The Beretta BU9 Nano—A Powerful 9mm Pocket Pistol

Black Beretta NANO and magazine

My standards for personal defense handguns are high. While power, accuracy and control are important, the bottom line is reliability. Absolute accuracy in the target sense isn’t as important as practical combat accuracy, meaning the ability to draw the handgun and get a hit quickly at combat ranges.

Black Beretta NANO
The Nano is compact and at 20 ounces unloaded, light enough for all day carry.

I prefer the pistol not be useless past 15 yards as well. Over the years, as a peace officer I have faced the mentally deficient, dangerously mentally deranged and the plain mean and stupid. Some were evil men.

As I write this, I am suffering from a periodic flare up of an old injury. Having dealt with the both targeted and incidental victims, I realize how dangerous the world is. I met the adversary half way as most victims do; that was my calling.

I attempted to arrest those with abusive urges. Over 100 years ago, Gustave Mace of the Surete was chasing criminals that psychiatrists were beginning to realize suffered from “moral insanity.”

Little has changed and a good pistol on the hip helps in dealing with such threats. A .32 or .380 pistol doesn’t look very good to those of us schooled in wound ballistics and, more importantly, with practical experience.

The .38 Special and 9mm Luger, respectively, represent a realistic minimum. The 9mm compact pistol holds more rounds than the .38 and is easier to use well.

Features of the Beretta BU9 Nano

Black Beretta NANO
Nanotechnology at work- the Beretta BU9 Nano.

A pistol that has grown on me is the Beretta BU9 Nano. The Nano is compact, reliable, and comfortable to fire and use. It is a polymer frame handgun with a double-action only lockwork with several interesting and different features.

For example, a positive firing pin block keeps the pistol’s striker locked to the rear until you completely press the trigger to the rear. Most unlock and drop, while the Nano’s lock protrudes from a small opening in the slide as the trigger is pressed, and then drops again after the pistol fires.

To disassemble Beretta‘s Nano, you must press the trigger to take pressure off the striker. A small pin in the receiver depresses with a pinpoint to unlock the striker. Be certain the chamber isn’t loaded! Turning a key on the right side of the receiver disassembles the pistol. The key’s head looks like a screw head. This system was used rather than a take down lever to produce a compact design.

A feature not without controversy is the lack of a slide lock. The slide locks open on the last shot as normal; you can remove the magazine and drop the slide by grasping the rear of the slide and pulling to the rear. Beretta did this in order to make the pistol as compact as possible.

However, it is also common for shooters firing compact pistols to allow the fingers of the support hand to contact the slide lock during a firing string.

As for the absences of the slide lock this doesn’t eliminate the possibility of speed loads. When the pistol’s slide locks to the rear:

  1. Drop the empty magazine.
  2. Insert a loaded magazine.
  3. Grasp the rear of the slide and keep rolling.

Some makers have provided guards on the slide lock and worked to prevent the problem of the finger contacting the slide lock. The Nano solved the problem. This is not a service pistol with an extended slide lock and take-down lever; this is a purpose-designed hide out handgun. The sights are also small and set atop a square or flat slide. The trigger action is relatively smooth although heavier than some at 7.5 pounds. The trigger features a lever in the center you must press to fire, helping prevent lateral discharge.

Loadings and Magazines

Black Beretta NANO and magazine
The Nano includes a spare 8 round magazine.

The Nano comes with two well-made magazines. The more compact flush-fit magazine holds six rounds while the larger magazine holds eight. I have fired the pistol with both magazines. For pocket carry, the shorter magazine is the better choice. For appendix or inside-the-waistband carry, the longer magazine makes sense.

The long magazine is easier to grasp and reload, the shorter magazine conceals well. Each has proven reliable with a variety of loads. I find my small finger hanging off the base of the grip with the short magazine. Just the same, decent range work was accomplished. The situation is better with the eight-round magazine, but not by leagues—only an incremental improvement.


