Beretta NANO 9x19mm Compact Pistol Review

The Beretta NANO 9x19mm pistol is a micro-compact 9mm from the famed Italian armsmaker!

Modular design, excellent ergonomics, and simplicity of operation make the Beretta Nano an ideal firearm for concealed carry

Scores of people became familiar with the word “nano” from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), where “nanotechnology” mostly applied to the realm of science fiction…then. But like many technologies that sprang from the imagination of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, many were not only relevant but also scientifically possible, just a little bit ahead of their time—like Kirk’s communicator or Yeoman Rand’s ever present electronic notepad. Now we have flip phones and touch pads. Beam me up Scotty.

Nanotechnology is real, and in the 21st century its scientific applications are already present in products that range from cosmetics and communications to scratch-resistant lenses and medical treatments. And the future is only just unfolding in a world of microscopic nano technologies that could have far-reaching and unimaginable possibilities. So what is a nano? In any form of measurement, distance, time, weight, etc., a nano equals 1-billionth, as in nanosecond or nanometer. Beretta wisely chose Nano as the name for its first Micro-Compact 9mm semi-automatic pistol. And like a nano, the new Beretta is small.

Gun Details
The first things you notice about the Nano are its compact dimensions—a mere 5.63 inches in length, 4.17 inches in height, and 0.90 inches in width. The Nano is also light, at 17.67 ounces (empty). The gun’s shape is eye-catching too with a striking configuration to the slide that sharply angles into a tapering contour toward the muzzle, making it a natural for quick re-holstering. The Nano ideally fits the average hand, with a flat baseplate magazine to tuck the little finger under. A large curved triggerguard makes getting to work quick business even wearing a glove, while there is still ample room for a two-handed hold with plenty of clearance behind the muzzle of the 3.07-inch barrel. Ah… but here’s the rub—the new Beretta is not quite as compact as a Kahr PM9 or Ruger LC9 and not even close in size to a Kimber Solo. What the Nano is, without making any comparisons, is one of the most foolproof, easiest to handle and smallest 9mm the famed Italian armsmaker has ever built.

The molded technopolymer shell surrounds the stainless steel fire control sub-chassis containing frame rails, trigger, and striker-firing system

Futuristic sounding names have always been a great marketing tool but in Beretta’s case there is more to it than a catchy epithet. The Nano’s construction is where traditional gun design and future technology theoretically collide. The gun’s one-piece polymer frame is just a molded technopolymer shell surrounding a separate stainless steel fire control sub-chassis containing frame rails, trigger, and striker firing system. This sub-chassis is removable and serial numbered—i.e., it is “the gun” for all intents and legal purposes. This feature will allow Beretta to offer affordable interchangeable exterior configurations, grip styles, optional colors, and specialized frames with built-in accessories like a laser sighting system. As to how many options, how much and how soon, that remains in the future.

Fundamentally the Nano is very down to earth, employing a striker-fired, short recoil system; the latter based on the John M. Browning design, which uses a linkless barrel with a solid camming lug and squared breechblock face to engage the slide. This is combined with a Glock-style toggle trigger safety and automatic striker block, de rigueur with almost every new semi-auto design these days. To help mitigate harsh recoil from the lightweight 9mm, Beretta uses a double recoil spring; one wound around the guide rod and another around the plunger.

The Nano is simple and straightforward, employing a striker-fired, short recoil system. Rear sights are windage adjustable white dots.

The only external indications of the gun’s condition are the action of the automatic striker block, which rises up though an opening in the top of the slide when the trigger is drawn to the rear, and a loaded chamber indicator, which is almost too subtle to notice. When a round is chambered the extractor protrudes just slightly outward from the slide. Other than that, the gun has no obvious tells; the trigger position appears the same (fully forward, toggle extended) whether the slide has been cycled or not, while a Glock, for example, has two clearly different trigger positions between “at the ready” and “discharged.” The Nano also has no external (manual) safety or even a slide release lever. The design is as uncomplicated as possible. All it takes to strip the first round from a magazine on the reload is pulling the slide slightly to the rear and letting go, which basically makes it ambidextrous. In a pinch (one-handed) the slide can also be released by lightly pushing its front edge against any hard surface and you’re good to go. There is also an easily depressed magazine release that is reversible, so southpaws don’t have to go wanting, and the Nano does not use a magazine disconnect—it will discharge a chambered round with the magazine removed.

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  • 5partacu5

    What a well thought out, beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I can not wait to get my hands on one of these beauties!