SIG Sauer Academy

Beretta Announces The M9A3 Pistol


Recently, Beretta has announced the M9A3, the next generation of the M9 US Military Service Pistol. The M9A3 is being submitted via an Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) in accordance with the terms of the current M9 contract.

“The M9A3 represents the next generation military handgun utilizing the best of the legacy M9 combined with proven COTS modifications that increase performance and durability” stated Gabriele de Plano, Vice President of Military Marketing and Sales for Beretta USA. Mr. de Plano added, “After listening closely to the needs of U.S. Army and other Service small arms representatives, we determined the M9, much like its counterpart legacy weapon systems (M4, M16, M240, etc.), was capable of being upgraded through material and design changes. The resulting M9A3 we are offering to the DOD will likely cost less than the current M9 and answer almost all of the Services’ enhanced handgun requirements.”

The M9A3 features:

– A thinner grip
– Removeable, modular wrap-around grip
– 1913 accessory rail
– Removable front and rear tritium sights
– Extended barrel with threading for a suppressor
– 17-round sand-resistant magazine
– Improvement to various small components
– Comes in an Earth Tone finish

Additionally, an LE/Civilian variant will be launched at SHOT Show 2015, and is expected to be commercially available sometime in second quarter 2015.

For more information, check out


53 Responses to “Beretta Announces The M9A3 Pistol”

  1. matt says:

    Still can’t get rid of that slide mounted safety, huh?

    • PNW_Tree_Octopus says:

      It isn’t THAT bad…yeah the “G” model is nicer but just flick the lever up when you leave the wire.

      • Jeffrey says:

        It isn’t that good either. It’s too easy to put it in safe mode while doing immediate action. A frame mounted safety would be so much better. Having said that, I can still see myself owning one since it does incorporate most of the improvements I wanted to see before I would purchase one.

        • TCBA_Joe says:

          This model can be converted to a G. It also has a slightly redesigned lever, which seems to fix the issue of going on safe when manipulating the slide. We’ll see.

        • DSM says:

          Just the old Taurus copies. The frame mounted safeties were nice and more intuitive to manipulate.

  2. PNW_Tree_Octopus says:

    Sexy, and being an ECP is a huge advantage and probably the Coup de grâce for the handgun selection process.

  3. bulldog76 says:

    i still think sig has the best option ..

    • Jeffrey says:

      The Sig may be the better option, but I think the Army will stay with Beretta

    • Curtis Randall says:

      The best of the DA/SA pistols maybe, but if the vast majority of LEOs can carry a Glock with no external safety I think it is time to let us carry something simular.

      • tcba_joe says:

        He’s probably referring to the P320 MHS that was shown off a couple months ago.

      • bulldog76 says:

        thats great for leos but this is the us army we are talking about theres quite a few more guys to train than most police departments so i think safety is little more emphasized ….

        • straps says:

          The M9 is what it is because precisely because the vast majority of the people to whom it’s issued (with the exception of military LE) AREN’T trained, and there is no plan to fix that.

          Military personnel (outside military LE) who ARE well-trained on pistols carry Sigs and Glocks.

        • Whitesands says:

          How do you explain the literally tens of thousands of Glocks that are in service with all branches of the military? What training are you referring too? All the training you need is already in place, it’s your four weapon safety rules! If anything, it simplifies training. Less weapon manipulation steps, along with malfunction procedures.

          • straps says:

            Please provide a rundown of the commands you’re referring to. I have an idea of the number for SOF. I’m trying to get my head around the discrepancy between that number and the “tens of thousands” of UNIFORMED personnel carrying Glocks.

            The “tens of thousands” of Glocks I’ve seen on US military facilities were in crates bound for HN Security forces, with explicit provisions prohibiting Security Transition commands from issuing them to their personnel NOT directly involved in training.

            NVM, just read that your idea of pistol training is the Four Safety Rules.

            • Whitesands says:

              Well if you actually comprehend what you read this wouldn’t be necessary. Never once did I refer to specifics in the military, and last I checked almost all units in SOCOM are under DOD. And while most SOF and SF units utilize Glocks a very large chunk of conventional forces that are involved in training foreign military’s also have small quantities of them. As for the training piece and your four weapon safty rules, that was literally mentioned because the original poster was so concerned about safety. You don’t point a weapon at anyone regardless if it has an external safety or not. If you finished reading you would get to where weapons manipulation and malfunction procedures was addressed. Please stop being so ignorant and so quick to be an ass when you can’t take the time to finish reading AND comprehending someone’s post. Have a Merry Christmas.

  4. tazman66gt says:

    Just a rehash of the Vertec from several years ago.

