Beretta USA has delivered over 600,000 M9 pistols to the US military since the mid-1980s. There are another 100,000 M9s on order, but a new model, the M9A3 has been developed, in part, in response to the Modular Handgun System program for the Department of Defense. The MHS calls for a modular pistol that is more effective, accurate, and reliable than the current model M9, incorporate accessory rails, and be suppressor-ready. The M9A3 will be submitted as an Engineering Change Proposal to the current contract rather than being entered in the MHS competition.

“The M9A3 represents the next generation military handgun utilizing the best of the legacy M9 combined with proven COTS modifications that increase performance and durability” stated Gabriele de Plano, Vice President of Military Marketing and Sales for Beretta USA. Mr. de Plano added, “After listening closely to the needs of U.S. Army and other Service small arms representatives, we determined the M9, much like its counterpart legacy weapon systems (M4, M16, M240, etc.), was capable of being upgraded through material and design changes. The resulting M9A3 we are offering to the DOD will likely cost less than the current M9 and answer almost all of the services’ enhanced handgun requirements.”

The M9A3 features a slimmer grip for smaller hands and a removable wrap-around grip extension for larger hands. It comes equipped with a MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail, removable front and rear tritium sights, a threaded barrel, and a 17-round magazine.

In a move that will excite the civilian market, Beretta will be offering the gun to commercial and law enforcement, too.

“Furthermore, the M9A3 benefits from having a law enforcement and commercial variant that will be launched at S.H.O.T. Show 2015 in Las Vegas, NV,” stated Rafe Bennett, Vice President of Product Marketing for Beretta USA. “The M9A3 offered to the DOD is the exact gun that consumers will be able to purchase in the second quarter of 2015.”