Beretta 92FS CO2 pistol with wood grips: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


The 92FS with wood grips is a big, beautiful handgun. With its weight and size, you’ll be hard-pressed to imagine that it’s an air pistol.

Today is accuracy day, when we see how well this Beretta 92FS air pistol can shoot. Let’s get right to it.

The range was 30 feet, and I shot 8 rounds per target because of the clip capacity. I also did an interesting experiment that may impress you. All shots are holding with two hands and off a rest. The gun never touched anything but my hands.

Sight-in
The pistol shot high and right at 30 feet, so I had to move the rear sight slightly to the left to compensate. The job went quick because once the Allen screw is loose, the sight moves easily in its dovetail. There was no solution to the high shooting, of course. This is with a six-o’clock hold on the 10-meter pistol bull.

Beretta Target pellets
The first pellets I tried were Beretta Target pellets. They’re wadcutter pellets that Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry anymore. They shot reasonably well, but were not outstanding.


Eight Beretta Target pellets at 30 feet. A decent target, but not a screamer.

RWS Hobby pellets
The second pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby. It’s often quite accurate in various airguns, and showed some promise in this Beretta.


Eight RWS Hobbys went into a fairly tight group, save the one that pinwheeled the bull. Many inexperienced shooters will see that as the best shot, but of course it’s the worst.

Beeman H&N Match High-Speed
Next I tried Beeman H&N Match High-Speed. They also wanted to group well, save for a lone wanderer. This was not a called flier, so there is no reason it’s out there.


Beeman H&N Match High-Speed pellets were also promising, but, again, there was a stray.

Why all these stray shots?
I don’t know where these stray shots are coming from. I’m holding the pistol dead on the target, and I’m not calling any fliers. Up to this point, there seem to be one or more shots per clip that wander away from the main group. That seems to indicate a bad chamber in the clip…except for what happened next.

What happened next — the grand experiment
I know that the first few shots out of a CO2 cartridge or immediately following a bulk fill will be significantly more powerful than those that follow. That’s because some of the liquid CO2 is flowing into the firing valve and vaporizing there instead of inside the cartridge itself. The result is significantly greater power and recoil that you can feel. It’s a bad situation if you want consistency from the gun.

JSB Exact RS
Next, I loaded some JSB Exact RS domed pellets. I also changed the CO2 cartridge so the shots strings would all be at their maximum potential. In a lazy move, I didn’t exhaust the first three shots, so the gun was shooting with far greater power for those shots. The group I got shows the result.


This group of eight came from shooting JSB Exact RS pellets immediately after changing the CO2 cartridge.

The group I got was surprisingly large; and since the first three shots had been so dramatically different than the last five, I decided to run a second target with the JSB RS pellet.


And, this is the same JSB Exact RS pellet just eight shots later. The pistol has calmed down, and real accuracy is now possible. This was the best group of the test, and it measures 1.086 inches across the centers of the two widest pellets. So much for the bad clip theory!

RWS R10
The last pellet I tried was the RWS R10 target wadcutter. This was the heavier rifle-weight pellet weighing 8.2 grains.


Eight RWS R10 pellets made only a slightly larger group than the JSB RS. Definitely a pellet worth pursuing.

Bottom Line
The Beretta 92FS air pistol from Umarex holds few surprises. It’s highly realistic, as are most Umarex airguns, and it performs flawlessly. I was hoping it might also be a sleeper in the accuracy department, like the Desert Eagle and the S&W 586, but no surprises there. It’s right in line with the majority of the Umarex action pistols, shooting 1- to 1.25-inch 8-shot groups at 30 feet with the best pellets. It was a fun pistol to test, and I hope I addressed all your questions.

50 Responses to “Beretta 92FS CO2 pistol with wood grips: Part 3”

  • g. austin Says:

    Great review series.

    I found another Umarex action pistol, the PX4 Storm, was very fussy about pellets, almost like a real semi-firearm. Until I tried RWS SuperMag 9gn pellets. The gun settled down and became predictable. Maybe the 92FS would benefit from a heavier pellet with possibly a better magazine fit than the one’s you’ve tried.

