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Thread: Beretta 92D With Updates

  1. #1
    Member JonInWA's Avatar
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    Beretta 92D With Updates

    This earlier Beretta triggerbar thread https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....t=soft+trigger got me started. I have a 1996-production 92D that I obtained NIB, and have run it for years, both as a defensive carry gun and for IDPA; it's been used in numerous club-level and sanction State championship matches regularly. It's been an excellent gun; the only 2 malfunctions I've ever experienced with it were when the OEM trigger return spring broke (fortunately during a dryfire practice session) and one failure to extract when I was performing a weak-hand only scenario in a match (which was probably due to too insufficient of a grip to support effective slide reciprocation). The broken trigger return spring was replaced with one of Wolff's excellent reduced power TCU, which I've run the gun with for years without any reset incidents.



    My primary sponsor is Check-Mate Industries, who have provided me with a complete set of their dry-film magazines; out of the 8 that I have (and all are placed in rotational use, both for carry and IDPA), I've only had one issue; one of the magazines when brand new did not eject cleanly from the gun when empty; Check-Mate ran it through the sizing die a second time, and its performed without any subsequent hesitations. When magazines are utilized for carry, they are kept loaded (14+1) for several months at a time. Spring set or weakened spring tension has never been an issue with any of them. Jackie Santoro , Joe DeBello and Brandon Vitulli at Check-Mate have been stalwart supporters throughout the years.


    Grips are the ultra-thin nylon/fiberglass ones personally provided to me by the late Jacques Trausch; they are literally transformative in a very positive sense regarding the handling of the 92-the gun feels (and handles) much like a single-stack pistol (and is much thinner than the Beretta 92 Compact L Type M). The grips are such that the primary grip points of contact are the front and backstraps of the gun, as opposed to the grip plates per se.

    The Wilson/VZ ultra-thin grips have acquired a good reputation since their release, and with the Trausch's unavailability since Jacques Trausch's unfortuante and unexpected passing several years ago, they'd be the ones I'd likely recommend. Ergo/Falcon Grips has also made excellent hard rubber Beretta grips, but they're not showing as being currently available on their website. I have one of their sets, and they're quit good-good grippability and durability, but they are a bit thicker than the Trausch's or the Wilson/VZ Ultre-Thins. I suspect that they're still somewhat available, however, and are relatively inexpensive.



    Steve Trottier, President of Tool Tech (and member Tooltech here on the forum) was kind enough to facilitate the re-lamping of my OEM Trijicon tritium capsules last year; we went with a green tritium frontsight with an orange-painted surround, and yellow tritium rears sight capsules, with blacked sight surrounds-they have proven to be an excellent day- and night-sight combination. I've always liked Trijicons, both for the inherent quality of their sights and the lightbar proportions provided with front/rear sight alignment.



    Out of the box, the 92D has always possessed an excellent triggerpulls and very smooth slide reciprocation. I never measured the OEM setup with a triggerpull gauge, but to me it felt to be around 8-9 lbs; switching out the OEM trigger return spring when it broke with the Wolff TCU did not provide any increase in pull weight or induce any negative pull characteristics.

    The 92D is definitely a full-sized pistol, and the combination of the slide length and relatively long DAO triggerpull (with a correspondingly long reset) makes for a bit of a challenge regarding strong-handed and weak-handed shooting. Not helping was a slight, but pronounced "hitch" towards the end of the triggerpull. The recent thread, and one of the accompanying images of the OEM triggerbar makes it clear that accumulated dry- and live-fire gradually wears a groove in the rear pad portion of the triggerbar, which provides the "hitch." While the attached images aren't great, you can see the silver groove worn into the triggerbar's rear pad on the OEM triggerbar.



    It's visible as a bright silver wear line on the triggerbar's end pad.

    The suggestion to this issue (and the OEM triggerbar operationally remains functional-the triggerpull is just degraded over time at the trigger release point during triggerpull) is to replace the OEM triggerbar with one of the new ones from Wilson Combat, designed by Ernest Langdon and Bill Wilson. It provides a through-hardened bar, with revised overtravel and pad geometry at the release point. Needless to say, I was intrigued, particularly as the discussion was fleshed out during the thread, with Ernest Langdon providing some key contributions. Discussions followed with our GJM graciously facilitating between Bill Wilson and Anthony at Wilson Combat and myself. The upshot was that Wilson Combat graciously offered me my choice of any of their Beretta 92 components; I chose to go with their Ultimate Action Tune Kit (which provides the Wilson triggerbar, their chrome silicon lever-type {same as OEM configuration} trigger return spring, and a 12, 13 and 14 lb set of replacement mainsprings, also in chrome silicon. Additionally I selected both the normal and increased strength extractor springs, a chrome silicon firing pin spring, and a chrome silicon +P recoil spring (as my carry load for the 92D is normally either Speer's 124 gr +P Gold Dots or Hornady's 135gr Ultimate Duty rounds, both recommended for duty by DocGKR.


