Beretta U22 Neos: Intriguing modern take on the .22 LR semiautomatic pistol

By , June 24, 2009 5:17 pm

The Beretta U22 Neos is a semiautomatic pistol designed and manufactured in the United States by Beretta USA in Accokeek, Maryland.

Beretta U22 Neos (4.5 barrel, black)

Beretta U22 Neos (4.5" barrel, black)

There are several available models of this handgun. The standard Beretta U22 Neos (pictured to the right) has a 4.5″ (114mm) barrel. Additional models include a 6.0″ (153mm) barrel as well as a 7.5″ (191mm) barrel. Currently, the 7.5″ barrel model is no longer marketed by Beretta USA; this barrel is available as an add-on accessory to the 4.5″ or 6.0″ models. The barrels are easily interchangeable by the user with a single screw. In addition, there is a deluxe model, the U22 Neos DLX, which adds an adjustable trigger for pre- and over-travel.

There are several available color options. The standard U22 Neos has a black frame with a black (blued) slide. The U22 Neos INOX has a black frame with a silver (stainless steel) slide. Several grip color choices available from Beretta include black, grey, blue, red, black with grey inserts, black with blue inserts. The aftermarket for this handgun comes through with even more grip color options, including black with red inserts and black with pink inserts.

The design of the U22 Neos is very distinctive, with a ‘futuristic’ look that is very polarizing — most people either love it or hate it. Despite this, many people who cannot stand its looks have nothing but good things to say about how it shoots, especially at its very low price point.

A rail on top of the barrel telescopes back over the bolt and incorporates adjustable sights and a scope mount. Standard packaging includes two 10-round magazines.

The design of the Neos is novel in several ways. The frame of the Neos is a simple rail and the grip is a separate, non-serialized piece. The striker is visible at the rear of the bolt when it is cocked. The magazine release is in an unusual location on the right side of the frame above the trigger guard actuated by the trigger finger of a right-handed shooter or the weak hand of a left-handed shooter. The styling of the Neos was intended to be radical and modern.

102 Responses to “Beretta U22 Neos: Intriguing modern take on the .22 LR semiautomatic pistol”

  1. cody perge says:

    is the u22 a ceap gun or a good long lasting gun

  2. Dharma says:

    @cudy. It depends on what you want the gun for. The U22 is a great plinker and possibly competition .22. I wouldn’t even begint to think of it as a carry or home defense gun.

    • thinkle says:

      Anybody that discounts a 22 as a defensive weapon has never shot anything with one. Inside 100 feet this little round is quite powerful. Someone will laugh at a 22 only until you shoot them.

      • substratum says:

        I agree with thinkle on this one. Shot placement is everything, but a .22 lr certainly has plenty of penetration to hit vitals.

        I had to, unfortunately, examine autopsy pics of a young man that was shot with a .22 lr from about 60 feet (a bystander), and the one round that struck him penetrated his skull behind his ear (punched a neat, round hole) and came to rest in his cerebellum… he died instantly.

  3. Dharma says:

    @cody, The quality of the U22 is what one would expect from Beretta. i’ve got close to 2k rounds through mine with no issues. It’s cheap in price only :)

  4. Dharma says:

    FYI for all Neos owners. There has been a recall on early versions (mine included.) Details are here http://www.berettasupport.com/neos/RecallNotice.pdf
    Its not a critical repair in overall functionality but should be done.

    • Tikibelly says:

      The safety issue recall is a little troublesome, as mine discharged when going from fire to safe. Check your serial number on the Beretta web site and send it in to be fixed.

  5. Jorge says:

    I have the neo 7.5 and I just bought sum remeinton f
    cee bs and is there a way to get the spend cases to eject or do I have to get sum new bullets if so what would u recommend

  6. Jason says:

    I have three Beretta U22′s. Two of the basic 4.5in model and a DLX. It’s definitly a unusual design but it is a really good handgun. I’ve put 2-3K rounds through them with only one problem. And that was caused by a bad shell. If you’re haveing trouble with ammo I highly recommend CCI Mini-Mags. They are the only 22lr I buy.

