Beretta Neos Complete Educational Guide and 'homebrew' Action/Trigger Job by hexidismal
v.1.0

Important Note: In regard to Beretta Neos Recall of 2010

  This guide was made several (4 maybe ?) years prior to the safety mecahanism related recall of Neos pistols. It was brought to my attention that due to the the new hardware replaced on recalled guns, this guide may not apply. I have no experience with a post-recall gun, and therefore can not offer any insight on what alteration to this guide might be required. Please note this if you have a recalled or post recall manufactued Neos.

Recall information can be found here

LINK:NEOS Service Home


Guide Quick Navigation:

Part 1 – Personal Introduction: Why I'm making this guide.

  I may make future revisions to this guide as I get suggestions and comments, add photos, etc. I can be found on firearms related forums TheHighRoad.org and TheFiringLine.com (among others) under the nickname hexidismal . Feel free to contact me with questions and comments there.

  So.. I decided that I wanted to do an action job on my Beretta Neos .22lr pistol. Let me first make it clear that I am not a professional gunsmith. I am however an amateur of many years, familiar enough with firearms and their respective mechanics, to be perfectly comfortable with the required processes to complete this project (it comes out great at the end.. I promise !). I had a very difficult time finding information before starting out. In fact I was not even able to find an exploded view of the Neos internals online. There is a already a tutorial out there of a Neos trigger job. I believe it was originally made by someone over on rimfirecentral. That was my initial inspiration to do the job in the first place. BUT.. while that tutorial does have some very useful data, it doesn't really tell you much of the Hows and Whys. Also, I'm going to be taking things a few minor steps further here with the action job. With this document I hope to fill the void of information on working with this pistol, AND put forth some ideas of my own which I've seen no prior mention of. Because the Neos is mechanically a fairly simple pistol, I thought this would be a great opportunity to both provide the most complete tutorial for those looking to do the work, while also hopefully giving an interesting look into the Hows and Whys of the pistol's internal workings for everyone else.

  One thing I HAVE to say here. If you are not fully comfortable with detail stripping your firearm, and/or do not have the proper tools to do it correctly and safely, please to not attempt this action job. It is a lot of work, and replacement parts may or may not be available. I won't be held responsible for a massive influx of Neos pistols requiring repair at your local gunsmiths... although if that does happen.. I want my cut.. hehe

   -JT

Part 2 – Introduction to the Beretta Neos: Why choose this gun for this guide ?

  The Neos is a single action semi-auto pistol chambered in .22lr. It is a very modular design, allowing for very simple changing of separately purchased barrels in various lengths. Each barrel has a full length optics mounting rail with many positions available for all sorts of optics options. In my opinion it is a very well built and thought out pistol design, especially considering its reasonably affordable price point. The one negative issue you will see mentioned on the forums is that the trigger is.. not horrid maybe, but not great either. It comes from the factory a bit on the heavy side, and with some trigger creep. This guide will solve all that.. no, really ! As stated above, the relative simplicity of the internal mechanics makes it an optimal gun for this guide.

  So, here we have the gun we are starting out with. My Neos 6” Standard model. Cost: About $200. It should be noted here that this guide applies only to the standard model Neos and NOT to the adjustable trigger DLX models. I haven't had the opportunity to see the internals of the DLX model, and I therefore I can't discuss the differences between that and the standard model.



Part 3 - Disassembly: Let's strip.. I'll tell you How and Why the gun works later.

  I was divided on whether to put this section or section 4 "How the Neos works" first in this guide. Since that section requires photos showing connection points between internals though, I thought maybe we'd best see those parts come off in the right order first to get you more familiar with them. As a side note to the more seasoned veterans, please understand this guide is for everyone (even people who don't own a Neos). Feel free to skip the hand holding parts at your leisure.. hehe

Here is a picture of the gun completely stripped, with the individual assemblies bagged separately (some pins look similar)

Step 1: Make sure the gun is unloaded and the magazine removed. Obvious I know, but it had to be said.

