Monday, May 7, 2012

The Civilian M9 Pistol

In a few of my videos I've mentioned my "M9 pistol" which always causes a stir in the comments section.  Posters will question the pedigree of the pistol I'm talking about and in some cases inform me that what I have is a Model 92 and not a real M9.

Left Side Markings
In the late 1990's Beretta released a special edition M9 pistol.  It came packaged in a camouflaged box with a web bet, holster, pistol, spare magazine pouch, a patch and a certificate of authenticity.  Only a couple thousand of these peoples were produced.  These pistols were unique in that the markings were identical to military contract M9's of the period.  The only difference between these pistols and the military M9 was the prefix on the serial number.

Beretta only made one run of these "real" M9 pistols.  Rumor has it that the DoD doesn't want military marked M9's in circulation on the civilian market.  Beretta has continued to make and sell Model 92 pistols that are marked M9, however they lack the proper military markings and are easily spotted as civilian pistols.

Markings on Hammer
In the 1990's the M9 military contract pistols had very specific markings.  They also made use of all steel components.  Later M9 military contract pistols would use polymer in parts such as the guide rod, trigger and hammer drop safety lever.

To identify a M9 pistol with military correct markings you'll need to look in a couple of different places on the handgun.

On the left side of the slide you will find markings that read, "U.S. 9mm M9 - BERETTA U.S.A. - xxxxx"  The xxxxx will be the last five digits of an assembly number found on the right side of the slide.  On the left side of the hammer you will find the last 4 digits of the assembly number and right above it you will find a cage number.  Just below the assembly number you will see a large C.

Proof Mark
On the right side of the slide you will find the assembly number in this format:  "ASSY xxxxxxx-xxxxx".  Just after the assembly number, you will find a proof mark - "PM" stamped into the slide.  This PM will be through the finish leaving bare metal visible.  This PM is stamped into the pistol after it has been completely assembled and finished and is only placed on the pistol after it passes final testing.  You will not find this PM mark on any other civilian M9 pistol except for this one special edition M9.

On the right side of the frame you will find, "U.S. 9mm M9 - BERETTA U.S.A - xxxxx"  The xxxxx will be the last 5 digits of the assembly number.

The pistols will also feature the original dot front sight and half-moon rear sight.

The only difference between the special edition M9 and the military M9 of the period will be the serial number.  The special edition M9 will have the "M9 - xxxx" prefix.

Contrary to popular belief, military M9 don't have "Property of the US Gov." markings on them.

In essence I have one of the few real M9 pistols in circulation.  I used to own two of them but sold one several years ago.  Of course I kick myself every day for selling it.