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Beretta Nano Review

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TheProf, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. TheProf

    TheProf Well-Known Member

    Initial first day report:

    Reliability =

    Note that this gun is known for (and I know this from personal experience...unfortunately) having many "failure to extract" issues when using light powered 115 grain Winchester White Box. (Out of 100 rounds, I had at least 6 "failures to extract" issues.)

    But when using hotter loads... performed 100%.
    Fired 50 rounds of 115 grain JHP Federal HiShoks... 100%
    Fired 40 Winchester PDX1 JHP 9mm +p (124 grain) ... 100%

    Other comments:

    1. A true pocket 9mm. Fits in front pocket jeans with no problem. It's actually smaller than my j-frame. My j-frame slightly "peeks" out of my front jeans pocket. But the nano is completely hidden within the pocket.

    2. It's thin and sleek.
    3. Built like a tank.
    4. It has a long trigger pull. (This is a good thing for a pocket gun.)
    5. Good usable sights.
    6. It looks like I won't be able to use cheap WWB for practice.
    7. A good value from a major gun manufacturer.
    8. The grip is a bit small, thin, and slippery. I would recommend having grip sleeves or adding skateboard tape to add more "grip".
    9. Unfortunately, no extended mags (not that I know of).
    10. No external locks, external safeties or mag safeties. ( I would not want them anyways for a SD gun.)

    11. There's no slide stop. It locks open when the mag is empty. But, in term of clearing a malfunction...for some... a slide stop is needed to lock the slide open. (This is not an issue for me.) I can clear a malfunction just fine without it.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  2. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review. Two things about the Nano just kill it for me though....

    1. It feels top heavy and seems to recoil more than the CM9/PF9 to me.

    2. No slide lock for clearing malfunctions.

    The ones I've shot have been reliable though so I can't complain about that aspect....
  3. ZXD9

    ZXD9 Well-Known Member

    Extended mags are supposed to be available this month on Beretta site. Not holding my breath but we should see them soon.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
  4. TheProf

    TheProf Well-Known Member

    Just found out today...

    You can use Pearce grip extensions (+0) for Kahr PM9 on the Nano. (For those who can find Beretta brand Nano grip extensions.) Just make sure to use the plastic base plates provided by the Pearce, instead of Nano magazine base plate.
  5. ryno31

    ryno31 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review. It came down to the Nano or the XDS when I was shopping for a carry gun...it was close but I opted for the xds due to the larger caliber. The Nano about had me though that's for sure, it felt like a great little pistol.
  6. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Many small pistols have cycling issues with lite low powered loads when brand new. If WWB is a load you still want to use for practice it may feed it fine by now. Small lite pistols just need to loose up a bit with some heavier stronger loads first.
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member

    The Prof

    Great job with your review and follow-up with the mag extensions. The things I didn't like about the Nano were: no slide stop, felt a little top heavy, and the grip frame was somewhat too up and down in terms of its vertical axis.
  8. skt239

    skt239 Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly, the Nano 9mm. is built on a 40 caliber frame. Could that be the reason for the failures with the 115 grainers? Is that something that could be remedied with a spring change?

    I got a chance to fondle the Nano at a recent gun show and I liked the feel of it. Other than a coat pocket, I wouldn't really call it a pocket pistol but its perfect for the belt.
  9. michael85

    michael85 Member

    totally pocket-able for me in jeans or chinos.
  10. Nano65

    Nano65 Member

    I have had my Nano since last January (S/N Nu0018xx) and I thought you might like to know what I think about it. It has been very reliable and I completely trust it for SD carry. I do have a Texas CHL. I've shot 1050 rounds with a total of 6 FTEs, 2 in a 50 round box of Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ and 4 in 100 Speer Lawman 124gr FMJ. I was really surprised about the Lawman.

    Some have said that the gun feels top heavy. Since I'm not familiar with many hand guns I really don't know but I really do like the feel and balance of the Nano. I carry cocked with one in the chamber and 6 in the mag. Since the Nano has an 8 pound trigger it is very safe. There is no way it is going to go off unintentionally. If I need it I don't want to have to rack the slide.

    It fits very well in my front pocket and slides out very easily due to the lack of projections on the sides. I also use a Remora 4ART pocket holster on occasion. Usually under my belt. Recently I bought the Lasermax and really like it. There is a significant improvement in accuracy with it.

    As for what I have shot at the range, here is the list:
    300 Monarch 115gr FMJ brass
    50 Monarch 124gr JHP brass
    250 RWS 124gr FMJ brass
    14 Speer Gold Dot 115gr GDHP
    197 Winchester 124gr NATO
    14 Hornady 135gr Critical Duty
    50 Blazer 115gr FMJ brass (2 FTE)
    100 Speer Lawman 124gr FMJ (4 FTE)
    25 PMC 115gr FMJ (very old but worked fine)
    50 American Eagle 124gr FMJ

    If you have any questions about the Nano I will be glad to try and answer them.

    Attached Files:

  11. TheProf

    TheProf Well-Known Member

    Nano Review Update 3

    Here's an additional update...

    Day 2 at the range:

    30 mixed premium JHP. (Gold Dots, PDX1, HiShoks). Had 2 "failure to extract". Not happy!

    Day 3 at the range:
    100 rounds of HiShocks
    100% No issues of any kind.

    General Thoughts:
    1. Ok...even with premium ammo, it seems I really need to be pick the "right one".

