If all goes according to plan this article should release after my review of the Beretta 92X RDO Full Size goes live. If you had a chance to read that, you will see that I absolutely fell in love with it. Everything about it just feels right to me and when I have handled the original 92FS models I always felt something was different. Recently someone asked me what was different and I could only name a handful of things. The purpose of this article is to give a more attentive and in-depth look at the difference between the old school Beretta 92FS and the new school Beretta 92X RDO (full size). Let’s dive right into the Beretta 92FS vs Beretta 92X RDO Full Size – What’s the difference?
Note: I apologize for the fact that I only have the Beretta 92X RDO Full Size in my possession for photos. I was unable to track down a regular 92FS.
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Characteristics: What’s The Difference? – Beretta 92FS vs Beretta 92X RDO Full Size
All things considered, the full-size Beretta 92X RDO and 92FS are the same gun at heart. They share a majority of integral parts and they function the same off of the same operating system. They are metal-framed, hammer-fired, reliable, 9mm handguns. The main differences in appearance come from the 92X’s Vertec linage which made an appearance in 2001 with the Beretta 92 Vertec.
The Vertec portion of the 92X’s appearance is mainly to do with the grip despite other incidental similarities to the original 92 Vertec pistol. The grip has a flat back with a more vertical style of grip angle compared to its 92FS counterpart. Besides that, the grip panels/wraparound grips are a thin or slimline type. This allows users to have a better grip, especially shooters with smaller hands. The grip is a much more modernized portion and it is designed with comfort and enhanced performance in mind. I personally always preach that comfort is confidence and a confident shooter will perform better overall.
Note: The Beretta 92X RDO does come with a separate one-piece wraparound grip panel that will slightly change the grip angle to better match the old-school 92FS.
Besides the grips, the 92X series of pistols have a dovetailed front sight whereas in the 92FS the front post is fixed. The rear sight on the 92X is a more combat-style flat-faced sight. This type of rear sight is optimized to be durable and potentially used to rack the slide against something one-handed if need be. Speaking of sights the Beretta 92x RDO is optics cut to accept Beretta’s optics plates. These optics plates are made for various types of optic footprints. All of that means that a red dot optic (RDO) can be mounted on the 92X RDO.
Moving back towards the muzzle end of the gun we have front slide serrations which are specific to the 92X RDO and are not present on the standard 92X or 92FS. On the frame, we have a three-slot Picatinny rail so all sorts of accessories can be mounted to the frame.
Lastly (barring I forgot something), the trigger guard on the 92X and 92X RDO is a more traditional rounded style whereas the 92FS models have a squared-off and serrated trigger guard. I left this one for last because as far as personal preference goes I have none. I would not use the front of the trigger guard for anything so it really does not matter to me. I am unsure of the reason of this choice but it might have to do with weight reduction since it now has the rail there for added weight.
Dimensions: What’s The Difference? – Beretta 92FS vs Beretta 92X RDO Full Size
So if we just go off of looks these two guns look very similar and it may surprise one to find out that they are actually dimensionally different albeit in minor ways. The 92FS is actually larger (longer) than the 92X. The barrel on the 92FS is 4.9 inches whereas the 92X Full-Size series is 4.7 inches. This added to the difference in grip angle makes the Beretta 92FS 8.5 inches overall in length and the 92X is only at 8.25 inches. If they both have flush fit magazines and are empty they are the same height and weight.
Accessibility: What’s The Difference? – Beretta 92FS vs Beretta 92X RDO Full Size
The Beretta 92X RDO comes stock with two 18-round magazines whereas the stock 92FS will come with two 15-round magazines. Now, obviously, these magazines are interchangeable but I am talking about what they come with out of the box. There are also 10rd compliant magazines out there in some, depending on the SKU you buy.
Given the three-slot Picatinny rail on the 92X, there is a myriad of accessories that can be mounted. Lights, lasers, even go pros if you feel so inclined. The Beretta 92X RDO takes it all a step further since it is optics-ready, hence the Red-Dot-Optic acronym. Beretta offers mounting plates for Acro, C-More, Trijicon, Leupold, and Burris/Docter/Vortex pattern optics. Lastly, as far as accessibility goes, the Beretta 92X RDO utilizes an M9A3 style of a slide. This means that the sights (as previously mentioned) are interchangeable with other Beretta pistol sights and aftermarket sights. Not just the plus with the sights but the slide is easily converted from the F (safety/decocker) configuration to the G (decocker only) configuration or visa versa.
Performance: What’s The Difference? – Beretta 92FS vs Beretta 92X RDO Full Size
The only note on performance I can think of making that is not personal preference or experience is the trigger. The Beretta 92X RDO has a short reset trigger. This makes the trigger have a nicer more refined feel overall but most importantly it allows for faster and more tactile follow-up shots. Expanding from that last point and leaning more into my personal experience, the soft recoiling nature of the 90 series of pistols mixed with this short reset feature makes it a breeze to shoot and to shoot faster and smoother.
Conclusion: What’s The Difference? – Beretta 92FS vs Beretta 92X RDO Full Size
As I mentioned in the beginning, this article was more of a spur-of-the-moment thing. I was put on the spot and was not able to properly articulate the differences between two very nice pistols to someone. It is entirely possible that I missed something. I should mention that they all have different MSRPs. Bare in mind obviously a price in the store is most likely different/usually cheaper. The Beretta 92FS is $709, the standard 92X is $700, and the 92X RDO is $749. All well worth it in my opinion. I absolutely fell in love with the fit and performance of the Beretta 92X RDO while working with it for review. I highly recommend checking it out if you are looking for a great range toy, duty gun, or home defense gun!
In closing, I want to say thank you to Beretta for allowing AllOutdoor and myself the opportunity to try out their 92X RDO Full Size. That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think. Do you believe that this version of the Model 92 pistol is worth spending your money on? Would you take this out to the range? Would this be your go-to home defense gun? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.