By Marti Davis, Women’s Outdoor News
Micro-compact, 9mm handguns are one of the hottest concealed carry items lately. I recently took the Beretta BU-9 Nano to the range and put it to the test. This wasn’t the first time I’ve shot the Nano. Back in June of 2012, at the Girls Gun Getaway, I had the opportunity to try Beretta’s first striker-fired pistol.
The Nano impressed me — both times on the firing line. When I picked up the small and thin single stack handgun, I noticed the lack of a slide release. Upon firing the final round, the slide will automatically lock back. In order to close the slide, you need to drop the empty mag. The Nano’s recoil spring isn’t stiff (like some other compact handguns’ springs can be) and it’s easy to manipulate, even for shooters with small hands.
Using Winchester 115 grain FMJ target ammunition, I shot off of a benchrest at 7 yards. My first 6 shots fell in the 10 ring. It’s fairly easy to get the sights back on target, with limited movement. Even during a rapid-fire session, shooting head shots at 10 yards, all of my shots hit the target where intended. I had no malfunctions when testing out the Nano. It is reliable and accurate. The trigger pull breaks cleanly, and resets nicely. It’s not too long of a pull, like some other micro-compact, 9mm handguns.
Disassembly, assembly and cleaning
The Nano can be disassembled in 7 easy steps:
- Remove the magazine
- Check that the chamber is empty
- Push the striker deactivation button
- Rotate the disassembly pin ¼ turn counter clockwise
- Remove slide
- Remove recoil spring and guide rod
- Remove barrel
After cleaning the Nano, the reassembly is just as easy when following the steps in the instruction manual.
The Nano is made of a corrosion-impervious, fiberglass-reinforced techno-polymer grip frame. It offers a natural “grippy” feel while in hand. Beretta stamps the serial number on the internal chassis;, therefore, the rest of the Nano can be swapped or customized to fit any shooter’s needs.
The Nano comes with 3 white-dot sights that can be easily adjusted with a 1.3mm hex wrench.
It also features a readily reversed magazine-release button to accommodate right- or left-handed shooters. The Nano’s rounded edges and snag free design means that it will not catch when drawing or holstering the gun.
Marti shoots off the benchrest at 7 yards. Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird
There are some accessories available from Beretta that I feel are worth mentioning. I am a fan of Trijicon night sights, especially for personal protection firearms. The Beretta Nano Trijicon night sights kit retails for $105.
I also prefer the extended magazine. It adds 2 extra shots, and gives a shooter a place to put his or her pinky finger. It helps the shooter to get a little better grip, too. The extended magazine for Beretta Nano retails for $38.
Beretta offers various holsters, one of which is the inside the waistband (IWB) hybrid model. The Beretta Nano IWB holster retails for $64.
There are numerous holsters available for the Nano, I recommend looking at some of the sites below to one that will fit your needs:
If you’re looking for a laser sight for the Nano, check out LaserMax’s CenterFire laser. It mounts directly to the frame without changing out parts or altering the gun, and can be installed by a user. LaserMax CenterFire laser for the Beretta Nano retails for $129.
I tested the pink version of the Beretta Nano. This wouldn’t normally be my choice of color for a firearm, but, I know it will appeal to some of the ladies out there. Grip frame colors come in black, pink, dark earth and green. The grip frames for Beretta Nano retail at $39 each.
Specs of the Nano
Made in the U.S.A.
Barrel length: 3 inches
Magazine capacity: 6+1 or 8+1 (with extended magazine)
Overall height: 4.17 inches
Overall length: 5.63 inches
Overall width: 0.9 inch
Unloaded weight: 19.8 ounce