  7. Dharma says:

    @Jorge I can’t find the ammo you refer to. I’ve fired a variety of remington through my Neos with no issue (including some low end that was in a closet for ten years.) What exactly is happening with your firing experience?

  8. martin says:

    i have a u22 and i was wondering if anybody has tried the cci subsonics threw theres and if it feeds proper

  9. ern says:

    I’ve fed CCI subsonics, the stinger and mini-mags through mine and they’ve been fine. I did have a lot of feeding problems with Remington Thunderbolts. Federal and Winchester rounds fed perfectly. Aside from the Thunderbolts, I’ve not had too many issues. I’ve probably put 2k rounds through it and the gun seems to chew through just about everything without a problem. Very reliable.

  10. martin says:

    ok and if you had to use a 22lr in self defence what kinda round would you choose i tried to do a little bit of research and kno that a 22 isnt a good chose but is really the only thing im confetable with at the moment but i also kno its better then nothing

  11. Jason says:

    I am firm believer that the best firearm for self defense is any firearm you have. If all you have is a 22 by all means USE IT!!! As long as you are using good quality ammo your aim will be more important than the type of round your using. Go for good center mass shots.(middle of the chest)And use a human silhoute target at the range. Its one of the best ways to train for those center mass defense shots.

  12. CB750 says:

    Martin, a 22 is not a good choice for a defensive handgun, but it is better than being unarmed. From what I have read CCI Stingers may be your best ammo choice as small game hunters complain it tears up too much meat compared to others. I would also practice as much as possible with your 22 and learn how to place your shots. As you become more familiar with your 22 I would look to upgrade your defensive handgun to nothing smaller than a 9mm. A .45 ACP would be better. A full size model made out stainless steel would tend to be easy to shoot as recoil will be damped. You might want to rent full size a 9mm or .45 ACP at your local gun range and see how they work for you. When you are involved in a gun fight you want to carry the largest gun you are comfortable shooting well, as one shot stopping power is an important factor.

  13. Ber Smith Browning says:

    I have owned a 6″ barrel version since 11-06 and have fired several thousand rounds through the gun. It holds up very well both in accuracy and dependability. I target shoot with it primarily, but have done some small game hunting with it too. I primarily use CCI, Federal and Remington ammo.

  14. Ber Smith Browning says:

    I agree with CB750 though, my NEOS is my target and hunting pistol, my S&W 659 is my home defense weapon.

  15. john says:

    I have shot in comp. for 17 years. I used the browning buck mark with a 10in. bull barrel and and a 2×10 power leopold and can cover 10 rounds with the flat end of cigarett butt.now iuse the mod.u22 neos beretta still use a 10 power leopold but what I learned is too is to match your equipt.so what Ilearned if your going to shoot in comp.and your gun has been cleaned after zeroing in you need to fire 10 rounds through it and that will put it back on zero because you zeroed it clean that make and that will make it shoot dead on. I hope this will help every one . but this little.mod.u22neos is awsom.

  16. Billy M. Rhodes says:

    I sent my Neos in for the recall on 10/20/2010, as of 1/15/2011 I do not have my pistol back. That’s 12 weeks. I wrote a letter to Beretta and got a phone call, with a long sob story but I was to get a new pistol by 1/14/2011. Guess what? No pistol. My grandson really liked this pistol and I have missed shooting it with him twice now. Once I rented a Ruger Mark III the next time I borrowed an old High Standard. I am not happy with Beretta’s service.

  17. jorge says:

    can someone tell me why my clip to my neos will stick after a first shot is fired it wont bring the next bullet up to fire unless you pull the clip and mess with the lever on the side

  18. John says:

    I am considering a 6″ neos and cannot decide to spring for the deluxe version. What does the adjustable trigger gain me? Any input would be helpful

  19. Rainman says:

    John, buy the deluxe for the extra sights and the cool grip. The trigger pull is not adjustable, only pre and over travel. Factory settings are fine for those. After break-in, my trigger pull is 4.5#

  20. Rainman says:

    The Neos is a great gun but it fails as a trainer in two ways. First, the safety works in the opposite direction as most other manufacturers. The mag release is also non-standard. The remaining negative is disassemnly/re-assembly. There is a wheel nut that can be very tight the first two times you use it. It is also possible to missalign ever so slightly when reassembling. Still, it’s fun, accurate and priced well.

