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The Beretta/Taurus 92 Platform

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Hello all,

I see good and bad posts about this platform.

When I first got my Taurus 92 I had problems with it. It would only feed and shoot +P ball with no malfunctions.

I polished the feed ramp and the chamber, then added a Mec-Gar magazine. The Mec-Gar allows the rounds to sit higher and they don't even contact the frame part of the ramp when feeding.

That was the extent of making things run. I did add a target guide rod because it had a frame buff, new grips, and skateboard tape, but that was just just longevity and ergonomics stuff.

At any rate, I've since dropped it in snow, sand, mud, etc. I would shake it out, shoot a couple rounds, then be on my way. It did get a thorough cleaning when I got back to the house.

At any rate, I've not had the first problem out of it since I did the reliability stuff and figured out the POA = POI.

I've been hearing all sorts of horror stories however, and they're making me curious.

What's the deal with this design?

Thanks all,

Josh <><
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I bought a Taurus PT99 AFS a little while back.
I haven't had a chance to get any hi cap magazines for it yet but the factory 10 round mag and the pistol have been 100% with a few hundred rounds of many different brands of ammo and reloads.

WW Box turned out to be the most accurate, so I bought another 1,000 rounds to run through it.

The accuracy isn't great but the way the back of the barrel is loosely dove tailed into the frame doesn't make for outstanding accuracy.
It's good enough for plinking or leaving in the car.

Until it goes through a couple thousand rounds I can't say how I think it will hold up on the long haul.
Hello. If interested, here are some personal observations with an older PT-92:


Mr. Camp,

Thank you for the link. I've read it a couple times but it's good reading each time I get a mind to do so.

I will affirm that the magazines between the Beretta and Taurus are not interchangeable without a bit of work. The Beretta has a much narrower notch and must be filed, carefully, checking for fit every couple strokes. It can then be used in the Taurus. In fact, I did this, and this is my backup magazine.

I keep forgetting about the magazine catch. I promised you pics of how to reverse it and every time I have access to the good digicam I just space it. The digicam I have here is only good to 3'+.

Thank you again, and I will try my best to remember those pics.

Josh <><
Hi there Josh,

The very first handgun I ever bought was a Smith and Wesson Model 58 and the second a Taurus PT-92.

I cannot recall ever having any specific problems with the Taurus Model 92, but back in those days I was an occasional plinker and target shooter with it. It always shot to POA/POI and to the best of my knowledge never malfunctioned unless the magazine was not fully seated.
(Some of the aftermarket mags had a tightly fitted magazine catch slot).

I eventually traded it for a Springfield Armory 1911 A1 when the opportunity presented itself.

I have read about more serious issues with the design from our Military overseas using the M-9.

Personal oppinion here: I think they make great "clean environment" guns. With the nice, long barrel and crisp S/A trigger pull, both can be fantastic on the target range. I prefer the Taurus platform for it's frame mounted safety/decocker.
That being said, I absolutely will not trust my life to either if there is any better option I can pick. Too many factors play into making them go BANG when the trigger is pulled. That translates to a hell of a lot of things that can go wrong. In a "dirty/ real world environment" they just can't stay clean. I know that there are a lot of BP Agents out there with Beretta 96 Centurions who might argue the opposite. For them, I refer to my opening statement.
I think the platform is just fine as a personal weapon. A guy at my club has a new Taurus, and I have shot it some. It seems like a nice pistol.

I don't like it as a military sidearm. I prefer something much more simple for that.

Beretta is supposed to be introducing a 92 with the frame mounted decokcer if they have not already done so.

Thank you for the responses thus far.

Josh <><
When the argument was being put forth about changing from the 1911, part of it was that the old 45 was too big for the hands of our many female soldiers. I never understood, then, why the government adoped something so d**n big around it feels awkward in my slightly larger than average hands. Getting a good shooting grip from the draw is problematic with this platform. They seem to shoot well. I have heard many more problems reported with the Beretta than the Taurus but my personal experience with both is limited.
Reckon I've owned five or so B-92fs's over the years. They all seemed to work fine, overall. Never had much luck getting them to shoot lead reloads, but with jacketed ammo they seem accurate enough. They never get up to the top of my "gotta keep it" list, but I seem to break even or make money when peddling them off, which spurs me to buy another one down the road.

