Gun Review: Beretta Pico

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Hitting distributor shelves now is the slimmest .380 ACP pistol on the market, the Beretta Pico. At its widest point — across the ambi mag release paddle — my caliper pegs it at 18.5mm (0.728″), while the rest of the lilliputian pocket gun comes in at or under 18mm. Despite the tiny dimensions and the light 11.5 oz weight, which includes an empty magazine, the Pico is rated for +P ammo just like its older and slight larger 9mm brother, the Nano. Of course, making the smallest pistol out there can require compromises, and my Pico did experience some growing pains…

In The Box

The Pico comes nicely equipped with two magazines — one flush-fitting and one with a finger extension — inside of a handy little day planner-sized case. Two zipper pulls means you can “lock” this case, although it’s soft-sided so wouldn’t work for airline travel.

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CLICK ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE

Also inside the cardboard outer box are your standard gun lock, owner’s manual, and warranty info.

Build

While plenty of .380 ACP pistols use straight blowback actions and fixed barrels, the Pico has a Browning-style tilt barrel recoil action with the chamber hood locking into the slide. Beretta says it has minimal barrel tilt to reduce felt recoil.

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On the Pico, if it isn’t polymer it’s stainless steel (Inox) — barrel, slide, magazines, slide catch, guide rod. Machining and apparent parts quality are exceptional. Fit and finish is flawless.

Dual recoil springs — one nesting inside of the other — ride on that solid guide rod.

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The part with the serial number, hammer, trigger, and slide rails in the photograph above is actually the “firearm” for government purposes. Beretta calls it the “chassis,” and it pops right out of the frame like it does on the Nano. This means that the grip frame is nothing more than a piece of plastic. It can be sent right to your door and will likely cost $20-$30 on its own. Not only will Beretta offer Pico frames in various colors, as it does for the Nano, but it will be releasing frames with integrated lasers and such as well.

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I’m actually a huge fan of this serialized internal chassis modularity thing. Although no company has fully taken advantage of it yet (other than perhaps SIG SAUER), this sort of system could result in one “firearm” being used in myriad chassis and calibers, from sub-compact to full size pistol chassis, carbine chassis, etc. In the case of the Pico, though, you’re basically limited to .380 or smaller calibers as the magazine slides up through the chassis between the trigger bars.

Additionally, the modularity gives you free reign to experiment with stippling and other grip frame modification. Mess up? You ruined a $24 piece of plastic. Not an entire firearm.

To disassemble the Pico, you simply rotate the takedown pin 90 degrees counterclockwise and the slide pops forwards and comes right off. Rotating the pin can be done with the baseplate of the flush fitting magazine, a cartridge rim, coin, etc.

Once the slide is off the frame, the guide rod, springs, and barrel come out like you’d expect. When putting the Pico back together, make sure the takedown pin is rotated properly and then just pull the slide back onto the frame. The pin rotates itself back into the locked position.

To remove the chassis, simply pop the takedown pin out the right side of the frame and then push/pull up on the front of the chassis.

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An internal hammer is not uncommon in this class of firearm — LCP, LC9, TCP, BodyGuard, Kel-Tec, NAA, etc all feature an internal hammer — but a true double action trigger actually is. Double action meaning that the slide does not have to move at all in order to reset something inside. Pulling the trigger fully cocks and releases the hammer, and will do that over and over again without the slide moving. I appreciate this, as it seems like the logical choice for a pistol that’s designed to have a long trigger pull anyway. Actually, whether internal hammer-fired or striker-fired, if it has a long trigger pull, it may as well be true double action in my mind. Of course, some models engineer a lighter trigger pull by using the slide to cock or partially cock a spring, leaving less work for the trigger itself.

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In case you hadn’t already noticed, it’s possible that the Pico has the largest extractor ever.

Controls

Like the Nano, the Pico is designed to be as slick and snag-free as possible. The ambidextrous, trigger guard-located, paddle-style magazine release (think HK) is the only thing just ever so slightly wider than the frame and widest part of the slide.

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Magazines dropped free and clicked in very smoothly, but I found the paddle hard to activate with my strong hand thumb, middle finger, or index finger. The grip is just so darn small that the magazine release is awkwardly close to my palm. It was easier to pinch the paddle between my support hand index finger and thumb and pull down, popping the magazine right out into my support hand. Works great for those “tactical reloads.”

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The only other external control is a really sleek slide catch. It wasn’t easy to use it for manually locking the slide back — some of this was also due to the extremely stiff recoil springs (more on that later) — but worked better than I expected as a release.

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Sights

A pair of legitimate, 3-dot sights grace the Pico’s slide. They’re fairly short and smooth to inhibit any sort of snagging, but they’re real sights, which is something not found on many pocket pistols.

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Both sights are dovetailed in place. Instead of friction from a really tight fit holding them still, however, each sight uses a set screw for that purpose. This makes the sights extremely easy for the end user to adjust and/or replace. The rear sight can be drifted for windage, while the front sight could be replaced with a shorter or taller one to adjust for elevation, and both can obviously be replaced with Tritium, fiber optic or other styles (pending availability) without requiring a gunsmith or special tools.

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Magazines

Two stainless steel magazines come with the Pico, both holding 6 rounds of .380 ACP.

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One is flush-fitting:

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And the other has a finger extension:

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I could see angling out the magwell a little more, but inserting magazines was smooth and easy and they snick into place nicely.

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Trigger

Hooray for metal triggers. At least, that’s my preference and the Pico’s is nice and rounded with no silly blade “safety” thing. Quite comfortable.

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Unfortunately, any praise for the trigger is going to end right there. First, let me say that I’m okay with a long, heavy pull on a self defense pistol that has no safety. Actually, it’s my preference and one specific reason I chose Beretta’s Nano as my EDC. Where the Pico’s trigger falls short is…

It’s somewhat gritty during the pull stroke and then gets grittier before suddenly stacking at the end. The break itself is clean, though, and it has a bare minimum of over-travel.

But it’s the back of the trigger guard that stops it. This in itself isn’t a problem, but the tiny dimensions of the Pico made it a small-ish issue for me and for a couple other gentlemen who shot the gun. Your trigger finger ends up so close to your palm at the back of the pull that it’s awkward and even slightly difficult to get it back there. Especially for those with larger hands, proper pad-of-finger-on-trigger placement may have to be modified so you can physically move your finger back to where it breaks. The trigger, not your finger. Ideally.

There is no reset of which to speak. Well, yeah, the trigger resets of course, but you can’t feel it or hear it when wearing ear protection. Just know that it’s all of the way at the front of the trigger’s travel, so you really have to lift your finger off the trigger to make sure you’ve let it out fully.

Like I said, long and heavy I’m cool with on a gun like this. But ~12.25 lbs is a bit excessive. I measured it a number of times and it varied between 12 and 13 lbs., clustering mostly toward the low end of that range. Some triggers nail the same fraction of a pound over and over ad nauseam, but this isn’t one of them.

Ergonomics

As mentioned above, the extremely small size of the grip has some drawbacks for adults with adult-sized hands. The length of pull (distance from backstrap to trigger) is really short. The Pico’s slimmest-on-the-market width makes maximizing contact area difficult.

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That said, the grip itself is comfortable and the pistol does recoil quite softly considering its size and weight. No controllability issues at all shooting it with the flush-fitting magazine, despite insufficient room on the front strap for three fingers. I could go for some more grip texture, which is another big thumbs up for the Pico’s low consequences for experimenting with stippling.

The slide, however, is a sore point. Not only is it incredibly stiff to rack and manipulate — mostly due to the combined power of the dual recoil springs but also due to the fact that cycling the slide cocks the hammer as well — but such a small pistol doesn’t offer much in the way of gripping surfaces to help. The serrations on each side of the slide are very short in height and quite shallow. While many pistols these days are going overboard with slide serrations, as much for aggressive “tactical” aesthetics as function, on the Pico they’re actually really needed. The serrations on this gun should be at least twice as tall as they are. And they may as well serrate that surf board of an extractor on the right side as well.

