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PAMAS G1 pistol

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The PAMAS-G1 is a modified Beretta 92F pistol used by, and designed for, the French army. The PAMAS-G1 was manufactured under licence from Beretta in France by GIAT. However quite a few early ones were made in Italy by Beretta with steel supplied by France.

There are small but relevant differences between the PAMAS-G1 and the Beretta 92F. Firstly, the PAMAS-G1 lacks a manual safety and is only fitted with a decocking device. Secondly, the French made steel used to manufacture the slides contains Tellurium (Te) a rare earth that makes steel hard but brittle. This was done to save money on the slide steel.

A PAMAS-G1 slide has a service life of no more than 6,000 shoots fired. After which the slide will break and injure the shooter. As the PAMAS-G1 is based on the Beretta 92F, it is not fitted with the slide retention device that was added to the Beretta 92F, which led to the Beretta 92FS, which suffered the same problem when a batch of them was made for the US Army with the French specification steel.

The French army has reacted and is fitting new Italian made stainless steel slides to its PAMAS-G1 before they reach the milestone of 6,000 shots fired. GIAT, a French state owned arms manufacturer, is in serious financial trouble and is unable to replace all the defective slides.

Because of the slide problem, one should not fire a PAMAS-G1 very often and there is no use for them other than collecting.

Specifications

   * Type: PAMAS-G1
   * Trigger system: Single-action or double-action
   * Caliber: 9mm NATO
   * Capacity: 10-15-17 rounds depending on magazine
   * Frame material: Aluminium light alloy
   * Slide and barrel material: Carbon steel
   * Grip material: Plastic
   * Barrel length: 125mm
   * Length: 217mm
   * Height: 137mm
   * Width: 39mm
   * Weight: 945g
   * Safeties: Slide mounted decocking lever. Loaded chamber indicator. Firing-pin safety.
   * Magazine release: Lower trigger guard, reversible.
   * Production years: 1987 - present day.
   * Production locations: Beretta Italy, GIAT France 

Notes

  • Replaced the M1911 by the Spams as the M9, and chosen instead of a SIG.
  • South Africa came with the Vektor SP1, another derivative.