I channeled my inner John Woo today by comparing my Italian Stallion to my Brazilian Bombshell

I grew up loving the Beretta 92 series since it was the gun that replaced the old worn out 1911, it was the gun that went into Panama and later won the Gulf War.

It was the gun of the LAPD and numerous FL Law Enforcement Agencies.

My Father (far right) as a Special Agent carrying a Beretta 92SB.

The Beretta serving with the LAPD during the 1997 North Hollywood Bank Robbery.

Along with its real life exploits, the Beretta 92 shared screen time with actors like Bruce Willis in Die Hard and Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. But it wasn't only just a star in Western films. Oh no, it also was very popular in Asian cinema.

So who is John Woo and what the heck do I mean by that the title? John Woo is a Hong Kong Movie Director known for using Beretta and Taurus automatics in his action films and having his characters wield them akimbo. Thus, going "John Woo" means dual wielding.

Chow Yun-fat in 1989's The Killer, directed by John Woo. Dual wielding a Beretta and Taurus.

Mr. Woo's style became very popular in the Hong Kong action scene that it was often copied.

Chow Yun-fat in 1989's God of Gamblers, directed by Wong Jing. Dual wielding a Beretta and Taurus.

He was a fan of both guns and so am I. I love Beretta, but I always wanted a Taurus too and here's why.

Both companies advertised the hell of their products. I remember seeing all these ads in the magazines back in the day.

Taurus talking up their guns in these 1980s era Taurus PT92 advertisement promoting one of the gun's key difference from the Beretta. Its overall lower price.

Original 1980s era advertisement. Beretta riding the wave from being adopted as the official service pistol of the US Military and then beating all the competitors when trials were redone.

Okay enough about waxing nostalgic about 1980s Hong Kong action movies and Reaganomics era gun ads, let's just get to the meat and potatoes. We're going to outright compare the Beretta and the Taurus. I wanted to always do a direct comparison between the two and now I can since I recently purchased a early 90s production Taurus PT92AF.

My Beretta made in January 2003 and Taurus made in August 1994. Both are in my opinion exceptional Wonder-Nines from their companies.

Beretta and Taurus have been producing some fantastic Wonder-Nines and these two are in my opinion the cream of the crop.

Design wise, they're very similar.

Schematic for both guns. Beretta on the left, Taurus on the right.

This particular Beretta is a "Police Special", what that means is that it was marketed to law enforcement agencies. Beretta took a bog standard 92FS and sold it in a carboard box to reduce shipping costs. They threw in a third magazine and installed Trijicon night sights on 'em.

The Taurus as mentioned previously, is a then standard PT92AF. Remember, in 1997, Taurus started to cut costs by cutting quality on their guns. But this one was before any of that. Everything on this gun is old school cool.

Beretta's Slide Mounted Safety vs Taurus' Frame Mounted Safety.

The most oblivious difference between the two guns is the safeties. Beretta moved theirs to the slide back in the day and Taurus has kept it in its original location on the frame. Both act as decockers, but only Taurus gives you the option of carrying cocked and locked ala the 1911. That is one of the biggest reasons why folks usually pick and choose which 92 they'll buy. Well, that and cost. Historically speaking, the Taurus was always a cheaper option.

Taurus on top, Beretta on the bottom.

Both guns have lanyard loops and the rear of the grip can be seen with vertical serrations to aid in grip. The front on both guns are the same in that regard too. Except for the Beretta, I use Hogue's finger grooved grips so that isn't something I notice. The lanyard loop is oriented differently between the two. But not enough to make a difference.

Taurus PT92AF disassembled.

Beretta 92FS disassembled.

Both are exactly the same in terms of takedown for general field cleaning. Not a single thing is different in that regard.

Beretta on the left, Taurus on the right.

The magazines are the same except for the magazine catch cut in the mag body. Both are fifteen rounds in capacity.

Beretta and Taurus independently moved the magazine button from the heel to the current location behind the trigger. So the measurements of the mag catches themselves are different. So while the magazines are the same specs, they are not interchangeable unless you modify the magazine catch hole in the mag body to work for both. Triple K actually made a magazine like that.

Triple K's Universal Beretta/Taurus 92 magazine. Notice the mag catch cutout.

Now, I know, someone is going to ask, "why can't I just swap the magazine catch from one gun to the other?" Well, the reason is because they are designed differently. Beretta cuts a big notch in the grip frame, and the entire assembly housing is all removed as a complete unit. Taurus installs the catch housing in a semi-permanent manner, and a two-piece catch is screwed together into the housing.

