Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol Review

By Kevin Reese
This review is part four(4) of a five(5) part series of new guns or interesting guns for 2016. Click the Next button at the bottom to read more. : Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol Review.

Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol
Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol in 9mm
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA –  -( Our military is finicky when it comes to firearms. During my 8 years in the Marine Corps, we depended predominately upon the M16-A2 service rifle and a mix of outgoing Colt 1911s and incoming Beretta M9s; in fact, I even qualified Pistol Sharpshooter as a corporal with a Colt 1911 .45 ACP that had been in Marine Corps service since before our involvement in WWI.

It was still a great shooting handgun as evident by my level of qualification; however, it certainly had, for military purposes, reached the end of its life.

Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol

The Beretta M9s were flooding in fast and furious; even some of the shooters from other units qualifying with me were using the M9. It’s been many years since I qualified with the pistol in service to the Marine Corps. During that time, the M9 has proven itself in countless combat operations, as have M16 variants like the A2 and A4.

Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol in 9mm
Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol in 9mm

Essentially an upgrade of the M9 but not accepted by the U.S. Army, the double/single-action Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol in 9mm is a phenomenal choice for law enforcement as well as regular citizens looking for full-size protection. Admittedly, the M9A3 might not be the best for concealed carry but then again it wasn’t necessarily designed for that purpose either. It certainly does fit the bill for concealment under a coat or open-carried in some type of OWB holster. The M9A3 is also exceptionally well suited for range training, recreational shooting, protection in your home or vehicle, and as the kind of sidearm you just might want on your hip for a little insurance when hunting large or dangerous game animals. Beretta offers the M9A3 in both type F (decocking/safety lever) and type G (decocker only).

Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol
Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol

The Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol also boasts a 17-round double-stack, sand resistant, PVD coated magazine, ½” x 28 STD 5.1” threaded barrel, tritium adjustable sights, 3rd Gen tilting locking block, 3-slot MIL-STD-1913 picatinny rail and a slim Vertec style grip with wrap-around backstrap for those with larger hands. The M9A3 holds its own against the harshest elements with advanced corrosion and wear resistant coatings, to include Cerakote, anodizing, Bruniton, PVD, black oxide, and a chrome lined barrel and chamber. The flat dark earth colored finish works to reduce the M9A3’s visual signature. While some may not be a huge fan of the 33-oz. empty weight, others might feel like they’re shooting something significant. Either way, it is just that, significant. Why didn’t the Army like the M9A3? Who knows? The Army doesn’t even know. What I know is, I like the hell out of it!

The Beretta M9A3 Tactical Pistol is available now with an MSRP of $1,099.

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Click Here for our next Gun Review.

About Kevin Reese:

Kevin is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, speaker, host of Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips and a Marine Corps veteran. He owns and administers and Main Beam Blog at The Main Beam Blog offers great articles, press releases, outdoor industry news and reviews.

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erik cantu

For all the opinions people are expressing here about past versions of this gun, nobody is mentioning that this “review” really didn’t review the gun at all. In fact, from reading this, I don’t think the author even shot or even held the weapon them self. Everything in this “review” could have been gleamed from a press release and the only personal opinion of the gun comes in the very end and is just “I like the hell out of it!” Do something more than regurgitate the press release in your own words, tell us about the feel and balance… Read more »

Clark Kent

They desperately need to get rid of the safety system. It causes your grip to break when it should be tightening. Either come up with a downward motion safety (a la 1911) or get rid of a safety (a la Glock).


Clark Kent: I don’t get where you’re coming from at all. You can easily Just leave the safety off if it bugs you.


I will start out by saying that I am a .45 guy. My EDC is a G21, and I love my 1911 . . and my wife loves hers. No, I never carried a Beretta in the Army . . we had 1911s, and when i went to Iraq, my best and longest running contract issued me a Kimber 1911 for the last two years i was there. It was a great gun. But we also own 3 Beretta 92s and they are great guns. Reliable, accurate enough for combat situations (they are NOT Gold Cup guns), they will digest… Read more »


I have always loved Beretta and always will, however in the military I noticed a lot of the Beretta,s weren’t maintained well, just saying.


“weren’t well maintained” is a big open statement. Who has responsibility? The Armorer? The user? What level of maintenance? a good cleaning, or repairs? Users were responsible for cleaning and reporting problems. Problems were kicked upstairs to CATM. CATM determined whether repairs could be done locally, or the weapon had to go to the depot. As a user, I function checked my weapons during the loading/unloading process. I inspected the cleanliness, and checked adjustable sights to make sure they were not changed. As a user, I sought to assure that, when required, my weapons were ready and able in order… Read more »

Chuck M

Dave w, you appear to be the most logical person I have read concerning the beretta 92 a1, and would like to let you know I’m not a new shooter, but far from a pro. I’m just an old guy probably with to many guns, but as far as the Beretta, I’m not very familiar with it, but like with all my others, I prefer glocks, I always field strip them, and give them a good cleaning, and lube job right out of the box, but with this gun, the first mag I ran through it, I had a minimum… Read more »


No Disrespect But Why In The Hell Did You Buy It If It’s So Terrible?? I Have 2 Beretta, The M9 And Compact. Never Had A Problem Of Any Kind! I Have A Glock Too, However I Prefer The Beretta. I Prefer Hammer Fired Pistols Of Striker That Is Just My Preference. If You Give 200,000 People Handgun And Have Them Use It For 25 Years, You Will Get Complaints On Any Gun No Matter The Make Or Manual Of Arms! If I Pick Up A Handgun I Know Right Then If It’s Comfortable For My Hands, It Does Not… Read more »

Chuck M

I just purchased the model 92, 1-a, and it just don’t feel right.
it is now up for sale with less than 150 rds through it.


Having trained with and carried the M9 pistol for years, Being a member of a Hostage rescue/High Value target unit, I can honestly say I have fired a number of rounds from the older M9 Beretta. They have (Military issue) a history of major malfunctions after 15-25k rounds. I have personally had 3 M9s slides break in my hands. Numerous barrel locking lugs (nomenclature not correct) break. Is the new M9A3 built better, after I get my hands on one and put it through a few weeks of real training I’ll let you know. As for me, I carry a… Read more »

Gary Whitmore

Malfunction after 15000 to 2500 rounds, how many rounds in a clip? The US Marines are now using the colt M45 A1, when it comes to selling weapons to the military there is a lot of money involved and a lot of brown envelopes, the M9A3 is a great weapon, in most cases it’s not the weapon that makes the difference it’s the guy standing behind it. You watch your six. Gary.


I understand the Army not getting excited about this pistol, yet I’m curious about the fact that Beretta has made these improvements based off specific complaints from military members. The M9 A1 has always been awkward to many in the military, in spite of a one-size-fits-all approach to weapon systems that recruits have to mold themselves to. There’s no ‘whatever’s comfortable for you,’ when it comes to standard issue. The M9 A3 upgrades and improvements go the opposite route in certain aspects. A flashlight mount, for example, is great tactically for the individual, but Uncle Sam’s not forking over money… Read more »

Michael Smith

Very well said!


The M9 A1 has always been awkward to many in the military, in spite of a one-size-fits-all approach to weapon systems that recruits have to mold themselves to. There’s no ‘whatever’s comfortable for you,’ when it comes to standard issue. The M9 A3 upgrades and improvements go the opposite route in certain aspects. A flashlight mount, for example, is great tactically for the individual, but Uncle Sam’s not forking over money for lights and custom holsters to make a use out of the rails. Removable grips? No armorer is issuing a sidearm and asking the soldier, “You want small, medium,… Read more »