Seems as though our military has trouble keeping them operational in sandbox environments. Combination of that open-top slide, and some magazine spring issues, perhaps. Can't be sure of that, but some overrun contract mags I've seen for sale at gun shows just seemed to have wimpy springs in 'em. Throw in some sand and it's easy to imagine reliability problems popping up.
It seems that folks cannot dispassionately discuss firearms design. One of the problems is that there is a wide range of experience that each of us bring to the table (speaking of within a design not just over all experience) and the other is that the conditions under which we gain that experience varies greatly.

I have been unintentionally involved with the 92/M9 since 1986. A good friend who I frequently employ as an assistant instructor recently retired as an Armorer and was a combat vetran of the 101st Airborne in Viet Nam. I include some of his armory experience here.

I have owned 3 Beretta 92s. One I gave away to a partner so I am not sure just what the experiences are with it (he does not shoot it much). I briefly had an Elite II but the fat slide prevented using it with standard military equipment and it recoiled noticeably more than the standard 92 so I ditched it....with it I had 4 malfunctions in the first 500 rounds but that could be just break in and that was with the factory 10 round mags which I hardly use. I then installed a regular 92 slide on it.

In 2003 I purchased over a quarter of a million rounds of 9mm ammo and watched military classes fire all of that. 2004 saw a little less. Here are just a few random bits of information (I will try to keep opinion out of it - everyone has an opinion);

The Above mentioned armoer had 500 M9s in his arms room. 100 were older and had approximately 6,000 rounds through them, 400 newer with approximately 3,000 rounds through ea. I happened to ask him on a vist how they were doing and he said of the 500, 135 were depoted due to broken firing pins, cracked locking blocks or cracked slides (only 2 of the latter). I have a sandwhich bag full of broken parts and we gave another one to a retired Colonel who helps to spread the word on firearms maintenance. We can discuss the causes of this later, this is just a fact.

Our first military classes were, frankly, appalling in the number of malfuncitons that we saw with both the M9 and the Colt Commando (the first series of classes was a special unit that had been carrying Commandos that were built by an armorer for 12 years). I finally tasked someone to log each malfunction and the number was almost unbeleivable. I would have to ask him or look back at my notes but the malfunciton rate on the M9 was either one malfunciton every 54 rounds or every 74 rounds - either is simply amaizing!!!! This on a near perfect range day. The only real factor may have been that we were firing 500 rounds a day, much more than these guns are used to. I have an opinion as to why this was happening also but lets stick to facts.

Another problem we see is that a significant number of these pistols have a truly egregious DA trigger pull. I noticed an officer having trouble and attempted to show him how to manage the trigger on his relatively new M9 and I could just barely make the gun go off - we found the mainspring was fully 1/4" longer than the standard spring and the trigger pull went off my 24 lb scale!!!!

Yet another problem is that most soldiers do not seem to be able to disengage the safety without losing their grip. I and several other people can but apparently some folks just cannot due to differences in hand size. This is a *serious* problem. A pistol is a reactive instrument. We were fortunate enough to have the ear of a simpathetic General and he instantly order the pistol to be carried loaded with the safety off.

Still another is that if you use standard remedial measures - which are necessary with this pistol more than some others - you will inadvertently engage the safety/decocker. This too is a serous problem, remedial actions in combat happen at the worst possible moment by definition - having your firearm not work *again* after fixing a malfuncion can easily be fatal!

The weapon is not really repariable in the field by the soldier. It takes an armorer just to fix the firing pin and they really need a vice and a set of pin punches to do it. It is so bad that while some armorers will take the time to repair a firing pin (and I beleive should) they are allowed to send it back to the depot level for this repair.

In older versions the locking blocks were sure to eventually break but that has been fixed by a design change. If you own one make sure it has the newer design because a broken locking block frequently results in a cracked frame. One of Tom Given's range guns broke 7 locking blocks in one year (fortunately they were caught early and the gun was not damaged).

