The new Beretta Pico was announced today at the 2013 National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, TX. The new gun is intended for the concealed carry market and comes to the table already looking like a mature platform with multiple options, frame colors and accessories ready to go.
The Pico is being called “ultra-concealable” by the company, and at the widest point, the Beretta Pico is only 18mm. For those of us stuck still using the king’s system of measurements, that works out to be less than 0.71″ wide. That is pretty darn thin.
Additionally, the pistol has many of the edges rounded to prevent snagging on garments when drawing from concealed locations. Additionally, the slide release is flush with the frame, meaning it does not protrude beyond the width of the frame.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the new handgun is its ability to change between 380 ACP and 32 ACP with a quick barrel swap. In less than a minute, the shooter can move between calibers with a single gun.
In both calibers, the barrel only tilts 1.4° during the firing sequence. According to Beretta, this increases reliability of feeding. Additionally, by having limited tilt, the company states this dramatically reduces felt recoil. One Beretta spokesperson stated this gun was unlike other subcompact .380 pistols on the market, because the recoil was so low you would actually enjoy shooting this gun.
The new Pico has the ability to swap frames as the company’s other pistol, the Nano, does. The frames are polymer. Ready immediately for the new pistol are frames in black, purple, white, pink and flat dark earth. The Pico is able to do this by using a chassis system like the Nano.
The chassis contains the fire control system and the serial number for the firearm. This is the only part of the gun regulated by the ATF. An end user can then buy as many frames or other bits and pieces as he or she likes and just build them around the single chassis.
The new Beretta Pico also has an integrated accessory module that allows the owner to have a red laser or white light attached to the pistol. The laser and light module is manufactured by LaserMax. These modules are integrated into upgraded frames. The base model Pico will not have the frames, but upgraded models will have them. Additionally, users can purchase the integral frames at a later time and complete the easy swap themselves.
The pistols will ship with two magazines: one flush fitting and one with a finger extension (no additional capacity). The Pico mags will hold six rounds for both the .380 ACP and .32 ACP calibers. The gun has an ambidextrous magazine release.
The sights on the Beretta Pico are much larger than the sights on some other tiny pistols. The rear sight is dovetailed, so it is drift adjustable. Both sights are replaceable should the shooter want to upgrade to other sights. Beretta announced that Trijicon is making tritium night sights for the guns now, and the sights are an option on the pistol at launch.
The slide and frame are stainless steel. The slide has a stainless finish and the frame has a black INOX finish. Beretta states a black INOX finish will be available for the slide as well, but those will probably not ship until 2014.
The Pico is hammer fired, not striker fired, and are double-action only (DAO). The pistols ship with a zippered carrying case.
According to Beretta, DoubleTap Ammunition is currently working to develop a special 380 ACP load for the gun, though any normal ammo will run reliably in the pistols. Additionally, the company announced that DeSantis and Gould & Goodrich already had holsters designed for the new Pico.
Listed on the Beretta site are two holsters for the Pico. One is an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster with a black leather backing and an ABS plastic shell. The holster has a steel clip to attach it to your belt. Currently, only a right-hand model is listed. Pricing is $39.
Also listed is a nylon pocket holster. It is also right hand only (for now.) It is made from a soft nylon and has a wide band around the exterior, that presumably helps hold it in place while riding in the shooter’s pocket. It is listed at $25.
The Beretta Pico pistols are made in the United States and are set to start shipping in August. The guns carry a suggested retail price of $399 for the base models. When the Pico goes on sale, we will see what kind of street price to expect. Anything around $350 or less would seem to be a very reasonable price.
I’ll have to get this out to the range and shoot it before I would ever recommend it. However, the Beretta Pico definitely looks interesting. The integrated light and laser frames are a real plus for concealed carry guns, when hanging a light off of an accessory rail makes them much harder to conceal (and find holsters for.)
Neither .380 nor .32 are great rounds for self defense, but they are much preferred to a harsh word when defending oneself. These pistols appear to be extremely compact, so they definitely can increase the likelihood that someone would carry it, and therefore have it on hand if they needed it.
The folks at the NRA were able to get a Beretta representative to go on camera and talk about the Pico:
Beretta Pico Dimensions
- Overall Length : 5.1 in/ 130 mm
- Barrel Length : 2.7 in/ 70 mm
- Overall Width : .725 in / 18 mm
- Grip Width : .725 in / 18 mm
- Overall Height : 4.0 in/ 100 mm
- Sight Radius : 3.3 in/ 84 mm
- WEIGHT: 11.5 oz. incl. empty magazine