Umarex Beretta M9A3
The original pistol and history
The Beretta M9, officially the Pistol, Semiautomatic, 9mm, M9, is the designation for the Beretta 92FS semi-automatic pistol used by the United States Armed Forces. The M9 was adopted by the United States military as their service pistol in 1985.
The M9 is a short recoil, semi-automatic, single-action / double-action pistol that uses a 15-round staggered box magazine with a reversible magazine release button that can be positioned for either right or left-handed shooters. The M9 is used with the Bianchi M12 Holster, though other holsters are often used.
The M9 was updated to the M9A1 in 2006. The update added, among other things, a one-slot Picatinny rail for mounting lights, lasers, and other accessories to the weapon. The M9A1 has a more aggressive front, back-strap checkering, and a beveled magazine well for easier reloading of the weapon. M9A1 pistols are sold with Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) coated magazines that were developed to better withstand the conditions of sandy environments in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The M9A2 was never produced. The M9 was further updated to the M9A3 in 2015. The main updates were a larger magazine, longer 3-slot Picatinny rail, earth-tone finish, removable grip wrap, removable sights and a sand-resistant magazine.
TV and Film
While the Beretta 92FS is a popular firearm for film use, the rarer M9A3 is not. I can only find reference to a couple of TV series episodes and two video games.
- Calibre: 9x19mm Parabellum
- Capacity: up to 17 rounds
- Weight: 1kg
- Length: 220mm
The CO2 replica
The Umarex Beretta M9A3 “Full Metal” pistol is another very accurate replica, the only major difference, which is pretty annoying, is the silver/white lettering where the words should have been embossed into the slide instead, other than that, this is a very accurate facsimile as can be seen by the pictures.
While it fails my TV and film aspect, I liked the dull-earth finish and the general feel of the pistol so I got it in those grounds alone. It’s a very smooth action and shows no sign of loose fitting parts etc. The double/single action trigger feels good and the pistol fits my larger hand nicely.
The safety is very positive and ambidextrous, the slide release is fully functional but cannot be swapped sides like the original can. Sights are clear and although fixed, it is fairly accurate to point of aim.
The slide is a blowback style and has a fairly long travel. It will lock open when the last shot is fired as shown below, it gives a very good recoil feel in the hand when a shot is taken. The pistol is field strippable and easy to do, there is also a silencer thread on the barrel if the protection ring is removed.
The full drop-out style magazine holds the BB’s and the 12g CO2 as shown below. CO2 loading is simple but as with the Glock 17, loading the BB’s is a painful experience because the plunger is only just reachable with a fingernail.
As with the Glock 17, loading BB’s is made much easier and faster with my 3d-printed plunger depressor, below. Just poke the tool down from the top, lock the plunger, remove the tool and load the BB’s.
I can supply the plunger tool for very little cost, just contact me for details.
The M9A3 is a great pistol in tin-can alley, it’s accurate and the powerful blowback action adds to the realism on every shot.
- Calibre: 4.5mm BB
- Capacity: 16 rounds
- Weight: 950g
- Length: 225mm
- CO2 Usage: 40 to 50 shots at usable power