Under-rated guns I like: The Beretta Px4 Storm

Beretta Px4 Storm Subcompact

In 2014, I spent a decent amount of time shooting the Beretta Px4 Storm. I didn’t shoot much in 2014, probably only 7,000 rounds of pistol or so; of that about 2,000 was through the Px4 Storm. I had three posts that covered using the gun, including a review of the Px4 Storm. I shot it in several action pistol matches and at Bianchi Cup, I learned that you can put the “D” spring from a Beretta 8000 series in the Storm to greatly improve the trigger, I discovered that the rotating barrel makes the gun unusually accurate, and that the recoil system is about the most pleasant 9mm I’ve ever shot. In short, I learned that it’s a pretty good gun…and not a lot of people like it.

px4 storm 5

I understand that in the early going, there were problems with some of the Storms. I’ve heard reports of cop guns locking up and having various issues, but it’s something I’ve never seen. Plus, that was a rather long time ago, because while people tend to think of the Storm as a “new” design, it’s been with us for a decade now. It hasn’t always had the easiest time in government service either, having been adopted by a handful of police departments. It’s hard to call that a failure of the gun itself, because with the exception of big sales in the LA metro area in the 80s, Beretta has never really gone hard in the paint after domestic LE contracts. It has enjoyed success in foreign markets, with buyers in South Africa, Peru, Portugal, Canada, and a bunch of other countries that US readers don’t care about.

But is it really fair to judge a gun based on how many soldiers and cops carry one? Or is that a judgement of the efficacy of the parent company’s sales strategy? An example of that would be the Springfield XD, which has been adopted by even fewer militaries and LE agencies than the Storm, but is widely popular in the US consumer market thanks to an incredibly effective marketing campaign in the United States since Springfield acquired the importation rights to the HS2000. It becomes difficult to separate the gun from its company’s marketing efforts, which can lead to quality guns like the Storm not getting the love they deserve, while guns like the XD become popular because of effective marketing.

Make no mistake, I genuinely believe the Storm is a good gun. It’s made by a reputable manufacturer that has a solid history of quality control; the various Storms I’ve had have all proven to be accurate and reliable, and it’s a genuinely easy to shoot well. It’s also quite reasonably priced, frequently available for less than $500 brand new. But it doesn’t get the love, and I think that’s too bad.

If I had to really think about it, I’d say the Px4 never caught on for two reason:

  1. It wasn’t a new Beretta 92 Elite: Serious competition and defensive shooters loved the 92 Elites, and rightfully so. They were (and are) great guns. When Beretta brought the Storm out ten years ago, a lot of the 92 line started to go away as Beretta initially pushed the Storm hard. People who were serious shooters wanted a new 92, not a polymer gun with a weird lock-up system.
  2. It was DA/SA polymer when the market was going to striker fired guns: I think this is the same thing that hurt the Sig SP2022 (or whatever it’s called now). Both the Sig and the Px4 Storm were and are excellent DA/SA guns with polymer frames, and they came right as the entire market was going to polymer framed guns…that were also striker fired. The M&P came out the year after the Storm, the XDm came out in 2006; and the die was pretty much cast. The non-serious shooter, the gun owner wanted striker fired guns.

Now at the end of 2014 and 2015, Beretta has once again started pushing the 92 line-up hard. New models like the M9A3 are coming out in 2015, the G-model has been brought back, and they’ve even collaborated with Wilson Combat to offer a Production/IDPA ready 92 for competition and serious shooters. Make no mistake, I love the 92. I think it is easily one of the top 5 greatest handguns ever produced, and has earned it’s place alongside the Glock 17 and 1911 as icons.

But in all the hoopla, I hope the little Storm doesn’t get blown away. I think it’s a great gun, and at the current market prices of less than $500 delivers a ton of value for what you pay.

19 thoughts on “Under-rated guns I like: The Beretta Px4 Storm”

  1. My wife has very little hand strength after decades at a keyboard in corporate America. The Px4 is the first 9mm she has been able to shoot without a serious problem of stovpiping. It is definitely a soft shooting and reliably functioning handgun.

