Beretta has been making carry-friendly pistols for decades. But, when the company decided to step up in caliber to the international standard 9mm round, it threw off convention and delivered a groundbreaking new subcompact design, the double-action/single-action (DA/SA) Px4 Storm Type F. Offered today in both 9mm and .40 S&W calibers, the hammer-fired Px4 Storm SubCompact offers a 13+1 capacity in 9mm and 10+1 in .40 S&W. With Beretta’s use of a polymer frame to reduce carry weight, the Px4 is still one of the most manageable double-stack 9mm (and .40 S&W) subcompact pistols on the market. It is adaptable to right- and left-handed users, has three interchangeable backstraps, a reversible magazine release button and an ambidextrous manual safety lever/decocker positioned on both sides of the slide. The Px4’s slide release is trim and elongated for easy operation.
In spite of its diminutive size—just 6.2 inches in length, 4.8 inches in height and 1.4 inches in width—the Px4 Storm SubCompact was engineered to make recoil management better than most handguns in this size, weight and caliber class. The pistol uses a specialized tilt-breech system designed to work in concert with the lightweight frame and dissipate both felt recoil and muzzle rise. The tilting barrel is unique to the SubCompact model, as all other Px4 Storm models utilize Beretta’s rotating barrel design to minimize recoil and speed up cycling of the action. Overall, for a double-stack subcompact in 9mm or .40 S&W, the Px4 Storm SubCompact has become one of the best polymer-framed semi-autos available for concealed carry and backup tactical use.
The Nano is Beretta’s smallest 9mm, measuring a mere 5.63 inches in length, 4.17 inches in height and 0.90 inches in width. For a 6+1 capacity 9mm, those are compact dimensions. The Nano is also light at 19.8 ounces (unloaded). The gun utilizes a one-piece, molded technopolymer frame surrounding an independent stainless steel fire control sub-chassis containing the frame rails, trigger and double-action-only (DAO) striker firing system. This sub-chassis is removable and serial numbered, allowing users to switch outer frames for different colors and options.
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Because of the separate exterior shell, the Nano is not quite as small as other subcompact 9mm pistols. On the other hand, the Nano is perhaps the most foolproof and easy-to-handle semi-auto on the market. As uncomplicated as possible, it has no external (manual) safety or even a slide release lever. All it takes to strip the first round from a magazine on the reload is pulling the slide slightly to the rear and letting go, which basically makes it ambidextrous.
Aside from its unique fire control sub-chassis, the Nano is quite conventional, employing a striker-fired, short-recoil system combined with a blade trigger safety and automatic striker block. To help mitigate harsh recoil from the lightweight 9mm, Beretta uses a double recoil spring.
Since the Pico followed the Beretta Nano, the name implies something even smaller: A nano is one-billionth of any measurement, while a pico is one-trillionth. The name gets the point across; this is one very small concealed carry .380 ACP. The Pico has the same basic construction as the Nano with an interchangeable, one-piece, molded technopolymer frame surrounding a separate and removable stainless steel fire control sub-chassis. The Pico frame can also be changed for different color frames, or those with built-in accessories like a LaserMax Laser or tactical light.
RELATED: Beretta Pico .380 ACP Pocket Pistol | VIDEO
The little 6+1 capacity .380 ACP even has interchangeable, dovetailed white-dot sights. The gun also shares another Nano feature, a remarkably simple take-down procedure. There are no levers or pins, no alignment points, no tools required—there’s just one large slotted screw on the right side of the frame, which, with a one quarter turn counter-clockwise (using the edge of a shell casing) allows the slide, barrel, recoil spring and guide rod assembly to be pulled forward off the subframe. The screw even automatically resets to the locked position when the assembly is slipped back onto the frame rails. It doesn’t get much easier.
Unlike the Nano, the Pico uses an internal hammer-fired, short recoil system, and is a DAO with no manual/external safety. When it gets down to length and height, the Pico again deserves its name as it measures a mere 5.1 inches in length, a scant 0.72 inches in width and weighs 11.5 ounces.
Whether you are looking for a lightweight .380 ACP pocket pistol or a .40 S&W subcompact backup, Beretta has you covered.
For more information, visit http://www.berettausa.com or call 800-929-2901.
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