What are the differences with 90 series pistols? Also, what parts interchange?

Interchangeable parts on 90's series

We frequently receive numerous phone calls and email inquiries regarding the differences between 90 series pistols. For comparison, the 92FS, which is the modern standard model, will be used as the baseline. This article will also cover magazine compatibility, and that of parts.
The 92FS is a full size, double/action single action, 9mm Luger/Parabellum caliber pistol with ambidextrous safety levers, that allow de-cocking of the hammer.  It has a 4.9-inch barrel, a fixed white dot front sight post, with a removable rear sight.  It is coated in a black enamel based finish. 
The frame is comprised of 7075-T6 aluminum, with an excellent strength to weight ratio.
The slide is steel, as is the barrel.  With few exceptions, the guide rod is made from a durable polymer.  The trigger is steel with a polymer coating to prevent rust.
The weight (unloaded) is approximately 34 ounces.  (32 for smaller frames, higher for Brigadier).
The modern design possesses an enlarged hammer pin (more on that later), a flattened finger groove on the trigger guard, and a magazine release mounted toward the top front of the front-strap, on left side of the grip.  The backstrap is rounded.
All variants chambered in .40 S&W are referred to as the 96 Series.

Notes:

  • All models labeled as a “G” variation utilize a de-cock only safety mechanism, that will automatically return to fire mode.  This contrasts the “F” type, which requires manual manipulation.
  • Additionally, anything labeled “INOX” stands for an “inoxidizable” finish. The finish is sand-blasted and anodized.
  • The finish of most 92 pistols consists of a proprietary high-tech enamel based finish called “Bruniton.”

Part Fitting:

  • -Modern magazines of the standard capacity for the 92FS (10 or 15 rounds) will fit almost every 92 variant, including double stack compact models.  Conversely, compact magazines will not fit a full-size.
  • -In most cases, modern 92FS barrels will retrofit to older full-size models.  However, due to acceptable variations in machining tolerances, headspace should ALWAYS be verified, and minor fitting may be required.  For compact models, compact barrels must be used.
  • -In practice, a 92F may be upgraded to an FS.  However, it will currently require a slide unit replacement, as well as new grip panels and the enlarged hammer pin.  The cost of the services, such as parts, labor, shipping, taxes, etc. will eat up the majority, if not exceed, the cost of a brand new 92FS.  To this end, it is far more efficient for the customer to simply purchase a new pistol.
  • Additionally, 92FS guide rod assemblies will generally retrofit to older models, this does not apply with the 92A1.
  • A 92FS slide will retrofit to a 92F, but not vice versa.
  • For additional parts fit compatibility, please contact Beretta USA for clarification.

    Compared to the 92FS:
    92: Is the original 90 series pistol, and a limited number were produced from 1976 to 1983. Two types exist, each of different "series." The original possessed a distinctive "slide step," where the latter units were straight cut. Major differences include a frame mounted safety, as opposed to the slide, as well as a magazine release located on the left grip oriented toward the low end of the backstrap. They did not have de-cocking capability.
    92S: Is a law enforcement modified version of the original 92, possessing a left-hand safety and de-cocker, like the FS, however, the safety is located on the left only.  The magazine release is identical to original 92 pistols, but not the 92FS.
    92 SB/SB-F (Shortened to 92F): The model is, in nearly all respects, identical to the 92FS. The difference between the Model 92F and the 92FS is the size of the hammer pin head. Because of this dimensional difference, the Model 92FS has additional cuts to the slide and the left-hand grip panel.

    When the M9 selection process was being undertaken by the U.S. Army, another U.S. military agency tested the Beretta 92F (M9) pistols using submachine gun (SMG) rated ammunition, which is of a significantly higher pressure than standard pistol ammunition. This caused some stress fractures in the slides after several thousand rounds of testing, which is likely to damage any pistol. SMG ammunition should NOT be used in any pistol.

    As a precaution, the Department of Defense requested a device be fitted to the frame of the pistol to prevent the slide from exiting towards the rear in the event of a total breakage. This was due to the concern that service members might use SMG ammunition during an emergency if no other ammunition was available.

    This change was incorporated into the commercial model as named the 92FS, which was being produced concurrently with the 92F pistols until approximately 1993. It was poor streamlining in the production process to have two designs being built at the same time, so the 92F was dropped from production.

    Because some customers preferred having the latest design, Beretta during the early 1990's offered a service to convert the pistols. This service is no longer being offered, nor is it a necessity for safe operation.
    Brigadier Models: Are 92FS pistols with heavier, wider slides, and front removable dovetail sights.
    92 CB: Was a short lived, single-action-only pistol. They were produced for about one year in the early 1990's.
    92A1: Is a 92FS with a picatinny accessory rail, captured guide rod assembly, an internal recoil buffer, a removable front sight post, and a rounded and enlarged trigger guard. It is otherwise identical to the 92FS.
    M9A1: Is nearly identical to the 92A1, apart from a 92FS guide rod assembly, a fixed front sight, and a flattened trigger guard.
    90-TWO: An aesthetically/cosmetically updated 92A1 with a wider slide, dovetailed front sight posts, and 9mm and .40 S&W caliber variants.  Production was relatively short lived, discontinuing in 2009.
    M9 Commercial:  Is the commercially available version of the standard issue military pistol.  It is identical to the military issue in design, yet appropriated and stamped for civilian sale.  The fundamental difference between an M9 and a 92FS are the sights.  On the 92FS, there are three dots, whereas the M9 uses two.  Additionally, the dust covers may vary in design, and there are minor dimensional differences.  Otherwise, they are mechanically identical.  Enthusiasts often simplify the models by stating that the M9 is for the military, and the 92FS is for civilians and law enforcement personnel.
    92FS Vertec:  Is almost identical to the 92FS, however, it uses a flush 4.7-inch barrel, thinner polymer grips, and dovetailed front sight posts.  Some models incorporated accessory rails. The backstrap is flat.
    M9A3: Is an upgrade on the Vertec design, boasting a Flat Dark Earth (FDE) cerakote finish, as well as a 1/2x28 barrel threading for sound suppressor attachments.  Night sights are often standard.
    93R Raffica (Italian for "Flurry" or “Burst”): A very rare 92 based model used by European law enforcement agencies.  It boasts an 18-round magazine, mounted foregrip, and three round burst capability.
    92FS Compact: Is functionally identical to the 92FS, albeit with shorter dimensions on the slide, barrel, and frame.  There are two variants.  The Compact-M possessed a single-stack magazine well and magazine, the Compact-L is double stack.  The former is out of production
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