    When training a pair of new shooters they didn’t like their groups at 10ft… until I told them the target is 1/3 scale size. That means they were shooting the equivalent of 10 yards – which is more than adequate for firearm self defense with a 3″ or 4″ barrel sight radius.

  • DaveUK Says:

    Sorry BB,off topic in reply to Slinging Lead.
    I am a little reluctant to perform open sight surgery on my HW :) but as a simple fix I used a silver highlight pen to illuminate the front sight post.
    It provides a lot better sight picture,particularly when shooting black on white paper targets.Which was mainly the problem before.
    Cheers.
    DaveUK

  • Mr B. Says:

    Morning B.B.,

    Yes sir you’ve covered all the bases on this one. However, one small question–I’m wondering how accurately the clip is being indexed and also how much variance is there between the holes in the clip, both of which could vary the POI between each shot.

    DaveUK,

    How does the silver color work for hunting? We used to use a dab of red to improve our sight pictures for hunting when we were kids without the money to afford an expensive scope. Back in the day $20.00 US was A LOT of of cash for a ten year old kid.Bruce

    • DaveUK Says:

      As yet still untried in the field Mr B but I reckon as most game is quite dull in appearance it should work OK.Especially with the sun on my back.
      Roll on Spring.
      DaveUK

    • twotalon Says:

      Try white correction tape on the back of the front sight.

      twotalon

  • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

    ahhhh, and I was just hoping I needed practice with my new 1911 Colt (Umarex).
    I’m getting 1.5″ groups at 10m. I find this suprising because my CP99, which has a shorter barrel could average an inch if I was having a good night.

  • Brian in Idaho Says:

    BB, thanks for this report. It confirms (for me at least) the very good characteristics of these 8 shot Umarex guns and also their limitations which may include the variations in the magazines to each other as well as within the 8 holes to each other. I haven’t looked at the magazines under magnification but, it appears they are a very fine investment casting, not a machined part? If so, that could certainly explain 1 of 8 holes being somehow different than the other 7, and could also explain the “1 hole” issue or flier showing up in each or any magazine that was utilized?

    Problem is, even if we could measure/detect which feature of which hole is different (diameter, cylindricity, position to other holes, etc) we can still put the mag in the gun in 8 different locations, so the “hole” could show up as the first shot or any of the 8!

    Bottom line, these are not 10 meter match guns, they are beautiful re-creations of firearms that are just plain fun to shoot. (with the S&W 586 being the most accurate of these look alike guns)

    • twotalon Says:

      Some times revolvers have a slight difference between chambers that hurt accuracy. If you suspect a problem with this you can label the chambers and figure out which one is squirrely and if there is one in particular that shoots best. You could apply the same principal to airgun clips…or magazines…or what ever you call them.

      twotalon

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        TT,

        I’ll answer you but this is for everyone. I don’t think there is a chamber out of alignment. I tried to make that clear in the report. It looked that way originally, but then I shot two great groups that put an end to that theory.

        The clips are investment cast or sintered or some other non-machining technology. They are therefore probably all perfect, because the company would have spent a great deal of effort to make them so before signing off on the tooling.

        B.B.

  • twotalon Says:

    Off topic..relieving boredom.

    Snow melted off, so no more shooting at twigs or blades of grass sticking out of the snow. No more paintballs on top of the snow. Too cold to be outside. Too cold for dandelions.

    My crabapple is a brushy pain. It needs some serious trimming around the trunk every couple years to keep lawn mowing from becoming too adventuresome.

    So my latest plinking adventure….tree trimming with the R9. Shooting off those troublesome twigs and sprouts. A little crosswind as usual. Will not waste pellets in heavy crosswind.
    It’s a blast and good practice with only part of my rifle hanging out the back door in the cold.

