Beretta is back.
On Oct. 30, 2015, the company made good on its promise to deliver a commercial upgrade to the M9 and M9A1 pistols with the introduction of the Beretta M9A3.
"The M9A3 represents the next generation military handgun utilizing the best of the M9 combined with proven modifications that increase performance and durability," said Gabriele de Plano, vice president of military marketing and sales for Beretta USA. "After listening closely to the needs of the U.S. Army and other service small arms representatives, we determined the M9 was capable of being upgraded through material and design changes.
The Beretta M9A3 upgrades include an optional removable wraparound grip, a mil-spec 1913 accessory rail, removable front and rear tritium sights, an extended suppressor-ready barrel and three 17-round sand-resistant magazines, as well as additional improved components designed to increase durability and ergonomics.
The Vertec-style wraparound grip is designed to offer two benefits. One, the improved ergonomics of the grip ensure easy pointing to facilitate aiming. Two, the thin profile aids in slimming the grip while still allowing a double-stack, high-capacity magazine.
To ensure ease of loading, a beveled magazine well is included on the upgraded M9A3. The pistol also includes an oversized magazine release for easy use by gloved hands.
The Beretta M9A3 is built with a universal slide, which allows the handgun to be converted from a safety-decocker mode to a decocker-only function, depending on the user's personal preference.
Perhaps the most noticeable upgrade is the earth tone finish that is designed for "reduced visual signature." The finish is also characterized by the company as "hyper-resistant" and is said to be essentially impervious to the elements.
The new Beretta M9A3 follows in the footsteps of the original M9 in that it will continue to be made in America in the same factories that produced the M9 since 1987. Contact your local Beretta dealer to buy this new battle pistol.