Dating back to 1814, and as such predating modern Italy, the Carabinieri are that country’s famous national gendarmerie force.
Long equipped with Beretta-made sub guns, LMGs, rifles, and handguns, the force has always been well-armed. Back in WWII, they used the M934 Beretta in 9mm Corto (.380ACP), replacing it in the 1950s with Beretta’s popular M1951 Brigadier series in 9mm Para. That gun, a single-stack 8-shot locked breech, short-recoil semi-auto, was modified and given a double-stack magazine, making the Beretta 92 that we know today.
Adopted by the Carabinieri in the 1970s, the early 92S is much the same as today’s 92FS, with the exception of some minor internal differences and the same M1951-style magazine release button located towards the bottom of the left-side grip.
Replaced by more modern versions, these retired gendarmerie guns were imported in big numbers to the U.S. in the past couple of years.
Sure, they are 30~ years old, but the average LE handgun is only fired 2-4 times a year (if it is issued) for qualification and familiarization, with the round count likely at the 200-ish mark per annum. That translates to about 6,000 rounds downrange over a three-decade service life (if it was issued for all 30 of those years.) Even if you double that, you are only looking at 12K rounds. As the average durability of Beretta M9 slides is over 35,000 rounds, frames are over 30,000 rounds, and locking blocks are 22,000 rounds, they are only about a third of the way through their likely lifespan.
I picked up a few from SOG last fall (before they went out of business!) for sub-$300 and spent the better part of the day on Sunday giving one of these beaters a workout.
In all, I put some 250 rounds of Winchester White Box 124 grain FMJ (if it makes it with WWB, it will make it with anything, lol!) through it with (zero) malfunctions.
Last month at SHOT Show, I talked to Marine, champion shooter and firearms instructor Ernest Langdon spent a year of his life running up the rounds on a Beretta 9mm that just wouldn’t die. Langdon (who has won national and world championships with Berettas) is well known on the training circuit and he is a very gregarious guy. However, his recent Beretta journey wore on his nerves a bit.
You see, he ran 50,000 rounds through a PX4, and it still works after some routine maitenance of sorts.
“That’s a lot more ammo than most people realize,” said Langdon, who dutifully put box after box through the handgun under all conditions.
More in my column at Guns.com.
I’ve been corresponding with Eric B., who reached out to fill in the blanks on a version of the M1951 rarely seen outside of the sandbox — the Beretta-licensed Iraqi Tariq pistol.
Made by Al-Qadisiyyah in great numbers, many Americans who have served in CENTCOM have encountered one of these so-called “Saddam Berettas” but only a small handful have made it over to the states and Eric was lucky enough to acquire one.
The guns are kinda clunky for U.S. users familiar with a Beretta 92/M9, as they have a single stack mag, use a heel-mounted release for the same, and suffer from a lack of Western quality control.
More, including a bunch of photos, in my column at Guns.com
With the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract now firmly in the hands of Sig Sauer, images of Glock’s entry for the M17 and M18 pistol have emerged and they have a number of differences from their standard offerings.
These include a lanyard ring at the bottom of the grip, black ambi surface controls, a lack of finger grooves, a manual thumb safety, extended mags, and a flat dark earth finish. The models offered outwardly seem like otherwise variants of the Gen 4 G19 in 9mm and G23 in .40S&W. Not pictured are threaded barrels, a contract requirement, or ammunition, which was provided by Federal.
The Government Accountability Office on Friday released the detailed decision on a contract protest by Glock over the Army’s selection for the Modular Handgun System contract.
The 17-page decision chronicled the Army’s efforts between August 2015 and August 2016 when the field of nine proposals from five companies was reduced to an offering by Glock and another, ultimately winning bid, by Sig Sauer. The difference between the two bids was a staggering $100 million.
In the end, Sig quoted $169.5 million for up to 550,000 M17/18 handgun systems, or just $308 per pistol, which is a deal when you take into account the amount of spare parts, mags, cleaning kits, and cases that are included.
Glock on the other hand was a lot higher.
The St. Louis Metro Police Department is parting with most of its huge and historic Thompson submachine gun collection in a move to get a good deal on new duty guns.
Twenty-seven of the city’s 30 Tommy guns will be sold to Midwest Distributors for $22,000 apiece. All told, the Kentucky-based firm will pay $618,500 for the transferrable .45 ACP s sub guns and some other surplus weapons. This is on top of $597,000 paid by Minneapolis-based Bill Hicks & Co. for 1,748 used Beretta handguns currently carried by the department.
The money will go to offset the cost of new Berettas at $450 a pop to equip every officer with as well as a quantity of AR-15s to be used as patrol rifles.