The nicely checkered grip frame helps you grasp the handgun. The 3-inch barrel doesn’t develop the velocity a 5-inch barrel does. Concentrate on a controllable loading that is completely reliable and do not chase high velocity in this handgun. As for control, the cadence of fire is set by how quickly you are able to achieve sight alignment after recoil. Pressing the trigger quickly accomplishes nothing.

Press, fire and allow the trigger to reset as you reacquire the sight picture and fire. Use the sights at all times and all distances. Point shooting or instinctive shooting is like driving with your eyes closed.

Hornady 135-grain Flex Lock +P Load
The author fired a few of the Hornady 135-grain Flex Lock +P loads with good results.

A controllable load with a clean powder burn is best for the Nano. I have fired the pistol with +P loads. Recoil isn’t bad although I simply prefer the more controllable loads.

  • The Hornady XTP is a service-grade load that has given good results for me.
  • The 115-grain XTP delivered good results in the Nano. However, in deference to the short barrel Nano, I am certain the Hornady 115-grain FTX or Critical Defense load is the superior choice. This load shoots like the XTP and the Critical Defense bullet was designed for civilian scenarios.
  • Loaded with the Hornady Critical Defense bullet the Nano gives the you a high degree of protection, ounce for ounce.


Beretta BU9 Nano
Action Striker fire
Barrel Length 3.0 inches
Caliber 9mm
Overall Height 4.17 inches
Overall Length 5.63 inches
Overall Width 0.9 inches
Weight Unloaded 19.8 ounces
Sights sight type
Stock or Grip stock type or grip type
Capacity 6 + 8 rounds
Magazine 6 + 8 rounds
Frame Chassis, stainless steel insert; technopolymer grip frame

Have you fired the Nano? What was your experience? What are your recommendations for our readers?

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (27)

  1. I’ve had a Nano for over a year and really wanted it to be my EDC, but I just can’t find a position that will not jab me somewhere or stick out with the 8 round magazine.

    I had the same problem with pulling the trigger back far enough to go bang, but a grip glove solved that.

    Other than that, it has been flawless with 124g and 147g ammo.

  2. I love mine. I have FTE with 115 gr range ammo which I don’t like but as long as I keep 147 gr it is fine. I keep horandy 124 gr in it for defence and I don’t get one problem which is why I’m not to concerned. I carry it ever day and I just love it. Manageable recoil, light, and nothing to get cough up on.

  3. “use the sights at all times and at all distances”…because he says point shooting is like “driving with your eyes closed”. And where on your windshield are the “sights”? It seems like we point drive all the time with acceptable accuracy.

  4. Recently bought a Nano. First time I shot it the front sight flew off and was lost. Next time the frame cracked! My gun smith sent it back to Baretta. They told him that it was a n Ammo problem and not covered. He said the customer service rep was very rude and and my smith said he was not carrying Baretta products anymore in his store. I found this hard to believe so I called myself and got the same treatment! Very disappointing. I would not recomnend the weapon or the company at this point.

  5. It’s a well built weapon; but, having carried a Glock for years, just can not get used to the very, very long trigger pull.

  6. I haven’t fired a Nano. I would like to try it however. The last Beretta that I had, a Cougar, was hard for me to fire. Due to an injury of my trigger finger, I could not pull the trigger back far enough to get it to go bang. So I gave it away.
    I do not have that problem with my old Remington 51 .380, H&K P7 M13’s or my S & W wheel guns. But that Beretta drove me up a wall. I hated it.

  7. Is the Beretta BU-9 Nano a blow back or modified Browning action?

    Specs on Hornady’s critical defense ammo 9mm short (380) with a 90g bullet are: 1000fps / 200 ft/lbs of energy and 11.25″ penetration into ballistic gelatin with 4 layers of denim and uniform expansion. If I made reloads of this cartridge in +P at 1150fps it would yield 265 ft/lbs of energy with a calculated penetration of 14 inches into ballistic gelatin with 4 layers of denim to meet FBI requirements.

