Exclusive: Rare U.S. Army Issue General Officer Beretta Up for Grabs
Typically, the only way to get one of the coveted and extremely rare General Officer pistols is to become a general in the U.S. military. About that...
The Army's General Officer Pistol program dates back to at least 1972, when the service's Rock Island Arsenal began producing M15 pistols for general officers, a gun that led to the now-popular Officer series of M1911s. Marked with serial numbers prefixed with the letters "GO," the program switched to issuing M9 Berettas in the 1980s and, in 2018 in a story covered previously by Guns.com, to Sig Sauer M18 GO models.
Other than the special serial number range, GO models are issued for operational use and are essentially no different from standard-issue pistols.
According to U.S. law, at the end of their service, generals can purchase their issued pistols, which are unfathomably rare, museum-worthy collectibles if not retained by the family. As noted by the Army, famed WWII Gens. Omar N. Bradley, George S. Patton, and Dwight D. Eisenhower all purchased their guns when they left the military
A rarity, the General Officer M9 in the Guns.com Vault was obtained directly from a retired U.S. Army general who had more than thirty years of successful military experience spanning the Cold War and Desert Storm, including more than five years with the famed 82d Airborne Division.
When an Army colonel is promoted to brigadier (one star) general, their promotion ceremony typically includes the pinning of their star by a family member and the presentation of the GO pistol and pistol belt. The latter, a thick black leather belt with an 18-karat gold-plated buckle and imprint of an eagle, was first produced in 1944. The rig is worn at the discretion of the general.