Beretta M9A3: Improved and modernized version of the Beretta M9

The Beretta M9A3 is a modern semi-automatic pistol designed based on the Beretta M9 (Beretta 92) chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum. It is an updated and

Eric Sof

US soldier aiming with his Beretta M9A3
US soldier aiming with his Beretta M9A3 (Photo: US DoD)

The Beretta M9A3 is a modern semi-automatic pistol designed based on the Beretta M9 (Beretta 92) chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum. It is an updated and modernized version of the M9 with some improvements and enhancements of the ergonomics making it more attractive to today’s combat professionals.


The M9 recommended itself as a reliable service gun within US Armed Forces. M9A3 designation might suggest that it is an official US Department of Defense designation, but it is not. It is Beretta’s model name and has nothing to do with US DoD. It was solely designed and produced by the Italian company Beretta.

Beretta M9A3 with A-Tec suppressor attached
Beretta M9A3 with A-Tec suppressor attached (Photo: XY)

Compared to the older versions of the M9, the Beretta M9A3 has a more ergonomic grip and a redesigned slide and frame that make it easier and more comfortable to hold and shoot. The M9A3 also has a threaded barrel that allows users to attach a suppressor, which can help reduce the noise and flash of the pistol when fired.


The Beretta M9A3 is a pistol with a short-recoil action and a single-action and double-action trigger mechanism, which allows users to choose between a quick and light trigger pull for self-defense or a more extended and heavier pull for more accurate shooting.

As I already mentioned, the pistol is chambered for a 9×19 mm Parabellum round, a standard NATO pistol round. Many NATO countries use this round as the standard cartridge for their semi-automatic pistols. The 9x19mm Parabellum is a popular cartridge because it offers a good balance of power, accuracy, and reliability.

Beretta M9A3 9mm pistol
Beretta M9A3 9mm pistol (Photo: XY)

The M9A3 version has additional tweaks that further improve the pistol’s reliability. It has an ambidextrous design and is convenient for right- or left-handed shooters. Beretta slightly enhanced ergonomics in addition to the M9 model. However, this weapon is way too bulky. Some soldiers find it uncomfortable to hold and fire and hard to handle. A manual safety switch is located on both sides of the slide. Also, there is an internal safety that prevents the firing pin from moving forward without the trigger being pulled.

United States Army Beretta M9
US Military Service Pistols: M9 (Beretta 92FS)

In terms of dimensions, the M9A3 has a length of 216mm (8.5 inches) and a height of 137mm (5.4 inches). The pistol has a barrel length of 124mm (4.9 inches) and a weight of 915 grams (32.3 ounces) when it is unloaded. The M9A3 has a black Bruniton finish and a grip made from Vertec polymer.

The M9A3 is fed from standard 17-round capacity magazines. A magazine release button is reversible. This pistol has got new sights. It is an accurate weapon. The range of effective fire is around 50 meters. The Beretta M9A3 has a Picatinny rail for mounting tactical flashlights or laser pointers. A similar accessory rail is also present on the M9A1 pistol, which emerged in 2006 as an upgraded version of the M9 used by the US Marine Corps. Users consider the Beretta M9A3 a versatile and reliable weapon suitable for personal defense and shooting sports.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Italy
Manufacturer:Pietro Beretta SpA
Caliber:9×19 mm Parabellum
Weight (empty):~ 1 160 g
Length:217 mm
Barrel length:125 mm
Muzzle velocity:365 – 380 m/s
Magazine capacity:10 to 17 rounds
Sighting range:50 m
Range of effective fire:50 m

Eric Sof

Eric Sof holds a master's degree in Political Science, specializing in International Peacekeeping Studies. He has over a decade of experience as a former member of an elite counterterrorism unit. Additionally, he is a firearms instructor and currently serves as a member of the SWAT unit.

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1 thought on “Beretta M9A3: Improved and modernized version of the Beretta M9”

  1. Are the m9 and m9a3 sight dove tails the same? Looking to get nite sights on my m9. Can only find sights for m9a3

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