    Specs on critical defense 9mm X19 with a 119g bullet is: 1140fps with 332 ft/lbs of energy, with 16″ of penetration into ballistic gelatin with 4 layers of denim and uniform expansion. (meets FBI requirements)

    These specs were with 3.5 inch long barrels, shorter barrels sometimes suffer velocity loss to the point where the bullets won’t expand. I carry a Kahr P380. its reliable and feeds everything. Have seen many 380’s that jam all the time, these are mostly blow back actions. Kahr is a modified Browning action. If you’re going to carry at least make sure the gun has a reliable browning style action and use rounds that test out well, like Critical Defense, Hydro shocks or Federal HST’s.

    The 99 grain Federal HST 380 ammunition has just been released for 380, which could be a real game changer at 930 fps from a 2.75 inch barrel and 192 ft/lbs of energy with reliable expansion.

  8. I have owned and carried the Nano with a CT laser for two years. I routinely use a Crossbreed IWB holster and standard pressure self-defense JHP rounds. I also own a Glock 19. The decision on which to carry was simple once I realized that the most important characteristic of a self defense weapon is that you have it with you when you need it. The single stack Nano gets consistently carried because it is easier to conceal, lighter and thinner, and is at least as accurate and just as reliable as the Glock. The Glock has the advantages of capacity and trigger pull. The former is addressed by carrying a second 8 round magazine and the latter by practice. I chose the 9X19 because, at 6 foot and 200 pounds, it is the most powerful round I think I can control under stress and standard pressure rounds for the same reason.

  9. I like the BU9 just fine. Takes a little practice to become proficient, and prefers 124g or 147g ammo.

    Easy and comfortable to carry using a Remora holster.

  10. I own the Nano. It serves my purpose, cpl, comfort, weight, ease of shooting. The price was decent for what you get. It’s all in preference. I also carry PX4 Storm in .40, a 1911 .45. All suit my needs at different times. The Nano is my usual carry. The ease and my ability to shoot is my primary comment. I feel like I’m safe. Any sidearm you carry is better than none at all, so I won’t dwell on caliber’s.

  11. I am glad for you two that you believe that you are among the rare shooters who can put rounds on target rapidly and reliably with those high-powered handguns, as fast as you can pull the trigger under the most extreme stress you have ever experienced in your life.

    I personally have been shooting for more than 4 decades, including my expert qualification on multiple small arms as a combat officer, and I’ve never developed the confidence that I am able to do that with anything more powerful than a 9mm (even when I carried a .45 ACP daily in uniform).

    I hope you are not suggesting that the vast majority of self-defense shooters who do have the abilities you think you have should risk their lives on the assumption that they can put rounds on target rapidly and reliably with high-powered handguns, just because you think you can.

    I also hope that you are not suggesting that the FBI is mistaken in recently concluding that the 9mm is a better choice for their agents than higher-powered rounds, and that the US military was mistaken in concluding that the 9mm is a better choice for their warriors than higher-powered rounds. I suppose you think those are just stupid people lacking in sufficient manhood, who willingly and knowingly send men needlessly to their deaths by arming them with inadequate firepower.

    Be that as it may — good for you if you seriously CAN put rounds on target rapidly and reliably with those high-powered handguns as fast as you can pull the trigger under the most extreme stress you have ever experienced in your life. If that is the case then the higher-powered round may indeed be the right choice for you. But that does not make it the right choice for anyone else.

    And, before you jump to the conclusion that you really can do what you think you can do and need to be able to do to be a reliable self-defense shooter, try sprinting at least a quarter mile before you step up to the firing line the next time, and have your shooting buddies jostle you and set off flash bangs while you try to put rounds on a moving target rapidly and reliably with those high-powered handguns, as fast as you can pull the trigger. Can you control that muzzle flip? Really?

