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The Jet Li Maneuver: Beretta Disassembly at Gunpoint

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For this episode, Ian has with him a Beretta 92-FS. Normally, he points out, Forgotten Weapons would talk about the history and the mechanics of the gun, but it’s a Beretta 92, so everyone watching most probably already know what it is and how it works. The more important thing here is if anyone can actually “do a Jet Li” on the gun?

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In Lethal Weapon 4, Jet Li pulls the slide off of a Beretta 92-FS while it’s being pointed at him (cue sequence in the movie). Now, Ian asks, can you do that?

First off, the movie totally faked that. They took the recoil spring out and the disassembly lever down, so all Jet Li had to do was grab the slide and just physically take it off the gun, since there was nothing holding it in place. Ian wants to see if he can do it for real. Doing that for real to a Beretta requires pushing a button and rotating the disassembly lever down, and then the slide comes off the front of the frame. He demonstrates the move. It is possible to take it apart with the magazine in the gun, but the magazine has to be removed in order for the gun to be reassembled.

Ian has another guy point the Beretta at him, and says in order to do this right, you have to reach and push the button with a finger, pull the lever with the thumb, and grab the slide off. He tries doing it and succeeds really easily, so he remarks that it’s surprising that it’s not as hard as he thought it would be to pull off this Jet Li move. Now, there’s no way to do this with time pressure, so in the movie, the disassembly lever was already down.

In the real world, you would not have enough time to disarm the Beretta this way before the person holding it shoots you. But what about another kind of gun? Ian tries out the Indiana Jones hypothesis with a CZ-38, which has one simple step for disassembly. You can slide the lever, grab the slide and pull it out in one motion. Ian tries it out, and it takes so much less time dismantling this gun compared to the Beretta, so hypothetically, Indiana Jones would have succeeded!

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