By Dan Kidder
Managing Editor

In the world of full caliber mini guns, the Nano, as its name implies, is one of the smallest and lightest out there. Weighing in at just 18 ounces, and only 5 inches long and less than an inch wide, this little stinger from Beretta, is easy to conceal.

As we all know, weight compensates for recoil, and in our testing, the pistol had no problem with stiffer +P defensive loads, but stuttered a bit on lighter target loads. Keeping that in mind, the minuscule grip of the Nano left two fingers of my beefy mitts hanging in the air with the 6-round magazine. Using the additionally supplied extended magazine rectified this.

And while we are discussing that extra magazine, the extended magazine will hold eight rounds and provides additional surface area for those dangling fingers.

Because the Nano BU9 is slick-sided, there is very little to snag, and a slim profile makes it easy to conceal in even lightweight summer garb. The rounded profiles prevent the gun from digging painfully into exposed skin where you may want to slide it into a waistband holster, such as the Remora.

The Nano comes equipped with a two stage safety trigger that requires a hefty 9 pounds of pull, and combined with the tiny grip, makes it a challenge to hold sight picture for the time it takes to finish your trigger press. This is the trend for self-defense guns, so that you have to really mean to pull the trigger in order to make it go bang. By using the extended magazine and really focusing on my trigger press, I was able to achieve some good groups and with some more practice, I believe I could master the trigger.

The standard three-dot sights are prominent enough to be useful, but demure enough to avoid being obtrusive. They are what you would expect from a gun of this diminutive size, but will help you get the job done for minute-of-bad-guy shooting at about 25 feet.

The striker fired Beretta Nano BU9 is a great choice for those with smaller hands who want to adopt a higher caliber round than the ineffective .380, but who aren’t willing to sacrifice real estate on their body for a larger duty-style pistol.

The polymer frame and advanced metal coatings make maintenance easy, even on hot humid days when you and your gun may be coated with a patina of perspiration.

Take down is easy, and does not require pulling the trigger, thanks to the striker deactivator, which in my book is a major plus in the safety category. The ability to adjust or replace the sights with just a 1.3 mm Allen wrench is a real plus, as it negates the need for a gunsmith or a sight adjustment tool.

All in all, the BU9 Nano is a quality firearm for those looking to maximize quality and minimize weight and size. And the quality of the gun is incomparable, as you would expect from Beretta, the oldest existing firearms manufacturer in the world.

Buy a Nano or a Pico from Sportsman’s Warehouse during the months of March or April, and you will receive a $50 rebate in the form of a Visa gift card, so now is a great time to get your own Nano.