17 December 2009

Tools of War: M9, aka Beretta 92FS

From the files of "Things Have REALLY Gone Wrong If You Need To Use This On The Battlefield", I bring you the US military's current sidearm of choice, the M9.

As a 9mm pistol, the M9 is adequate but effective, and yes, I AM damning with faint praise, thank-you-very-much. It is a fairly complex weapon, with a lot of moving parts, that really likes to be clean and well-lubricated to fire reliably. Of course, this DOES make it a natural partner to the M16/M4...

At least the Coast Guard, of all folks, has moved on to a top-tier pistol (Sig Sauer P229DAK). The Marines, displaying their usual warfighting enlightenment, have more or less side-stepped the whole "Seriously, a pistol? On the battlefield?" question, by only issuing the M9 to Colonels and above. Everybody else that would have gotten a pistol, gets an M4. God bless the USMC.

To be fair, my primary beef with the M9 is that it is a 9mm (due to the whole NATO thing) that is limited to firing ball rounds (due to the Hague Conventions), and that severely limits it in terms of threat-stopping capability. That, and the fact that time has marched on in terms of pistol design (*cough*Glock*cough*), means that by modern standards, the M9 is overly complicated and finicky. However, the OTHER pistol that passed the evaluation and could have been chosen by the US military was the Sig Sauer P226, and THAT, my friends, is a true 'Cadillac' pistol (and I'm meaning Cadillac in a good way here...). Whether it was due to politics, the bean-counters, or both, the US military got screwed.

As such, most modern-day law-enforcement officers, who pretty much rely on pistols as their primary weapons, shudder at the idea of carrying a 92FS on the street. Whereas the P226 is carried with confidence by many (though with +P JHP rounds).

Grabbed the below specs from the Wiki article.

Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin Italy
Service history
In service 1990–present
Used by United States United States Military
Wars Persian Gulf War
Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)
Production history
Manufacturer Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta
  • 952 g (33.6 oz)
  • 1,162 g (41 oz) Loaded
Length 217 mm (8.5 in)
Barrel length 125 mm (4.9 in)

Cartridge 9x19mm Parabellum
Action Short recoil
Muzzle velocity 354 m/s (1,161 ft/s)
Feed system 15 round detachable box magazine
Sights Iron sights

By: Steve


Steve said...

Tools of War - It's here!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the US military did get screwed.