    Starlings fear me. I don’t have any sparrows at the feeder. A woman down the street has hordes of sparrows on her feeders. All I have around are cardinals, finches, a few other kinds of tweety birds, a woodpecker or two, and sometimes doves picking around on the ground under the feeders.
    I have to find out what kind of bird feed the old bat down the street is using.

    twotalon

    • pcp4me Says:

      Twotalon,

      You want grackles, starlings, and sparrows galore use feed with lots of crushed corn and milo and white proso millet! This is generally like the cheapest food you can buy. The corn is the key for the first two, and millet and milo is the key for sparrows.

      I avoid such foods like the plague because I can not shoot them in my back yard (condo complex with other units directly across from me about 60′ away) and I want to discourage them from my feeders.

      Still get a fair share of sparrows though but would not shoot them as I have nothing against them. Not the same with the grackles and starlings though!

      • twotalon Says:

        Gracks are on the protected list. Sparrows make good cat food for the neighborhood cats.
        At least the mulberry tree out front does not produce berries and attract starlings in the summer. I can’t shoot that way, and I hate purple starling poop.

        twotalon

        • Edith Gaylord Says:

          Grackles: Shoot. Shovel. Shut up.

          If you don’t feel comfortable with the above & want to shoot them legally, here’s some help:

          Grackles are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. However, under this act, Grackles may be controlled without a federal permit when found “committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock, or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance.

          State and local laws should be consulted before any control measures are taken. Some cities are considered “bird sanctuaries” that provide protection to all species of birds.

          Edith

          • twotalon Says:

            I take it that you don’t care much for the noisy buggers either.

            twotalon

          • twotalon Says:

            There were a couple of otherwise ‘protected’ birds that tried to preditate on me one time. I had just stepped out the front door and one of them bombed me in the head and drew blood. Less than a minute later their preditating days were over. One of them even bought it on the wing. I was just getting ready to shoot when it took off straight at me. Right out of mid air.I don’t feel bad about it one bit.Same goes for possums and coons that preditate on the outside cat food dish.

            twotalon

        • Brian in Idaho Says:

          Try to say it 10 times as fast as you can…

          A ponderous pelletier popped purple poop starlings with pounds of pellets

    • kevin Says:

      And somewhat related….

      In part 2 of “The art of collecting airguns” B.B. revealed his purchase of the Marlin Ballard. I posted a link in the comments that showed a Marlin Ballard Union Hill No. 9 that the Dallas/Ft. Worth Cabela’s had for sale with a price of $12,500.00. The Cabela’s Marlin Ballard was in the less desirable .32-40 caliber, lacked the spirit level front site and the wood was ho hum when compared to B.B.’s.

      I just received an email notice that the Dallas/Ft. Worth Cabela’s sold their Marlin Ballard.

      kevin

  • Matt61 Says:

    B.B., I can see why CO2 would be a disadvantage for elite target competition. If the Beretta is like my Walther Nighthawk by Umarex then it’s fairly deadly for anything except for rested work like you’re doing.

    Kevin, I love cream on foods probably more than I should. There should be restaurants which sell game meats properly prepared, but I haven’t found many. Maybe they are regional around hunting areas. It almost makes me envy the homeless shelters where they donate venison.

    Victor, yes straight kicks are better than round just like straight punches are generally better than hooks. But the theory of the hook is in misdirection, and I wonder if the same does not apply to round kicks. Have you had the experience where an opponent spins into a kick but you are just rooted to the spot until the kick comes crashing in? It’s very strange. I’ve been on both ends of this experience, and it is very strange how the nervous system freezes. An interesting test case of this phenomenon is the entire martial art style of Capoeira from South America. It involves not only exotic high kicks but complex acrobatics. Purely for show one would think. However, the history of this style is that it was invented by slaves from Africa who were typically restrained and had to fight with other parts of their bodies. These techniques combined with Latin dances for disguise and made their way into the underworld where they were used by gangsters. Some of these characters attached razor blades to their boots in imitation of cockfights! Apparently, they found some way to make it work.

