I would like to go over a few things about maintaining the Beretta 92/M9 pistols. First thing alot of people are gonna think about these pistols is that they are unreliable, mostly because of the third and fourth hand reports about the lack of reliability some experienced with an M9. I would caution my readers that stories are just that. If there is anything I know, it is that weapons in the military are subject to lots of use, abuse, and a terrible lack of maintenance. That said, the M9 does not typically see that much use these days, but just remember that everything in these pistols is based on working in harmony.
Let us first be clear about the general rule of thumb that applies universally to all pistols. All springs are a primary weak and high wear point. Springs are produced by giving certain metals a specific heat treating in order to affect the desired tension and longevity. When mass producing springs, it is hard to make sure the heat treating is perfect. For this reason, you gotta be understanding of the fact that springs have a wear life and need to be watched and even replaced with a responsible schedule and round count.
So, let's talk about something that causes some real issues with the Beretta pistols, and that is the recoil spring weakening. The recoil spring weakening is something that can cause some real issues. The timing of the extraction and the force applied to the frame and slide are big deals to consider here. The frame of metal pistols are going to start seeing increased wear with the recoil spring weakening, which means that the frame and the slide are going to be more susceptible to cracking down the road. Luckily the slide has a system in the frame to prevent it coming back at the shooter. The frame cracking basically is the end of the life of the firearm. The frame is the base and essential part of the firearm, and once it cracks, it means that everything is going to go downhill fast.
Slide and frame cracks are common issues for the military M9 pistols. The slides are not so much of an issue as the frame cracking. The civilian pistols typically handle alot more abuse due to Beretta being able to enhance their pistols to handle the hot .40 caliber round. This inherently seems to help in the reliability of the pistols. Though, if you go with a pistol like the M9A1, you can feel a little better about the frame durability since the pistol was designed around the understanding that the military is very neglectful when it comes to pistol maintenance. Just remember, the springs really dictate the main status of the wear on these firearms, so spring maintenance is a huge deal here.
Unfortunately, the Beretta 92 pistols also have another part that can dictate the overall longevity of the pistol. That piece is the locking block. The M9 never saw an updated version of the locking block, so they typically suffered from low round count breakages. These low round count breakages were also started by not having the proper tension in the recoil springs, causing the locking block to suffer harder smacking against the frame. So basically, you can see that springs can have a compounding effect on the durability of the pistol overall. To add insult to injury, the military routinely replaced the locking blocks with ones that would break incredibly early and even when they had fresh springs in them. These parts did not have the proper metallurgy and are responsible for a majority of the issues concerning locking block durability.
Okay, so if I were to continue on, I think that you could get a more detailed picture of why your Beretta is probably not going to suffer from the issues that the military M9 suffers. It all boils down to proper maintenance and really staying away from pistols with parts that are older and not updated. Routine and regular maintenance schedules will extend the life of these pistols, even though they are designed to handle extreme abuse. As long as we don't toy with extreme durability testing, we shouldn't see too extreme of issues when it comes to these pistols. Let me know what you think.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.