M9 9 Millimeter Semi-Automatic Pistol
The M9 is a light weight, semiautomatic pistol
manufactured by Beretta and designed to replace the M1911A1 .45 caliber
pistol and .38 caliber revolvers.
The M9 has redundant automatic safety features to help prevent
It can be fired in either double or single action mode and can be
unloaded without activating the trigger while the safety is in the
The M9 pistol has a 15-round magazine, and may be fired without a
This weapon can have the hammer lowered from the cocked, "ready
to fire," position to the uncocked position without activating
the trigger by placing the thumb safety on the "on"
Firing pin block
Extractor/loaded chamber indicator
Magazine catch assembly
Insert one or more cartridges into the magazine.
Push the magazine firmly and fully into the handle of the pistol until a
distinct "click" is heard.
With the weapon pointing in a safe direction, grasp the slide (top of the
weapon) and pull it back as far as it will go.
Release the slide, allowing it to spring back to its' original position.
You have just placed a round in the firing chamber and cocked the hammer.
The weapon is loaded, ready to fire.
If you are not planning on firing the weapon immediately, put it on
"safe," by keeping it pointed in a safe direction, and rotating
the "ambidextrous safety" downward. This will automatically lower
the hammer to a "half-cock" position and block the trigger from
movement. The weapon remains loaded, however, and should not be pointed at
anything you do not intend to shoot..
Point the loaded weapon at your intended target.
Flip the "ambidextrous safety" up (off).
Pull the trigger (long pull). This will cock the hammer, drop the hammer,
and discharge the round.
After the round is fired, the slide will recoil backward, and then spring back to
its' original position. This action will eject the empty cartridge case,
bring a new cartridge into the firing chamber, and cock the hammer.
If you fire a second round, the trigger pull will be much less (short
pull), because the hammer has already been cocked.
If you prefer to fire your first round with a short pull, you can manually cock the hammer after rotating
the ambidextrous safety to "fire."
When you have fired the last round from your magazine, the slide will
remain in the back or open position.
Point the weapon in a safe direction.
Rotate the ambidextrous safety downward to "safe." This will
de-cock the hammer.
Depress the "magazine catch assembly" button. This will eject
Pull back on the slide until it stops. This will eject any unfired round
from the firing chamber.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNLOAD THE WEAPON IN THE ORDER DESCRIBED. IF
YOU REVERSE THE ORDER, FIRST EJECTING A ROUND FROM THE CHAMBER, AND THEN
REMOVING THE MAGAZINE, THE WEAPON WILL REMAIN LOADED. EJECTING A ROUND FROM
THE CHAMBER WILL AUTOMATICALLY BRING ANOTHER ROUND INTO THE CHAMBER, UNLESS
THE MAGAZINE IS FIRST REMOVED. THAT IS THE AUTOMATIC PART OF THIS
Rotate the safety down to the "safe" position, de-cocking the
hammer and locking the trigger.
Clearing the Pistol:
Clearing a weapon means unloading the it and leaving it so that anyone who
sees it knows that it is empty and temporarily disabled.
To clear the M9 pistol, remove the magazine, pull the slide backward and
lock it in the open position, and move the "Ambidextrous Safety"
to "Safe." This is the safest way to leave the weapon.
Helpful Tips in Firing this Weapon:
While the9 mm projectile can travel up to a mile, the nature of the weapon
makes it effective only at very close range. Unless you are highly practiced
with this pistol, you are not likely to hit your target if it is more than
25 feet from you.
Aim for the center of the torso. You are least likely to miss this
Use two hands to hold the pistol. You will shoot more accurately.
Two shots in quick succession (1/2 to 1 second apart) are more likely to
stop your target than a single shot. While the 9 mm round can certainly be
lethal if it hits the right spot, it is a relatively small, lightweight, low
speed projectile with only limited stopping power. Particularly when trying
to stop an adrenalin-charged, highly-motivated individual, multiple hits
from your 9 mm pistol may be required. However, emptying a full magazine
into your target is also unwise, as it may leave you with no ammunition to
take on his three angry friends.
When defending against multiple targets, try to stop the most threatening
target first. Usually that is the target closest to you. However, someone
with an automatic weapon or shotgun is more dangerous to you and your
patients than someone with a
pistol. Likewise, someone with a rifle is more dangerous than someone with a
Take advantage of any cover you may have. Crouching behind a rock or
packing crate is much better than standing out in the open. If you are caught out
in the open, quickly make a decision to either go to the ground, or to run
to cover. If you go to ground, keep moving (rolling, crawling), to decrease
the chance of your being wounded.
Should you become wounded, keep shooting. The best defense against
incoming fire is to return fire, wounded or not.
Should the weapon fail to fire, use the "Slap, Rack,
and Bang" technique:
Slap the base of the Grip to more firmly seat the
Rack the slide backward and release, ejecting the old
cartridge and bringing a fresh cartridge into the chamber.
Bang goes the pistol when you pull the trigger again.
For further information on the M9 9 Millimeter Semi-Automatic Pistol, read:
M9 Service Pistol
21-75: Combat Skills of the Soldier
Surgery NATO Handbook: Part I: Types of Wounds and Injuries: Chapter II:
Missile-Caused Wounds: Projectiles
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Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
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Health Care in Military Settings
CAPT Michael John Hughey, MC, USNR
January 1, 2001
|United States Special Operations
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