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Beretta 92C and Compact M9A1

The amazing success of the Beretta 92 series worldwide led Beretta to introduce a compact version of the model 92 in 1981. However, this first Compact offering was actually tied to a military contract based on the hard to find Beretta model 92SB. The 92SB was a special run Beretta did in order to qualify the pistol for submission in the US Air Force pistol trials. Beretta won the trial but the Air Force also requested a more compact version of the 92SB for their officers to carry and qualify with. As a result, Beretta introduced the 92SB Compact in 1981 and this pistol was produced until 1991. The 92SB Compact featured a shortened barrel and a smaller 13 round capacity.

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Beretta 92 Compact Type L Beretta 92 Compact M9A1


The first Compact model made available for the public was a model called the 92 Compact L, and it was just a renamed version of the older 92SB Compact model. In comparison to the fullsize model 92, both the grip and barrel were shortened about an inch, although the grip is the same width at the standard model 92. Compared to the fullsize model 92, the L model reduces the overall weight by 2.3 ounces, and features a magazine capacity of 13 rounds (compared to 15 in the full size model)

Also in 1992, Beretta released another slightly modified version of the 92C called the 92 Compact M, which is nearly identical to the Compact L, but has a slimmer grip for a single stack magazine. The M series Compact model weighs 4.2 ounces less than a standard full size model thanks to the single stack magazine, but only carries 8 rounds of 9mm.

In 2013, Beretta introduced a more modernized version of the 92 Compact, called the 92 Compact M9A1. Built on the military M9 variant of the 92, this model is basically the same as the original 92 C models except for the following newer upgrades:

  • Integrated picatinny rail
  • Checkered front and backstrap
  • Bruniton finish (versus standard blued on the original 92C series) or optional Inox finish
  • Shoots +P loads

The popularity of the model 92 fullsize means nearly every major holster makers in the US makes or offers a holster model to fit it. The 92 Compact is/was less popular and hard to find so locating a holster for it can be challenging.

Here are some of the more common asked holster questions we get about the 92 Compact:

#1 – Will the 92C fit into a holster made for the fullsize model 92?

The answer is yes for the older, non-railed versions of the 92C but no for the newer railed model being sold today. The picatinny rail on the newer models won’t fit into a holster made for an older non-railed model 92.

#2 – Will the 92 Compact L and 92 Compact M models fit into the same holster?

Yes. The L and M models will both fit into a holster made for the L or M series. The M has exactly the same physical dimensions as the L series Compact except the grip itself, which don’t play a role in holster fit.

#3 – Do you have any holsters that will fit the older 92 Compact type L or M?

Yes, we carry a number of holsters that are made to fit the original Beretta 92 Compact and they are listed below.

#4 – I have the newer 92 Compact M9A1 model. Do you offer any holsters to fit it?

Yes, we also carry some holster models to fit the Beretta M9A1 model and they are listed below as well.

#5 – I have a Beretta 92 Compact but I’m sure it’s an older model or one of the new M9A1 versions. How can I tell the difference?

The newer 92 Compact M9A1 versions have a picatinny rail built into the underside of the slide, and the newer models are marked on the frame as “Type M9A1”. The picatinny rail looks like a groove cut into the frame underneath the barrel area and can be used to mount a light or laser onto the gun. The older 92 Compact type M or L versions don’t have this rail.

The holsters listed below are offered in a version to fit both the original Beretta 92 Compact models and the newer 92 Compact M9A1 versions as well.

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