Loathed by every armchair commando since its controversial m1911 back in 1979, many consider the Beretta M9A1 to be a failure of a firearm. Many that claim that this is such a terrible gun, and have either little or no experience with it.
The Beretta M9A1 defies its critics
There have been multiple stories where soldiers have experienced critical failure with this firearm in combat, but the thing is, that can happen with any firearm that is not taken care of properly. Keep in mind this is a military gun, where they may have already reached their lifespan and have never had a recoil spring replacement. These guns are criticized heavily by the military and nonmilitary alike but they are bashing a gun that is used by tons of different military members who each have different standards when it comes to their firearm maintenance.
So what is the M9 all about? We are checking out the Beretta M9A1, which is the civilian variant of the M9 standard issue pistol for the military. The Beretta M9A1 has a rail dustcover and the nitrate finish magazines vs the m9 or m92 series.
If you want to use it as your home defense or concealed carry you have the option to attach a light or laser to it for better vision and target acquisition.
The good part about this gun is that the slide is nice and light making it very easy to rack. The downside to this is that the barrel is exposed. The weapon does cool faster but if you grab the barrel after some shooting you run the risk of burning your hand.
The slide of the gun is a steel slide and the frame of the gun is made of aluminum. This can lead to some issues later down the line with high round count. The average life is 3,500 rounds. This can obviously be extended by replacing the springs and slide on the weapon.
Is the Grip too Large to be Effective?
Another complaint with this firearm is that the grip is quite large. It is a great gun to shoot and I personally love the feel being a Beretta 92F owner. This comes down to what you are comfortable with and what your hand size is.
For this review, the Beretta M9a1 was fired with various grains of 9mm ammo. It was shot with 115 grain to 147-grain subsonic ammo. There were no failures and had no lubrication during the firing session. This is obviously not optimal and not recommended by Beretta but it does show that the gun will still work in these conditions.
I love the look of a Beretta M9A1 and it is an iconic gun seen in hundreds of movies, television shows, and video games. It just looks great and you can pick one up for around $599.
You can also check out this full video on the Beretta M9a1 Review
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The M9-A1 is not the civilian version of the M9, the M9-A1 is a second generation, iteration, upgrade to offer the dust cover rail and a few other improvements / changes to the M9 / 92 series. I have THE civilian version of the Military M9, it is identical to the military M9 except for serial number range and the production line it was built on. I spent 10 years on active duty, before, during and after Desert Storm in Army Aviation and Air Assault, I carried the M-9 then and later for more years of reserve time and continued for over almost two decades to carry my personal M9 as my CCW carry, I trusted my life to my M9 all those years, depended on it and still do, it’s ingrained in me, like another hand. I’ve owned guns, reloaded, hobby gunsmithed and even worked for government R&D where I had to modify existing military weapons designs, and the M9-A1 is definitely NOT just the civilian version of the M9. While the military, for obvious contractual, fielding, spare parts, uniformity reasons opted out of the minor changes offered by the M9-A1 version, Beretta offered the upgraded M9 version to a hungry civilian market.
I also own an M9-A1 and an M9-A3, Colt M45A1, FNH-45 Tactical, Rugers, CZ-75’s and 83’s, RI-1911’s, Walther’s, as well as a few others as far as semi’s and lot’s of top end wheelguns too.
And I’m not quite sure where you came up with that magic 3500 round number, for service life. I’m over 5000, closer to 6000 by now, rounds with my M9 and it still shoots like I just broke it in. I’ve checked headspace, slide and frame tolerances, borescoped regularly, properly maintained, lubed and inspected, the only thing I’ve replaced is the stupid plastic quide rod that came on it with a Wolfe rod. Unless you are pounding the snot out of your M9, neglecting it when it comes to inspecting and maintaining, cleaning, lubing it, feeding it very hot, heavy bullet weight handloads or +P loads, it should definitely last more than 3500 rounds. That’s the kind of number you would expect from a high pressure round like 5.56 x 45 Nato in an M-4.
Right on Gus. And I’m not quite sure where you came up with that magic 3500 round number, for service life. Beretta co. recommends replacement of the barrel Locking Block Kit and springs at 20,000 rounds. the solid rod and high quality recoil spring is a no brainer and was done on my 92f compact before round one(1). My pistol looks almost new still after 2000 cycles. Also mine was made in Italy, if that matters.. They are a work of gun art.