By Dan Kidder Managing Editor
Beretta’s contribution to the polymer framed duty style gun, the PX4 Storm in .40 S&W is a lightweight full-sized pistol in double and single action.
Featuring a durable polymer lower frame with very reliable internals, the PX4 offers the safety of carrying a gun with a chambered round without fear of an unintentional discharge.
The gun completely disengages the firing mechanism when the safety is engaged, removing the risk of going off, even if the trigger is pulled. An additional firing pin block prevents discharge if dropped.
The 27.7-ounce (unloaded) pistol comes with three interchangeable backstraps, making the gun suitable for any sized hands. The 4-inch barrel is sufficient for good accuracy without being so long that it interferes with concealed carry.
Designed for European law enforcement and military use, the PX4 Storm is also a great fit for a personal protection gun in the civilian market. The hallmark of Beretta pistols is the contouring and smoothness that prevents the gun from snagging when drawn from concealment. The smooth lines can also make it somewhat difficult to access the gun’s controls and the stiff slide spring makes chambering a bit difficult. This is aided by the addition of striations on the front of the slide, as well as the rear. These forward striations are necessary, as the safety/de-cocking lever juts out enough to be painful when you are racking the slide. Using the forward slide striations helps avoid this.
The gun is simple to dissemble, though you do have to pull the trigger to get the slide off. Field stripping is a piece of cake, taking the gun down into five distinct pieces; barrel, slide, frame, recoil spring and central block.
The barrel utilizes a rotating lock to dissipate recoil away from the shooter. This minimizes recoil and is especially noticeable in the .40 S&W. This makes returning to target faster and also helps make the gun easier to control for shooters of all strengths.
A 1913 Picatinny rail makes the use of accessories such as lights and lasers a snap to quickly install.
The trigger is fairly stiff in double action mode at around 11 pounds, but very manageable in single action mode at about six pounds. The gun cannot be cocked when the safety is engaged, so carrying a round in the chamber with the hammer back and the safety engaged (Condition 1) is not possible, but a round in the chamber with the hammer down (Condition 2) carry is.
Overall, the fit and finish is unbeatable. The high quality bar stock steel Beretta uses insures years of trouble free use. As always with Beretta’s, my only complaint is that upside down safety and how it digs into your hands when cycling. Everything else is about as good as you can get in a handgun.
The Beretta PX4 Storm shoots amazingly well and the 5.2-inch sight radius and three-dot solid metal sights make target acquisition very easy to achieve. Rapid firing is achievable, thanks to the sights, rotating barrel, recoil management, grip and the trigger combination, so it is an ideal gun for IDPA/USPSA competitions as well as self-defense. The quality of the oldest firearms manufacturer in existence holds true in this offering as well and I give it very high marks overall.