Beretta PICO Review

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The newest gun to the Beretta collection was just recently released.  After 2 years of advertising and tweaking, it’s finally available.

This is the first pocket pistol that has ever impressed me. I have fired several other pocket pistols: the Taurus PT-738 TCP, the Ruger LCP, the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, the Keltec P-3AT, and last but not least, the Walther PPK.  All of these guns are decent firearms, though most of them are not even remotely comfortable to shoot, and reliability is questionable on some of them. That being said, I had the opportunity to shoot the Pico a lot — I put roughly 400 rounds through one, which for a pocket gun can be quite a bit of ammo.

Out of all of the pocket pistols on the market, the Pico has several things going for it. First of all is the quality of the Beretta name. Mechanically, the gun is very well-designed. The pistol is slender and small which will allow for good concealability and comfort during carry. The comfort of the pistol during firing is also a huge plus. I will go over each point on the pistol as we do this review. But let’s start out with the facts.

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The Pico has been a long-awaited addition to the pocket pistol market. It joins the ranks of a number of small pocket sized .380 auto pistols produced by other manufacturers. Pocket pistols were primarily introduced for the purpose of concealed carry, either when unable to carry a full size pistol or as a backup firearm. This addition to the market fits well within the niche of pocket-sized firearms.

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The pistol comes in a basic white Beretta box. Upon opening, you will find a black carry case with the pistol and two 6-round magazines — one being the flush magazine and the other an extended magazine — as well as the owner’s manual and your warranty information. I do recommend you complete the warranty registration online, as it extends the one year warranty to three years. There is also a gun lock in the box for those of you that need it.

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The Pico is 4 inches tall with the flush magazine installed and just shy of 5 inches tall with the extended magazine installed. The pistol is 5.1 inches long, making it the narrowest pocket gun on the market at only 0.725 inches width. It weighs in at only 11.5 ounces unloaded. This makes for a compact, light-weight pistol able to fit in the front or back pocket of a standard pair of jeans that won’t weigh you down while carrying.

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The pistol features a polymer grip frame that can be changed with relative ease by the end user — the procedure for doing so is included in the owner’s manual, though I am sure there will soon be on-line videos explaining the process — which will allow you to install a different color grip or a laser grip which will be built by Lasermax for Beretta. The Magazine release is a pull down style lever and is difficult to use unless using your alternate hand. It does release with no issues.

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The frame of the gun is a steel unit that is self-contained. The parts are easy to replace if necessary, however it is always recommended that a gunsmith do any repairs to the fire control group of any firearm. The pistol is a hammer-fired, double-action-only firearm with a heavy but smooth trigger pull. For some people, the listed 8-pound trigger pull may be a bit much.  At this time, there is no adjustment for the trigger pull available (either from Beretta or aftermarket). That being said, with a little practice, you can get used to the trigger and will find it very consistent and smooth to operate.

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I did find the grip of pistol to be a little small for my hands.  However for those with smaller hands, the grip will work perfectly.  Even though it did feel very small to me, I was able to get a good grip for firing, though I preferred the use of the extended magazine for more solid grip on the pistol.  Recoil on the pistol is quite manageable and is not painful or uncomfortable when shooting.  I fired several hundred rounds of both American Eagle 95 grain FMJ and Winchester PDX 95 grain JHP and never experienced the fatigue often caused by some other pocket guns.

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The slide of the pistol is made of hardened steel, and has a very large external extractor made out of spring steel, allowing for proper extraction of the shell casings.  The barrel sits at slight downward angle when the slide is forward, creating less rise when the slide cycles, thus allowing all of the recoil to go straight back with very little muzzle rise. I fired over 400 rounds through the pistol and had zero failure to feed or failure to extract. I did have a problem when I tried Tula steel-cased ammunition — due to the crimp on the rounds, the casing was bulged and would not chamber — on one out of every 4 rounds.

