The Beretta Px4 Storm Type-C – Gunfight Safety at its Best?

Send to Kindle



The Type-C Beretta Px4 Storm is noticeably different on first look due to its lack of safety decocker. The gun is classified as “single action only” because its hammer rests at half cock when you rack the slide, not unlike a stiker fired pistol.



This half-cock holds the hammer at partial tension, similar to a single action revolver half cock, but the trigger squeeze both finishes the full cocking of the hammer and fires the pistol.



Firing the pistol (or dry firing) is the only way to leave the hammer at full rest. There is no way to have a live round in the chamber with the hammer at rest. There is no de-cocker and you can not drop the hammer manually with your thumb. There is however, a firing pin block visually connected to the trigger of the gun.



Using a caliper I measured the trigger travel to full reset on the Px4 Type-C as compared to a Smith & Wesson Model 66 Revolver and a Springfield Armory XD .45.



The Px4 came in at 4/10ths of an inch. This was almost exactly between the revolver and the XD. The respective measurement pictures for the revolver are here and
here. For the XD they are

here and
here.



The distinctive Px4 rotating bolt is unlike any pistol in the current mainstream American market and has purported advantage in both recoil management and accuracy.



Taking down the Px4 is much like striker fired guns plastic guns. There is no cross bolt to remove. You just pull down the spring loaded catches. The big difference however is that you don’t have to fire the trigger before taking apart the gun unlike striker fired guns.



Like most modern autos you don’t have to take the Px4 down any further than this for cleaning. It does however have a special hammer group that comes out as one so you can clean it deeper without springs flying all over the place.



The block you see in the takedown picture has a little nub that slides in the rotating bolt. You would think that this is a wear part but apparently the Px4 never breaks.

Beretta USA
http://www.berettausa.com/

Nobody wants to shoot someone by accident, not even if you already shot them once. But something that many people don’t understand is the criminal and civil liability that can arise from doing just that. It is hard to think about a concept such as “gunfight safety.” It is an oxymoron of sorts because a gunfight by nature is not safe. But when you choose a firearm, for concealed carry or as a duty gun, as a police officer or private security, you have to consider how likely is that gun to get you in trouble if you are in the heat of a potential or actual gunfight. Even if you are protected by statute from criminal liability as a police officer or if you live in a state with castle doctrine laws, lawyers can find a way to sue you regardless, and your ability to not fire the gun under stress could potentially affect your life as much as being able to fire the gun under stress.

Buried deep in the Beretta catalog is a version of the PX4 Storm called the “C-Type” for “constant trigger pull.” It is considered “single action only” which is usually a label applied to cowboy revolvers and 1911 style pistols. The action of the Type-C is unique, and it may be the ultimate happy medium that many people are looking for between a revolver, an automatic, and the different trigger and safety combinations on automatics.

The easier it is to fire a handgun, the more the potential there is for an “accidental discharge” where the gun goes boom unintentionally. Go google your favorite handgun name and “accidental discharge” and see what you get. It happens all the time to people who thought they were handling guns safely and you can never be too diligent in this regard. Fundamental gun safety is always important. Never point your gun at anything you don’t want to shoot, and always treat any gun as if it is loaded, even if you think you checked it enough to know that it is not. Also, never put your finger into the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot and the gun is safely pointed downrange.

Guns themselves, and handguns in particular, have a number of features built in to avoid accidental discharges. Each one has its pluses and minuses, and I’ll go over them briefly here.

Manual Safety

Carrying a gun with a manual thumb safety engaged is perhaps the easiest way to avoid an accidental discharge while carrying the gun in its holster or upon drawing, but once you un-holster the gun and point it at a hostile target, expecting a possible gunfight, most training is going to tell you to drop that safety and hold your finger outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to actually fire. When your finger enters that trigger guard, the ease with which you can fire the shot will vary depending on the action type of the gun. On a 1911 type, it can be a very slight motion to fire that round, and it it is easy to mess up and fire a shot accidentally.

A Heavy Trigger Pull

Revolvers, like the famous Smith & Wesson Model 66 I’ve used in testing here, in .357 Magnum, are thought to be the simplest and safest guns to carry, even though there is no external safety on the gun. The long and heavy trigger “double-action” pull makes it impossible to pull the trigger unless you mean to, and as long as you don’t cock the hammer back manually with your thumb (a big mistake made in many movies), you should be protected from an accidental discharge, even if you prematurely place your index finger into the trigger guard. A squeeze of the trigger both cocks and fires the gun, and the additional force required to cock the hammer is enough to prevent the gun from going off by mistake.

That safety aspect of a double-action revolver for many people is reason enough to carry them alone. Many states even require that security guards carry revolvers, though that has been reversed recently in some states. The disadvantages of the revolver is that without extrensive practice it is difficult to fire them accurately without jerking the gun, because your hand does have to struggle against the heavy trigger pull. Another problem is that the “reset distance” is very long on a revolver. You have to let the trigger all the way out before you are able to squeeze off the next round. With training both of these can be overcome, but training takes time and money that many people don’t have.

