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Beretta Nano

Last month we asked Monderno readers to choose our next handgun review. The choices were the Beretta Nano and FNH FNS-9, two guns that we have had a lot of requests to review. Over 350 votes were cast, and when the voting closed, the Beretta Nano was the clear winner.

Finding a Nano, however, proved to be a challenge. The Nano is so popular right now that Beretta was back ordered for 6 months on the pistol. After a couple weeks of searching, we finally found a Nano – but was it worth the search?

Specifications

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Caliber 9mm
Overall Length 5.63″
Overall Height 4.17″
Overall Width .90″
Barrel Length 3.07″
Sight Radius 4.92″
Sights 3-Dot Low Profile
Frame Chassis Stainless Steel Insert
Grip Frame Technopolymer
Slide Material 4140
Slide Finish Pronox
Capacity 6 plus 1 Rounds
Weight Unloaded 17.67 oz

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Features

There are a lot of single stack micro compact carry pistols on the market today, but the Nano has a few features that set it apart from the competition.

Removable Sub-Chassis

One of the coolest features of the Beretta Nano is the removable stainless steel sub-chassis. The chassis is the serialized part of the pistol, meaning that the grip frame can be easily removed for cleaning or be replaced by a different grip frame in the future. However, at the time of writing, there were no additional grip frames available for the Nano.

Snag Free Design

The Beretta Nano is probably the most snag free pistol I’ve ever seen. Not only are there no rough edges, but there are also no external controls like a slide release or take down lever. This makes the gun carry extremely well.

No Slide Release?

Nope, and you don’t need one either. To release the slide, simply pull back on the slide with either a full or removed magazine. Since I never use the slide release anyways, I love this feature.

Sights and Mag Release

Two other features that set it apart from the competition are the removable and adjustable front and rear sights, and the ambidextrous magazine release. Both are great features, especially for a pistol this size.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is always very subjective, but  the gun fits my hand relatively well. I was initially concerned with how ergonomic the Nano would be, because it looks sort of blocky in pictures. But it has a decent feel in the hand.

I have large-ish hands, and I’m still able to get a comfortable grip on the gun when firing. My wife, whose hands are considerably smaller, loves the feel of the Nano.

Shooting Impressions

Micro carry pistols aren’t the easiest guns to shoot, but some are easier to shoot than others. The Nano handles pretty well considering its size.

Trigger

The trigger pull on the Beretta Nano is both striker fired and double action only (DAO). As is the case with DOA triggers, it’s long, but it’s also very smooth. If you don’t shoot a lot of DAO guns, it takes some getting used to (it did for me at least), but once you get the hang of it you can start putting rounds where you want them.

Striker Fired Trigger System

[blockquote cite="Beretta Nano Manual"]When the trigger is pulled the trigger bar rotates the cocking lever to the rear, the cocking lever pushes the striker against the striker spring. Just before full trigger travel is reached, the cocking lever pushes the striker block out of engagement and releases the striker. The striker travels fully forward under inertia. After the striker reaches its full forward position the striker return spring rebounds the striker to a neutral position so the striker block is automatically activated when the trigger is released.[/blockquote]

Recoil

In my opinion, felt recoil and muzzle flip is the biggest downside to micro pistols (magazine capacity a close second). All micro carry pistols are little snappy and harder to shoot than larger pistols, and the Nano is no exception. Having said that, I do think recoil is a bit less than the recoil on my Kahr CM9. Recoil is snappy, but definitely manageable.

Accuracy

Accuracy is good and on par with my Kahr CM9, which is minute-of-bad-guy at worst. With adjustable sights, it’s not hard to get the Nano printing where you want it to, but the long trigger pull does take some getting used to. This gun isn’t made for precision shooting, but if you choose to do so, you’ll find that it can be done once you get used to staging the long trigger pull.

Reliability

My Nano has been 100% reliable with several types of ammunition. So far, I haven’t cleaned or lubricated the pistol at all, and I still haven’t had any troubles. As always, if this changes I will update this review with my findings.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry is where the Beretta Nano really shines. Because of its snag-free design, light weight and small size, you’ll be hard pressed to find a pistol that carries as well as the Beretta Nano. It’s not the smallest or the lightest pistol on the market, but carries extremely well.

Pocket Carry

Like the Kahr CM9, I have no trouble pocket carrying the Beretta Nano with a Remora holster in the front pocket of my cargo shorts. This is a very good carry option in hot weather climates.

Inside the Waistband

I don’t have any holsters specifically made for the Beretta Nano, but I do have some non-molded holsters from High Noon Holster, and one of them fit the Nano pretty well. Inside the waistband is another very good carry option for the Nano.

Quality and Value

The Beretta Nano feels extremely well built. Looking over the Nano, it’s easy to see the quality and attention to detail. The slide and barrel are coated in black nitride, the internal chassis, magazine body and springs are made from stainless steel, and all of the major springs are zinc plated.

The Nano also doesn’t have that “too tight” feel that some other micro pistols have. It feels like it’s ready to go right out of the box, with no break in required. Because of this attention to detail, along with the features we have already discussed, I think the Nano offers exceptional value.

Wrapping Up

The Beretta Nano is a great little pistol. Was it worth the effort finding one? I think so!

But how does it compare to the competition? We have been comparing the Beretta Nano, Kahr CM9 and Smith & Wesson Shield, and will soon be posting a comparison. Until then, I will say that you could do much worse than a Beretta Nano. As a concealed carry pistol, it’s well built, easy to carry and conceal, and goes bang every time you pull the trigger.

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5 Responses to Beretta Nano

  1. TK April 24, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Looking forward to the comparison, I think I want either the Shield or the Nano!

    • Brandon April 24, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      Coming soon!

    • Devon July 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      The Nano’s barrel has better metallurgy as does the Beretta company.

  2. Jake April 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    It looks like the CM9, but how does it compare to it? I’m thinking that I’d like the M&P9 Shield, which is more like the size of the Kahr CW9. Any chance of comparing the two?

    • Brandon April 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      You’re in luck, I’ll have a comparison of the Nano, CM9 and Shield posted soon!

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