BERETTA 90-SERIES PISTOL REFERENCE GUIDE


CALIBERS:

  • Model 92 - 9mm (9x19), aka: Luger or Parabellum
  • Model 96 - 40 S&W
  • Model 98 - 30 Luger (also known as the 7.65mm Parabellum), or in 9x21mm (also called 9x21 IMI, for use where military ammunition is illegal for sporting use)

HISTORIC DESIGN CHANGES:

  • Original model - had frame mounted thumb safety, round trigger guard and heel mounted magazine release (introduced in 1975)
  • S - Single-sided slide mounted hammer-drop safety and heel mounted magazine release (intro 1977)
  • S-1 - Experimental pistol for USAF. Magazine release button moved from grip heel to trigger guard, ambi slide-mounted safety, grooved backstrap, 2-dot sights (extremely rare model, appeared in 1978)
  • SB - commerical version of S-1 with firing pin locking safety device and improved checkered grips (intro 1980)
  • SB-F - Updated with Bruinton finish, squared trigger guard, upper rear of grips relieved, grip angle was modified slightly, chrome-lined barrel, extended magazine pad (intro 1984)
  • F - this is exactly the same as the SB-F listed above, it's just that the preface "SB" is no longer used.
  • M9 - U.S.G.I. model designation for their standard military issue version of the F was adapted in 1985. Addition of slide retention device in case of slide failure was adapted in 1988 (due to changes, older grips cannot be used without alteration).
  • FS - Updated 92F with slide retention device (intro 1989). 3-dot sights were added in 1992.
  • FSS - Model FS with stainless steel slide and barrel on silver anodized frame. Stainless Beretta pistols are usually referred to as Inox, which means "stainless steel" (intro 1990)
  • C - compact double column frame that is 1/10" shorter than standard model, with a shortened 13 rd magazine. Can use full size mags, which slightly extend from grip. (C = Compact, often used with the model designation description, ie: 92SBC or 92FC).
  • Type M - compact single stack mag and frame that is 1/10" shorter than standard model, with it's own 8 rd magazine (also known as M, which is often used within the model designation, ie: 92FCM).

MODELS:

  • Standard model - 4.9" barrel (holds 15 rds of 9mm).
  • Centurion - 4.3" barrel with a slightly shorter slide (holds 15 rds of 9mm).
  • Compact L - 1/10" shorter grip, double column frame, Centurion-type slide & 4.3" barrel. Comes with shortened magazine (holds 13 rounds of 9mm) but can use full size magazines.
  • Compact L Type M - 1/10" shorter grip, single column frame, Centurion-type slide & 4.3" barrel. Uses special single column magazine (holds 8 rds of 9mm).
  • Brigadier - full size frame with heavy duty slide, 4.9" barrel & a dovetail front sight.
  • Vertec - FS slide with dovetailed front sight, 4.7" bbl, light/laser rail, straight back strap (feels more like a 1911), thin special two-textured grips for shortened trigger reach, beveled mag well, no lanyard loop.
  • Elite - Brigadier slide with extra front serrations, stainless 4.7" barrel, beveled magazine well, lanyard loop removed, skeletonized hammer, rubber mag basepad (in FS action only & is a discontinued model).
  • Elite IA - in "G" action only, with Vertec slim vertical grip and light rail, Brigadier slide with forward serrrations, stainless 4.7" barrel, skeletonized hammer, beveled mag well, extended mag bumper pad. The whole gun is Bruniton finished.
  • Elite II - in "G' action only, recent models comes in two tone finish with stainless crowned 4.7" barrel & slide. Frame/grip is black finished. Has checkered front & back straps, crowned muzzle, enlarged mag release, front serrations on slide, beveled mag well, Novak rear sight, lightened (D model) hammer spring, skeletonized hammer, Novak rear sight with thin serrated front sight, no lanyard loop, extended rubber mag bumper pad, stainless hex grip screws.
  • Target - FS variation available in late 90's in 9x21 IMI only, with adjustable rear sight, semi-anatomic walnut wood grips with "orange peel" anti-slip finish and 5.9" aluminum ounterweight sleeve on the front of the barrel.
  • Stock - Brigadier-type slide, DA/SA in 92/96/98 w/ unique "half-cocked & locked" mode, frame mounted ambidextrous safety.
  • Combat (original) - single action only with beavertail grip frame, wood grips, enlarged mag release & chute, adjustable rear sight, ported counterweighted barrel, hi tech slide design and 17 rd mag.
  • Combat (recent) - IPSC competition version of Stock model with the following extras: 5.9" weighted barrel, adjustable target sights, front and rear slide serrations, checkered front & back straps, accurizing barrel bushing, tuned trigger, ultra thin textured aluminum grips, beveled mag well, rubber mag basepad, custom fitted case.
  • Combat Combo - same as the recent version of recent Combat with an additional 4.9" target barrel.
  • Combat Short - 4.9" target barrel version of the recent Combat.
  • Billennium - steel frame (total weight of 43 oz empty), carbon fiber grips, frame-mounted safety, tuned trigger pull, dovetail front sight, adjustable rear sight, oversized mag release, Brigadier-type slide with scalloping instead of cocking serrations, checkered front & back straps, advanced nickel alloy finish, extra front and rear dovetail sights included. Came in custom aluminum case. Limited edition of 2,000 units worldwide producted to celebrate the Year 2000.
  • Border Marshal - Brigadier model with 4.7" barrel, night sights and rubber grips.
  • Cajun - a limited run/non-catalogued FS edition in stainless with black Bruniton finish & gray wrap around rubber grips. An earlier version of the Black Inox, the "Cajun" name appears to be an unofficial nickname, so named because it was "blackened" like Cajun food is.
  • blackened stainless - yet another limited run/non-catalogued pistol like the Cajun, produced sometime around the new millennium, it was a regular 92FS with a Brunitonized stainless slide/barrel, but without the gray grips. Just what this model was called is still in question.
  • Black Inox - 92/96 FS model made in stainless steel but then completely finished with a black Bruniton coating. This 2005 limited quanity model came with gray wrap-around rubber grips and hex-head grip screws.
  • Custom Carry - Single stack 92, Type M, Centurion-slide, Bruniton finished with left-side-only slide-mounted safety and the name "Custom Carry" etched in silver on both sides of the slide.
  • Custom Carry II - Like the original CC, but had silver stainless slide, Novak sights, blue frame, blue slide-stop and a blue left-side-only slide-mounted safety (from the Elite Series)
  • Steel I - Nickel finished competitive shooter model with frame mounted safety. Has steel Vertec frame but no light rail. Brigadier slide, hex grip screws, skeletonized hammer, Novak sights, 4.7" barrel. Comes in either 9mm or 40S&W and in either DA/SA or single action only.
  • Special - a 1993 FS 9mm variation with a frame mounted safety, instead of the usual slide mounted safety, came with smooth wood grips. It was simply called the "92 FS Special".
  • SD - "Special Duty" version, in "G" only, with standard FS-type frame but has Vertec-type light rail, Bridadier slide, Trijicon night sights, checkered front & rear straps, beveled mag well, extended mag release, stainless 4.9" barrel with Bruniton finish and match crown, hex grip screws.
  • 470th - 470th year limited edition with high polish stainless finish, walnut grips, gold medallions & signature on slide, walnut case. Limited to 470 units worldwide.
  • PS - "Police Special" versions were sold with three high cap mags. Sold with or without night sights. Available in 92 or 96, in FS, G or D actions, in standard frame & Vertec (Inox or Bruniton). Many were stamped with a "PS" and a small shield, but not all. Rumored to have a slightly rougher underlaying metal finish, but this hasn't always proved true.
  • 93R - Selective-fire 92 pistol, allowing 1100 rds per minute in three-round bursts. Has fold-down grip in front of the trigger-guard and an optional extendible steel shoulder stock which attaches to the rear of the grip. Has extended barrel with muzzle brake. Optional 20-round magazine extends below the bottom of the grip when fitted.
  • M9 - military-style version of a commercial 92FS. Available to the general public. Differs in having a single dot rear sight (vs twin-dot arrangement), a straight dust cover (vs 92 tapered dustcover), M9 doesn't have the extra radius cut out at the top of the back strap and has M9 rollmarkings on slide.
  • M9A1 - Much talked about upgrade of the M9 include: a standard 92FS slide on a FS-style light-rail frame, G-type de-cocker, some plastic parts and 17-rd nickel plated mags.
  • 90-two - modernized 92/96 in F, G and possibly D actions. Re-configured alloy frame design with 360-degree wrap-around interchangeable grips, 4.9" barrel, light/accessory rail with removable rail cover, interchangeable luminescent Superluminova dovetailed front & rear sights, Bruniton finished, fewer parts, PX4-type safety lever, newly designed anatomical slide & slide catch, shorter beavertail, a metallic recoil buffer and original style round triggerguard. Uses existing 92/96 mags but comes with new higher capacity versions.

