Police Week Match and Berettas
FWIW went to a Police Week pistol match at the local USAF base in May. Pop ups, steel plates, 150 yd target on a tank downrange... fun stuff. Interesting how many can't hit a tank at 150 yds, let alone a target on a tank.
If you did not want to shoot your own stuff, they provided a govt gun (Beretta M9), ammo (Win frangible Mk254 Mod O, a +P load BTW), and holster (Bianchi UM84) at no extra charge. During 6 hours of shooting, saw several guns choke, none of them the beat up M9s (about 12 opted for 'em, not counting military shooters also using them), and they were handing out Checkmate mags, not Beretta.
When the match was over, they put on a 7.62 mini gun demo and blasted some old vehicles (M113, M60, M2/3, Peacekeepers) on the range.
A Texas State Police pistol team took second place team. One of their guys took second individual. Only reason I remember that is there was a woman on their team who was hard to forget.
Asked the range guys about the M9s. They have cracked slides at very high round counts (50K+), but have never had a catastrophic slide separation. Blocks break at higher round counts too (20K+), they replace 'em when they do. Newer contract guns have several plastic parts (guide rod, hammer, safety lever, slide stop, trigger). They have plenty of older steel guide rods they swap out. The other plastic parts they leave in and haven't had any problems w them.
As for the slide separation issue, here is my dos centavos.
The SEALs shot Berettas for 9 yrs (79-87) before it happened. Things that make ya go hmmmm? The range of slide failures in military testing in 1988 was about 5K to 30K. In 1998 it was 55K to 95K. More things that make ya go hmmm? LAPD, LASD, and 25 state police agencies never had it happen over a 25 year period. I'm tired of going hmmmm.
All pistol slides will crack if you shoot them enough. The Beretta design makes it more interesting when they do crack. If you don't notice the initial crack and keep going, you will generate the nifty separation pics we've all seen. The enlarged hammer pivot pin and slide mod keeps anybody from being injured when catastrophe strikes.
It happens. It's happened to very few pistols, most at very high round counts, well in excess of any previous (5K for the M9) or proposed (25K for the latest MHS Modular Handgun System) military pistol service life requirements. If you want more, ask for more. If you ask for less, don't complain when you get more.
So, I still think this just isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be!
I didn't worry about it when I was issued an M9 (88-98), and I don't worry about it now when I carry/shoot my M9 commercial model.
Last edited by BrokenArrow; 06-21-2011 at 11:14..