Saturday, April 4, 2020

Beretta M9

The Beretta M9/92 series of pistols is nothing short of iconic.  The M9 is the pistol that replaced the 1911A1 in US military service.  Many police departments and sheriff's offices adopted it.  it is quite easily one of the most recognized firearms used in movies as well.  Like most icons it is loved and hated.  I have never had any serious interest in one until I started working with the Beretta 81.  I was so impressed with that pistol as well as the 84 series that I decided to go on the hunt for one of the 92 family.
Beretta M9

I came across a lightly used USA made M9 with a few, minor upgrades.  The guide rod was metal as opposed to polymer.  The OEM plastic grip panels had been replaced with aluminum panels, and the hammer spring had been replaced with the D spring.  Not a bad start for folks that like to tweak their guns, unfortunately other than the guide rod none of those modifications suited me at all.

One of the many complaints about the M9/92 pistols is the size of the grip, especially for a pistol that originally only held 15 + 1 rounds of 9mm.  I was not at all happy with the size of the grips and the difficulty I had getting a solid grip.  The alternatives were to modify the existing grips or purchase thinner grips.  There are several companies making G10 grips so I decided to take that route.  I chose, with my wife's help, a set of grips from Cool Hand Gear.
M9 with Cool Hand Grips

Even with the D Spring I was having difficulty managing the trigger.  This was a bit of a departure for me as I have a lot of experience shooting double action revolvers, TDA pistols, and Double Action Only pistols.  After running 1024 rounds through the pistol and still not having the trigger management I preferred, I installed a 13# Hammer Spring from Wolff Gunspring.  The next 103 rounds of 9 mm and 300 rounds using a 22 caliber upper were much more pleasant to shoot.

So in order to make the pistol shootable for me I had to install a thinner set of grips.  They still require some modification to fit me better.  I also had to drop the Hammer Spring down to 13#s.  Of course I did my usual modification of painting the front sight and blacking out the dots on the rear sight.  So to make the M9 suitable for my purposes I've invested an additional $40 in gun parts.  The 1127 rounds of 9mm and 300 rounds of .22 are difficult to track for investment so I'll leave that out.  I'll also do a separate post on the .22 upper.