The Beretta M9 served for decades in the US Army. And while the Army might have moved on, Beretta has kept this gun upgraded constantly: The Beretta M9 was adopted by the United States military as its service pistol in 1985. The handgun’s official designation was “Pistol, Semiautomatic, 9mm, M9,” while it was originally introduced by the Italian firearms maker as the Beretta 92FS semi-automatic pistol.
Upgraded as the M9A1 in 2006, it added a one-slot Picatinny rail for mounting lights, lasers and other accessories while also featuring a more aggressive front, backstrap checkering as well as a beveled magazine well for easier reloading. The M9A1 also was offered with Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coated magazines that were developed to address the sandy environments found in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The pistol was again further updated in M9A3, which included a 3-slot Picatinny rail, Earth-tone finish and 17-round magazine. This version, introduced in 2016, also featured removable wrap-around grip that can be swapped between the Vertec-style and former M9 style.
While the U.S. military has adopted the Sig Sauer M17 and M18, and the M9 is being phased out; Beretta has continued to produce the firearm and last month introduced the M9A4 full size version, which offers new modern features including a red-dot optic compatible slide, a beveled magazine well and magazine, which allows for quick changes with one hand regardless of light conditions. In addition, the texturized Vertec-style thin grips are meant to provide a more natural fit for all shooters. The fourth-generation M9 also features the company’s enhanced short reset Xtreme trigger system.
“After several years of feedback, research, and development, we are proud to bring the latest version of the M9 series pistol to the market and show the ultimate evolution of the venerable M9 series,” said Erik Stern, Beretta’s tactical and pro shop product manager. “We are excited to bring the M9A4 to market incorporating the latest advancements in 90 series pistols to date with a red-dot ready slide, an enhanced short reset Xtreme Trigger System, and a higher capacity magazine offering.”
The new model of the venerable M9 was designed for any tactical situation, including home and personal defense, tactical competitions and even duty carry in any conditions. The handgun features a removable front sight for tactical shooters who have a distinct preference in terms of sight picture, material, or construction. It was designed to be low-maintenance thanks to its wear-resistant FDE finish that is practically impervious to the elements, anti-friction magazines in 15 or 18 rounds (10-round magazines are blued with FDE Baseplates), and intuitive tool-free disassembly.
The Beretta M9A4 was released recently, and is available at select retailers nationwide. It is available for an MSRP of $1,099 and it ships with a 10 round-magazine (for restrictive states) and 15-round magazine (non-restrictive states). An 18-round magazine is also available.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.