Some autos, like the Sig 226 line, the Beretta 92 and regular Px4 F-Types, all of the CZ-75 types, the Browing High Power types, and many other hammer fired guns, have what is called a “double-action/single-action” trigger pull system. The first pull of the trigger both cocks and fires the pistol, like with a revolver, but recoil of the first round racks the slide back, cocking the hammer, so that subsequent trigger pulls are single-action, and easy to fire.

The difference in the two trigger pulls first shot to second shot can be a problem with DA/SA guns. You have just pulled so hard on the first shot that your finger naturally wants to take up the now spongy single action trigger, and you can fire a second shot very easily without meaning to. That unintentional second round can be a source of civil litigation. It is generally un-aimed, so it can hit stuff you don’t want to shoot. And if a lawyer can argue that your first shot disabled your attacker and that the second shot was not required, both criminal and civil negligence can be charged against you. Nobody wants to be in a gunfight and nobody likes to think about these things, but these are the realities of life, and without proper training and practice the DA/SA system may not be the best choice for many shooters.

A Long First Pull

Striker fired pistols like the Glock, Springfield Armory XD and many others employ something of a half-cock, where the spring that drives the striker is held under some tension, and the take up of the trigger finishes the spring tensioning and then fires the gun.

The pull on a striker fired gun is substantially lighter than the first pull on a double-action/single-action pistol, and it is also always the same. So that jerky unintended second shot that can happen with an untrained shooter of a DA/SA guns isn’t an issue with striker fired guns. The issue with these guns is the ability to fire that first shot too easily. Some striker guns are available with a manual safety. The XD is available with one, as are the Taurus striker guns. But Glocks and regular XDs and XD(M)s dominate the market for these guns, and a manual safety is not a standard feature on either gun.

The Beretta Px4 Storm Type-C

The Type-C is a happy medium between all of these actions. It is hammer fired and has its own version of half-cock, which is more of a true half-cock the way you think of it with single action revolvers. When you rack the slide, the hammer is suspended half way through its travel, so it is under tension. A squeeze of the trigger finishes cocking the hammer and releases it.

This might seem a little scary when you think about it at first, because you have a hammer at partial striking potential above the chambered round, but when you understand what is going on in the gun, it is really no different that the partial tensioning that we are all so used to in striker fired guns. The difference is that unlike the Glock and XD, the Px4 doesn’t have that little thingy on the trigger as a safety. Instead it has a actual physical firing pin block that you can see as it raises when you pull the trigger all the way backwards. It sticks out of the top of the gun.

You can see in the pictures that the Type-C doesn’t look like a regular Px4 because it doesn’t have the safety de-cocker on the side. This is a feature on double-action/single-action guns that is built to drop the hammer safely for you after you have racked a round into the chamber. The standard Type-F Px4 that you see in the gun shops generally has this, and it is noticeably absent on the Type-C. On the Px4 Type-F the decocker is also a manual safety, though I don’t think most people would carry it on safe in most duty environments. It is difficult to disengage with one hand.

So devoid of an external safety and in half-cock position, the Px4 Type-C is not that different from a Glock, but it also retains the safety advantages of a revolver, without the compromises of a double-action/single-action heavy and light first and second shots. Every trigger pull is the same, and somewhat heavy, much heavier than a Glock or XD. In fact when I measured this gun against a standard Px4 sub-compact (which they don’t make in Type-C), they both broke at around 12 pounds. Theoretically the Type-C should be a little lighter than a Type-F, but my test gun wasn’t as light as it potentially could be.

Reset length is something that is rarely advertised in duty firearms. I don’t know why, because it is one of the things that people naturally do and don’t like about individual guns. The Px4 Type-C is very interesting in this regard. Reset, if you didn’t catch it before, is the distance you have to let the trigger back out before you can pull it again for the next shot. I measured an XD .45 for this article at .176 inches. So after you fire a shot, you can let the trigger out less than 2/10ths of an inch when you hear and feel a click, letting you know that you can pull for the next shot. On a Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver, that distance is .660 inches, which is basically all the way back out. On the Px4 Type-C, the reset was .399, right between the two. This is something that you will want to go to a gun shop and try yourself of course. But I personally found the reset to be as solid and comforting as any striker fired gun I have shot.

You’ll have to excuse me if I sound like a sales guy on this one. I am not a huge fan of either plastic pistols or double-action/single-action (or the Beretta 92 for that matter), so when I encountered this gun I was quite enamored with it. It doesn’t even appear on their website that I can tell. The Px4 micro-site makes no mention of it either. This is strange, because unlike many other “double action only” models of DA/SA guns, the Type-C was a completely unique design for the Px4.

