Massad Ayoob holding his Wilson Combat Beterra 92 and the target that he shot with it.
Mas often teaches with a Beretta. Here he is in Kansas earlier this month with 60-round timed fire target shot as demonstration for class. Pistol is Wilson Combat Beretta 92 Compact Carry 9mm.

An always interesting gun site, The Firearms Blog, recently celebrated the 494th anniversary of our oldest gun manufacturer. Indeed, I’ve heard that Beretta may be the longest-established manufacturing entity of any kind on Earth. 

Beretta makes some fine products.  I own many of their handguns, my favorites being the Model 92 series, known as the M9 by the US military for whom it was the standard issue sidearm for 35 years.  Accurate, durable, reliable and value priced pistols.

Happy birthday, Beretta!


  1. Hey Mas.

    Shouldn’t there be tens of thousands of M9s on the used market since the Army replaced them with something else? Shouldn’t you be able to find them cheaper than dirt?

  2. It was thanks to your book on Beretta handguns that I hunted down and bought my oldest and best EDC, the Model 86 Cheetah. I have since become an unrepentant Berettaholic, with some old classics in the armory as well as a CX4 carbine. One of many things I have to thank you for!

  3. I had my 92 “Wilsonized” with the custom carry package, chromium silicon springs, and the “G” model conversion. Both DA and SA trigger feel is like butter. Silky slide action. Very smooth. Made a great carry handgun even better.

  4. It depends how you define “manufacturing.”
    Genda Shigyō(源田紙業株式会社, Genda Shigyō Kabushiki gaisha) is a Japanese paper production company producing ceremonial paper goods from 771. It is often known as one of the oldest still-operating companies in the world.

    There’s a list of the oldest companies, staring in A.D. 578, at:
    One reason I’m amused with today’s young folks talking about “doing away with corporations.”

    Beretta is still one of the greats.

  5. Nice Shooting Mas! I own two, a 92 and the fairly new 9 mil rotating breech PX4, a very accurate little gun. Due in part to the barrel rotating rather than unlocking and dropping out of lock up.
    I did a little research a few years back when the Hudson Bay Company here in Canada, were touting that they were the oldest company in Canada at around four hundred years old. A lot of folk were insisting it was also the oldest company on the planet. I enjoyed shoving the truth up their noses that Beretta was not only older, in fact the oldest, it was then, and still is today still owned by the Beretta family. I love their shotguns as well.

  6. Mas, what was the time frame for shooting that target? Also, I’ve been reading your stuff since I started shooting 28 years ago, how come you don’t seem to ever age? You really don’t look any older than you did twenty eight years ago. Please tell me you don’t use make up!
    Just poking the bear for a little fun 🙂

      • I’ve seen him up close and personal first thing in the morning as I was brewing up his first cup of coffee for the day. I can say with a high level of certitude it is neither.

    • Answering your questions in order, Gerry:

      4 to 15 yards, PPC speed including reloads, left hand only/right hand only/ cover positions/ standing/ multiple two hand stances included.

      I USED to age…when I walked among the living…bwahaha…

  7. I only have one Beretta firearm, a model 92F purchased back in the 1990’s, but have fired many of them. I keep this pistol mainly because it’s method of operation allows it to function with an old Gemtech Vortex can which does not have a booster. It’s accuracy is acceptable and the pistol is very reliable and has never jammed over many thousands of rounds fired through it. I’m not a fan of the 9X19 cartridge but do have several pistols in this caliber, and prefer the Browning P-35 and Glock 17 over the Beretta 92 but I do enjoy shooting all of them.

    I’m currently trying to shoot up all my ammo before January 2021 when Creepy Joe moves into the White House and sends his good buddy comrade Beto and hordes of BLM stormtroopers to confiscate our evil guns. 🙁

    • NO NO DON”T SHOOT IT ALL UP YOURSELF. That;s too much work for one man!! Send a bunch of it to me.. I ASSURE you I will shoot it all up, thus saving you the time and trouble. My BHP’s and Baeretta 92’s will happily do their part……… I’ll even pay the shipping.