Step 2: Field strip the Neos. Lock back the slide. Hold in the button next to the barrel nut. Unscrcew the barrel nut to release the barrel from the frame. Release the slide stop and remove the slide and recoil spring. Place safety to 'fire' and hold the spring loaded firing pin and spring and pull the trigger to release them from the housing. Separate the plastic grip frame from the receiver by screwing out the large hex bolt in the grip, and then pushing forward and down on the catch. The barrel locking nut will fall out of the receiver. Remove the slide stop by lifting up and pulling outward, careful not to bend or lose the spring.



 

Step 3: What you need to do is remove the sear stop screw which can be seen by looking at the firing pin/sear housing assembly from the top of the pistol. Two problems #1 You need a specially ground screwdriver. #2 It is sealed in there with a LOT of the ever infamous red Loctite. WARNING: Do not attempt to remove this screw without the properly ground and perfectly fitting screwdriver. Using a standard flat head screwdriver You WILL strip the screw badly, and then you will be SCREWED.. no pun intended.. well, maybe a little one. Here is a picture of that screw already removed. A full set of gunsmithing screwdrivers may have a fit, but personally I just made one by sacrificing a normal screwdriver to the grinding wheel. Even with the proper fit, it's going to take a lot of elbow grease to break that loctite. You might try applying high heat such as a soldering iron to the screw head (IF it'll reach it through the firing pin/sear housing) Be patient and careful.

Make sure you are holding the receiver vertical upon complete removal of the screw, as the safety plunger/sear spring housing is held loose underneath. The spring is not heavily loaded, it wont pop out at you, just be aware it will fall out. Now is a good time to note its relation to the safety lever and the sear (More about that in section 4). Pull out the sear spring housing. It is two halves, one sliding into the other and it contains the sear spring in the middle. If you just get the top half and you see a spring there, it will fall out when you turn it over. Also note that the trigger bar will spring forward with the assembly removed.

 

Step 4: Worse than getting that last screw out. You need to unpin the sear from the firing pin/sear assembly. A pin should be no problem right ? That's true.. if Beretta didn't machine knurls into half of it, and get it in there by some means superhuman. Perhaps yours won't be as much of a problem as mine, but quite frankly I could NOT get this pin out for some time. I can't give you much advice on this. DONT get overly aggressive and wind up bending the housing to have a tighter hold on the sear. Once the sear was unpinned, I made sure to file the knurled serrations down just enough so that the pin was still snug for reassembly, but could actually be moved by us mere mortals. Being able to get this pin in and out more easily comes in very useful in section 5 of this guide.



You now have access to all the parts needed to do the basic trigger job. But we're not going to stop there. Why ? Because although I've seen no one else mention it, I think we can further reduce grittiness in the trigger pull (and I'm right, because I did it) Lets keep going. Disassembly is a cakewalk from here anyway.

Step 5: Remove the pin from the magazine catch from the top down. After frustrating you horribly with the last two steps, Beretta has decided to give you a break here and even provide you with a grooved guide for your punch. Isn't that nice of them ? The catch is clearly spring loaded. Not too strongly, but be careful not to let it pop out fast

Step 6: With the mag catch pin removed, you may now remove the trigger pin. Do this from the inside (under the mag catch) to avoid any possible cosmetic damage to the gun. You may now remove the trigger, trigger bar, and trigger bar spring. (these are the goodies we want)



Now you're finished with all the needed disassembly. You do not need to fully strip the receiver as I have done. I will however show you the parts and explain how to remove them, just for the sake of interest.

  The right side safety lever has a small button which can be depressed. With this pushed in, you can slide the safety lever forward. The button itself will also come out, and is a tiny and easy to lose part. Now this next part is slightly tricky. Once the left side safely lever, and the firing pin/sear assembly have been removed, you can slide the right hand safety lever and full safety assembly out of the gun. WARNING: There is a very tiny spring and plastic nub contained within that will fire out quickly if you allow it to do so. Mine did, and I was incredibly lucky to find it so easily 15 feet away in a large and messy room. This part keeps the safety locked in up or down position. Note from the photo where it will be coming from. Its also an annoying spring to get loaded back in. Now that you've seen it, don't bother.


