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If you are looking for the best concealed-carry gun, it is true you would opt for a smaller one. The Beretta Pico is probably the smallest on the market today. The company doesn’t say that Pico .380 ACP is the smallest, but it describes it as the thinnest.
With a width of 0.71 inches, there is no doubt this is one of the smallest handguns in today’s era. It offers a concealable carry which is precisely the function for which it is made. This small handgun is US-made, lightweight and incredibly easy to operate.
This Beretta Pico handgun is not only small but very versatile. Anyone who wants a concealed-carry pistol will love it whole-heartedly. Despite having a small design, it still delivers the power and usability ideal for a wide range of shooting needs. This gun is ideal for competition shooting, tactical, small game hunting as well as law enforcement. It is pretty easy to use, making it perfect for both beginners and experienced shooters.
Pico Features Explained
Ergonomic Construction and Design
Easy to Operate and Durable Construction
This semi-automatic gun is lightweight and very comfortable to use. It features polymer material, and the innovative engineering allows it to achieve its size, weight and performance goals. I’m assuming you are new to this gun but if you know 9 mm Luger-chambered Beretta Nano, then I bet you already have the basic concept of Beretta Pico. You may also want to check out the full review of the Beretta Bu9 Nano.
These two handguns seem to be close cousins if you look at their design and ease of operation. But you won’t find any sharp point on the Pico handgun as it is designed optimally to offer concealable carry. If you look at the Beretta Pico closely, you’ll find that every contour and surface features are rounded for safety. It won’t snag on clothes, and it features a metallic chassis which houses the serial number.
The polymer frame is detachable from the metal chassis. Therefore, it is easy to replace the frame with your accessory frame in different colors.
Safety-Oriented Design and Precise Machining
The magazine catch isn’t that easy to engage. Probably gunsmiths from Beretta wanted to reduce unintentional induced magazine drops. As a result, the design enhances speedy operation and safety for beginners. The design of Pico boasts excellent machining making use of precision-based control design. For instance, the slide stop on the top protrudes from the frame by a fraction yet your thumb won’t miss it whatsoever.
This feature can be applied to release the slide when the magazine is in, and it is also applicable when you want to lock the slide rearward. With an empty magazine, the slide automatically locks back. Therefore, you can see that every detail of the Pico gun is thoughtful to give you a smooth and safe operation. The operation of slide chambers ammo though it won’t cock the shrouded hammer.
Double Action Only (DAO)
The Beretta Pico handgun operates as double action only, therefore, the trigger pull will cock the hammer at the same time it releases the sear. Besides, the trigger reset is almost the same as the long trigger pull. But this long trigger pull shouldn’t worry you anyway. It is purposely designed for defense and not target shooting.
After thorough testing for short and medium ranges, I didn’t find anything negative about the gun’s weight or the duration of the trigger pull. For tactical use, this is a handgun to go for.
Two Stainless Steel Magazines
The Beretta Pico comes with two included stainless steel magazines with a load capacity of 6 rounds. One of the magazines offers flush fitting in line with the frame, thereby minimizing external size. This unique magazine design allows more concealability.
The other magazine features a polymer base plate extension which offers a better hand grip though it reduces the guns concealability. The two magazines fit smoothly and allow simple magazine change when quick action is needed.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this gun doesn’t possess a magazine disconnect feature, and can therefore be fired in the absence of a magazine in place. The ambidextrous magazine release and the left side slide stop are the only two manual controls on this handgun.
The manual safety device is missing too though this isn’t a big deal. Well, the magazine release actuation is quite smooth as you would only need to press a particular small tab located at the bottom rear of the trigger guard. When you press it downwards, it will allow both loaded and unloaded magazines to come off freely out of frame when you hold the weapon in an upright position.
The kind of sights on any gun determines its performance in terms of accuracy. This gun offers a lot of fantastic attributes, but I feel that a set of Trijicon sights make this handgun one of a kind. If you’re new to this gun, you’ll probably think that these are unsightly bumps considering the gun’s small size. But, that’s not exactly what they are.
