Beretta 92F Compact 9mm
By Dan S.
The Beretta 92F Compact, which we'll refer to as the
92FC, is a close cousin of the now famous, US Army
version called the Beretta M9 and civilian Beretta 92F.
We'll take a look at this 9mm self-defense carry
handgun, examine it closely, add information about
detailed range testing and concealed carry application,
and finally offer a conclusion for its suitability for
The Beretta 92FC is a smaller, lighter version of the
military Beretta M9. As often seen with compact
handguns, the magazine capacity is smaller than the full
size version and in this case, the 92FC offers 13 rounds
of 9mm ammo in the magazine and an optional round in the
chamber for a total of fourteen, 9mm self-defense
rounds, which for a compact is quite a bit of fire
The 92FC has fixed, white dot sights which shoot to
point of aim and are easy to find during target
acquisition. The grip is made from checkered wood, which
offers good traction, even with wet or sweaty hands and
gives this handgun a more classic look. There are
several types of aftermarket grips that can be used on
the Beretta 92FC but we found wood grips to be
functional and handsome. The 92FC, as the M9 and 92F
versions, can fire in double action or single action. It
has a de-cocker lever, which means that you can safely
lower the hammer on a live, chambered round with
I added relative not because of any mechanical flaw in
this handgun, but rather because we always treat every
handgun as if it was loaded, and we never trust any
mechanical device, to override the four basic safety
rules. Wen shooting double action, we find the 92FC
trigger to be quite heavy, with significant over travel
and creep, but more on that in the range session
section. The magazine release is well situated and
easily accessible without changing the grip on the
handgun and overall quality is very good.
The Beretta 92FC handgun performed well at the range.
Accuracy was above average and more than sufficient for
self-defense applications. Despite being a compact
model, it is easy to get a full, good grip on the 92FC.
With soft shooting 9mm ammunition recoil is very mild
and the fact that the 92FC is built from steel rather
than Polymer, works to dampen what little recoil is
The trigger on the 92FC gets mixed marks. In double
action, the trigger is too long and has too much
over-travel and creep. When you pull the trigger, it
feels that it travels forever and a day before breaking.
We have fired many handguns with double action triggers
(e.g. SIG SAUER P220, P226 and P229) and even double
action only revolvers (e.g. S&W J Frame), with better
factory triggers, still it is manageable and a dedicated
shooter ought to be able to master it with a few hours
of dry fire. The single action function on the other
hand works well and it is relatively smooth. The biggest
single problem we had, and the reason we opted not to
carry this handgun was the safety.
As with the other Beretta models of this line, the
safety is situated on the slide, and not on the frame.
We found it too easy, and indeed too often possible, to
engage the safety by mistake and therefore fail to fire.
It was both annoying and in our view dangerous design,
that can hinder new or even experienced shooters who
don't invest significant effort in learning how to work
with this Beretta model. We know this last statement
could be seen as controversial, and we'll simply say
that we highly recommend you test shoot this handgun,
before buying one.
The Beretta 92FC seemed to like any type of ammunition.
Be it cheap import ammo or good US made range and
self-defense rounds, the 92FC took them all and worked
perfectly with them. It seemed to prefer Winchester
Ranger Bonded 147gr ammo as far as accuracy but did well
with Speer and Federal too. All in all, this handgun
gets good marks on reliability and it ran properly when
clean and also dirty, with about 300 rounds through it.
In summary, this is a reliable and accurate handgun. It
offers good weight and size ratio to ammo capacity and
accuracy. It is easy to conceal and easy to carry and
had not been for the slide based safety, we would have
warmly recommend this handgun to new shooters. As
designed, it will take practice to enjoy the benefit
this handgun offers, without the risk of accidental
safety engagement. If you like the Beretta brand and if
you are willing to learn how to use this handgun, we
suggest you give it a good look, and a thorough range
test run, to see if it may be right for you.
Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!
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© Rational Self Defense, 2010