Considering the spring tension and the lack of grip surface, there’s no way anyone who lacks strong hands will be able to manipulate the gun. Then again, those with strong hands will likely find them a bit too large to have an easy time holding the slide back against the spring tension while pushing up on the very-close-to-your-palm, flush slide catch. The first time I tried to lock the slide back manually I almost slammed the muzzle of the pistol through the top of my FFL’s glass display case.

Reliability

I’m deviating from my normal review categories order here because I suffered reliability problems that I believe were associated with the very stiff spring tension just mentioned. With three brands of standard pressure ammo (Blazer Brass, PPU, and Fiocchi) I had consistent failures to eject. I also ran a few magazines of Federal Hydra-Shok through the Pico and, while not actually +P ammo, it is hotter than the other brands. These mags ran fine.

It was my conclusion that the slide was not reciprocating back far enough for the empty case to contact the ejector, or at least it doesn’t contact it hard enough to pop it out of the [Tera] extractor’s grasp. A full magazine exacerbated the problem, as the top round’s pressure on the bottom of the slide further inhibited its rearward motion (the steep ramp on the bottom of the slide doesn’t help).

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The result were regular FTEs — at least once every couple of magazines — that left the empty brass trapped between the breech face and the chamber hood. A few times it actually rechambered the case, but usually the upwards pressure from the next round in the magazine caused what you see above. Had I taken a photo of each of the dozens of these incidents, they would be basically indistinguishable from each other.

I left the slide locked back and the magazines fully loaded for a week between shooting sessions, thinking the springs might take a bit of a “set,” but it had little effect. Neither did 200 rounds of break-in along with manually cycling the slide maybe 100 times or so. This same stoppage was still a regular occurrence.

Considering my estimation of the root cause and the Pico’s +P rating, I chose to remove the softer, inner recoil spring. With only the main recoil spring installed, the slide tension felt more normal. More in-line with the Pico’s peers. The pistol ran with 100% reliability for me for the next 100 rounds. It still fed with authority — whether dropping the slide with the slide catch or “sling shotting” it — and successful ejection was more consistent than before. Distance and direction of ejection were completely normal, and I’m confident in the pistol’s reliability now with this setup.

Beretta is sending me another Pico to check out, as it should apparently run reliably with any standard ammo in its factory configuration. I’ll update this review one way or the other. [Update HERE, and it’s positive news] Personally, I don’t think it’s asking too much of the consumer or unreasonable from a design perspective to say something like, “run both recoil springs for +P ammo and use and only the outer spring for standard pressure ammo.” Of course, I understand why manufacturers avoid those sorts of scenarios.

Accuracy

Five-shot accuracy groups from a sandbag rest at 7 yards:

Target

On The Range

Many of these tiny guns can really beat you up, but the Pico is decently pleasant to shoot. The recoil action (rather than straight blowback) softens felt recoil and there are no sharp edges or protrusions to rub you the wrong way. The sights are clear and easy to pick up.

I think it’s safe to say that many shooters are going to have to acclimate themselves to the small grip, short distance to the trigger, and the long, heavy, and sub-par trigger pull. Running around on the range, I’m not as accurate with this pistol as with some of its peers due to the trigger.

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Even with the “extra” recoil spring removed, the Pico would benefit from more serration surface area on the slide.

Conclusions

The Pico is very well made. Parts quality, machining, fit and finish are all excellent. Concealability is as good as it gets. Value is pretty decent, too, as it looks like they’ll be regularly sold at retail in the $330 to $370 range.

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Diet Coke, Pico, Galaxy S4

It may run flawlessly right out of the box with more powerful, defensive ammo. That is, of course, what the gun is designed for. However, I had to make a small modification to mine to get it to run standard ammo. We’ll see if the second Pico is any different.

Specifications: Beretta Pico

Caliber: .380 ACP (barrel swap to run .32 ACP)
Capacity: 6+1
Barrel Length: 2.7″
Overall Length: 5.1″
Height: 3.94″
Width: 0.725″ (18mm)
Weight: 11.5 oz with unloaded magazine
Sights: 3-Dot
Trigger: Double Action Only (DAO). 12.25 lbs as tested
MSRP: $398 (I have seen retailers list it for as low as $325 thus far)

Ratings (Out of Five Stars): 

Accuracy: * * * 
A bit better than average for me from a rest, but a bit worse than average on the range.

Ergonomics: * * * 
With any micro pistol there are going to be concessions here. The Pico excels in concealability and carry ergonomics — rounded corners, nothing poky or rough — but is hurt by the difficult-to-rack slide with little gripping assistance and the short trigger reach.

Reliability: * * * 
I’m confident that the pistol will continue to run with 100% reliability for me more or less indefinitely now that the “extra” recoil spring has been removed. Of course, it didn’t run out of the box or as designed. An “average” rating may seem generous, but compared to other mouse guns I actually feel quite solid on the Pico’s ability here.

Trigger: * * 
Not good.

Customize This: * * * * *
I love the serialized chassis insert. Even if it’s just theoretical potential at this point, the possibility of different frame sizes, formats, built-in accessories, etc, is great. Plus the near consequence-free stippling freedom and the ability to have multiple frame colors to match your shoes thing. A quick change to .32 ACP is interesting. Easily adjusted and swapped sights is nice as well.

Overall: * * * 1/2
It’s the smallest thing going, and it wins points for that. Quality is great. I believe in the reliability now that the recoil spring power has been resolved. Nice sights. On the negative side is the trigger followed by the ergonomic difficulties associated with racking the slide as well as with the positioning of the trigger, mag release, and slide catch so close to your strong hand palm. I think it’s better than your average .380 mouse gun, though. If it had better slide serrations and/or only had the single recoil spring installed from the factory, it would be a solid 4-star pistol. Add to that a better trigger and it might hit 5-stars.

 

Size Comparisons

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Nano, Pico, Taurus TCP

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Nano, Pico, TCP

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Pico on TCP

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…actually more like 0.72″ on the Pico…

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TCP, Pico

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TCP, Pico

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Pico on Nano

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comments

  1. avatar ST says:

    Commendations for being honest about the pistol failing to function. For that reason, it would seem Glock’s 42 is a superior choice to date.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Many of the G42 reviews, including the TTAG one, noted a significant number of stoppages. It’s also a larger gun than the Pico by a decent margin. I’m still bullish on the Taurus and it’s still my micro .380 of choice. I’d consider jumping to the Beretta if the trigger can be improved.

      1. avatar Renegade Dave says:

        What’s the round count on your TCP?

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          ~600. I put 400 through it when I first got it and through the course of my original review on it. Since then it mostly just stays loaded with carry rounds, but every now and then I’ll empty out a magazine and put in whatever ammo I have and do a little shooting to stay proficient with it and such. Would probably be more, as I do enjoy shooting it quite a bit, but as you know .380 ammo has been one of the scarcest and most expensive (along w/ .22 lr) for the past couple years — although it’s finally better now. At any rate, not one single stoppage of any sort, and I’ve put 4 brands of hollow points through it, one of those +P, and 5 or 6 brands of FMJ round and flat nose through it.

          The Nano isn’t going anywhere, and part of my brain wants the smaller pistol that gets carried (when clothing or activity doesn’t permit even the Nano) to be the Pico. There’s more continuity between them than Nano-TCP, but for the Pico to take over in this spot I’d have to do some ‘smithing to see if I can smooth out that trigger pull. The original ejection issues w/ both springs does not bother me at this point. It has been rock solid with the single spring and all aspects of it check out 100% with that in place. I trust it in this configuration and I do like the top quality materials and machining.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          I am trying to conceive of some activity or dress where you couldn’t carry a Nano.

        3. avatar Renegade Dave says:

          I’m a big enough guy where I couldn’t figure out how to make the skinny 9’s make sense. A double stack printed about the same and was about as comfortable as a shield for prolonged carry, so why give up the firepower?

          Definitely interested in fine tuning a pocket carry deal as my LCPCT is difficult for me to shoot well at range. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the TCP, seems like you and STB410 love yours.

