With so much interest in concealed carry these days, it’s time for me to put the spotlight on the Beretta 9mm Nano. You may be well-familiar with several larger everyday carry 9mm pistols. However, the unique miniature size of a pocket pistol brings a new set of ideas and challenges to the table.
The Size Question
Let’s start with the most obvious challenge, size. It is a pocket pistol. So, as you’d expect, the Beretta Nano is a small gun. Seriously small and easy for anyone to conceal. The footprint of the BU9 is essentially the same as a 4×6 photograph, and less than an inch wide. 3” of that length is barrel. The remainder consists of completely enclosed mechanisms and action system that allows almost all of the moving parts to remain within the interior of the BU9. There’s no need for worry about typical ambi-controls. Aside from the nub of a mag release, there aren’t any controls to maneuver. The clean exterior and minimal motion provide a completely snag-free pistol. A functional trigger safety, paired with a heavy double-action, increases security.
Heavy is the name of the game with the Beretta Nano in the best ways. Considering the micro-compact size of the BU9, it has a remarkably solid feel. No rattles and no wiggles, the Nano feels tough. In my hand, there’s a notable heaviness through the front end of the Nano’s squared-off barrel. Just over a pound when empty, the weight will push up towards the equivalent of a 20 oz. soda bottle when fully loaded.
That heft is likely a large part of the Beretta genius when it comes to shooting this powerful pocket pistol. Generally, with a pistol of this size and caliber, you are expected to control that energy with either a jumpy muzzle flip or some rather heavy sting through your hand.
Not with the Nano. I was very impressed with how manageable the recoil is in the BU9. The energy of the round is a rather unique compromise between muzzle flip and grip-sting.
Now there are two options to the magazine for the Nano that come into play with the performance and grip. You can stick with a 6 round single stack magazine or you can bump up the grip length with the 8 round mag. With the plus one, the nine rounds at my hip is reassuring. It’s also providing the practical ability to get a better hold with the additional real estate of the longer magazine. That better grip is key to my performance with the Beretta Nano. There’s no lip to the bottom of the mag to really provide a solid grip. Honestly, a smart trade-off to keep the Nano snag-free. My loose pinkie was expected with a pistol of this size.
As I was happy to discover, the added grip length with two extra rounds simply makes my accuracy more consistent. Once I’ve run through the mag, the Nano slide locks back when empty. With better stopping power than .380’s, staying on target is made easy with bright white sights front and rear. An Allen wrench is all that is needed to adjust the rear sights to my preference. A few turns and the sights slide to the side for an easy switch out.
About $150 less than the comparable Walther PPS, the Beretta Nano is a very affordable pocket pistol that will only set you back about four hundred bucks. All in, the small and powerful Beretta Nano 9mm is intuitive to use and a pleasure to carry.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.