Chronicles of a BUG: Beretta Pico

Last year I made a commitment to running a revolver basically exclusively for a year. It gave me the opportunity to really grasp some of the nuance associated with the wheel gun. This year I am looking at doing sort of the same with smaller pistols. I don’t want to limit myself to just backup sized guns, so I will still be using my 509 as my primary gun while using smaller guns as true backups or NPE guns.

I fully intended to run a Ruger LCP, likely the most popular gun of its type in the country. I stumbled across the Beretta Pico as a second option, and ultimately decided to go that direction. The Pico has a few key features that pulled me its direction. Most diminutive handguns have similarly diminutive sights, except for the Pico. The sights are also easy to upgrade to night sights if I really wanted to. The Pico also using a serialized internal chassis system, making the grip module itself interchangeable. Since I like to tinker with grip frame stippling, being able to toss a nee grip module on the gun after I screw one up is pretty handy. Being a Beretta, the Pico is also well supported by the manufacturer. My expectations for pocket sized guns are pretty low, so good factory support was definitely a consideration in this case.

Today was the Pico’s inaugural trip to the range. It ran without issue, although I did note a bit of hesitation when loading the first round from a full magazine. Otherwise, the gun ran fine. All of the shooting was with two hands, and primarily using the flush fit magazine. There is a significant difference in shootability between the two magazines. I wouldn’t say the Pico has a lot of recoil, but it is noticeable and grip size makes a significant difference.

The gun shot to the right quite a bit at 10 yards. An initial visual inspection of the sights did not indicate any alignment issues, but a closer inspection shows there might be a very slight misalignment (0.010″ or less) of the rear sight to the right, which when paired with the incredibly short sight radius I suppose is enough deviation to cause issues.

The target is the first 11 rounds through the gun, shot at 10 yards. Pending further testing, a slight tweak on the rear sight will be likely.

The trigger is not horrible, not nearly as I expected after reading and watching a few reviews online. I guess a year behind a revolver makes shooting a DA trigger an easier task, as I felt it was that bad.

While the jury is still out, and my expectations are not super high to start with, I think the Pico might have some promise. A common issue with pocket sized blasters is they tend to not have the service life of their larger counterparts. We will see if the “new and improved” Pico can pull off a decent run. The intent is to run it until breaks, or I get tired of buying .380 ammo.

Ammunition Type Rounds Fired
Blaser Brass 95gr FMJ 50
Fiocchi 95gr FMJ 21
Total 71
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5 thoughts on “Chronicles of a BUG: Beretta Pico

  1. Looking forward to your assessment of such a small gun. Last year I used a Glock 26 extensively and when I switched back to a G19 this year I was surprised how much performance I was giving up with the G26. Therefore, your assessment of a gun this tiny should be really Interesting in comparison with a full size pistol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My off the cuff impression, based on a single trip to the range, is that the performance compromise is significant, mostly with regard to speed. I think once I get the sights sorted the Pico will put up some decent accuracy, but the speed will probably never be there. The plan is to eventually quantify the performance difference with some standardized drills, etc. Stay tuned 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your observation on the hesitation loading the first round from the magazine is interesting… Last year, I chronicled the first 500 rounds through my RM380 on my blog. Several times early in my testing, I noted that the slide would similarly hang up when loading the top round out of a fresh magazine. Generally, running the slide again chambered the round without further issue. Ultimately, the issue resolved. What I learned overall was that I could really only expect to be accurate with the little gun at 7-10 yards. The lack of prominent sights was significant. I like it for what it is, and concluded that understanding one’s limitations when carrying such a small gun is a critical point to consider.

    I briefly handled the Beretta Pico at a GAOS one year and decided it wasn’t the answer for me. To be fair, I also discounted the RM380 that year. Opinions change… but the RM380 is still my go-to pocket .380.

    I look forward to reading about your continued experiences with the Pico.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope it works in over time. It never actually failed to go into battery, but it wasn’t smooth either.

      I am hopeful I can get decent accuracy at 25 yards with the Pico. The sights are actually pretty good, I just need to make sure I get them adjusted properly, or fix my shooting error. Whichever is the cause of the gun shooting so far right at 10yd.

      I have heard the RM380 is actually an okay gun. I would be afraid to touch any handgun with Remington’s name on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The RM380 is a design they bought lock, stock, & barrel from another company that was already producing the gun. It was a functioning device before Remington put their green paws on it, so they shouldn’t have screwed it up too much.

        Keyword: shouldn’t

        Liked by 2 people

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