Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's the 9mm World Series!

Okay. One last bleg on the 9mm front. I've narrowed my choices down to two pistols:

1. Beretta 92FS

Pros of the Beretta include:
  • Cheaper by $100
  • Pre-ban magazines are plentiful
  • Fan-boy '80s action movie geek appeal (C'mon. Both Martin Riggs and John McClane carried Beretta 92FSs!)
  • Civilian version of the M9 in current use by our armed forces (i.e., will be able to get parts forever).

Cons of the Beretta include:

  • Larger grip size - one of the reasons for getting a steel-framed, full-sized 9mm is to have a centerfire pistol I can hand to new/returning shooters. Might be too much for folks with smallish hands
  • Beretta seems to have washed its hands of MA - the 90-two is not MA compliant, and it does not appear that Beretta will be jumping through those hoops again. Might make it difficult to get any repair/upgrades done.
  • Only two high-cap magazines with this Beretta. Local gun shop offers pre-bans at $30/each.

2. SigSauer P226:

Pros of the Sig 226:

  • Comes with night sights (I have specific guns chosen)
  • Comes with four pre-ban high caps
  • Sig reliability
  • SigSauer USA located approximately 35 minutes from my house.

Cons of the Sig 226:

  • $100 more
  • Not as ubiquitous in gunnie lore

So... What's the opinion of the gun collective? Which of these two fine 9mm pistols would you choose, and why or why not?

That is all.


Robb Allen said...

Oooh, hard choice. My old man had the Beretta and I learned to shoot on it. The Sig, on the other hand, is a sweet shooter (of course, I've only fired it in .40 and .357Sig).

Emotionally, the Beretta but logically the Sig.

The Earth Bound Misfit said...

Well, if you add the cost of two more high-caps to the Beretta so that each gun has the same number of magazines, then you're at a $40 price difference....

Rustmeister said...

My heart says Beretta, but my head says Sig.

Oh damn, Robb already said that.

If it were me, I'd go with the Beretta because of its military background, and because I wouldn't have the issues you would (MA issues).

If I lived up there, I'd go with the Sig. Nothing worse that getting the .gov run around.

Chris in SE TX said...

I'd get the SIG.
Granted, it's $100 dollars more, but you get 2 more magazines (worth $60) and night sights. It's not as common, high quality... what's not to like?

Just out of curiosity, what does "MA compliant" mean??? I know MA stands for Massatu.. Masseth... OK, the state you live in, but how does a gun become compliant or non-compliant???

JD said...

Chris. . . MA Compliant means that they jumped through the Attorney Generals hoops and got on the list of guns that have all the safety features he wants on guns and thought no one would put on them. . .

J - two comments on which gun to buy -
1 - which one feels better when you hold it?
2 - for the extr $100 you get two more hi cap mags and night sights, sounds like you get your money's worth so they are really about the same cost if you had to upgrade the other one. . . I guess I would lean to the sig too. . . .

JD said...

That and I wish I had such hard choices to make. . . .

: - )

Jay G said...


That's EXACTLY how I feel. My gut instinct says go for the Beretta - for the curb appeal, nostalgia, and $aving$ (I think I mentioned I'm a cheap bastard...)


Good point. Factoring in the $60 to get extra hi-cap magazines brings the two much closer...


One thing I've thought of, WRT the Beretta, is that it may very well become a C&R eligible firearm before it turns 50 owing to the Military usage. In which case I can get one at any time...



Massive-two-shits has the "Approved Firearms Roster" {SPIT} which was foisted on us in the late 1990s as a back-door approach to gun bans. Basically, all new firearms sold in MA have to pass a series of tests designed to show compliance with "Consumer Safety" regulations.

Now, here's the rub: Not only do the firearms have to be submitted for testing and pass, but they also need to be approved for sale by the Attorney General, who apparently bases the decision on yea or nay on how many dumptrucks full of money the particular gun manufacturer has donated to the AG's campaign war chest...

Oh, BTW... Law enforcement are exempt from the Consumer Safety regs, so they can carry guns not approved for sale. IOW, a Glock 17 isn't safe for me to buy from the local gun shop, but perfectly fine for Officer Krupke to carry on duty.

Make what sense of that you can...

Andrew said...


I've owned both and I sold the Beretta. Would never sell the Sig.

