Beretta Neos: Space Age Rimfire Pistol

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The Beretta Neos is a futuristic-looking .22 LR handgun that really shoots well.
The Beretta Neos is a futuristic-looking .22 LR handgun that really shoots well.

The Beretta Neos might look like a stage prop from the latest Star Wars sequel, but it's actually an accurate .22 pistol to cover multiple rimfire shooting needs. 

The Beretta Neos easily field strips and provides overall excellent service.
The Beretta Neos easily field strips
and provides overall excellent service.

A handgun that I came to accept a bit later than some is the Beretta Neos.

Beretta just doesn’t manufacture second rate pistols and the Beretta U22 Neos is an affordable jewel. My example is the longer barrel version and it is heavier than some but amazingly accurate when I do my part.

It is well-made of good material. Once you get past its space gun looks you find excellent human engineering. The Neos is a light-packing .22 at 31 ounces in the shorter barrel version.

A Meopta red refl ex sight mounted on the Beretta Neos .22 handgun.
A Meopta red refl ex sight mounted on the Beretta Neos .22 handgun.

Beretta Neos Features

Like all the .22 LR self-loaders, the Beretta Neos is a simple blowback action intended for high-velocity cartridges. The sight track is a little difficult to get used to. The sights are well-designed but buried in an upper rail.

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I like the rail but you have to concentrate on the iron sights not to be distracted. The rear sight is a standout for utility and modern design.

The safety is ambidextrous and easily activated. The magazine release is ergonomically designed and easily used. It rides on the right side of the frame and is activated by the trigger finger. You never have to shift your grip to use it.

The Beretta Neos features a recessed barrel crown and adjustable front sight.
The Beretta Neos features a recessed barrel crown and adjustable front sight.

Beretta has done things with this pistol you simply cannot do with a centerfire handgun. The grip offers an excellent firing angle. The magazine is well-made of good material, a solidly engineered feeding device.

While the muzzle-heavy feel of the 6-inch barrel handgun is comfortable when firing offhand, the Beretta Neos isn’t much more accurate than any other .22 fired that way, but it tracks well.

A very nice 3-pound trigger aided in offhand fire. The Neo came into its own and earned the price of admission when firing off of the benchrest, too.

Firing from a solid rest firing position the results were notable:

Beretta Neos accuracy table.

Beretta Neos Vs. Smith & Wesson Victory

The discussion of which .22 LR loading is most accurate is often asked but seldom answered. The truth of the matter is that there are several loads that may be the ne plus ultra in your personal firearm.

If you own a compact Bersa or Walther P22 — good, light plinking guns — you may not be able to discern much difference in loads. A Smith and Wesson Victory or Beretta Neos will demonstrate a greater degree of precision.

Velocity is also a consideration. I have tested most of the available .22 LR loads. I have found them accurate enough for targets, small game and training. However, for competition, you need to benchrest test different loads and be as steady and serious as possible.

The load that delivers the best accuracy from my Beretta Neos may not be the top accuracy load in your Ruger Standard Model, but chances are it will not be a poor shooter, either.

Very few shooters if any will be able to tell the difference when shooting offhand. I have tested a number of loads for accuracy.

Below are the results with some of the popular loads. Groups were fired at 15 yards and are in inches for a five-shot group. Velocity is the average between the two guns, the Beretta Neos averaged about 20 fps higher velocity.

Beretta Neos accuracy table 2.

This article is an excerpt from The Accurate Handgun.


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