for Glock and 1911 malfunction drills.

      • 2wheels

        And Sig and HK and S&W and FN and Springfield… The list goes on and on.

        Not too many manufacturers choose to put decockers and/or safeties on the slide anymore, I think there are better ways of doing things.

        • Don Ward

          Gun manufacturers do a lot of things these days. Some of them are even good. And the point I was trying to make is that it’s rather tedious to hear the same argument about the Beretta being “terrible” because of the slide safety. And the reason it’s bad is because guys like to practice 1911/Glock malfunction drills where you grip the whole frame like a primate and rack it. Or you have guys who do the same when they “power stroke” the slide instead of using the slide release like someone who owns an opposable thumb. So yes, if you are training to use an M9/92F wrong, it doesn’t work as well.

          Now there are VALID criticisms of the M9. It’s a big honking gun with huge grips. It has a steel frame and is heavy. And it is probably more expensive to make now than the polymer frame guns. Although with how pistols are abused on military qualification ranges (Hey, we have all this extra ammo, let’s fire it all and get rid of it so we don’t have to do the paperwork turning it back in) one might argue that a more robust steel framed weapon will be more GI or Marine proof.

          • 2wheels

            You don’t think criticizing the slide mounted safety/decocker is valid? I’m certainly not alone in criticizing that feature. Even some Beretta fans will go looking for smooth sided DAO versions or decocker only versions, or they might even go for a Taurus clone with a frame mounted safety/decocker.

            It’s in the way for many people when racking the slide, and it can possibly lead to decocking and safing the gun when you least expect it to. You could learn to work around that, but why bother unless you’re a die hard Beretta fan? (or you’re in the US Military…).

          • Don Ward

            It is simply a matter of breaking down the criticisms and why. Like most people I felt that the 92F was an “OK to meh” handgun because I bought into the nonsense peddled by 1911 and Glock guys. This is despite having owned and bought one. But that’s until I started deconstructing the arguments. And what was happening is that failure drills meant to cope with the (in particular 1911) were being applied to the 92F.
            The slide safety is fine. Particularly when you have to factor in the lowest common denominator of the US military and accidental discharges.

          • 2wheels

            Don’t know why you’re picking on the 1911 and Glock, the failure drills I’m assuming you’re referring to (like the universal tap rack bang) work with practically any semi-automatic handgun. And that’s why many people don’t like it when they encounter a slide mounted safety, it can get in the way, and it can be accidentally engaged.

            I won’t buy into the “lowest common denominator” arguments either. Plenty of militaries and law enforcement agencies around the globe don’t need a safety on their handguns that can engaged when you’re manipulating the slide to avoid negligent discharges, why do we?

          • claymore

            We carried them with a round in the chamber (firing pin block) and safety in the fire position and in the 15 years we carried them never had anyone complain about the Safety/decocker

          • Bill

            Yep. The 92D, which of course isn’t made anymore, had none of these problems. The DAO trigger was just fine for a TRAINED operator, but apparently there were less of those than there were weapons issued…

          • petru sova

            The manual safety is a good idea as the gun can be more safely handled both in and out of the holster preventing accidental discharges. In the rough and tumble and high stress combat zones the manual safety is more of an advantage than a disadvantage as accidental discharges have killed thousands of troops in all armies and in all wars.
            I have never had the safety get in the way either.

          • Ethan

            Bull****. That is all.

          • John Yossarian

            Slide release? Seen plenty of slide stops, but never seen a slide release.

          • billyoblivion

            Lemme guess, you either started as a 1911 shooter, or were taught by one.

            Most modern firearms have sufficiently strong return springs and loose enough tolerances that you don’t need that extra 1/4 inch of spring travel to get a good lock, thus there is no need to grasp the slide and pull it back to let the slide go home on a new mag.

            Thus many of us use that lever for *releasing” the slide than locking it to the rear. The empty magazine does that.

          • ghost930

            And Mr. Oblivion, most “modern” firearms have numerous instances of failure to feed that first round out of the magazine from slide lock (thumb) release. This can be caused by numerous issues from cartridge length to underpowered or worn magazine springs. But it does happen, and more frequently than most think, and the Beretta is not immune. The “slingshot” method puts a little more oomph in to the process of reloading and provides a slightly more positive feed for the initial round. That is why it is the method taught at the Tier 1 level of training in combat shooting. The last place you want a failure of this type is in a gunfight, and it literally takes a half second longer to perform. Plus, if you have a failure to feed properly, you are going to do it anyway. Might as well do it from the start.