About the Px4 Storm Line

Introduced in 2004, the Px4 Storms have become the anchor product of the Beretta pistol line. They were designed for actual military tests to replace the Model 92 (M9) that are in current use by the US Army, but in the end none of the guns that applied where selected and that was the end of that.

One thing that escaped many people though was that the Px4 was the only gun in all the testing to pass all of the tests. So even though nobody was selected, the Px4 is arguably the best of the bunch. I learned from an inside source at Beretta, (back when they were advertising heavily on the website), that the Px4s were tested more than any gun in the history of the company and did not fail through over 24,000 rounds with only minimal cleaning. They have been adopted by the Maryland State Police (Beretta is located in Accokeek MD) as well as in many city police deparments, as well as military units worldwide as far flung as Malaysia, South Africa and Portugal.

Something that makes the Px4 Storm somewhat novel is a rotating locking barrel design. On the US market there hasn’t been a gun like this since the Colt 2000, and that was a commercial failure. I never got the whole story of why Beretta chose this design for the Px4, but the basics were accuracy, reliability, and flip control. Part of the recoil is used up in the twisting motion of the barrel as the slide travels backward, and it directs it downward. The solid lock of the rotating bolt also theoretically makes the gun more accurate. I don’t know how much the average shooter could judge either of these things, but side by side the muzzle flip is less on the 9mm Px4 than a similar plastic 9mm. Accuracy on a pistol is a very difficult thing to judge regardless because of the small sight radius, so how the gun fits you and how you shoot it are really the only things that matter.

Other features that have become standard among polymer pistols are also standard on the Px4 line. There is a removable backstrap. In front of the trigger guard is an accessory rail, and a luminescent 3 dot sight system is standard. Standard magazine capacity is 17 in 9mm, 14 in .40S&W, and 9 in .45ACP. New this year at SHOT was a compact size Px4, that has the same rotating barrel design. I do not know whether they make this Type-C in anything but the full size 9mm.

Hands On

This actual review gun had a unique treatment that I have never done with another gun. I sent it out to a reviewer who then lent it to his local range to use as an occasional rental gun. The range and the reviewer collected overall impressions on the gun and this is what they came up with. The reviewer has asked to be identified by his internet handle “hso” and many of you may know him as a moderator of The High Road, which is the most popular internet gun forum.

Several months ago I received a PX4 Storm in 9mm to evaluate, but was asked to perform an evaluation different from those seen in typical reviews on the net and in paleopublications. Y’know, tech specs, performance on the range with a couple of hundred rounds of ammo, praise with heavily veiled criticisms, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Since that’s all been done much slicker than I could I thought I’d treat the gun like a pass-around and get my initial impression (couple hundred rounds, praise with thinly veiled criticism) and then get some friends and acquaintances to put a few mags through it and give their more frank opinions. Finding I had fewer friends than I thought I decided to drop it into the local indoor range rental case and ask for some brief very subjective input and try to make sense out of that. From summer 2010 until early winter the PX4 was subjected to select and random handling and had close to a thousand rounds put through it.

My impression, being a single action steel semiauto pistol shooter, was that you could miss a birthday waiting for the trigger to break and the thing to go BANG. Looonngg trigger. Smooth, but long. Friends, associates and even just folks on the range commented on it (I stole the “birthday line” from one of the female range employees that shot it). Still, we all found the Storm was steady and comfortable to shoot in spite of a top-heavy feel and that trigger. It was also a long reach to the trigger for some, but not for most. The grip was smooth without being slippery.

The sights were easy to see and point of impact and point of aim was spot on at these distances. It cycled smoothly and the upper was easy to grip It was accurate also, when I did my part and others I respected did theirs. Grouped well at standard distances (15 to 3 yards)..

Magazines provided with it loaded easily enough and inserted into the grip easily without hanging up or dragging or being difficult to release.

Pretty predominant comments from the vast majority of shooters.

I mentioned a top-heavy feel and I wasn’t the only one to notice. My wife, who shoots CZ75s, commented on it. A learning shooter buddy of mine noticed it (she too shoots a steel and alloy CZ type). A couple of experienced shooter buddies on 1911s said the same thing. Even the public shooters sometimes commented it was “kinda top-heavy”. That’s all a question of balance and the Storm just seems to be balanced “wrong”. Fill it full of 9mm ball ammo and it doesn’t feel much different. Shot fine, but balanced “weird”.

Of the roughly thousand rounds it ate it never failed to feed or eject. It just kept on ticking. We agreed to never clean it and try to catch it not running. It ate every weird thing I could feed it from cheap remanufactured ball to standard defensive ammo to even goofy ultralight ultrafast stuff and CorBons and Safety Slugs. It always went BANG. It ate American Eagle ball in the range and was fed Wolf from time to time. It just kept going BANG. When it looked so filthy and dry that one of the range employees thought it would quit working he spritzed it with CLP and wiped the exterior off and put it back in the case for the next random encounter. It kept going BANG.

