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  1. #1
    necrofuhrer's Avatar
    necrofuhrer is offline Junior Member
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    Italian vs. USA Corp

    I recently joined this forum with the intention on getting a few opinions on the Berretta 92. I am considering purchasing this gun, I've held both the Italian and USA versions although I have shot niether. I hear from 50% of the shooters I have talked to that USA is the way to go and the other 50% say Italian is best. I have yet to find an Italian model in any local gun stores although I'm sure I can have one ordered. So what I would like to know is whether it is worth going through the hassle of ordering through an FFL for an Italian model or should I just get a USA corp off the counter from a dealer?

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  3. #2
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    My unit has a mix of Italian and USA-made M9s. The Italian guns seem a little smoother, but it may be simply that they are older and more "broken in." When I bought a 92FS for personal pre-deployment training, I got an Italian gun, just because it was what the dealer had in his case. It was very well-made.

    As a practical matter, I think there is zero difference between the two. Both will be more than accurate enough for the gun's intended purpose (fighting) and utterly reliable. I'd just get the one your dealer has in stock.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  4. #3
    babs's Avatar
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    Sometimes choices make tough decisions.. resurrecting the Italian vs US versions of the 92FS..

    Looks like Bud's has Italian versions and a US "Police Special" version.. whatever that means:

    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/39954
    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...s_id/411534858

    I'm guessing pound for pound the police special US version would be the better deal as it comes with 3 mags, but.. some of the guys on the beretta forum are big Italian version fans for possibly just reasons of collectibility, or possibly other.

    Your thoughts Beretta guys?

    I have to admit, that time I spent with the used Inox FS made me appreciate it's simplicity and it did to appear to be a well built gun.. and considering that I was thinking of buying that weapon near the price of these new guns, they're worth consideration.. and I know fairly well what to expect with them now... I likey.

    I finally got a chance to check out a PT92 Taurus and I can definitely say the Beretta felt like a far more well-finished weapon.. smoother slide, trigger, action.. all around.. There was play in the barrel at the end of the slide where the beretta version was locked down tight.. I believe the Beretta to be a far superior gun.. WITH oem Beretta mags, as I've come to learn.

  5. #4
    flugzeug is offline Junior Member
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    I believe there is a "mystic" out there in Beretta World that the Italian version is better, but having owned both, I personally think they are equal in all respects.
    Having the 92 model as our official US sidearm, Beretta made sure of it.

  6. #5
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by flugzeug View Post
    Having the 92 model as our official US sidearm, Beretta made sure of it.
    Bullsh^t. If only you knew about Beretta's M9 shenanigans....

    US Army JSSAP trials selected 92SBF (aka 92F) to be the M9. Subsequently it appears that Beretta sent 'ringers' for the trials, later cut costs in production resulting in rampant slide failures. Army tests for slide failures using randomly selected production Berettas revealed every 92SBF/92F tested had slide failures at low round counts. After getting caught, Beretta redesigned the 92SBF/92F into the 92FS. Unlike the 92SBF/92F, the 92FS is a reliable, durable gun.

    All M9s in use today are based on the 92FS. Newer M9s are made in Maryland.

    Quoting from September 1988 GAO report (http://archive.gao.gov/d16t6/136824.pdf), Quality and Safety Problems with the Beretta M9 Handgun.


    The first laboratory slide failure, which occurred on February 8, 1988, involved an Army M9 firing NAKI standard U.S.-produced M882 ammunition. This weapon was one of three M9 handguns being tested for problems related to the barrel. As part of the test, all three weapons had been inspected after 6,000 rounds using a scanning election microscope (SEM) or magnetic particle inspection (MPI) process, and there were no indications of slide cracks. When the M9 slide failure occurred at 6,007 rounds, the broken slide and the slides on the other two test weapons were removed for metallurgical evaluation. The evaluation showed that one of the other slides also had fatigue cracks. This evaluation marked the beginning of an Army slide failure test program to determine why the failures had occurred.

    The Army replaced the slides on the three weapons and continued to fire the M9s, using NATO standard ammunition, until each broke. One slide failed at 4,908 rounds, another failed at 21,942 rounds, and the third failed at 21.486 rounds.

    The next grouping test results for four other weapons: one M9 and three Army-owned commercial (92SBF) handguns. The slide on the M9 failed after 7,806 rounds, and the slides on the three 92SBFs failed at 17,408, 21,264, and 24,656 rounds.

    In 1985, the Army acquired three commercial 92SBFs for testing to determine which part would fail first. The first part to fail was a barrel. After the barrel failed, the Army suspended testing and inspected the weapons using an WI process. The inspection showed slide cracks on all three weapons. Because slides are considered spare parts and there had not been any slide failures at that point in time, the cracked slides did not raise any specific concerns.

