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Today marks the 36th year the Beretta M9 has been in use with the US military. Although it has been officially replaced, many M9s are still in serviceable condition and continue to be used.

Here is some early history on the M9 pistol...

There were only 2 pistols that completely passed all testing during the XM9 trials back in the early 1980s to replace the 1911 pistol. Those pistols are the SIG P226 and Beretta 92F. Beretta won having the lowest bid so the 92F became the M9.

The Beretta USA factory was not ready at the time they won the contract so initial deliveries of the M9 were completely built at the Beretta factory in Italy.

Contract stipulations stated that within 2 years the Beretta USA factory had to be producing 100% of all M9 pistols for the US military.

After several initial shipments of Italian made M9s, the US factory was able to make complete lower frames but for a short time the upper slides still needed to be shipped in from the factory in Italy.

Eventually, within 2 years after winning the contract in 1985 the Beretta USA factory began producing complete M9 pistols for the US military.

Additional detailed information if anyone is interested...

The link below is to the June 1986 GAO report about their investigation on the selection of Beretta as the winner of the XM9 trials in 1985. There was controversy about how the Army handled the XM9 trials so this report was provided to the Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations in the House of Representatives. This 64 page document has a lot of very interesting details about the activities during the XM9 trials.


The link below is the joint service US Military technical manual on the M9 pistol. This appears to be an armorers service manual as it has a lot more than just field stripping and cleaning information.

 

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Now I would like to unveil my recently acquired M9 but this is no ordinary M9 that would be readily available. This pistol is as close as one can get to one of the original M9 pistols that came in during the short time in the beginning when they were all made in Italy.

The slide is one of the original Italian made M9 slides. The "P. BERETTA" on the slide identifies that it was made in Italy (US made say "BERETTA USA") and the specific "PB" logo font style on this slide is only found on government acquired M9 pistols. Also, the underside of this slide does not have the groove machined into it for use with the oversized hammer pin that was refitted into existing early M9s and all of them produced afterward along with all the commercially available 92FS variants that came later. Because of this early slide lacking that groove, it will not mount on any M9 or model 92 pistol made after the late 1980s. These details make this specific type of M9 slide rare so I was fortunate to find it.

The frame is from an original commercially available 1986 Italian made 92F pistol which is built exactly like the original Italian made M9 pistol. The only difference between the Italian made 92F and M9 frames would be the serial number which references this one as a 92F. It is impossible for anyone to legally own an actual government acquired M9 as none have ever been approved for release to the public however with the 92F being built at the same location with the same design and parts, it would make them the closest one could get to an original Italian made M9 pistol.

Finally the magazine is the original Italian made version that came out initially with the M9 which have a metal follower and base plate (these were soon changed to plastic) in addition to the metal magazine frame and spring.

I am a Beretta pistol collector so being able to put together a unique pistol such as this one was very cool and is a great addition to my collection!

120642
 

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The M-9 gets dissed a lot now days just like the 1911 did around the mid 1980’s. I LOVE the M-9. I know SA/DA isn’t in style right now or a full size, metal frame pistol but they perform awesome. Easy to shoot for most all shooters and accurate. It has its flaws but doesn’t every firearm!
 
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