The Beretta 92 series is among the most popular handguns in the world. And with good reason. Probably Beretta’s signature firearm, the 92 has a proven record of quality, reliability, and just plain coolness. Police forces and militaries the world over have bet their life on the 92 for decades. And, thanks to Hollywood, the 92 is one of the most recognizable firearms on the planet, as well as one of the most aesthetically pleasing. It’s just a good-looking gun.
I own a Beretta 92FS because of Mel Gibson’s Detective Sergeant Martin Riggs in “Lethal Weapon.” Maybe not the best reason to buy a gun, but there it is. Yes, I know Gibson carried a 92F in the movie. Close enough. It was also the exact same gun, not model, but actual gun, that Bruce Willis used in “Die Hard.” That gun is now in a museum. Very cool.
Anyway, I love my 92FS. It’s a great shooter and I have tons of fun with it. I’ve even carried it occasionally. But, as we all know, semi-automatic handguns require magazines. An advantage to the Beretta 92’s ubiquity is plenty of aftermarket support, including mags. I recently had the opportunity to run a couple of those, a Mec-Gar-branded Beretta 92FS magazine, and a Beretta-produced M9 magazine. Both mags have a 15-round capacity.
Most of you know that the US military adopted the Beretta 92 as the M9 pistol in 1986. It replaced the venerable but aging M1911 pistol. The M9 has since been succeeded by the Sig Sauer M17 and M18 pistols. But there are plenty of surplus M9s available, as well as the M9A3 that lost the competition to Sig. Happily, the M9 series and the 92s take the same mags. So, I was able to use both magazines in my 92FS.
Aftermarket Beretta 92 Mags — Flawless Performance
I’m also happy to report that both mags performed equal to my Beretta factory mags, which really isn’t a surprise. The M9 mag is a Beretta product, and Italy’s Mec-Gar is known for quality mags produced for many platforms, including Beretta factory mags. Any bad stuff you’ve heard about M9 mags comes from the US government’s contract with Check-Mate, which produced some mags that did not fare well in sandy environments like Iraq because of their finish. Check-Mate later rectified that situation. Stay away from those older Check-Mates and you’ll be good.
I’ve run multiple boxes of 9mm ammo, both 115 and 124 grain, through each mag without a hiccup. I’ve run clean ammo, dirty ammo, greasy ammo, you name it. I even mixed ammo brands, though I didn’t mix bullet weights. Both magazines fed flawlessly. I ran drills with quick mag changes using both mags and, again, no issues whatsoever.
There are, however, some differences between the two mags, as well as between them and standard Beretta 92 mags. Let me be clear up front that these differences seemed to have no impact whatsoever on performance. I only noticed them when taking photographs.
First, each magazine, including the factory Beretta mag, has a uniquely contoured follower. Second, the M9 magazine’s finish differs from the other two, being a flat grey instead of glossy black. Third, the Mec-Gar and M9 mags have unique dimples, whereas the Beretta mag has none. The baseplates are marked differently, and the takedown buttons aren’t the same, but no big deal. The ammo view ports on the back are also different, with the Mec-Gar showing 2 through 15, and the M9 only showing 5, 10, and 15. Again, nothing major from a civilian standpoint.
Finally, each aftermarket magazine has a slightly different angle to it. That’s what surprised me the most. I kind of expected the followers to be a little different but the angles are intriguing. I’ve included a photo of both magazines. If you look at the spacing between them, you can see the subtle angular difference. I don’t know why that is, since they have the same capacity, but, again, it made no difference in my gun. It accepted and fired both equally well.
All-in-all, these are both quality magazines that I will keep in my regular rotation. The small differences really make no difference at all, performance-wise. The only downside is that they are 15-round mags, as opposed to my normal flush-fitting 17-rounders. Still, they work just fine, and I expect to get lots of good use from both.
If you’d like to try these Beretta 92 mags yourself, Gun Mag Warehouse has you covered. Hop on over and try them out yourself.