Notice the blued finish on the Taurus versus the Bruniton finish on the Beretta.

Both guns have the same pattern of extractor that functions as a loaded chamber indicator. When loaded, the front end of the extractor sticks out and there is a little dab of red paint that acts as a visual cue to let you know a round is in the chamber.

The slide serrations on both guns are crisp and sharp. Beretta has their more forward to clear the slide mounted safety lever.

Beretta on top. Taurus on the bottom.

Both have the extractor retaining pin in the same exact location. The Beretta has a visible firing pin block that physically raises when you pull the trigger.

Beretta on top, Taurus on the bottom.

But the Taurus also has a firing pin block. It just isn't visible from the exterior of the slide. Both function exactly the same way though.

Taurus on top, Beretta on the bottom.

Both have a fixed ejector on the left side. You can also see that both guns have a hammer that was machined from a forging.

Taurus on top, Beretta on the bottom.

The trigger transfer bar is the same on both guns. Same with the disassembly release latch button.

Beretta on the left, Taurus on the right.

Taurus on the left, Beretta on the right.

You can see how just to the opposite from the ejector on the other side of the hammer, both have little "arms". That is the firing pin block lever.

Taurus on top, Beretta on the bottom.

The barrels and locking blocks are exactly the same and completely interchangeable.

Taurus on top, Beretta on the bottom. Though in reality, both guide rods are Beretta. The OEM Taurus one is stainless steel.

The recoil springs and guide rods are interchangeable. I actually swapped the Taurus one for a Beretta one. Why? Because the factory Taurus one is stainless and looks better on my Beretta 96G Brigader Elite II.

Taurus on left, Beretta on the right.

The Beretta has a set of fixed Trijicon night sights. While not 100% a direct comparison with the Taurus sights, they are both similar in being a three-dot arrangement and the tritium is mostly burnt out anyways.

You can also see the cutout on the left side of Beretta's slide for the oversized hammer pin. What's that there for; you ask? It is to prevent the slide from hitting the shooter in the face. Back in the 1980s, the US Navy had their SEALs do a lot of training with the then new 92F. They punished these guns with nothing but over-pressured SMG ammo and eventually a few slides had catastrophic failure where the back end of the slides flew back and struck the shooters in the face. Beretta designed the oversized hammer pin to prevent that. Taurus never did such a thing.



Both have a similar sight arrangement and view. The front sight on both is machined as part of the slide.

Beretta on top, Taurus on the bottom.

Taurus kept the straight dust cover while Beretta went with the slanted dust cover. Why did Beretta change the profile? Beretta changed the profile of the dust cover to strengthen the frame for the purposes of eliminating the cracks after heavy use.

The trigger on the Taurus is more curved and you can see that while both have hooked "combat" trigger guards, only Beretta added texturing to improve the grip there. Taurus left it plain.

Notice how on the Taurus, the bottom front of the grip is straight while the Beretta is flared out.

So that's it right? The comparison is done and we can call this article finished.

Nope, of course not. Even with the height of the panic, we at least have to see how the Italian Stallion and the Brazilian Bombshell shoot. First up is the Taurus.

Taurus at 25 yards at Talon Range in Midway, FL. 15rds were fired.

Now is the Beretta to show off.

The Beretta at 25 yards at Talon Range in Midway, FL. 15rds total were fired.

You can see, that the Beretta was beaten by the Taurus. Yup, the Brazilian lady sure showed the chic Italian model how it is done. The Beretta had a lighter trigger pull, but that's because I installed a "D" mainspring in it over a decade ago. I can do the same to the Taurus. I just haven't done so yet but eventually will.

All in all, this Taurus meets the same level of quality that you'd expect in a Beretta. While Taurus later reduced the quality in their products. This PT92AF meets what I want from the 92 platform.

So who won? Well, I'd say it is a tie. Both are phenomenal shooters from a bygone era of duty size 9mm automatics that make a GLOCK 17 look small. Concealability was never a factor in either gun. When these guns were new, I'd have gotten the Taurus if I were a new shooter back in the 1990s. Why? It was the same quality as the Beretta at a cheaper price. But today, well before the panic buying. The price of a used Beretta was very low and was actually competitive with the prices you see for a used Taurus.

But no matter what, if you are a 92 fan. Go hunt down a early 90s Taurus PT92AF. You'll be surprised by how good the gun is.


  1. Great writeup. I like the Pachmayr signature grips for the older Taurus guns. I had one that was an incredibly smooth shooter.


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