Beretta M9A3 Featured

One of the guns I was most eager to check out at this year’s SHOT Show is the upcoming Beretta M9A3 9mm pistol. I don’t usually pay much attention to minor “product refresh” type releases, especially for guns that have already been around forever like the Beretta M9/92FS. But the specific set of features that Beretta included in this gun piqued my interest because this Beretta M9A3:

Beretta M9A3
Beretta M9A3

Is very similar to this custom Beretta 92G below:

Beretta 92G Vertec
Custom Beretta 92G Vertec

That’s my own personal Beretta 92 that I sent off to Allegheny Gun Works last year for some modifications. A Beretta 92FS was the very first centerfire pistol I ever shot and I’ve always had a soft spot for it. I’ve owned a few different variants over the years, but none of them had all the features I really wanted in a Beretta. At the top of the list, I wanted the Vertec style grip and a “G” configured slide.

For those not familiar with the Beretta lingo, the Vertec pistols were made in the early 2000s and featured an accessory rail and a straight backstrap. Removing the “hump” from the rear of the Beretta’s grip shortens the trigger reach, allowing better leverage for double action shots. It’s not for everyone, but for a lot of people, the Vertec grip is a major improvement and makes the gun much easier to shoot well.

The “G” style pistols have a decocking lever in place of the slide mounted safety. This addresses another major complaint of the Beretta pistols, which is the redundancy of having a manual safety on a double action pistol. In the past, Beretta has run G-style pistols in very small batches, and they’re difficult to find on the used market. Converting a 92FS to a 92G requires machining of the slide’s internals and has to be done by a gunsmith who’s familiar with this modification.

Beretta M9A3

Beyond those two major changes, I also asked for the barrel to be threaded for a suppressor, tuned trigger and action, the front sight modified to accept a fiber optic tube, and rear sight replaced with Wilson Combat Battlesights. After being worked over by Josh at Allegheny, the end result is a good pistol that’s now a great one.

Why should you care about my custom pistol? Because the Beretta M9A3 has almost all of the same features and then some.

The M9A3 has the Vertec style grip, but it also comes with wraparound style grip panels that mimmick the shape and feel of the original M9. The backstrap is also checkered for a more positive grip.

Beretta M9A3 grips
The M9A3 comes with a wraparound grip panel that simulates the feel of the original M9 grip profile.

Likewise, the safety on the M9A3 allows the user some options. It comes standard with the traditional safety/decocker lever, but the internals of the slide have been machined to accept the G-style decock-only lever. The user can simply swap the parts out and perform the conversion without the need for any gunsmithing.

The front sight on the standard Beretta 92FS is machined into the slide, and there’s not enough metal underneath it to safely cut a dovetail notch for other sights. Like some of the more recent upgrades to the M9, the M9A3 comes from the factory with the dovetail cuts and tritium night sights are installed as standard.

There were several configurations of the M9A3 on display at SHOT, and some of them included a pre-threaded barrel. Beretta’s marketing for the pistol seems to suggest that the threaded barrel is standard, my my guess is that it will be available with a standard barrel as well.

Firing the M9A3 at the Industry Range day, I could tell that the trigger wasn’t as smooth as the amazing action job that Allegheny performed on my own pistol, but the gun still shot great, and I can’t think of anything else I’d want from a factory Beretta.

Beretta M9A3 Suppressed
Shooting the Beretta M9A3 at SHOT Show 2015 Industry Day at the Range.

If you’ve never been much of a fan of the Beretta 92 series of pistols, this is the one that could possibly change your mind. The Army doesn’t seem to interested in it, but I have no doubt that the M9A3 will be a welcome addition to Beretta’s commercial lineup.

At this point, Beretta has not set a release date or what their suggested retail price will be. If you’re interested, Signup at to receive email updates when more details are announced.

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22 thoughts on “Beretta M9A3 – A First Look At The M9 Done Right

    1. Suppressor sights are already available for the 92 series pistols that have the dovetail cuts in the slide. Probably won’t be a factory option from Beretta, though.

  1. My next pistol is definitely going to be a Beretta 92 of some type but they sure aren’t making it easy to determine exactly which one. I’ve been torn between the G and G-SD, but this one is tempting as well. Not a fan of the colors though.