          • Risky

            The M9 has an aluminum frame, not steel.

          • billyoblivion

            We don’t live in an binary world where everything is either awesome or terrible, we live in a messy, analog world where there are things that are terrible (um, bersa? Tec-9?) and things that are close to be ing “awesome”.

            We can pick apart any design for not being perfect.

            But when we have a particular design that has been executed two ways, and one of them causes more problems than the other, we can LEARN SOMETHING and say that maybe that particular design feature is more of a bug.

            As routinely mentioned in these discussions, I have a 92FS, and for a while it was my only pistol. I fired it until the locking lugs broke, which is a reasonable round count.

            I trained from the beginning to use the slide release (and still use it on my G26 and G19 and don’t recall, even in matches, ever missing), and when not using the slide release used the “sling shot” method.

            The problem with the Beretta in this respect is that there is NO WAY to do clearance drills/slide manipulation without using the rear of the slide where the de-cocker is . There simply isn’t enough meat on the rest of the slide, and you do NOT want to touch the barrel after dumping a mag or two down range. Also grabbing in the open are can lead to pinching.

            This is simply a legitimate criticism of the design. Anyone who declares the design “horrible”, “retarded” etc. because of that one bad decision is clearly not someone who is thinking and discussing, they are spouting and signaling, trying to justify their own decisions and judgement. After all, if I choose a different gun that you, I’m either a moron, or I’m criticizing YOUR judgement.

            There are other things about the Beretta that are less than optimal, the DA/SA trigger, or the long DAO trigger–other designs work better. However, as a military sidearm these aren’t really all that bad. The military rarely uses the pistol as a primary, and the units that do have more flexibility in what they run.

            However Beretta, where they willing to accept that time had passed that particular design, could redesign some of the internals to more of a light double action (getting rid of the hammer), move the de-cocker/safety to the slide like Taurus (I don’t know, has taurus had any problems with that placement)? and be a decent modern handgun.

          • asoro

            why could they not just stay with the 1911 45acp type of gun?
            these guys don’t seem to like the 9mm as much, ok you get more rd’s but less knock down power.

          • Curious_G

            More expensive and does not fire NATO standard rounds.

          • asoro

            oh dear I forgot our boys are not worth the extra cost, and as far as nato goes they used to use the 45acp, so if our military wanted to go back to them they could ,, hell look at what they are being shoot at with. I dont think isis follows Nato laws.

          • Curious_G

            oh dear – I guess you don’t understand how our military works – especially from a logistics perspective. What is a Nato law?

          • SickandTired


      • Weaponized_Hotdog

        Well, then, we agree Mr Ward…..

      • Grindstone50k

        Slide safety was one of the complaints by the Army against the M9.

        • Don Ward

          Yep. I know. And it’s a silly complaint.

          • Grindstone50k

            It’s not silly when it’s been a problem in combat situations.

      • Dual sport

        I am an M9 fan as long as they are not using FMJ ammo. The last 92 I had was the G model with one of the sweetest triggers I have ever had on any firearm. In my opinion a frame mounted safety like the Tauras has always had is more ergonomic but that’s an opinion based on my hands and experience.

        It would be easy for Beretta to do this but I think their brand identity prevents the change. Did Beretta not have this safety before?

  • Vitsaus

    Just license the design to Colt and it’ll get adopted no questions asked.

    • floppyscience

      Because Colt has been getting to many military contracts lately.

    • Joshua

      Is that why Colt makes the M16,M4,M4A1?

  • Forest C. Adcock

    I would say no to this as well and I carry a Beretta (96) every day. They want something new and if you’re going to suggest the same pistol as before, at least suggest a model that can use the same holsters the soldiers already have. Pull the rail off and we’ll talk.

    That and move the safety to the frame where it makes sense. I hate the safety on this thing.

    • Tim Pearce

      Making the same gun in a different color works for the civilian market. Why not for the military market? 😉

      • Forest C. Adcock

        because “army black” only comes in one color.

