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 unintentional discharges. 

  • 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 "on" position.

  • The M9 pistol has a 15-round magazine, and may be fired without a magazine inserted. 

  • 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" position.

  1. Firing pin block

  2. Extractor/loaded chamber indicator

  3. Trigger

  4. Front sight

  5. Slide assembly

  1. Disassembly lever

  2. Slide stop

  3. Rear sight

  4. Ambidextrous safety

  5. Hammer

  6. Receiver

  1. Grip

  2. Lanyard loop

  3. Magazine (seated)

  4. Magazine catch assembly

  5. Disassembly button

To Load:

  • 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..

To Fire:

  • 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.

To Unload:

  • 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 the magazine.

  • 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 SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOL.

  • 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 area. 

  • 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 pistol.

  • 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 magazine. 

    • 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 Familiarization

FM 21-75: Combat Skills of the Soldier

Emergency War Surgery NATO Handbook: Part I: Types of Wounds and Injuries: Chapter II: Missile-Caused Wounds: Projectiles

 

 

 

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Operational Medicine
 Health Care in Military Settings
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  January 1, 2001

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*This web version is provided by The Brookside Associates, LLC.  It contains original contents from the official US Navy NAVMED P-5139, but has been reformatted for web access and includes advertising and links that were not present in the original version. The medical information presented was reviewed and felt to be accurate in 2001. Medical knowledge and practice methods may have changed since that time. Some links may no longer be active. This web version has not been approved by the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense. The presence of any advertising on these pages does not constitute an endorsement of that product or service by either the US Department of Defense or the Brookside Associates. The Brookside Associates is a private organization, not affiliated with the United States Department of Defense.

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