    1. Not sure what the price difference is, but I’d go with the G-SD over a standard G for the rail and the grip texture.

  2. Damn it! Here I thought my childhood crush on this pistol was done. LG Chris, I would just like to know, between this and a M&P which would you prefer if you could only have one. I am currently looking at buying my first pistol and just started to consider the M&P 9. I have always loved how the Beretta felt in my hands (I’ve got decent sized hands, L-XL), but more importantly it was a beautiful gun to me. I am considering amateur competition shooting and self defense.

    1. If I could only pick one, it would definitely be the M&P. The double action/single action trigger on the Beretta is much more difficult to master than the M&P trigger. The M&P is also lighter and you have a lot more options for the grip with the removable backstraps. The Beretta is, on average, probably more accurate, and the magazines are cheaper. If the accuracy is a concern for competition shooting and you don’t plan to carry the gun, look into the M&P Pro.

      1. I am consistently amazed at how many people will say that “this” pistol or “that” pistol is more accurate. No such thing. Each pistol will function differently thus changing HOW the operator will inter face with that piece. So many factors go into “accuracy”. The only was to establish which is more accurate for YOU is to fire each weapon under consideration as many times as necessary (150 to 200 rounds) to establish a control factor and ease. Not everyones hands are the same..fingers as long etc…you don’t have to take just my word for it but frankly I have been shooting firearms (pistols and revovers) 3 times as long as the average shooter.

        1. A shooter’s ability to fire a given pistol accurately is influenced by a lot of different factors and one of those is most certainly the inherent mechanical accuracy of the firearm. That’s what I’m referring to when I say one pistol is more accurate than another. The 9mm M&P has had some well documented issues with accuracy that have nothing to do with the person pulling the trigger.

          1. Your ball game, your rules. I cannot express anything since you blocked me.
            Make no mistake this OLD dude was in Special Forces long before there were special forces. My knowledge of weapons is every bit as in-depth as your. Merely because you own a gun distributorship and shoot a lot does NOT mean you know all there is.
            Your ballgame, your stadium, your rules. You blocked me for expressing common knowledge to a moron. You were comparing apples to apples when some idiot ventured to say it should be oranges and grapes.
            Since it is that YOU feel put upon when someone questions you..I can only sir are a child and have NO appreciation for anyones opinions but your own.

            US Marine Corps 1957 to 1959.
            US Air Force 1959 – 1980
            Special Agent Intelligence Agency
            US Customs 1989 – 2004

            All these were involved heavily in weapons and use of weapons. I made 22 combat Jumps in conflict areas you never heard of. Combat in Vietnam was a new insight.
            Feel free to tell me to go to hell again. I could care less and you can also be well aware that when I purchase ammunition (5,000 to 10,000 at a time..I shall patronize those with whom I have a lot in common. Common..Mutual Respect.

  3. I thought one of the complaints was the safety gets snagged on gear and moves, this one seems like it would exacerbate the issue.

    1. From an ergonomic standpoint, I like the lever they had on the M9A3 at the range, but the Wilson Combat low profile decock lever is a good alternative and takes care of any snagging issues.

  4. If they would simply place the safety on the frame where God and John Moses Browning intended it would be a much better gun,and I might have a reason to carry it.

  5. Can I get it NOT in cat-krap tan? lol
    Pistols are a pain in the arse here in NJ – Always wanted a Beretta M9 to keep that Silver Pigeon III & Eureka company in the safe. If its put together half as nice as those are this may be worth all the hoop hopping.

      1. I actually like the color-scheme. It’s better than the solid FDE pistols out there, and it seems to be a mix of 2 different colors of tan and graphite black for the controls. Of course I cant afford this weapon so I’m considering having my PT-92 cerakoted like the M9A3. It’ll be unique for a Taurus, that’s for sure.

  6. This is like Glock listening to us ranting for a single stack 9mm and then introducing the G42 .380. “Hey, we updated the 92 with everything you asked for, except for everything you asked for. Specifically the frame-mounted safety that you might actually reach with human hands. Also it only comes in wannabe-operator dirt color instead of blued or nickel, and it’s literally twice the price of any other 92 because you idiots will pay.”

  7. Looks like a good one and looking forward to the coyote color. Since I live in a hot environment if you allow any firearm that stays in the sun over five minutes gets too hot to hold onto. The coyote, flat dark earth and other colors have made a big difference.

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