Nuts & Bolts
Based on my experience, the Beretta Model 93R is one of the better machine pistols around (though carrying its folding stock un-affixed is difficult). In full auto the 93R is limited to three-shot bursts, making it easier to control than a standard full-auto machine pistol. The 93R’s foregrip folds down, which is best grasped with the support hand while wrapping the support hand’s thumb around the triggerguard. This along with an affixed stock adds to the 93R’s controllability. (Without the stock, lean well into the gun while firing to maintain its handling.) The ported extended barrel found on earlier versions seems to keep muzzle rise down. The selector switch is well located for easy operation with the shooting thumb. When set for semi-auto operation, the 93R can be carried as a standard semi-auto pistol with select-fire mode available for breaking an ambush or for other scenarios. Another plus is the 93R’s 20-round magazine, which doesn’t protrude too far. For concealed carry you may also use the standard Beretta 92 15-round magazine. The published cyclic rate for the 93R is 1,100 rounds per minute (rpm). Obviously, this is a hypothetical figure since the three-shot burst mode limits the practical rate of fire. That’s a positive factor, though, as most shooters would probably not be able to keep the machine pistol on target for more than three rounds.
In The Fight
Tactically, I would use the 93R in conjunction with Beretta 92 pistols for a security detail. Hence, the magazines would be interchangeable. But one problem with this is that standard Beretta 92 holsters won’t work for the 93R. I have seen custom-made holsters that actually incorporate a pouch for the 93R’s folded shoulder stock. If memory serves, there was such a holster some 20 years ago: a shoulder rig that took the 93R on one side and the folded stock plus one or two spare magazines on the other.
It’s uncertain whether firing three-shot bursts from the 93R would be any more effective in stopping an assault than firing double-taps, triple-taps, hammers, zippers and so forth from a Beretta 92. I’ve generally felt that, if I’m to use a select-fire weapon, I’d prefer a rifle-caliber carbine or a true submachine gun. But if I were armed with a Beretta 93R I wouldn’t sulk: used properly, it is an effective weapon. It is a truly compact and powerful weapon that can lay down some serious fire for its size.