I constantly hear people telling me their gun is the best and anything else is wrong, and to them that is the correct answer. You may have something that you feel the same way about. For me it’s the 1911. However, I recently took a chance and picked up a New Beretta M9 commercial. Being that the gun is almost identical to the 92FS I figured it would serve 2 purposes for me. First, it takes me back to my days in the Army where I carried one, and second, I always wanted to buy one to see if they were any better than the ones I used, but just couldn’t justify spending the money on one. I thought the gun to be inferior. This was because the guns I used in the Army were beat up, worn out and poorly maintained. At the time, I figured they just didn’t hold up.
Wow, I was severely wrong. As I was learning to be a gunsmith, I got into them a little more. I found that very rarely did I need to do repairs on them. They needed regular maintenance but what gun doesn’t? I took the opportunity to do my research before buying one as I do with all new guns I purchased. This time I was able to go to the horse’s mouth so to speak and went directly to Beretta. I spent quite a bit of time getting all of my questions answered and determined that I wanted a USA-made Beretta. I also decided that instead of the 92FS I would go with the M9.
Finally after weeks of getting ready to make my purchase I did so. The day it arrived I went ahead and cleaned it, then took it out and shot it. That was when I realized I really didn’t like the sights, so I changed the rear sight to a 2 dot and went again to shoot it. It consistently shot low. Now, I am aware of the training which is why I decided to sandbag it. I determined it was definitely me. So I went at practicing. Slowly but surely my shooting improved. Notice I didn’t blame the gun. I verified it was me. Rarely is the gun to blame for accuracy. In my research I was told this was a common complaint, I was also told that 90% of the time there was nothing wrong with the gun. The M9 has a large grip which causes people with smaller hands to have accuracy issues. So remember: it’s probably not the gun.
After getting my shooting straight I decided to inspect the gun thoroughly. The stories run rampant about the broken slides with the original M9, so I thought I would check it. During my research I was informed that the broken frames only occurred during the original military trials. Upon my inspection I realized there are a couple of points where breaks could occur. These points are directly related to maintaining the gun. I was advised that the recoil spring and locking block should be replaced every 3-5000 rounds. I found that if that is done there is no undue force on the slide or the frame.
The next thing I decided to look at is the polymer parts on the gun another common point on all the forums. I found that the safety and trigger are a polymer coated metal, meaning they are still steel in them. The guide rod is the major point of contention. The guide rod that comes in the gun is a full polymer; does this cause any mechanical issues? No, it’s not ideal but since you should be replacing the recoil spring every 3-5000 rounds why not replace the guide rod too. The polymer guide rods are inexpensive and self lubricate. I prefer the metal guide rod but have not purchased one yet.
So far in all the information I have obtained and through my test firing I can say without a doubt I have found the Beretta M9 to be one of the finest factory-made firearms I have had the pleasure to work on and own.