  There is also the ejector block seated lower in front of the trigger bar/sear assembly. It has its own pin, but don't bother as there is no reason to remove it.


Part 4 - How the Neos works: Why are we making the changes were going to make ?

  Although I'll show a few minor extras that may or may not have any discernable effect, the really important things affecting trigger crispness and pull weight are #1: the engagement between the sear and firing pin, and #2 the sear spring power. Here I'm going to show you how the gun fires, any why the improvements should have the desired effect. For this entire section you may want to refer to the diagram for a better understanding.

  Before giving a full mechanical overview, I'd like to show you the parts. Greater detail of their interaction will be explained later in this section.

  First lets talk about the sear, and it's connection with the firing pin. The firing pin is a rod, with a notch and a "shelf" of sorts. This can be seen in the photo. The engagement face of the sear is what hooks against the "shelf" of the firing pin when the gun is cocked. So, by polishing down this "shelf" and also the engagement edge of the sear we are making the disengagement between them happen sooner and easier when the trigger is pulled. If you don't quite get why that is, bear with me and you will.




  Now lets talk about the Safety/Sear Plunger and Sear spring. The Safety/Sear plunger is a two part housing for the sear spring. One half is pushed into the other to allow the contained spring to compress when the trigger is pulled. The smaller end rests atop the safety lever, and the larger end applies constant compressed spring pressure against the bottom face of the sear.  Later in the work section, I'll be smoothing some of it to reduce trigger "grit".

The sear spring is the most significant part in trigger pull weight. When uncompressed it pushes the sear upward into position to engage the "shelf" of the firing pin. When compressed (by trigger pull) it allows clearance for the sear to disengage the firing pin. By replacing the sear spring with a lighter weight spring, we're directly reducing the weight of the trigger pull.

  Ok, so now we know the parts. So, let's see how they work together and how the gun fires. I've made a rough diagram. The parts are not in perfectly realistic proportion to one another, but it's close enough and I think it get's the point across fairly well.

  When the gun is cocked, a few things happen. The firing pin, being pushed back by the slide, compresses the firing pin spring. Thereby bringing it back to the point where the sear can be pushed upward to engage or "lock in" to the shelfed notch on the firing pin. This is accomplished by the constant spring pressure of the sear spring against the bottom face of the sear. It assures that the sear always wants to pivot it's engagement face upward. One engaged, the firing pin spring cannot uncompress until the sear is disengaged from the firing pin.

  When the trigger is pulled, the attached trigger bar is pulled forward. The trigger bar hook pulls forward the sear hook, forcing it to pivot on the sear pin so that the bottom face of the sear pushes directly against the sear spring housing. As the sear engagement face pivots away from the firing pin, the engagement is broken and the firing pin spring is allowed to uncompress, pulling the firing pin forward to strike the cartridge. This is why the sear spring is significant to trigger pull weight. The compression of the sear spring is directly related to the amount of weight pulling on the trigger. Lighter spring, lighter pull weight.


Part 5 - The action work: Reducing pull weight, Creating a crisp break with no creep, and additional "grit" smoothing.

  So here's where we finally get to start the work. The above sections we're intended for general information and education for everybody. Now that I've gotten that out of the way. I'm going to cut down on lengthy descriptions and explanations a bit here. You know what basically what needs to get done.

Step 1: Polishing the firing pin - What we need to do here is polish and engagement surface. Basically you want to lower its height. I used a medium grit compound, followed by both mother's mag polish paste and then finished with mother's mag billet to make it perfectly smooth as possible. It's very important to make sure you are keeping the polished faces flat. I didn't take pre-measurements. My final measurement of the higher "shelf" was 4.826 mm. And the frontal lower section is 4.3434 mm. The photos shown still have a little ways to go. Don't radius the edge of the higher "shelf", as that will only make your break less crisp.