        4. avatar Ralph says:

          I am trying to conceive of some activity or dress where you couldn’t carry a Nano.

          Nude skydiving comes immediately to mind.

        5. avatar Jeremy S says:

          Nah, all the times I’ve gone nude skydiving I just holstered my pistol to the harness. Bagged myself a nice Canadian goose at 6,300 ft off the deck once.

        6. avatar jwm says:

          You got goosed at 6,300 feet? Bagged him, literally or figureatively?

          I gotta find a new way to kill time.

        7. avatar John M. says:

          @tdiinva: My Nano doesn’t fit in the back pocket of dress pants. It fits most of my cargo pants rear pockets OK, though it’s more comfortable in an IWB. IWB doesn’t work, unfortunately, with a tucked shirt.

          I don’t carry in dress slacks, so this isn’t a big deal for me. If I did, I’d probably try a belly band or Thunderwear or equivalent before I stepped down to .380, but I understand the tradeoff. (9mm+P is the smallest caliber I feel comfortable carrying.)

        8. avatar Renegade Dave says:

          @JohnM – in dress attire (I wear everyday) a quality custom gun belt with velcro lining plus V clips on a tuckable IWB rig is virtually invisible.

      2. avatar John says:

        After owing 4 LCP’s I made the investment in a Pico. Ok, Now close to 1200 rounds and NOT ONE hiccup with mixed ammo. Do I like this gun? Lol, went out and bought a second one, just because. That one now has around 500 rounds with no hiccups. The Pico is a mild shooting 380. Quality is top notch! The streamlined design is Superiour to any thing out there. I love the Pico.
        PS Both mine are the second Gen with the new Trigger and Recoil. Love the new Trigger by the way.

    2. avatar JimmyJames says:

      Not sure I would agree with that assertion. The 42 is reliable but not small enough. I have a 9mm (S&W Shield) for essentially the same size as the 42. I prefer the Shield for size and firepower. However, if the Pico can run reliably (spring being the fix) and better trigger can be made to work on it, I like the size to firepower this option presents. Moreover, it’s price is better in line with a 380.

    3. avatar Michael Powers says:

      Can’t find a Pico in the Phoenix area to actually handle prior to a purchase. Very disappointed in Beretta, sent a number of emails. Many in response to “look what we’d like to sell you” emails. Almost begging for a location with a Pico available for viewing. Even sent a reply to the email notifying me I would receive a free Beretta holster if I purchased a Pico before 2015. Not one response, not even a not available, coming soon, etc. I am a long time 687EELL trap combo shooter for all the clay target sports however if this is their level of service I may have to reconsider Beretta as a favored brand. Any of you know of an AZ supplier with one in stock. Michael Powers in San Tan Valley, AZ

    4. avatar John says:

      My Pico eats any ammo I have fed it, even re-manufactured reloads. Now over 400 rounds without one failure. The New upgraded trigger is extremely smooth. Strong (which is what you want in a pocket gun, but VERY smooth. Love this gun, had 4 LCP’s before this, and they do not hold water to the Pico.

      1. avatar Ohlongarm says:

        While the Beretta Pico is very reliable,and well made the whole package goes out the window due to the incredibly poor heavy trigger.The trigger should be no more than 5lbs,and Beretta you’d have a winner,a lousy trigger keeps me from buying a handgun such as this. LCP2 fantastic trigger and 500 rounds without one hiccup,all reloads or Tulammo steel cased.Not +p rated,another mistake by a leading gun mfger.Kahr has the entire package but suffers from reliability issues at times,however my CW380 is 100% so far with 300rds through it.Take head small 380 gun mfgers,Build a well made reliable firearm with a great trigger,+p rated,good machining and you’ve given the majority what they want. Also make an extended magazine of at least 8 rounds for range time. The glock 42 while being 100% should be the size of the guns here mentioned,and shame on Glock no extended mags.

        1. avatar John says:

          On the contrary, I am a avid pocket gun shooter have been for years. Have owned many guns including 4 LCP’s. I find the trigger to be exceptional. Now this is the Upgraded trigger. Strong, but very smooth in execution. Exactly what you want in a pocket gun. I can shoot Pico for hundreds of rounds with not problem. Very Mild shooter. Trigger is like the LCR strong/s/smooth, but very easy. In fact I do not even notice it when shooting. I train a lot with the gun, at least once a week sometime twice a week. I just ordered my second Pico because I like it so much.

    5. avatar Beatbox says:

      Sure, the Glock 42 is a better choice if you want a 380 range gun, but not as a pocket carry gun. It is just not as concealable as an lcp or pico.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    So when does “Femto” come out? I want one that wraps around my index finger so I can just point and shoot. Recoil can be distributed down the axis of my straightened finger. Maybe when I squeeze my middle finger against my index finger the Beretta “Femto” can then fire.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      You get an atto-boy for this post.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        That right there is a smart pun. Well played, sir.

      2. avatar dlj95118 says:

        …+1 I see what you did there!

      3. avatar Jeremy S says:

        Tera-ble joke. Please don’t re-Peta it. Almost Kilo’d me with laughter. Decimated. Yotta be ashamed. Hahaha I’m Gigaling over here.

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Zetta Beretta Nano I see in your pocket, or are you just…

          Oh, never mind.

    2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      You have to wait for the .9mm ammo to finish the testing process first.

  3. avatar Accur81 says:

    That’s a cool little gun. I could see carrying one of these as a backup or in baggy shorts.

  4. avatar Icabod says:

    The FTE issues sound similar to what happened with the first run Kimber Solo I bought. At the time Kimber listed a wide range of ammunition that supposedly worked. While standard range ammunition worked (sometimes) the +P gave more reliability (such as it was). The Solo was never reliable.

    Changing the springs appears to be the fix for the Pico. Hopefully the next Pico reviewed will show the fix works for the line.

  5. avatar Gregolas says:

    Thank you Beretta for the REAL sights! And adjustable! I hate it when a manufacturer gives me nubbins for sights and then basically tells me not to use it unless the Bad Guy is within 7 yards. What if my BG won’t come that close?
    It seems like it would be a great replacement for my dear-long-departed Mod. 21A .22. But I’m concerned about reliability and that trigger. Now, my P3AT needed two trips back to the factory to be reliable, but once it was fixed, it stayed fixed.
    I’ll be interested Jeremy, to see how reliable the next one is. Please let us know.
    Excellent review. Thank you.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      If the next one runs with target ammo out of the box, obviously that’s better. However, I honestly do consider this one fixed. Everything checks out 100% as it should with the single recoil spring installed. It’s normal across the board and has run flawlessly since. I’m sure a little polishing would smooth the trigger right out, but the weight and other things will probably remain. Not good, but I’ve certainly shot worse.

    2. avatar John M. says:

      My Nano is incredibly accurate, and the quality (relative to competition in class) combat sights are a big part of that.

  6. avatar tdiinva says:

    I am not a fan of 380 especially when there are pocket 9s, including the Nano that fit comfortably in your pants pocket.

    The Nano also has a problem ejecting when you use lower quality ammo so I shoot 9mm NATO for practice and use Winchester PDX +P for self defense.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Even Nato Spec hasn’t been completely reliable in my Nano, and it stovepiped a Gold Dot (albeit not a +P)

      Supposedly Beretta stopped pushing Nanos this flaky out the door long before I bought mine, but I’ve lost all trust in it; it is liable to fail with ANYTHING, near as I can tell.

    2. avatar Jeremy S says:

      The first run of Nanos had a different chamber hood, which required a bit more recoil energy to unlock. Many of those didn’t like target loads. Mine was from after the change and has never suffered a stoppage on me, even with light-loaded 115 grain reloads. It has run absolutely everything.

