How it Breaks: The Beretta 92FS

The Beretta 92FS is one of the most trusted and popular guns in America by both the armed forces and civilians, and it’s also available in almost every single rental range across the country, so needless to say just about every gun enthusiast has some type of Beretta 92FS experience. But this isn’t a review of the Beretta 92 per se, but rather a look at how it breaks.

Don’t get me wrong, the Beretta 92FS has proven to be dependable in its field time and time again. Not to say that all 92FS pistol will break, I’m just saying that it can break and this is how.

I first caught wind of this story at Dave’s Gun and Archery in San Bernardino, CA, because Dave’s stopped carrying it. Like I said, almost every range has one. Maybe they kept getting a bad batch or folks in San Bernardino just get out of hand with it, but Dave’s has their reasons not to trust it.

When the gun is used hard, meaning 3,000 to 5,000 rounds over a two-month period, the gun’s locking block, an unfixed, wedge-shaped piece located underneath the breech, can crack.

The purpose of the locking block is to absorb pressure after the gun is fired so the slide and barrel can move. It cracks because, basically, the locking block takes a pounding. Although the unique open-slide design does have several benefits, it unfortunately does have that drawback, and has occured a countless number of times for the military.

A damaged locking block can result in a split barrel, an unsafe situation to say the least, and a potential lawsuit.

Granted it’s a range gun, and range guns experience more in a year than other guns do in ten. The locking block has a life expectancy of 22,000 rounds, but it’s recommended to change it every 5,000. And over time they seem to wear just fine. Just pick up any M9.

Not to say that the Beretta 92FS is a bad handgun – it’s actually the opposite. The Beretta 92FS has been painstakingly tested and re-tested for reliability, and has a very good reputation for being there when needed.