      • It pays to be prepared. I always keep several thousand rounds of 9mm and .45 ACP plus a case of .380 and .40 S&W ammunition on hand plus reloading components to load up thousands more (except .380 which I don’t reload). Same with .38/.357, .223, 7.62X39 and .308 Winchester. Also have cases of .22 rimfire ammo. Not bragging but just to advise gun folks to keep a good supply of ammunition available in case of situations like the current one. I feel for those folks who are now scrambling for ammo and wait for hours at Academy Sports and Bass Pro Shops for their limit of 3 boxes whenever deliveries are made. If we get over this and President Trump gets another 4 more years to improve our nation, please allocate some funds to get a decent stash of ammo, food, and supplies for your families.

  8. Ugh. Beretta 92s. Just, ugh. Sorry, Mas…

    A couple decades of gunsmithing later, and I’ve still never seen any other gun lock up with a loaded round in it, and no way to get it out. If they could just have not used 1930s locking block technology…

    The factory’s solution was to have someone drive it to them, LOADED, in MARYLAND, so they could analyze/fix it. Oddly they wouldn’t agree to cover the legal fees when/if the courier got arrested for illegal possession. What a quality gunmaker.

    They make some ok shotguns, they made a good SMG for a while, and the 21A is a fun toy…but the rest of their product line is just… ugh.

  9. Look at that group. I used to shoot USMS FPS 60 Rd course of fire with a SW 66. Never got a group like that. Youre the man, Mas !!!!

  10. It was way late in my life I began to explore the world of handguns. Bought a Springfield XD 9, it was OK, I tolerated it, then whilst at a locla gun show I put my hands round a browing High Power. I only leg go for long enough to pay for it. Pre UBC, I plooped some dead Benjaimins and carried it out in a plain brown paper bag. I loved that thing, stil have it. It now has a few siblings,,. all of them Belgina made in the Mid01960;s. Different finishes, different style grips on some, but same gun.

    A while after the second or thinf, I was prowling the bargain shalves at Cabelas and noticed a VERY clean Beretta 92, stainless slide. Or what a=counts for one, anyway. I thin it was from the 70’s maybe 80’s. It seemed far too cheap for a solid well build handgun, so I bought it anyway. Nice gun, I like it. It futs my hand pretty well, but not quite a swell as the BHP’s. I later found another, a used trade in, same bargain case. I’ve got a similar lookng model in .40 S&W, can’t rememer the model umber, 89? Its also a well made and accurate gun. Never carreid the 92, my EDC is John’s design. Got a beater looking one that functions perfectly and is far more accurate than “Ill ever be. Its ugly but I don’t carry it to impress anyone. At least not by what their eyes see. ALL I want it to dom should the need arise, is to put things down that little chunk of pipe up on top. And do it reliabley and accurately.

    It will. Maybe one of these days I’ll find a good carry rig for that 92, and take it out for some exercise.

  11. I suppose I might like Berettas more if I tried them. They probably shoot very well. I handled an old m92 at a gun club meeting and racked the slide — it felt luxuriously smooth.

    That said, I’ve never been tempted to buy one. TDA with the safety disengaging in the wrong direction, long and heavy trigger for the first shot, high bore axis, overall wide and bulky. I tend to prefer efficiently packaged elegant guns, like the H&K P7 PSP, or the Kahr TP-9.

  12. Mas I’ll never forget that Ayoob File about the Connecticut State Police pursuit and gunfight with those murderous prison escapees back in the 1980s, and the comments from one trooper that he would never carry a revolver again after that incident went down. Quite a few Canadian agencies bought Berettas when they finally got the OK to carry semi automatic pistols some years after that happened. The largest I know of was Vancouver (96D Centurion) but they had some cracked frame issues and went to the DAO P226 last I heard. Good article, in both cases.


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