Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beretta Nano BU9 Review - 2013 Wishlist Update

Back in December 2012, I published my 2013 Wishlist.  One of the items on the list was a Beretta Nano in 40 S&W.  As I read all the stories coming out of SHOT 2013, the realization set in that there would be no 40 S&W Nano this year.  Rather than wait a year, I decided to pick up a 9mm Nano and work with it this year in hopes of "upgrading" to the 40 S&W next year.

After several weeks of searching, I finally tracked down a Nano BU9 in flat dark earth.  I usually don't choose a colored grip over a black grip, but I thought the Nano looked really good in this configuration.  Tracking down a few spare 6 round magazines wasn't very difficult and I found the night sights in stock at the Beretta on-line store front.  The 8 round magazines and +2 extension kits for upgrading the 6 round magazine to 8 rounds are very difficult to find right now.  I'm really glad that the Nano shipped with one of the extended magazines.

I've had the Nano for a few weeks now, but have only had it out on the range once.  Not sure what the weather is like in your area, but we've had way too many days like today in February and March.  This is what I was seeing as I looked out the window this morning and drank my coffee.  I don't mind shooting in the cold, rain, wind, and snow, but it's impossible to make good videos with such poor lighting conditions.  We need some sun.  Dear Spring, please hurry up and get here.

I did complete the unboxing video and put it up on the YouTube channel last week.  My original plan was to do the entire review in one big blog post, but I think I'll stick the usual format and do the review in multiple parts.

So far, I'm really impressed with the Nano.  I love how solid it feels in my hand.  Last weekend I had to meet some folks at the range and I arrived before they did.  While I waited in the cold and rain, I ran a target out to 7 yards and loaded up the 6 and 8 round magazines.  On the target below, the lower group was my first 7 rounds through the Nano.  The Speer Gold Dot 124 grain loads grouped pretty well at just under my point of aim.  Switching magazines, the upper group was 8 rounds of Winchester White Box 115 Grain FMJ bulk pack.  I was really surprised to see how much tighter the group got with the 8 round extended magazine.  Having that pinky on the grip really made a big difference. 

I need to get more rounds through the pistol and see if can improve my performance with it and see how I shoot it at speed.  I was really pleased to see the tight groupings the pistol is capable of as I plan to use the Nano for 9mm ballistics testing.   Per the manual, "extended use of +P or +P+ ammunition may decrease component part service life expectancy".  I don't think running 7 rounds of +P+ through the pistol every now and then for a ballistics test qualifies as extended use so the Nano should be up to the task.  

Holsters for the Nano are inbound.  I opted for a coyote brown kydex pocket rig from RKBA Holsters and a Remora Hyde Size 4A with sweat shield for IWB carry.  Fully loaded the Nano weighs about 23 ounces with the 6 round magazine in place.  That's a bit heavy for me as a pocket pistol, but I am going to give it a try and see if I can make it work.   Alternately, the Nano is the perfect size for discreet IWB appendix carry.

If you have any specific questions about the Nano that you would like me to address in the range review, please let me know in a comment below.  I'll do my best to answer your question when I get back out to the range.


  1. Watching with interest, as I 'need' a little Nine. I want to spend around the price of the Nano, LC9, CM9 range, and haven't ruled out the Glock 26 or the new XDs. Sorry your weather is as cooperative as ours, though today isn't bad. Probably because I'm working...

  2. I recently purchased a nono also. I am a long gun man myself. I didnt shoot nearly the same groups I was out to 10-12 yards. I was shooting like 8 inch groups but they were really low. What do you think would cause this. I was just glad that the gun operated properly. I had read that there were alot of problems wit fte and ftl. with this gun. Mine operated perfectly. I just got rid of a Kahr pm 40 that gave me nothing but problems from the day i bought it. I cant be carrying that around.

    1. I posted an update on my Nano after getting it out to the range for an extended shooting session. I had to send it back to Beretta for repair so I hope my accuracy will be even better when it gets back. I was also have FTE problems. Update is here.

      Still waiting for it to come back from service, but will give it another try when it gets back.

      On shooting low, my only advice is to make sure you cover the target with the front sight. Most of these mini 9mms are set up to put the bullets at point of aim at 7 to 10 yards. If you learned to shoot with a 6 o'clock hold (like I did), you'll have to break yourself of that (like I had to).

  3. I bought the Glock 26 for a carry weapon, but it's still a bit of a grip. Now looking at either a Nano (I love my PX4 Storm) or a LC9.

    I'd be interested in other's experiences.

    1. Might be better to post this question under the YouTube review. I bet you get a better response from folks.

  4. I bought a Beretta Nano upon returning home from afghanistan. I carried my Beretta M9 everywhere i went, along with my M4A1. I was always impressed with beretta, and their ability to not only deliver a decent product, but one that seems to be unbreakable!.

    So I bought the nano the first week I got home. My oh my did it give me grief.... at first anyways. I was having the same FTE problems like everyone else you read about online. Almost every 100 rounds I was guaranteed 8-12 FTE's. I was very disappointed as you can imagine. But then I got to looking and thinking. Beretta has this coating on their new firearms, and upon inspecting the chamber of the barrel, i noticed it too was coated. So I assumed they had machined the Chamber to exact 9mm spec, and then coated it afterwards, not accounting for the thickness of the coating they were applying. A small oversight on their end that has caused much owner frustration throughout the past few years.

    However, This coating is not permanent. I got out the 2000 grit sandpaper, and sanded the coating off by hand. Then i took a dremel mini polishing wheel (cotton), and added a little bit of mothers mag and aluminum polish and began to buff the chamber (and feed ramp while i was at it). Back to the range I went with 500 rounds of the same ammo I had been using, and what do you know. 500 rounds with only one FTE. The problem with the coating (although a great coating) was that it was causing too much friction against the casing while extracting, and also with the coating, it made the chamber just a tad too snug on the casing as well. I am proud to say now that this is my primary carry weapon, and that it does not FTE anymore at all, and with the feed ramp polished as well, she runs so much smoother. Most people read the reviews online, and pass it by, or the people who bought them and are frustrated are taking what they can get for them out of frustration. You can get them cheap right now. So I would say buy one, polish the chamber and feed ramp, and youll be the happy owner of a flawless beretta nano like myself :)