Once you install the flat base magazine, the height of this pistol measured to the top of the sight is only 4 inches. Therefore, the sights don’t affect the guns appearance and concealability in any way, in fact, they only make it look and function better. This height can be lessened if you opt for the less-visible sights. It will only reduce the overall height by about 1⁄16 inch.
But it is better to trade for minimal increase in height to enhance excellent visibility and ability to see the target in low light. However, there are those Pico models that don’t come with Trijicon units still come with remarkable sights that won’t ruin target acquisition. This Pico pistol is not an exception as it is graced with a pair of legitimate, three-dot sights on the slide and are secured by screws.
Snag-Free Design for the Sights
The sights are easy to fix without any complicated tools. These are real sights and feature short and smooth design, thereby preventing any snagging. This is something not found in many pocket pistols.
Also, the two sights are on the dovetail, which makes them very sturdy. Each sight entails a set of screws which hold them perfectly in place. As the end-user, it is easy to adjust or replace these sights should you feel you need upgrades.
Improved Sighting Performance
The white dot sights offer perfect visibility in all light conditions. Moreover, they allow windage adjustment because the rear sight is easy to drift. Hence, you can choose the ideal windage during target acquisition. The front sight is easy to remove, and you could replace it with a taller or shorter version for excellent elevation adjustment.
For an advanced sighting, both sights can be replaced with optic fiber sights, tritium or other suitable styles. Plus, replacement of these accessories won’t require hiring a gunsmith or use of complicated tools. With these sights, the accuracy of the Pico handgun is fantastic.
See our article on the Best Sights by Beretta.
High Accuracy Functionality
With 7-yard groups not exceeding one ragged hole, this tiny handgun showed exemplary accuracy after a series of tests. Surprisingly, it showed excellent performance compared to other bigger pistols.
This in fact left me wondering what’s the essence of carrying a non-concealable gun while there is a smaller version that is easy to use and more accurate.
Nested Recoil Springs and Low Recoil
Apart from aiming sights, the mild recoil of this handgun is superb. This design makes this gun among the most accurate pistols and easy to use for all. This mild recoil isn’t controversial to understand because it undoubtedly results from the nested recoil springs which are innovatively attached to the full-length guide rods.
The Beretta Pico pistol showed some flaws during our testing with the SIG Sauer Elite 90-grain jacketed hollow-point load. But, the issue was easy to fix and involved taking out the magazine, side racking to get rid of the fired case and putting it back and then cycling the slide to reload.
Incredible Modular Design of Pico
Beretta engineers have gone a step further to ensure a modular design of Pico. It features steel sub-chassis, which is the real gun as far as legality is concerned. This part contains the serial number of the weapon. The barrel, grip frame, slides and any other components connect to the sub-chassis. It means that you can change these parts and replace them with your preferred styles. It is however not possible to customize the sub-chassis of the gun.
Also, Beretta offers a frame featuring a white-light unit or integrated LaserMax laser resulting in a concealed-carry and friendly gun than it would be with aftermarket accessories. Different frames are featuring various colors which include white, pink, purple, and OD green. The original was in black and stainless steel color which some people found to be too old fashioned. Therefore, the wide range of colors allows easy customization of your gun’s look.
Great Trigger Construction
The trigger design is one of the fundamental components of any gun. The Beretta Pico features an exceptional trigger design that entails metal construction. It is nicely rounded for a safe and comfortable grip.
However, it offers a long and heavy pull which gets softer by the day. It provides a relatively clean break but a bare minimum of over travel.
The back of the trigger guard stops it, but this isn’t a real problem as the Pico’s tiny dimensions neutralize the issue and make it easy to use for everyone. If you have larger hands, the trigger finger nears your palm while at the back of the pull.
You can easily modify the trigger using a trigger pad which offers more space for more natural pull. Besides, the trigger rests silently, and you won’t notice it if you wear hearing protection.
With a trigger pull of about 12.25 pounds, the Beretta Pico handgun competes effectively with other high-end guns offering similar features.
