Although Beretta has manufactured the .22er U22 Neos recreational pistol for 14 years now, it was released on the European market only recently. After all, it is produced in the United States and not in Gardone, Italy. Our colleagues from VISIER put the Beretta U22 Neos plinking pistol in .22 LR through its paces.
Unlike most Beretta weapons, the Beretta U22 Neos with its futuristic design was manufactured exclusively by the American Beretta Corporation in the US, instead of in Europe. So like a few of the other purebred American guns by Beretta, it can take a while until the model is also launched on this side of the pond.
Specs for the Beretta U22 Neos Rimfire Pistol
Beretta’s U22 Neos has a polymer frame that helps to keep the price down. Like many other rimfire handguns, the pistol has a simple slide blowback system. The steel slide is located behind the barrel, keeping its mass low.
The front and rear sights are positioned on the forged aluminum alloy mount rail above the barrel and slide.
The benefit: the sight picture is unaffected by cycling. Overall, the sight picture leaves a good, high-contrast impression, thanks in part to the relatively broad front sight.
The back of the striker indicates whether the pistol is cocked, as it protrudes visibly beneath the rear sight when engaged. The continuous Weaver-style rail makes the Neos an affordable base to mount red dot sights or a scope.
|Model:||Beretta U22 Neos 6"|
|Magazine capacity:||10 + 1 cartridges|
|Dimensions (L × W × H):||258 mm × 37 mm × 132 mm|
|Barrel length:||152 mm|
|Sight radius:||227 mm|
|Rear sight:||3.00 mm|
|Front sight:||3.8 mm|
|Trigger pull:||2,550 g|
|Total weight:||1,030 g (with magazine)|
|Features:||Blowback, polymer frame, style sighting rail, micrometer sights, ambidextrous safety|
Handling the Beretta U22 Neos Plinking Pistol
The Beretta U22 Neos is equipped with an ambidextrous thumb safety, which is pushed upward to unlock. Even a moderately sized hand will cover the levers when the weapon is unlocked, so that they press into the hand when the safety is engaged. The best way to unlock the weapon is to use the thumb or index finger on the supporting hand.
The magazine release catch is perched above the trigger on the right side of the frame and can therefore be engaged simply and conveniently by the trigger finger – at least for right-handed people. The slide stop lever is found at its usual position on the left of the frame, slightly too far towards the front for the thumb on the shooting hand, but easy to reach for the other thumb. The Beretta U22 Neos does not have all that much more to operate.
A small wheel above the trigger guard is used to disassemble the handgun. A pushbutton ensures that the wheel is not operated by accident. It only takes a few turns to separate the barrel and the frame. The integrated loader makes it gratifyingly easy to fill the pair of ten-round metal magazines included with the handgun.
The grip is unusually slender. But shooters with larger hands are more likely to encounter difficulties with the trigger geometry. In this case, the trigger blade should have been positioned slightly lower to ensure more comfortable operation. What’s more, it ought to have been placed a couple of millimeters further forward, and a less pronounced curve would have been welcome as well.
Finish on the Beretta U22 Neos in .22 LR
The polymer frame is a tell-tale sign that it is an entry-level recreational pistol. A slim gap between the trigger guard and the frame is visible and noticeable. This is repeated on the back of the polymer grip. The paneling on the frame seam is not fitted as perfectly as in most polymer pistols. But aside from the polymer grip, things look a lot better. The metal parts have carefully polished, matt blasted surfaces, sharp lettering and clearly defined edges.
The brawny aluminum sights rail also displays good finishing, and the €64.50 recommended retail price for the magazines has all the makings of a good deal. Overall, the main metal components show a similarly high standard of finishing.
The trigger discharges at a pull of around 2,500 g. Although a single stage trigger, it does not release all that crisply. Anyone interested in a step-by-step guide for complete tuning of the Beretta U22 Neos trigger can visit RimfireCentral, the forum for rimfire firearms.
The Beretta U22 Neos in .22 LR on the Range
The sight picture viewed through the mechanical sights is clear. The handling and balance of the Beretta U22 Neos are okay. The trigger characteristics are definitely more of a nuisance than the relatively high trigger pull.
On average, most of the group sizes shot from a range of 25 meters in a seated position with sandbag support were in a range radius of 45 mm. Improving the trigger will undoubtedly improve this result significantly. The two misfires meant a test quota of less than one percent. Leaving out ammunition with comparatively weak loads might even have reduced this quota to zero.
Our rating for the Beretta U22 Neos rimfire pistol
The Neos by Beretta is an attractive plinking pistol at a competitive price. It is predestined for small- to medium-sized hands due to its slender frame. The recreational pistol convinces with its finishing, efficiency and precision, less so with the design of the thumb safety. The trigger characteristics and pull offer room for improvement especially. But the Beretta U22 is not alone in this respect among equivalent models.
Visit the manufacturer’s website for more information about the Beretta U22 Neo plinking pistol.