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Handgun Review: The Beretta U22 Neos

Is this an assault weapon?

It is a semiautomatic with a fancy stock and a pistol grip and it does look mean, especially with that scope on top. But look closely at the trigger area in the center.

That's a pistol. It's the Beretta U22 Neos. The stock and elongated barrel are part of the kit that Beretta offers to turn the pistol into a carbine rifle. The kit does not make the pistol any more powerful, though it and the optional scope can help you fire it with greater accuracy.

Not that an increase in accuracy is needed. I had the opportunity to fire a Neos at a local gun range recently and found it be extremely accurate right out of the box.

The Neos is Beretta's latest entry into the .22 caliber semiauto handgun market. Without the carbine kit, it comes in three different models. Two are solid black, while one sports silver styling on the grips and the barrel. It also comes in two barrel lengths, four inches and six inches. It is manufactured entirely in the United States, in Accokeek, MD. That's 10 miles outside Washington, DC. Here is the silver-styled model.

The first noticeable thing about the Neos is that it's a very good looking weapon, typical of all Beretta products. The second thing you may notice when you handle it is the way the grips fit and how well the weight is distributed. The grips feel absolutely perfect in my hand, which speaks well of Beretta's attention to ergonomics. The six-inch model feels a little bit front heavy to me, while the four-inch model feels perfectly balanced. It feels like an extension of your hand.