Beretta M9A3: First Look and First Impressions
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Thread: Beretta M9A3: First Look and First Impressions

  1. #1
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    Beretta M9A3: First Look and First Impressions

    The Beretta M9A3: A First Look

    Here is the link to the public Imgur album so you can see the images as closely as you want to.

    I was intrigued when I first heard about the Beretta M9A3. I’ve always been a big fan of the Beretta M9 family of handguns and when I learned more about the M9A3, I had a sinking feeling that I’d eventually buy one. Well, that day came a week ago and I purchased one from Able Ammo.

    I did the math and realized that if I ever wanted a threaded barrel on any of my M9s, and if I wanted a Vertec grip option, better sights, a larger mag release, the option of easily converting it to a G model, and a better rail system, or even if I wanted to Cerakote one of my M9s, the M9A3 is actually a bood value, not to mention additional features that no other M9 comes with, the price point of the M9A3 was basically a savings. Well, ok, that’s how I justified it.

    Here are my first impressions followed by a lot of photos for you to either drool over or scorn, to your heart’s content.

    Most unboxings are melodramatic, to say the least, but … I have to admit, it was cool to receive it in a custom M9A3 box, in side of which is a nice little “ammo can” type plastic case for it, with custom cut foam interior holding all the fun stuff just right. I am fairly sure it would not pass muster travelling with it, but then again, I’m not so sure I’d even want to consider that, since Beretta M9A3 is prominently displayed on both sides of the box. But the box is a very nice touch. You open it up and everything is nicely presented. It will make a nice carrying case for it, to be sure. Heck, you even get a custom sticker, but only one. So, make it count! Not sure what I’m going to go with mine, or what I’m going to do with it. It will probably end on on my “wall of stickers” in my gun room.

    The M9A3 comes with its own custom “operator’s manual” with a cool operator-dude on the cover. I assume that I will magically transform into this operator-dude when I use the Beretta! It’s a well done manual, fairly small in size, to fit into the case, just another little “extra” that probably makes a good first impression on most consumers who may be new to the M9 platform.

    Handling the M9A3 for the First Time
    I have to say I was blown away by the Vertec grip form of the M9A3. I mean, really blown away. It feels fantastic, even in my monster sized hands. It points perfectly for me. I bring it up to my natural point of aim and … bam … sights are on target, eyes are on sight with no adjustment at all. I can’t wait to shoot it and see how it helps improve my double-action experience. I can already feel a good bit of difference with DA pulls. The handgun is well balanced, no surprise there, but if feels great in the hand.

    The Color: It is Really So Ugly?
    The color scheme of the M9A3 is famously (infamously for some) a flat dark earth, with various tones, obviously, because the steel slide is Cerakoted and the aluminum frame comes in a kind of/sort of “flat dark earth.” Think groovy earth on earth tones and you pretty much have it. The barrel too is colored in its own earth tone and the grip is another earth tone. And the baseplates on the mags have their own earth tone. So, you’ve got five different earth tones going for you, much like is the case with many other FDE handguns and rifles, like the SCAR, etc.

    And…I like the color. I’ve seen no photos that capture the color. I’m extremely relieved, to say the least. I was concerned by some of the photos I had seen, which made the handgun look bronze, or even greenish, or pukish sandish one-too-many-bad-burrito brown tones. I was very, very concerned.

    Hope my pics capture the color a bit better, but trust me, the color is better than you have seen or that I can show you or that your monitor or tablet or smarphone screen can display. When/if you see one in person, you’ll know what I mean.

    In short, the color, to me, looks great and is one of the better implementation of a FDE color scheme that I’ve seen on a weapon.

    Quality Impressions
    Of course, the famous Beretta “smooth like ball bearings” slide-on-frame feel is there. It really is quite remarkable and everyone I know who handles one comments on it, particularly people coming from Glocks and other lower quality handguns. The only other handguns I felt that as as smooth are are well made 1911s.

    The plastic trigger and safety and guide rod just strike me as “cheapo,” even though I know they are made of sturdy polymer, but compared to my Wilson Brigadier’s all metal parts, it just kind of is disappointing. Again, perhaps merely aesthetics.

    The only “quality” issue is that, as you can see in the pics, somebody had a bad day on the stamping machine and the “M” in “Made in USA” looks like it got double-stamped or something happened. I suppose I could whine and cry about it and demand Beretta send me a new one! But … meh … makes mine unique.

    The Cerakote naturally covers over any machining/milling imperfections that may be there, but everything looks really great, nice tight finish everywhere, very smooth and well made.

    Obviously it has been shot and obviously Beretta does not clean it up after, you can see in the pics the residues and particles left over from the test firing. And either before or after it is obviously slathered in a coat of some kind of light machine oil to prevent rust .. um … what rust? It is Cerakoted. J

    I really like the front and rear checkquering on the grip. Very aggressive and very … um … grippy with bare hands. The flared magwell is nice. The oversized mag release button is terrific. I’ll be interested if I accidentally bump it while using it in drills, etc. But it is very nice indeed. The sights are very nice. My Wilcon Brigadier came with plain black rear sights, these are not and you get a three dot effect, which I think is going to help me get a sight picture more quickly. I appreciate the rail system has more than simply one slot in it.

    Now here’s a really great feature I’ve not read about elsewhere. The threaded barrel’s protector is really snugly on there and I highly doubt it is going to rattle itself loose during firing. There a lot of threads! But here is what is really great. You do not have to remove the thread protector to field strip the handgun and remove the barrel. All my other threaded handgun barrels have thread protectors that have to be removed: from Glocks to Sigs to HKs, factory or OEM … all of them. Not the 92A3. That is a very nice touch and makes for very quick field stripping.

    The magazines that come with the 92A3, three of them, are all 17 round mags, with a baseplate in an earthtone color – hey, make that FIVE different earthish tones on this thing! The finish is interesting on the magazines, feels slick, and obviously treated and designed to be sand resistant.

    The wrap around grip that is included, made by Hogue, provides the option to have a grip with ergos matching other M9s. It is nice to have that option.

    Here is the link to the public Imgur album so you can see the images as closely as you want to.
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  2. #2
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    Great pics! Have personally never handled nor shot an M9, guess I need to try one out sometime.

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  3. #3
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    I have an M9. I love it.
    Colt-SL likes this.

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  5. #4
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    Awesome gun. Way cool enough to be on a Colt forum!
    Hootch56 likes this.
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    It's not even past" - William Faulkner

  6. #5
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    Excellent report, fabulous pics!

    I have had the 92FS for some time, took my CCW test with it and it has served well. The M9A3 looks to be solidly built. I can't help but liken its progression to that of Colt's 1911 through the years.
    Hootch56 likes this.

    “It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carry the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life, or death ---- it shall be life.” - Ten Bears - “The Outlaw Josey Wales”


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