Beretta Nano Vs Sig P290RS. A Detailed Comparison.

I had already posted my Beretta Nano review here: Beretta Nano Pocket Nine

So, the great gun grab of 2012-13 had slowed down enough to where the Sig had come down in price to realistic levels. I was also informed of that my understanding of the size of the pistol was wrong and this was confirmed when I had handled one. Sig Sauer had released their new model P290RS (restrike) to resolve the light primer strike issues the original P290 model had. So of course, I decided to get one. I only paid $47.00 out the door more than the Nano for the P290RS.

Below is my review of both slimline 9mm handguns and which one I chose as my everyday carry handgun:

SPECS

The factory specs off the manufacturer websites are as follows:

P290 NANO
TRIGGER 9.0 lbs  N/A
LENGTH 5.5″ 5.63″
HEIGHT 3.9″ 4.17″
WIDTH .9″ .9″
WEIGHT w Mag 20.5 OZ 19.97 oz
WEIGHT w/o Mag N/A 18.27 OZ
BARREL LENGTH 2.9″ 3.07″
MAG CAPACITY 6/8 6/8

Here are my measurements:

P290 NANO
TRIGGER PULL NEW 7.2 lbs 5.6 lbs
TRIGGER PULL AFTER 300 RDS 6.8 lbs 5.1 lbs
TRIGGER PULL LENGTH 2.56″ 2.63″
LENGTH 5.56″ 5.63″
HEIGHT 3.9″ 4.17″
WIDTH .94″ .94″
WEIGHT w Mag 20.8 oz 20.4 oz
WEIGHT w/o Mag 19.2 oz 18.7 oz
WEIGHT 6+1 115gr Corbon DPX +P 23.7 oz 23.3 oz
WEIGHT 8+1 115gr Corbon DPX +P 25.3 oz 24.7 oz
BARREL LENGTH 2.9″ 3.07″
MAG CAPACITY 6/8 6/8

Here are some weight comparisons:

P290 NANO GLOCK 17 SA 1911 GI RUGER LCR-357 COLT COBRA KELTEC P3AT
WEIGHT w/o Mag 19.2 oz 18.7 oz 22.8 oz
WEIGHT w Mag 20.8 oz 20.4 oz 25.5 oz
WEIGHT Loaded 23.7 oz 25.3 oz 23.3 oz / 24.7 oz 33.0 oz 47.4 oz 19.7 oz 18.6 oz 11.4 oz

Here are some trigger comparisons:

P290 NANO GLOCK 26 S&W SHIELD KELTEC P3AT
Trigger Pull 6.8 lbs 5.6 lbs 6.5 lbs 6.4 lbs 5.2 lbs
Trigger Length 2.56″ 2.63″ 2.75″ 2.75″ 2.5″

SIDE BY SIDE SIZE COMPARISON

Now for some photos to visualize size difference between the P290 and the Nano.

The P290 is a bit smaller in both length and height than the Nano, although a bit heavier. They both come with polymer guide rods. Note: I have changed the Nano to a steel Bedair Machine Works Guide Rod after weighing and plan replacing the P290 with a Galloway Precision Guide Rod.

Both handguns are supplied with one 6 round magazine and one 8 round magazine.

The P290 also has a slide lock lever while the Nano does not.

Both have right handed mag release buttons. The Nano’s can be reversed for left handed use.

The P290 is hammer fired which allows for restrike capability. That simply means you can pull the trigger again without having to reset the slide. There is an external hammer on the P290 which is shrouded inside of the slide when down but exposed when firing.

The Nano is striker fired which is reset by the slide.

Both the Nano and P290 have the capability of changing the grips. The Nano in changing the entire grip frame, the P290 in changing the grip panels.

Both have adjustable three dot sights while the P290 comes with Siglite night sights as a factory standard.

The P290 also offers an optional integrated factory only laser but does not accept aftermarket lasers at this time. I did not get the laser option on mine.

Here they are compared side by side to a Gen 3 Glock 17:

GRIPS

The Nano sits a little higher in my hand and feels slightly more top heavy due to a higher bore axis. The 6 round magazine allows for a three quarters of the third finger to grip and the 8 round magazine fits perfectly in the entire hand. This also helps mitigate recoil better.

The P290 sits lower in my hand and feels slightly more balanced. The 6 round flat baseplate allows for one half of the third finger to grip while the finger groove baseplate allows for a full third finger grip. The finger groove baseplate extends down further in the front. The 8 round mag allows for a full grip.