ACTIONS:

  • FS - functions as a DA/SA pistol (works in both double & single action modes) w/ ambidextrous slide mounted safety.
  • G - DA/SA with an automatic return ambidextrous slide mounted decocker (looks generally like "FS" model).
  • DS - DAO (double action only) w/ ambidextrous slide mounted safety that locks the trigger, sear & spurless hammer (looks generally like "FS" model).
  • D - DAO, has a spurless hammer and no thumb safety. Has extended serrations on rear of slide for improved handling. (due to lack of safety, this model is also known as the "Slick Slide").
  • Competition - a 'single action only' system with frame mounted extended ambidextrous safety, like those found on 1911 pattern firearms (this feature is found only on Stock, Combat, Steel 1 & Billennium models).
  • C - Type C is a new design, not yet in production, described as "Constant action, spurless hammer". A lightened form of the "D" action (double action only), it may be intended to compete against the Glock, HK LEM and SIG DAK firing systems.

FACTORY FINISHES AND OPTIONS:

  • Bruniton - a combination of Parkerizing and black Teflon protective finish that is applied over steel.
  • Inox - means "stainless steel". The original concept was a stainless steel slide and stainless steel parts (ie: barrel, trigger & slide stop, magazine, etc) on a silver alloy frame. Some recent models called Inox have a stainless steel slide/bbl & silver frame, while containing the following black parts: hammer, trigger, slide stop, safety, takedown lever, lanyard, magazine and mag release. "Stainless" is Inossidabile in Italian, Inoxidable in Spanish and Acier Inoxydable in French. Inox is pronounced "e knox", like "E" the letter and "knox" like the fort.
  • Nickel Alloy - Advanced hardened silver finish most recently applied to the Billennium and Steel 1. Some older models were also available in nickel, like the 92SB Compact.
  • Inox Golden - Inox model with gold inlay accents.
  • Deluxe - three different models which are either engraved blued, silver or gold plated, with fine wood grips.
  • EL - blued FS model with gold accents & parts, with fine wood grips.
  • Tactical - title added to any model that comes with factory night sights and rubber grips (ie: "Elite Tactical"). This title has fallen out of use lately.
  • B.A.T.S. - Beretta Advanced Tactical System kits included wrap around rubber grips, hi cap mag, knife and case.
  • B-Lok - integral locking system that blocks hammer in lowered position to prevent firing and slide operation. Uses a key-in-lock located where lanyard-loop once was. Became an available option in a number of 92 and 96 variations, intro 2003.
  • Magazine Disconnector models - It is believed that the US Dept of Veterans Affairs was the first agency to request this option (on the 92-series gun) and adopt the following modified "disconnector" models: the original 92D full size and the 92D Centurion in both double-stack & type M. It is thought that the VA has 2800 to 3000 of them. The NY State DOC also ordered some double stack Centurions. The New York Corrections people eventually stopped buying the gun and a distributor who still had some in stock decided to release them to dealers. That is how a few got into private hands. These rare guns require specially modified magazines to function the disconnect option.
  • Sights - original fixed, 2-dot fixed (used from 1978-1992 and is still used on M9), newer three dot fixed, Novak low-profile three dot fixed, "adjustable fixed" (windage adjustable fixed rear sight, used on Billenniun), regular adjustable, and Trijicon tritium three dot fixed night sights.
  • Grips - plastic, wood, rubber, black or gray wrap-around rubber, ultra thin plastic (on Stock model only), ultra thin textured aluminum (on Combat Combo model only) and carbon fiber grips (on Billennium model only). Also available on some models: CT Lasergrips marked with Beretta logo (not available as an aftermarket item).