No one loved it, but everyone respected it because it kept going BANG. Even when dirty, even when fed crap, even when fed exotic defensive ammo. A thousand rounds of random ammo from random shooters and it kept going BANG. Isn’t that what a pistol is supposed to do?

Beretta USA
http://www.berettausa.com/

{ 49 comments }

{ 48 comments… add one }

  • Jeff Burke March 9, 2011, 7:53 pm

    Just thought I would comment on the very helpful review of this gun. I am looking for a pistol preferably a compact or subcompact and this is one of the guns I am considering. I would like to see a review of the Kimber Solo Carry 9mm.
    Thanks

  • Chris March 19, 2011, 10:00 pm

    Good blog and interesting writeup on the PX4. It’s one of the guns I was looking at but didn’t go for it as I can get guns I feel are superior for over $100 less. I do want to comment on something you said:
    “The difference is that unlike the Glock and XD, the Px4 doesn’t have that little thingy on the trigger as a safety. Instead it has a actual physical firing pin block that you can see as it raises when you pull the trigger all the way backwards. It sticks out of the top of the gun. ”

    I feel you are mistaken that this is a novel feature of the PX4. All striker-fired guns I have seen have a physical firing pin block. Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P, XD/XDm, Ruger SR9 all have them. The trigger guard on these guns is NOT the only safety. I am not sure if you are indeed mistaken or merely chose bad wording. The middle insert on the Glock, XD/m, and SR9 are all to prevent the trigger from being moved rearward if the pistol is dropped or the trigger bumped. The M&P uses a hinged trigger to achieve the same result. The only way to actuate the trigger is to directly pull it back. Once the trigger is pulled back, the rest of the safety mechanisms are disengaged, including the firing pin block. The difference on the PX4 is that you can actually SEE the block.

    I do agree that a striker-fired carry pistol should have a manual thumb safety. I ruled out a Glock based partially on that missing feature. You’ll notice that many striker-fired guns on the market have a manual safety model in their lineup.

  • pete March 26, 2011, 6:29 pm

    I was looking at this one awhile ago, but information was so hard to find (still is, px-4 website isn’t exactly useful). What is the opinion on the Type D – Double Action Only? Has no safety, no external hammer, and an automatic firing pin block. How would this compare to the Type C in a home-defense application?

    • Administrator March 27, 2011, 12:42 am

      I think the type c is superior. It has a shorter reset.

  • love it March 29, 2011, 10:49 am

    Hmmm I have the da/sa variant in. 40 and love it. I don’t know what you can consider betters for anything near $100 less. Hk is the only other poly to put in the class with this and you are looking at $500 plus. Must be a glock hugger. Then again I don’t know what gun you would even want in the $400 range that isn’t subcompact. The trigger is smooth and accuracy is great. Author is weak or just lazy saying accuracy is hard to judge. Sure but its all relative to what sights or radius on the gun because that’s how we use it. The px4 will shoot one ragged hole in the center of a .22 target at 35 feet not some crazy satellite group like a taurus. I have over 7000 rounds of various ammo through mine without a hiccup yet.

    • Jim March 29, 2011, 4:34 pm

      I too have a PX 4 and mine is in 9 mm. It is a great weapon it just keeps on ticking. I have put thousands of rounds through mine and it has never failed me. Once in a while I do carry it, although I hate the safety but it is a good thing on this typr of weapon. I regularly carry Glock 23 in 40 cal or a Glock 26 in 9 mm, and I feel very comfortable with their safety system. Anyway back to PX 4 – definetely a great and well manufactured firearm.

    • Jimmy March 29, 2011, 10:03 pm

      I have the PX4 in .45. Also have a RIA 1911A1. The PX4 shoots great, checkering on grip provides sure hold, and recoil is managed well in cycling action and getting back on target. Capacity of actually a 10rd magazine as sold through Beretta will get you a 10+1 max load. Phosphated steel slide and composite frame are balanced well, and full 11rds does give some heft, but comparable to 1911. I prefer the mass to soak up recoil and have no issues with the weight. Take down is a breeze, and I use Sentry dry lube (http://www.sentrysolutions.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=APL03&Store_Code=SENTRY). Aim small, hit small.

  • Jim March 29, 2011, 11:02 am

    This is a really well-written, honest, no bull, forthright analysis, a pleasure to read and thoroughly comprehensible. Thanks for publishing it — it is a credit to the writer and the website

  • Mr Conehead March 29, 2011, 4:51 pm

    Hundreds of Mexican Citizens murdered by Drug gangs, using guns supplied by BATFE and Obama Whitehouse !!!

