Add Limp Wrists

I see that the USAF is replacing the steel M9 Beretta pistols with the Mattel SIG M18.

M9s are larger, heavier, all-metal pistols; whereas M18s are lighter polymer pistols with a more consistent trigger pull and adjustable grips for large and small hands.

Well, isn’t that special.  They’re catering to the metrosexuals, even.

It must be a better pistol:  18 is twice as good as 9, right?

I’m just surprised that the Zoomies kept that mega-macho 9mm Parabellum cartridge, instead of going for the lighter-still, gentle-recoil .22 LR option.  I mean, with the difference in weight, you can carry 500 rounds of .22 LR compared to just one hundred of the 9mm.



  1. To be quite fair, the Beretta 92 has a large grip. The P320 has a smaller circumference, and suits a smaller hand better.

  2. To be fair, if the Air Force is using their pistols, something has already gone horribly wrong.

  3. I have and shoot 1911s, CZ-75 (very similar to Beretta 92), S&W revos (including a Model 15 like I carried in the AF), Glock 19, and XD. I would choose the SIG P320 over any of them to carry in the AF. It’s just a good choice for the role.

      1. Umm…. Does that mean I have to tell my 19-Eleventy that I’m suspected of the ghey?

        gwalchmai, isn’t the CZ-75 closer to the Browning High Power, from the genius of St. John Moses? I’ve shot the new Shadow 2, and I’ve got plans to acquire one once the Department of Fun Prevention turns her back again.

        1. As I recall, the CZ is closer to the Mauser P-38 action, but my memory may have failed me on this point.

          1. Oh, carp: That should have read Browning Hi-Power. I humbly apologize for inadvertently conflating Browning’s meisterwerke with the execrable High-Point.

            The Walther P38 is differentiated by its design and DA/SA trigger. In SA mode, it’s a lot of fun and surprisingly accurate for a military arm. DA mode – not so much.

          2. CZ-75 is delayed blowback like a 1911. Mine’s DA/SA but I carried it cocked & locked.

        2. CZ-75 is about the same size and heft as a Berretta 92 / BHP / 1911. I love the way it soaks up that massive Europellet recoil, but it pulls my britches down.

          I went through a spell where I shot a 4″ Kimber Kompact in .45 exclusively for about a year. Then I picked up the CZ ($350, brand new, back when the Turk contract overrun hit the USA ;)) It was, really, like .22LR recoil.

  4. The M9 is unnecessarily large and heavy. Not sorry to see it go. Tested and approved in the same era and by the same batch of gorillas that thought the m16a2 ergonomics were reasonable.

    1. What, are you like 5’5″?

      I was fond of both, but didn’t look back once they were handing out M4’s like candy.

  5. Adjustable handgrips are a nice idea – I ended up buying a Walther PPX because most handgun grips are a bit too small for me, and anything that truly fits me is going to be uncomfortable for about 3/4 of the population, male or female.

    The best reason to go with the M18?

    “costs the Air Force about one-third of what it would cost to buy an M9 today.”

    Yeah, that’s a pretty much it.

    It’s also easier to fit optics on the M18, along with some other things. That under barrel Picatinny for a flashlight is pretty much mandatory for modern pistols, anyway. There’s only a five ounce weight difference (33 Beretta, 28 SIG).

  6. I have an old Beretta that I bought when I was in the Army. My wife loves it because it has much less recoil than smaller pistols. It’s her concealed weapon for her purse holster. She’s only about 5 ft 4. I have 9 inches and 70 lbs on her, and *I’m* the one that carries a KelTec P32. The P32 is super light, and I can carry it in my front pocket without even feeling it. I can’t hit the broad side of a barn with it, but for me, a carry pistol is a “get off me” gun, and not for firefights at a distance. Plus, it’s cheap, so it’s not a huge loss if you accidentally drop it in a nearby river. A cop I know actually encourages the use of guns like a P32 as a carry gun because people who have them *know* they can’t engage in firefights at a distance, and so they only pull them out at more appropriate times, like close quarters threats.

    1. It’s why I never practice at distances greater than five yards with my S&W 637 snubbie. If that’s all I’m carrying, I won’t even pull it unless the threat gets closer.

      1. Kim, does you range have a tin-can shooting area? I discovered that shooting a s&w 442 to be an interesting can killer. You do shoot yours DA, yes? Really helps to take steel cans for targets. The aluminum soda cans barely move when hit, if they react at all.

        1. No such luck. We’re urban / suburban, and all the ranges hereabouts don’t like us to have fun when we shoot.

  7. I always considered the M9 clunky. I never found one that felt right in my hands. And the safety worked backwards from a proper safety.

    Of course having been introduced to handguns with a Browning Hi Power probably set my expectations a little high.

  8. Though the M9 is said to be “clunky”, it does fit my hand – but I prefer the Taurus 92 knock off for the convenience of the frame-mounted safety/decock lever.
    But if the M18 is too dainty for you, you can always select the Army version M17/P320 with it’s longer slide/bbl.

  9. Well just last night I was looking at the paperwork on my 92FS and it was purchased in Apr 2002, 18 years now. I’ve put an estimated 4,000 rounds through it and never a misfire of any sort. At least a dozen people have handled and/or fired this gun and without exception everyone of them said it was the most comfortable gun they have ever held. Mine is completely stock, with the exception of a Wilson recoil buffer pad. I do regret that it lacks the capacity to install a red dot without gun shop machining, which I won’t do. I’m glad I bought it and it will go to my son one day. Oh yeah, somebody mentioned the Sig being less expensive then the Beretta. Since when has the gov’t ever been concerned with cost? I’ll suggest there will be an enormous surge in costs because of the change over. There always is but nobody ever mentions it.

    1. I’m kinda with you, Ghost. I’ve never owned a 92F but I have no problem shooting them. Back in the Dark Ages when Connie and I went to do our CHL qual shoot, her (brand-new) Browning had a terminal malf, so she qualified with a Beretta 92 (which she’d never shot before).
      At the time, I hadn’t yet got round to buying a 1911 yet (shuddup, we’d just moved from Chicago), so when they asked me what range gun I wanted to use for the qual, I just shrugged and said, “Any 1911 will do.”
      As the instructor said: “First time we’ve ever had a husband and wife both qualify with rental guns, and not really care which one we gave them.”
      When he looked at my target afterwards, he said “I KNEW I should have made you shoot left-handed, just to make it interesting.” Then he looked at Connie’s target. “You, too.”

      1. Indoor range in Silicon Valley had a High Power on the rental board in the 90’s. It was always out for repair. One day, there it was! Gimme! Didn’t last a single box of ammo before it broke. Felt really good, though. Was told that it was the most rented or requested gun they had, but they couldn’t get hardly any for sale.

  10. It’s the Chair Force..

    The 92 isn’t the end all be all, but I’m not on the hate wagon here. Every M9 I ever ran in the Corps was at least reliable. Shit mags were the main bugaboo. Still pissed I never got to qual and add to the shiny on my Blues.

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