    I also thought of an early fight scene in Thunderball where James Bond (Sean Connery) is trying to assassinate a man disguised as a woman. After Bond blows the advantage of surprise in a ridiculous way, the two commence a sloppy brawl with much throwing of furniture (although I believe that the field of improvised weaponry is often-overlooked in self-defense. “To the expert, all weapons are one!”). Finally, the villain clobbers Bond in the kidneys with a poker from the fireplace. But as he prepares to follow up, Bond throws a sidekick from where he is bent over and turned away. Then, he grabs the poker and wins. Anyway, the Bond sidekick from that position reproduces some of the more exotic high flying kicking positions. It made me think that while exotic kicks are not necessarily very practical, they are good for training for the unexpected. Anyway, this is how I motivated myself to puff through these techniques which were not to my liking.

    On the subject of time to shoot, I have noticed in YouTube videos that it is very hard to tell when elite shooters release the shot. They will hold for the longest time and they are so steady, you can’t even tell when the shot goes. But perhaps there is a distinction to be made. Surely, people are not staring at a shot for a minute and a half. Is the shot sequence, from the time they decide to take the shot, of the three second duration with the rest of the time devoted to evaluating conditions and psyching themselves up?

    KidAgain, I’m not familiar with Titus. Is that one of the books of letters by St. Paul? I had never made the connection between St. Paul and myself. :-) But I seem to remember that he was quite troubled by physical desire and says some pretty strong things about it.

    Matt61

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      “I love cream”…”restaurants which sell game meat properly”

      I have both for you at one restaurant in Boise Idaho, The Cottonwood Inn. (only 30 miles from Venison and Elk hunting country)

      “Fresh medallions of Venison, in a light cream/sherry sauce with a touch of wild sage & corn-peppers”

      I’ve had this dish, and I wish I could have it far more often! There other “died & went to culinary heaven” dish is there fresh Elk meatloaf with a touch of sausage ground into it (5%). A bottle of wine and that meatloaf, yee-ha.

    • Victor Says:

      Matt61,
      In the end, a fighter has to find what works best for them, and yes, they need to be versatile. There’s nothing more beautiful than to see a punch or kick come seemingly out of nowhere. Chuck Norris says that you have to fight to your strengths, which I agree with. People are tall, short, heavy, light, flexible, inflexible, strong, weak, etc. What is “practical” may depend on the individual. For a small person, or women, practical might be defined as being able to evade or escape. For others, practical could mean accessible and effective. The best fighters that I’ve ever seen were incredibly efficient and effective in their moves, and could beat anyone regards of size, or style. Also, there are differences in goals. We were taught to assume that anyone that you might meet on the streets was of higher rank than you. We were also taught to avoid conflict at all costs, including running away, therefore put in a situation where you have to fight, treat it as a life or death situation. This is no different than the rule for using a gun for self defense.

      Regarding, time to shoot. Remember, you need good breath control. Hold your breath too long, and your vision and mind get fuzzy. Hold the gun up for too long, and your feel fatigue. Force a shot while fuzzy, fatigued, or both, and you’re more likely to drop points. That’s why shooters try to avoid changing their positions. They try to get into a rhythm between bringing the gun up to putting it down. B.B., pointed out a method used by world class pistol shooters, where you take several deep breaths between shots. This helps to calm you down, and create a consistent mindset throughout the match. Also, in the offhand position, you’re not always going to be able to resolve the shot, and thus take the shot. However, suppose that upon bringing the rifle up, you are able to resolve the shot on the first try, a significant portion of time taken for the shot will have gone towards follow-through. I remember not following through with disastrous results. It was during a nationals, and I was really tired. Whereas I would normally keep my shots within the 8-ring (mostly 9′s and 10′s), I shot something like a 4 or 5. I anticipated the shot, and started to drop the rifle at the tail end of my trigger squeeze. It was as if I had fallen asleep at the wheel, and suddenly woke up. Realizing what was happening in a fraction of a second, I tried to compensate for an already bad shot (too late). The matches that I referred to, and where shooters took almost a minute and a half, were outdoors with wind conditions. I’ve seen the air-rifle utube videos where the shooters seem incredibly still. Again, the clothes make a huge difference. A buddy of mine travels with US Teams around the world as a coach. I’ve asked him about the benefits of modern clothes, and according to him, and his teams, the clothes make all the difference in the world. Again, I bought a modern ISU jacket and can’t believe how stiff the thing is. I wouldn’t be using it for anything but prone, but right off the top, I know that this would have increased my offhand scores dramatically. But modern shooters don’t just wear ultra stiff jackets, they also wear pants, shoes, and even underwear. I’m told that the pants also make a huge difference in your ability to lock into a standing position. You even see competitors wear them in air-rifle matches, which are all offhand. When I competed, shooting pants were used for the sticky surfaces that they provided at the knees and butt. They did nothing for you in the offhand position.

