In the spirit of getting the most bang for your buck, we will be reviewing this police trade in Berretta 92G 9mm purchased for the princely sum of about $425. Some of you may be saying, hey. I can get two fully functional Jennings.380s at the pawn shop for that kind of money. Yeah, you could; or you could get one of the best designed high capacity service pistols in the world. You know, the one the USmilitary carries into high mountain caves and back alleys around the world. Few people today recognize the heritage of this iconic firearm, with it’s roots traced directly back to the Walther P-38 developed by Germanyduring WWII to replace the expensive and unreliable Luger.
The 92G is a semiautomatic full-sized 9mm pistol weighing 34ozs with a 15 round capacity standard capacity magazine. Its trigger is a double action design with a decocker in lieu of a safety. And when we say full-sized, we ain’t kidding. The grip circumference is quite wide to accommodate the double stack magazine; so those who find the grip on a Glock too big may want to consider some of the newer, slimmer Berettas. This police trade in model has Trijicon brand 3 dot night sights that still have a little bit of shine after 20 years. And you gotta love those Indiana State Police (ISP) custom Hogue rubber grips.
My contacts with the ISP confirm that troopers transitioned out of the Smith and Wesson revolvers in the mid 80’s and adopted the excellent Berretta in 9mm after extensive reliability testing. The troopers might have loved the high capacity 92G, but were less than impressed with the stopping power of the early issue 9mm ammo. The ISP moved to Berretta model 96 in 40S&W, then on to the 40 cal Glock 22, and now (curiously) back to a 9mm Glock 17.
This trade-in came from Gander Mountain on clearance. While their new guns can be a bit pricey, their used guns can always be picked up for a great deal. It came with 2 mags, a box, a a cleaning kit, and a used warranty. Spare mags can be found everywhere, ranging in price from army surplus $12 dollar specials to factory mags for $30.
The Berretta shoots very well. Accuracy is slightly above average for a service gun, mostly due to the standard (slightly heavy) trigger. Seven to ten yard groups of 3 inches are not that hard with this gun, and it recoils quite smoothly. A hundred dollar trigger job could drop those groups down to two inches, but this is not intended to be a match grade bulls-eye gun.
Concealment is this gun’s greatest weakness, with a very thick slide and grip. The weight can be a bit much when fully loaded, probably every bit of 40 oz. Others may not appreciate the long double action trigger pull to start this gun in action, but the single action pull on subsequent shots is crisp and light (around 5 pounds). Follow up shots are quick and accurate, thanks to the trigger and light recoil. The army adopted a variation of this same gun some of these very reasons. They also liked the increased firepower abd safety over the Colt 1911.
Overall, this gun makes a great bedside or car gun (when securely locked away in a fast-access safe). The durable finish resists rusts, and the reliable action goes bang every time. It might be a bit much for my Wife to shoot in a pinch, though. She’s not a fan of the grip and long initial trigger pull of this style of weapon. I’m not worried about the 9mm caliber for self defense, as 15+1 doses of Federal Hydrashock will give anybody a bad day.
Hoosier Gun Guy (HGG) is an avid target shooter and hunter who pays the bills as a practicing attorney in Indiana(focusing on criminal and health law). He enjoys staying sharp with IDPA and swapping lies at deer camp, and can be found wandering the isles of the Indy 1500 gun show every quarter. As a former prosecutor and military channel buff (and all around cheapskate), he enjoys collecting police service pistols and WWII battle rifles. You will find a 6.8 SPC homebuilt AR pistol lounging in the HGG safe right next to a 1917 BSA SMLE Mark III* .303Enfield.
Hoosier Gun Guy
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