    This will also open up the U.S. Government to large amounts of lawsuits from grieving families of the murdered.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/28/obama-administration-mounting-pressure-botched-gun-trafficking-investigation/?cmpid=cmty_email_Gigya_Obama_Administration_Under_Mounting_Pressure_for_Botched_Gun_Trafficking_Investigation

    Why was this NOT disclosed by the major news media networks when describing the violence in Mexico as an “American Gun” issue? I believe as others that the Obama Administration is trying to harm the 2nd Amendment and take away freedoms of current gun owners, using this “special project” to enact MORE ridiculus gun laws!

    WE MUST KEEP THIS GOING AND NOT ALLOW THIS TO BE KEPT QUITE !
    PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CUT AND PASTE THIS AND SEND IT ALL OVER THE PLANET.

    • Commiefornia March 29, 2011, 11:36 pm

      I believe CBS was the first to break this story and I’ve seen no mention of it from either ABC or NBC. Interesting how Obama was about to name Andrew Traver as his nominee to head the ATF when this story came to public light due to Sen. Charles Grassley’s inquiry about the supposed gun runner program by the ATF. Harry Reid put a screeching halt to Traver’s Senate hearing date. Obama went on t.v. a few days later proclaiming that the US has been successful at stopping the flow of guns into Mexico. Didn’t Obama pledge government transparency when he took office?

    • Ed McCarthy February 26, 2012, 11:24 am

      Excuse me…but the program was started and funded by the Bush Administration. I wish people would educate themselves and stop listening to what they want to hear.

      • Danny March 18, 2012, 2:53 am

        Thank You, Ed.
        It does seem like these folks have forgotten about all the wonderful (sarcasm intended) things our dear, intelligent, (sarcasm intended again) Mr. Bush and his pals are responsible for. They just love it when it all gets brainwashed into the tiny minds of their faithful followers that President Obama is somehow responsible for their (the Bush Administration) mindless acts.
        But, it’s sad to say, and it will continue to be fact; they’re only ‘listening to what they want to hear.”

        • Danny March 18, 2012, 2:56 am

          By the way, I love my PX4 Storm (Type F) It’s a fine bit of quality workmanship. Thanks for the article. I’m now considering a Type C.

        • Barry May 12, 2012, 6:04 pm

          Are you morbidly stupid? Eric Holder has proven to have lied about Fast and Furious, and you’re talking about brainwashing? “NDAA ummm BUSH’S FAULT!” No no no that was the Patriot Act…

      • 12Centuries October 16, 2012, 11:09 am

        Not true, Ed McCarthy. The Fast and Furious program was started in October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency. Yes, there were programs during the Bush presidency where ATF agents did “controlled delivery” of a few guns into Mexico in order to trace them, but they were all done with the full knowledge and oversight of the Mexican government, in a sort of “entrapment scheme.” Controlled delivery is a very common law enforcement tactic, and is NOT the same as “gun walking” that we first saw in Fast & Furious.

        Fast and Furious was TOTALLY different. It involved the UNCONTROLLED walking of THOUSANDS of guns in to Mexico, WITHOUT knowing whose hands they would end up in, and all without the knowledge or approval of the Mexican government. They played fast and loose, and people died.

        Why don’t YOU educate yourself and stop listening to what you want to hear?

      • Chris McDowell February 16, 2014, 3:28 am

        “I wish people would educate themselves and stop listening to what they want to hear.” Funny you should say that Ed McCarthy. Bush came up with but ultimately NEVER initiated a similar program, known as “Operation Wide Receiver”. It was scrapped in October 2008, several months before King Barry and his racist henchman Holder DID initiate “Operation Fast & Furious”. 2 completely different programs in that one was never given the green light, one was. Bush IS NOT responsible for the deaths of Brian Terry, and scores of Mexican nationals as the result of the most bungled “sting” operation in the history of the US (unless of course you want to include Ruby Ridge and Waco, which happened on Hillary’s husband’s watch). King Barry and Eric the racist ARE responsible for those deaths, yet seem to be getting off the hook. So, to bring this full circle for you, Ed McCarthy – “I wish people would educate themselves and stop listening to what they want to hear.”

  • Steve March 29, 2011, 5:17 pm

    One mistake in this review; the Browning Hi-Power is not SA/DA, but pure single action, just like its 1911 cousin.

  • Wayne G. March 29, 2011, 6:37 pm

    I have one DA/SA system gun and I can manually cock the hammer, from half cock, long before I have it lined up to shoot. Makes the first and second shot feel the same because they are. That is if you keep one in the pipe and ready, which is how I carry. What sense is a carry not ready?

  • Ross March 29, 2011, 6:44 pm

    Too bad that Beretta instead of coming out with the PX4 Storm compact in .40 it only came out with the C version of the 9mm. A step up in caliber would have been more welcomed than a double action only pistol. We could use a holster for laser carry with this new pistol as well.

