Monday, April 8, 2013

Beretta 92FS vs Taurus 24/7 OSS

  The handgun on the left is the discontinued Taurus 24/7 OSS in 9mm. The pistol on the right is the also discontinued Beretta 92FS "Centurion" in 9mm. While the "Centurion" isn't a exact copy of the handgun in service with our military today... it's close, it's what I have access to, and it's good enough for a comparison.
  BTW, both weapons have a similar round count despite the many years in between their manufacture and purchase.

  Let's talk about the Taurus.
This handgun (Actually the .45acp version) was originally made for the USSOCOM test in 2005. The military was looking for a replacement pistol, and as there was a potential for up to 650,000 handgun (and gear) sales, this could have been a very lucrative contract. Taurus was one of the manufacturers that submitted a pistol, and the 24/7 OSS remained in the trials until the program was cancelled.
  The 24/7 OSS won the NRA's Handgun Of The Year award in 2005.
 Now you know what I know regarding the history of this firearm.

  Most of you know that the Beretta M9 is currently is use by our military. Instead of writing about the trials from several decades ago, I'll merely list a few interesting links.
Shady Trial
CTD On The M9
25 Years With the Beretta 92

  I don't have access to a Taurus 24/7 OSS in .45acp, but I do own the 9mm version. I thought that it would be fun to see how the Taurus stacks up against the Beretta in a side by side comparison. Of course my afternoon at the range is a lot less formal than the military testing.

  If you'd like to compare weights, materials, specs, etc. then check out the links below.
Beretta M9
Taurus 24/7 Polymer OSS
24/7 - OSS

  Here is my usual source for manuals if you'd like more detailed information.

  Finally, here are my earlier reviews of the Taurus and the Beretta.

  What are the two most important things that most of us look for in a handgun? Obviously, we ask ourselves if Joe Biden approves of it, and how pretty is the gun?
  No... that's not it?
  Perhaps we're more concerned with reliability and accuracy.

  I'm going to give the reliability edge to the Beretta based on my experience with these two handguns, and the manufacturers.
  First of all, my experience with new M9s in the military was entirely positive. Our pistols worked, and were extremely reliable.
  This "Centurion" has also been 100% reliable with both the owner and myself (with the exception of one brief period during which a helpful neighbor removed a spring when cleaning this weapon for the owner. There's probably a lesson in there somewhere).
  The Beretta name is synonymous with quality.

  Now for the Taurus 24/7 OSS. This handgun has been very reliable for me. The original owner however, had constant issues with stovepipes. This was caused (IMO) by his funky grip on the gun. Instead of getting the highest possible grip on the weapon, he left about an inch of space between his hand and the top of the frame.
  I blame the shooter, not the weapon for this. It's worth noting however, that I couldn't make the Beretta jam while I've seen the 24/7 OSS repeatedly malfunction for the previous owner.
   There were 3 failures to fire with  the 24/7 OSS at the range last week. I'm almost entirely positive that it was the ammo. The majority of the testing was done with 115gr UMC. There was one leftover magazine of WWB. This Winchester 9mm was the only ammunition that I had any failures to fire with.  Hopefully I can shoot a little over the next several days, and prove that the FTFs were not the gun. I'll edit in the results.
  In my opinion, the "Centurion" wins on reliability since I couldn't make it malfunction. I'm not calling the Taurus unreliable, but of the two guns, I have to pick the 92FS.
  Then there's the Taurus reputation... I'll just say that it's not at the level of Beretta.
Advantage Beretta.

  Moving on to accuracy. I can't see a great deal of difference between the two handguns at 10 yds. Better data could have been gathered from a longer range, but I had to shoot on what was open that day. It is what it is. I suspect that there would not have been much difference in targets at 15 yds (at least in my hands).
  Of course, it's worth noting that the Taurus has a longer sighting radius than the Beretta "Centurion." Some might argue that a full sized 92FS would be a fairer comparison pistol. They would be right. I think that they should bring me a M9 version for evaluation.
3" Orange Bullseyes

    So the Beretta gets the slight edge in reliability, and both guns are tied in accuracy (at least with me on the trigger).

  It's possible to have the best designed and most expensive semi automatic on the market. Guess what? If you don't have good magazines, the weapon won't run worth a damn.
  Both manufacturers have quality mags. They work well, and appear to be very well made.
  I have one slight complaint about the mags used for the 24/7 OSS. One of the four magazines that I own will only hold 16 rounds instead of 17. This is not a huge concern, but I felt that it should be noted for this comparison. I didn't see anything wrong with any of the 6 mags supplied with the Beretta.

  I prefer the witness holes on the Beretta magazines over those on the Taurus.

  Magazine capacity is better for the 92FS line than the 24/7 OSS. There are 15, 18, 20, and 32 round mags available for the 92FS while you are stuck with 17 rounders for the Taurus.
  Don't get me wrong, 17 rounds is excellent capacity, but the advantage goes to Beretta. This is especially true since there are several different manufacturers of mags for the 92FS/M9 line while it appears that Taurus is the only supplier of 24/7 OSS magazines.
Advantage Beretta.

