The Beretta Model 93R (or simply "93R") was produced by the Italian firm of Pietro Beretta SpA out of Gardone Val Trompia. Beretta produced his first locked-breech, semi-automatic pistol in 1951 as the M1951/M951. A side development of the M951 became the Model 951R, a "machine pistol" with selective-fire qualities of an automatic weapon - making use of an optional shoulder stock, a fixed ergonomic wooden foregrip and extended magazine. Machine pistols fall in line somewhere between traditional self-loading pistols and conventional submachine guns. Thusly, the 951R was brought up to a more modern standard in the 1970s to become the Beretta 93R series machine pistol by 1986. Production of the 93R series ran into the 1990s and has since ended. The base M951 was also brought up to standard to become the well-known Model 92 (the Model 92F is the "M9" in US Army service).
The 93R retained the 951R's selective-fire mode which allowed the operator the freedom to switch his pistol from semi-automatic fire to a three-round burst capability, giving it the qualities of a true automatic weapon within the body of a handy pistol. At its core, the 93R is nearly identical to the Model 92, distinguished only by a few major characteristics.
The automatic burst fire mode is capable of delivering up to 1,100 rounds per minute. To aid in this mode of fire (as muzzle climb for such a small weapon is readily apparent during burst fire) there is a serviceable hinged, fold-down forward grip ahead of the trigger guard allowing the operator to keep two well-spaced grips on the weapon. A muzzle compensator has also been integrated into the design. A spring-loaded 15-round detachable box magazine is inserted into the base of the pistol grip, adding stability through weight and creating a firmer hand grip. The 93R is chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. The pistol grip is slightly angled rearwards to receive the magazine and magazines are noteworthy for they extend out of the pistol grip bottom (as in the 951R) - this, coupled with the fold-down foregrip and extended barrel, easily identify this Beretta model family.
Like all Beretta guns, the 93R sports typical clean lines along the receiver. The firer's trigger hand is braced by a spur along the top rear of the grip. The curved trigger sits within an oblong trigger guard with plenty of space for fingers (the thumb of the left support hand is braced against the front part of the trigger ring, just ahead of the trigger finger when the operator is manning the foregrip - this reportedly a better two-handed grip of the weapon when in burst fire mode). All gun controls are set to the left side of the body including the firing selector (denoted by a single dot for single shot or three-dot cluster for burst fire for quick visual recognition). The the hammer is clearly visible to the rear of the slide as is the rear notch and forward post sights. Spent cartridges are ejected through the top of the slide upon recoil.
Overall length is 9.45 inches. The barrel is 6.14 inches long and sports 6 grooves with a right-hand twist. The barrel protrudes a distance away from the forward face of the slide and fields three exhaust notches to either side of the muzzle, this making up the muzzle brake. Muzzle velocity is rated at an impressive 1,230 feet per second. Weight is a manageable 2lbs, 7.5oz.
Additional accessories allow the 93R to become more of a lethal weapon system in close quarters combat. Such items include an optional extendible steel shoulder stock (attached to the rear of the receiver) and a 20-round detachable box magazine - playing up the qualities of a submachine gun quite well. The shoulder stock works in unison with the forward grip to delivering more deliberate and accurized fire against a target or target area.