Italian manufacturer Beretta presented its PX4 Storm series with its polymer frame in 2004. Like the Beretta’s all-metal model Cougar, released ten years before, this pistol comes with a rotating barrel lock that introduces added compactness to the design as compared with the Beretta models 92/96, which are fitted with a locking block mechanism.
Beretta builds a number of sub-series as part of the Storm line, and uses additional letters (C, D, F, G) to distinguish them. Storm’s F series also has a number of models: the manufacturer offers them in 9 mm Para, .45 ACP and .40 S & W; moreover, the range includes standard and compact sizes, as well as designs with the slide housing in blued or stainless steel. In addition, Beretta has the Special Duty in .45 ACP, which provides a longer barrel thread. And finally there is the PX4 Subcompact, a special case that also deserves mention, as the pistol comes with a Browning-style tilt-breech system instead of the standard rotating barrel.
Review of Beretta PX4 Storm Inox
The test weapon’s finishing was good, but the fit between the slide and the edge of the frame left a bit to be desired, and there were a number of marks left from machining. It was also a bit rickety.
Moreover, the laser engraving, the magazine which was merely blued, and the plastic elements on the trigger, magazine catch and the slide stop were not exactly our cup of tea (-3 points).
In terms of the trigger frame design, the testers frowned on the smooth flanks and the moderately rough grater pattern at the front and the back (-1 point), although the backstrap can be replaced.
The handling elements were pleasing thanks to the easy-to-use, smooth-cocking and reliable hammer, Beretta’s typical ambidextrous, flip-up manual safety lever and the replaceable magazine catch.
The disassembly slide on both sides is a real touch of class: like with Glock, it comes as a small button, but the adequate spring forces and finger-friendly recesses made it child’s play and entirely painless to operate. But two of the three testers felt that the flip-up manual safety lever was a little stiff and that its button was too narrow when engaging the safety, that its spring mechanism was too tight and that it was situated too far from the thumb (-2 points).
The marks for the sight test: steel, triple-dot principle, perfectly clean, but unfortunately non-adjustable without tools – which results in a deduction in points for a pistol designed as a universal weapon (-1 point). The Beretta PX4 Storm showed no weaknesses in terms of precision, and the top group size was 49 mm (-8 points).
Nevertheless, with regard to the criterion of chambering/safety, the model experienced feeding problems twice when using the heavy Sellier & Bellot rounds (-2 points). The trigger characteristics should also be mentioned: they were good apart from a slight creep in single-action operation, which was observed in several test guns (-2 points).
Summary of the Beretta PX4 Storm Inox:
Among the models with an external hammer and polymer frame, the Beretta PX4 Storm is a well-conceived, well-finished pistol – its handling properties and precision are beyond reproach. However, compared with other models in this market segment, the price is a little high at over €1000. Nevertheless, 81 out of 100 points is still a very good score.
Score for the Beretta PX4 Storm Inox in 9 mm Luger:
|Precision (max. 50 points)||42 points|
|Chambering/Safety (max. 10 points)||8 points|
|Trigger characteristics (max. 10 points)||8 points|
|Trigger frame design (max. 5 points)||4 points|
|Handling elements (max. 10 points)||8 points|
|Sight (max. 5 points)||4 points|
|Finishing (max. 10 points)||7 points|
|Total score (max. 100 points)||81 points|
|Test grade||very good|
|Rating||5 out of 6 |
Shooting test: Beretta PX4 Storm Inox, 9 mm Luger
|No.||Factory cartridge||Group size||v2||E2|
|1.||115 grs GECO JHP||78 (64) mm||313 m/s||365 J|
|2.||124 grs TC Fiocchi FMJ||103 (75) mm||320 m/s||411 J|
|3.||124 grs Remington Golden Saber||49 mm||327 m/s||430 J|
|4.||125 grs Hornady Steel Match JHP||72 (49) mm||313 m/s||397 J|
|5.||140 grs Sellier & Bellot FMJ||83 (64) mm||295 m/s|
Note: group size = 5-/4-shot groups, fired at a distance of 25 metres from the sandbag rest, stated in millimetres, measured from bullet hole centre to bullet hole centre. v2= muzzle velocity in metres per second. E2 = muzzle energy in joules. Bullet designations: FMJ = Full Metal Jacket, JHP = Jacketed Hollow Point.