Beretta's 92 Compact INOX Model.

Beretta’s 92 Compact INOX Model.

You never forget your first… gun.

My first “real” handgun was a Beretta 92 FS. If you’re not familiar, it’s become kind of a classic 9mm pistol, especially since a variant, the M9, was adopted as the standard US military sidearm back in 1985. You remember that year, right? The worst song ever (We Built This City) tortured the airwaves like a mutant virus, movies only cost $2.75, and rib eye steaks were just $3.89 a pound. Except for that song, it was a great year.

To this day, my trusty Beretta 92 FS is among my favorites. Well used, with holster wear on all the rights spots, I can pretty much guarantee that it’s never going to leave my “go-to” collection. In fact, I’ve bought a second threaded barrel so I can shoot it suppressed and added Crimson Trace Lasergrips to modernize it a bit. Given my good experience with the full size 92 FS, I was keen to try the new and smaller 92 Compact model.

The Beretta 92 Compact INOX (top) shown next to a 92 FS full size.

The Beretta 92 Compact INOX (top) shown next to a 92 FS full size.

The 92 Compact comes in two flavors: a Bruniton black finish like my 92 FS and the stainless steel INOX style. A brushed, matte finish, it looks somewhat like unpolished aluminum. In fact, the stainless finish on the slide and barrel almost exactly matches the brushed aluminum finish of the frame. It’s not gaudy and shiny, but rather functional. You won’t see glare from the surface, and it does a great job of hiding the wear and tear of everyday use. With black grip panels, a black rear sight, black hammer, and black operating controls, it also looks great. Let’s take a closer look.

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