Just to highlight the opening statement about experience, while I have seen all of these problems, the two guns I use are reliable (one has had no malfuncitons and the other about 1 in every 1,000 rounds). But I know how to clean it. One of my staff's guns which is one of the new issue General Officers M9s, had indeed malfunctioned (it also had about a 20lb trigger - so much for special issue :-/). After we learned how to maintain them (which is *Not* the Army way) we poured dust, coffegrounds and all manner of stuff on it, brushed it off and as of now it has fired some 5500 rounds without malfunciton or cleaning. If the only pistols I had seen were mine and this other one then I would think it was a great design also.

Also, all is not bleak, our military classes are down to about 5 malfuncitons in every 1,000 rounds since we do a maintenance secton before we go to the range.

BTW, you do know that it is essentially a P-38 right?

Just some random experiences.

Best of luck,
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Jim, I for one would be very interested in the opinion of someone as experienced as you are.

First off, I don't want to give the wrong impression. My experience in this regard is almost by accident - I was sort of "drafted" :-[

What we found was that a "comedy of errors" contributed to this situation (there was a similar happening with the 1911a1 back in the early 80's).

The guns we were seeing here, were very well cleaned and lubed according to the practice of that service's doctrine (meaning lightly lubed).

The real culprit (complicated by the design of the M9) was that at some point the old CLP - "Cleaner - Lubricant - Protectant " (that's the Army way of getting three lies for the price of one ;)) was changed from the old stuff manufactured by Break-Free (which was not all that great a cleaner but it was a good lube!). This stuff is much thinner and it is a very poor lube. It works for a while but after about 100 to 200 rounds you could actually hear the guns "squeek" if you ran the slide manually....anyone who has used an M9 knows it is known for smoothness...well not after this new stuff is applied.

We cleaned the guns thoroughly and applied TW-25b grease the way it is supposed to be (well we did not heat the guns up) - which means to remove any excess. They then run for quite a while though a few get balky at about the end of the 500 round day and have to have a shot of TW25b spray. I feel sure any other modern high tech lube like Militech or Tri-Flow or Ultimalube would work also.

The new locking block has little rounded cuts on the inside corners. Also be sure to lube the locking surfaces and its pivot point!

On my guns I replace the mainspring with a Nowlin 21 lb 1911 mainspring - some use the 19lb but it is not as reliable in ignition with some really junky foreign ammo. This results in a trigger pull roughly equivalent to the Langdon custom trigger but that one has an overtravel stop that is well worthwhile. If you have a military gun you will have to live with it - though we were able to do something through "semi- official" channels (some Generals do have an account with Brownells ;) ) for one group going to Afghanistan.

There is a Border Patrol mod to the trigger return spring which replaces the "mousetrap" spring that comes in the gun with a coil spring and plunger. I prefer the heavier of the two springs available from Brownells but to be honest, I can live witht the factory piece.

*Do not Dry Fire* the M9 wihtout a snap cap or piece of empty brass in the chamber - almost all broken firing pins come from this. I have seen firing pins broken in as many as 4 pieces form repeated inapropriate dry fire. Decocking blocks the hammer and is no problem.

A common problem is magainzes. The original Beretta mags are best but there is a cleaning and assembly problem also....people get the spring back in wrong. Look for the end of the loop of the spring in the little window at the top of the mag where the slide stop would engage the follower....if it is not there the spring is in backwards.

Keep it clean, inspect it frequently (Somewhere I have a copy of an Army PM magazine article that says : "Your M9 will develop cracks, it is a question of when"). Watch the left side of the slide right at the little trademark oval. Watch the locking block corners. Watch the square cuts in the frame.

The little "slide catcher" does work if your slide does break but they should never reach that point if you check.

Make sure the little star washer is under *every* grip screw - else they enter the mag well and drag on the magazine.

Never load 16 rounds in the mag!!!!

Learn to manupulate the lide *underhanded* to avoid inadvertently actuating the safety.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.