Step 2: Polishing the sear - Radius the engagement edge. It doesn't take much. Be careful here, as this is THE step where you can cause some damage. You have to know what you're doing here. Too little radius on the edge and you don't gain the advantages, too much and you'll be getting slam fires into full auto or bursts. I used a very fine ceramic stone, then polish, then a final very fine polish. The image shown still has considerably more polishing to do. Polish the faces shown in the image. Only use a very fine polish on the bottom face. It may seem strange to polish that bottom face, but we're doing that to smooth the connecting area of the face with the sear plunger housing to remove any possible trigger pull grit.


  One little trick I found here was to re-pin the sear (which should be easy to do and undo if you followed my earlier advice of filing down the serrations on the pin), and insert the firing pin into the housing. Hold it vertically so the firing pin is facing down, and the sear is engaged holding the firing pin in. Pull on the firing pin from the bottom to ensure you've still got a good solid engagement. Then push on the sear/trigger bar hook lightly with your finger. The easier and smoother it disengages the sear and drops out the firing pin, the better release it will be.



Step 3: Polish (and possibly file) Sear spring plunger - Some will say this is not needed. I say if it assures the removal of any trigger grit, might as well do it. Use a very fine polish (I used Billet polish) to polish the rounded face of the larger half of the plunger which contacts the sear to a mirror finish. This, along with having polished the bottom face of the sear can eliminate some grit. Then polish the entire smaller half of the plunger. This is to smooth the connection inside the larger half during spring compression. Note: these parts are blued, so by polishing you are removing the bluing.

When I inspected the interior of the larger half of the plunger (by feel with a micro-screwdriver), I found it had a decent amount of gritty tooled edges in there which could cause drag along the exterior of the smaller plunger half during compression. So I filed out the insides till the interior was smoother and then polished inside with a very thin polishing head. The less grit the better.


Step 4: Polish the trigger bar and trigger connection areas - Again, this is my own personal step of which the effect may be so small as to be negligible. But once again, the less grit the better. I personally polished the whole trigger bar. Whats actually important here though is to polish the face and rod which makes contact with the trigger. Also to polish the face of the trigger which makes contact with the trigger bar. You want to use a very fine polish here again , and don't do too much, just make it as smooth as possible. You dont want to remove any significant material, which could make the trigger wobbly on the bar. In the photo the trigger bar still needs to be polished.


Step 5: Replace the sear spring - You'll need a find a lighter spring that fits. DO NOT cut down the existing spring. A shorter length spring will not ensure proper sear engagement. Actually.. you want a longer spring, with less strength. I was sent a couple springs to experiment with (Thanks Bill Z!). Here's the weird alternative though.. and it works ! Someone somehow figured out that a properly cut down spring from a bic-mini lighter fits perfectly, and provides an excellent trigger weight. ( If I knew who first came up with that idea, I'd gladly give them a credit here. ) Although in my finished gun I used one of the springs sent to me, I did try the lighter spring method, and it worked perfectly. Here in the photo we have a comparison of the original sear spring and a bic-mini lighter spring cut down to the appropriate size. You don't want to use a spring from a lighter in your gun ? Well, you'll have to find your own solution then. Honestly though, while I can't really RECOMMEND you use the Bic spring, I think it works really well. If you choose to use this method, refer to the photo for an idea of proper length. I tested a lot of things, and it's clear that a slightly longer spring (with significantly less strength of course) will make for a much crisper break. A matching length spring to the original with less power had some trigger creep. The Bic spring pictured is perfection.


Part 6 – Wrap Up:

  So, after much experimentation, and many reassemblies to test various springs and prefect the polished surfaces... My Neos now has gone from between a 5.5 to 6 pound trigger, all the way down to just around 1.7 pounds. It also has eliminated any trigger creep and breaks extremely crisp. Like I promised near the beginning, it came out great !

  When you're happy with the action, use some thread locker on the Firing Pin/Sear Housing Screw. I don't think you'll want to use the strong red stuff. That screw is in there far and tight, and you may want to open it up again sometime. (Possibly to replace the sear spring)

  This took a lot of time and effort so I hope you learned something and enjoyed this Neos tutorial/guide. Once again feel free to contact me on the forums with any questions or comments Thanks for reading, and I wish you good luck on your own action work.