      That said, in these tiny pistols I could see overlooking failures to run target loads (like the Kimber Solo, mentioned above, has a reputation for). They are absolutely not designed for target shooting. They’re designed to run defensive ammo. The only downside is that it’s hard to practice with that ammo due to cost, of course. I haven’t had to make that decision on my Nano or TCP, as they have both run absolutely everything possible with total reliability. But I carry Federal HST in the Nano and if it only ran with that ammo and nothing else ever I’d still carry it. I probably would have put more through it to verify functionality, of course, but in HST flavor I’ve put 100 rounds of 147 grain and 50 rounds of 124 grain +P through it and it’s GTG. Along with at least a dozen brands of random 9mm, from 92 grains to 147, steel cased to reloads, etc, and it’s 100%.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        “But I carry Federal HST in the Nano and if it only ran with that ammo and nothing else ever I’d still carry it.”

        I agree with this. If I had confidence the thing would function reliably with defense loads I would not care what it did with target loads. In fact, I’d shoot target loads out of it to practice jam clearing, load it with my carry ammo, and go home wearing it.

        But it hasn’t been trustworthy with Nato Spec and it stovepiped once on Gold Dots. As far as I know it’s a late date manufacture, not one of the first ones, so it should be a heck of a lot more reliable even with target loads. But instead, it’s an untrustworthy piece of crap. Beretta told my gunsmith I was the problem and that there shouldn’t be issues for a competent shooter; but the gunsmith and others have had problems even when gripping it so hard their hands shake.

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          Well that sucks. I’ve contacted Beretta USA before (before TTAG days) and their customer service and warranty dept was always extremely helpful. Like above and beyond.

    3. avatar int19h says:

      Almost all pocket nines, including Nano, are somewhat bulkier and quite a bit heavier. And not all pockets are made equal.

  7. avatar Pikes Pete says:

    With the whole modularity thing, it would be interesting if Beretta made an offering of a extended grip frame. If it cost say 30 bucks and was an extra inch or so, and they offered a HI CAP magazine (couple of extra rounds) that would be a differentiator in the little gun market.

    1. avatar John M. says:

      I think it’d be fun to have a full-sized (albeit single-stack) grip frame for these guys. Turn your pocket carry piece into a fun day at the range for cheap money and a little time with a punch. It’s a clever idea, and I think Beretta is under-exploiting it.

  8. avatar John in CT says:

    The protruding lip on the “flush-fitting” magazine looks potentially painful.

    Any pinches/cuts experienced while firing without the grip extension?

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Nope. Pinky wraps under the bottom of the grip and actually provides some support from there, and I never noticed any discomfort with my ‘ring finger’ when shooting. I put about 1/3 of the total rounds through the flush-fitting magazine and was quite pleased with the recoil comfort and controllability of the pistol, considering.

  9. avatar Simon says:

    I love the Taurus TCP. The trigger on it is excellent and I can shoot very accurately with it, despite the tiny sights.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      Another vote for the TCP here. I have shot Ruger/keltec/sw and taurus shot best for me. Great trigger and over 600 trouble free rounds on mine.

  10. avatar Gunr says:

    Good review. I had considered getting one of these, but I have trouble racking the slide on some autoloaders. Had to sell a new Shield because of that.
    Also, the long trigger reset would keep me away from the Pico. Had a Keltek P3AT with that problem. That can be a real setback in a gun fight. At least with the Pico, you can just pull the trigger again, in case of a bad primer, or soft firing pin hit, you don’t have to rack the slide.
    I handled a TCP a few months ago. I liked the fact that the slide racked really easy. When your my age (old) with some Arthritis, you really appreciate that. The low price and good review also a factor. Can’t remember if the trigger will reset without racking the slide??

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Nope, TCP is effectively single action.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      The TCP’s trigger is cocked in the first 1/4″ or so of slide movement, so you can get a sort of “second strike” capability if you just pull the slide back a teeny bit. You don’t have to eject the round in the chamber to reset the trigger, but you do have to manipulate the slide a bit. It’s not true double-action, though.

      For what “some guy on the internet said” is worth, my TCP is a great little gun. Accurate, easy to shoot, reliable, super-concealable – for $200 you can’t ask for much more (though some real sights like the ones on this Pico would sure be nice).

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        I don’t worry much about sights on a small “mouse” gun, except when your shoot at a small bullseye at the range. These mouse guns are primarily for “in your face” close range self defense. Your never going to need, or have time to use sights when some dude at three feet says he’s gonna slit your throat!

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          True, but better sights do make practice at the range more fun. In reality, the most likely use case for this kind of gun is “in your face”, as you describe. But it’s a fun challenge to try to stretch their legs a bit and make longer range shots when practicing, just to see what you and the gun are capable of.

        2. avatar Jeremy S says:

          I don’t know if you saw in the video where I shot the steel FBI Q target from 35-40 yards (and the target was at an angle to me, making it even smaller), but the TCP can reach out there despite the nubs for sights. I don’t exactly know why, but I can clang that target all day long at 50 yards with the TCP. Where those nubs really fall short is quick acquisition. They’re barely there and they’re the same piece of metal with the same finish as the slide, so they really don’t stand out. I’ve been meaning to paint the front one white or some other color to make it jump out at me.

  11. avatar Max says:

    My personal choice in .380 is the Sig P238. I like the same manual of arms as my full size and commander size 1911’s. Bit more spendy then this obviously!

  12. avatar Taylor TX says:

    Enjoyed the humor from the PPU and the painstakingly detailed analysis as always, I was seriously considering getting a Nano before I got my Shield, good to know about the polymer lowers. I almost thought you were gonna buck wild and dual wield with both pistols in your jacket pockets @ ~11 mins into the video.

    Ive been trying to come up with a good Pico de gallo joke for about a week now and still nothin.

  13. avatar former water walker says:

    Can’t rack the slide and a 12 pound trigger? And other problems? I also had a TCP that ran great. It was FUN to shoot at the range. A great trigger too. It didn’t like hollowpoints but flawlessly fed round nose including Pow’rball and Hornady Critical defense. I WISH I still had it. Thought I’d never get CC in Illinois. That was 3 years ago and now I’m thinking 9 or 40 for CC.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I can rack the slide fine. Especially with just the single recoil spring in there (it feels similar to the slide tension on an S&W Bodyguard 380 in this config, which is to say just a tad stiffer than the TCP). But with both springs it takes some grip strength and I know it would be an issue for those lacking in that department. I never failed to successfully rack it for chambering a round when shooting — only the once when I took it out of the box and tried to lock the slide back manually and didn’t realize how stiff it was and smacked the muzzle into the display case haha

      Taking a step back, I have seen a lot of guys ‘push’ tiny guns like this on women as first pistols, thinking smaller would be better, and I basically disagree with that no matter how easy the slide is to rack. Smaller and lighter means more felt recoil and muzzle flip and usually more difficult controls. In the Pico’s case it shoots pretty softly for what it is, but a less experienced or physically less strong shooter would still have an easier time with a larger, heavier .380. Usually my go-to recommendation for a pistol for a smaller/weaker shooter is something like the Ruger SR9 or SR9c. Small grip diameter is great for small hands, but the larger size of the pistol itself soaks up more recoil and makes the entire thing easier to control and manipulate. In .380, you can go with metal ones like a Bersa or similar models, or the Walther PK380. At least for becoming proficient. Once comfortable, the Pico could be a decent choice because it’s easy to control. However, they’d have to have enough grip strength to manipulate the slide and enough trigger finger strength to not have problems with pulling a 12-lb trigger while keeping steady. …that’s specifically for pistols, as it’s quite possible an even better recommendation for those less proficient and with less physical hand/finger/forearm strength is a .38 spl revolver like an LCR, etc.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        It’s not just people who ought to know better pushing teeny light guns on newbies; sometimes they themselves think that’s what they should start with. I make a policy of suggesting something bigger might work better, but of course those are harder to conceal.

        I’d love to see small guns come out with metal frames–and I mean steel, not aluminum–as an option, to increase their weight without making them harder to cover for CCW. Hell, I’d even give a tungsten frame a try on a gun the size of a Diamondback (but hopefully of better reliability).

        I realize some people really do want/need to reduce weight to the point where they wish the gun weighed as much as the same volume of styrofoam, but it’s never bothered me–while uncontrollability is more of an issue.