  • Barry

    If the U.S. Army goes for the lowest bidder (and they usually do) while also satisfying most of their requirements, I don’t see how the Beretta can stay competitive. Just judging from the gun store price of a 92fs vs the Smith and Wesson M&P, the M&P is over $100 less. If Smith and Wesson got a huge government contract, they might lower the price even more due to lower production costs.
    Maybe someone can chime in on how much the government gets an m9 for?

    • Joshua

      You must satisfy 100% of the requirements of the proposal to even be considered. Then whoever offers the best bang for the buck is selected.

      They will not chose the 85% option over the 100% that costs 10% more.

  • Don Ward

    For all the relevancy of pistols on the modern battlefield, one might as well choose a Colt Single Action Army or Model 1917.

    • 2wheels

      Sidearms aren’t war winners, but on the rare occasion they do get used they are very relevant to the individual who carries them.

      Plus, if we can afford to waste money on bloated projects like the F35, a few handguns is a drop in the bucket!

      • Don Ward

        No. The point is that there is no appreciable difference between the M9 and *insert 1911, Glock or whatever here*.
        Other than the M9 being less prone to accident than the first two.

      • Joshua

        Different budgets. The money alloted to the F35 cannot be given to the Amy.

    • WFDT

      Or a 1911. 😉

    • Holdfast_II

      When you have officers serving in HQs with locals who are subject to Sudden Jihad Syndrome, you better have a pistol that can draw and shoot quickly and reliably. Which to me sounds like a Glock or something else with no manual safety.

      • Don Ward

        And I would bet you that there’d be more soldiers injured by ADs than whatever advantage you’d get with “quick drawing” a gun with no safety. Not that drawing and disengaging the safety is any appreciable way slower.

        • Holdfast_II

          That makes no sense – lots of cops and foreign militaries (including the Brits in Afstan) carry Glocks (or other similar pistols) with no problems. As a former soldier, I can say that when you’re tired or under stress, fiddling with a safety, and remembering which way is on and off in the dark, can be a huge problem. I recall one ND, happily in a safe direction, where a very tied soldier pulled the trigger to make sure that the safety on his rifle was one – really, that was his addled reasoning.

  • New Chris

    Does the current M9 not work? Or the Current M4 for that matter? I understand innovation and the desire for new things, but I don’t understand what is so fundamentally wrong with the current systems. Why would the military spend billions of dollars fixing something that isn’t really broken, unless their goal is simply to spend money. We are fighting armies which are using weapons designed in the 40’s. Will the latest whizzbang pistol really be a deciding factor or even make a noticeable difference? Is this whole thing just an exercise in wasteful spending?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      but I don’t understand

      No, I think you summed it up nicely. Also not sure you have a lot of time on the M9/92.

      • savaze

        When I was in the Army I was issued M9’s and none of them worked. The magazines commonly wouldn’t seat and if they did I’d constantly get failures to feed, enough so that it was joked that we should just keep our ammo loose in our pocket in case we needed to fire the thing. The slides were extremely gritty as well. We nicknamed the M9 the “rock” because that was all it was good for. The armorers all said the same thing: replacement parts won’t fix the problem. The requisition officer said all the parts came from different manufactures and the armorers said the parts didn’t have the right tolerances and that they would need considerable amounts of machining to fix each one. Then tack on the problem that the Army doesn’t spend time teaching marksmanship and weapon maintenance for pistol platforms. They actually have a qualifying course, I was rubber-stamped through it, as was every other pilot I knew.

        Beretta’s may very well be a quality piece, but the military doesn’t give sidearms the justice they need and politicians will piece out all the parts to their political friends. Modularity will help the sidearms be more readily repairable, but until the military (or at least the Army & Air Force – I don’t know how the other branches handle it) actually trains with them properly and teaches maintenance and other skills then it just won’t matter what pistols they go with.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Airforce guys I’ve trained with at least had the good practice to use the M9 as a decocker only 🙂

          I’m not sure Army’s problems with handguns would be solved by even the most modular SIG P320 style handgun. But yea, probably couldn’t hurt.

          Even if the M9’s were brand new and in excellent that doesn’t mean the M9A3 isn’t a desirable upgrade.

          • Guest

            I use the safety/decocker on my Px4 Storm as a decocker only. But I thought military personnel weren’t allowed to do that.

