Wilson Combat is usually associated with exceptional 1911s and ARs customized and modified to perform in competition or self-defense situations. With four Custom Beretta packages, Wilson Combat has expanded its custom work and accessories to include Beretta 92 and 96 pistols. Send the company a standard mil-spec M9A1 or civilian version of the 92 or 96 and it will trick it out in a way only Wilson Combat can.
For this new venture, Wilson Combat partnered with Ernest Langdon, who has been shooting Berettas for over 30 years and is the original innovator of high-performance 92 pistols and parts. Langdon used his modified 92s to win the 1998 IDPA National Championships and numerous state and regional titles. Langdon, serving as a technical advisor, and Wilson Combat have enhanced the legendary reliability and user-friendly Beretta 92/96 design with parts and services intended for defensive, competition and tactical shooters.
“While these enhancements are aesthetically pleasing to the eye and touch, they’re also functional and make the Beretta platform even more accurate and easier to use.”
“Since the Beretta M9 has been in U.S. military service for close to three decades, modifying it seemed natural,” said Bill Wilson, the president of Wilson Combat. Bill knows 1911s and has an extensive collection, but he also likes Berettas and has many in his personal collection. “Returning soldiers want a handgun for protection or competition, and since they were trained on the M9 or M9A1 platform, it is a pistol they are comfortable with.”
Combat soldiers have an emotional bond with their fellow soldiers as well as the gear they use. When I speak to some of my military acquaintances and pals about the M9 and M9A1 service pistols, I hear something in their voices and see it in their eyes. A common theme runs through their stories: “If it was not for the M9…” or “I don’t know what would have happened if it wasn’t for the M9A1…” When they needed the pistol at a desperate moment, it performed and allowed them to fight another day and eventually return home to the States.
The M9 was first adopted by the U.S. military in 1985 and has since been updated to the M9A1 in 2006. For nearly 30 years, soldiers in the U.S. military have used these 9mm, double-action/single-action (DA/SA) pistols in combat. In the eyes of many U.S. soldiers, the M9A1 is a lifesaver—a piece of gear that they will never forget and always cherish.
Veterans and soldiers who used the M9A1 while in service would be proud to own one of these Wilson Combat custom pistols. It would be suitable for most any occasion: A veteran returning home, a special retirement gift or for a soldier who just wants to have a custom version of Uncle Sam’s currently issued sidearm. The Beretta that served with them in war can now be customized by Wilson Combat for concealed carry at home, to protect themselves and their loved ones. Any of the four customization packages from Wilson Combat can make a memorable gift for military personnel or a veteran by taking the emotional attachment of the pistol and combining it with unique upgrades that enhance the firearm’s performance. While these enhancements are aesthetically pleasing to the eye and touch, they’re also functional and make the Beretta platform even more accurate and easier to use.
The Basic Carry Package ($340) includes a tuned action, a contoured magazine well, a Wilson Combat Battlesight rear sight, a fluted steel guide rod, an Armor-Tuff finish for the frame and Wilson Combat’s logo laser-etched onto the slide. The IDPA Package ($360), only for M9A1 models, includes everything in the Basic Carry Package plus a fiber-optic front sight, an oversized Beretta magazine release and G10 grips. The IDPA Package is designed to tweak an M9A1 specifically for use in IDPA’s Stock Service Pistol division.
The Custom Carry Package ($795) for 92F, 92FS and 96FS pistols includes all the features of the other two packages plus checkered frontstraps and backstraps, oversized steel magazine releases, round triggerguards (similar to older 92s), Custom Carry safety decockers, G10 grips with Wilson Combat medallions and complete Armor-Tuff finishing. Finally, there is the Custom Carry Package ($770) for 92A1 and 96A1 pistols that includes all of the features of the other packages plus a dovetailed, fiber-optic front sight and a factory standard #13 recoil spring.
Of course, the options, as with all Wilson Combat firearms, are nearly limitless. For instance, numerous sight configurations are available for customers. Shooters can choose Wilson Combat’s Battlesight rear sight unit and front sights ranging from serrated, ramped units to fiber-optic sights and a white-dot options. Wilson Combat makes the slide-mounted safeties/decockers, and they come in two styles: Custom Carry Lo-Profile and Standard. For faster reloading, the magazine releases are oversized and made of steel—shooters can choose a round, checkered steel release; an oversized checkered steel release; or an oversized mag release with the Wilson Combat logo. G10 grip options include numerous finishes—black, dirty olive and black cherry—in a golf ball or tactical slant texture pattern. Slide work and frame recontouring are included with some packages, and the final product will wear a coating of Armor-Tuff in either black, burnt bronze, federal brown, Flat Dark Earth, green or gray. The Wilson Combat logo is also laser-etched onto the slide.
I have had been able to fire numerous examples of Beretta 92s, from standard factory versions to those with tuned actions and other enhancements. Simply put, Wilson Combat’s customizations take the impressive Beretta platform to the next level of performance.
I recently visited Bill Wilson’s Circle WC Ranch in Texas, where I was fortunate to get in some trigger time with Bill and his son Ryan. I got to shoot the new custom Beretta, and the DA trigger pull was super smooth—what I expected from Wilson Combat. The pistol’s ergonomics were also enhanced, which resulted in enhanced accuracy. In the end, Wilson Combat’s modifications to the Beretta platform made me appreciate the pistol even more.
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