IMHO, the Sig has the edge in overall ergonomics. Plus, the M9 is only the standard sidearm because they were the cheapest bidder, something to think about.

Night sights should just about cancel the $100 price diff.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if it's an issue but the Beretta will cycle suppressors. The Sig will require a LID. And the barrel of the barrel can be threaded.

Not that I'm pushing you that way but the more you know and all that.


Lindsey said...

I've had both. I still have the Sig. I like the way the Sig feels (but I have female hands so thake that for what it's worth.) The Beretta doesn't seem as smooth to me. I also bought the Sig Mosquito b/c I liked the 226 so well.

Garabaldi said...

I own both. The Beretta is for IPSC and IDPA shooting. While the Sig is my carry gun.

Bruce said...

Jack Bauer carried that Sig before 24 started to really suck.


Jack Bauer vs. John McClane? Please.

Freddyboomboom said...


I've only fired a couple of magazines through the Beretta, but it was pretty nice.

I did pick up a Beretta PX4 the other week, and it's very nice. Gonna shoot it some more after work tomorrow...

I've got a SIG P220, and it's very sweet.

I've not fired a P226, but probably will tomorrow night. A guy from work just bought one.

In your apples/oranges quandary, I'd personally go with the SIG.

It's probably used to be only $100 more than the Beretta, so the night sights are already dimming, probably at half their lifespan or less. But you get extra magazines and if you do commit sacrilege and sell it, you'll likely get closer to what you paid for it than with the Beretta.

And SIGs are nice, with a capitol N.

So go for the SIG.

BTW: I traded a Colt M1991A1 Commander for the SIG P220, and feel I got the better end of the deal.

Countertop said...

Your answer is right there in your post:

"Civilian version of the M9 in current use by our armed forces (i.e., will be able to get parts forever)" vs. Sig reliability

Now, considering the value of those two extra high caps ($60) I suspect the higher quality and long term reliability of the Sig more than makes up for the $40 difference in price.

Arcticelf said...

I'd go with the Sig: purely based on the trigger feel.


Arthur said...


I have the 220 instead of the 226, but every shooter - whether new or returning - has turned and said, "wow! It hits right where I'm looking!" after trying it.

Granted I have a set of Hogue finger grips on mine instead of the awful factory panels, but still....

Arthur said...

Btw, what sort of price are you talking about? This sort of price?

Sigivald said...

The SIG - but mostly because I've never liked how the 92 fits my hand (ie, poorly).

Had a Taurus copy, traded it for a Tanfoglio Witness (CZ-75 clone), never looked back.

doubletrouble said...


"It's NH Grown!" tm

Actually, the 226 was one of the first pistols I ever tried (that belonged to someone else) with which I immediately began nailing the target- as in no “familiarity” period.
Pick it up & go.
My kid carries its bigger brother in .40 (229?) & loves it.
Everyone else said everything else already…

dr mac said...

Have both a 229 and 239. Never regretted the choice.

Hunter said...

I used the Beretta briefly in the Army and still feel that the design was...overly slick. It was too cutaway, too fat in the grip, the safety was awkward to apply/disconnect (with firing thumb).
So FWIW, my distant vote is for the Sig.

Evan said...

If you decide to go Sig, could you email me the contact info for the Beretta's seller and what he/she's asking? I'd love to have another.

I guess that answers your question, too, doesn't it?

SpeakerTweaker said...

I'd get the Sig, but only because I already have a 92FS. I've never shot a Sig, but I know I want one for a reason...

I can't say enough about my 92, though. The Wifey has small hands, and loves the way the 92 fits her. She did mention that a 226 Equinox she held recently reminded her of the 92 because of its slightly wider than usual wood grip (WANT).

And the parts availability thing is pretty important, too. You'll never run out of places that have 92 stuff.

And yes, Riggs and McClane played roles in my decision, but mine had to be stainless (the OLD version, with real stainless trigger, safety, and slide release).

I'd take the 92 and smile.


SpeakerTweaker said...

Oh, and Bruce? Jack Bauer would get bitch-slapped;)


Strings said...

I'd say go for the Beretta: wearing mine right now. It's the bedside gun...

Should you go with the Beretta, check with the MA laws, and see if I can't send back those mags you sent me to use in IPSC... ;)

Jay G said...

