Monday, May 13, 2013

Beretta Nano BU9 Range Review

I started working with the Beretta Nano back in late March so this is the last part of a 3 part review.  You can find the previous posts on the Gun Reviews page.  My initial trip to the range had an unhappy ending when I discovered the pistol had some problems extracting empty cases after firing.  Rather than try to de-bug the issue myself,  I called the problem into Beretta Customer Service.  They quickly issued a call tag and my repaired BU9 Nano was back in my hands in no time.  While they had it, they polished the chamber and replaced the extractor.  The repair order stated that the trigger spring was within specification and it is normal for the slide to retract slightly during the trigger pull.  This was my first experience with Beretta Customer Service and I am happy to report it was a good one. 

Two weeks ago I had some time off and took the Nano back out to the range to make sure my failure to extract issue was resolved.  I initially planned to finish up the review that day, but it was too windy to make good video.  I did run 125 rounds through the pistol on that trip and felt good that my problems were resolved.

I did notice I was having some difficulty keeping my shots centered on the target when shooting quickly.  Slow fire was no problem, but when shooting a fast string of fire my shots would drift off to the left near the end of the string.  The target below is a good example of what I noticed in my shooting.  Two or three good shots and then they started to scatter.

I've experienced this control issue before on other pistols with very slim grips.  I fix my problem with a Hogue Hand-all Jr.  I install the grip sleeve upside down while making sure I don't block the magazine release at the top of the grip sleeve or block the magazine well at the lower end of the sleeve.  The picture below shows how much I had to trim off the bottom of the sleeve in order to keep it flush with the magazine well opening.  Your best bet is to use the sharpest razor blade or X-acto knife you can find for this trimming task.  There may be other grip sleeves available with a precise fit, but I like the Hogue Jr. finger groove.  It helps me assure my hand is properly indexed on the grip during the draw and also aids my control of the pistol during firing.

Yesterday was my first chance to get the Nano back out on the range and wrap up my shooting impressions and the review.  I was out on the range for several hours and ran another 200 + rounds through the pistol.  The Nano fed, fired, and extracted anything it was given.  I cut the range video down to 11 minutes of just the highlights of the two range trips after the Nano returned from service.  The most important thing I learned from my two range trips was that I didn't need to stiff arm the Nano to get it to feed and extract reliably.  The pistol functioned just fine if I kept a little bend in my elbows.  That bend helped me absorb the recoil and get back on target faster after a shot.  Not all small 9mm pistols are so forgiving.

Keep or Trade?
Definitely a keeper and you will be seeing more of this pistol in my 9mm short barrel ballistics tests.  I purchased a set of Beretta/Trijicon night sights back in March.  I'll get those installed and the Nano will be ready to assume a spot in my carry rotation.


  1. So glad to see Beretta stood behind their product and you've ended up with a reliable pistol. I can't wait to get mine out of layaway. At least I know I can rely on Beretta if I have a problem with mine.

    Since this is my first sub-compact 'pocket' pistol, I was already thinking about modifying the grips. It's apparent the Nano needs something. I've got Hogue grips on my SP101 .357 and love them. But I hear a number of people are really liking the rubberized Talon grips. Have you ever tried them? If so, do you think they're any good on a pocket pistol? Or is the added width of the Hogue a big benefit?

    Thanks for following up on the review of this one.

    1. The grip needed something for me, but you might like it as is. You'll know for sure after you shoot it a bit. I like the finger groove of the Handall Jr. so I've stuck with that one. I've never used Talon, but do have some Traction Grip on some of my pistols. I did a mini review on Traction Grip and you can find it under the Gear Reviews page.

  2. Talon rubber grips work great on the Nano too.

  3. Bruce, I really miss your reviews, hope you some day reconsider starting them back. Just a note if you get this. I ended up buy the Nano and have to say I fell in love with it. Have had it for two months and it is truly a wonderful, reliable shooter. Now 1700 rounds of all kinds of ammo and weights and flawless. Personally, I find the gun very mild to shoot and little muzzle flip.
    I had owned the Ruger LC9s for so many years, was a very competent shot with the gun, but have to say the Nano will replace it. I really became Leary of the light trigger of the Ruger which was down to 4lbs of pull.
    The Nano trigger is perfect for what I wanted. A little heavier pull, a tad longer, but I can even shoot it better than the Ruger.
    Thanks for the great review as usual.

    1. Hi John. Thanks for the comment. I still do the occasional review, but they end up here.

      BTW...this double stack from Taurus is worth a look if you seek something with a little more capacity.