  21. TONY says:

    ANYONE KNOW WHERE i CAN BUY THE 6″ OR 7″ BARREL? i HAVE THE NEOS 4.5. THANKS.

  22. Dan says:

    hi i just ordered a 6′ barrel U22 stainless steel from budsgunshop.com for $300 i wanted to know what kinna Ammo(cheapest or best) i have to buy n from where , i’m looking to stock up may b around 5k , u never know the price of ammo might skyrocket over nite.

  23. @Dan says:

    If you have the same experience I do any .22 works just fine. My Neos hasn’t had a misfire on anything I’ve fed it and is consistently a tack driver.

  24. Len says:

    First time out with it couldn’t get past two shots without it failing to load or eject. This was with Remington 550- bulk pack HP. Took it home and cleaned it up and oiled the slide area heavily. Bought some CCI mini-mags with round nose as many suggested. Was able to get 4 shots in a row a couple of times, otherwise it still jams up. Looks like I got a lemon. All my other guns are Ruger. Now I wish I had gotten the Mark III. Hope I can trade it in for the Ruger asap. This is not the quality of gun I was led to believe.

    • Gary S. Matthews says:

      Hi Len: When I first got my U22 I had trouble with one of my magazines not feeding properly. Turns out there was a burr on the inside of the feed lip. A few runs across it with a fine file fixed it right up. Hope this helps. Gary

  25. Matt says:

    I have only had mine for a couple of weeks but have already put a couple thousand rounds through it without a hitch. I have just about every kind of .22 ammo because I have had a walther p22 that has all kinds of jamming problems so I was trying to find something that would work reliably. Nothing did. With the Neos, I can’t get it to fail. I have not had a single issue with it and love the weight and feel of the grip. If you are hesitating buying one of these don’t. They cost less than a Mark III or a Buckmark and seem to be every bit as good.

  26. Markej says:

    @Len. Sorry that you’ve had such problems with your Neos. You might look at the magazine and how it feeds. I’ve used my Neos for several years now with no problems to speak of and love the way it shoots. My brother has the Ruger (several models) and while they are great guns, I’ve not seen them to be any better in any way. Considering they are much more expensive, I’d say I got the better deal. If you live in the DFW area, I’m sure we could work something out as far as a sale goes. Let me know. I’m considering getting the conversion kit and my wife will kill me if I keep “her” gun as a carbine.

  27. Jason says:

    Guys I have three U22 Neos. I have had a couple feeding problems with them from time to time until I realized what the problem was and it has has never happened since. If you have U22 and are haveing feeding problems make sure you are useing a quality ammo and that your magazines are fully seated.

  28. Chuck says:

    I too have had problems with my Neos, once returning it to the factory for warranty polishing. Don’t believe the stories of shooting any kind of ammo. Even Mini Mags don’t do well. Try CCI Stingers. They are the only thing that has the force to work the slide properly so that a spent brass will be ejected and a new cartridge properly loaded. Zero problems with Stingers, but forget about shooting anything cheaper. It is a pleasure to shoot now.

  29. Joel says:

    I have a problem with my neos that after a few rounds the firing pin gets jammed and dosen’t slide back.

  30. David says:

    Hello everyone! I am new to this and went to my local store and felt out the P22, U22, and the Ruger and I truly like the U22 feel overall. The P22 had a smaller handle so it didn’t feel right in my hands, the ruger felt more heavy. When looking at the U22 it felt nice. But I have never fired one won’t know how truly good it is. Is there anything else that I can look at to make sure its a fit for me?

  31. Jesse says:

    Have had one of these for over 4 years..super gun. Wife and kids love it. Did go back for the recall, but no problems before or after. I did find if you polish your magazine lips it will feed better, some of the after-market magazines had some burs on the mag lips.

  32. Terry says:

    has anyone had an issue with being able to adjust the rear sight? the screw is super tight and will not turn in either direction. the gun shoots a foot to the right.

