Top sellers in a tough market.

Author:Ayoob, Massad
Position:Lethal force

Chicago forbids the sale of firearms within its city limits. However, once you get into the suburbs (except for communities like Morton Grove that have enacted handgun bans), you will find some excellent gun shops.

At Gun World in Bensonville, owner Barry Sofkin says the Beretta 92 is his single top-selling model. Why? The current war has put a lot of American fighting men and women in the field, many carrying the M9, a virtually identical gun to the commercial 92F.

Many reservists like the idea of owning a 92F to practice with before they go in harm's way. When a soldier returns from a combat tour, he often purchases a home-defense gun that the U.S. government trained him to use.

Another factor boosting Beretta's popularity at Gun World is the store's location. Since Illinois does not allow concealed carry for private citizens, Sofkin says the size of the handgun isn't much of a consideration for customers. The Beretta 92 is a big pistol for its caliber, but that doesn't matter much if it is kept under the counter at work or by the bed for home defense.

Not far away, in Plainfield, The Gun Shop also rates the Beretta 92F as its top seller. The reason, however, is situational. General manager John Cason says the store worked a very favorable deal with a security firm. The shop took in trade a large quantity of 92FS pistols. Most were in excellent condition, and some were new. The deal allowed the shop to pass substantial savings along to its customers. Word got around and these 92s quickly built a thick stack of Form 4473s in the shop's files.

Most dealers will tell you that the Beretta 92 is not at the height of its...

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