    • Brian D January 1, 2012, 3:42 am

      My pistol pistol is the C Type in 40.

      • Don R February 16, 2012, 7:12 pm

        As is mine . . .

  • hobobob March 29, 2011, 7:11 pm

    how would you rate the Bersa thunder 9mm UltraCompact in this catagory?

    • Bobby Hunter March 4, 2012, 12:38 pm

      I have a Bersa Thunder UC9 that I use as a classroom gun. It is big and heavy and clunky feeling, and the grips are too large for many men and most women. It is totally unsuitable for concealed carry. But it has never once malfunctioned in 3 years of CCW classes even tho limp-wristed students have shot many thousands of round of cheap 9mm ammo thru it.

  • Jimmy March 29, 2011, 10:10 pm

    Forgot to add: F-type (decocking safety, left/right) DA/SA. The author covers “reset” of sear after first shot, but many shooters without having had good instruction never know this *trick* for the follow-up shot. Feeling/listening for the reset is a great tool for cadence and the 6-steps to firing the shot–works for Rifles and pistols.

  • big johnson March 30, 2011, 1:25 am

    I’ve owned my PX4 (F-model) for over a year now. Although I purchased it for the novelty of the “twisting” action of the barrel during recoil, (it seemed like a pretty cool idea to me) I’ve actually grown to love the pistol. It does seem a little “top-heavy” as the author of this story has stated, but after a few magazines are ran through it, +P’s included, that “feel” of being top heavy is the LAST thing on your mind when firing this pistol. This is BAR NONE the smoothest, most comfortable, pleasant, easy to shoot pistol I’ve ever fired. Mine is a 9mm, so I can’t speak for the .40 or .45 but it is really fun to shoot. It has the comparable accuracy of my Kimber .45 Custom II, although I do prefer my .45 for CC. The PX4 is so much fun to shoot and easy to load as well as a VERY comfortable fit to my hand, (thanks to the 3 different grip set-ups that ARE included with the purchase price of the pistol) it kind of shoots itself in the foot, so to speak, by being TOO simple and fun to take it serious as a CCW. Don’t get me wrong, I DO leave the Kimber and Colt .45′s at home on occasion just to carry the PX4 in my dandy little shoulder holster along with the extra magazine. With this combination, with my back-up pistol, I have 35 rounds of 9mm as well as another 7 rounds of .380 back-up on my person, ready to use, and the light weight of the PX4 makes for a very comforting as well as comfortable CCW.
    If I were to get into a situation where more than 42 rounds of ANYTHING were needed, I will be taking a class on RUNNING ! To anyone considering the PX4 and anyone who isn’t, GET ONE ! DON’T let the LOW PRICE scare you away. This is one pistol (it’s a freakin’ BERETTA for Pete’s sake) that is affordable, TOTALLY DEPENDABLE, very easy to shoot with great accuracy, light weight, and PLENTY of good old FIRE-POWER, you can’t really afford to NOT get one ! It’s the ONLY Beretta I own and I don’t work for any fire-arms company. I’m a hardcore John Moses Browning 1911 .45 kind of guy BUT, as far as an affordable, HIGH QUALITY 9mm goes, THIS IS THE PISTOL. It fires every time you want it to.

  • Bought one April 1, 2011, 12:18 am

    I bought mine for the 17 and 20 round factory mags who cares if it’s top heavy I have a ton of lead to sling. Also EMA tactical had a carbine conversion for it to sbr pdw it. May get that but I have a roni g1 on glock sbr already

  • E.Russell April 6, 2011, 8:03 pm

    Actually, the gun IS available in .40 S&W with the type ‘C’ trigger …….. I have one!

  • Mark April 12, 2011, 6:14 am

    I am a law enforcement student, and former (if there is such a thing) soldier. First and foremost, I HATE the M9! But in the extensive research I’ve done to find a duty weapon for my future career, this has topped my list!

    I just wanted to make a quick observation about the top heaviness. One thing we have to keep in mind about this gun is that as the author stated it was entered into trials to replace the M9, and was in fact the only weapon to make it through. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the designers intentionally made it top heavy to compensate for soldiers (and cops) carrying the extended magazines. They make a 20 round magazine for the gun (9×19). That’s a lot of weight to offset that heavy slide!

  • D. A. Moss April 12, 2011, 7:00 pm

    I appreciated this thoughtful article on the PX4 Storm, Type C. MY girlfriend and I are both CHL holders and enjoy shooting as often as we can. We both own Beretta 92s, Colts, etc. After the great Obama scare, ammo shortages, and a two year wait on Beretta’s slowness in manufacturing, I was finally able to locate and purchase (for her) a PX4 Storm, Type F subcompact in .40 S&W. She did her own research and decided to pass on Types C, D, and G. Now, it is her primary carry weapon and she loves the gun. Frankly, I love it too. It is a very fine little shooter and the price was much nicer than what I handed over for my Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II (.45 caliber). Based on our experiences, the PX4 Storm line of handguns are impressive.