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The pistol comes with standard white dot sights, which are easily removable sights using a 1.3 mm Allen wrench.  Night sights are also available.  The sights sit high on the gun and are very easy to see and use.  Overall, the accuracy of the pistol is very good and held a steady 2″ group at 15 yards, which is good for the 2.5 inch barrel.

My overall opinion of the Pico is very good. With the few negatives I found with the gun, there were several more positives.  I will be purchasing one for myself when they hit the stores.  According to the Beretta Facebook page, they are currently shipping and accessories are showing available on the Beretta USA website.

Update:

Since the release of the Pico I have seen several posts about removing the inner recoil spring to reduce the tension on the slide. DON’T DO IT.  The Gun was designed to operate with the recoil spring assembly it came with. The one I tested did not have any issues with Failure to extract or operation of the slide. There were several guns that were tested at the NRA Range in Fairfax Va by Beretta Customers. Those guns did not have any issues with FTE’s.  Be aware, the springs are tight from the beginning, Break the gun in a little. Shoot it. The more you shoot it, the springs will loosen up in tension slightly.  Also make sure you are using proper techniques for operating the slide. If you are unsure if you are operating the slide.  Here is a link to a blog to show proper slide operation

http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/racking-the-slide-of-your-gun

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9 thoughts on “Beretta PICO Review

  1. Pingback: Beretta Pico | The Gundoc's Doctrine

  2. Thanks for the pics accompanying your review. Tonight I’d just seen an episode of “Davidson’s Gallery of Guns” on Sportsman Channel. In their feature of the Pico, they mentioned how easy it is to field strip the pistol. Did you find it to be as easy as Beretta claims?

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    • I did not have any trouble with the one I tested. I am more inclined to believe that is more a matter of technique than anything else. I also spoke to several of the people that tested them; no one that I spoke to had any problems with the test guns they had.

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      • Thanks for the information. One more question (since I am relatively new to pistols): Once the slide is racked, how long can it be left in that position without causing damage to the pistol — days, weeks, months?

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      • The tension on the slide is maintained by the recoil spring. If you compress a spring too long, it will loose its tension. I would not recommend locking the slide back any longer than necessary, and do not leave it stored with the slide locked back. An hour or two periodically during a trip to the range will not hurt it. Prolonged periods of time can wear the spring tension out.

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  3. The Baretta Pico is an absolute delight and must have for the concealed carrier. Design is Flawless, and well thought out. It’s small, so expect small because that is what it is. I am a collector of many things, and this is a tremendous addition for my many showcase purposes. As for qaulity, this is Amazing. I collect only the rare, and finest of any of my collections. (Car: E63 AMG and Audi R8, Ford F100 … Watches: Breightling, Rolex, Citizen Eco Drive … Artwork: Picaso, Warhol, Peter Max, Kasun …. Electronics: Apple, Bose, Sony, Dyson Fans …. Guns: Baretta “Made in Italy” 92FX INOX, Baretta Pico, AR-15 Rock River, and my ED Brown “Special Edition” and Life: Freedom, Family, and “Happiness” – Life is too short to not enjoy the finest of materialistic items. I Love the Pico !!!

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  4. Have a PICO and it is broken in after 175 rounds of ball ammo. Clean and lube generanouly during break in period. Now eats up all ammo including my personal defense loads. Fiocchi XTP and Precision One XTP for personal defense. LCR vs PICO? LCR has no double strike capability and has a magazine safety! The loudest sound you will ever hear is a click when you expect a bang. In high stress situations, I don’t want to have a gun like the LCR that I might accidently drop the mag and can’t shoot the chamber round or if I have an ammo malfunction have to tap,rack, bang vs just repull the trigger. Training is key but you never know how you’ll react when needed…period. Training doesn’t mean going to the indoor range and shooting 100 rounds at a stationary paper targer at 10 yards for 1 hr in a modified weaver stance two handed. Practice malfuction clearing with dummy rounds and dry firing. Shoot offhand, one handed, holding a bag in other hand. This is where the controlability of the PICO excels!

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