92FS Shooting Low
This answer is not intended to be a comprehensive guide on pistol shooting. There are many excellent articles and publications that address this topic in much greater detail. The primary intent of this answer is for our customers to ensure that they have ruled out all of the variables below, before they arrive at the conclusion that their Beretta pistol is defective or not properly sighted. Oftentimes, the service department receives pistols from customers that have complained of accuracy issues, that upon being fired by one of our gunsmiths, shoot an excellent group. You can save yourself some time, money and inconvenience by following the steps below prior to requesting service on your pistol.
Note: "Group" is defined as the consistency of shot placement location, whereas "accuracy" is the precision of shot placement in relation to the desired point of impact. For instance, a series of shots may group closely together, however, they may be several inches away from the bullseye.
When accuracy of a pistol is brought in to question, our customers often describe the group as "low and left." It is often determined that this is due to trigger control and grip.
There are many factors that can and will affect pistol accuracy. Here are several common elements of pistol shooting that you may observe prior to initiating contact with our gunsmithing department:
1. Sight picture: Ensure that your front and rear sights are aligned to create the proper sight picture. Point of aim and point of impact should be relatively consistent, taking into consideration the barrel length of the firearm and distance from the target. Note: all Beretta pistols use a "combat sight picture." Simply put, the front sight post/dot physically covers the desired point of impact.
2. Pistol hold: Hold your pistol firmly in your hand. The Handgun Target Analysis Guide depicted below, and available as a downloadable .pdf, provides a good guide to analyze the cause(s) of rounds not impacting in the desired location on the target.
3. Trigger pull: Ensure that only the pad of your index finger is resting on the trigger. Do not "grip" the trigger. While maintaining the correct sight picture (as mentioned above), squeeze the trigger slowly until the round fires. Ensure a complete follow through on the pull, so as not to "jerk" the trigger. With practice and patience, you should be able to improve the speed of your trigger squeeze cadence.
4. Ammunition: Many pistols shoot some brands and bullet weights of ammunition better than others. Although Beretta does not specifically endorse one manufacturer's brand over another, we strongly recommend the use of factory loaded, commercially available, brass ammunition that falls under SAAMI standards. Occasionally, experimentation with a few separate brands may be required to determine what is best for your pistol. .22 caliber ammunition, in particular, can be problematic in pistols. Reloads are never recommended.
5. Cleanliness: To ensure proper functioning--and to maintain accuracy--all pistols (regardless of brand) require routine cleaning and lubrication at established intervals. The owner should obtain a good quality cleaning kit and follow the instructions specified by the owner's manual for cleaning and lubrication. We offer many videos that can help you maintain your firearm. This procedure is recommended after each use.
6. Safety & Proper Operation: Always ensure that you follow the safety precautions and operating instructions specified in your owner's manual. This doesn't improve accuracy, but it is always a necessity.
Are you still having accuracy issues? Consider "bench resting" your gun. Using sandbags, a suitable bench rest, or a similar steady apparatus, position your pistol firmly on your mount of choice. Once you have achieved a proper bench rest, repeat steps 1 through 3 above, and note the impact point of your rounds. You should observe a consistently tight shot group somewhere on your target. The accuracy, which differs from the group, will improve with practice. If the shot group and accuracy are less than satisfactory, continue focusing on steps 1 through 3 until you obtain the desired results. The vast majority of group and accuracy issues are best corrected by proper sight alignment, trigger squeeze and pistol shooting fundamentals. Speaking frankly, human error is often a factor in inaccuracy, which the bench rest will serve to diminish. Additionally, shooting is a perishable skill, and consistent practice and implementation of the fundamentals are paramount to maintaining shooting ability.
If you are convinced that you have performed the above steps correctly, you may consider having a friend, family member, or individual with proven shooting ability shoot your pistol to see if the results are consistent. Naturally, if one or more of these individuals achieve an accurate and consistent group, this likely rules out mechanical error. If the firearm performs poorly with all those involved, the need for a factory corrective action is significantly more evident.
You may also consider reviewing one of these National Shooting Sports Foundation videos regarding pistol shooting.
After you have exhausted all of the possibilities as described above, you may consider sending your firearm to Beretta USA for evaluation and possible repair. Please note that a $70 evaluation fee (which includes the cost of labor, ammunition and return shipping of the firearm) will be assessed only if the pistol currently meets factory accuracy parameters. If the pistol does not meet factory parameters during initial testing, and it is within the warranty period, the pistol will be corrected to meet our accuracy parameters and returned to the customer at no charge. If the pistol is not within the warranty period, you will be contacted with a quotation for the cost of repair. Please ensure that you include a copy of your targeting results with your firearm in order to assist us in determining the problem.
The owner of the firearm is responsible for the cost of shipping the pistol to the factory for evaluation. This policy is set forth by corporate, as the vast majority of accuracy evaluations yield a firearm performing well to factory standards.