    Additionally, I requested one of Wilson's Extended/Checkered magazine release buttons to replace the OEM one (which required me to twist my hand to activate).

    Concurrently, I replaced the triggerbar spring and slide stop/release spring with Wolff replacement springs, which is part of my annual maintenance protocol. The slide stop spring has a longer leg, making it easier to install than the OEM one.

    The first thing I did was to attempt to install the extended magazine release...the operative word being "attempt." (And I will say that after going through both J.B. Wood's Beretta 92 disassembly/assembly book and numerous YouTube sequences, there are 2 YouTube providers that clearly are head-and-shoulders above: Childofjuly and MoisonVirus. Childofjuly utilizes an Inox 92, which makes things MUCH easier to see, and Moisinvirus conceptually and operationally beautifully describes and takes you through the concept and modifications necessary regarding the Wilson components, particularly comprehensively describing the triggerbar concept and mods necessary for successful installation. While I was easily able to transfer spring and its associated components from the OEM to the Wilson release, I simply could not install the assembly into the receiver. Two clues: On Wilson's site regarding the component reviews, virtually all the reviewers had issues with the component's installation, requiring the component to be filed/fitted; the second clue was my gunsmith's wincing when I came in with the component; he's also found Beretta magazine releases a bit of a pain to install. However, in relatively short order, he (Fred Hastings of C.a.R Firearms in Kent, WA) squeezed the installation in for me between orders. Once installed, it was well worth the trouble-magazine releases are much easier, with no hand-twisting necessary, and the checkering is very well done. One warning caveat for those concerned: Using this component will force you to be in IDPA's Enhanced Service Pistol division; if you want an extended magazine release and to be within the requirements of IDPA's Stock Service Pistol, you'll need to use Beretta's extended magazine release, the one they used in their 92 Elite (which is the component Wilson Combat themselves use in their Wilson/Beretta 92G to remain SSP compliant); it's not checkered, but probably virtually just as good operationally). By my caliper measurements, the Wilson Extended just makes the allowable .20 extension limit applicable to all IDPA divisions.


    I'm lucky-regarding the triggerbar itself, for my 92D, it was a simple drop-in installation; since it's DAO, I didn't need to file the overtravel pad for single-action use, and the rear pad was just fine as it came. I believe that Wilson has slightly modified the part since its initial release to make installation more likely to be a straight drop-in installation; YMMV. Essentially, one of the key things the new triggerbar does is to allow the hammer to go further back in DAO prior to release, imparting more force to the firing pin. The derivative benefit is that you can now use a much lighter mainspring; my understanding is that the OEM mainspring is 20 lbs; the OEM (or aftermarket, as available from Beretta) "D" mainspring is 16 lbs. While others have had good seemingly across the board results with the Wilson 13 lb spring, I opted to go conservatively with the 14 lb spring (the 12 lb spring reputedly is reliable predominantly with lighter-primered cartridges, such as Federal), since mine is used for both carry and competition. When re-installing the mainspring, ensure that it surrounds the hammer strut, and a drift or punch is very helpful in keeping the mainspring cap/lanyard loop aligned with the receiver while replacing the dogbone retention pin; things are under pretty strong tension; beware of inadvertently power-launching the components during installation (and subsequently chasing down the escaped parts...how do I know this...?) Safety glasses are an excellent idea here...

    I also went conservatively with the Wilson standard strength extractor spring; if necessary down the line I may opt to go with the enhanced tension spring. Removing the extractor is part of my annual Beretta maintenance protocol, to clean out the accumulated GSR and grunge from the extractor, extractor recess and firing pin chamber. When the extractor retaining pin is reinstalled, remember to lightly restake it at the top of the slide to preclude it from potentially wriggling out under use. I chickened out when it came to removing the firing pin and firing pin spring....mine is currently working fine, and GSR was removed by blowing the chamber out with compressed air with the access provided when the extractor is removed.