      Victor

    • Victor Says:

      “Is the shot sequence, from the time they decide to take the shot, of the three second duration with the rest of the time devoted to evaluating conditions and psyching themselves up?”

      You’re evaluating the situation throughout the shot. Going into a shot, you’re getting into position, settling down, and then executing. Three seconds start when you’ve decided to lock position, hold your breath, and squeeze shot off. After the shot is fired, you must follow through. Again, follow through solves the anticipation problem. Follow through solves most of the mental errors that you might make during execution.

      Regarding “psyching … up”. I was taught to remove all emotion from my shots (not always easy). The previous shot didn’t matter, good or bad. The next shot doesn’t matter. The only shot that matters is the one that you’re in the process of taking. A deliberate goal is to relax. We taught to never take a shot unless our ^#$^!(@|$ were hanging to our knees. Another thing that we were taught was to visualize the perfect shot. To help believe and know this, we tried to capture the perfect shot whenever we took one. Didn’t matter if it was during practice or the match. When we’ve perfected finding our natural point of aim, body configuration, and hold, it’s possible to sometimes see that perfect shot, even in the offhand position. It may be short, but it’s doable. Trying to capture this perfect shot is a goal in itself. You’ll never really capture this “perfect shot” unless you first find your natural point of aim. In fact, you’re never know your true wobble area until you first find your natural point of aim. Think about this the next time you practice.

      Something that I thought of later, but never tried, was using some kind of minimal support to capture that perfect shot in the offhand position, then slowing working away from that support. Kind of like using training wheels. I did something like this, but not exactly. I tried to capture that perfect shot in one of the easier positions, like kneeling. When say “capturing the perfect shot”, I mean actually seeing your sights perfectly aligned throughout the entire shot process.

      Take a look at that article, “What It Takes to Be Great” by Geoffrey Colvin. It might give you some insight as to how you need to practice.

      Victor

      • KidAgain Says:

        Victor,

        Thanks, some real good shooting basics there. I am experiencing a measurable amount of frustration lately and I’m getting away from many of the points you made. Breathing for one, and secondly piling my shots up in my head as opposed to only the shot being taken matters. Ahh, the gleanings of late nite airgun blog!

        ka

    • KidAgain Says:

      Matt,

      Paul was a warrior at the top of his game and very knowledgeable about life in his world, an educated man. He was a hunter of men before his conversion. He also called things as they were, regardless of consequence, which was probably the reason he made mention of his desires as he did. The fact that you’re aware of him as the author of Romans confirms my belief in your similarities. It’s been more than a few years since I’ve been in the Bible, but I believe Paul wrote the book of Titus as well. It’s one of the smaller epistles lumped in (or near) the Timothy trio.

      I am finding your thread on self defense interesting. Bringing lots of memories back, as I left most of that behind when I left the military. Kind of healing actually. Who could’ve guessed the gleanings of an airgun blog 30 years ago! Couple that with the recent re-acquaintance of a dear friend of my military days..

      ka

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Kevin,

    I was out at the firearm range today with the Ballard. You won’t want to miss Friday’s blog! ;)

    B.B.

  • g. austin Says:

    To lower the POI you can buy adhesive heat shrink wrap. Degrease the front post and put some on. After heating use a set of pliers to seal the over hang above the front post – while it’s still hot.