  • JB April 19, 2011, 12:30 am

    Slight correction to the article; The Colt 2000 had a rotating lock up and it was a failure commercially…lousy trigger pull was a huge factor. However, the PX4 is not the first rotating barrel pistol that was commercial success here in the U.S. The Beretta 8000 Cougar’s were the first and that is where the PX4 series trace their lineage. They are now made in Turkey by Stoeger. The 8000’s came in 9mm-8000, .40 cal.-8040, .357 Sig-8357 and .45 ACP-8045 They had all the actions, F, G, and D and also came in a compact model. Fine pistols, but the PX4 line is an improvement over the Cougars.

  • Roger April 19, 2011, 11:29 am

    Another handgun to compare with the PX4, is the Sig P250. I have owned an early model for well over a year, with great satisfaction. It also is a hammer fired hand gun, with a constant action, and long 6lbs. trigger pull.

  • timmon May 9, 2011, 10:49 pm

    i hope it is sheap

  • dean crumbauhg May 30, 2011, 9:46 pm

    I am a municipal police officer and was issued my type f px4 in .40 just less than three years ago to use as my primary duty weapon. The police department switched from the 92fs, and most of the officers were NOT impressed with the px4; me included. The pistol looked too “space gunnish”, and no one else carried them. However, I now have well over 3,000 rounds out of this pistol with only one malfunction that I can recall. This malfunction was my fault as I had it pressed close in to my body, and the slide hit my clothing and vest during recoil. When I realized that I had caused it, and fixed my position, no more malfunctions were observed. I have shot milk jugs with it at 100 yards, shot the pistol until almost too hot to handle, and competed and won in many impromptu challenges. After almost three solid years of shooting and carrying it, I can say that I don’t really care what it looks like, or if anyone else likes them. This is the most reliable, easy recoiling handgun that I have had, and now it is what I carry most. I trust it’s reliability, and durability, and will buy more of them for my personal collection.

  • denner37 June 14, 2011, 10:11 pm

    I don’t own the fullsize storm, however, I do own the Compact and SubCompact in DA/SA. They are both extremely balanced firearms, especially the Compact in my observations. So, the top heavy observation from this review, I’m just not perceiving. I can say, I have mastered both double actions on both pistols with great accuracy after a couple of practice sessions. Follow through and keeping your front sight on target is the key. I just simply love them both and both are extremely accurate and reliable fun shooting pistols.

  • mlw September 16, 2011, 7:59 pm

    For MR. CONEhead.
    The article was very interesting and insightful. I, as many of you are, am interested in getting good information about guns and ammo. Why does some half baked person seems to always muscle in ” politics ” and 2nd amendment. U don’t care for the gov’t, fine, say it somewhere else. For as long as we have had a constitution, when did some “half baked” politician try to take away our rights to own and or legally carry a firearm? Your attitude and guns go together about as well as driving and drinking, there is a time and a place for each.

  • AnObfuscator November 21, 2011, 8:00 pm

    Good writeup, but the type C trigger system that you describe is not unique — it is almost exactly like the HK LEM.

  • shoeman December 14, 2011, 3:11 am

    I currently own an M&P in 9mm. My agency awarded Beretta the contract to provide our new service pistol, the PX-4 in 9mm. They opted for the D model (DA Only). I was skeptical at first as I really liked the M&P and hoped it would have been the successful bidder. I do agree with many of the comments above in that the trigger pull goes on for days and pistol is top heavy. The slide is easily 25% taller than the M&P’s which definitely contributes to the weight.
    As part of my qualification, I put approximately 3200 rounds through this pistol and I have to say it is an amazing piece of kit. The accuracy with the rotating barrel is remarkable. The recoil is less than my M&P as well (standard bullet is 147 grain). I got use to the trigger pull after about 400 rounds, as I did the top heavy weight. It’s a breeze to strip down and clean and fires true every time. The contract was I believe for 4800 units.
    Bravo Beretta.

  • Brian D January 1, 2012, 3:37 am

    I have a new Type C Law Enforcement, has only had 1 mag fired thru it. I’m not a fan of 40s, except my G22 RTF, but I got this PX4 40 brand new in on a trade. I’ve tried and tried to trade this Beretta for a 9mm preferrably a G19,17, XD 9 or Sig 2022 but, nobody wants it. Everybody keeps saying it’s a piece of shit, I ask “Have you ever owned one or fired one” the answer is ALWAYS “no” but they’ve always heard of someone saying this or that about it.
    Where did this horrible reputation come from IF the weapon is so great ? I’m beginning to feel like I got seriously ripped off because Beretta has no return policy. I’d love to have the PX4 9mm at least.