    The final grouping of weapons involved three M9s that were being tested as part of an annual comparison test. After the weapons were fired 10,000 rounds, the slides were inspected using the MPI process and one slide was cracked. The Army decided to fire all three weapons until the slides failed. Slide failure occurred at the 23,310 round mark on one weapon, 30,083 on another weapon, and 30,545 on the third weapon.

  7. #6
    flugzeug is offline Junior Member
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    Your point is taken submoa. I don't disagree, but the question pertains to 2008, and not 1988. Current production is different, and the question is either Italian or American 92FS.
    The history of the US trial results were based on Italy's support of Nato. The Sig 226 was ruled out in part for political reasons.
    Again, I agree with you over the low quality control on initial models for the military, but today's Beretta 92/96FS is a fine firearm, and the American version is as good as the Italian, IMHO.

  8. #7
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by flugzeug View Post
    Your point is taken submoa. I don't disagree, but the question pertains to 2008, and not 1988. Current production is different, and the question is either Italian or American 92FS.
    The history of the US trial results were based on Italy's support of Nato. The Sig 226 was ruled out in part for political reasons.
    Again, I agree with you over the low quality control on initial models for the military, but today's Beretta 92/96FS is a fine firearm, and the American version is as good as the Italian, IMHO.
    There should not be automatically greater trust and credibility associated with military standardization on a manufacturer's product. As stated in my post, the 92FS is a fine firearm. Accurate and reliable. Avoid 92F model at all costs.

    Returning to topic of current American vs. Italian 92FS. Almost no difference between them. Slightly older guns will have all metal parts. Newer guns will have plastic guide rod, right side safety lever,etc. Italian made magazines have an extra hole cut out on the lower left side, the US made ones do not.

    Italian Berettas are manufactured using Mi-Val machines, a company owned by Beretta Holding. The Italian manufacturing process utilizes more manual operations than the updated US factory.

    The US factory recently installed 10 new Mitsui Seiki HU40A horizontal machining centers. The machining cells are linked by a Fastems elevator transfer system, and control software moves the pallets from one machining cell to the next. The company has the ability to machine 12 parts in 10 minutes. According to the HU40A machine specifications, a 28 percent larger work volume and 50 percent faster speeds are achieved compared to previous models to reduce noncut time and improve productivity. Five spindle configurations, ranging from 8,000 rpm to 40,000 rpm, are available. For the M9 the company uses a 15,000-rpm spindle when machining aluminum and an 8,000-rpm spindle speed to machine steel. The manufacturer promises a 99.73 percent turn-boring accuracy under tight tolerances. The three-point bed support maintains machine stability to eliminate potential distortion. A four-point taper-cone design is used for repeatability at maximum Z-axis thrust force loads. Oil and air cooling/lubrication on the ballscrews enables the 1,400-ipm rapid-transverse rate. All axes and way surfaces are hand scraped with each slideway surface straight within 0.0000001 of an inch for machine positioning accuracy. A cam-driven, highspeed ATC changes tools in 1.5 seconds and an automatic rotating pallet changer exchanges loaded pallets in 5 seconds.

    Beretta machines its own steel barrels, steel slides and aluminum frames from materials sourced in the United States through companies such as Kaiser Aluminum Corp. and Mueller Industries Inc., a supplier of copper and brass. Beretta purchases forged carbon steel bar stock and saws it for barrel machining. The bar shape creates less waste than round steel rods. Machinists drill a blank then rifle it using the cut broach method on a Varinelli machine. For the frame, three pieces of rough forged steel are milled on both sides in a Mgerle creepfeed grinder in one minute, machined on three sides in the Mitsui Seiki machines and returned for cosmetic finish grinding. No stamped components or welds are required.

    The pieces are sent to a marking area where Rofin laser-marking equipment and roll-marking machines create the logo, serial number and model number, and travel to the polishing department where sandpaper belts are used to make the outside diameter smooth. Ceramic media is used in deburring machines to remove burrs and round the corners. The metal parts are heat treated and finished. A clear or black anodized surface or chrome plating is given to aluminum, and black oxide ("bluing") of the steel barrel and small parts occurs.

    The slide on largeframed pistols, such as the M9, is phosphated then painted because that finish lasts longer than bluing and is more rugged in a heavy-use, military environment.

    An oven is used to bake the parts at 250 C for 40 minutes to harden the paint for durability and long life. Though not all firearms manufacturers do this, even parts provided by outside vendors are heat treated in a separate oven at different temperatures, depending on the heat required to change the chemical composition of the metal being treated since it is critical to the performance of the weapon.

    The components are moved to assembly lines. Since M9 parts are interchangeable due to the tolerances required, no drilling, milling or fitting is necessary. After assembly, each weapon is put through a running machine, which dry fires the gun without ammunition for 300 cycles to break it in and to guarantee it works mechanically. The gun moves from the assembly department to the quality department that puts the weapon on a force gage to straight pull the trigger with minimum (light pull) and maximum (heavy pull) weight to make the gun shoot. The amount of force used differs for each model tested.

