Beretta PX4 Storm: A pistol designed to compete with Glock 17

Author: Eric Sof

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The Beretta PX4 Storm is a semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Beretta. The standard version, chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum, was designed to compete with Glock 17. It was based on Beretta 8000 Cougar. Soon as it appeared on the market, the PX4 Storm that has gained a reputation for being a reliable and accurate firearm. Besides the civilian market, it has become very popular among law enforcement forces.

Introduction

Beretta PX4 Storm is an addition to the line of semi-automatic pistols in the Italian Beretta company. The famous Beretta company has been producing firearms since the early 1500s. This model has a reputation for being a top-notch firearm. Users have praised its accuracy and handling characteristics, and the pistol has been adopted by several law enforcement agencies worldwide. According to the users, it has been honored as a durable and reliable firearm, even after firing more than 150,000 rounds.

Design

Based on Beretta 8000 Cougar, the serial version of the Beretta PX4 Storm entered production in 2004. Immediately, it became known for its distinctive appearance, with a curved grip and a squared-off slide that gives it a modern and aggressive look. Designers paid a lot of attention to its ergonomics.

Rotating barrel

Made of a durable polymer frame and stainless steel slide, the PX4 Storm is a recoil-operated weapon that fires from the locked breech. The barrel rotates on the recoil and unlocks from the slide. Such a design reduces muzzle jumps and improves accuracy. Beretta patented this system. This unique feature allows the barrel to rotate slightly as the pistol is fired, dissipating energy and reducing the force the shooter feels.

The rotating barrel design dissipates the energy from the gun’s firing differently than traditional designs. In a typical semi-automatic pistol, the barrel and slide move rearward together when the gun is fired, creating a recoil force transmitted to the shooter’s hand. In contrast, the rotating barrel design of the PX4 Storm allows the barrel to rotate slightly with the slide, reducing the amount of force transmitted to the shooter’s hand.

Beretta PX4 Storm roratry barrel locking mechanism
Beretta PX4 Storm roratry barrel locking mechanism (Photo: XY)

This reduced recoil makes the PX4 Storm easier to control and more accurate to shoot, which is why many shooters appreciate this feature. Additionally, the rotating barrel design helps to reduce wear and tear on the pistol, improving its overall durability and reliability.

Overall, the patented rotating barrel design of the Beretta PX4 Storm is one of the key features that sets this pistol apart from its competitors. It provides shooters with improved accuracy and reduced recoil, making the PX4 Storm an attractive option for personal defense and shooting sports.

Feed

The PX4 Storm is chambered initially in 9x19mm Parabellum and is fed from a double-stack magazine that holds 17 rounds. It is in line with the capacity of the Glock 17. Beretta produces extended-capacity magazine baseplates. Once it is used, the capacity is increased to 20 rounds. Beside 9mm, it is also chambered in other calibers, including .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 9×21 mm IMI ammunition.

Sights

The Beretta PX4 Storm features simple 3-dot iron sight with the option of installing additional holo sights. The effective range of fire with standard iron sights with 9x19mm is 50 meters, while its effective range with .40 S&W and .45 ACP ammunition is reduced to 25 meters.

Grip

The grip of the PX4 has a removable backstrap. Backstraps of various shapes and sizes are available. Each pistol comes with three different backstraps. These can be tailored to suit the shooter. The pistol also features an accessory rail under the barrel, which allows mounting a tactical flashlight or other needed equipment.

Beretta PX4 Storm stripped to basic parts
Beretta PX4 Storm stripped to basic parts (Photo: XY)

Models

The trigger mechanism is similar to the Beretta 92 (M9). All models have an automatic firing pin block. The Beretta PX4 Storm is available in four basic models with various trigger systems:

  • Type C: So-called to be Single-action-only (“Constant Action” – the hammer is in a half-cocked position). Spurless hammer. No decocker. No safety.
  • Type D: Double-action-only. Spurless hammer. No decocker. No safety.
  • Type F: Single and double-action. Decocker. Manual safety.
  • Type G: Single and double-action. Decocker. No manual safety.

Users

Currently, the Beretta PX4 Storm is used by law enforcement forces in at least 11 countries. It is also in service with Venezuelan National Guard.

Variants

In addition to its impressive design, the PX4 Storm is available in various models and caliber options to suit the needs of different shooters. This versatility has made the PX4 popular among many users, from law enforcement agencies to competitive shooters.

Beretta PX4 Storm Compact

It has a shorter slide and grip. The magazine holds 15 rounds in 9×19 mm or 12 rounds in .40 S&W. The compact model also accepts full-size magazines;

Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact

It is an even more compact model. It is available chambered in 9×19 mm and .40&W only. This pistol uses a tilt-barrel system.

Difference between PX4 Storm and Glock 17

One of the main differences between the PX4 Storm and the Glock 17 is their design. The PX4 Storm has a more curved and streamlined appearance, with a rounded grip and a squared-off slide. In contrast, the Glock 17 has a more angular and blocky design, with a rectangular grip and a flat-sided slide.

Another key difference between the two pistols is their construction. The PX4 Storm is made from a combination of polymer and stainless steel, while the Glock 17 is made entirely from polymer. This difference in materials means that the PX4 Storm is slightly heavier and more durable than the Glock 17.

A British soldier aiming Glock 17 at the shooting range
A British soldier aiming Glock 17 at the shooting range (Photo: XY)

Regarding performance, both the PX4 Storm and the Glock 17 are known for their accuracy and reliability. The PX4 Storm has a patented rotating barrel design that helps to reduce recoil and improve accuracy, while the Glock 17 has a simple and robust design that is easy to maintain. Law enforcement agencies have adopted both pistols worldwide, which is a testament to their performance.

Ultimately, the choice between the PX4 Storm and the Glock 17 will come from personal preference. Both pistols are excellent choices for personal defense and shooting sports, and shooters should consider their own needs and preferences when deciding which is right for them.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Italy
Manufacturer:Pietro Beretta SpA
Caliber:9×19 mm Parabellum
Weight (empty):780 – 800 g
Length:193 mm
Barrel length:102 mm
Muzzle velocity:360 m/s
Magazine capacity:17 rounds
Sighting range:50 m
Range of effective fire:50 m
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