The Nano has checkering on the front and back straps and has no finger grooves. The 8 round magazine is smooth with no checkering. During a hot and sweaty session it can get a slight bit slippery so I added a houghe handall jr. and it fixed the issue.

The p290 has a more aggressive rough texture on the front and backstraps and also has no finger grooves. The 8 round magazine also has the rough texture for more grip. The grip can wear down the area where your second and third fingers grip the front strap and I experienced some redness and skin removal after a 300 round session. But it grips when dry or wet, and that is what matters and I really like it. The grip however also tears up my shorts and stomach. Not sure that I like it much for that.

Both handguns were accurate when firing one handed with both left and right hands.

TRIGGER

As previously noted, he P290 is  hammer fired DAO with restrike capability. The p290 also has an external hammer than is exposed when firing and shrouded by the slide when down.

The Nano is striker fired DAO which is reset by the slide.

Both triggers smoothed out within the first 500 rounds and lowered in pull lbs as noted above.

The Nano trigger is slightly spongy, like a striker fired trigger just is and has a long spongy trip to break. Very Glock like but with more sponginess. It also has a long reset. It can definitely be improved. But it is striker fired and that is expected.

The P290 trigger is a nice smooth DAO revolver style trigger with long but clean break. I would not compare it to my Colt 6 shooter or Ruger LCR, or even a J-Frame with a trigger job, but I can compare it to a factory smith J-frame style trigger. Long pull, long reset, but smooth throughout. It too can be improved.

CONTROLS

The Nano has a reversible magazine release which is flush to the frame but very positive and the magazines come right out. It’s only issue is the lack of a slide lock. It makes it a little more difficult to clear jams and release the magazine on malfunction. It does however lock back on and empty magazine. The positive of this is that it makes for a more snag free design.

The P290 has a right handed magazine release which is also flush to the frame and is also very positive. The only issue I found was due to the size of the handgun, the RTF texture of the 8 round grip tends to hang up on the hand when releasing and as a result a mag grab has to be performed to remove the magazine. The P290 has a slide lock which is very well designed. It is a rounded snag free design, flush to the frame, and allows for positive manipulation when needed.

SIGHTS

The Nano comes with adjustable three dot sights. They are  adjusted by allen head screw. The only issue I encountered was that the allen heads come loose unless you use blue loctite on them. Otherwise the work great in daylight.

The P290 Comes standard with three dot Siglite night sights. They too are adjustable by drifting them inside the dovetails. The night sights aren’t as bright as a Trijicon set but are useful in low light situations. They work great as well in daylight. I have already had to have one replaced under warranty however. They don’t seem to last long.

The p290 sights are higher off the frame which allows for a very positive one handed slide rack using a belt or shoe. Something which the Nano sights had issues with as evident by this video:

The Nano sights are more streamlined and flush which makes for a more snag free design. I prefer the ability to easily rack the slide one handed so the P290 sights although less snag free than the Nano, are more functional for one handed operation of the slide.

MAGAZINES

The P290 comes with two base plates for it’s 6 round magazine. A flat base plate, and a finger grip faceplate. Both the Nano and P290 magazines are metal with metal feed lips and polymer base plates. The P290 8 round magazine is heavier than the Nano 8 round magazine and it has the rough texture on it’s magazine as well. Both are easily concealable and well made. The Sig mags have a weaker mag lips however and if I do not carry spare magazines in a holder on the belt, and I throw one in my back pocket the 8 round mag quickly becomes a 5 or 6 round mag because the cartridges spit out of the magazine during normal day to day operations. Very disheartening. This does not happen with the Nano magazines.

 

I have compared them to a Gen 3 Glock 17 – 17 round magazine below.

AT THE RANGE

I took both handguns out to do a comparison. Note: I have now shot the Nano for over 2000+ rounds to date while doing  this writeup will be the first time I have shot the P290. Now to date the P290 has over 800 rounds through it. It has been the the factory once and still has issues and it has had one part ( the front sight) replaced under warranty.

After 340 rounds I experienced zero issues with the P290. I fired 300 rounds of CCI Blazer 115gr steel cased ammo, 20 rounds of Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P and 20 rounds of Corbon DPX 115gr +P.

After 100 rounds I experienced 2 FTE’s with the Nano with the CCI blazer 115gr steel ammo. Before that I had shot over 500 rounds without an issue using brass cased 115gr UMC FMJ. I did have FTE issues prior to that as well with 115 gr ammo. I have not experienced any failures with 124gr or 147gr ammo out of the Nano. I also have not experienced a single issue with any 115gr full powered self defense JHP ammo. It only happens occasionally with cheap FMJ 115gr underpowered practice ammo. I cannot and have not duplicated it with any 115gr, 124gr, or 147gr full powered JHP self defense ammo or with 124gr or 147 gr FMJ target ammo.