    Now… shoot the gun… if it’s too low use a pair of very sharp scissors to reduce the front a little. Keep going until your POI is about right. Finally – put a dab of fluorescent paint on the back of the post to mark the top and to provide a place for your eye to focus.

    Job done.

  • Lloyd Says:

    g.austin,

    I like that! The adhesive lined shrink sleeve cools down and gets hard, where the regular stuff doesn’t.
    Very nice!
    Lloyd

  • JC Says:

    I have the Umarex S&W 686 after a lot of so so shooting, it has become a great shooter with the RWS R-10 match pistol pellets (7g). The Meisterk’s in 7g are not far behind – much better than cp lights or JSB’s.

  • Volvo Says:

    Catching up:

    Fred,
    Lots of nice air rifles, curious to see what the issue is with the Nitro piston, I sold mine because the accuracy was so bad.

    Kevin,
    My first “quality piece” was a Winchester 9422M I bought new in the ‘70’s. Good Fun.

    Bg Farmer,
    Rossi 92 update – took it along with the new Blackhawk to the range. Going in, I planned on burning up .38 cowboy loads in the Ruger and .357 magnum rounds in the lever. But I preferred it the other way around. Enjoyed the feel of the Ruger with heavy stuff and the Winchester 92 copy was a blast with the .38 special ammo.

    Still give the Rossi two thumbs up; it is replacing a Winchester 9410 that was given up during the great sell off of 2009-2010. The 92 feels much slicker and handier in comparison. Do need to find a rear peep for it like I had on the 9410.

    Anyone,
    Now that I have lessened the variety of ammo I need, I am considering reloading but not sure where to start. The J frame, Rossi and Ruger all digest .38 / .357 rounds – so some one point me in the right direction.

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Volvo,
      Great news — glad you are enjoying both. I think .38 is plenty strong medicine from a longer barrel for plinking and target practice, and that rifle is not too heavy, so you don’t want more recoil than needed, although I imagine .357M recoil is negligible as well with a shoulder stock. When you start reloading, you can optimize it even more. I really like the idea of .38/.357M in carbine-length barrels — maybe I’ll try a Rossi, although I’ve had my heart set on a M1892 for a while now.

      I’ve got a Mendoza peep you can have if you want to try it, but its probably too high, as it is on most air rifles.

      • Volvo Says:

        BG farmer,
        You are correct in that the recoil is mild from the .357 with a 20” barrel. I think I read that it is just under what a 30-30 would be.
        This means with the .38 special rounds recoil is non-existent. You can work the lever while the rifle is still on your shoulder with no interruptions. The Marlins are heavier so they would react even less I would guess. I am sure the Marlin would be a sweet shooter too, but they are a good bit pricier than the NOS Puma 92’s.
        After some research, it seems the tang sight will be the way to go on the 92, so thanks for the offer of the Mendoza, but I will decline.
        Still not sure about reloading, looks like I could pick up a ton of bulk ammo for the price of all the equipment I need. Not sure I would see any savings for until a few years down the road.

        • Volvo Says:

          Never owned a Contender, but they are intriguing. I saw some game loads for the .357 that use a 180 grain bullet, so I would suppose they come real close to a 30-30.

          • Wulfraed Says:

            I vaguely recall once seeing loads for the .30-30 that were to be used ONLY in a Contender — they were over safety limit for the traditional lever action rifle.

            Don’t know what Contenders are like these days — I believe I’ve seen something to the effect that T/C is now under the control of S&W. Mine is first generation style; light octagon barrel, firing pin select done via flat blade screwdriver on the face of the hammer. If I recall, second generation added a cross-bolt safety to the hammer (safe: a pin protruded from the face of the hammer preventing contact with firing pins); third generation added a rotary selector to the top of the hammer with positions for rimfire/safe/centerfire.

    • kevin Says:

      Volvo,

      Good to hear from you. Hope the year is improving for you and your family. Yes, I’m excited to get the 9422. I’m regressing and hope to be 14 years old again in a few weeks LOL!

      kevin

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