      2. avatar Former Water Walker says:

        Hey Jeremy racking the slide is a big deal. I got no problem either. But I’m still a very strong old guy. A 12pound trigger is pathetic…really a revolver trigger(or a Sigma). To me giving it 3 and a half stars is generous. Stilll your reviews are some of the best features of TTAG.

  14. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Great review! I was interested in this gun for the slimness, but seeing it next to the TCP – man, that grip is teeny! The grip looks small in other photos I’ve seen (kind of out of proportion to the rest of the gun, ala the Taurus View), but I hadn’t seen it compared to a gun I’m familiar with. Add in a crappy trigger, and I think I’ll pass – at least until v2.0 comes out, or if Beretta comes out with some clever ideas for the interchangeable chassis feature.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      It’s definitely not as extremely at all, but I thought of the View as well 😉 …considering it’s the grip that prints for me if anything prints, I like the effort here. It also shoots surprisingly comfortably and controllably considering. But, as mentioned in the review a couple of times, the short distance between my palm and the trigger and mag release because of that teeny grip make it a little awkward for me (men’s size L gloves… so pretty normal). No actual problems from it, just not as comfortable as it could be. But the controllability was much better than I expected.

  15. avatar KarVer says:

    Good Review an good info.
    Think I will stay with my LCP. An Bersa 380 may check out that Nano though… need a new pistol maybe in a 9mm.. Nano sounds good as well.

    Thx….

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I have a Bersa 22, and really like it, and had considered the Bersa 380, but it’s a bit large and heavy. I do really like the fact that it has an exposed hammer, and is double action.
      I also have a Sig P938 and might consider the P238, but I’m guessing it’s all metal as the P938, which would make it heavier than most 380’s.
      I’ll probably go with the TCP for a back up to replace my little NAA wheel gun.

  16. avatar Colby says:

    Good no bull review. I have had great experiences with the TCP too but the non-existent sights and sharp point at the front of the slide translated into me selling every TCP that have come into my ownership. Across three or four (I cant remember) different examples of the TCP, I have never had one fail to feed, fire or extract in any way.

    Still I think I’ll be getting one of these Picos come summertime, in spite of the trigger, because it has real sights, appears to have no sharp edges, appears to be high quality in manufacture, and because you seem to have suitably resolved the FTE issues.

    Thanks for doing the troubleshooting on this one for me.

  17. avatar wayne says:

    I bought a TCP this past spring after your excellent review. Mine did not work so well.

    I bought it for $200 OTD and brand new. The slide would lock back when the magazine still had rounds. It did this about once every other magazine; with JHP & FMJ, shooting weak & strong hand only, and with multiple brands of ammo. I sent it back to Taurus. It came back the same way. It was my first and last Taurus. My LCP has been flawless.

    Thanks for the honest review.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Sorry to hear that. Even with high end guns, folks do get lemons. I think the chances of a lemon with Taurus are higher than with some other companies, but the TCP itself has a pretty good rep. The typical issue I’ve heard (and I’ve received lots of feedback since that review on here and on YouTube) is not feeding some types of ammo, but in 99% of those cases just a bit of polishing on the feed ramp and chamber resolved it completely. I did actually have two other people mention the slide locking back while shooting (with rounds still in the mag). In both of those cases it turned out they were accidently pushing up on the slide catch with their hand. This sounds much less likely in your case because you mentioned shooting single-handed with either hand, plus shooting normally, etc, and it still doing that. I really can’t explain it. Maybe a weak spring responsible for keeping the slide catch down (also seems to be an issue w/ the Glock 42). Weird that Taurus wasn’t able to fix it though. I’d bet it was something fairly simple as there are a limited number of things that can cause a slide catch to go up into the slide notch accidently — I’ve seen pistols that required filing on internal part of the slide catch that is pushed upwards by the mag follower, especially for certain types of ammo, because it protruded too far into the frame and the nose of bullets would push up on it. Other than something wrong with that part it’s usually weak spring or operator error (which can also be seen as a design flaw if the catch gets in the way when it shouldn’t).

      Of course, many or most of these mouse guns don’t even have slide catches or don’t have last round hold open features at all. If you removed it from the gun entirely, it would basically be the norm.

      1. avatar wayne says:

        All good points. I will say that I could easily see the slide catch was over-sized. When the TCP came back after the repair, the slide catch had been filed some but not enough. If I slowly cycled a round by hand it was obvious Taurus didn’t take enough material off. It does cycle Hornady CD without problems, likely because the bullet is slimmer than most other JHP. I just had high hopes. I liked the TCP overall better than my LCP but I require my firearms not be ammo picky.

  18. avatar Drew says:

    The M&P Bodyguard is also double action with true second strike capability.

  19. avatar Gunr says:

    I’ve got a question I have never seen come up before. With self defense ammo, in +P, just how far behind the standard 38 special, is the 380? Is there really a lot of difference? I suppose the much shorter barrels of the “guns of the mice”, would be a limiting factor.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I learned a lot watching ShootingTheBull410’s .380 “Ammo Quest.” It informed and changed my opinion on appropriate carry loads and what they’re capable of out of a .380 mouse gun. Added on after the ammo quest had completed was a test of Lehigh Defense’s Extreme Penetrator and, in .380 ACP, that round freaking rocks. When I run out of my current carry load I’ll pick up some of that. I haven’t yet just because it’s quite expensive and I don’t carry the TCP very often (it’s rare that the Nano doesn’t fit my attire).

  20. avatar John M. says:

    I find the differences between the Nano and the Pico fascinating. The similarities (detachable chassis, size) are obvious, but the differences (hammer fired, mag release paddle, external slide release) are striking. I wonder why the engineers made those choices.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I’m surprised they haven’t yet released a Nano frame that incorporates an external slide catch lever. It would be possible. I’ve seen people modify their Nanos by cutting a notch in the frame and bolting or tack welding a slide catch lever (or nub) to the internal slide catch bar so it sticks through the frame and can be manually activated. I like the whole super sleek thing and have really only released slides by sling shotting them anyway (rather than using the slide catch as a release), so this was a non-issue for me or possibly even a selling point when I chose the Nano. That said, sometimes I don’t have an empty magazine but I do want to lock the slide back and in those cases it’s a bit awkward (either create an empty mag or hold the slide back and stick my finger in the breech to pull up on the catch that way).

  21. avatar Jelly Roll says:

    I have the Beretta Tomcat 32 and 21A in 22LR. These “mouseguns” are almost always nearby due to their size and I love them. Easily stashed away in the car, my laptop case, tablet case, a jacket pocket, IWB etc. A small gun is better than no gun. The Pico looks about the same size as my Tomcat and could probably take its place. I would bet this Pico could stash away in a cell phone case.

    I view these as last resort guns. Or guns to get you out of there. These little guys can provide a lot of comfort in a lonley parking deck or long walk back to the car. Other than that, my choice is a 12ga in hand with a 357 on the hip.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      I have a Tomcat. An advantage is that the tip up barrel obviates the need to rack a slide (not that it matters to me personally, but my wife likes that feature). However, it is thick and limited to .32. If you want a tiny, light, flat .32 the Kel-Tec P32 fits the bill. Better yet, there are LOTS of good pocket pistols around these days in .380, and a couple in 9mm.

    2. avatar Jelly Roll says:

      Follow Up.
      Beretta 21A / 22LR 11.5oz, 18mm width , overall length 125mm
      Beretta Tomcat 32 14.5 oz, 28mm width , overall length 125mm
      Beretta Pico 380 11.5 oz 18mm width , overall length 130mm

      That is a 10mm less in width compared to the Tomcat 32. The same weight and dimension as the 22LR. Wow. I am working on a dimensional chart comparing 380’s or 32’s. KelTec, SW BG, Sig 938, Ruger LC Lots of good pocket guns out there.

  22. avatar Aaron says:

    Excellent review, I’ve been curious about this gun for a long time. I look forward to reading the follow-up review. The lack of reliability and poor trigger pull do not bode well for the Pico. IMO, based on the review so far, the Kahr P380 or CW 380 are better choices for pocket pistols as they are more reliable and have better triggers yet are only the tiniest bit larger.

