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Gents,

Training day at the range for an investment banker I know and a couple of his compadre's. All use Beretta 92 FS 9mm's. Since I was teaching I used my Beretta Compact. Some observations.
All the 92's were fairly new and clean. In spite of this we had a number of failures to feed in two of them. Mind you this was not a bullet hung on the ramp or some such, but the slide seemed to lack the power to strip the loaded round from the magazine and feed it. This with 115/124 gr. RNFMJ's. Lubing the pistols solved the problem, but feed was still sluggish. New recoil springs seem to be indicated. On the other hand my Beretta 92 Compact just chugged along. If you remember I already have changed ALL the springs in the pistol....so no surprises. Based on what I saw I have a hard time believing Beretta's vaunted reliability, to say the least.
A friend had loaned me his P226 9mm and I gave it a work out. Flawless function. My times rivaled what I can do with a 1911 or BHP. WAY FASTER than I can do with the Beretta. MUCH more managable trigger, IMHO. Double taps and failure to stop drills were fast and precised.
Comparing the design and execution of the two while stripped for cleaning made it readily apparent that the SIG was a better/more robust design. Whoever said the Beretta was better should start sharing whatever they're smoking... ;)
Based on my past issue with the 92's safety getting inadvertently activated I really wanted to consider a pure point and shoot interface. The Sig does that in spades.
The upshot is that one of my students fell in love with my Compact and is going to buy it. That will give me enough to buy the SIG of my choice.
Had a great day...it just doesn't get much better.

Wes
 
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All the 92's were fairly new and clean. In spite of this we had a number of failures to feed in two of them. Mind you this was not a bullet hung on the ramp or some such, but the slide seemed to lack the power to strip the loaded round from the magazine and feed it. This with 115/124 gr. RNFMJ's. Lubing the pistols solved the problem, but feed was still sluggish. New recoil springs seem to be indicated.
IMO, the autos should have, at minimum, several hundred rounds put through them to polish and burnish the newly-machined frictional surfaces before any parts replacement or gunsmithing is considered.
 
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I've never been impressed with the 92/96 series reliability. I've had issues with the magazines, albeit after they were dropped. I've had issues firing from strange positions and firing limp wristed. Most of the time the main malfunction was a very nasty double feed. If you keep them clean, use hot ammo, lock your wrist up tight, and hold the gun upright for every shot it will work 100%. That doesn't impress me. My wife's Sig P226 9mm, on the other hand, has been 100% reliable from shot #1. Limp wrist, up-side-down, sideways, soft loads, hot loads, no problem. Now I'm impressed. The Sig is at least twice the gun as the Beretta. ~Pistolero
 

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Howdy folks,

I will just add my thoughts to the mix. I have owned one 92 and several Sigs, mostly the 226s. Weapons in general, but more especially handguns, in my opinion truly are like vehicles. What works well for one person, simply will not work at all for someone else. In many ways I think the handgun-vehicle comparison is a valid way to look at things.

You have very inexpensive, moderate, expensive, and super expensive handguns and vehicles. Of course price does not always indicate its true quality, or even lack thereof in my view too. One good example that comes to mind is the CZ75B, a moderate priced platform, that to me performs right up there with the expensives ones. I think over time as its reputation increases in the US, we will see its price tag do the same.

When I am selecting a duty weapon or off-duty, or self-defense - apply any name you wish, I want one that is going to work with total reliability, each and every time. That is one reason I put 1000 rounds through one before it earns or fails to earn my personal "carry" status. Maybe I have been exceptionally fortunate, but I find it difficult to feel that way as often as Mr. Murphy and I have shaken hands.

To date I have owned 6 Sig pistols, 5 226s and 1 229. I have never needed to send the first one back to the factory or to a gunsmith for any reason beyond upgrading with the short curved trigger and nightsights - and then only if I did not have the time to do it myself. But no functioning issues at all.

By comparison Mr. Wes, when I ordered my 92 on LEO letterhead from the factory, I shot it on the range at my first opportunity. That evening at home I cleaned it, typed the repair request, and boxed it back up for shipment to Beretta. Beretta fixed the functioning issue, and added the Trijicons which were a part of the LEO purchase they failed to include originally. Then next time I shot it, I had to call the repair manager back to ask which brand of sight adjustment tool did I need to use to keep my pistol from shooting 7" off at 7 yards.

