Achieving longevity in the successful pursuit of any endeavor is impressive. Longevity is relative, but the endurance champion of firearms manufacturing has to be Beretta—a company that has been making guns for almost 500 years. One of Beretta's most notable successes occurred about 30 years ago, when the company won the contract for the new, primary sidearm of the U.S. Armed Forces, displacing the iconic M1911 handgun and the legendary .45 ACP cartridge.
There is no doubt the most successful pistol design system in history has been the .45 ACP 1911 pistol. It’s now been 102 years since its acceptance as the United States military’s service pistol and it’s still going strong. When the 1911 was replaced by the 9mm Beretta 92 (known as the M9 in military service) in 1985, there were many naysayers about the efficacy of leaving such a successful system, but things must be kept in perspective. As much as many of us love the 1911, we have to accept its limitations.
Beretta has been in the business of satisfying the demands of military and civilian firearms customers for almost 500 years. That is a long time for a family-owned business, or any business for that matter. Firearms design has certainly changed over the years, and Beretta has not only kept up but has also been a leader in innovation. So it was hardly a surprise when Beretta won what may be considered the most coveted handgun purchasing contract in the world: In 1985, the U.S. military selected the Beretta 92 as its new official sidearm, renaming it the M9 and replacing its venerable .45-caliber Model 1911. - See more at: http://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2013/01/beretta-92fs-compact-9mm/#ch_beretta_92_stainless-5537_phatchfinal