Beretta Nano by Pat Cascio – Survival Blog
The trend continues with subcompact 9mm handguns, and today we are reviewing the Beretta Nano.
Market for Itty-Bitty Handguns
For quite a few years, the handgun market was awash in itty-bitty .380 ACP handguns, and for good reason. A lot of people were getting their concealed handgun permit, and most didn’t want to strap on a big gun each day. I can certainly understand that. For many, many years I carried either a full-sized 1911 in .45 ACP or a Commander-sized 1911 again in .45 ACP. However, as I age, and I seem to be aging much faster these days, I don’t always want to carry a big, heavy, full-sized handgun on a daily basis. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t; it depends on where I’m going and what the threat level is I might perceive. When that happens, a 1911 is on my side.
Even though it pains me to admit it, for some time, way back in another life, when I was much younger and dumber, I carried a .380 ACP Walther PPK/S on a regular basis. That was when I was doing private investigations back in Chicago. And, the only ammo available that was reliable was full metal jacket, which is not the best man stopper load, not then and not now, in my humble opinion. So, I never recommend anyone carry “only” a .380 ACP chambered handgun for self defense, not where there are a lot better options in a more powerful caliber, the 9mm!
Concealable Sub-Compact in 9mm
It hasn’t been all that long that the gun makers decided they could chamber a sub-compact handgun that was easily concealable in 9mm. More importantly, these handguns are reliable, which is no small task, to be sure. Plus, one has to remember that the smaller the handgun and the larger the caliber, the harder (much harder) they are to shoot accurately. So, it’s a combination of small size, reliability, accuracy, and concealability that is quite a chore, to be sure.
There are many sub-compact 9mm handguns on the market these days, including the S&W M&P Shield, Kahr Arms’ various models, GLOCK, Springfield Armory XDs/XDe line, and many others. These are all well-made and reliable, and most are priced oh-so-right, too.
Beretta Nano For Deep Concealment on Daily Basis
The Nano has a 3.07” barrel housed inside the stainless steel slide that is coated black, for a stealth look. The gun only weighs 17.67 oz, so it’s light-weight, all things considered. Yes, there are a few other sub-compact 9mm handguns that are lighter in weight, but once again the smaller/lighter they are, the harder they are to shoot.
Sites, Trigger, Frame, and Mags
I really like the extremely nice 3-dot white sights. They are usable and very low-profile, too. There’s nothing to snag when drawing the Nano from a holster. The Nano is striker-fired, which is all the rage these days, and the trigger pull, while long and heavy compared to some other sub-compact 9mm handguns of the same size, is very, very smooth. It was hard to measure the trigger pull’s weight, but I guesstimate it was around seven pounds. Again, it was very smooth. The frame is polymer, and the gun comes with two magazines– one is a 6-rd and the other is an 8-rd that is extended.
There is no external slide stop/release on the Nano, and this bothers me just a bit. After you fire the last round, the slide locks open, and you can’t release it, unless you remove the magazine or reload the gun and retract the slide in order to chamber the next round. However, like I said, it bothers me just a very little bit. This gun isn’t meant to get into a speed reloading race. Secondly, the 6-rd magazine, I know Beretta’s designers wanted to keep this trim little magazine as unobtrusive as possible, and installed a very flat magazine floor plate on the mag. However, it only allows for a two-finger hold on the gun.
This is not a bad thing with some of the smaller .380s, but in a more powerful 9mm I didn’t like the way the gun jumped in my hand under recoil. I found an easy fix. Pearce Grip www.pearcegrip.com makes an extended “pinky catcher” magazine floor plate, to replace the factory standard flat floor plate on the 6-rd magazine. They are inexpensive and worth the investment, and makes shooting the Nano all that much more pleasant and more controllable, too. You get this advantage without giving up much in the way of concealability, too.