I have long since been intrigued by the Beretta 92 family of pistols. The Elite series was a significant step in the right direction for the 92 but just not enough to sway me from Combat Tupperware and wheelguns. Last year’s release of the Beretta/Wilson Combat collaboration 92G Brigadier Tactical (Brig Tac) pushed me over the edge.
Now I’ve heard many people talk about traditional double action pistols but had very little experience shooting them. The DA/SA transition is made out to be the Boogie Man. It was time to learn how to run one of the most popular pistols of all time.
I spent a few hours worth of dry fire and manipulation along with 500 rounds of live fire to familiarize myself with the decocker and DA/SA transition. Admittedly the very first transition caught me off guard. The trigger not following my finger all the way forward made me think malfunction as it would have been with a Glock or double action revolver. After that it became more natural and less noticeable.
Time for some formal training. Mike Pannone of CTT Solutions would be at Falcon Tactical for their Two Day Advanced Handgun course. Since Mike shot competitively with a DA/SA gun it seemed like a good fit. Prior to the class the only modifications to the Brig Tac were: Wilson Combat Short Reach Trigger, Chrome Silicone 16lb Hammer Spring, Ultra Thin Grips and Mag Guide. The Brig Tac being a “G” format pistol did not have the manual safety of the M9/92FS series. The decocker instantly sprung back to fire after being stroked.
Now here’s where the article I originally intended to write ceased to exist. The DA/SA transition really wasn’t that big a deal. Trigger control is trigger control. DA, SA, Safe Action doesn’t matter. If you jerk the trigger you’re gonna miss. We did a lot of drawing and shooting so I did a lot of decocking. Working the decocker between positions on the VTAC barricade was not onerous whether strong or weak handed. Technique did vary strong vs weak hand due to dexterity issues between my medium sized thumbs. I managed to hold my own with the rest of the class until fatigue from the South Texas heat and high round count left my trigger fingers failing me. I do believe that I would have had the same fatigue shooting my beloved wheelguns or a first generation DAO pistol. I guess I could use more grip work. All told I sent 1,100 rounds to a happy place in the berm. I experienced zero weapon related malfunctions. My 18 round MecGar magazines did not like being dropped repeatedly while half full and I had an instance where the rounds ended up jamming up the magazine. Luckily I noticed before attempting to use it again.
My weekend at Falcon Tactical was excellent. I enjoyed the food and atmosphere. I’ll never forget the sight of that Giant Eland grazing next to my car. Mike was an excellent instructor. I appreciated his informative and no nonsense teaching style. I was pleased with my Beretta experience. I learned what I did and did not enjoy about the platform. I liked DA/SA and some of the advantages a hammer gun offers. Will the Brig Tac supplant my Glock 19’s or wheelguns? Nope. I’m not running to the LGS to trade it in either.