The Beretta Px4 Storm Soldiers On

Beretta Px4 Storm pistol with a box of Norma MHP ammunition atop a bullseye target showing four shots in the center rings

The Beretta Px4 Storm is one of the smoothest operating handguns offered in the defensive handgun arena. Many more handguns have been offered in that market segment since the Px4 Storm made its debut, including more by Beretta. Sadly, the Px4 sometimes gets lost in the mix. That’s a shame.

Different Variations

The Beretta Storm is offered in nine different configurations: Px4 Storm Compact Carry, Px4 Compact FDE, Px4 Compact Grey, Px4 Storm Carry, Px4 Storm Compact, Px4 Storm Full, Px4 Storm SubCompact, Px4 Storm SD Type F, and Px4 Storm Inox. Each one can be purchased as a Type C, Type D, Type F, or Type G, but are primarily offered in the civilian market as Type F.

Type C is a single-action-only pistol. The C stands for “Constant Action” — the spurless hammer is in the half-cocked position. There is no decocker or safety. This configuration is primarily sold into the police market. Type D is double-action-only, with a spurless hammer, no decocker and no safety. The popular Type F is familiar to most of us. It is a SA/DA gun with a decocker and manual safety. Type G is SA/DA with the safety feature removed so that the safety lever works only as a decocker. Mine is the full-size version Type G, which I find to be a delightful, concealed carry gun.

Beretta Px4 Storm right, profile, black
The Beretta Px4 Storm’s rounded corners and smooth edges make for an excellent mid-size carry gun.

The Px4 Storm SD .45 ACP semi-auto pistol was developed to meet the very demanding requirements issued by the U.S. Special Forces Command (SOCOM) for its Joint Combat Pistol. SOCOM called for superior weather resistance, extended threaded barrel, dark earth frame, tactical case, and additional accessories. Beretta answered the call successfully by redesigning the Storm’s internal components to meet or exceed all requirements.

The result was a pistol that satisfies not only SOCOM’s requirements but the most demanding shooter looking for the absolute best and most reliable pistol for personal defense, competition, or carry. All Beretta Px4 Storm pistols were designed to meet or exceed NATO requirements and have been reported to have fired over 150,000 rounds with zero failures. The Px4 is in use by police departments and military organizations around the world. Here in the United States, according to press releases, the Storm is in use by multiple police departments.

Beretta Px4 Storm Features

While the compact and subcompact models are very popular, I like my full-size model and find it comfortable to shoot and carry. Size-wise it is 7.5 inches long, 5.5 inches high, 1.22 inches wide and weighs 28 ounces. The barrel is 4 inches long. The Beretta website stretches these measurements a bit. Maybe my gun has shrunk over the years, but I’m giving you exactly what the ruler says. I think it’s probably more an issue of translating from metric to U.S. measurements.

The heft is comfortable in my hands and not at all uncomfortable to carry in a good IWB holster. The slide is rounded everywhere there’s an edge, pronouncedly so on the top edges. Mounted on the slide are Tritium night sights. I honestly don’t remember if the gun came that way or if it’s something I added later.

Full size, compact, and subcompact Beretta Px4 Storm semiautomatic pistols 9mm
The Px4 is available in nine different combinations and in three sizes—full-size, compact, and subcompact.

There are serrations on the flat part of the slide, which is the lower half, just above the rather hefty slide lock lever. On the back of the slide is an ambidextrous lever that doubles as a safety and a decocker. On models that have the safety, it totally disables the hammer and trigger.

The mag release button is in the customary place behind the trigger. Pressing it results in an aggressive drop of the magazine. The magazine is a 15-rounder, steel and strongly made. The grip frame is very comfortable to me. The Storm comes with interchangeable backstraps. I’m using the medium size on my gun.

One of the unique features of the Beretta Px4 Storm is the barrel operating system. While the Storm is a locked-breech operating semi-automatic pistol, the way the barrel locks up is different. There is a locking block that the recoil spring and rod go through. The block has a pin on it that fits inside a groove on the portion of the barrel that supports the “lock-up.”

close up of the slide-mounted decocker on the Beretta Px4 Storm
The slide-mounted decocker doubles as a safety in some models. The takedown tabs are similar to those on a Glock. However, the Storm does not require a trigger pull to remove the slide.