  2. Problem is Beretta overshadowed themselves with the success of the 92–somebody comes it and asks for a Beretta, I’d hand them a 92 ’cause chances are they’d say “WTF is this?” to a PX4. Maybe they’d sell better if they named it after a cat.

  3. I’ve shot and trained with the Storm a bunch in all calibers. The 9mm and 40 have been superlative in reliability. I’ve never experienced a locked up barrel. I’ve tried to induce this with low-no lube. no luck. I honestly can’t see where this would even remotely happen on the Storm. The rotating barrel and locking system is different from the cougar.

    The trouble with the storm is I also shoot and carry a 92. The storm feels like it has similar traits but feels in the hand like Beretta wanted to make a cheap 92. My passion for the Storm just never got much behind it.

    Like my wife says, “who the hell wants a Storm when you can get a 92?”

    Beretta can make a niche for this gun. It is one of the very few hammer fired DA/SA that is polymer frame. It is also very inexpensive relative to HK products. To my knowledge and research it is also the only hammer fired DA/SA that is 5 inches in height like a G19. All others are 5.4+ inches. My recommendation is to concentrate on the PX4 compact; get holsters and mags out there.

    1. There’s quite a few poly frame TDA pistols out there. SIG SP2022, FNX, CZ P07/P09, Baby Eagle, Ruger P95/P345, and of course the Beretta 90-Two (ha ha).

  4. I picked one up used and I love it. To me there is no comparison between it and the 92 different guns for different uses.

  5. I have a lot of experience with the M9, and put about a hundred rounds through the Storm and I love both guns, but the only thing that keeps me on edge from buying them is that Slide safety.

    1. I have never, in years of owning and shooting Berettas, found the slide safety to be that big a deal. Of course, I also have never been in an environment that mandated its use as anything other than a decocker. Perhaps I’ll change my tune later this year.

  6. I received a 40 cal subcompact for Christmas. Put 50 rounds thru it on New Years. No complaints here so far and it carries well for me.

  7. I’ve greatly enjoyed my PX-4 over the years that I’ve had it.

    I ordered the low profile decocker lever that turned my F model (decocker and safety) into a G model (decocker only), and have been exceedingly happy with the results. The levers don’t stick out as far, and as soon as I let go of them, they pop back up into the “fire” position.

    My only complaint is that the Crimson Trace Railmaster laser I have won’t adjust down far enough to work with the PX-4. Which is a complaint on Crimson Trace, not the PX-4. I need to try it again, and if it still doesn’t work, go over to their office and have them check it out…

  8. Great article! Had my storm for about a year now. put nearly 2k rounds through it. I love it. I was in the Marines, issued an m9. I wanted one for myself but saw this. I couldnt be more happy of my decision to buy this amazing piece. Beretta has again, wowed me. Happy shooting!

  9. I’ve a PX4 in .40 for about 4 years now and after over 5000 rounds through it (even 9mm by accident… 4 times in a row) it still functions flawlessly. No FTE or FTF ever. Very reliable handgun that get’s overlooked. It makes a great home defense gun. However, because of the first DA shot it doesn’t make a good competition gun. It’s hard to squeeze that long trigger quickly and accurately for that first shot. Unfortunately striker-fired or SA only has it beat.

  10. I’ve carried my Px4 .40 on duty as armed security for more than 2 years and I’ve never had an issue with it. Every brand of ammo that I’ve fired from it feeds well and cycles through without a problem. The only problem I’ve had is trying to set up failure drills, My Beretta just doesn’t fail.

  11. So you can really put the D Spring from the 8000 series into the PX4 Storm, Brownells told me it wouldn’t work.

    1. Yes, you absolutely can. I’ve done it twice and it works great. My source for this was a top secret insider at Beretta.

  12. I doubt I’ll ever get one of your beloved Berettas. Both the Storm and 92 have UgaMug looks and have FULL RETARD safeties! There’s 2 reasons the Army said the M9A3 won’t be the next service handgun.

    1. Point of fact: the Army didn’t actually say that. Some dude in the Army may have, but Big Army hasn’t rejected the M9A3.

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