  12. I am somewhat amused by the opinions held by some that the 9mm is a good defensive round. Many years ago while serving as a police officer in the department’s planning and research department I was tasked with researching what type of new gun to acquire for the department due to the failure of a 9mm that permitted a robbery suspect to empty his gun hitting an innocent bystander and run outside before dying after being shot seven times in the torso with a 9mm. Granted 9mm ammo has come a long way since then but the rounds used by the shooting officer were Super Vel high velocity hollow points. As a result of my research I found that Col. Martin Fachler of the Army Wounds Ballistic laborator had done extensive research on the matter. Bottom line a bigger bullet works better on stopping an individual. We went to the 1911 45ACPand later to the S&W 645. BTW I shot an individual who was shooting at me. I hit him once in the torso with a 45 and he was done. Results count!

    1. Sir,

      Thanks so much for your input. I could not agree more. My experience mirrors your own. I try to convince shooters to regard the 9mm as a realistic minimum. My daily carry piece is a Kimber Pro Tactical .45 or a Colt Commander.


  13. I bought a Nano for my wife (she liked the way it felt in her hand) and a M&P 9C for myself. We went to an indoor range and fired 250 rds between the two of us, each trying both weapons. She ended up liking my M&P better than the Nano, but I liked them both.

  14. Point shooting is really an essential skill to develop. Sure lining up sights is more accurate but ther scenario based live targets, real guns and low velocity rubber bullets training I have provided police, military,including SEALS and hundreds of civilian neophyte shooters has show me very, very few people can use the sights of the pistol in these realistic scenarios.

    I would say less than 2 in 150 have ever claimed they used the sights, and even then many have ‘false memories’ from previous training. That is they ‘think’ they dropped into this stance or that and aligned sights, THen they can’t believe the video tape playback that shows they had one hand on the gun, no such stance as they thought and just pointed and fired. The adrenal dump changes everything and the more realistic training get the more this is clearly evident.

    The training methodology itself is the key factor in the performance in the real world out there.Most shooting occur at very close raage 3 to 7 feet. Even newbies can learn to draw fast and fire and hit pie plate at 25 feet after just a short days training. This is not theory with me, I have been doing it for many years.I also survived 4 armed robberies at my liquor store decades ago.

    I have very high respect for anyone who puts on that badge and goes out to protect the public knowing the very real risks. I know that I am not psychologically suited for the work too.

    1. I have interviewed quite a few gunfight survivors. (Cannot interview the others.) Those that missed do not recalled seeing the sights. Those that hit the target- the adversary- used their sights even at every close range. I would not wish to be the instructor that taught a student to do anything other than to always aim and use their sights. This would be a difficult pill to swallow in a wrongful death (innocent bystander type) lawsuit. I teach them to use the sights and to get hits.

  15. I own one and wouldn’t replace it for anything else. I’ve never felt more comfortable with a carry pistol as I do with the Nano. For me, it’s the right weight and size for concealment and the right size for my rather large hands. I’m in trouble in a self-defense situation if I’m holding a smaller pistol. The pistol’s accuracy is simply amazing up to 25 yards. I wouldn’t replace it for anything else currently in the market.

  16. I disagree with you about the .32 ACP and .380 Auto / 9mm Short.

    “Bigger is Better” is BS. And, yes, I am specifically talking about the argument that self-defense shooters should use the most powerful round they can handle. Instead of the most powerful round, I believe that a self-defense shooter should use the round(s) giving that particular individual the highest probability of stopping an attack – which is not necessarily the most powerful round and probably isn’t for most people.

    “Bigger is Better” advocates often refer to the FBI’s standard of 12-18” of penetration in ballistics gel, as if that standard had been developed for self-defense. It wasn’t.

    The penetration standard was the FBI’s answer to a single 9mm round fired in the FBI’s 1986 Miami shootout. The specific 9mm round in question belatedly killed one of the two bank-robbery suspects who died in that firefight (the other suspect was disabled with a .38 Spl early in the firefight, then later killed with a .38 Spl). The measured 11” penetration of that 9mm round was not enough to reach the suspect’s heart to kill him immediately. That matters because another inch of penetration would have prevented the tremendous damage the suspect (a former Green Beret armed with a Mini-14) was able to inflict before bleeding out. More specifically, if that 9mm shot had been immediately fatal it likely would have saved the lives of the 2 agents who died that day and some of the serious injuries to 5 other agents.