The groove wraps around the barrel so the pin travels in a rotational manner around approximately one-fourth of the barrel when the gun is fired. This occurs at the start of the cycle to eject the just-fired cartridge and load another one. The end result of this action is that the first one-fourth of the recoil cycle is rotational and does not present any kind of “kick” to the shooter. Does the Storm have recoil? Yes, but it is diminished somewhat by the unique operating system.

One of the really cool aspects of the Px4 is the trigger. It has one of the smoothest triggers of any hammer-fired handgun I’ve shot, with a 7-pound double-action and 3-pound single-action trigger press. It’s an amazing trigger, which for me results in consistent accuracy.

Disassembly for cleaning or other maintenance is slightly different with this kind of barrel/recoil spring combo, but not at all complicated. After dropping the magazine, locking the slide back, and checking to ensure the chamber is empty, the slide is released by pulling two tabs on the frame downward just ahead and above the trigger guard — similar to take-down on a Glock.

Field Stripped Beretta Px4 Storm
Disassembly for cleaning or other maintenance is slightly different with this kind of barrel/recoil spring combo, but not at all complicated.

Release the slide lock, and the slide will come off the front. No trigger pull is required. The recoil spring and locking block can be lifted from the barrel, the barrel removed and everything about cleaning, lubricating, and reassembling the gun is standard with one exception. You must maneuver the locking block over the barrel to get the pin into the groove. That requires a slight compression of the recoil spring. It’s not much different than the way you compress the recoil spring on any semi-automatic to get it to drop into place on the barrel.

At the Range

Prior to writing this review, I had not shot my Storm in some time. So, when I took it to the range, I picked seven types of ammo that did not exist when I last shot the gun. I had Speer’s new Carry Gun 135-grain 9mm, two of Hornady’s Custom FTX loads (one 115-grain, the other 124-grain), Inceptor’s 65-grain +P ARX, Hornady’s Subsonic 147-grain, Underwood Xtreme Defender 90-grain with Lehigh fluted bullets, and the new Norma 108-grain MHP. The Storm operated flawlessly, was easy to get on target, and get good hits. The Norma MHP rounds grouped tighter than any of the other rounds. It was almost a toss-up because the Underwood Xtreme Defender rounds literally obliterated the center of the target.

I’ve had my Storm since 2009, and because of the nature of my business, I have acquired several guns since then. After shooting a few rounds with the Storm on my recent range trip, I asked myself the question, “What have I gotten in recent years that’s better than this?” I have some nice guns, but the Storm will hold its own against any of them, except perhaps the match-grade Walther. But that gun is too heavy and bulky to carry. The Storm is not.

If you are in the market for a mid-size carry gun, the Beretta Px4 Storm will not disappoint you. I think any size would work fine. The Px4 is a seasoned carry gun with many fans and many accolades.

Have you fired the Px4 Storm? How does your experience compare with the author’s? Which self-defense ammunition do carry? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • Beretta Px4 Storm grip with additional backstraps
  • Beretta Px4 Storm resting against 7 boxes of 9mm ammunition from various brands
  • Beretta Px4 Storm pistol with a box of Norma MHP ammunition atop a bullseye target showing four shots in the center rings
  • Beretta Px4 Storm barrel and locking block assembly
  • Field Stripped Beretta Px4 Storm
  • close up of the slide-mounted decocker on the Beretta Px4 Storm
  • Full size, compact, and subcompact Beretta Px4 Storm semiautomatic pistols 9mm
  • Beretta Px4 Storm right, profile, black
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Comments (13)

  1. I have and carry PX-4 storm off duty. My favorite pistol along with the 92 compact. I had the sub compact and though it was nice to conceal just a bit to small for me. Presently the PX-4 compact i carry concealed is chambered in 9mm a real accurate and smooth shooter. I purchased mine in 2016 with many rounds down range with her. This is a real nice gun if you like DA/SA pistols with just s de-cocker. I carry glock 19 on duty which to is a work horse. I just find the storm to be a bit more accurate this is only my opinion. Try one at the range you may like it. Good luck and stay safe..


