UPDATE: BERETTA M9 UPGRADES – SUPERB ROI!
See this post for background on my M9.
So, after yet another range session and very good results with the M9, this time out to 50 meters, I was doing some reading to see if there were any internal parts upgrades available. Apparently, not having a M9 for several decades, and therefore not really paying attention to product improvements, I’m about the only person in the free world that didn’t know they were out there. <insert eye roll here>. My primary concern was the tremendously high poundage on the trigger for double action shooting. I found the original hammer spring made by Beretta was set at about 14 pounds. A. Bit. Much.
So, first thing I did was get a ‘D Hammer Spring’, which is basically about 4 links shorter than the standard. You can see the difference in the image below. The idea behind it is to lower the double action trigger pull from somewhere around 13/14 pounds or so down to 6 to 8 while still providing the force necessary for the hammer and firing pin to penetrate hard primers. It also lowers the single action trigger pull down to something near 4 to 5 pounds. Ok, I spent $11.
Man, does that make a difference shooting double action!!
Second upgrade: Wolff black steel op rod & 15 pound recoil spring (fits over the op rod if you’re not familiar with it) Factory is 13 pounds. The factory plastic (and fluted) op rod just did not provide the confidence I want for a high round count service pistol intended for SHTF use. When it comes to the recoil spring itself, personally, I like just a bit more power, especially when I’m shooting rounds like Federal’s HST +P. Cost: $8.50 for the spring and $24 for the op rod.
Because of that, and wanting a high round count before required maintenance, I picked up a Wilson Combat Recoil Buffer. Another $10. This fits over the recoil spring and sits up near the face of the slide. It doesn’t change or interfere with operations; it simply acts as a dampening pad on the amount of force of the violent rearward movement of the slide and the front of the slide when it hits the face of the locking block. These are worthwhile; I put them in every pistol I own. Makes the pistol keep operating as new for a long, long, long time. And I like that.
At this point I’ve got $53.50 invested.
Then I’m seeing this Wolff Trigger Conversion Unit also sold by Wilson Combat under the WC’s name. I chose the Wolff version for two reasons: I’m very comfortable with Wolff’s quality and customer support (should it be necessary). The Wilson Combat version was $7 less expensive, but they’re out of stock, a LOT, and Wolff has a good supply. It was worth it to me to not have to wait for WC to get them back in stock. I purchased the ‘Extra Power’ model. It’s simply a pound or so more than the standard, and it’s designed to eliminate trigger return spring breakage and ‘spring stacking.’ It’s Np3 coated, and is drop in both design and application. $25.
Now I’m up to just about $79. Last, but certainly not least, was getting some more aggressive grip panels. My hands are average, and I can handle the M9 very well, but I wanted just a tad more purchase on the pistol when holding it in wet conditions (rain, sweat, etc). So, I found a pair of ERGO hard rubber grips with medium abrasion (meaning you can hold it well when your hands are slippery) for $20 shipped.
$99 to put everything I want on the M9 to have it continue to look like a service grade and shoot like it’s almost match grade. Now remember, this was a safe queen I picked up for a few hundred less than retail, so I had a cost buffer I could use for these kinds of upgrades.
I’m toying with the idea of putting on the factory adjustable rear sight (back in the day in the Air Force, we were always provided adjustable sights on our SW M-15’s until the M9 made everyone go to fixed sights), and then, after I retired, I assumed there would be an optional up fit like the Smith wheel guns. The Beretta adjustable sight looks a lot like the old S&W adjustable that I was weaned on, so who knows, I might get it.
No decision yet; I’m not sure if I want to pay between $75 and $100 for this upgrade when the issue sights and my eyes still seem to work good enough – 80% hits in vital areas at 50 meters with a fixed sight ain’t too bad, so for now, this is on the shelf. Got it on sale at Beretta for less than $40. Just have to install it.
All the improvements above have countless YouTube videos available to demonstrate, from the home grown to official Beretta versions, how to install. All of them can be done by the owner; I was able to do each operation without too much trouble (meaning it was me and not the pistol or the instruction) and get everything done in minutes.
If you’re a Beretta 92 or M9 owner, check the upgrades out; it might be worth your while. It certain was mine – this M9 SINGS on the range!!
We’ve gone from, ‘singing’ to OPERATIC SOUND. Why? I took a chance and bought the ‘G conversion for the Decocker’ from Beretta. On sale. Less than $40. Installed it (a real PITA to finalize…trust me – when they recommend a gunsmith to put in the kit, they’re not kidding!). The idea, and practical result, from installing the conversion kit, is that when the shooter chooses to decock the M9, the weapon no longer has a dead trigger – it’s now fully double action. THIS MEANS that if you have a round in the chamber and you depress the trigger, you’ll discharge a round! Knowing that up front, it’s actually safer, because, like a Glock, or any other DA pistol, if you have a round in the chamber, you’ll discharge a round if you depress the trigger. You do have an advantage, though, if you have the hammer back and you depress the decocker: the hammer will fall and no round will discharge.
At the range, first thing I did was check to see if the decocker worked. I chambered a round, pulled the hammer back, and then engaged the decocker while aiming down range (in case there were mechanical issues). Worked flawlessly. I did this several times throughout my range session to check. It worked like a charm.
I now feel much more confident in my M9, and will have no problem carrying it wherever, or selecting it for a primary service weapon (side arm, of course) in my kit.
The ‘G’ Conversion keeps the safety lever up at all times, and the RED ‘I’m ready to fire’ indicator stays visible at all times.