        • Frank

          One of the big problems is a lot of armors and soldiers issued them don’t know how to maintain them properly. The slide rails AND the locking blocks have to be lubricated. I’ve never seen a properly maintained commercial 92 have all of these problems I hear military people talk about which leads me to believe the problem lies with them. Generally speaking military training for pistols is a complete joke, there’s not consistent training or equipment issued.

          • n0truscotsman

            Well put.

            Its a training and maintenance problem, not a problem with M9s necessarily even if they aren’t perfect either as a handgun. Certainly adopting another handgun is equivalent to putting the cart before the horse IMO.

            I think the Glock 17 or M&P have the best characteristics of a military handgun, honestly, but well have to see where this goes.

    • Joshua

      The difference between the M9 and the M4 is that the M4 is still the premier rifle thanks to numerous ECPs and no small part to SOCOM and the SOPMOD program.

      Everyone wants to be the M4A1 and none have yet to surpass it in its current form as used by SOCOM(the Army is finally catching up).

      The M9 on the other hand…….no one wants to be the M9 and no one wants it. Hell no one even wanta to bother with a PiP on it. That should tell you something.

      • Uniform223

        hahaha. My cousin’s first hand gun was an M9. After we went to range a few times I managed to talk him away from that and converted him over to the 1911 😀
        All joking aside I we were able to shoot a myriad of handguns and him even being a novice shooter quickly saw the deficiencies of the M9 when compared to other handguns.

  • The portion of the Army that is pushing the MHS, don’t want this in the system, as it would be further evidence that the program is a waste of money.

    IMO this will likely “win” in the end. The MHS will be canceled, and the Army is going to go back the Beretta and ask for a M9A4 that is simply a reworded version of the M9A3.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Pretty much!

      This isn’t designed to win the MHS, it’s designed (seemingly) to make the MHS look like a waste of time. If MHS goes ahead, Beretta can go to congress on the front or backdoors with a legitimate argument that the Army is looking for something Beretta can ‘practically’ already be fulfilling and with the benefit of existing armorer and solider procedures and training, holsters, spare parts, etc. “All The Savings” that Good Guy Beretta is providing.

      This is probably one of the shrewdest moves that Beretta has ever made short of undercutting SIG before the M9 was adopted.

      It’s no wonder the Army is making a fuss. Beretta out-maneuvered them into likely buying a new gun even if relatively short-term before Army could even get their MHS pants on. Hell, Army made the announcement that maybe they want new pants tomorrow and Beretta was already unzipping a drycleaning bag.

      All that said… If I can get a 92A3 ‘G-SD’ model, will definitely make me sell my Vertec!

      • The docs I’ve read on the M9A3 says it comes with a G lever. And it has all the important features of the Super Dave models.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Yea, well… I’ll investigate when they are on shelves.

          I have zero interest in my Vertec other than it’s the only hammer fired handgun I own. And I do sort of see the reasons to keep a hammer fired gun around. I’d swap it out in a second for a G-SD Super Dave.

          • Joshua

            M9A3 is convertable to decocker only, similar to the PX4.

      • Shrewd? Please. What you’re describing would be idiotic. It only sounds great because you’re ignoring the politics of how federal contracting works in real life.I happen to have more than a decade of experience with those politics, so let me explain.

        Beretta trying to make an end run to Congress around MHS would piss off huge numbers of people in the military command chain. Beretta would be a persona non-grata in the circles they need to be in to win future contracts. No one will team with them, either – you want to be in bed with a hated pariah? I wouldn’t. Selling a few thousand pistols is not worth that, not even close. Grudges last a long time, and they can be personal. You’re kidding yourself if you think they’re not.

        No, what Beretta will do is play this straight. They’ll mine the existing M9 program for more money via the ECP process, through the proper channels. They’ll submit a MHS candidate in due time. They are not going to cut their own wrists in the long-term in some ill-thought-out attempt to sell a few more guns. They need that good will to prevail when the M9 program closes out, because no one honestly believes the M9A3 is the final answer to the Army’s need for a new handgun.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          “would piss off huge numbers of people”

          Uh huh… You understand the politics of federal contracting… Sounds legit.

          And again, no one is arguing that the MHS would be fullfilled by the 92A3. Beretta doesn’t want to see the MHS go though, it’s already unlikely that it will, and Beretta’s move to help kill it before it begins – is shrewd.

          • I’m a project manager for a federal contractor here in DC, on multiple aerospace programs. I interface all the time with the government and other contractors as part of my job. Your turn to tell us your expertise, if you have any.

