Beretta 93R: The selective-fire machine pistol

Beretta 93R Machine Pistol
Beretta 93R Machine Pistol

Beretta 93R is an advanced weapon based on the Beretta 92 but with several additional features that place it in the “machine pistol” category. It has been adopted by Italian Special Forces and security police, and interest has been expressed in several other countries.


Basically, the Beretta 93R is similar to the Beretta 92 in that it uses a dropping-block locked breech. The principal visible change is the use of a longer barrel which protrudes in front of the slide and has a prominent muzzle brake; there is also a folding front grip, hinged to the frame so that it lies beneath the frame front when not in use or can be folded down to act as a grip for the left (or disengaged) hand. This proves to be more practical than one might think, giving a steadier hold than the more common two-handed butt grip.

Light-metal folding stock

In addition, there is a light metal folding stock unit that can be clipped to the bottom of the butt, and which then converts the Beretta 93R into something approaching a light carbine. Finally, the magazine has been lengthened to hold 20 rounds, so that it extends below the bottom of the butt. For those preferring a more elegant shape, the normal Beretta 92 15-shot magazine can be used also on the Beretta 93R machine pistol.

Beretta M9 US Army
Beretta 93R is made on Beretta 92 or M9. It is a standard pistol of U.S. Army (Photo: XY)

The reason for all these changes is that under the right but-plate is a three-round burst controller. The frame-mounted safety catch offers three positions: safe, single shot and 3-round burst; placing the catch in this last position permits the firing of three rapid shots for one pressure on the trigger, the cyclic rate of fire being about 110 rounds per minute.

Machine pistol standards

This is low by machine pistol standards and therefore there is less disturbance of the aim; moreover, the forward handgrip and shoulder stock, used either separately or together, and the damping effect of the muzzle brake, allow the firer firm control of the weapon, and high-speed photography shows that there is relatively little “climb” during the firing of a burst.

Technical Specifications

Manufacturer: Armi Beretta SpA, I-25063, Gardone Val Trompia, Italy
Type: Locked breech, double-action, semi-automatic with the burst-fire facility.
Caliber : 9 mm Parabellum
Barrel: 6.14 in (156 mm) including muzzle brake
Weight (empty): 41.2 oz (1170 gm)
Magazine capacity: 20 rounds
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