  2. I have owned several weapons and have fired many more, but I love my 9mm Px4 Full size. From removing from my holster all the way through disassembly and cleaning there isnt much more I could want from a weapon. The trigger pull is smooth and it is easy to get back on target after each round. Instead of buying additional weapons, now I buy extra mags for the Px4. I enjoyed the article as well.

  3. I bought a full size PX4 about 10+ years ago. It fit my smaller hands with the small back strap great. Not too heavy for carry with the proper leather rig either. Loved the rotating barrel & soft recoil impulse. Unfortunately it was one that I traded up for something else. Cannot recall even what at the moment? Every time I see a PX4 up for review I kick myself for getting rid of it!

  4. Choosing a favorite handgun is like trying to choose your favorite child but I’ve owned a PX-4 Compact since 2019 and it is one of my “go to” carry guns. I chose the .40 cal model because it packs a lot of extra punch over a 9mm. Although I own several striker-fired handguns, I’m “old school” and I prefer a semi with a hammer, like the PX-4, that provides both SA/DA firing. I’m a big fan of its half-cock safety because it prevents accidental “hammer strike” discharges but allows a faster response time in an emergency situation because you don’t have to deactivate a manual safety. The PX-4 and the PX-4 Compact have a rotating barrel design that helps to reduce recoil. The PX-4 subcompact doesn’t have that feature. (that’s the reason I chose the Compact model over the subcompact) It’s accurate, reliable and fun to shoot.

  5. I’ve owned quite a few pistols over the years, but Beretta’s are my favorites. Of those, the P-4 is definitely my favorite. So much so that I own two currently, a .40 and a .45. I love em!
    Why? First, they just seem to melt into my hand for a perfect fit, second, AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANTLY, they shoot great. I’m always amazed by the accuracy and grouping of these pistols. Third, is the esthetics. Rounded, feely edges makes it great fun to handle and look at. Just simply a great pistol.

  6. I purchased a full-size PX4 many years ago after getting the CX4 rifle. A great feature is that they share the same magazines. With a separate kit, you can quickly change the rifle to accept Beretta 92 mags as well. I love shooting the PX4. It is smooth and accurate as noted by the author. My only gripe was the overly aggressive decocker protrusion. That is intentional for ease of engagement, but for those that release the slide by racking versus the slide release, it can be painful with repetition. Luckily here are aftermarket low profile options.

  7. I have a PX4 Storm Compact. While I prefer my M&P Sheild for concealed carry, I love my PX4 for all other purposes. It is my favorite pistol out of many others. I have large hands and the PX4 serrations and the grip is awesome. Never a mis-feed and very accurate. I love the trigger. Oh, and is sexy as hell.

  8. My wife has this gun and likes it. I have shot it several times. The rotating barrel locking system works just fine. I suggested that she get the model 92 but she felt it was too big and my gun store did not carry the smaller centurion model. One major drawback between the two is that it is very tough to find mags and excessories for the PX4 but the 92 you can find any upgrades easily.

  9. I have already owned one 20years ago, a subcompact px4 – type F chambered in 9mm, my daily carry. The pistol was a challenge to carry concealed due to it being nearly 1.5” wide. The most pronounced fail the pistol had was the sloppy inconsistente length of pull for the trigger. If you think you need one be sure to -repeatedly- dry fire one before you plop down cash.

  10. It is definitely on my list I buy two guns a year it was my next gun up to buy it got bump off the list till next time had a s/w model 10 to get first so blew my wad for the year it will be my first gun for 2023 I already got grips for it and a new magazine

  11. I’ve got a full size DAO and DA/SA, one in 9mm and the other in 40 S&W. I bought them because I’ve long been enamored with rotating barrel lock systems. They are neat pistols. The only ding I give them is their girth. They are bit beefy, but smooth in appearance and operation.

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