            I cannot even envision how screwed we’d be if, for example, we tried to go straight to Congress to tell them how great an ECP was _IN THE FACE OF CUSTOMER RESISTANCE_ and kill a major program of the customer’s in the process. We’d never have another piece of business with them again. It would be a blood vendetta for the ages with any federal managers involved.

            Again: what you are claiming Beretta is doing would literally be a form of suicide for them. They’d never win another military contract, because no one would trust them, no one would talk to them, no one would team with them, and you better believe any future proposal would be nitpicked to death.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            a blood vendetta
            a form of suicide for them
            no one would trust them
            no one would talk to them

            Oh, I’d love to believe you, except that the things you are saying are making me you are in highschool or at least had a very hard time in high school and don’t really understand the difference between social and political interactions.

            THAT… And Beretta ALREADY DID exactly what you are saying they could not possibly ever do. They are already pushing the A3 upgrade JUST in time to do so before the MHS kick off. You’re literally proposing an alternate version of history that just happened a month ago.

            But whatever. We can pretend that Beretta didn’t submit the 92A3 already to Army if you like. Yep, it just never happened. Which means this article and all the linked articles also never happened. And/Or you are MUCH smarter than all of the people at Beretta. That’s surely it. You should let them know you can help!!!

          • I think you’re missing my point. The problem was not submitting the ECP. That’s clever. The problem is when you try to screw over MHS by intervening directly to Congress to just buy a few thousand M9A3s. That’s what earns you the enemies. Thus far, Beretta has NOT gone directly to Congress, at least as far as anyone’s aware. So, no, I am not in fact proposing an alternate version of history.

          • Kevin Craig

            “I cannot even envision how screwed we’d be if, for example, we tried to go straight to Congress to tell them how great an ECP was _IN THE FACE OF CUSTOMER RESISTANCE_ and kill a major program of the customer’s in the process.”

            Oh, you mean like every combat aircraft system of the last three decades, which Congress insisted on despite DoD opposition?

          • You don’t make enemies by asking for more money. You make enemies by taking it away.

  • Lance

    I think the whole debate on sidearms depends on what caliber the Army wants in the end if they goto a new caliber than a new pistol is logical. I doubt this due to NATO and whimpy women in service. But if we stay with 9mm then this weapn is the only logical way to go. MHS is on hold for now… delayed. Looks like the Army doesn’t really know what it wants.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      whimpy women in service


  • Bal256

    I love Beretta’s, but the M9 was adopted and modified to meet a bunch of nonsensical requirements that most aren’t even applicable to combat. If the new Beretta with extra doodads is rejected, I’m afraid of what kind of chimeric monster of handgun design it would take to meet all the requirements. And I don’t even see a red dot mount for the M9A3.

  • Will P.

    At this point I believe it would be foolish and overly expensive(since when has the govt cared about that) to replace the M9. They already have probably millions of mags and spare parts. I think the main complaints with the M9 are the ones in service are just slap worn out, I’ve had multiple military friends tell me thier issued sidearm they were pretty sure had been in circulation since 1985. I understand it’s a big honking gun but my wife and mother whom both have tiny hands prefer to shoot my 92FS over all the other handguns we own, because however big it is comfortable and easy to shoot. I’ve heard many complain about the slide safety, if you train with it the action of turning the safety on and off becomes 2nd nature, and possibly putting it on safe when racking the slide I just don’t see. The military is always looking to upgrade weapons, but they have been trying to replace the M16/M4 for years with no changes in sight.

    • efred1

      Hey, they replaced the M1911, didn’t they? So, it has been done, it can be done, it should be done. Beretta is the oldest, largest firearms manufacturer in the world, and it packs a huge punch of influence. Considering how feeble its design was against Ruger’s back in the 80’s, it doesn’t take much imagination to conjecture or surmise that bribes were made and accepted, which effected the adoption of the M9.

  • MountainKelly

    They’re okay but IMO there are better systems out there. Weapon of last resort anyway but meh

  • Ethan

    Cluster F__k (V):
    1. An event of severe inefficiency and disorder;
    2. The act of attempting to solve an equation with both self-contradicting and constantly changing parameters;
    3. Any event which precipitates the urge to inflict harm on oneself after witnessing.

