My first time shooting the Beretta 92X Performance was an eye-opening experience. It was at Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous event a couple of years ago in Idaho. The all-steel 92X sat great in my hand and it had a frame-mounted safety, which is good for me because I’m no fan of slide-mounted safeties. I simply couldn’t miss with that gun. I was knocking down plates with speed and ease, in fact, it was shocking how quickly I was doing it. And I was in love. But unfortunately, it was only a short-lived relationship, I couldn’t justify bringing her back home.
Beretta 92X Performance Carry Optic Details
It has been years since my brief but memorable encounter with the 92X Performance. Then I heard some great news, Beretta was coming out with the 92X Performance Carry Optic. I had to get my hands on one, and boy, I am not disappointed. Before we take a dive into this Beretta, let me point out something about the 92X “Carry Opti.” name This Beretta 92X is made to be compliant with the USPSA (United States Pistol Shooting Association) Carry Optic division regulations. You can use this 92X as a carry pistol, but there are lighter options out there.
First off, this Beretta comes in a really nice, lockable hard case that was made in Italy. In that polymer case you’ll find the 92X Performance Carry Optic, two 15-round magazines with extended baseplates, a magazine reloader, two Toni System optic plates, wraparound grips, a gun lock and operation manuals. My first impressions so far are excellent.
Two things became obvious to me when I first hefted the new Carry Optic. This version also felt great in the hand, and it has some heft to it, 47.6 ounces empty to be exact. Yet it felt lighter than that due to the balance on the pistol. Like all 92X Performance pistols, this one is a steel Vertex frame, sporting a higher beaver tail and optimal texturing on the front and rear straps. This helps you to reach the controls quicker and easier. Another nice touch, the magazine release is oversized and ambidextrous.
Xtreme-S Trigger Performance
What is different from the other 92Xs is the Xtreme-S Trigger which is fully adjustable for take-up, break and overtravel, allowing for fine-tuning to the shooter’s preference, and provides up to a 40 percent reset reduction in travel compared to the standard 90 series triggers. Beretta is claiming that because of the adjustability, the Xtreme-S is the most advanced pistol trigger that Beretta has ever produced.
I am a big fan of series 90s with a frame-mounted safety, as I feel like it is just easier to on or off safe without changing your grip. The action is a DA/SA, so you can carry several different ways; hammer cocked and safety locked, hammer down and safety locked, or hammer down and safety off. Speaking of the hammer, it is skeletonized.
The Carry Optic features adjustable rear sight and a High-Vis fiber optic front sight. The optics-ready slide cut allows the use of the Toni System Optic Plate. The Toni Plates that came with the pistol let you mount over 18 different types of red dots. Personally, I am not a fan of red dots on series 90 pistols, they just don’t look right to me. But, if you’re going to use this 92X in competition, then a red-dot is a must-have.
My test specimen came from Beretta wearing a Burris FastFire 4. It has an optional screw-on weather shield for an enclosed sight, which gives the whole setup a cleaner look in my opinion. The FastFire 4 features four reticles, 3-MOA dot, 11-MOA dot, 11-MOA dot and circle, and 3-MOA circle and wings. It has a battery life of 26,000 hours on medium brightness and also features auto-brightness and auto-shutoff after 8 hours. It weighs in at 1.6 ounces and has a retail price of $419.
Due to some personal shenanigans, I didn’t have time to do full-on accuracy shooting with the 92X Performance Carry Optic. But I was able to run through 200-plus rounds in the backyard. I used Federal’s Lead-Free 70-grain Ball and Remington’s 115-grain FMJ without any issues. Just as I fell in love with the older version, I did so with this newer one. Again, it felt like I just couldn’t miss.
The generous magazine well provides for quicker and easier reloading. The controls all felt right, and I really like that the disassembly lever was a couple of degrees down, allowing for my weak hand’s thumb to rest perfectly there. The weight of the pistol helps dampen felt recoil. Following up and transition shots were remarkably quick.
At this point, I am not sure if I will be returning this 92X back to Beretta. I do plan on doing more in-depth accuracy testing for our sister publication Personal Defense World. I can very easily see this Carry Optic becoming my nightstand gun, especially the way it shoots for me. But remember, it is a competition gun first, the 92X Performance Carry Optic provides an uncompromising performance aimed at earning you a top spot with power, speed, and accuracy. For more information, visit berettausa.com.
Specs: BERETTA 92X PERFORMANCE CARRY OPTIC
- Caliber: 9mm
- Barrel: 4.9 inches
- Overall Length: 8.7 inches
- Overall Weight: 47.6 ounces (empty)
- Grips: Polymer
- Sights: Adjustable rear, High-Vis fiber optic front
- Action: DA/SA
- Finish: Nistan slide and frame, black barrel
- Capacity: 15+1
- MSRP: $1,799
This story originally appeared in the January-February 2023 issue of Combat Handguns magazine. Get your copy today at OutdoorGroupStore.com.