I'm on the verge of getting a Beretta 92, primarily for target fun, but home security is relevant too. I want a 9mm, something reliable and accurate, made of actual metal, and won't break the bank. Can anybody talk me out of this and into something else? Made in USA gets a few extra points, too...
--Please consider same price range as a limiting factor--
Ready, set, GO!
I say if you like the gun and want it get it. I can't say anything bad about it I just wouldn't want it to pack it everyday. They are on the heavy side to me anyway. Now for a day out in the woods I wouldn't care.
I've got a Beretta 96 and it's a pretty nice gun, and it has been extremely reliable. I don't shoot it much anymore, but I'm hanging on to it (it's an Inox) because it's the first gun I'd ever bought. It's probably the smoothest operating gun I've ever owned, that's for sure. It just feels really nice to operate. I don't shoot it as accurately as I do my other guns, but it's probably just me. As an alternative, you could consider a CZ or CZ clone...I just bought a Baby Eagle and my, oh my, it's a nail driver!! It's quite a bit heavier (steel frame version) than the Beretta, but it makes an awesome range gun, and 17+1 (9mm) is nice too! It also has the exact features as the Beretta- DA/SA, decocker, safety. I'd say you should try to find one to rent before you buy one.
if you have tried one out and it works for you, buy it. i love my 92 and have topped 40,000 rounds without a jam. i would easily trust my life with it.
The Beretta 92 is awfully hard to beat. Sure, people could argue that it's big and heavy for a 9mm. Both are true, but unless you want a deep concealment piece, they're not important. On the plus side, you can't beat their reliability, combat accuracy, or capacity (18 rounds with flush-fit Mec-Gar magazines).
One suggestion: while you're looking at Beretta 92s, try to find a NIB "Police" model. The Police model is a standard 92FS, but it comes from the factory with night sights and three 15-round magazines (instead of two). I'm a big SIG fan, but I'll put my 92FS in the same league for self-defense any time.
Besides all that, on a purely subjective note and with all due respect to my Kimber 1911 and six SIGs, I think the 92FS is the "sexiest" looking handgun ever designed. But that's me.
Thanks for all the great feedback - I'm leaning towards the 92, but CZ75 is on my radar screen as well. I'll have to see what my dealers have (transfer fees are steep around here...75$ is the cheapest; 100$ is not unusual). Dealer markup can be rough as well. Norther CA. is not the cheapest place to buy guns, it would seem. Or, I don't yet know how to find the good deals.
Anyhoo, this is very helpful. All you grumpy Beretta-haters, feel free to chime in too
Man, those transfer fees are outrageous. Try to find a pawn shop with an FFL - I hear they're often more reasonable than dealers. I do my transfers with two different gunshops here in my part of AZ, and they both charge me just $20.
I carry an issue M9 every day. It is totally reliable. It does have downsides, however:
1. The grip is huge. In fact, the gun itself is gigantic for a 9mm, and very "size inefficient."
2. The safety/decocker works backwards (like all guns based on the old Walther design).
3. The sights are smallish.
4. The DA trigger reach is long.
5. The trigger action overall is just so-so.
I just checked the FFL transfer page for Cali in the Shotgun News. Wow, you're right about the fees being high. There are some as low as $25, but I wouldn't know one end of Cali from the other. Anyway, here's the page. Good luck.
Click here: http://listings.shotgunnews.com/findfflguide
Again, thanks for the feedback. Drummin Man, I checked your link for FFLs in CA and wouldn't you believe it - one of the <unnamed> dealers who told me their transfer fee is $100 is shown as less than 25$ on that list! Very informative. It will influence my decision. I knew this was the right group of people to ask!
It was a hard choice. I wanted either the M9 or a CZ75B. The Beretta was a bit more, but I also like it a bit more. Now the dreaded 10-day wait begins (CA law)....gosh those 10 days feel like an eternity!
kingairdriver, what is the total length of the baby eagle?