Here is the compared accuracy while shooting one handed. The Nano on the left the  P290 on the right.

At 15 feet (5 yards):

At 45 feet ( 15 yards): Nano on top

At 75 feet (25 yards) Nano on left, P290 on right:

Both handguns shoot very well for compact nines and I am happy with both. Although, I was not happy with the Nano FTE issues with some 115 gr practice ammo. It was just an annoyance at the range, but the more I shoot it the less it happens. As a matter of fact since the break in I haven’t had a single issue with it.

TAKEDOWN AND CLEANING

The Nano breaks down by depressing the de-cocker with a punch or ballpoint pen. Then using a screwdriver or dime to turn the slide lock and the slide comes off of the frame. It is re-assembled by simply placing the slide back on the frame and racking it.

The P290 Breaks down by using one hand to hold the slide back past the slide lock until the slide aligns with the slide lock notch and then using a punch or in my case, the tip of a 5.56 snap cap, to push the slide lock out. It is reassembled by realigning the slide with the notch in the same pulled back position and reinserting the slide lock lever.

Both designs are well made and  have easy to lube metal frame inserts that the slide rides on. They are easy to disassemble, clean and maintain.

CONCEALABILITY

Both handguns sit well in a Talon IWB holster. I chose the Talon for two reasons. First it is a low ride so I can conceal the handguns better. Second it has a clip for easy on and off when I need to. I conceal carry all my handguns AWIB. I have also found that the Galco Stow and go’s are inexpensive and work great.

The P290 conceals slightly, and I mean slightly better because of it’s size. Both can be tucked into the pants for deep concealment if needed. Both require training and familiarization to properly draw especially when introducing movement. Both are excellent concealed carry handguns. The Sig however, as noted above is abrasive on both clothing and skin. The Nano wins for snag free comfort hands down.

CONCLUSION

Both the P290 and Nano are easy to disassemble and clean, and accurate. Both of these handguns have their pros and cons. Both are excellent for concealed carry.

The P290 pros were it’s reliability, weight and recoil, lack of external safeties,  the presence of a slide lock, accuracy, the way it fit in my hand, and ease of concealment. The cons I could find with it are the external hammer (just the fact that it could get blocked by something such as an attackers hand or clothing during operation), the  8 round mag not dropping free all the time because the rough textured grip got caught up on my hand, the abrasiveness of the grips when carrying concealed, and most importantly the magazine issues. The 6 round mag drop issue noted above and the 8 round mags spitting rounds out in my back pocket.  Otherwise this is as fine of a handgun as I have owned. It shoots great and it conceals great. Too bad the customer service was lacking. My updates are below:

UPDATE 6/16/14

The Sig has developed an issue where the six round magazine falls out of the weapon after the first round is fired with full power factory self defense ammo. It has been sent back to the factory for repair. They replaced the magazine catch. It came back with the same problem. it worked for a little bit then it failed again. I plan to send it back again. This is very concerning to me. It is out of my carry rotation until Sig can repair it. I need to call customer service yet again.

UPDATE 8/22/14

The P290 continues to drop the 6 round magazine when firing. I called Sig and they are giving me a hard time because they say it already went back to the factory and they can’t believe that it continues to happen. I spoke with a very difficult service Rep named Andy who would not take my word for it that the P290 had an issue and kept blaming me. It continues to happen with factory self defense ammo. It happens on the first round fired, it happens on the fourth round fired, it happens on the fifth round fired. Mostly the first. It is random and it is unsafe for self defense. They recommend putting the mag in with the slide locked back and then closing the slide. Which I have already done repeatedly. I explained I did and he refused to listen demanding I prove it via video. I have tried Remington Golden Saber 147gr. Speer gold dot 124gr. Speer gold dot 147 gr. Corbon DPX 115 grain. It continues to happen with all kinds of factory self defense ammo. AKA “hot ammo”. It has not happened with factory target ammo. Now they want a video before they will take it back. I will do this but I am completely unhappy with SIG’s customer service and quality control and I cannot and will not recommend them to anyone. I have never had such a hard time with any manufacturer. I am back to the Beretta Nano and happy with it. I will  get this fixed and sell it and never buy a Sig product again. I have never dealt with a more difficult customer service rep or been so frustrated. Thanks Andy!

