The Beretta 92SB is an Italian combat pistol manufactured by Beretta, upgraded from the previous 92S to be fully ambidextrous and with an easier magazine release.

The 92SB became the official sidearm of the United States Air Force and the 92SBC was offered to the Austrian Military, but lost to the Austrian Glock.

It is distinguished from the 92FS by its flat magazine base plates and round trigger guard, which would be later made to be squared on the 92F and 92FS models.

History and DesignEdit

Beretta modified the model 92SB slightly in 1981 to create the 92SB-F (the "F" added to denote entry of the model in U.S. Government federal testing) and, later, the 92G for French Government testing, by making the following changes:

  • Design of all the parts to make them 100% interchangeable to simplify maintenance for large government organizations.
  • Modified the front of the trigger guard so that one could use finger support for easier aiming. Recurved the forward base of the grip to aid aiming.
  • Hard chromed the barrel bore to protect it from corrosion and to reduce wear.
  • New surface coating on the slide called Bruniton, which allegedly provides better corrosion resistance than the previous plain blued finish.

These pistols have become a hot collector's item as they are quite rare.

Military ServiceEdit

The Joint Service Small Arms Program, abbreviated JSSAP, was created to coordinate weapon standardization between the various U.S. armed service branches.

Their first major program involved the search for a new 9x19mm Parabellum pistol to replace existing M1911A1 handguns. The trials would begin in 1979 and continue into 1983 with the U.S. Air Force originally selected to lead the selection process. Entrants in the first trials included the Beretta 92S-1, Colt SSP, FN DA, FN FA, FN GP, Heckler & Koch P9S, Heckler & Koch VP70, Smith & Wesson 459 and Star M28 alongside the existing M1911A1. The Beretta 92S-1 would be declared the winner, but the U.S. Army contested the results. The Department of Defense and JSSAP gave the task to the Army starting in 1981.

The first Army test resulted in all pistols failing. The standards were lessened and a retest was done, but again, none passed.

By 1983, a new program was started, now under the XM9 name. These service pistol trials would result in adoption of the Beretta 92F as the M9 Pistol. 

Controversy over these trials lead to the XM10 trials in 1988. Ruger submitted their new P85. But the trials were boycotted by some makes and resulted in the Beretta M9 winning again.

SIG-Sauer's P226 passed the XM9 trials but lost out in the final bidding. In a later competition for a compact service pistol, SIG Sauer's P228 became the M11 pistol.

The 92SB won the trials but was never fully adopted by the Air Force as their sidearm.