    On reassembly, I noticed that that slight triggerbar rub on the cut-out on the right grip panel made the trigger return slightly problematical-there was some hesitation. Accordingly, I decided (reluctantly) to replace the Wolff reduced power TCU with the stronger Wilson lever-type chrome silicon trigger return spring. Another Wilson part to run through its paces, and the spring is designed to be a lifetime component, much stronger than the OEM one. It requires a bit deeper disassembly to install than the TCU, but it's easily done-using a dental pick is VERY useful in hooking one end of the spring to the triggerbar as is necessary. The additional "oomph" of the Wilson return spring is sufficient to smoothly activate the trigger return-especially critical for me with a 92D, where every trigger return is perforce involving a long trigger reset distance, since the action is DAO.
    Additionally, I used some of Challis' thin rubber washers to serve as screw retention washers, as well as precluding the grip springs from rubbing against the magazines durng magazine insertion/ejection-with some of the Trausch grips, some stand-off distancing is required, and the Challis O-rings provide it nicely; I needed to stack 2 of them on each spring, but it's still more effective than using a #60 rubber washer, and more tailorable to the individual screws as needed.


    For holstering, I prefer Olen Holsters kydex; Bruce and Laura Clemans last year sponsored me with their OWB holster amd dual magazine pouch; this year they provided me with their IWB holster. They make 2 IWB set-ups, one, a "taco style" with a single FOMI retention clip, and another, a two-piece pancake style with dual retention clips; with a heavier gun like the Beretta 92, I've found that the weight is slightly better supported with the dual clip model, which is what they provided.
    Bruce and Laura provided these to me in a two-tone kydex-the exterior in "Beretta Blue" and the inner piece in Olive Drab (to commemorate my Army service); they are very amenable to similar color, equipment and retention-effort tension tailoring, and there work is excellent with very fast turn-around times.



    So-How does it all work? With much dryfiring, and one live-firing session, superbly. The Wilson Combat triggerbar and mainspring provide an exceptionally nice triggerpull, with no perceptible hitch at the release point, and hopefully the chrome silicon trigger return spring is indeed a long-lived component; if not, I'll likely go to back to a Wolff TCU, but the standard or increased strength component. The thorough-hardening of the Wilson triggerbar should provide for a very long life, and preclude the rear pad wear grooving and triggerpull "hitch" from occurring. While I was pleased with the OEM 16 lb"D" mainspring, the Wilson 14 lb one definitely provides for a beneficially lighter pull, facilitated by being used in conjunction with the Wilson triggerbar. The gun will be run through its paces at this month's club IDPA match, and in August's sanction Washington State IDPA Championship match.

    Again, many thanks to GJM for setting things in motion with Wilson Combat, and to Bill Wilson and Anthony for their interest and facilitation. I'll keep the forum posted as to how things perform under successive use. Right now, it's my dedicated carry, practice and match choice, at least through the summer.

    Best, Jon
    Last edited by JonInWA; 07-03-2017 at 05:09 PM.

  2. #2
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    Damn Jon I'm still jealous over those grips. They are awesome.

  3. #3
    Hammertime
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    Great gun review/update.

  4. #4
    Member JonInWA's Avatar
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    A couple of follow-on thoughts: Every time I get inside the Beretta, I'm impressed with just how well designed these guns are. They're complex-my 92D has some 69 separate components, and the other 92 models have even more (the 92D has fewer due to the deletion of the sear and sear spring, safety levers et al). The machining on them is similarly complex-even the springs have some eccentric design-architecture induced unique shapes (such as the slide release and triggerbar springs). In a world replete with design- and manufacture-simplified polymer-framed pistols, one wouldn't expect the Beretta 92 series to have garnered the reputation it has for reliability; but it does, thanks to the design team of Carlo Beretta, Giuseppe Mazzetti and Vittorio Vale, and the centuries-refined manufacturing capabilities of Beretta. And the aesthetics are nicely executed as well; I personally find the 92 to be a very handsome gun, although that has absolutely zero operational bearing on its use.

    I am not one who bemoans the commencement of the end of the universe induced by modern polymer-framed injected molded pistols. But I do admire the fit, form and function (and aesthetics) of a well-conceived and executed firearm like the Beretta 92. While the ingenious design simplification and manufacture of Glocks, the brute strength, design, and functionality of Rugers, and the brilliant conceptualization, material and manufacturing quality inherent to HKs and the period-specific design, manufacturing and functional efficiency of Colt 1911s will always impress me and provide enjoyment of use, the Beretta 92 to me is one of the foundation designs of 20th century pistols, and remains very viable today.

    Despite its proliferation of components and relative design complexity, their design is such that everything inherently reinforces, and provides excellent reliability and durability. Subsequent massaging by Wilson Combat and others continues to improve on an already very, very good gun-positioning it nicely in the 21st century. Its original weak points (particularly the short-lived OEM trigger return spring and locking block) have been successfully re-designed/re-materialed by Beretta themselves and others, with superlative results. While my "end of the world as we know it" will probably remain a Glock, due to their uniquely combined qualities of durability, reliability, ease of maintenance and ease of detailed disassembly/assembly and component interchangability without necessary fitting/gunsmithing and overall environmental imperviousness, and while my HK P30L with its V1 light LEM is probably a better threat-management and slightly superior in terms of outright shootability tool, the Beretta 92 (in my case, a 92D) holds a special place in my personal pantheon of firearms-and will continue to be used for carry, home defense and competition for the foreseeable future-and with singular pleasure and appreciation.

