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The Gun Safe

Beretta PX4 Storm .45 ACP: One Really Amazing and Powerful Gun

The Beretta PX4 Storm .45 ACP made its debut at the 2006 SHOT Show, though it wasn’t actually released to the general public until 2017.

Beretta PX4 Storm SD. Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot.
Beretta PX4 Storm SD

Beretta firearms are a personal favorite, especially the famed Model 92F/M9 9mm autopistol.

I’m also a big fan of the .45 ACP cartridge, which goes to show that, 9mm vs. 45 debates aside, yes, it’s entirely possible to love both calibers. Let’s take a look at the Beretta PX4 Storm .45 ACP.

 Early History and Specifications

The Beretta PX4 Storm .45 ACP made its debut at the 2006 SHOT Show, though it wasn’t actually released to the general public until 2017.

But then again, seeing how Beretta is the world’s oldest industrial firm of any kind, I reckon they can afford to bide their time.

The PX4 actually isn’t Beretta’s first .45 ACP offering. That distinction goes to the Model 8045F Cougar – part of the manufacturer’s “Feline Gun” (so to speak) line along with the Cheetah .380 ACP and Tomcat .32 ACP – which was released in 1994 and discontinued in 2005 (fortunately, it now lives on with Stoeger Industries). 

I test-fired a Cougar back in circa 2004 at the Belleville Shooting Range – now known as Metro Shooting Supplies – and found it to be a nice shooter; I briefly considered buying one before life got in the way. 

Regarding the Storm, the manufacturer’s official info page proudly proclaims the following:

“The PX4 Storm is as tough and reliable as it is accurate, safe and easy to use. Discover why it is the choice of a growing number of law enforcement and military organizations around the world, as well as of individuals who take personal defense seriously and professionally…This pistol features a cold-hammer forged, rotary barrel encased in an ultra-tough slide machined out of solid bar stock. Besides being one of the strongest actions available, the rotary barrel dissipates recoil away from the shooter’s hand and greatly reduces muzzle flip.”

That rotary barrel is a departure from the falling locking block system used by the Beretta 92 as well as the Walther P38/P1

Specifications of the full-sized Storm include a barrel length of 4.1 inches, an overall length of 7.68 inches, an empty weight of 28.2 ounces, a width of 1.42 inches, and a magazine capacity of 9 or 10 rounds.

Shooting Buddies’ Impressions and Observations

Several on my Facebook Friends list have commented on how much they love their PX4s, though theirs are actually the 9mm and .40 S&W chamberings. One of them noted that renowned gunsmith and USMC veteran Ernest Langdon “has long been a proponent of the Beretta 92, and was pretty much the reason why that pistol had a resurgence of interest in it … Now he’s a really big fan of the PX4.”

Personal Shooting Impressions/Range Report

While in Texas recently for an unforgettable ride on a PBJ (B-25 Mitchell) WWII bomber in honor of my Dad’s 100th birthyear, courtesy of Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF’s) Devil Dog Squadron – I visited the top-notch Shoot Smart (formerly Winchester Gallery) gun shop and indoor shooting range in Fort Worth. As a spur-of-the-moment thing, I decided to try out a couple of their rental guns, and one of them was the PX4 Storm .45.

I could only get a 50-foot lane on such short notice, so I modified my usual eval course of fire accordingly: 25 head shots from 21 feet, and 25 center-torso shots from 50 feet. The ammo used was a tried-and-true PMC Bronze 230-grain full metal jacket (FMJ AKA “hardball”). I started off using the Classic Weaver firing stance but switched to the Chapman-modified Weaver Stance for reasons I shall explain shortly. 

The target I used was the Official IDPA Paper Practice Target; for the benefit of those of you not familiar with the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), the scoring system is analogous to golf, i.e. lower numbers are actually a good thing. So, the top-scoring zone, equivalent to an “A” zone hit on an IPSC target, is a “-0,” a “B” zone is instead designated “-1,” and a “C” zone is instead designated a “-3.”

My shooting impressions?

In a word, “WOW!!” I’ve fired plenty of traditional double-action (TDA) and double-action-only (DAO) autopistols in my lifetime and I can honestly say that was *THE* smoothest factory stock DA autopistol trigger I’ve experienced. Single-action (SA trigger) was delightfully crisp with a very positive reset, so this is the most pleasing DA-to-SA transition of any TDA I’ve fired.

I had my typical slightly high-left hit pattern, but *VERY* satisfying shot groups and scores all the same. At 21 feet, one lousy proverbial black sheep strayed ever so slightly into the “-1” zone of the head, and the same was true at 50 feet (though admittedly three of the “-0” hits just barely touched the scoring line). The head shot grouping had a particularly impressive gaping hole.

My sole complaint about the PX4 is that it vigorously slung brass at my head and neck, so I switched to the Chapman Stance to extend the pistol beyond the tight confines of the range booth walls.

That aside, this gun is definitely going on my Top 5 Wish List along with the CZ P07 Duty, Smith 686, SIG 1911, and Ruger P90.

Want Your Own?

True Gun Value states that “A BERETTA PX4 STORM .45 pistol is currently worth an average price of $645.89 new. The 12-month average price is $645.89 new.” Beretta USA’s website shows an MSPR of $799.00. Omaha Outdoors offers two versions, a standard edition at $749.00 and an SD version at $1,099.00.

Christian D. Orr has 34 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.  

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Written By

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).