    1. avatar William the Kid says:

      My P380 was a wonderful shooter but terribly unreliable, even after repeated “repairs” by the manufacturer. In contrast, my S&W Bodyguard 380 and Sig P238 have both been completely reliable. I was really looking forward to the (long-delayed) release of the Pico; on paper, it seems like an ideal pocket 380. Given the trigger and reliability issues, I’ll likely hold off.

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        William, was your Kahr unreliable after the break-in period? What year did you buy it? mine has been reliable after the break-in.

        1. avatar William the Kid says:

          I purchased the P380 new in June 2010. I had roughly 1600 rounds through it by the time I sold it in 2014. It made four trips to Kahr for repair (including frame replacement) with only minor improvements in its various failures to feed, extract, return to battery, etc.. Obviously other people have had better experiences than I did. The experience gave me an appreciation for the potential problem areas of these tiny pistols.

        2. avatar Aaron says:

          I hear ya. I have Kel-Tec P3AT that was a jam-o-matic, sent it to the factory, no joy. Sent it back a second time, and it finally runs well. on the other side of the spectrum, I have a Colt Mustang Pocketlite which seems to eat anything without a hiccup.

  23. avatar Rambeast says:

    All of this complaining I read about other pistols, and I’m at the range making 25yd X ring shots with my BG .380.

  24. avatar Douglas Fehan says:

    Just got mine today after 2 years of waiting and ran 200 rounds through it. Initial thoughts as follows:
    CONS:
    1. The first thing I noticed is that the trigger itself has a very aggressive curvature to it which is extremely uncomfotable, as the tip of the trigger has sharp edges which dig into your finger. Then, upon pulling the trigger, the final result traps and pinches the bottom edge of your finger between the trigger tip and the trigger guard.
    2. The trigger pull is wildly heavy…I mean you have to actually “pull” the trigger really hard to intialize firing. I am not sure additional “breaking in” will fix this.
    3. Intially I could not rack the slide with either of the two mags fully loaded with six rounds. This did clear up to some degree.
    4. On several occasions, on initial racking, the round would not fully load into the chamber. I am guessing this will improve uopn further “breaking-in”.
    5. The mag realease design is a good idea. But, the implentation is TERRIBLE. The release lever is really tiny and VERY, VERY hard to move. I literally could not operate it with my thumb or my finger tip. I had to use the finger nail of my left index finger to move it down (it isa lever and not a push release) to release the mag. NO WAY could you ever do this with the thumb of your shooting hand…it just wont move. I do hope this gets better.
    PROS:
    1. This weapon is surprisingly accurate even with the terrible trigger pull issues.
    2. Less than .750″ thick and conceals very, very well.
    3. Very simple to breakdown and clean.
    4. The BEST sights of any .380 I have shot.
    I am not going to give up on this weapon…I waited too long to get it. I have the Ruger LCP, and the S&W Bodyguard…right now the Bodyguard is my favorite, feeling so well machined, comfortable in my hand and so smooth and easy to operate….terrible sights. The LCP comes in second. I have to run a few hundred more rounds through the PICO before I render my final opinion,…and maybe give the factory a chance to work on the things that may need a little massaging. Stay tuned.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      I took to releasing the magazine by pulling down on the lever with my support hand thumb and index finger (thumb on the left side of the frame, index finger on the right side). Basically grabbing on the upper part of the lever, pinching with those two fingers, and pulling down. While I’d like to release the mag with my strong hand, I found it very easy to do this way.

    2. avatar Pocketgunner says:

      I do not know if you have the New Generation or you are talking about the first model. I have to take serious exception on the trigger. Yes it is stronger that the 4 LCP’s I have owned and my Khar 380, however it is a great trigger. Strong which is desirable in a pocket gun but safe as well. I shoot pocket guns every week. I may be use to the trigger but find it very smooth, and not hard to use at all. In fact Hickcock45 himself said, and I quote “I really like that trigger”. Now he has large hand as I do and I have long fingers. I can shoot the gun easily with great groups and fast point and shoot style shooting skills. The Trigger is somewhat similar to the Ruger LCR. Strong but buttery smooth.

      I have a real hard time why you say the gun is hard for you to shoot. It is one of the MILD shooting pocket guns on the market. You say racking is too hard for you? Ok, It really is not that much harder than many other guns, there is a learning curve, but once you get it down, it is simple.

  25. avatar int19h says:

    Still heavier than either Kel-Tec P3AT or Ruger LCP…

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Do you know if the stats for those include an empty magazine? Sometimes manufacturers don’t include a magazine in the weight, sometimes they do, and sometimes you don’t know because they don’t actually state one way or the other. In the case of the Pico here, Beretta lists 11.5 oz with a magazine and that’s what I got, dead-on, on my scale (which measures to 1/8 oz) with the flush-fitting mag. The Pico may weigh an oz or two more because of the chassis insert possibly being heavier than two separate frame inserts, the metal trigger, more metal in the stainless steel slide (it’s fairly stout), stainless steel guide rod, heavier barrel than the other little .380’s I’ve shot, and the sheet metal for the magazine seems heavier than some of the others. Overall I think it’s just more solidly built than many.

  26. avatar Vodoun da Vinci says:

    Jeremy, Super thanks for the objective review and the video – video is worth a thousand words and show the functionality or lack thereof clearly.

    Keep up the great work on reviews! When it’s all said and done and if Beretta “tunes” this concept of the modular chassis and couples it with advancements in frames, slides, barrels, etc. I have high hopes for this platform.

    VooDoo

  27. avatar Caligula says:

    Nice review. IMO Pico is too small. Period. I’m wondering if another firearm manufacturer will try to one-up Beretta and make something even more ridiculously small. Perhaps something one can pack behind one’s ear.

  28. avatar John Hope says:

    So I waited almost 2 years for this gun to finally hit the market. Finally saw one at my local gun shop and picked it up for $350. I must admit the gun is TINY and super easy to CC in the pocket. It was everything that Beretta promised the gun would be. Like the feel in the hand also. And its not a bad looking little gun. Kind of Bondish almost. But let me reiterate what was said in the review…………THE TRIGGER IS PURE AND UTTER SHIT. NOTHING SMOOTH OR CLEAN ABOUT IT AT ALL!!! Yes, its that bad. THe trigger is 80% of how the gun will feel and function for you and this one is really rough. I thought the trigger pull on the S&W Bodyguard was bad strait out of the box on how long it was, but this one takes the cake. I have fairly large hands and you have to pull the trigger so far and long back that it completely moves you off target, even at 5 yards. There is almost virtually no way to pull the trigger without the hand moving. The trigger almost hits the back of the trigger guard its so long. Its just unnatural and very uncomfortable how long it is. And yes it is everybit of 12-13 lbs like he says here. To have a pull that is that long and………and……..that heavy………. is just pointless. Almost every 380 i have ever shot has a better trigger. I am profoundly disappointed. Im just going to sell it to try to break even. I will stick to my Kahr 380 which still to me is the perfect 380 and has the best trigger of the bunch. I just dont see that it took 2 years of Beretta farting around to get this thing out finally and no one during testing even brought up how poor the trigger was. Its dumbfounding that this was overlooked. I mean I know that a CC pocket carry gun needs to have a double action trigger if there is no external safety. It makes sense, but this trigger is just absurd. Anyone with medium size hands or bigger will HATE this trigger. I do. Im sure APEX or Wolff will come out with a trigger spring kit for it and if they do it will make for a much better gun. But im a believer in good guns should have nice triggers out of the box and not need a bunch of custom jobs to make the gun perform well (PPQ). Again, spend the same amount of money and get a Kahr P380 and get a little bit bigger gun with a LOT better trigger and a bit better feel in the hand.

    1. avatar Pocketgunner says:

      Lol, I have owned 4 lcp’s and own a Kahr, I shoot a lot. The Pico trigger is great! Especially since it is a pocket gun. I have well over 2,000 rounds through mine without One single flaw, none, nada. Like it so much I bought a second one, and well over 600 rounds without a flaw.
      Hickcock45 said and I quote “I really like that trigger” when speaking of the Pico. I have found that most experienced shooters will love the trigger, the Newbies not so.