Of course I only noted my problem after he had assured me that they always check nightsight adjustments on LEO weapons. So I was just never impressed with my personal 92. I am sure we have members who think the world of their 92. But I am just not in that camp. I sold mine to another instructor who wanted it for his wife who was joining the Highway Patrol and needed the 92 as her carry weapon.

I will offer this personal observation noted during tactical courses fired on qualifications days. Some of these required tactical courses intentionally involved shooting from positions that simulate already being shot, laying on the ground at odd angles to the targets, on your stomach, your back, on either side, facing the target, or facing away. Admittedly an oddball mix of positions, but designed to give the agent exposure to continuing to fight even when the odds are against them.

The nature of these various shooting positions means the shooter will usually have much less than the ideal grip as well. The weapon based on their postion at the time, will be fired using a two hand grip, strong hand, or weak hand. The weapon will be fired in its normal postion, 90 degress off to either side, and even upside down. My sample is limited to personally owned and issued weapons I have seen fired on ranges I ran. Admittedly it is limited, and not intended to be scientific or proof of anything beyond being my personal observations.

The one brand of pistol I have seen consistently firing a round when the trigger is pulled during these exercises is the Sig. With every other brand there were malfunctions. Some brands performed nearly as well as the Sigs, some much worse. It is not my intent to "trash" any brand of pistol at all. Again I am just offering my observations.

Not only did these tactical exercises expose the shooter to new shooting requirements, to many it made them rethink their choice of carry weapon as well. More and more I began seeing more Sigs on the range. I will readily admit that compared to many other brands and models of pistols, Sigs are expensive weapons. But this training also reinforced a belief I had long held as well. When choosing a weapon to risk your life with, more times than not, you get what you pay for.

Folks I am not trying to start a brand war. If you have total confidence in the pistol you own and carry, I am truly happy for you. You are carrying your chosen weapon based on personal decisions you have made - which is exactly how I think all of us should approach things. Find the weapon that works for you, that you have confidence in, and carry it. For me, that is simply the reasons why I have owned 6 Sigs over the years.

Now in fairness, I also want to note I have never had to send the first BHP, Colt 1911, or Kahr K series pistol back to the manufacturer or to a gunsmith for repair. My jury is still out on the CZ75B, but simply because my gunsmith doing some requested upgrades to it has had it longer than I have. I think it too will be a keeper for me, but time and rounds will tell. I do like the way it fits my hand, its design, and its steel frame. It may well replace my Sig 226 as a carry pistol at times, which for me is a major statement.

Again I am not trying to bad mouth any brand of weapon, and claim the ones I favor are clearly superiors to other brands. I am only making some personal observations to help Mr. Wes in making a decision it appears he has already made. If my thoughts help other members, then I am glad they were useful to you.

Shoot well and shoot often.

twoguns
 

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I am looking to buy another 9mm, the only one I now own is a Star BM. I recently had the opportunity to shoot the military version of the Beretta 92 the M9, and found it to be a really nice pistol, slow fire and rapid fire, no problems with FMJ or HP. This particular M9 according to my brother in law had about 500 rds through it. I did like the fit and feel of it, it didn't slip around in my hand and very little recoil. I have since shot a BHP FN, and a CZ 75BD and IMHO, they all three were very similar, but after reading some of the problems with the 92/M9 which I didn't experience, but only shot it for 100 rds, and the same with the BHP FN as well as the CZ 75BD, for all round function, handling, and price, I'm going to go with the CZ 75DB. Haven't bought it yet because I found a E.G. Makarov at the KC shoot and show that I had to have, so I will have to wait till next month to possibly get the CZ 75BD. Just my $0.02 worth.


papabear
 

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Weshowe- My experiences with Berettas and Sigs mirror yours.

I've had a couple of Beretta 92s, a 92 Compact, and a 96 Elite. Overall, they worked, and shot well, but were clumsy to operate. The grips were too big and not shaped well (I thought the Compact felt OK), the trigger reach was long, the safety was awkward and too easily activated, etc.