    If the weapon passes, it moves to the production firing range where a high-pressure proof round, which provides 1.3 times the pressure of a standard round, is chambered and shot into a gun trap through a hole in the wall. Random representative sample weapon is disassembled and given a magparticle inspection for cracks or flaws. If none are found, it is function tested in a black-box machine with a full round and given a mounted and scoped targeting and accuracy test with three-to five-shot groups. Finally, the gun is packaged.

    If you want Italian craftsmanship, get the Italian. If you value computer numerically controlled production, buy US.

  9. #8
    SovietPirate's Avatar
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by submoa View Post
    Avoid 92F model at all costs.
    Hi, I joined these forums just so I could reply and say that I must disagree with that statement.

    I have a November of '89 model 92F and a friend has one made in '86. Both are US made and have had thousands of rounds through them. Not one single malfunction in mine, and only a handful in his due to crappy ammunition. I have taken mine to the gunsmith to have it checked because I've heard as you stated above, to "stay away from the 92f." The gunsmith said there was no signs of cracks, or excessive wear...ANYWHERE.

    While some 92f's may have had problems, certainly not all of them are bad. Hell, I've seen Glocks jams ever other round, and I've also seen broken rails on a Glock. Does this mean avoid Glocks? NO! it means that out of hundreds of thousands, a FEW WILL be inferior, not all.

    Happy Shooting,
    Bryan

  10. #9
    babs's Avatar
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    Sorry don't have the link but read in maybe one or two places on the web those very early issues were due to a metallurgy issue with "some" of the early slides.. something to do with a batch of slides going or coming from french market models or something either near or remote to that statement.. Sorry I can't remember.

    But point being, it strikes me as a small isolated thing to early trail or service models, but since going the 9mm had so much animosity it got blown waaaaaay out of proportion to even some sayings like "you're not a SEAL until you've tasted Italian steel" etc. I take little stock in it.

    If I had an old 92 and she was a reliable shooter, I would not sweat anything a bit as long as the pistol is well maintained and loved.

  11. #10
    SovietPirate's Avatar
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    Oh trust me, they're loved and cleaned every other day whether they need it or not!

  12. #11
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovietPirate View Post
    Hi, I joined these forums just so I could reply and say that I must disagree with that statement.
    Welcome. Give it time.

    Quote Originally Posted by babs View Post
    those very early issues were due to a metallurgy issue with "some" of the early slides..
    Read the quote taken out of the GAO report included in my earlier post (#5 in this thread) if you can't use the included link to the actual government report. Every randomly selected production 92SBF/92F tested by the Army had slide failures. Avoid 92F.

    One contributing factor in low round count slide failure was the use of tellurium (Te) as an additive to control sulphide shape resulted in low fracture toughness. Non-Te slides still failed in testing, but at higher round counts. Beretta's official response is that 9mm NATO loads are 'hotter' than spec. Shortly thereafter, Beretta introduced the 92FS. Go figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by babs View Post
    "you're not a SEAL until you've tasted Italian steel"
    The whole issue of slide failures came about because of injuries sustained by SEALs in the field using 92F. SEALs have not used M9 since. Aside from indigenous weapons, current sidearm for SEAL is M11 (SIG 226) or HK Mk23. In fact SIG markets their P226 Navy as the SEAL gun.

    Any real operator will reach for a battle rifle before a sidearm.

  13. #12
    TcRoc's Avatar
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    This right here is what a 92 is all about

    I love this dam gun and
    Sorry I just love throwing this picture around

  14. #13
    SovietPirate's Avatar
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    Here's my 92F..



  15. #14
    Tophog is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not a Beretta pro by any stretch. I have an original model 92. I don't believe it is an SB or any other designation. It was made in 1975, in Italy. I've had it for over 20 years.

    I don't think Beretta relaxed on their production when they started producing in the US. They just adapted to get the govt. contract for sidearms.

    If you want a dependable 9mm, go with Beretta. If you want a colletor / occasional shooter weapon, let me know. My priorities have changed, and I would rather not use my original mdl. 92 as a carry weapon. I would hate to drop it or scuff it up just to have a sidearm. (That's what a 1911 is for).

    I'll consider a trade to get a carry weapon vs. a collector.
    Last edited by Tophog; 04-04-2008 at 02:42 AM. Reason: Clarifing message

  16. #15
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I've never owned one but shot a few. I personally didn't like the pistols all that much but that don't make them a good gun. I just after shooting them didn't see what the hoopla was all about. I have a good friend though that shoots one every weekend with my little group of gun people and he has done really well with it. He's had it for years and I have yet to see it not work as it was designed to do.

    I don't think there's any difference in the specs of either so of you want one flip a coin AS for me I'll stick to my 226 Sig and Springer 1911 in 9mm

  17. #16
    babs's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind having one down the road sometime, just to have... Maybe a px4 or 90-Two possibly... but I think it'd be inclined to go with the .40 now that I have the Sig in 9mm.

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