  29. avatar John Hope says:

    I did however have no failure to feed or failure to eject issues with mine. Gunn has run flawless so far. And it’s a nice little constructed gun. But that trigger has to be fixed

  30. avatar Dale says:

    I picked up a Pico a few weeks ago and I wouldn’t buy it until the trigger is fixed, just horrible. With the flush magazine only one finger is on the grip. With so much of the pistol not in the hand it feels like it will pop out. A very fair review and well researched.

  31. avatar Paul says:

    Thank you for the thorough and honest review, and especially your discussion of Length of Pull as it applies to handguns. I am the owner of an SR9C and a Taurus TCP. Your photo of the Pico against the TCP convinces me that too small is too small. I have small hands for a male, and even the TCP borders on too small for me. I rejected a Ruger LCP as being too small and squirmy, and cannot imagine firing the even smaller Pico, especially with the many negative comments about the trigger.

    Many readers commented on their TCP’s and I will too after approximately 300 rounds of mostly brass but some steel target loads. I purchased my Series D for pocket (holster) carry, especially in dress clothing. It simply disappears in any pocket. If it were slightly longer, to be discussed later, it would be perfect for my smaller hands. I took care of the poor sights issue with a dab of yellow day-glo paint on the front sight and dabs of red nail polish on the rears. Huge improvement, especially with the color contrast. Accuracy is better than I ever expected. I am no expert but can, with care, get decent groups at 10 and 15 yards, good enough, as they say, for center of mass. Recoil is not bad and slide racking is really easy. However, I have the same problem with occasional slide hold-opens with rounds in the magazine as others have complained. I don’t think it was due to my accidentally hitting the slide catch but I have no explanation for why it happened. Ammo did not matter. I also got the same FTE that you photographed on the Pico. Here the ammo definitely was the cause, as I made the mistake of trying a box of Tula .380 steel from WalMart. It had never happened before or since with other ammo, even including Wolf Military Classic. Although I am sticking with brass in the future.

    This is the first article I have read that adequately addresses the issue of Length of Pull in mouse guns. Who buys mouse guns and why? Both men and women for maximum concealment in dress and summer clothing. I have smaller hands; my wife’s hands and fingers are longer than mine and she is only 5’4”. Many otherwise small women have long thin fingers, and who wouldn’t want it that way? Most men have larger hands and fingers than my wife. It seems to me that the ideal mouse gun would be a bit longer than all these, with the length added to the depth of the grip and the rear of the slide/beavertail area, while keeping the grip short, but as others have said, not quite as short as the flat grips on the TCP, Pico, etc. Probably ¼ inch in both dimensions would make a huge difference in adaptability to different hand sizes without adding any appreciable weight or affecting concealment, printing, etc. A reversible backstrap or a set of backstraps of different thicknesses would also help, as would making a shorter grip extension, similar to the LCP, or a short Pearce or Hogue extension like I got for my TCP. The reader who suggested the slightly longer grip with 7 + 1 capacity had it right. Another improvement would be a slightly more open trigger guard to allow easier use while wearing thin dress gloves. I can more or less handle the TCP wearing Isotoner driving gloves, for example but a slight bit more room would be better. Again, irrespective of the “don’t try to shoot wearing gloves” advice, who are the intended purchasers? Any manufacturers out there listening? I feel like I am describing an enhanced S&W Bodyguard, or an XD 380 mouse gun as done by Springfield (wow!)

  32. avatar Steve says:

    Held one today at LGS.
    Liked the size of it. It is thin
    Trigger does not seem the greatest. The magazine release is odd and a pain to use.
    I’ll stick with my Kahr CW380

  33. avatar Mickey says:

    S&W M&P 380 Bodyguard had no failures to fire or stovepipes after 150 consecutive rounds of various ammo, better than Glock 42, Ruger LCP or Beretta Pico in my personal experience. That being said, I continue to carry my Ruger LCR as my EDC, no failures whatsoever ever.

  34. avatar terry mcmanigal says:

    excellent article on the pico, thanks

  35. avatar John Hope says:

    I still have yet to find a 380 that can compete with the overall balance and ease of use of the Kahr. Ive tried almost every 380 and it just has them all beat hands down. Even the cheaper CW380 is still heads and shoulders above all others. Beretta failed horribly. I bought one and ended up selling the Pico at a loss. And every single gun store Ive stepped foot in from that day forward when I ask about the Pico it gets NOTHING but extremely negative feedback. And im talking to the point where most ive spoke to just flat out say its junk. I failed to mention just how horrible the mag release was in a prior post but that thing just sucks period. No way it can be engaged without a struggle. The gun blows. So its not just this review or my own personal experiance. I can pretty much accurately state that this gun is universally hated by most in the gun stores.

    1. avatar Gary says:

      They got the up graded verson out and its really reliable . sounds like you got the older modle before the upgraded. Its a reliable cool little gun and easy to shoot.

  36. avatar JTG says:

    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!

    1. avatar JTG says:

      I meant LCP not LCR.

  37. avatar Tom says:

    I purchased my Pico recently and while the trigger is heavy, mine has a smooth pull and I can stage it easily. It sounds like they have made improvements as mine isn’t gritty feeling at all. The sights are excellent and recoil was very manageable. Now I did have the flush magaizne lip “bite” at my ring finger, so I just need to work on my hand position. I had no problems with the extended plate model and with it place it acts like a much larger gun. I did have to do some breaking in as well, but the ammo that really got things going was the Remington 88 grain JHP in the green and yellow box. Feeds and ejects like a champ now. Yes, the slide is tough to rack but I practice with it and it is easier now that I have rounds through it.. As for the mag release, I use my thunb and forefinger to pull down the release, then keep sliding to pull the mag out. With practice it is pretty quick. I really like mine as you can conceal it just about anywhere. Kudos to Beretta for making this gun so small, having a great price and that it can use real defensive ammo.

  38. avatar David b says:

    I just went out and shot my new beretta pico today. I fired 150 rounds of American eagle fmj to break it in. Had 1 ftf and 2 fte’s on the first 2 mags which I sort of expected during the break in period. The next 135 rounds not a single hiccup the gun ran flawlessly. I then fired 2 mags of hornady critical defense just to make sure the gun would cycle them as that will be my carry ammo. No problems whatsoever with the hornady. I am extremely happy with this firearm I did months of research before purchasing and it paid off. My Pico replaced a keltec p3at which was a pice of crap. The Pico is the most under rated pocket gun out there. The quality is excellent it’s very well made. If your shopping for a pocket 380 look no further. You will not regret purchasing the Pico

    1. avatar Tom Jenkins says:

      David,
      That is awesome. Glad you like yours as well. I just added Talon grip tape to mine. It was a great addition for me. Enjoy!

      Tom

      1. I have had mine for about 9 months now and it is still the MOST uncomfortable and user-unfriendly hand gun I own. It is virtually impossible to rack the slide with a full magazine…and just plain hard to rack all the time. Forget the overly heavy trigger pull, the trigger itself is narrow for man-sized hands, poorly curved, and has a very sharp bottom edge that traps your finger between it and the trigger guard. It is actually painfull to pull it back more than once or twice. Not to mention it takes two hands to drop the mag because the lever (not a button) is so damn small and hard to operate. I have to say the gun is handsomely designed, has the BEST sights of any of the small .380’s and is super accurate with very little kick. But if you can’t rack the slide, pull the trigger or drop a mag what good is it? I have one for sale…cheap.

        1. avatar Gary says:

          I’ll give you $100 bucks for it. Really like the pico good gun . you should rack the gun before you leave the house. Just like any self defence gun its worthless with out one in the hole.

    2. avatar Gary says:

      I have to agree. Its a great gun and Im having a great time at the range with mine to.

  39. avatar larry says:

    Thank you for the great review. I wanted one of these ’til I read your article. Now I don’t.

