All of the major pistol manufacturers of today anchor the lighter end of their product lines with a couple of handy .22 autoloaders, called “plinkers” to most gun enthusiasts. With Ruger it is many variations of its Standard Auto. Smith & Wesson has its Sport Series 22S and 22A, Browning offers people a number of models with its BuckMark line. But when it comes to the Beretta name, the maker of the all-mighty M9 GI service weapon – it went without so much as talk of a plinker for several years.
Then Beretta decided that they wanted to introduce the “Neos”, which effectively plugged any hole which would denote a “plinker”. This pistol obtained its name from the word “new” in Greek. But do not be fooled, the Neos is a hot item and it is partly due to the ultra-modern styling. For one, it is a full sized semi-auto weighing in at almost 35.8 ounces (if you own its 6” barrel version). If you decide to go this path, the entire weapon can run just over 10” in full length and this covers 9” in sight. If you hold it in your hand and measure it, you can see that it is just a tad over 5″ in height. With all of that being said, any gun owner can see that this is no baby pistol but it is rather one for a full sized adult. The weight is nicely proportionate and is mainly in the rib and in the barrel of the piece.
One of the great things about the Neos is the low pressure when operating on the blowback system. All this means is that the steel slide (including the recoil system) actually work hand in hand to help keep the breech in a closed position. You will notice that after you fire (when the bullet leaves the muzzle), there is automatically a drastic decrease in pressure. The inertia helps the slide push back which helps the extraction and ejection. All of this constantly helps the recoil process and velocity, etc.
The magazine itself holds ten rounds of 22 LR ammunition. When you purchase your new handgun, there will be a nicely illustrated and written manual that specifically excludes using .22 Shorts and .22 Longs; mainly due to the fact that they will not work in the magazine along with the issues of not having enough velocity to cycle actions. When it comes to reassembly, it is pretty much an open and shut case. The pistol is very easy to disassemble and reassemble.
The greatest characteristic of this pistol is the ultramodern styling. It comes from the design and styling firm of Guigiaro who worked alongside American-based engineers to make this fine piece of weaponry. Despite the design ingenuity, the Neos really needs to be thoroughly examined because of its usefulness when it comes to shooting and not just for looks.