  5. Kaos-1 says:

    Sand-resistant magazine you say, prove it.

    • mike says:


    • straps says:

      Maybe call it a “SLIGHTLY MORE sand resistant mag?”

      That coating does slough sand (and corrosive oxidation) better than the “regular” coating. Couple helo landings in moon dust country (ESPECIALLY with something like a TACO pouch) and yeah, you’re gonna need to shake ’em out.

  6. mark says:

    All it needs now is an improved FMJ load.

    A steel coned FMJ with a led back designed to rapidly tumble would be handy. 100 grain @ 1500 fps. Similar tech is used in the new Chinese 5.8×21.

    • Timmay says:

      Back about 1984 the Air Force, of all people, supposedly did a study looking for the ‘most lethal ‘ FMJ round available. Turned out the best bullet was a truncated cone design, it was prone to upset/yaw. I remembered this because back then I was shooting CCI Blazer 115gn truncated cone FMJ because it was cheap at $5-$6 a box-way cheaper than the exorbitant $10-$12 for fifty rounds of Silvertips.

  7. Josh says:

    So maybe it’s just me but wouldn’t the sights be blocked if/when someone decides to add a suppressor? Cool and all I just think it may need suppressor sights….also I wonder how the frame holds up on cracks, chipping and dents when the locking block breaks.

    • DSM says:

      I reckon that’s why they’re dovetailed in instead of fixed.

      • straps says:

        This. A unit that rates suppressors–and is then dragged kicking and screaming to the M9A3–as Kaos predicts below–will get the sights installed when they train up on the system.

    • Whitesands says:

      Which certainly is not a new issue with pistol suppressors. Which is why the Ospreys were so revolutionary.

    • Kaos-1 says:

      It’s a service pistol. Just because it’s FDE , don’t confuse it with one of those tacticool FNP’s. Do you see a treaded barrel ? Believe me , units in the military that would even think about suppressed pistols have a bit more leeway when it comes to they’re armorment .

      • Kaos-1 says:

        And oops, needed a better look at a detailed picture, it is a threaded barrel. But still, not many units out there working with suppressed pistols. But I do like how they’ve flattened the hump on the back of the grip. Lol

  8. Jim says:

    I just think it’s good to see the military moving away from having black weapons

  9. Okruch says:

    What happened to M9A2?

    • Curtis Randall says:

      EXACTLY! I have yet to see one and doubt Ill ever see an A3. We just need to ditch Berreta for something better.

      • tcba_joe says:

        The A2 was a modified M9 with most of the A3 upgrades. No reason to actually sell it when your offering the A3.

  10. joe says:

    I guess Beretta is one of the few remaining major manufacturers that haven’t moved from DA/SA to a Glock-style action with a trigger safety.

  11. SF defender says:

    THe US Military will NEVER move away from a pistol that does not have an external safety. It’s just the way it will be. There “HAS” to be a way to make the weapon “SAFE”, and no, your finger not on the trigger is not a safety. If you have never been in the military around firearms, you will not know what I’m talking about and your civilian experience is not valid.

    • CJ says:

      Never? I seem to recall that APs/SPs were issued the S&W M15 .38 back in the day, I even work with a guy who carried it. No safeties on a revolver. And as SF, we don’t carry M9s on safe anyways. Glocks are already in the system for SOF guys. I wouldn’t be surprised by anything.

    • joe08 says:

      We have a winner.

    • Whitesands says:

      +1 I’m gonna go with “SF” is something you call yourself to feel better at night.. Your a saying some absolutes that are just blatantly wrong and ignorant. I will as well as many others here will tell you first hand we carry and deploy with sidearms that do not have safeties (insert Glock 19). In not trying to be an ass but you clearly don’t have a clue as to what your are speaking about, and that just isn’t really necessary here. Listen and learn please!

      • Padawan says:

        Considering the “defender” moniker, I’m going to say SF refers to Air Force Security Forces.

        • Padawan says:

          Oops considering your name, whitesands you probably thought that anyways. Admin please delete, my apologies.

  12. jack says:

    So Sad. So very Sad.

    1985 called. They want their pistol back.

  13. ninjaben says:

    There are plenty of better DA/SA pistols out there. EAA Witness and CZ 75 are better, though heavier. I like the modularity of the new SIG, but it hasn’t been tested. Glocks are now in service by all 4 special operations commands. Guys who had the options of custom 1911s or even STIs decided to go with glocks. The AWG which belongs to TRADOC has run glocks. I think the Army can adapt.

    The pistol is only a fraction of the cost of fielding it to soldiers. There are holsters, mag pouches, mag extension, mag wells, sights purpose built around glocks.