    2. I probably need to break this in some more. Fortunately, Walmart sells HiShoks rather cheap.

    3. Now... this is the debate mulling over my mind...

    a. Most likely, the first 3 shots fired will determine the outcome of the situation.
    b. I most likely not be able to reload a gun this small (Nano) in comparison to full size guns. (The mags are small to get a quick grip on.) Most likely, I will be able to reload my snub nose revolver at about equal time as reloading the Nano.
    c. I can probably deploy a snub nose revolver quicker than the Nano...using the same carry method. This is due to the fact that the j-frame's grip is easier to grab in stressful situations (in comparison to the Nano's small and thin grip).
    d. So... it looks like the only main advantage of the Nano (vs. a snubbie) is 7 rounds vs. 5 rounds. Is this really enough of an advantage to carry a less reliable weapon?

    FYI: This is not a slam against semi autos. I love the G26 for daily carry.
    I'm just discussing the virtues of the Nano in comparison to other carry guns...roughly the same size.
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member

    The Prof

    I would still have to give the edge to the Nano over a J frame snubbie. The two things that stand out the most would be faster reloads and better sights. Having the two extra rounds initially is also another positive aspect in favor of the Nano. Maybe try running some shooting and reloading drills and see which one works better for you.
  13. TheProf

    TheProf Well-Known Member

    You have made good points. I am still in the deciding phade. Fyi: day #4 at the range...

    70 rounds of hishoks jhp... 100 percent.
  14. Fremmer

    Fremmer Well-Known Member

    Keep shooting and testing to ensure reliability before you cc it.

    And the answer to your extra rounds for less relability being worth it for a ccw gun is: absolutely not. 5 for sure shots beats the hell out of 7 (or 10 or 15, for that matter) maybe shots when you really need them.
  15. exdetsgt

    exdetsgt Well-Known Member

    I have a Nano. It's my favorite among small 9's, of which I've had several. The trigger pull is long (as it should be in such a small weapon) and smooth. After shooting a couple of hundred rounds through it I sold my Kahr. Now I have 500 rounds through it and have never had a single malfunction of any sort. I shoot whatever I have on hand, including WWB, and it eats everything.

    As for the poster who thought he might be able to reload his J-frame faster than he could reload his Nano, he must be really, really good with a speed loader. As for fast draw I find them equal. I have a J-frame and love it and have spent considerable time and effort practicing both fast loading and fast drawing with both guns. The Beretta I prefer for EDC.
  16. TheProf

    TheProf Well-Known Member

    When I said that I can reload my jframe as fast as I can reload my Nano... I did not imply that I am really fast with reloading the snubbie. The sad truth is... I'm just slow in reloading the Nano.

    It's the way that I carry my spare mag... I wish I could open carrry or even carry OWB. But, my environment requires that I don't look tactical and must carry IWB. In many cases, I have to resort to pocket carry. So... in my UNIQUE situation and dress requirements.... I must lament that trying to get to my spare mag (the size of a nano mag) simply takes a lot of time.
    That was in no way to imply that others have the same problem.

    The point of the original post is to simply share MY unique personal experience with the Nano in an unbiased way. When I contemplated on using a j-frame revolver instead of the Nano... that was not to say that semi-autos were inferior. Heck... those who know me know that I am a big fan of Glocks. And... I do really want the Nano to work out and win in my preference decision over the j-frame.
  17. exdetsgt

    exdetsgt Well-Known Member

    I understand your post better now. The difficulty lies in retrieving a fresh magazine from a pocket. I thought about this for a bit, then tried retrieving a Nano mag from a trouser pocket and from a Levis pocket. Much easier from a trouser pocket than a Levis pocket. However, even from a trouser pocket, which is deeper but easier to get your hand into (and more fiddly if you have to search for it through other items that are in the pocket), the time taken to do this is invariably much longer than flicking a magazine out of a belt holder. I carry my Nano in a paddle holster at 4 o'clock and the spare magazine in its holder at 8 o'clock.

    With my J-frame it's a speedloader in a pocket or a belt pouch. And I have to practice more with this combo.
  18. billrandall

    billrandall Member

    I've seen numerous other nano owners post about fte with speer lawman 124g fmj.
    I had one myself out of 50. Had my nano about a month. First time out shot 100 wwb
    with 1 failure to eject. 25 hornady custom 124g jhp, 50 fiocci 124g jhp both no prob.
    2nd time out 50 speer lawman 124g fmj, 1 failure. 50 winchester NATO 124g fmj. 0 failure.
    50 pmc 124g fmj 0 failure. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
  19. exdetsgt

    exdetsgt Well-Known Member

    Never tried Speer Lawman. I'll see if I can find some (given the frenzy at local gun shops).
  20. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    This is an interesting thread I missed when it was first posted.
    As one who owns a PM9 that has been 100 % with all ammo tested it seems kind of weird that your Nano only appears to have issues occaisionally with Speer & Blazer and a few WWB.
    But I guess some guns just dont like certain brands.
    But you are right Prof that a J frame is easier to get out of a pocket than your Nano or my PM9 or LCP.
    My biggest issue with the J frame was since it is close to a half inch longer than sub compact auto's I had the same peeking issues you mentioned in your original post from the pocket with my Smith M 37 Airweight.
    Last I hated the recoil of the J frame and I myself could not shoot it worth a damn.
    Not so on the PM9 or LCP.
    But again,the J frame is faster on the draw from a pocket holster.

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