French Foreign Legion Beretta 92 by MAS

Many years ago, I had a Beretta 92. Picked it up off a retiring DSS agent in the very, very early 1990’s. How he came upon it is a very interesting story in it’s own right but not something that I can post in the internet.

But what I can say is it was the first time I ever considered the idea of licensed copies of firearms. Chinese AK’s. Russian Glock’s. French Beretta’s. And sometimes unlicensed copies like what you might see on both sides of the Khyber Pass region or backwaters of the Philippines.

So what we have here is a licensed copy of a Beretta 92 / M9 made by the now defunct state owned arms factory MAS (Manufacture d’armes de Saint-Étienne). This particular variant is desirable to me for two reasons. One functional. One collectable.

French Copy of Beretta 92 by MAS.

French Copy of Beretta 92 by MAS.  PAMAS G1

The functional aspect: is it’s a G-Model. Anyone who has ever had to run a Beretta M9 even remotely seriously understands the one fatal flaw of the 92’s design is the location of the slide-mounted safety. Under stress when doing malfunction clearance drills or any action that requires the user to sling-shot, the pistol can inadvertently get placed on safe. So just imagine successfully reloading your pistol in a hurry, driving that pistol forward for a committed shot…and a dead trigger! It’s a major party foul. The G Modification solves that by making the safety a de-cocker only.

The collectable aspect: is this particular pistol belongs to the French Foreign Legion. (Légion Étrangère). They designate the model as follows: PAMAS G1.

French Foreign Legion in traditional dress with FAMAS bullpup rifles.

French Foreign Legion in traditional dress with FAMAS bullpup rifles.

I have never seen a PAMAS G1 in the US, and knowing how funny the French are about surplussing their weapons these days, I doubt I ever will. But one never knows what the future holds? It’s a cool gun, and I wouldn’t mind having one.

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

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