    1. Larry-
      Trust me, you will not regret your decision to pass on the PICO. It is virtually impossible to shoot comfortably. I wanted this weapon sooooo bad…and now I am stuck with something I simply can’t even use at the range. It’s too bad because the core if this weapon is just great. But the level of physical comfort is just the WORST.
      Doug

    2. avatar Gary says:

      Its a really nice gun just have to get the up graded version.

  40. avatar Gary says:

    Just bought the Beretta pico took it to the range ran 100 total rounds through it HCI, hornaty critical defence, sig sawer. Never had one hiccup. Just a couple of things to get used to trigger pull a little long but not hard so after a while I would pull the triger down till the last bit aim squezz fire. Also mag release kinda funky but like most things after a few times you get used to it so really no prob. Gun shoots great pretty darn smoth for a small gun and really manageable even with one hand. I left the gun range with smile and feeling I made a great choice in a cool looking dependable pocket pistol really like this gun. Make sure you get the up graded version there will be a little round sticker on the box that says so. I heard the earlier vertions before the up grade had really hard triger pull and ejection problems. I belive thats why some reviews about this gun are not good.

  41. avatar BG says:

    Based on the pictures in this article, the TCP appears to have superior grip dimensions an ergonomics in almost every way vs. the Pico. However the Kahr cw380 has even better dimensions and with a Maggots 7 + 1 flush fitting magazine, it is probably the best package.

  42. avatar Paul says:

    Do not buy this gun. It does not come with a spent casing which immediately indicates it never gets tested before leaving the factory. I made the mistake of purchasing the pre-upgrade model which the dealer of course did not mentioned to me. The slide is impossible to pull back and I’m 6 foot 1″, 210 pounds. I sent it in for the free upgrade and it’s been over a month now and I still don’t have it back. Beretta is apparently designing and building inferior products and no one is testing the design or it would’ve been extremely obvious that the slide was too difficult to pull back with nothing to grip on. My impression of Beretta is that they just crank out bad weapons without even testing them. That speaks a lot about anything else that they make also. I thought I would try something different than a Glock or a Smith & Wesson that I normally purchase and the decision was a huge mistake. I will be immediately going back to the tried-and-true German an American made weapons.

    1. avatar Paul says:

      So I finally received my pico back from the factory today with the upgrade installed. The slide is better but not great for such a small gun. However the very first time and every single time I try to load from the magazine by pulling back the slide the round jams. Again, I would not buy this gun and expected it to perform reliably in an emergency situation. The paperwork said they tested it but I’m not so sure they actually used the slide to load the round versus dropping the first round in and letting it reload by firing it. In either case every round I try to load by sliding it back jams. And this is coming straight from the factory supposedly repaired. I am very disappointed with my first and last experience with the Beretta.

    2. avatar Dave says:

      Lol, Beretta cranks out bad weapons? Beretta has been making top notch weapons for a mighty long time. My Pico is first class. Now with over 3500 rounds without a flaw. My second one has over a thousand. And a lovely shooter, mild, accurate and fast. Love the trigger.

  43. avatar jim says:

    I have a question.You stated that manually racking the slide also cocked the hammer. That doesn’t sound right since that would imply a single action capability for the first shot and this is a double action only pistol. Did I read it wrong or did you mean to say that racking the slide does not cock the hammer? Good article, very informative.

  44. I’ve owned about every 380 out there,LCP custom and LCP 2,both functioned flawlessly any ammo,but not rated for plusp ammo.I’ve kept the LCP custom. Glock 42 flawless any ammo made,but alas too big.Kel tec reliable but horrible sights and no last shot hold open,a must in my opinion.Seecamp,Bersa,Taurus Smith Wesson.Kahr,CW380,and the P380Kahr. My assessment is this only the LCP,Glock,and Kel Tec are worthy of gambling with your life in this order,Glock,LCP,Kel Tec.Then along came Pico,now let me explain I was in no way looking for another 380 as most are failures,but the Pico caught my eye tiny,plus p rated etc.Read tremendous bad press about them but it’s the internet with many amateur hour experts spewing their nonsense.So I decided to get a Pico $236 Buds Gun Shop what did I have to lose?Got the Pico dsimantled it cleaned it and went to shooting it,I’ve got the updated version.Steel cased Tulammo,Precision 1 reloads,Underwood ammo plus p,Buffalo Bore plus p Magtech,Fiocchi. Three hundred rounds later my report is,not one(1)ftf,ftfire,fte,I’m happy the fit and finish on this pistol is second to none,I believe I can trust to carry it in my bulletproof vest as a reliable backup weapon.Very accurate,soft shooting,I have large hands NO problems encountered ,I’m very happy. The Kahrs are pistols I would never trust,highly overrated by a cult following in the real world they are junk,3 trips back to Kahr with my CW 380 and still it wouldn’t shoot one magazine without a malfunction. I’m done,trigger beautiful,accuracy excellent NO better than Beretta Pico.The Picos trigger is doable any day of the week.I rate the Pico on par with the Glock 42,but giving it the edge on size,and concealment.The Lcp custom is a great gun but should have gotten built for plus p ammo,other than that it’s a winner.The only thing Beretta needs is a 7 round mag giving the piston 8 round capability. There’s my take I now only own 2 380’s Pico and Ruger Lcp 2.

    1. avatar John says:

      I have owned 4 LCP’s and can tell you right now the Pico is a much superior gun. I love shooting it. Eats any ammo I feed it. Do I like it? Just ordered a second one.Love the trigger. VERY, VERY MILD SHOOTER!

  45. avatar John says:

    This is a update. As I mentioned I am a very avid pocket gun shooter. For instance, I went through 4 Ruger LCP’s before finding the Pico, which in my opinion is one of the finest ever made period. I have the NEW Upgraded versions. The Trigger is absolutely Perfect for pocket carry. This is the upgraded trigger. Strong but Extremely smooth. As you can see by the authors his is the older version with two recoil springs. The New Model only has one and racking the slide is not much different that the LCP.
    I also mentioned that I fell so much in love with the gun, I ended up getting another to use for a spare and for the heavy range time I do.I now have over 1500 rounds of mixed ammo fired through the first gun without One single failure of any kind. 600 through the second with no flaws.
    The gun is one of the most mild shooters I have ever shot. Very similar to the Sig 238.”No high Five” recoil SNAP like the LCP’s, The Pico will shoot HOT ammo better than the LCP’s shoot standard.
    The build quality of the Pico is that of a gun costing twice as much or more. Even a Amateur can easily see the diffence in quality. Nice tight tolerences, The stainless steal is stellar.
    The gun is designed to shoot with the end of the mag snug in between the fingers of the third and forth fingers. Put a little grip tape and the gun will hold solid like a anchor. Ironically I believe even the LCP’s were designed the same way. Later mag grips came about simply because people did not want to take the time to learn to shoot the way the guns were designed for. Actually I believe Extended Mag grips are more for fast drawing than shooting. It gives a leverage to pull the gun in certain carry positions.
    By the way I have large hands with Long fingers and the gun fits perfectly for me. Smaller hands and you will have a even better fit in some cases.
    The Slim Design is true Pocket carry. I mean this is streamlined down to a ART. Place IWB and you will not feel a thing, and I hate IWB.
    The only way to really appreciate a Pico is too shoot the new Upgraded model. It is a true Gem. Just a beautiful will made, reliable, gun that is just mild to shoot.

  46. avatar Pocketgunner says:

    I purchased the Pico gen 2 about the same time the new LCP jj came out, After owning 4 LCP’s, I decided I really did not care for the new Model. I ended up buying a Pico and my gosh was stunned by the quality and the extremely MILD shooting. The all stainless steel frame screams of durability and quality.
    I took mine home the first day and racked the slide about a 100 times to break the gun in. filled the mags up to full capacity and let the “Spring Set”. I think cocked the pistol and let the recoil spring set over night.
    Now over 2000 rounds without one single hiccup with mixed ammo. I liked this gun so much, I bought a second one and that one has over 500 rds of mixed ammo as well with no flaws.
    I recently bought a Kahr another nice 380 that shoots very mild, but not as much quality as the Pico. Still a cut about many 380’s, Thanks for a great review.

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