Beretta 92X Performance Review: Your Racing 9mm Pistol
The 92X Performance was a surprising treat. Out of the many competition pistols out there, this one doesn’t seem to pop its head up that much. But it should. It’s well made, has a ton of features, and shoots smooth. I’d take the 92X Performance out of the box straight into competition any day.
For anyone who loves the legendary Beretta 92 platform, this variation shows what it is capable of doing. From the frame to the fiber-optic front sight, Beretta elected to use parts with competition in mind, making the name very appropriate. Released in 2019, the 92X Performance has since proven itself over the last several years. That’s something we’d expect with a base platform that has been out for almost 50 years. Still, Beretta made a lot of enhancements in designing the 92X Performance.
Competition in Mind
The most noticeable feature is the Brigadier slide, sporting a deep cut along most of the entirety of the slide, which removes weight where needed and increases cycle speed. The slide and frame have a silver Nistan finish that pairs with the exposed black burnished barrel to give a dual-tone look. Here's where we should mention in a bit of trivia that the 92X Performance models are the only 92X Berettas made in Italy, all the rest are made in Tennessee.
Picking up the X Performance it's noticeably heavy, scaling in at 47.6 ounces. The steel Vertec frame accounts for a lot of this, but the gun is awesomely balanced. Beretta rounded off the trigger guard and deepened the undercut. On the back is an extended beavertail, allowing for a nice high grip. The Vertec frame has a different grip angle than the traditional 92 frame and brings thinner sides.
The grip is a huge improvement for those with smaller hands. For those who prefer a more traditional 92 grip, an attachable set gives back that hump and is a bit larger. Beretta gave a lot of attention to the frame, even lightening it to meet IDPA regulations by shaving off the Pic rail and other material inside the gun along with some of the slide.
The safety is frame-mounted and ambidextrous. One can notice details like the oversized magazine well and checkering on the frame. A list of oversized goodies includes the magazine release, slide stop, and takedown pin, which also duos as a thumb rest. Overall, the ergonomics were tweaked in just a way that steps everything up a notch.
The 92FS was actually the first pistol I ever shot, which is just like many other people. As a new shooter, it was extremely easy to handle. Years later, with some experience under the belt, it was pretty cool to come back to Beretta pistols and check out the competition version.
Shooting the 92X Performance
Sometimes, when manufacturers come out with a competition model, it feels nothing like the basic version. Despite all of the changes made to the 92 platform to create the X Performance, it still has a comfortable level of familiarity. It is substantially heavier. In fact, until recent rule changes, it exceeded the carry optics division in USPSA. It was designed to meet other various USPSA and IDPA division requirements and has proven itself over the last several years as a platform that performs.
The heavy weight brings balance and smoothness to transitions and reduces recoil. It also helps you stay on target easier with less muzzle flip, and the list of benefits goes on. But with weight comes fatigue.
That’s something to consider, but the smooth recoil impulse more than makes up for that. There’s no snappiness to this pistol. It likes to stay as nice and flat as possible. Beretta shooter Jess Hook said, “When I made the transition from a polymer pistol to the 92X Performance, I was amazed by the reduced felt recoil between shots!”
Looking down the sights, a bright red fiber-optic dot greets you, mated with a serrated matt black rear sight. The contrast works nicely to get your eyes on target. These sights are fully adjustable and removable. If you prefer a dot, the slide is ready to host one.
Let’s talk about that trigger. This has got to be one of the best SA/DA triggers out there. Beretta was able to increase the cycle time by using a skeletonized hammer and the Xtreme-S Trigger mechanism keeps the striker automatic safety latch active, which decreases trigger reset by up to 40 percent. To say it simply, this trigger has an incredibly short reset in single action.
The first shot is a crisp 6-7 pounds for the double-action pull. After that, it’s all single action in the light 3-pound range. Pretty respectable for a factory trigger. If you would like to adjust it, there’s a screw in the frame next to the upper section of the magazine well that gives you the ability to regulate extra travel.
This is a very comfortable pistol to work with: oversized controls, serrations, and checkering all come together to allow easy manipulation. I’m a fan of the Vertex frame, but even though it is thinner, this pistol is wider overall compared to a lot of the other ones out there. That said, it is very well balanced and shot reliably through 500+ rounds. Accuracy was not an issue even at 50 yards. When I wanted to ramp up the speed, the X Performance easily allowed for quick trigger pulls.
I’ve added some general specs below:
Weight: 47.6 ounces
Barrel Length: 4.9 inches
Width: 1.8 inches
Height: 5.8 inches
Length: 8.6 inches
Overall: My Final Thoughts
I like this gun and not just because this is an article on it. Truly, there isn’t any negative feedback minus fatigue from the wide frame, but that’s a personal issue. For the price point, these pistols are in line with the market and can compete at the highest level. The last few years have proven the 92X Performance can, well, perform. Thus, there’s an array of upgrades that are available should you choose.
In recent news, Beretta liked this model so much it came out with a 92X Performance Defensive model, which is based on this one. If you’re a Beretta fan, you’ll love the modularity between the two models. As the Performance line grows, I’m sure this model will become more and more popular, which it deserves to be.
If you are looking for a competition-ready pistol right out of the box that’s set for multiple divisions, the Beretta 92X Performance is something to consider. I’d feel very comfortable taking this pistol straight into competition, and I just might do exactly that! The particular used one I tested came with extra magazines and two Ghost Elite holsters, one for Limited Division and one for Carry Optics. Personally, I love used firearms for competition, they are already broken in and, in cases like this, offer extra gear that can save money and time.