    Based on that single 9mm round, some people think that they need 12-18” of penetration in ballistics gel for self-defense, and that the 9mm won’t achieve that much penetration. But put that 9mm round into perspective, by using a ruler to see what 12” of penetration actually means, and in particular what paths actually require 12” of penetration to reach the heart of a full-grown man. There is generally only 1 such path: through the right arm, to the heart – which is the identical shot that didn’t immediately kill that former Green Beret in 1986. Other shots to the heart require 11” or less penetration.

    Those who believe that less powerful rounds are somehow “inadequate” for self-defense also should consider what would happen if they were to take that specific shot to the heart through a target’s right arm. At the very least, law-enforcement authorities might wonder why a person supposedly engaged in self-defense shot someone who was in the act of fleeing.

    Self-defense shooters do not need to chase down and apprehend suspects who are fleeing, as FBI agents and other LEOs do. So, while the FBI’s 12-18” penetration standard makes sense for LAW ENFORCEMENT, it does not actually apply to self-defense. Rather than winning firefights, self-defense shooters instead need to stop attacks.

    With respect to stopping attacks, the FBI has collected some interesting data: fewer than 10% of defensive gun uses (DGUs) actually involve shooting the weapon. This is because most attacks on armed victims end without a shot being fired, when the attacker discovers that the intended victim is armed. So, as the adage goes, the .22 in the pocket actually is a far better self-defense weapon than the .45 in the safe.

    Another interesting fact from the FBI data is that, of the shots fired in those self-defense situations, only about 5-10% actually hit the target in places likely to stop the attack (Center of Mass or the head). This is consistent with the data from the 1986 Miami shootout; only 6% of those shots fired were Center of Mass or head shots – all shots taken by FBI agents on one side, and a former Green Beret and former Marine on the other side.

    Based on those FBI data points, the terminal ballistics of rounds used for self-defense likely will only matter in about 0.5% to 1% of all DGUs. In those very rare DGUs, obviously a more powerful round is more likely to stop the attack, all other things being equal. When considering various rounds’ terminal ballistics, however, keep in mind that any such comparisons necessarily assume that all rounds are on target – i.e., that all other things ARE equal.

    But we obviously know that not all other things are equal. This is because, for obvious reasons including recoil and muzzle flip, any given shooter is less likely to put higher-power rounds on target repeatedly and reliably. That is true for most shooters even on an easy day at the range, and likely even more so under the tremendous stress of a self-defense situation.

    With all due respect to the Marshall and Sanow “one shot stop” study, NO handgun round will knock an attacker down like the lightning bolt many of us wish we could have at our disposal for self-defense. Rather than relying on a “one shot stop,” reliable self-defense requires multiple hits – which requires the ability to bring the weapon to bear on the target RAPIDLY after each shot.

    So, in order for a self-defense shooter to stop an attack, it is not necessary to achieve 12-18” of penetration in ballistics gel per the FBI standard. Even so, modern loads designed for short barrel handguns are available in lower-power rounds to achieve at least 12” of penetration in ballistics gel.

    Not only is virtually any handgun able to achieve 12-18” of penetration with the proper load (which is not even needed to stop an attack), a more powerful round is not substantially more likely to stop an attack than a less powerful round – and probably is LESS likely to stop an attack, all factors considered.

    A self-defense shooter would thus be wise to shoot enough to ensure that muscle memory will control muzzle flip quickly enough that follow-up rounds are on target essentially as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger. Without that level of control over muzzle flip, there is very little reason to expect to be able to shoot accurately, repeatedly and reliably under the stress of self-defense.