UPDATE 10/23/14

I will preface this with: Sig Sauer customer service sucks and I will NEVER EVER buy another Sig. They just got in the same boat as Taurus. Nobody has ever reached out to me, nobody has returned my calls as promised. Andy stonewalled me when I asked for a supervisor. I responded to Sig’s follow up e-mail on my issue and customer service experience as unsatisfactory and provided links to this article as well. Nothing. Nada. Crickets. I really like the 290RS and wanted it to work. Sig’s “solution” was ridiculous. With their “fix”, or Andy’s fix of putting the mag in and closing the slide to “properly seat” the magazine,  I cannot +1 the weapon or change the six rounder to the 8 rounder or else I am not following their method and therefore the mag will drop. Really? That is your solution?  Theoretically of course because their ridiculous fix did not work. Like I pleaded and explained. Hopefully Sig wakes up and fixes their customer service and fires piss poor employees such as Andy who do nothing but treat customers like dirt and refuse to escalate or listen to their issues. He should have accepted it back instead of telling me that warranty fixed it and they tested it so it must be me not putting the magazine in properly and I would have to prove to him via a video that the problem still exists. So Sig lost a customer beacause of him. A drop in the bucket? I guess so if you are so rich can afford to lose customers.

So I was supposed to video the problem and send it to them before they would CONSIDER having me send it back to fix it. I didn’t. Since August. I just started carrying and shooting the Beretta Nano and forgot about the Sig. Just recently, months later I was doing load development and decided to take it out and video the issue. Thanks for wasting my time and money to “prove” to you your product is still failing. Never again Sig, never again. Here’s your video:

Also, on another note, I wonder why they even bother to send those customer satisfaction emails if they are not going to listen and or respond to them. It just wastes time and bandwidth. I responded and was very clear my dis satisfaction. They didn’t even bother to follow up. Yeah I should have called back, but honestly who wants to sit on hold for 15-20 minutes to get a guy like Andy. I don’t even care if it is fixed. I probably won’t carry it anyway. It will waste it’s life away in my safe for all of eternity. Honestly it is a shame.

 

As for the Nano. The pros are the weight and better recoil due to the higher bore axis, accuracy, the lack of external safeties, the snag free design, and the ease of concealment. The cons are the fact that it has no manual slide lock, the ridiculous safety warnings etched onto it, the low sights causing issues with one handed slide racking, and the fact that I have personally experienced FTE’s with 115gr low powered ball ammo.

I originally chose the Sig over the Nano, simply because I could rack it with one hand if needed and it had a slide lock. But the more I carried it and shot it, the more it’s small and big issues began to come out. The abrasiveness of the grips was bad but the bullets coming out of the 8 round mags and the six round magazines dropping from the mag while shooting with certain high powered JHP ammo made me move back to the Nano.  The more I shot the Nano, the more I love it. It has been completely reliable outside of the break in period and proper training and jam drills has me being able to clear jams with ease. AS for the one handed racking, I hope it doesn’t come to that but there are aftermarket sights that make it easier. The snag free design, accuracy, and reliability is what had me coming back and it has now found a permanent position in my carry rotation. My Nano and 6+1 rounds of 147gr Speer Gold Dot HP with an 8 round backup is more than enough for me.

 

As always, please remember that the perfect carry gun for you is the one you are comfortable with, can shoot accurately both one handed and on the move, and that instills confidence in you with it’s proven real life experience reliability. Not what you read some guy on the internet telling you. If it works, run with it, if it doesn’t get another until you find one that does.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of shooting!

7 thoughts on “Beretta Nano Vs Sig P290RS. A Detailed Comparison.

  1. Pingback: Recoil - Beretta Nano vs Sig P290 - Ruger Forum

  2. Great review, easy to read and logical conclusions. I have neither so I have no dog in the hunt. I would prefer the all black look and wonder if the Sig is available that way.

  3. Thanks for the awesome review. I test shot the Nano, and found it to be very ‘glock-like’, as others have described. Perhaps it *is* the single-stack “glock” that glock *should* have made? Even so, the 26 is v-e-r-y close to the Nano’s size, but with greatly expanded capability.

    Just put some money down on a P290RS, and I’m hopeful it will fill the fill. I know a lot of folks are confortable carrying a striker-fired with one in the pipe, but I’m simply not one of them. The 290’s DAO trigger won’t be fun, but I’ll be much more confident carrying it.

  4. Pingback: Sig P290RS "EDC" 9mm - Page 2

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