A Betta' Beretta

Langdon Tactical’s 92 Elite LTT 9mm
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The LTT starts with an M9A1 frame with a dustcover rail, shown here with a SureFire X200 light. Mas tested the pistol with these three loads.

In the world of defensive handguns, Beretta is a name to conjure with. And in the world of its popular Model 92, the same’s true of the name Ernest Langdon. A world champion in practical shooting, he’s known as a gold standard provider of specialized parts and customized pistols through his firm Langdon Tactical Technology LLC — known simply as LTT.

LTT has partnered with Beretta to build the 92 Langdon himself always wanted them to make — the 92 Elite LTT in 9mm. They started with an M9A1 frame and topped it with a Vertec slide with the desirable dovetail for interchangeable front sights. LTT put a fiber optic in that spot, grasping grooves on the front of the slide as well as the back, and attached thin G10 grips with extra checkering for a better grasp. To round it out, the trigger guard area is radiused to prevent finger bite, the frontstrap checkering is enhanced and an extended magazine release is included. While you now have an idea of the outer shape of the new Elite LTT, the real value is inside.

The LTT’s a shooter. SIG V-Crown 124-gr. JHP is shown here, shot at 25 yards.

Heart Of The Beast

This particular pistol had the Langdon action tune, bringing the price up to $1,165 from the standard MSRP of $999. I was glad I ordered it this way. The innards include a Wilson Combat trigger bar — a collaboration between Langdon himself and Wilson’s project development guru Jared Phillips. Langdon told me, “It’s made of harder material, machined out of bar stock and expensive to make. The over-travel stop is on the front side, which also slightly reduces reset length. The back of the trigger bar has a slightly larger pad, which cocks the hammer back a little farther in DA for full energy primer strikes. Of course, I polish the insides throughout.”

On-safe carry is largely out of vogue with traditional DA pistols like this one, so Langdon makes them as the market mostly wants, in the decocker-only format Beretta dubbed G-style. However, where the original 92G could not be modified back to the safety/decock lever format of the F-series, this one has an ambi-decock lever allowing for such conversion because, as Ernest told me, “Some customers do prefer the manual safety option.”

The feel of the LTT’s stainless steel trigger is the heart and soul of the pistol. The double-action pull measured 8.16 lbs. and 4.06 lbs. in single-action. In a word, it’s smoo-ooth. Yes, the DA pull is long. This just means you start pressing a bit sooner, as soon as the sights are on target as you press the gun forward for the intended shot. The SA press is a short, palpable roll giving you notice the shot is about to break, culminating with a clean, crisp release of the sear and almost no noticeable backlash.

The target-grade barrel is crowned like the now-coveted Beretta Elite II of the early 2000s. Beretta 92’s have always been accurate pistols, but Langdon told us, “Beretta’s move to Tennessee included some improvements in manufacturing capabilities, and tolerances are the best ever. They lock up really nice and shoot exceptionally well.”

Langdon gives the Beretta improved checkering on the frame and an extended mag release.

The new LTT (at right) is shown next to an older sibling on the left, a well-used Langdon Custom 92G from the turn of the century.

Accuracy

Testing encompassed shooting the three most popular bullet weights for the 9mm chambering from a 3M rest on a concrete bench at 25 yards. Each group was measured for both overall 5-shot spread, and the best three hits. The first gives a good predictor of “shootability” from a solid position, while the latter factors out enough unnoticed human error to give a very good approximation of what the same gun/ammo combo will do from a machine rest.

The most accurate load turned out to be Federal 9BP, an old school standard pressure 115-gr. JHP. Over the years, this proved itself to be among the best of its kind and has also come in “most accurate” in many of my gun tests, including this one. Five rounds of 9BP from the Elite LTT landed in 1.85" center to center, with the best three in 1.45".

SIG’s relatively recent V-Crown line has proven itself accurate in many guns for me, and in this one it delivered a 2.80" 5-shot group, with a “best three” at 0.70". The 147-gr. +P Federal HST hollow point shot harder but a bit wider, 3.35" overall and 1.30" for best three.

I consider accuracy both objectively and subjectively. The objective measurement is the sort of mechanical accuracy tested as above. The subjective side goes to the ergonomics of the pistol. What we’re looking for is the interface between man and machine — things making it easier to get mechanical accuracy out of the pistol in human hands, perhaps under stress. A match or a qualification is good for this. I couldn’t coordinate the former with my schedule, so I went with the latter. My school runs a class every year at the Sand Burr Gun Ranch in Rochester, IN, and I took the LTT there as my teaching gun for a MAG-40 program. Two people in the class benefitted from this pistol.

The first was a new shooter. She had brought a low-priced polymer 9mm which was hard for her to shoot well and which, halfway through the class, began to malfunction. I swapped her into the Langdon gun for the last half of the program and she finished with a 290 out of 300 qualifying score, the Most Improved Student award and an Elite LTT on her want list. The second was me, shooting an easy 300/300 qual score and a 594/600 on the much tighter competition scoring rings we use as a tie-breaker on the B-27 targets we had that day.

The 92 Elite LTT from Langdon Tactical Technology takes the popular Beretta 92 pistol and amps up its performance.

Upgrades include thin G10 grips for better gripping and a slimmer shape as well as forward slide grasping grooves.

Where It Counts

We’ve come to expect a high order of reliability from Berettas in general and Langdon Berettas in particular, and this one was no exception. By now it’s at about a thousand rounds of assorted ammo with no cleaning or additional lubrication and zero malfunctions. No surprise there.

It’s extremely rare for me to find a handgun I can’t criticize in any way. Okay, the Beretta 92 is large for its caliber and capacity and, uh ... well, that’s it. The Elite LTT is simply an outstanding pistol. It’s an excellent value, and at this writing, delivery is immediate.

For more info: Langdon Tactical, a href="https://www.langdontactical.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.langdontactical.com, Ph: (571) 385-2979

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