K.I.S.S.: Beretta Safety Deactivation

Tim Lau over at Modern Service Weapons recently posted the most profound addition to military weapons manipulation that I have seen. A combination of common sense and brilliance, Tim proposes a decidedly different (and easier, as I tried it on my personal 92), way of deactivating the safety on the Beretta 92 series of handguns.

I am profoundly floored by not hearing of this before. Kudos to Ernest Langdon who showed Tim the light and Tim for shining it brightly. Its so simple, I am surprised I was not thought it in the Corps.


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Pete Sheppard

    Since this is a ‘quirk’ and not a design feature, it may not work with every pistol, and it may affect part life. Only time will tell.
    When I had a Beretta 92, I simply pushed my thumb ‘forward’ to knock the lever up, then down to get a shooting grip and hit a frame safety, if the pistol I was shooting had one–such as the Taurus PT-92.

    • mountain

      It’s not really a quirk. It is the same concept the I was taught in the Marine Corps. The proper way, per training at the time, was to deactivate it with the non-firing hand’s thumb in a rotating forward/down motion in the process of mating the firing hand (and gun) at the chest. Less complicated way of saying that: sweep it with your non-firing hand.

      • Sianmink

        The main problem being the availability of your non-firing hand is a luxury in many situations where you have to go to your pistol.

        • Bill

          Yeah, that. If you have two hands free, use a rifle. Using two hands to shoot a pistol is great, but it should be operable with one hand.

      • Pete Sheppard

        I think we are thinking about the same general motion, just describing it a bit differently. In the linked article, it seems that what is being discussed is to press the lever *down* a bit further, which will cause it to snap up into the ‘fire’ position.

  • Don Ward

    I have never understood this Doomsday mentality where somehow guys think it is impossible to draw a pistol with a slide mounted safety and move your thumb to disengage that and then aim all in one simple and quick movement.

    • Jeff Smith

      It’s not that it’s impossible, but it’s definitely inconvenient for someone like me with smaller hands. For me, flipping the safety of my 92 requires me to shift the gun in my hand to reach the slide mounted safety. So, when I drawn, I have to draw the gun, loosen my grip, shift the gun, tighten my grip, flip the safety, loosen my grip again, shift the gun again, tighten my grip again, and then alight the sights and shoot.

      It’s not impossible and I’m sure it’s something that could be done quickly with more practice, but it’s still considerably (and inherently) slower than performing the same action with my 1911.

    • Kelly Jackson

      It’s a fairly large gun and pretty hard to do if you have small hands.

      • Zebra Dun

        Buy a smaller gun.

        • Grindstone50k

          *get issued a smaller gun.


          • Zebra Dun

            Hey any reason to buy another gun is good to go!

        • CommonSense23

          Not a choice if its issued.

          • Zebra Dun

            Understood and agree.

      • Blake

        Perhaps replacing the grips with something aftermarket & more appropriate for smaller hands?

        Not sure what govt regs are for this sort of thing on issued weapons…

  • Spencerhut

    This is news? The only news on the Beretta’s should involve their replacement as our military’s service weapon. M&P, Glock, 1911, CZ. NFG. Give them something that isn’t the result from the unholy fornication of a P-38 and a Browning Hi-Power.

    • Tom

      Not sure there is any Hi-Power in the Beretta (other than a double stack magazine) its basically a large double stack P-38.

      • Spencerhut

        Uh . . . where do you think the double stack came from?

        • Christopher Edward Penta

          Thats a pretty simplistic and meaningless connection. Like calling my truck an unholy marriage between a chariot and a cathedral because it has wheels and windows.

          • Spencerhut

            Read a little history on the gun. Dig deep, Google it.

          • Christopher Edward Penta

            The only more-or-less unique similarity they have besides being just another handgun, is a double stack magazine. A rather uninsightful connection, in my mind, since every service handgun across the globe essentially shares this.

  • Sianmink

    Need not apply if you don’t have big hands. I can’t get enough thumb onto the slide to push the safety off without getting off of the trigger.
    Of course that applies generally to the 92 anyway.

  • DIR911911 .

    not sure why some one would carry a double action with the safety on , but ok.

    • Nicks87

      I think Navy MAs (military police) did. I’m not sure if they still do.

  • Bal256

    A problem I’ve never had to deal with. Feels good owning a 92G model.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I clicked on this article assuming that we’d be told how to cheaply make the 92F into a 92G. Yet again I forced myself to quote the old saying about assumptions.

  • Bill

    I must have missed a meeting, cause I’m not seeing the magic, plus I’m not that familiar with the gun. My issue with the autos that have “safeties” such as the Berretas and classic Smiths is that shooters would slingshot the slide while loading or reloading and inadvertently move the switch down, and neglect to move it back up.

  • me ohmy

    I got an easier way to deactivate it… carry a CZ-75

  • Phillip Cooper

    Congrats to him. He “discovered” what I was taught to do nearly 30 years ago.

    • Nicks87

      The technique has been used for awhile but not recommended. The stepped edge of the lever is there for a reason. If your thumb is sweaty, greasy or muddy the above technique is not going to work very well for you.

  • Core

    Never liked this safety, its way too out of the way for many shooters. Having good sized hands, I never had any critical issues but the Taurus was a big improvement.

  • Ghost

    I never would have thought to disengage a safety with my thumb.

  • BKE Evers

    Do this on a 1911 all the time.