  Hmm... perhaps I should start calling them "Magazine Clips," in an effort to reach out to Democratic politicians and MSNBC anchors.

  The sights are a little better on the Taurus. Both of these weapons use the usual 3 dot sight
arrangement that we see all of the time (the M9 however uses a dot over dot sights). The Taurus has the sights dovetailed into the slide at both ends thus making them easier to swap out. The rear sight on the 24/7 OSS is also easily adjustable as you merely need to loosen a torx screw, and tap the sight over.
  Other than the ability to change the front sight and easily adjust the rear for windage, I'd rate the sights almost equal.
Slight Advantage to Taurus.

I want to spend a few minutes discussing the grips. The Taurus has finger grooves molded into the frame. There's checkering and rough textures everywhere. It's easy to get a solid purchase on the gun, and it feels very comfortable in the hand. Taurus did a very good job designing this.

  The Beretta feels more comfortable in my hand though. I'm surprised by this since there's only a few vertical grooves running down the front of the grip, and along the backstrap.
  The grip panels have a good texture, and it's easy to keep a firm grip on the weapon (even with wet hands). The "Centurion" has none of the checkering or finger grooves that I've come to expect when shooting Glocks or XDMs.
  When considering how fat the grip is, I expected the gun to feel like a brick in my hand. That's not the case. It's surprisingly comfortable, and I rate it higher than the Taurus. If the backstrap was slightly flatter on the 24/7 OSS this wouldn't be the case. Advantage Beretta.

  Accessing the controls. I have to rotate both pistols in my shooting hand to use the magazine release.
  The slide lock on the Taurus can just barely be used without rotating the weapon, and I have to shift my grip to use the slide lock on the 92FS.

  The safety lever on the 24/7 OSS can be disengaged without changing my grip, but I have to shift the gun in my hand when engaging the safety or using the decocker.
My grip has to be changed when engaging or disengaging the safety on the Beretta. Advantage Taurus.


  Disassembly is slightly faster with the 92FS. Unlike the Taurus, the Beretta can be disassembled without squeezing the trigger. Advantage Beretta.

The internals of both guns seem well done. I can't find many rough edges. The Beretta is slightly better finished on the inside than the Taurus.
Advantage Beretta.

  The externals of both firearms are attractive in their own way. Both guns have a matte finish, and a tactical look. You can tell however, that both manufacturers made an effort to produce a good looking pistol in spite of the businesslike appearance. There are some fugly guns out there, but the 92FS and 24/7 OSS aren't among them. With that said, I believe that the "Centurion" is the better looking pistol.

  Good looks are an intangible thing that each gun buyer has to define for himself/herself.

  There's not a lot of difference in weight between these handguns. I'd hate to carry either one on a daily basis (been there done that). If you don't mind carrying a full sized service pistol then rock on. More power to you.
  The Taurus is both heavier and more muzzle heavy.

  Both weapons have a decocker, and firing pin block. The 92FS has a trigger disconnector while the 24/7 OSS has a manual safety. The Taurus has an additional key lock built into the slide. I'm am not a fan of these locking devices, but some might like the feature. Advantage Taurus.

  You'll note that the Taurus has a rail. Beretta also has a 92FS version with a rail. The 24/7 OSS has slide serrations at the muzzle end. Meh... they look nice but I never use them.

  Summary:     The Beretta is a bit more reliable than my Taurus. The manufacturer's reputation for reliability is definitely better (if that means anything to you).

  I rate both guns equal in regards to accuracy (at least in my hands).

  The Taurus 24/7 OSS is out of production, but an updated 24/7 G2 is available everywhere. The Beretta 92FS "Centurion" is also out of production, but there are several different models of 92FS available.

  As for prices, I've recently saw a new 24/7 OSS selling for $400 at a local gun show before the Feinstein stupidity began. I see that Bud's has one for about $350 this morning. Add several hundred dollars to that and you can get a Beretta 92FS (currently selling for $650 at Bud's Gun Shop for the Italian made pistol).

  I like Beretta's feel a little more than I do that of the Taurus. The quality of the "Centurion" is also a bit better IMO.

  I prefer the sights on the 24/7 OSS.

  The aftermarket is better for the Beretta.

  I'd feel well armed with either gun, and enjoyed shooting both.

  Which is my favorite?

  The Beretta 92FS "Centurion" wins by a nose.

  Which would the 45 year old me buy? The "Centurion" or whatever current production 92FS strikes my fancy. Bear in mind that the 45 year old me has a good job, and a safe full of firearms.

  Which would the 21 year old me buy? The broke 21 year old me would probably have bought the Taurus, and taken the remaining $250 and applied it to some flavor of .22lr semi auto.

As usual, pictures abound.

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