    A good training program for a self-defense shooter will start with a fairly heavy handgun chambered in .22LR, and maintain a specific focus on developing the muscle memory to control muzzle flip before moving “up” to more powerful rounds. Using demonstrated ability to control muzzle flip as the yardstick, some shooters won’t go much beyond the .22LR, and some won’t even go beyond the .22LR at all. And that is OK – because just being armed will handle about 90% of all DGUs; in the remaining 10% of DGUs, self-defense shooters who can put lower-power rounds on target, repeatedly and reliably are better off with those rounds than a more powerful round they can’t put on target, repeatedly and reliably.

    Rather than being swayed by the Bigger is Better BS, a self-defense shooter is far better off to focus on training to control muzzle flip in order to shoot accurately, repeatedly and reliably. Focusing on weapon and ammunition choice for self-defense is a futile red herring, beyond this basic guidance: rim-fire shooters should use revolvers so there is no need to handle a Failure to Fire (just pull the revolver’s trigger again for the next round), and .32 ACP and up shooters should ammunition specifically designed for short barrels in order to get the best performance of rounds out of a self-defense handgun. While that is not much fun for those of us who like guns, and it does not sell many gun magazines, that’s really all self-defense shooters need to know about weapons and ammunition – training is the real answer.

    The .32 ACP and .380 Auto / 9mm Short are amply adequate for self defense. But I am intrigued by the Beretta Nano, as well as the new Ruger LC9s Pro, as capable 9×19 mm self-defense platforms — for those few shooters who have developed the muscle memory needed to put multiple rounds on target rapidly and reliably. Be realistic as to whether you really are one of those few shooters — your life could depend on it.

    1. Referring to learned advice as BS is not well taken.

      Among my circle of friends and acquaintances are many that have survived critical incidents. None of us carry anything smaller than a .38 or 9mm. As you pointed out the 9mm failed and so did the .38. So the logic is– carry a smaller gun?
      As for Sanow no respect needed. I do not give any credence to secret sources and junk science. The validity of their so call stopping power tests is zero.
      I have noted that quite a few modern writers are content to recommend minor calibers. I suppose there is some market pressure. I also note that come from a journalistic background not a police or military background or outdoors background as Cooper, Keith and Sketlon not to mention Tom Ferguson and Charles Askins.
      Carry a minor caliber but do not wish it upon others.

    2. 1. The 9mm itself did not fail.

      Platt, a former Green Beret, refused to go down with a fatal round in his chest, until he could fight no longer. If your plan is to get into firefights with former elite special operations personnel who have trained professionally to develop that kind of endurance and tenacity, please plan on taking more firepower than any handgun can possibly provide.

      Even if Platt had lacked his special operations background, only a single 9mm shot was on target. It is a mistake to base one’s plan on the notion of a one shot stop, no matter who the target might be. Effective shooting for self-defense requires placing multiple shots on target, rapidly and reliably.

      A proper mindset for self-defense will treat a single hit as a fail, without trying to blame the round used.

      2. The .38 Spl, a weaker round than the 9mm, did not fail either. A single .38 Spl early in the firefight completely neutralized Matix, a former Marine (i.e., one stop shot). As a result, Matix only shot a single round before being taken completely out of the gunfight with that .38 Spl. Then another .38 Spl killed Matix after Platt was down and bleeding out. It simply makes no sense to claim that the 9mm was under powered, when the weaker .38 Spl completely took Matix out of the fight.

      3. “Bigger is Better” is not “learned advice” it is bad advice that needlessly puts peoples’ lives at risk. The proper logic for self-defense is to carry the weapon that offers the best chance of stopping an attack. Because stopping an attack requires placing MULTIPLE rounds ON TARGET (as Platt’s endurance and tenacity shows), rapidly and reliably, and because muzzle flip is very real, the round that offers the best chance of stopping an attack is not necessarily the most powerful round and for most people it probably isn’t. Unless a round is placed on target, repeatedly and reliably, its terminal ballistics simply do not matter.

