The Beretta Nano is a subcompact pistol developed by one of the world’s oldest and most revered arms makers. This pistol draws on old word craftsmanship, while incorporating the most modern of design features and manufacturing technologies.
The Nano is a polymer-framed, striker-fired handgun. It is very small, both in length and width, making it great for concealed carry. Although developed around the .40 S&W cartridge, the gun is chambered only for the 9mm. Future Nanos may be chambered for the higher-pressured round.
Beretta developed an interesting way to de-activate the striker mechanism. Instead of pulling the trigger, as with the Glock pistols, or having an internal lever to flip, like the Smith & Wesson M&P handguns, the Nano has an external button to depress. This button is relatively small, and recessed, so it is very unlikely that it would ever be accidentally depressed. However, with a ballpoint pen or punch, it takes just a moment to hit it so you can disassemble the pistol for cleaning.
Taking a page out of the SIG Sauer design book, the Beretta Nano has a stainless steel chassis that can be swapped to any frame. The way the handgun is designed, the chassis, not the frame, is the serial numbered part that requires the FFL transfer. This means that the shooter can purchase on gun, and then purchase any number of different sized or colored frames and just drop the chassis into it to make it a functioning firearm.
Another nice feature in the Nano is the very functional sights that are standard. The vast majority of subcompact pistols use tiny, nearly useless sights. On some guns they are nothing more than a bump on the end of the slide with a nearly useless notch at the rear. Not so on this Beretta.
The Nano is outfitted with very visible three-dot sights. While they are considered “low profile,” they are much larger and easier to see than the majority of optics on subcompact pistols.
Six round magazines are standard in this gun, with eight round magazines also available. Add one in the chamber, and you have seven or nine rounds on tap. Six plus one rounds is an absolute minimum in capacity that I would consider carrying. And then only if I was carrying at least one additional magazine with me. At least this is a 9mm handgun, and not an underpowered .380 ACP pistol.
Earlier this year, Beretta rolled out several new frame colors including Ranger Green, Flat Dark Earth and Rosa (aka: pink.) These new colors allows the owner to customize his or her gun to their liking. Since the Nano uses a chassis system, it is very easy to buy a new frame and give your old gun a new look.
Although relatively new to the market, this gun does have a variety of accessories already in the market. For example, there are a wide range of holsters available for the Beretta Nano already, with many more being developed. Crimson Trace and LaserMax also have red laser aiming units on the market. Optics powerhouse Trijicon also has tritium powered night sights available for the gun.
At the end of the day, every handgun is a compromise. Handguns are underpowered and only marginal at self defense when compared to long guns. However, unless you are deployed in a theater of operation, you can’t wander around toting an AR or shotgun. That is why handguns are so necessary – they are easy to conceal and offer a reasonable defense to an attacker. Whether the Nano meets your needs is only a decision you can make.