    Best, Jon
    Last edited by JonInWA; 07-04-2017 at 08:48 AM.

  5. #5
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    This is the most interesting thing I've read on the gun Internet in forever.

  6. #6
    Member JonInWA's Avatar
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    Thanks, Greg-much appreciated. Only on Pistol-Forum!

    And some additional comments: The Wilson Combat Extended Checkered Magazine Release's design is such that that when the gun is placed on its left side down and pushed, the magazine release does not protrude to the point that the magazine is inadvertently released-a great design feature.

    Lubrication continues to be with Weapon Shield for general lubrication/anti-corrosive protection, Lucas Red "N" Tacky grease (thanks again, Clobbersaurus) for metal-on-metal bearing/reciprocation areas (such as slide/receiver rails, locking block wings and slide slots, and Dri-Slide for difficult-to-reach lubrication areas, and areas where a non-grunge attractant lubricant is advisable (internal action components, inner magazine tubes and magazine springs).

    Best, Jon
    Last edited by JonInWA; 07-04-2017 at 09:57 AM.

  7. #7
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    Keep it coming Jon. I just purchased my first ever 92 and am pretty impressed with it.

  8. #8
    Member JonInWA's Avatar
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    I forgot to add one maintenance protocol: Per ToddG's Beretta-L Discussion, the only components on my generation of 92 that are blued, and neither Bruniton-treated or anodized aluminum are the barrel and grip screws, so to provide some additional rust-proofing, I periodically wipe these components down with Sentry Solutions' Tuf-Cloth, a chemically-impregnated cloth.

    Also, a great source for technical questions and concerns that I've had over the years is BUSA's Randall Laporte in their Customer Support/Tech Support department; he's been unfailing polite and providing of succinct, but detailed responses to my periodic queries.

    Ergo Grips has just confirmed to me that their Beretta 92 hard rubber grips are in fact available, but they are not depicted on their current website. I believe their current pricing is around $27, so they're a great value alternative if the thickness of the OEM Beretta grips is ok with you. They are available in both black and dark earth (my example image in the main discussion is obviously dark earth). If interested, I'd inquire at info@ergogrips.net

    http://ergogrips.net/shop/ergo-beret...el-92m-9-grip/

    Best, Jon
    Last edited by JonInWA; 07-04-2017 at 11:21 AM.

  9. #9
    When it comes to aesthetics, the D's are top of the heap.
    JonInWA, would you mind telling us about running the DAO trigger. Any tips or techniques you could share.

  10. #10
    Member JonInWA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 357carbine View Post
    When it comes to aesthetics, the D's are top of the heap.
    JonInWA, would you mind telling us about running the DAO trigger. Any tips or techniques you could share.
    I've found that it's very similar to running a double-action revolver-the trigger needs to be allowed to return fully forward to achieve reset. You quickly adjust to it, and repeat shots can be accomplished very quickly (albeit not as quickly as those on a 1911, Glock, or HK when utilizing their respective short reset points).

    The trigger can be staged with judicious practice as you draw, initiating the rolling pull as the gun clears holster and essential body parts. I index and acquire the sights very quickly (well, by my standards) and naturally with my 92D; it's a huge plus for the platform for me. And the Tool Tech modded sights with their orange surround are a big help into immediately sucking my vision towards the front sight. If you have dot sights, you might want to experiment with neon or fluorescent paint. I've had good results with an orange (or red) front dot, and green or yellow rear dots, or just blacking out the rear dots.

    In feel and action, it's very similar to using a tuned classic Smith & Wesson revolver-and that's on an out-of-the-box 92D, before any of the upgrades. Accordingly, the 92D model Berettas are slowly developing a near cult status ( happily and unashamedly facilitated by me).

    As I mentioned, strong- and weak-handed firing a 92 in DA or DAO mode is a bit of an acquired taste, requiring practice to master, given the combination of the long slide's weight/balance and the long triggerpull and reset distance.

    A question I'll have to ask Wilson and/or Ernest Langdon is if the reset distance on a 92D is/can be modified/shortened with the new Wilson Combat triggerbar; if they're reading this thread discussion, hopefully they'll appropriately chime in with further insights, as I'm frankly not sure (and am disinclined to screw around on mine without adult guidance-I'm very pleased with it as it is, but then again, I'm acclimated to it after years of operation and accumulated muscle memory).

    Best, Jon
    Last edited by JonInWA; 07-04-2017 at 12:01 PM.

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