      4. It is dangerous to advise people to choose the most powerful round they can “handle”– particularly those who feel the need to rely on other peoples’ opinions. What does that even mean, “handle”? Most people would think it means able to handle the recoil. But It is not enough to handle the recoil — adequate self-defense requires the ability to control muzzle flip so automatically that rounds can be put on target repeatedly and reliably as fast as the trigger can be pulled.

      5. The first factor in reliable armed self-defense is being armed at all — this factor will determine about 90% of DGUs. The second factor is being able to make multiple hits rapidly and reliably — this factor will determine about 9% of all DGUs. The third factor — the terminal ballistics of the round used — will only determine at most about .5 – 1% of DGUs. So, letting the terminal-ballistics tail wag the self-defense dog is foolish — especially when a round with enhanced terminal ballistics will reduce the shooter’s ability to put multiple rounds on target rapidly and reliably, and when a heavier more powerful gun might even be left in the safe.

      6. Maybe you and your buddies / acquaintances can control muzzle flip so you can put more powerful rounds on target repeatedly and reliably as fast as you can control the trigger. I know that is possible from own personal experience, and if you feel that is the case for you as well I won’t doubt you. Great. But that’s not the case for MOST self-defense shooters — especially not those who are looking for advice. People who are looking for advice really don’t need to know what you and I can do, they need to focus on what THEY can do. And if they cannot put the round they are using on target, repeatedly and reliably as fast as they can control the trigger, then they are using an overpowered round.

      7. I still like single stack 9s for self-defense, with ammo designed for short barrels, no matter who might claim the 9×19 mm round is ineffective. But self-defense shooters would be far better off carrying and training with a .380 or .32 or even a lowly .22, until they have developed the ability to control the muzzle flip those pieces display, so they can make multiple hits repeatedly and reliably.

      8. You may be able to put multiple powerful rounds on target repeatedly ad reliably, but don’t confuse your abilities with the advice people need. As well meaning as you may be, you may be putting lives needlessly at risk with terrible advice. You can try to wave other peoples credentials all you want, and claim that they agree with you, but that does not turn bad reasoning and bad advice into good reasoning and good advice.

      9. I am not advising people to use “minor calibers.” In fact, I take pains to point out that the weapon / ammo choice is a very small part of the self-defense equation. I am advising people to train with and carry a weapon they can use to place multiple rounds on target, rapidly and reliably. If they start with a .357 Sig, it ain’t gonna happen.

    3. PeteDub – Thanks for an excellent post. Your comments are right on and obviously well supported. It seems as though everybody wants to be ready for a big shoot out – and is the exact opposite of what they should be doing. Which is…avoiding any kind of armed conflict. The next objective should be, if you need a gun, to have one with you. Meaning you should find a firearm that you will comfortably carry and have it when you need it. Usually this means something like the Nano or smaller. Nobody likes to get shot, whether it is with a .22 or .50. In 99% of cases they will move on to a safer prey when confronted with firearm.

      I can speak from two personal experiences that occurred 20 years apart: The first one was in the Shennandoah mountains when 4 good old boys got interested in my wife and I (mostly my wife) while we were bathing in a stream after hot, dusty, backpacking trek. They lost interest after they noticed that I got out of the water and unholstered my S&W 586 which was sitting with my gear – i didn’t have to say a word to them, BTW.The second was on a residential street in Seattle on a Sunday morning and a guy was accosting people on the sidewalk by running around, acting crazy and asking for money. When he ran towards me, I pulled my LCP and told him to stop, which he did about 10′ away. He turned around mumbling something about $%!# cops and walked away – completely cured of his insanity, BTW. Of course, I was paranoid about somebody calling 911 about a guy in the street with a gun – but I was still glad that I had it.

      I guess the real point is that a firearm is a tool, and as such, it should be chosen to suit its purpose. Law Enforcement personnel should be able to outgun their potential opponents, the rest of us just need to be able to get out of danger as quickly as possible and should choose a firearm that we will have whenever we might need it.

  17. I thing there trying to enter into and compete with the .380 (9x17Short). There giving you “full size” 9x19mm performamce in a .380 size package…

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