Posted By admin on September 24, 2009
The Beretta Neos U-22 .22 caliber pistol has something for everyone. Beretta’s design challenges the imagination with its space age looks but is it the correct pistol for you? We tested the Neos in several general categories: hunting, plinking and target shooting. The last category was broken into gallery and action shooting. (A Bushnell pistol scope was mounted and used for squirrels)
Beretta provided Junior Shooters with two different models of the U22 Neos .22 semi-auto. One has a 4.5-inch barrel and has a black matt finish and the other has a 6-inch barrel stainless steel barrel and action with the matt finish applied to the rest of the gun.
(Both guns shown with Winchester, CCI, & Lapua .22 LR)
Each pistol has a picatinny rail mounted on the top that comes with an integral rear and front sight. The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation and has standard “U” shape outlined in white making the black front sight easy to pick up. The picatinny rail runs just about the whole length of the frame and barrel. The pistols come in a hard, black, pistol case; each has two magazines, and they come with a safety lock.
(Shown with orange chamber safety indicator that comes with the gun and Lapua .22 LR)
The grip is angled at 60-degrees, is fairly thin, and very comfortable. Both models come with ambidextrous safeties which are really nice as we had both right and left-handed juniors shooting them. Each came with a plastic, orange, chamber safety indicator insert which can be placed in the chamber indicating that the chamber is empty. This is really nice to have when working with juniors.
(The rear of the frame also has a cocking indicator – Left is cocked & right uncocked)
As a junior’s coach, one of my goals is to create an environment where young shooters are challenged, but are also enjoying themselves. This can present a problem when it comes to pistol shooting. Start a new shooter with a large caliber or in a threatening competitive situation and you will lose their interest.
(Sarah Bowers at the indoor range)
Many of the more common action pistol events are dominated by larger framed semi-autos in various center fire calibers, by rim fire pistols made for hunting, or gallery (indoor) shooting. All are good for what they are intended for. So where does the Neos fit?
Well let me tell you we used it for all of the above. Our first test was indoors at fifty feet shooting both off-hand and from a bench using the adjustable iron sights which is part of the Weaver integrated rail on the barrel.
I found that all of the juniors I gave this pistol to did very well. Our groups were very good and the Neos digested all sorts of ammo which included Federal CCI, Lapua, Remington and Winchester. (Nick at Emmett shooting steel)
(five shots in the X ring at 50-ft.)
A five shot group was kept inside the black at 50-ft. The more we tested, the better we liked this gun.
Next we added a Bushnell Elite pistol scope in anticipation of ground squirrel hunting. I found this to be a challenge for me but the pistol worked great. Ground squirrel characteristic movement made it difficult to follow in the narrow field of view but once they were in view it was a dead on shot.
(Hannah Bowers testing the Neos) Of course this narrow field of view wasn’t a problem using the iron sights. The gun is easily broken down into two sections by pushing in on the barrel screw lock just in front of the trigger guard and rolling the wheel lock that holds the barrel in place.
When the Steel Challenge match season came around and I had the opportunity to try the Neos in action type shooting, I was very pleased with the results. The versatility of this pistol in the hands of young shooters and adults really impressed me. On one occasion my daughter Hannah, 12 at the time, shot the Neos starting from the low ready position and consistently shot less that six second runs and that was only her second time shooting steel. She, said, “The Neos is a cool pistol. It is very easy to sight in and has a comfortable grip. My pistol is black but some Neos’ come with stainless steel barrels. The fun thing about shooting the Neos is the user friendly design. I would recommend this pistol to anyone who likes the shooting sports.”
(Cody shooting Steel Challenge at Emmett, Idaho with the Beretta Neos)
All of the testing we have done makes me conclude that the Beretta Neos is a great all around pistol for target shooting, plinking, action shooting, hunting, or around the camp. As a first gun, or an addition to your collection, I think Beretta has a winner.
(The Beretta Neos breaks down easily into two parts for cleaning)
Copyright & Published by Junior Shooters & Junior Sports Magazines Inc. Sep 2009