Beretta 92FS Review: The World’s Most Trusted Military and Police Pistol? [2022]

A review of the Beretta 92FS, one of the most popular handguns in the world. Find out why this pistol is trusted by military and law enforcement personnel all over the globe....

pistols 9mm beretta full size review
Beretta 92FS Review: The World’s Most Trusted Military and Police Pistol? [2022]
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Beretta 92FSBeretta 92FSCheck Price

Introduction

Right on the Beretta website, you’ll find a pretty bold statement, literally in bold font on the 92FS page…”The World’s Most Trusted Military and Police Pistol.” History has proven the 92FS/M9 to be accurate, reliable, and durable, but is it safe to claim it’s the MOST trusted? With so many quality pistols on the market, I think it would be hard to say that about any single firearm.

The Beretta 92FS is one of those guns that almost everyone has seen, whether they realize it or not. It’s a classic that has been featured in many movies, shows, and even video games. Being essentially the civilian version of the M9, the “cool” factor only adds to the popularity of the 92FS.

Let’s take a look at what has drawn so many people to hop on the 92FS bandwagon.

beretta 92fs propped up against truck
Black guns and black trucks make a beautiful combo.

Beretta 92FS Review

Beretta 92FS

Specifications

Caliber9mm
Capacity15+1 Rounds
Barrel Length4.9 Inches
Length8.5 Inches
Width1.5 Inches
Height5.4 Inches
Weight33.3 Ounces
SightsFixed Square-notch Rear, White Dot Front
beretta 92fs on case
The 92FS came nicely tucked in a Beretta branded pistol case.

Beretta 92FS Pros & Cons

The 92FS is a very interesting firearm in that many of its pros also contribute to its cons. It’s large and bulky, so it absorbs recoil well. It prioritizes safety, but the actual safety is placed in an awkward position. Those are just a couple, but as you’ll see as you continue to read, there are others as well.

Pros

  • Flat shooter with low recoil
  • Ambidextrous/reversible controls
  • Accurate and reliable

Cons

  • Safety placement is awkward
  • Size to capacity ratio
  • Lack of accessories

Features

There is a reason that the 92FS remains such a popular pistol to this day. While the features may be quite different from some of the other top pistols in the market today, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  

Grip

If you have large hands like me, you’re in luck. The Beretta 92FS is definitely a full size gun, giving you a wide and tall grip. For some, it’s actually too large, but there are plenty of aftermarket grips that you can replace the stock ones with to make it narrower if you’d like. The texturing is just right for a gun of this size, being aggressive enough to really get a solid hold.

beretta 92fs grip
I love the large grip and would never consider making it narrower/smaller!

Slide

An extremely neat feature of the 92FS is its open slide. It typically adds cost when dealing with an open design like this, but it helps increase the reliability and decrease the weight. Both of which are definitely worth an upgrade in cost. A gun of this size can use all the weight reduction it can get.

beretta 92fs open slide
With a long and open slide like this one, you can’t have too many excuses for poor accuracy.

Sights

There is not much to say about the sights, aside from that they work. They are a simple 3-dot white setup that is easy to acquire when shooting in daylight. I didn’t get a chance to shoot this in any low-light scenarios, but I would imagine with the lack of night sights, it would be hard to find and stay on your target.

beretta 92fs rear sights
A classic 3 white dot setup makes shooting the 92FS familiar and easy. I do wish, however, they were night sights for added versatility.

Trigger

The trigger is one of the best features of the 92FS. In single action, it’s a dream to shoot. In double action, it still has a smooth and consistent pull, but man, is it longggg. It’s so long that it makes you wonder why someone would employ the safety in tandem with it. Regardless, it’s a great trigger that I found surprisingly fun to shoot, with quick and easy follow-up shots.

beretta 92fs trigger
The 92FS has one of the better double action triggers that I’ve shot in a long time.

Magazine

From what I’ve read and experienced so far, the metal magazines are very reliable. However, 15-rounds seems like a very small capacity for a gun of this size. I would have liked to see at least 17-round mags come with the 92FS. You’ll see on the back of the magazine numbered witness holes to help keep track of your remaining ammo.

beretta 92fs magazine
For a gun of this size, I would have liked to see a higher-capacity magazine come standard.

Controls

The controls leave me frustrated overall. To start with a positive, the slide stop lever is nicely sized and very easy to manipulate. Moving on to the “so-so” aspect of the controls, which is the magazine release. It is so small and somewhat recessed that it’s easily missed if trying to reload quickly. I think it definitely should be larger and protrude more.