UPDATE: It's the Sig. I've already talked to the gentleman who had offered the Beretta, and his response was that the Sig was a great gun, and that he owned one and preferred it. Hence why he was willing to sell the Beretta.


How'd I know you'd pick the Sig? *g* Any chance you've got some pre-bans you'd be willing to swap for some real capacity mags since you're in a free state?


Suppressors are verboten in MA unless you're a class 07 FFL (Manufacturer). Given the trouble I had helping my son with his Pinewood Derby car, I'm not going to be applying to be a manufacturer anytime soon... *g*


Not quite that good, but then again, the 225 is a single-stack gun and there's no mention of magazines...


Don't worry. I'll most likely pick up a 92FS at some point in the future. Heck, there will be PLENTY available for C&R at some point down the road, right? *g*


As long as the magazines are pre-ban (made before September of 1994), there's no reason I can't have 'em.

So if anyone in a free state has any pre-ban Sig 226 9mm magazines they'd like to trade for shiny new ones, give a yell... :)


Thanks for the input. I've owned a Sig in the past and really been impressed with it (the only reason I no longer have it is because I traded it for my Colt Gold Cup, about which I can't say enough good things, so...).

Greg said...

Can't speak for the 92FS, though I've always wanted one, but the P226 is a sweet piece of machinery. My 226 has a smooth-as-glass action, and everything works together like a swiss watch.

The only semi-auto 9mm I've ever shot that was smoother is my Browning High Power. Both are definitely recommended.

As JD said, pick the one that fits your hand best. Guns are kind of like shoes-- the right fit can mean the difference between a beachball sized group and a softball sized group.

Angus Lincoln said...

Jay, did you at any point come to consider a CZ? I traded my 92FS last year for a CZ75 Compact and I considered it an excellent swap. Not that the Beretta wasn't a quality gun, but it was a bit on the large side and tought to carry concealed. The CZ on the other hand, has been performing way beyond my expectations.Best of luck with the Sig, but if it somehow disappoints, have a look at the CZ's

SCI-FI said...

As a child of the 80s actioners, I always wanted a Beretta. But I've heard it just isn't as reliable as others.
(Your mileage may vary.)

Ergo, I back the Sig.

Derek said...


I competed in the Marines with the 92. I've shot thousands apon thousands of rounds through a bunch of them. They are very accurate and very reliable pistols. When I left active duty the very first pistol I purchased was a Sig 226 in .40.

Jay G said...


Sadly, the CZ isn't on the {spit} Approved Firearms Roster, so it's not really up for consideration. They come up from time to time, but at an artificially inflated MA price.

I will most likely get one once I move to America... ;)


Don't worry, I'll most likely pick up a Beretta at some point down the road, which you'd be more than welcome to shoot (if I can ever drag your sorry arse back to the range, ahem...) :)


Right there is about the best argument for the Sig I've seen. Thanks for the recommendation. It only further strengthens my decision.

(And your site is going to be the death of my wallet, BTW...) :)

Farmer said...

I just picked up my Sig P226-Navy two days ago, what a sweet piece. It's a 9mm, which normally I might have dismissed, but Sig has a new 20rd 9mm mag (just in case there are many gobs storming the farm). In all seriousness, I picked it because it was a Sig (buy local is what the hippies say), the P226, is in use in the military and LE, so parts shouldn't be an issue, and 9mm, like .45 acp, has been around forever so in theory it should also be more available in a crisis than say .45 GAP. I chose the Navy model for the corrosion resistant finish (and the cool anchor stamped on the slide.)

Strings said...

I might be able to find some Sig mags: I'll let you know.

One thing I will point out (in the Sig's favor): the SEALs that my ship had aboard during WestPac used Sigs (I wanna say 226s), not Berettas.

I still prefer my Beretta though. It sits beside the bed at night, and a Cx4 Storm in the same corner (along with a shoulder rig with 2 spare mags, and another 2 strapped to the Storm). Having 90 rds immediately on tap is a happy feeling! :D

Cowboy Blob said...

Yay! The SIG won! I qualified to pack the Beretta in the USAF, but never got one myself. I own two SIGs, both in .40 S&W. Love the trigger and accuracy! Looking forward to your range report!