Ruger LCP II .380 ACP vs. Beretta Pico .380 ACP
With the introduction of LCP in .380 ACP, Ruger revolutionized the market of concealed-carry handguns. Many people embraced the belief that it had run its course little did they know that the company had the plan to revisit. It came up with the 9mm LC9, which was an improved version.
LCP 380 ACP is lightweight featuring a glass-filled nylon frame. It is 5.71 inches long, and the barrel is 2.75 inches. This handgun uses a 6-round magazine and has an extended finger rest.
The Ruger LCP advantages may include smoother and lighter trigger pull which are superb for follow-up shots. While Beretta Pico offers better concealability, slide release is a bit difficult making it not very suitable for fast combat reloads.
In terms of secure handling, Beretta Pico takes the win thanks to the ambidextrous magazine release. However, both pistols are relatively priced and are great defense weapons. Pico is well built with great sights, and the corrosion-proof stainless steel slide makes it more stylish.
Moreover, Pico’s heavier trigger enhances shooting safety making it great for law enforcement where you need to shoot decisively.
Why Beretta Pico is a Preferred Choice for Many
Concealability and Easy To Carry
This gun weighs approximately 11 ounces when it is not loaded, making it incredibly comfortable and easy to carry. Well, the snag-free and flat profile makes it pocket friendly.
It fits most of the gun holsters, thereby providing different modes of carrying. The smooth sides and controls make it easy for inside the waistband style of carrying. Its flowing design also makes it easy to draw from the purse.
Durable Make and Gorgeous Appearance
In addition to comfortable carrying, Pico is also durable and elegant. It features precise machining and a combination of premium polymer and stainless steel materials. These materials not only make it beautiful and durable, but also make the gun sweat-proof.
The magazines boast a sparkling stainless steel finish, and every aspect of the gun is weatherproof. Hence, this tiny and straightforward pistol offers reliable and intuitive operation. Also, the affordability of this concealable pistol makes it a favorite choice for many.
The mild recoil offered by this gun is probably another thing worth some commendations. Unlike in other guns, Pico allows reliable and quick target recovery. The soft felt recoil causes minimal barrel tilt which will enable you to stay on the target after every shot.
This gun’s feeding is also incredibly reliable for .380 commercial loads or the hollow-point designs. This gun is simple to operate and delivers what is expected of a Beretta.
Easy To Customize and Disassemble
Just like its bigger-sized cousin the Nano, Beretta Pico is engineered to be very easy to operate, assemble, disassemble and personalize. Its serialized chassis allows easy swapping of the frame to deliver you a customized look and functionality of the gun. Quick change sights, flush fit magazines, ambidextrous magazine release, low profile design are just part of the incredible usability of this handgun.
Moreover, this gun comes in a durable pouch bearing the Beretta logo and is easy to stash and draw it from the pouch. With two magazine designs included, you can select the one that best suits your duty.
What I Don’t Like About Beretta Pico
While this small pistol offers myriads of advantages, it still possesses some drawbacks. The first one concerns the magazine release. It is located on the trigger guard which is similar to the magazine release on the HK VP9.
Pico’s magazine release isn’t quite possible to activate with a single hand, unlike the VP9. But with practice, you’ll get used to the use of two hands to activate this system and enjoy all other fantastic features of the gun.
Also, the slide release is somewhat cumbersome as it sits flush against the pistol body, making it hard to grip it nicely. Therefore, you will need to use both hands. However, you can still use one hand though it isn’t very comfortable.
Beretta Pico Accessories
Beretta offers a full range of accessories for the Pico handgun. They allow secure and reliable repair as well as modifications to suit your taste. It offers Pico grips, Pico holsters, Pico sights, Pico magazines, lasers and lights.
Check out more handgun accessories here from the table below.
The Beretta Pico is simply a well-made concealable pistol. The machining, quality of parts, fit and finish are all excellent. Its concealability is at best, and the gun feels very comfortable to handle. Also, it is moderately priced and offers real value or your money. It works perfectly right out of the box and works with the powerful and defensive ammo, and maybe you will do some modifications for it to work with standard ammo. This gun is the best option for anyone looking for a truly concealable, safe, reliable and incredibly accurate option. It is perfect for everyday defensive carry.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.