The Sigs I've had were every bit as dependable, and were at least as accurate. Some were more accurate to varying degrees.
But the big advantage the Sigs had was in feeling like a gun. The grips felt better, the trigger reach felt better, there was no accidental safety activation, etc.
If shooting a comparable model Sig and Beretta of equal accuracy, I could always shoot the Sig better, faster, and easier.

I still keep one Beretta around, mostly just to maintain familiararity with the type.
But if I were to carry a DA 9mm, it would be my P226.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gents,

Thanks for your responses. My intent here is not to trash the Beretta's, but only report what was observed and actually happened.
Telling someone his particular pistol is a POS is lilke telling someone his significant other is ugly...don't do it! Beauty is in the eye or the beholder and if your Beretta, CZ, Colt, SIG, whatever works for you so much the better. It's your pistol. This falls into the analogy of car ownership or why some of us like Blonds, Redheads, Brunettes, etc.
Nevadaalan, the 92's were basically new, but all had already had 300-500 rounds through them and should have fed ball reliably. They were clean when the failures happened. Your point is well taken, however.
I like CZ's, too, but mine had failures to extract (common with the CZ75 .40's). A replacement Wolff extractor spring solved that and it runs 100 percent. Sometimes it's just something simple like that to make things right.
The major issue with the Beretta's seems to be the springs. As noted my 92 Compact has had all the springs replaced with Wolff springs and runs 100%.
Twoguns, will hit you off line for more discussion on Sig selection.

Wes
 

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"Telling someone his particular pistol is a POS is lilke telling someone his significant other is ugly...don't do it!"


Take the sig dump the Beretta. I love my Berettas, the only thing is they are all shot guns!
 

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[quote author=gib board=Discussion thread=1176961966 post=1177001046 I love my Berettas, the only thing is they are all shot guns! [/quote]

Me too! I love my A390.
I wish they would make a gas operated shotgun that would accept a magazine extension. The gas regulating system is in the way.
Well, I haven't kept up. They might make one for all I know.
 

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Hi there all,

I've only owned one Beretta style pistol and it was a Taurus PT-92 that I owned in the early 80's.

To be quite frank, the ergonomics, accuracy and handling characteristics of the two handguns are like night and day compared to the P-226 that I currently own. The SIGARMS P-226 is a much nicer handgun when compared to the Taurus/Beretta platform in all regards.

Wes, I am very happy to hear that you are again comtemplating buying the SIGARMS from one of your students. I can assure you with absolute certainty that you will not be disappointed.

Now Beretta shotguns! Barry they don't get any better than the 686 and A390 that I owned for the sporting clays games. But, that's a topic for the shotgun section!

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gents,

Chris, Twoguns, and all,

Yes, there is a SIG in my near future. I just need to decide model and caliber(s).
Interestingly, I just had a e-mail from a fellow firearms instructor that took part in the Beretta/Sig military tests at Eglin AFB prior to adoption of a new service pistol. He said that the test staff prefered the Sig P226 over the Beretta M-9 by a 5 to 1 margin. Contract went to Beretta because the were a few cents cheaper and Beretta agreed to build a factory in the U.S. Sig held firm and said they would produce the pistols, but did not agree to build a factory. Something they have since rectified. Also, Italy agreed to allow us use of some air bases in the deal, as our agreement with Spain was running out and the Spaniards wanted us out.
Of course all of this meant squat to me, as I carried a 1911, in the Marines, until I retired in '94. The Marines finally refused to accept any more M-9's and those with 1911's kept them (and still do). Luckily, I was in one of those units.
All of this points out that we use what we are issued in the military and make due. Police sometimes get choices, but as citizens we can carry whatever we want. Luckily, there are a lot of great pistols out there.

Wes
 

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Hello Wes,

Well my friend, I started with one and now I have two. The P239 and P226.

I never have just planned to own one handgun and can't just get myself a M-9 due to its size vs. caliber. It is a big pistol.

My son has enlisted in the US Marines and reports to boot camp the day after he graduates from High School, i.e. June 17/07

His graduation present just may be a SIG. I just want to start him off right. ;)

Chris
 

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Mr. Chris,

I admit I am a bit prejudiced towards Sigs. But I can simply not imagine a better graduation present than that too sir. Just a suggestion - given the nature of the beast these days, he may well find a rail of great benefit to him one day.

twoguns
 

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Wes;
Late to the discussion but Larry Vickers has an article in the latest (latest I have seen but I have been away training for more than a week) Shotgun News on the M9.