And lastly, the worst part of the control group is the safety/decocker. Beretta completely missed the mark with this aspect, placing the safety in a strange position and then having it actuated almost counterintuitively. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see that a TON of people agree.

beretta 92fs safety
Not sure who was behind the safety placement, but they did not understand the assignment.

Range Report

Reliability

Reliability was no issue with the 92FS. Anyone I’ve spoken with who has shot or shot a 92FS has not complained of its reliability. I’ve seen reviews online that differ, but I was excited to see for myself.

After getting a quick ammo delivery from GunMag Warehouse, I wound up putting 250 rounds of 115-grain Federal Champion FMJ through the 92FS with no issue. I followed that up with 40 rounds of 124-grain Speer Gold Dot JHP which it had no issue with either. I’m rather confident that if I had put another 290 rounds through it directly after, I would have the same results.

Accuracy

beretta 92fs groupings
I experienced a nice first couple of magazines through the gun, resulting in 2.5” groupings out to 15 yards.

Without any warm-up period, my first few groupings landed around 2.5” or tighter. Even speeding up my rate of fire, I was able to remain consistent.

Once I took the 92FS out to a friend’s range, we set up some ½ size USPSA torso targets out at 35 yards, and I was able to keep my groupings for the most part, within the two inner sections. For double-action shooting, I’ll take it.

The 92FS is an extremely flat shooting and fun gun to shoot. It’s size and weight really help to offset the recoil.

Accessories

ImageProductPrice
ArmaLaser TR20ArmaLaser TR20Check Price
Alien Gear ShapeShift 4.0 IWB HolsterAlien Gear ShapeShift 4.0 IWB HolsterCheck Price

Without a standard accessory rail, or any rail for that matter, you’re going to be very limited in the accessories department. I prefer not telling people to add an accessory/adapter to add an accessory, so I’ll stick to what you can go with as the gun comes.

ArmaLaser TR20

If lasers are your thing, you’re in luck. The TR20 will be a direct fit for your 92FS, even with the lack of an accessory rail. You can get it with a red or green laser and it’s backed by a five year warranty.

Alien Gear ShapeShift 4.0 IWB Holster

A quality holster is a must, especially with a larger framed gun like the 92FS. Alien Gear Holsters makes an extremely comfortable hybrid holster that gives you a soft and cooling neoprene backing with a woven nylon and spring steel core. On the outside of it all, you’ll have a custom-molded shell to securely hold your 92FS.  

Alternatives

Some may say there are no alternatives to the 92FS, but let’s keep it real, every gun has an alternative option out there.

Beretta 92X RDO

Beretta 92X RDO

If you like the 92FS but think it’s missing some of the highly popular modern touches, the 92X RDO is for you. It comes with an optic-ready slide, a short reset trigger, and an accessory rail. It’s a bit more pricey, but you’re definitely getting what you pay for with this one.

Sig Sauer P320 Compact

Sig Sauer P320 Compact

The P320 Compact will give you the same capacity of 15+1, but in a slightly more compact package. The civilian model is similar to the military one, so you still get that unique aspect to it. Its modularity is superb and reliability is top-notch, making it deliver a high value.

FAQs

What’s the difference between the 92FS and the M9?

From a pure specification standpoint, they are EXTREMELY similar. They do have their differences, though, so I’ll name a couple of them as examples. The sights differ, with the 92FS having a white 3-dot configuration and the M9 having a dot-and-post configuration.

Another difference can be seen in the frames as well, with the M9 being aluminum and the 92FS being stainless steel.

Do police still use the Beretta 92FS?

These days, it’s more common to see police being issued Glocks, S&Ws, and Sigs, but the option is still there to carry the 92FS, from what I understand.

Is the Beretta 92FS good for home defense?

The Beretta 92FS definitely can be good for home defense, if it’s what fits your specific needs. I prefer to have lights and optics on my home defense guns, and as many rounds as possible, so the 92FS wouldn’t be “ideal” for me, but it may be for you.

How do you care for and maintain your Beretta 92FS?

Beretta recommends cleaning and lubricating your 92FS every time you shoot or at least once a month. Once field stripped, make sure to clean and lubricate everything, including the barrel, recoil spring, slide, and frame. I also suggest wiping down the magazines if there is excess residue or dirt.

Conclusion

I ultimately found myself having mixed reviews on the Beretta 92FS. Do I think it’s a reliable and accurate gun? You bet. Would I prefer it had a few more modern updates? You bet. Overall, I would likely opt for one of the newer 92 models, such as the 92X. However, I would not be upset about grabbing a 92FS to add to the collection for the right deal.

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Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project.

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