PS, I have no idea how many of the problems transfer over to the Taurus - obviously the safety is different.
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Thanks, Jim. Very informative.
Hello all and thank you for the replies.

Something I'm noticing is that it seems that the civilian version of the Beretta 92 is different, and better in consistant quality, than the military version. That bothers me to no end. I would not want to go into the field with one.

I've mainly looked at Taurus, but the Berettas I've looked at, and in some cases fired, at gunshops just don't exhibit these problems even when heavily used by the previous owner.

I do have a partial solution to the locking block however, Mr. H. They need to be replaced every 5,000 rounds. This is considered normal maintenence on these pistols.

I was aware that the design borrowed heavily from the P38. In fact I almost bought a WWII P38 just to see how similar... but that's for another post.

What is this grease you're speaking of sir? I don't know the designation. I've actually thought about using a bit of automotive bearing grease to see how it worked but since this is my carry gun I don't want to experiment too much with it. I use Gunslick on the rails and locking block and it works very well.

Josh <><
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TW25b is manufactured by Mil-Comm and is indeed in the federal supply system it has just taken a while to educate those in service.

It can be obtained for us normal folks through Kleen Bore products (they list it under the same designation just post their logo prominently on the tube).

They also market "High Tech Oil" which is Mil-comm 2500 in liquid form. Good stuff too for normal use but in a really sandy environment the grease (which is wiped off to leave a gun that appears dry after application) is the way to go.

Good luck!

I was in the "Store" yesterday and picked up a Taurus Model 92 in blued finish and almost bought it on the spot.

I was really impressed with the slide/frame fit, and the smoothness of the pistol. It also featured an ambidexterous (sp?) safety, but since I was in a bit of a hurry and a little saddle sore from riding a horse on a friend's ranch for over 2 hours for the first time in about 25 years, I told the salesman that I would think about it and went home.

Honestly, for my purposes I like the Taurus over the Beretta because of the single action carry feature and the way it fits my hands. I shoot the Taurus accurately and given my particular environ's don't have to worry about failures due to sand/dust/excessive moisture. I wish they had the gun I looked at in stainless though.

As another bonus, with Taurus's lifetime repair warranty, I don't have to worry about replacing worn/failed parts.

Hello All,

Interesting posts on a steamy subject...

My experience on Beretta's is limited to 3 92s:

- one 92SB Compact that I sold after after a few hundreds rounds to an avid collector: nice gun with shiny blue finish and wood grips, no malfunctions if memory serves.

- two 92FS Compact, both made in about 1995: perfectly reliable, all metal parts, nice guns too. In both cases I finished by selling them to make cash for something other.

In short: good guns, very well made - I would rate them just under german pistols as SIG Sauer, Walther and HK - reliable in range conditions at the least, manageable triggers and grips - I have large hands. On the negative, they are blocky, the safety-decocker lever isn't very usable and the sights are on the small side for a modern weapon.

My only experience with Taurus is very negative: a PT-908 - single stack compact 9 mm similar to a SIG Sauer P225. The fit between slide and frame was horrible and the barrel was so badly unsupported that the shells were terribly buldged at the belly. The dealer didn't take it back as long as the shells didn't explode and the importer told me to negociate with the dealer... So I said bye bye to the guy and to Taurus and its "lifetime warranty".

I should have been smarter: the Taurus catalogue was to nice...

About P38 and Beretta 92: the Walther has a 60-years long rep of reliability in extreme environnements... and it shares only its locking block and safety-decocker lever with the Ber'


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I bought a new blue Taurus PT-92 a while back that I really like a lot. I don't often carry it because it is a full size pistol that is bit harder to conceal, but I did today and it is surprisingly comfortable to tote for a big gun. I have had zero problems in the few hundred rounds of FMJ and JHP fired to date.

The three things about the PT-92 that I like better than the Beretta 92 are the frame mounted safety, the straight front strap, and the much lower price.
I looked at a Taurus last week, along with a 92fs. The Taurus to me felt ok, but it just did not have the same feel to it as the Beretta, so I bought the Beretta.
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