    In all fairness for bullseye I would still run a modified berretta or a 1911, but how many people in the military can outshoot a glock?

    • JB says:

      The AWG lost their Glocks about the same time they lost their 416s in 2008. That was before they were under TRADOC.

      The entire British Army went to the Glock 17. I too think we’d be fine.

      • SSD says:

        All you guys who want a trigger safety need to get jobs at Benning and start writing requirements becuase as of right now, an Army issue service pistol is going to have an external safety.

  14. CPTK says:

    I think some of you are missing the fact that this is an ECP to an existing contract for M9s.

    Meaning that they can deliver a product improved version of an existing weapon under the same contract. Most of these other things that are being discussed “they should go with the Sig,” “why can’t we have Glocks?” “DA/SA sucks!” “But SOF gets to use…” would require a request for proposals, several rounds of testing and competition, new fielding, training, and equipping – while this – if accepted, could get a modernized pistol into the hands of conventional servicemembers relatively quickly and at a far lower cost under the contract that is already being fulfilled.

    Is it the perfect solution? Perhaps not, but it’s a modernized pistol that looks like it would be an improvement in several useful areas over the existing variant that can be fielded almost immediately – and most likely, the most realistic option in today’s budgetary environment.

    Despite all the rabble rousing over pistols – they’re a very very low-priority item in the grand scheme of things that the military needs to buy with their money. If you wait for “the perfect solution,” you’re never going to get any improvements.

    • straps says:

      Winner winner chicken dinner.

      Curious to how much of the improved componentry can be integrated onto legacy frames…

  15. 32sbct says:

    The Army also wants a pistol round with increased lethality. I’m not sure how you accomplish that with standard 9mm ball ammunition. I guess the only way to do that would be to increase sectional density up to .40 cal or .45 or to develop a new 9 mm round. I don’t see the .40 or .45 caliber change happening. The logistical change out to another caliber would be pretty complex since all the 9 mms in inventory will be around for quite some time.
    I like what Beretta is offering here. Many of our pistols are really old and have been down range many times. I qualified with a different unit last year and they had brand new M9s. I had not seen a new M9 since they came into the system.

    It will be interesting to see what Glock, S & W, etc. offer for the upcoming competition. I’m not sure if this is what Beretta will offer for the competition or whether this will just be a product improvement initiative. Maybe they will offer something different for the competition.

  16. Riceball says:

    I’m betting that at the end of the day the Army will just end up going with the either the M9A1 like the Corps or with this new M9A3. The big question is whether it will be because it’s the winner of the pistol contest or if they’ll just do all the testing, run the competition to the end, ignore the results, and announce that they’re just going to go with one of the improved M9 (A1 or A3) models.

  17. 10thMountainMan says:

    The egos are really getting out of control around here. You experts need to take a chill pill and keep some things in mind.

    Firstly, What is good for SOF is not necessarily good for the rest of the Army from a cost perspective. Big Army does not have as much money to spend per soldier as the SOF units. The lowest bidder to meet the project requirements will win this.

    Second, regular Army soldiers don’t get as much trigger time behind their M4s as SOF personnel do, but we still issue them M4s. It is a very reasonable expectation that a standard soldier can meet minimum proficiency on a pistol qual with any pistol sold on the market today. Will he be as good as a guy who spends more time behind the trigger? Certainly not. You’re missing the point however by proposing that is the expectation. Training TTPs and safety measures would adjust to whatever equipment is utilized.

    Many of you sound like elitist deuchbags. Get off your high horse. I’ve rolled with SF guys and SEALs who would really have benefited from some extra time at the range. I’ve also rolled with leg infantrymen who would make Davy Crocket blush. If you’re not in the SOF community, have enough self respect not to be a fanboy. If you are in the SOF community and trashing on others, you’re a tool and everyone around you knows it.

  18. DSM says:

    I’d still prefer a frame mounted safety but seeing as that won’t happen swapping out the safety/decocker to a G model would make me happy. I could see the SNCO’s losing their minds over a weapon that lives selected to FIRE but in the big scheme would also prepare the mindset to going with a DA only option like Glock or similar down the road.
    From a budget standpoint this option makes sense. Logistics are already in place for the Burrito. The upgrades this pistol brings to the party requiring changes to infrastructure are negligible.
    But, they do have the fact they’ve been the sole source provider for 30yrs working against them. Eventually enough manufacturers crying foul will sway opinion. Since Glocks are in the supply system, our NATO allies are also carrying them, I think it’s an option that should be explored as over time it will save money per pistol through simpler maintenance.

  19. tyler says:

    Love it. I love the berreta. Great design.