Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Renown Browning Hi Power Expert - Stephen A. Camp

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Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:22 am

Hello. For roughly 4 decades now, my autoloader of choice has been a single-action such as the Browning Hi Power or 1911. In the '80's I coughed up the then high tariff for a CZ-75 since it appeared interesting, had gained the blessing of Col. Cooper and allowed for Condition One Carry (cocked-and-locked) if desired.

During roughly this same time-frame, I became a police firearm instructor, which necessitated my being very familiar and competent with other than single-action autoloaders or double-action revolvers.

So, I began rigorously working to improve my skills with SIG-Sauers' P220 and P226 DA/SA pistols as they were very well-represented within the law enforcement community as well as Glock's line of handguns. I found that at least with some of the DA/SA automatics, the transition from DA to SA just was not the "monster" described by some scribes, which prompted me to try other than single-action automatics; with the money spent over the years, I'm not sure if that was a blessing or a curse...

The most recent of this seemingly never-ending line of pistols to shoot is the 9mm PX Storm from Beretta. Mine is the "Type F", IE: conventional DA/SA with the slide-mounted thumb safety. The pistol is locked breech, but uses a rotating barrel system to accomplish this. It seems to work well at least in my initial range session. The gun functioned flawlessly with the 435 rounds fired.

Image
Here is a picture of it next to the very common Glock 17. Hopefully, this gives folks at least an approximate idea of its size.

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I tried this pistol with a six different loads. From left to right:
DAG 124-gr. FMJ, Winchester Ranger 127-gr. +P+, handload using Speer 124-gr. Gold Dot, a discontinued Corbon +P load using the Hornady 124-gr. XTP, Speer 147-gr. Gold Dot, and Remington 147-gr. Golden Saber. These all fed smoothly and flawlessly.


Image
I fired no further than 15 yards in the initial range session. It was windy and the 25-yard pistol range was occupied. I fired this group while seated and with wrists braced on sandbags. I was trying to gauge the pistol's inherent mechanical accuracy...and was very pleasantly surprised.

In short, I found the pistol to be extremely comfortable, 100% reliable...at least so far, and surprisingly accurate.

If interested in a considerably more detailed review, look here:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/shoo ... torm_9.htm


Best.
Stephen A. Camp
 

Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Quahog » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:33 am

Stephen,

Thanks for both of those most-excellent writeups. I was reading something last night that said Beretta's rotating-barrel design is very reliable, accurate, normal maintenance, and today I wanted to read more so I searched and came across your post. While at Academy a couple of weeks back, I saw both the PX4 Storm Compact and Sub-Compact and they both had a nice feel to them. The slides were especially smooth and had the feel of really good engineering.

I'll have to check this out further. I did note that in the full-sized pistols, the PX4 is slightly larger and heavier than its Glock 17 counterpart but not by a lot.

Thanks again! :cheers2:
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Teamless » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:38 am

Quahog, a guy I work with bought the PX4 Storm a loves it.
I told him about PSC so when I become a member he wants to come out, and when we do, I am sure I can talk him into letting you shoot it if you want.
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Quahog » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:38 am

Teamless wrote:Quahog, a guy I work with bought the PX4 Storm a loves it.
I told him about PSC so when I become a member he wants to come out, and when we do, I am sure I can talk him into letting you shoot it if you want.


That sounds like a deal, Teamless!
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Travis » Wed May 05, 2010 7:26 pm

Quahog,

I don't own the px4 but have shot it many times and it consitantly shoots accurate, I was very impressed with the functions of the barrel. I'm a glock guy but that will be my next handgun I purchase. Fwiw I was shooting the subcompact 9mm at 25 yards and loved it but will probably purchase it in the 40 cal. I totally agree with Mr Camps review, and Mr Camp you need to try it at the 25 yard range it has the same performance.
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Quahog » Wed May 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Travis wrote:Quahog,

I don't own the px4 but have shot it many times and it consitantly shoots accurate, I was very impressed with the functions of the barrel. I'm a glock guy but that will be my next handgun I purchase. Fwiw I was shooting the subcompact 9mm at 25 yards and loved it but will probably purchase it in the 40 cal. I totally agree with Mr Camps review, and Mr Camp you need to try it at the 25 yard range it has the same performance.


I guess you could say I'm a Glock guy too :)

A PX4 is probably in my future... I still like them a lot. In fact, if Grumble lived a bit closer, I would have probably taken him up on the one he was trying to sell.

