Beretta Pico First Impressions
We got to handle the new pocket gun from Beretta at the NRA annual meetings and will hopefully get one of the first available to put through the wringer. Looking it over in their display booth, we came to the conclusion that this might be Beretta’s first handgun since the model 92 that doesn’t suck.
OK, let’s get this out of the way. It isn’t all things to all men. If you’re headed to the range with some buds for a practice session, it’s not going to be your first choice to chew the center out of a target. It’s a gun that you’ll stick in a pocket when carrying a bigger alternative is going to be too uncomfortable or inconvenient and where your choice of self defense tools is limited.
If this piece proves to be reliable, it should be an improvement over the phenomenally successful Ruger LCP, as it’s thinner and comes with a better trigger, as well as decent sights, and a slide hold-open. We initially thought the bore axis was a little high, but once you wrap your hand around it you figure out pretty quickly that any lower and you’d be well into slide bite territory. The 380 acp probably won’t generate enough recoil for this to be a problem, but we’ll look for any issues on the range. Like the LCP, the Beretta’s trigger is a true Double Action with a long pull which felt around 9lbs. The ones we cycled were smoother than sunscreen on Kate Upton’s ass, but we’ll see if that’s typical when the production sample arrives in a couple of months
One area of concern for some of the folks handling the gun was its mag release. It’s a paddle under the trigger guard that must be pressed down to operate, rather that a button on the side of the frame. Although this presents a different manual of arms than most of the pistols in the safe, it addresses a potential problem in last ditch pocket guns of inadvertently releasing the mag. You’re not going to get a sub 1 second reload here, so why not make it more difficult to make the gun go “bang, click?”
One feature that may appeal to the fashion conscious, is the pistol’s ability to swap out the entire grip frame for a different color to match your outfit. If this is important to you, then the ease of which it can be achieved should be appreciated, which is made possible by making the entire serialized fire control system into one unit. All joking aside, Lasermax has partnered with Beretta on the Pico to offer an optional frame with an integral 70 lumen light or a laser which can be swapped in depending on your needs. We’re big fans of weapon mounted lights and having one on a gun this small takes some pretty slick design work.