Firearm: Beretta 92X F Compact (MSRP: $700)
Fans of double/single action pistols, often called DA/SA for short, now have a more concealed-carry friendly option from Beretta in the 92X F Compact. The X designation means the model has the modular, Vertec-style frame, two grip options, target-crown barrel, high-vis sights and an enhanced trigger that differentiate it from the standard 92. The “F” notes that the ambidextrous lever on the side of the frame is a safety as well as a decocker, while the Compact means it has the shorter, 4.25-inch barrel and stubbier grip.
So, what does all this mean? Well, if you’re a fan of Beretta DA/SA handguns, it means your concealed-carry options just got a better. With the Vertec-style frame, the grip angle is more vertical and allows easier access to the trigger for those with smaller hands, while the included wraparound grip allows a fuller grip for those with larger mitts. The front sight sits in a dovetail, greatly increasing options for those that prefer something other than a standard dot, while an improved magazine release helps facilitate smoother, faster reloads.
The DA/SA operating system does require some advanced thought in practice and training. There is the change in trigger pull to keep in mind, as well as the need to decock the hammer before reholstering. The manual-of-arms is substantially different from that of a standard, striker-fired pistol, so plan accordingly. For those already familiar with the DA/SA system, though, the Beretta 92X F Compact offers a modern, ergonomic choice for just such fans.
For example, a good friend of mine, upon leaving U.S. Army service for civilian life, naturally gravitated to a 92FS owing to his familiarity with that system. In his case, it made eminent sense to continue to use a pistol he had trained with for a dozen or so years. Two generations of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen have trained and carried the M9, and while the service pistol is changing, I know from my son that the U.S. Navy still trains Sailors on the M9 in boot camp. Bottom line, there’s a lot of folks out there familiar with the Beretta handgun, and this pistol is a great option for them to carry concealed.
Holster: Galco Royal Guard 2.0 (MSRP: $165)
There’s no doubt that carrying a heavier pistol like the Beretta 92X F Compact requires a little more substantial holster, and Galco’s Royal Guard 2.0 is just such an offering. Built with rough-out horsehide exterior and smooth interior for faster draws, the Royal Guard 2.0 has a metal-reinforced mouth to ensure the holster stays open for reholstering. A raised sweat guard keeps your pistol separate from your body, protecting you from abrasion and your pistol from moisture.
The Royal Guard 2.0 comes with an aggressive, fixed-forward cant to both help with presentation and also minimize printing. Twin leather belt loops accommodate up to a 1.75-inch wide belt, and have a space between loops that should be just about perfect for anchoring on a standard pair of jeans. As a final note, the Royal Guard 2.0 is only available for right-hand draw and in the one color combination.
Accessory: Magpul Helix Eyewear (MSRP: $149)
With the inclusion of a Beretta 92X and a fancy holster, it’s obvious that looking good is part of today’s kit – but functionality is also a critical component. In that matter, the Helix eyewear from Magpul makes an excellent addition to this gear. Lenses and frame are ballistically rated for both Z87+ and MIL-PRF32432 standards, with the frames constructed of TR90NZZ polymer for strength and flexibility. All lenses are chemical-, impact- and fog-resistant.
We’re all aware of the importance of eye protection. With the Magpul Helix glasses, not only are you protected from impact on the range and outdoors, but you don’t have to look like you just walked off the set of “Home Improvement” to get the same level of safety protection. Helix eyewear are currently available with black frames and two different lens colors, with additional lens offerings available soon.