A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pawn Shop Circuit: Laser Beretta

After work today, I drove over to Dave's pawn shop to see what was on the racks. A good amount of deer rifles lined the wall. I thought about perhaps buying one, scavenging the Leupold scope off it for a Ruger 10/22, and then reselling the scopeless rifle for more than I paid this in September. That was how I scoped all my Rugers, but I have nine Ruger 10/22s that I built, modified or adopted. I simply could not justify another one, even if the scope was free.

I peered into the handgun case, and the pickings were pretty slim.Click to enlarge There was a Beretta 92FS with Crimson Trace laser grips. It was in pretty good shape, and the laser worked. I did not care for the laser activation button placement, but then, I do not care for laser sights either. In my way of thinking, if I have time to paint a red dot on a target, I have the time to line up irons. Every time I have shot with laser sights, it seemed as though I shot slower, and less accurately. I suppose someone could say it was a lack of practice, but I wonder just how much practice one needs........I figure I've used them enough to know I shoot better with real sights. I would rather concentrate on avoidance, tactics, and the use of cover and concealment, as well as shooting a threat if need be. For the person who wonders "What if you are injured and can not physically align your sights?" Well, what if your battery goes dead when you need it most? We can "what if" ourselves to death.

Back in 1992, in the panic right before the assault weapons ban, I purchased a new Beretta 92FS for $560. I still have it. Since there would still be military and law enforcement full capacity magazines available, it seemed like a safe bet. Who would have thought there would be the dreaded "Law Enforcement Only" magazine selling for ten bucks a pop a decade later? I was fortunate enough to purchase a couple of full capacity mags at fair prices, and I also converted a two heel release 92S magazines to use with the 92FS.

Back then, the Italian wondernine had supplanted the venerable 1911 as the US military's sidearm. Click to enlargeThere were a lot of people who decried the change, who sought to find anything wrong with the Beretta possible, as though enough complaints would change the course of events. The Beretta grip was too fat. The round was anemic. The open slide fouled with sand. You name it. The truth is, bad press from hard head old gun writers and bad magazines plagued the M9. Yes, the slide cracked the back of it gave a SEAL a nose job while firing umpteenthousand hot rounds incessantly through the pistol. The pistol was redesigned to be stronger as a result. The locking blocks on the M9 eventually needed replacement. Newer pistols in the Beretta 92 series have plastic composite crap parts added now. I'm glad I got my Beretta 92FS when I did. It still shoots as reliably as ever. With the rising cost of ammunition, I may find myself shooting it more.

Dave was wanting $400 for his laser Beretta. I decided to pass.

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Anonymous Jack said...

I clicked the link to the "9 Ruger 10/22s" article and just read it. I wish I had some spare cash to buy myself one. I have a friend who just finished modifying/customizing his 10/22 with a carbon fiber bull barrel and a synthetic thumb-hole stock with an adjustable cheek-piece. I guess my CZ 452 will have to do for now ;-D.

6:40 PM  
Blogger GeorgeH said...

The only thing wrong with the Beretta is size. If a pistol is gonna be that big it needs to be at least .50 cal.

7:14 PM  
Blogger GreatBeefalo said...

I picked up my 92FS as a high school graduation present to myself (I paid for it, my mom signed on it--happy graduation!). It was my first pistol and after tons of other guns, still my favorite. I have nothing bad to say about my Beretta. I dont know about anyone else, though.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Mikael said...

A beretta 92FS was the first real pistol I shot. Great accuracy, smooth trigger, felt good in my hand and the sights were nice.

I've also shot a Glock 21, and was less than enthused, the sights weren't as good, the trigger was horrible, and I found it harder to keep it steady with the lower weight(perhaps paradoxically).

12:17 AM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

Picked mine up via the dreaded gunshow loophole from a police officer selling his off after buying a new sidearm. I already owned a 1911A1, but the Guard had phasing them out, and it's hard to practice for military pistol matches using a totally different pistol. Mine had always been dead reliable, but I've never been as accurate with it as with a 1911A1. Although, loaded with something appropriate like Gold Dots or Hydra-Shoks, I wouldn't feel underarmed.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Laughingdog said...

I have only seen one truly useful purpose to a laser sight, and it has nothing to do with tactical use of the firearm. Laser sights are a great way to show newer shooters how a slight movement of the gun from poor technique can translate into a large distance off target.

However, you can accomplish the same thing with a laser bore sighter and just dry firing the gun, which costs significantly less.

7:02 AM  
Blogger carl said...

Great post Xavier. I do not own a Beretta 92FS, or a laser grip for any of my firearms. With that said, I do want a 92FS, as I carried one in the USMC (Infantry), and much to the dismay of those who poo-poo the Beretta, I never had trouble with mine. For what it is worth, I never had trouble with my M-16A2 either. Saudi sand, Kuwaiti grit, and Somali dirt never caused my weapons to fail.

In regards to the laser grips, I do not own a set, but a friend of mines father does have a set of Crimson Trace grips on his SIG P226. I found them to be an aid to quick target acquisition, and my friends father has been more inclined to practice with his firearm as he can now shoot reasonably well again. He is 67 years old and the use of the Crimson Trace grips has made shooting fun for him again.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good posts Carl and Laughingdog,
A clean weapon equals more rounds down range...
I've always recommended lasers for wives(no offense ladies who shoot for fun) and people who don't shoot everyday. You cant expect a civilian to apply the fundamentals during heart pounding situations.
SGT. Koropatnick

9:32 PM  

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