  • Joshua Kaminski January 6, 2012, 9:29 pm

    I loved this article, I just picked up this gun and the guy at the shop said it “was custom made to just double action.” i thought that was weird, so i’m glad to read here that is the type c version. Love the gun thanks a lot! :)

  • Dan W. January 11, 2012, 10:16 pm

    I’m a little confused by this article. I thought the type C is essentially a “light DAO”, but you said the trigger broke at 12 lbs? Then what does the type D which the true DAO version’s trigger break at?

  • Matt February 24, 2012, 9:00 pm

    I also have a type C 9mm and the only problem I’ve ever had with it is getting a tech order from beretta that lists the type C. As far as the “top heavy” thing goes, I put the biggest of the switchable grips on and that helped quite a lot. Or if you carry for duty a pair of mechanix padded palm gloves works nice too. 17 rds hanging off the bottom helps the balance but it is noticable. Try switching to the biggest grip tho, it helps.

  • Bobby Hunter March 4, 2012, 12:47 pm

    the compact is available in type C and has the rotary-lock barrel. The sub-compact does NOT come in type C and has a traditional tilt-lock barrel. videos of all types are on youtube if you search for them.

  • Adapt.and.Evolve March 28, 2012, 3:03 am

    Px4 storm subcompact 9mm. 1600 rounds of different ammo 127 gr magdot core, 124 gr winchester talons, 115gr blazer, 124 blazer alum case, steel case luger,crap remanufacture. 1600 rounds in 3 days. Only cleaned once and that was before it was shot. every single round was fired and ejected with out issues. When you really need this gun to work it will do it and do it flawlessly. mud sand water swamp, it kept spitting bullets. train with the weapon u carry and train well and the trigger pull will not be an issue. Its only an issue when you dont allow urself to adapt because it is something different from the gun we shoo,t we want the gun to feel like what we are used to. Adapt to it and it will work for you just like life.

  • PX4Newbie March 29, 2012, 4:24 pm

    Agree with the points of this article. Well done. However, I chose the Storm based on the balance in my hand. Felt the grip was the best fit to my hand of the models I tried out (Glocks, Springfields, Sig, and, yes, even the Beretta 92).

    Another point from someone that recently purchased: After 6 gun shops, one gun show I could find NO used/consignment Px4′s! Found plenty of Glocks, Springfields, and Sig’s but didn’t see one Storm. So for all the Storm haters out there: folks that buy this gun keep it. That’s quite a testiment to the PX4! That alone supports my decision.

    Now I’m not brand biased. Sig 226/229′s were very strong second considerations. Both Sig’s were 80% more in price and they were a different class of gun (all metal).

  • Alec October 28, 2012, 6:23 pm

    I own the PX 40 and it has proven reliable and accurate (when I do my part.) I like the weight distribution because it reminds me to follow through. Never had a misfire and creates a small rag hole at 3, reasonable group at 15 and a small pie plate pattern at 25 yards.I keep thinking about trading it but then I shoot it and forget about replacing it. I also shoot a Smith and Wesson 19 in 357 and feel those two will cover the bases. Both are accurate and dependable.

    • tom October 12, 2014, 8:08 pm

      NEWBIE ! Is right !, My first storm was a 9mm fullsize it was to big for a carry conceal! I didnt want to give it up! when i took it back to the original place of purchase The guys mouth dropped! but when i told him i wanted to trade straight up on a 40 compact , he understood . and with a little haggling we struck a fair deal! I went back 3 months later to purchase a 40 subcompact and was told he purchased it for himself! I have never been to a shop and seen them 2nd hand sale. there are many that just cant admit that smooth rotating barrel is the B$%B! I have ex military friends that i range with they don’t even shoot Glocks! I’ve shot a lot of firearms and I’m sorry to say most are over rated! Specially Glocks!

  • tom October 12, 2014, 7:33 pm

    Your kidding me right? If your that unsure of your shooting skills and ability to keep your focus in a stressful situation, and that’s
    what it will be! you shouldn’t even own a firearm! If your that unsure of your mental toughness a single or double action is not going to make a difference in your fate! Keep your wits about you! that’s what will keep your butt from the flame! And never say a word till your attorney shows ! and i mean not a word!!! And make sure your first call is to the N.R.A for a competent attorney in your area !

  • tom October 12, 2014, 7:35 pm

    Your kidding me right? If your that unsure of your shooting skills and ability to keep your focus in a stressful situation, and that’s
    what it will be! you shouldn’t even own a firearm! If your that unsure of your mental toughness a single or double action is not going to make a difference in your fate! Keep your wits about you! that’s what will keep your butt from the flame! And never say a word till your attorney shows ! and i mean not a word!!! And make sure your first call is to the N.R.A for a competent attorney in your area !

Leave a Comment