I really liked the rotary barrel but it's not clear to me whether that's available in the sub-compact or not.
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby aaangel » Wed May 05, 2010 7:52 pm

can't wait for the compact one to come out!
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Wed May 05, 2010 8:08 pm

Hello. The subcompact version does not use the rotary barrel. It is a locked breech gun via tilting barrel. The standard and compact versions use the rotating barrel but I've read that there is just not enough steel present in the smallest version to use the primary locking lug in the rotating system.

Best.
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Travis » Wed May 05, 2010 10:25 pm

Sorry guys I stand corrected, I called my boss it is the compact. Thank you for setting me strait, I guess it seemed subcompact compared to the glock 22 I had at the time.
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Quahog » Thu May 06, 2010 6:50 am

Stephen A. Camp wrote:Hello. The subcompact version does not use the rotary barrel. It is a locked breech gun via tilting barrel. The standard and compact versions use the rotating barrel but I've read that there is just not enough steel present in the smallest version to use the primary locking lug in the rotating system.

Best.


Thanks for confirming, Stephen
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Sat May 08, 2010 11:34 pm

Hello. I shot the pistol again today at a friend's place in the country where he has built his own range. It was windy and we only fired from about 20 yards or so. The pistol fired another flawless 200 rounds of 9mm 124-gr FMJ ammunition. Groups were not nearly as tight as when seated and with wrists braced, and I just wasn't shooting as well today. Since I already had determined (at least to my satisfaction) that the pistol has more than adequate mechanical accuracy, shots were fired standing with a two-hand hold. Groups were generally in the 3 to 4" range and to point-of-aim. My buddy shot it and got a little tighter groups than I did.

I had purposely not cleaned or lubed the gun's interior since I first shot it and it has reliably handled over 600 shots. Could it make a thousand? Maybe; it still runs "slick as a gut" but I don't particularly care. I normally clean my pistols (traditional steel and walnut or "combat tupperware") after each range session.

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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Mon May 17, 2010 11:23 pm

Hello. Since my last post, I've been able to get another 420 rounds through the pistol. Results are boring: surprisingly good accuracy in my opinion, zero light primer strikes and zero failures to feed any bullet shape tried from handloaded Sierra 115-gr. JHP's to 147-gr. Remington Golden Sabers. Not a single ejected case has struck me in the head or anywhere else. The trigger has smoothed up a bit though I found both the DA and SA trigger-pulls to be quite useable from the beginning.

In my admittedly short-term observations, the PX4 is a quality pistol and I found no problems with the rotating barrel.

While it is not my favorite handgun and probably never will be, I trust it and wouldn't hesitate to use it for either concealed carry or "house duty".

Best.
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Stephen A. Camp » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:17 am

Hello. Back in April, I reported on my observations of a PX4 9mm I bought. In that initial outting, I mentioned that 435 rounds were fired with zero problems.

Since then, off and on, I've been putting more rounds through the gun and waited to comment until I'd reached at least 1000 more shots. I've not cleaned or lubed the pistol other than to wipe down the exterior and keep notes on how many rounds were eventually fired before cleaning and lubing the pistol.

That number is 1022 shots, which consisted of factory ball, quite a few warmish handloads using jacketed or plated bullets and a couple of hundred assorted factory JHP +P. Before the shooting started, the pistol was lubed "normally" using plain old Rem-Oil, but not between range trips.

My PX4 didn't get "sluggish" or suffer any feeding, extraction or ejection problems.

When I field-stripped it, the barrel and lug area were practically dry, with but a tiny remnant of the original oil left. Would it have gone another 1000 shots w/o cleaning; I do not know, but neither am I too concerned. I just do not see firing that many shots w/o being able to clean the pistol.

I understand that results from my single pistol are both statistically invalid and not necessarily what others might experience, but it wouldn't surprise me if it is just par for this model, which so far has been reliable to the tune of 100%.

The PX4 Storm 9mm is not such a favorite of mine that my Brownings, Glocks, SIG-Sauers, etc are going anywhere, but in my view it continues to serve very reliably and with better mechanical accuracy than I initially expected.

1022 shots betweening cleaning/lubing is not a marathon or torture test, but it is enough in my opinion for me to state that I can find nothing inherently "wrong" with Beretta's rotating barrel in the PX4 Storm.

I think I'll just shoot mine and not worry about it. So far, there's just been no reason to.

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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby cougartex » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:48 am

can2boy wrote:can't wait for the compact one to come out!


According to Beretta USA:

Projected availability for the PX4 Compact in 9mm is September 2010.
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Re: Shooting the 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm

Postby Quahog » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:30 am

I've seen them at Academy and here's one at Bud's

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/86/products_id/42626

My bad, that looks to be a sub-compact and not a compact as I first thought.
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