  33. NeosFan says:

    Own 3 Neos and the carbine kit. My favorite shooters out of all of my toys. The newer Neos’ has a stronger slide spring. I use ATF oil on all the moving parts and can shoot any ammo reliably with CCI Mini-mags as the favorite. Thunderbolts work, Golden’s, all Winchesters, American Eagles, Aguilla, almost anything goes bang repeatedly. Here is how to get set-up for reliable cycling: Load your mag, checking cartridge alignment, bang the back side against your hand to set the cartridges, then SLAM that mag into the Neos mag well. Push it again for grins. Now firmly cycle the slide with safety on. If you have lubed the firing pin, the slide, extractors and broken the Neos in, you will have few problems. Also have the Ruger MkIII. Ok pistol. Neos wins over it. Have 3 other .22LR’s. Neos is the winner in my book, but I like them all! Good shooting to all!

  34. dl says:

    A nice plinker, but NOT suitable for any competition. Very poor accuracy.

  35. Joe Jones says:

    I’ve had my Neos since July and average 1000 rnds per weekend. Very accurate and absolutly no problems. My favorite target shooter @20yds.

  36. capgun says:

    I have the version with the six inch barrel. The only problem that I have ever had with it was finding a holster for it that fit well and was not butt-ugly. I finally made my own. As far as accuracy goes? It put the round where I point it. If I miss the bull it is my fault.

  37. Barry Rabinowitch says:

    Happy New Year Guys & Gals. Have had my Neos U22 for a year now. The metal on the rounded slot on the top of the slide is being upset because of the way the slide slams back against the stop lug on the frame. Sent back to Beretta for repair or replacement. Its been three weeks and they cannot or will not give me any information. Higly disappointed with Beretta’s Customer Service or is it Custormer No-Service. Other than that “quality” issue, this gun works well and has no ammo feed problems after more than 3K rounds of various brand cartridges.

  38. john damps says:

    i have many handguns but i love my 30 year old smith 22a i have 2 12 shot mags and it shoots dead on,ill shoot it against ANY 22on the market.its light. flat.and shoots fast i almost lost my mind on day about 3-4 years ago and thought about trading on onother 22 the dealer offered me 125 dollars;that was the easyest i ever made my mind up,i still own it;’

  39. mig714 says:

    its like any other “tool” that you own, you keep it clean, and in working order, it will work for you, i love my neos, my wife is a nurse in Chicago, and she says 22lr wounds are the most deadly……….

  40. GLK says:

    Working in a Hospital in the inner city I can tell you a .22 is deadly. Once in the body the rounds bounce all over the place hitting multiple organs in the process. They tend to fragment too. Cutting someone open to find and stop the bleeding is a nightmare. Also, as far as home defense goes a .22 is easier to aim and fire when the adrenaline is making your hands wobbly and it wont shatter your ear drums when discharged indoors. The only advantage I’d give larger calibers is that the victim will be either knocked down or in a greater state of shock when hit. Bottom line, those .22s may look and sound wimpy but they do a helluva lot of collateral internal damage.

  41. Back wods says:

    Great gun for small game.I need Trigger Guard Lasers for it any body know of one

  42. RonD says:

    I Have to agree with GLK , i have a 30clip for mine and it’s absolute leathel ,granted a larger caliber has more knock down capability but i will efectivly make you use range 30 pings at a time …click then 30 more lol , the .22 is the militarys weapon of choice for covert ops has been for a long time and good reason ,this as any fire arm is no toy and never should be treated as such,by the same token it shold never be under estimated either ,both hand guns and rifles generaly have pretty decent range proably better than most .45′s or 9 mills and my bullets fly alot quicker average .45 is what ? 950 to 1250 fps ,mine will be doubling that easy ,cost effective and leathel

  43. cb says:

    Does anyone know where I can get the Pink or Red insert grips for my neos?

  44. tootie says:

    My son shoots mine in competion came out third in state last year .I an looking for the 7 1/2″ barrle for it .Let me know if any one has one.

  45. tootie says:

    My son shoots mine in competion. He came out third in state last year .I an looking for the 7 1/2″ barrel for it .Let me know if any one has one.

  46. Jeff says:

    I’ve had my Neos for several years. I do have trouble with jams if I use bullets rated at less than 1100fps. Otherwise it’s great. I can get groups less than 3″ across at 7 yards consistently.

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