Beretta Nano Vs Sig P290RS. A Detailed Comparison.

*** 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 work for it that the P290 had an issue. 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. 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 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: 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. 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 had already posted my Beretta Nano review here: Beretta Nano Pocket Nine

I am very happy with it, but there are a few small things that stick out in my mind about it:

1. The fact that it still hiccups occasionally on 115gr target ammo

2. The high bore axis

3. The lack of a slide lock

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.

The P290 sits lower in my hand and feels more balanced due to the lower bore axis. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 baseplates. 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. 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 shot the Nano for over 1500+ rounds to date while this will be the first time I have shot the P290.

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.

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 am not happy with the Nano FTE issues with some 115 gr ammo.

TAKEDOWN AND CLEANING

The Nano breaks down by depressing the decocker 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.

The P290 conceals 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.

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 only two 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), and the  8 round mag not dropping free all the time because the rough textured grip got caught up on my hand. Otherwise this is as fine of a handgun as I have owned.

For the Nano. The pros are the weight and recoil, 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 higher bore axis, the low sights causing issues with one handed slide racking, and the fact that I have personally experienced FTE’s with 115gr ball ammo.

Those cons were enough for me to choose to carry the Sig p290 over the Beretta Nano. Although I would carry the Nano without reservations if need be as it has been flawless in operation using 124 gr and 147gr ammo. I hope to have more long term reviews up as well as point shooting videos of me working the P290 in the near future.

As always; remember; 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!

5 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.

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