    Greek root “Clustero” – referring to the occurrence of a pack of wild dog molesting a rabbit.
    (Also see: Army Procurement Process)

  • Pithy

    I remember when American Rifleman made a list of top 10 guns of the 20th century. It was compiled for impact, revolutionary design, etc. Beretta was excluded. Their CEO wrote a whiny letter, saying the 92 deserved to be on the list because…whiny whine whine. After I read that, I lost a ton of respect for them. The 92a3 is still a 92. You can still yank the slide off with a round in the chamber.

    • Joshua

      Why cares if the slide comes off chambered? The firing pin is still blocked by the firing pin block.

  • Grindstone50k

    So… what changes?

  • JavierMorro

    JumpIf is right on this one. I have been in this business a very long time – likely longer than erwos has been alive. What Beretta did was VERY shrewd and is usually discussed as an extremely slick and ballsy move amongst the community SMEs that deal with federal weapon programs. It was actually examined as a case study at a recent contractor business model conference in Boston. In any case, there are no such things as “blood feuds” and “immortal sins” in this business, it is $ bottom line. Anyone that really held a position in this industry would laugh at such words being used.

    • First of all, I never said “immortal sin”. You want to critique my language, at least use my words.

      Second, if you don’t think there are feuds in this industry, I don’t know what to tell you, but it does not even remotely line up with my experience. People DO remember when you screw them, and they remember for a long time.

      Third, you seem to not understand what I was objecting to. Submitting the ECP – yes, that was clever. No one’s arguing with that. What would be less clever would be trying to screw the military out of MHS via direct Congressional intervention in an effort to sell a few thousand more handguns after the military said no.

      • John Bayer

        erwos – I think you are out of your depth on this one. The Beretta move is pretty much seen universally across the firearms industry as extremely risky but a savvy maneuver. It will likely gain them huge traction with Congress. DOnt know what to tell you but I think you are talking out the ole stink hole if you see it differently. A lot of people here have a lot more information on this subject than you perhaps – you likely just do not have the appropriate “need to know.” So no harm done.

      • Woodbridge Donkey

        He seems to understand what you were objecting to, but I think he thinks you are a blowhard moron. I have yet to make a determination.

  • Uniform223

    I’ve stated my case on the M9… this is just a prettied up tacti-cool M9. So no Berreta, I’m not buying into it.

  • Dan Atwater

    92G – problem solved. The G really should be in Beretta’s standard lineup, too bad it’s a distributor exclusive.

    • Curious_G

      How does that solve a problem when the Army is looking for a pistol with a manual safety? Problem not solved.

      • Dan Atwater

        The G model solves the problem of inadvertently activating the safety while manipulating the slide. I didn’t say anything about the Army. They can have whatever requirements they want, but given the way they implement pistol training their choice of hardware doesn’t really matter unless you have money invested in the decision.

        • Curious_G

          I guess you are missing the whole point of this then…

          • Dan Atwater

            I was responding to one thing that another person said about the Beretta 92, I was not talking about the subject of the article.

  • asoro

    these guys don’t seem to like the 9mm as much, ok you get more rd’s but less knock down power. the 1911 is still the best gun.

    • CommonSense23

      So why did Cag dump the 45 and the 1911 and go to glocks.

      • asoro

        more rd’s cheaper cost,,, you know money always comes into play.the only reason they ended up with the M9 is they bid the lowest when they where looking to change from the 45 to 9mm, But I know the troops do not like the 9mm that much, no enough knock down power, heard that 100 times before heck the 40sw would even be ok…..

        • CommonSense23

          You realize how much money CAG got right. These are guys who could write off quad nods and nobody would care. And knock down power isn’t a real thing.

  • spencer60

    “Reasons for the rejection are not clear at this time…”

    How about that the current administration is getting revenge for Baretta’s pro-2A stance during the Sandy Hook mess?

    Is it really a coincidence that this new trial is getting approved after Beretta’s principled stance, and when the US military budget will actually be shrinking, rather than in all the years it’s been floating around out there?

    This is right up there with changing NFA trust rules and banning M855. Just another bit of petty revenge by the administration.

  • CScout

    I think it’s funny how much civilians care which model the military uses, even if they’ve never served and never will; and then want the various branches to adopt each little civilian side fad from the gun community. Well, the military doesn’t want PSA -built weapons with keymod rails and totally designed around using an H2 buffer.