Beretta M9A3 Vs. M9A4 – The Differences That One Should Be Aware Of!

The Beretta M9A4 model is designed as an improvised version of the M9A3 pistol with additional modern features to element the previous version’s lacking.

Features like a red-dot optic compatible slide with dovetailed tritium night sights, enriched short reset Xtreme Trigger System, vertical back-strap configuration as well factors like the overall height, width, capacity, and barrel length make the difference between the Beretta M9A4 and M9A3.

Kindly continue reading this article to learn more about those features and factors that indicate Beretta M9A3 and M9A4 differences.

Quick Comparison Table Beretta M9A3 Vs. M9A4:

Let’s check out the difference between these two guns through their specs-

SpecificationBeretta M9A3Beretta M9A4
 Overall Length220 mm |8.7 inches220.98 mm | 8.7 inches
Barrel Length127 mm | 5 inches129.54 mm | 5.1 inches
Caliber9×19 (PARA)9×19 (PARA)
Magazine10 – 17 (+1)10 – 15 – 18 (+1)
Grip Width1.3″1.3″
Height137 mm | 5 inches
137.16 mm | 1.0 inches  
Overall Width38 mm | 1.5 inches
38.1 mm | 1.5 inches  
Weight Unloaded (g)944944
Weight Unloaded (OZ)33.433.4
Beretta M9A3 Vs. M9A4
Beretta M9A3 Vs. M9A4

What Is the Difference Between Beretta M9A3 and Beretta M9A4 Based on Features?

Let’s check out the difference between these guns through their specs-

Feature 1: Convertible Universal Decock-only (G) slide lever

The M9A3 has a universal Decock-only (G) slide lever, which means if the hammer is back, it only decocks, and there’s no manual safety

The Beretta M9A4 is also a decock-only (G), but it has an additional convertible option. That means you can purchase aftermarket parts to convert it to an F-version pistol, and even the installation is pretty easy.

That additional convertibility makes the Beretta M9A4 slightly more appealing than the Beretta M9A3. However, many people prefer the G-only pistols instead of the F models. So, the Beretta M9A3 might be enough for them.

Feature 2: Red Dot Ready Optic Mounting System

The Beretta M9A3 does not feature the optic mounting system that lets you mount optional optic plate styles and this is probably one of the vital reasons why the M9A3 was not selected for the US army.

However, the M9A4 features red-dot-ready integral slide cuts and allows mounting optional optic plate styles. According to several users’ experiences, when they mounted optics on their M9A4, it worked just fine and there was no security concern. Users can purchase one of five different plates, and Beretta also offers blanking covers with shipping.

This particular feature makes the M9A4 more suitable for civilians than the military purpose. Another notable fact is that the M9A4 allows you to mount all the most popular optic variants available on the market.

Feature 3: More Goldish Frame with Vertec-style Vertical Grip 

If you compare the Beretta M9A3’s frame color with the M9A4, you will see that the golden appearance of the M9A3 is more like a matte finish and the frame will not look as goldish as the M9A4’s frame. Besides that, it comes with a thin Vertec-style Vertical Grip.

If you compare the M9A3 pistol’s appearance with the M9A4 while keeping them side by side, you will notice that the M9A4 is more goldish than the M9A3, and the golden frame of the M9A4 matches its slide a little bit more. You will also get a thin Vertec-style Vertical Grip with the M9A4, but due to its vertical back-strap configuration, it offers better instinctive control.

The frame color does not make a huge difference. It’s more of an individual’s personal preference, but that additional vertical back-strap configuration of the Beretta M9A4 makes the impactful difference here. This configuration not only ensures better instinctive control but also makes reaching triggers easier for users with smaller hands.

Feature 4: Thinner Grip Makes Certain Sound

Even though both Beretta M9 series pistols come with the Vertec-style Vertical Grip, the M9A3 feels a little bit nicer and more solid than the A4. It also has nice checkering and fits into any hand size just fine.

On the other hand, the M9A4 feels slightly thinner and more aggressive. This gun’s frame is more like sandpaper. It might not feel cheap, but when you touch them, you will hear a particular sound that you will not hear with the A3.

For those who prefer a nicer and more solid grip on their handguns while holding the pistol, the M9A3 will be a better choice especially, if that additional touching sound annoys them.

Feature 5: Improved Safety Design with Additional Caulking Serrations

In the Beretta M9A3, the manufacturer has taken the safeties and mounted them to be up a little bit more, so that’s an advantage of the M9A3. But this design has a disadvantage too. Because when you slide and grab it from the cocking serrations, you might inadvertently activate the safety. But when it is angled up, all the pressure will try to put the safety off versus the safety on.

Fortunately, Beretta has eliminated that safety design with the M9A4 series, and in the A4 version, you will get the older style design where it seems Ambi, but the controls are facing directly forward. In the M9A4 series, Beretta also added front caulking serrations.

The Beretta M9A4 has eliminated the problems of its previous version by improving the safety design and adding the Caulking serrations. Therefore, if you ask which one is better, the answer is M9A4 in this scenario.

Beretta M9A3 or Beretta M9A4 – Which One to Choose?

Both pistols are from the Beretta M9 series, but some additional features make the M9A4 slightly upgraded and more improvised than the M9A3.

However, some features also make the M9A3 slightly more appealing than the M9A4.

Therefore, it is up to the consumer liking and needs to decide which one is better than the other for him.

However, I can give you some pointers to decide which one to use, and hopefully, it will make your task a bit easier-

Even though both pistols do not come with any manual safety and instead feature a universal decock-only (G) slide lever, if you want, you can turn the M9A4 into an F model because it comes with the convertible option.

With the M9A4 you will get a red-dot optic compatible slide and dovetailed tritium night sights for the optimal sight which is not available with the M9A3.

Both pistols have thin Vertec-style Vertical Grip, but the M9A4 might feel less comfortable than the M9A3 because of the overall design difference.

However, the M9A4 has an additional vertical back-strap configuration for better control, and its oversized bevel magazine offers quicker tactical magazine changes.

Also, the M9A4 offers a bigger magazine capacity than the A3.

The manufacturer has added forward caulking serrations on the A4 to make it more attractive.

The bottom line is both are excellently designed guns, but if you are more interested in the latest version, you will most probably like the M9A4 more than the A3. 

It does not mean that the M9A3 is not worthy enough. Based on individual preferences, some claim A3 is better, while other claims A4 is more suitable.

Now, decide which one suits best for your preference.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Does the Beretta M9A4 come with a child safety lock?

Yes. For additional safety, the M9A4 pistol package comes with a child safety lock.

Does Beretta M9A4 come with an extra set of grips?

Yes, the package comes with an extra set of grips for the wrap-around kind of users.

Can I dry-fire a Beretta M9A3?

Yes, you can dry-fire your Beretta M9A3.

Is the Beretta M9A3 +P rated?

Yes, it is +P rated.

How many rounds can an M9A3 hold?

It comes with a drop-free magazine and holds 18 (+1) rounds.

Does the M9A4 come with a threaded barrel?

Yes, this pistol features a 129.54 mm | 5.1 inches barrel with a protected thread at the muzzle.


There are several similarities and dissimilarities between the Beretta M9A3 and M9A4 versions. However, the M9A3 is more like traditional work, whereas the M9A4 will seem more like an upgraded and modernized version.

Since all the significant differences between the Beretta M9A3 and M9A4 pistols are already explained earlier, there should not be any confusion regarding whether they are similar or different.

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