The 6 Best Beretta 9mm Handguns
Beretta is one of the biggest brands of pistols, but which are the best Beretta 9mm guns to get for the neophyte? After all, you have to get your toe in the water somewhere.
Just like asking which is the best Smith and Wesson revolver or the best Glock 9mm, it’s less the case as there’s a best one but rather a best one for a specific purpose. A gun is a tool, and there is a right tool for a specific task.
What are they, though? Let’s have a look at 6 Beretta pistols.
Beretta PX4 Storm Compact
The Beretta PX4 Storm Compact is quite possibly the best of all possible worlds. It combines old-school hardware and wholly modern design features.
The PX4 Storm platform is a modernised DA/SA pistol, with a polymer frame to reduce carry weight and a smooth slide for easy draw. It comes in Full Size, Compact and Subcompact frames, though the Compact is arguably the most popular model. The operating system is much like the venerable 92, with slide-mounted decocking safety levers.
The party pieces are the rotating barrel and the polymer frame, which also includes swappable backstraps. While not the lightest at 27 ounces unloaded, it’s much smaller than many other DA/SA pistols, with a 3.27-inch barrel and overall dimensions of 6.8 inches long, 5 inches tall and 1.42 inches wide. There’s even a rail for a laser or light.
It holds 15+1 of 9mm, meaning you get the same capacity and manual of arms of the classic 92FS in a pistol you could actually carry everyday. Arguably, that makes it the best Beretta 9mm of them all.
Beretta 92/Beretta M9
Then again, the classics are classics for a reason and the Beretta 92 and/or Beretta M9 is exactly that. It is one of the most successful pistol designs of all time. They are laser accurate, easy on the shooter and – with a bit of care – are iron-clad when it comes to reliability.
The 92 is a DA/SA pistol, with slide-mounted decocking safety levers. It carries 15+1 rounds, and though it wasn’t the first Wonder Nine (that would be the Browning Hi Power, or arguably the Smith and Wesson Model 59) it is certainly the most famous.
It is a beast, however. Barrel length is 4.9 inches, and overall dimensions are 5.4 inches tall by 8.5 long by 1.5 inches wide. It weighs 33 ounces unloaded, so it isn’t really the best CCW gun…but there are folks who do conceal it on the daily.
The Beretta 92FS was adopted by the US military (and other militaries) and dubbed the M9 in their nomenclature. It has served well in that role. The 92FS is also one of the most popular service pistols for police officers. It isn’t the easiest gun to carry, but you’ll know why it’s so popular.
The Beretta APX was the proverbial hat that Beretta threw in the ring for the XM17 handgun trials, as the US military was seeking a new handgun. They picked the Sig P320 (aka Sig M17) but Beretta is selling it anyhow.
While known for double action autos, the APX is a polymer-framed striker-fired handgun. In essence, an Italian Glock. However, in typical Italian fashion, it has panache.
Per Army specifications, it has modular backstraps so you can alter the grip, along with ambidextrous slide release levers and a switchable magazine release. The grip housing has understated finger grooves for comfort and a good shooting grip. The slide is machined to be uber-grippy, so you can run the gun in any conditions.
You can order the base gun, or get one of the tactical models as extended barrels and red dot optics are available with this platform. It makes a great tactical pistol, for those wanting one. A compact version – the APX Centurion – is now available too.
Overall dimensions are 7.55 inches long, 5.6 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide, with a 4.25-inch barrel, so it’s a service gun through-and-through. Unloaded weight is 28.24 ounces, and carrying capacity is 17+1 of 9mm. If you prefer a big plastic fantastic, this is Beretta’s take on the format. Most reviews indicate it’s one you shouldn’t miss.
Beretta BU9 Nano
Everyone loves a subcompact single-stack striker gun. The Beretta BU9 Nano is Beretta’s, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to get the love that others do.
The Nano is streamlined to the point of almost being slab-sided. The controls are simple: there’s a magazine release and that’s it. You have to slingshot it every time you charge the pistol. The magazine release is reversible, and there is a striker deactivator for takedown. It’s light, slim and simple, which is perfect for a carry gun. Most reviews and owner reports indicate they are reliable, more accurate than their small size would suggest and very easy on the shooter.
It sports a 3-inch barrel, standing 4.17 inches tall, 5.63 inches long and 0.9 inches wide. It weighs 19.8 ounces unloaded, and carries 6+1 in a flush-fitting magazine or 8+1 with an extended magazine. The fire control group can actually be swapped into a different frame if desired; several finishes are available.
For easy carry, it’s one of the best Berettas to get.
Beretta PX4 Storm Full Size
Everything good about the PX4 Storm Compact in a full-size package, making it even more accurate, even more shootable, which has actually made the PX4 Storm a popular service pistol. While it wouldn’t make the best daily carry gun due to sheer size it actually isn’t a bad choice if one carries a full-size as their daily carry gun.
The barrel length is 4 inches, and the magazine capacity is increased to 17+1 of 9mm. That brings overall dimensions to 5.51 inches tall, 7.68 inches long and 1.42 inches wide. Weight is 27.7 ounces unloaded. Not tiny, for sure, but not desperately impractical for carrying.
The Beretta M9A3 is an improved 92FS, and arguably the best version of the pistol.
The US military told Beretta they wanted some improvements made to the Beretta M9. They’d noticed the magazines didn’t always work the best in hot, dusty environments. They wanted a rail so they could put a light or laser on the gun, and they wanted the grip revised to be a little more grippy.
The result was the M9A1, which featured these improvements, along with PVD coating on the magazines so they worked better in the field.
Several years later, additional improvements were requested and made, resulting in the M9A3 in 2015. The operating system remains the same – SA/DA, slide mounted controls – but with a number of improvements.
The magazine well is beveled, for easy loading, and the PVD-coated magazines are revised to hold 17+1. Controls are swappable, so you can pull the safety and install a decocker and go back again if so desired. The fixed front sight is replaced with a dovetail so front and rear sights are upgradeable.
If it’s possible to make the 92 into an even more unstoppable machine, the M9A3 is it.