by David Crane
No, I’m not talking about guns like that ridiculous "Smartgun" Smith & Wesson has been working on to satisfy the anti-gun fringe extremists. I’m talking about what could very well become a disturbing trend that, unfortunately, could also end up growing very quickly. It seems that gunmakers, in an attempt to cater to, how shall I say this?– people with smaller-than-normal sized hands–are making guns that, well, just plain aren’t very good. Beretta’s Vertec pistol appears to be…
one of these.
While I haven’t actually fired a Vertec yet(it’s in the works), only handled it, I already don’t like it. First of all, the grip is not nearly as comfortable or well-designed as the Model 92 grip, a grip, I might add, that’s been a Beretta standard, loved by many, for years. While the standard 92 grip fills my hand almost perfectly, seeming to melt into the contours of my hand like a finely made instrument, the Vertec’s grip feels like a gun attempting to do a 1911 immitation, and doing a bad one. Secondly, the trigger just plain feels wrong. In their attempt to provide a shorter trigger reach, as if the lousy grip redesign didn’t already take care of that, Beretta gave the Vertec a trigger pull that breaks when the trigger is at the absolute end of it’s pull, so that the trigger is virtually touching the back wall of the trigger area.
In a "Combat Handguns" article I recently read, the author talked about this very same thing. Unlike me, he and several other shooters actually did get to fire the Vertec extensively, and, to a man, they all had a good bit of trouble with the trigger. Because of the trigger’s strange break, all of them experienced a significant level of "trigger balk", which caused the shot to go into the ground. Not good on a combat pistol. Sure, they all learned to compensate for the new trigger with practice, but ya’ know what? They shouldn’t have had to.
So, I must ask, is the world becoming so PC that we now have to design guns specifically for short people, or small people, or people with small hands, or size-challenged, or whatever you want to call them? Remember, the Vertec doesn’t offer the standard Beretta 92 grip, along with a different grip option for small people. What Beretta did was offer a completely new handgun, the only one in their line to feature the very popular light-mounting rail, in only one grip configuration. In trying to appease small-handed people, they seem to have messed the new gun up for everybody. Understand that potential customers currently don’t have any choice, other than the Vertec of course, if they want a Beretta with a light rail.
I guess, in the final analysis, small people deserve to have a handgun with a grip small enough to get their tiny little fingers around, but why not make an existing Beretta model with a second grip option, instead of making a whole new gun that’s mediocre? And, while I’m griping, why not offer the standard Beretta 92 and 92 Elite Series with light rails right now, when people need them? Or, polymer framed 92’s? Or, how’s this for crazy, a titanium-framed Beretta 92 with light rails and a frame-mounted 1911 style safety? If I were running that company, they’d already have it. So, what’s Beretta waiting for? A clue, perhaps?