Backs up what you were saying. My experience on the range does as well. He covered about everything except the tendency to break firing pins when dry fired a lot.

Jim H.
 

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I have owned and extensively fired Beretta 92's and Sig pistols and never experienced problems with either make. My suggestion is to use the one that feels best to you. My hands are extra large, and the B-92 fits me. If you select the B-92, keep the factory grips. The external trigger bar might jump out otherwise. Remember that frequent use of any semi-auto mandates that recoil springs be changed out at given intervals and that extractor and trigger return springs be monitored. Also, don't forget to maintain magazines. Some folks like to use heavier aftermarket recoil springs. I stick with factory specs.
 
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Curious...
I have shot both Sig and Beretta pistols. Of the 3 Beretta pistols I have owned I have never, repeat never, had a single malfunction of any kind with any of them. I have owned two B-96's and the new 90-two in 40 S&W. Of the Sig pistols that I've shot (220, 226, 229, 239) I've never been even the least bit impressed by any of them. I've also experienced a few malfunctions with a couple. They don't fit my hand as well as the Berettas and I consistently ride the slide stop lever with my thumb which prevents the slide from locking back on an empty chamber. (Not a fault of the gun...but none the less) Don't get me wrong, they were fine pistols. But I would never trade a Beretta for a Sig. Just my $0.02.
 

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I have owned to M9s and shot Uncle's with regularity. I have always found them to be reliable if not durable. I personally have never cared for them because of the size but I have never seen one fail when properly maintained. The SIGs are a bit more ergonomic for me and I have never seen an unbutchered SIG fail to work. I know that Navy SPECWAR folks love SIGs and have shot the stuffing out of them. No malfunctions observed and let me tell you those guns were well past lots of rounds.

Both my City and State Police use SIGs and appear to do well with them. There are other agencies that use the Berettas like the Capitol and local military base civilian police forces. I think it depends on what fits you best. Having said that, I am not much on DA/SA and recommend Glock instead. Again, my $0.02 USD.
 

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I'd take a Beretta over a Sig. My Beretta 92 has been my most reliable and one of the most accurate handguns I have. Great gun.

My dad's Sig is ok, but it's had a few bobbles.
 
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I was in the USAF from 78-98, and worked w a guy who tested pistols for the USAF in the 70s. He preferred the Beretta. They didn't test any SIG 226s then. They did test the Beretta, Colt SSP, Smith & Wesson 459, Star M28, some FNs (FN DA, FN FA, FN HP), and some HKs (P9, PSP, VP70).

The P226 didn't come put until after the Army took over w the JSSAP (Joint Services Small Arms Program) in 1981. He was part of that too, still preferred the Beretta. That was because they performed as well, but were considered the more durable of the two (none of the Berettas broke during endurance testing, the SIGs did; made it past the min 5K rounds, but not to 7K). Kinda funny considering what happened later?

Beretta already had a plant in the USA; it started operations in 1972; the M9 contract was awarded in 1985. SIG actually won the first round of bidding and was declared the apparent winner. The govt increased the number of spare parts and mags wanted, asked for more bids. Beretta had the "best and final offer", even though they cost _more_ per pistol than the SIGs did (Beretta's total package price for guns, extra mags, and parts was lower).

Use of GLCM (Ground Launched Cruise Missile) bases in Sicily may have had an impact on the bidding, but numerous investigations were unable to prove anything. ;)

I was issued the M15 (38), M1911A1 (45), M9, and M11 (SIG P228). Had the most probs w the GI 1911s (my USAF match pistol ran fine), but they were already 40 yrs old by then, and had been rebuilt several times. Doubt the Beretta or SIG will de doing as well w as much service.

Somebody likes the M9. They have bought over 150,000 more after the first 5 year contract, have options on about 70,000 more, and contracted for up to 14 _million_ more new M9 mags. The USMC even bought several thousand new M9A1s (w frame rail for light) w new holsters and mags. They could have bought SIGs (P228/226 are in the system), but they didn't. Would have to ask them why not.
 
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