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Old November 1, 2012, 12:15 PM   #1
Diesel77
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Beretta PX4 Storm Compact 9mm

First, I'd like to introduce myself... I'm just a regular guy who got into shooting because:

1. I think guns are great tools that people should know how to use well.
2. I am by no means an extreme survivalist type of guy, but I honestly think that there's a real possibility that things can go bad and that one should know how to protect one's family and property.
3. It's fun. Ever since we were little kids, we knew it was fun to shoot stuff.

So I'd like your input on whether or not you would buy the Beretta PX4 Compact 9mm for the versatility of being your only gun. I'd like to hear why you would endorse it, or if not, why and what you would recommend instead.

I've handled lots of Sigs, a few H&Ks, Glocks, and some Berettas. The Berettas have always been the smoothest to me and I also happen to think they're the prettiest.

If I had more than $1K to spend, I'd probably get a Sig P229, but since I have less than $500 in my budget, I've arrived at the PX4. I guess my only requirements are:

1. Less than $500
2. Hammer fired
3. Chambered in 9mm
4. Compact frame

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Glad to join this great forum,
D
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Old November 1, 2012, 12:37 PM   #2
Vireye
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Welcome!

My first pistol was a PX4 Compact in 9mm. I loved that gun...

At the time, unfortunately, (or fortunately) I test-fired a Sig P228R and fell in love with it, and with my financials that only way to get a new pistol was to trade...I ended up trading my PX4 for said Sig.

I've never regretted it, Sigs are beautiful weapons, but someday I would like to buy another PX4. For the requirements you have, I don't think you can go wrong with it.
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Old November 1, 2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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I think the Beretta is a great choice. I had a full-size .45ACP and loved it. I got rid of it to fund an HK45, but still miss it sometimes.

I think as an only gun, the compact 9mm is just about perfect. Small enough to carry, more than large enough for HD, range use, competition, and has a rail. The only thing I would do to it is convert it to decocker-only, I dislike the flip-up safety.

I'm curious why you think a P229 costs $1,000 though. They are available with the E2 grips for $755 here: http://grabagun.com/sig-p229-9mm-3-9-blk-13rd-fs.html A nice used one could be right around the cost of the Beretta. If you really want the Sig, I'd save up and get the Sig. But there is nothing wrong with the PX4 either.

All in all though, with your requirements, I would probably have arrived at the Beretta also. Personally, with those needs, I'd get an HK P2000, but with the budget requirement, the Beretta is my first choice if I couldn't find a used Sig or HK.
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Old November 1, 2012, 01:39 PM   #4
tahunua001
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I would say that within your budget the PX4 is probably the best hammer fired gun available however I am a bit curious why you have striken striker fired guns from your list?

I guess given personal experience in your price range gun the PX4 is still my favorite. the only striker gun compact that even comes close in terms of ergonomics, trigger and recoil management is the Ruger SR9C and it's second in all categories. I would say that the PX4 would be a very good choice for a one gun collection and would serve quite well.
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Old November 1, 2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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I have the PX4 full-size next to my bed for HD. I love this gun. It eats whatever I feed it at the range and doesn't hiccup. The rotating barrel lessens the recoil and makes it easy to shoot. It has 3 sizes of backstraps so you can figure out what fits your hand the best and has a nice capacity too (17+1 for me).

Some say that Beretta's like to run "wet", or well-lubed, but I've taken mine out of the night stand & directly to the range after 9 months (maybe more) without any maintenance and had zero issues of any sort. I like the way it looks too, so for me it's a win in form and function.
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Old November 1, 2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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Berettas are, in general, good values when you consider quality relative to price. My daughter has a PX4 Compact in 9 mm, and it is a very impressive little pistol - excellent accuracy and reliability, a very soft shooter (due to the rotating barrel), and nice fit and finish. I consider it kind of an undiscovered gem, and I doubt you will do significantly better at its price point, given your criteria.
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Old November 1, 2012, 02:28 PM   #7
ClydeFrog
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PX4 C format; Compact....

Hello;
I've owned a few NIB(new) Beretta model firearms in the last 18 years and I used a M9/92F in the US Army for 18mo as a lower-enlisted soldier on active duty.
I'd pick a PX4 series C format(constant action). This smooth DA only hammer fired pistol would do very well as a compact, concealed pistol.
I only sold my PX4 C 9x19mm pistol due to major $$$ problems in 2009.

A ambi-control Compact PX4 is a good value and can protect you, but if I had to pick 1 firearm, I'd buy a NIB PX4 C model.

CF
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Old November 1, 2012, 02:38 PM   #8
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Have you physically held one in your hands at a store or show? have you been able to test fire one? (less likely).

My wife has one and loves it.
If the grip, style are to your liking then consider:
1. Its a DA/SA. The DA is not too stiff and the SA is nice and crisp on hers.
2. 15 round capacity is excellent.
3. Accuracy of hers is good. Its not as good as our target oriented FS92 but still good enough.
4. Recoil is extremely mild. Its a very soft shooter.
5. The rotary design is slightly frustrating for me to take down and re-assemble, but not too bad.
6. Its not stainless steel.
7. I've not seen one in our locale less than $530.
8. OEM adjustable sights are available. It has the plastic gun industry standard of three grip sizes.
9. After a short break in period no jams or FTFs.
10. Slight advantage on the 92 in that the slide serrations are before the safety making it easier to rack (fixing a personal pet peeve of mine).
11. Not the smallest pistol in the world.
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Old November 1, 2012, 02:41 PM   #9
Diesel77
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Thank you all for your input!

To answer tahunua001's question, I don't hate striker fired pistols, it's just that I prefer hammer fired because:

1. Safety for the inexperienced - the hammer let's you see if the gun is cocked
2. Safety for the inexperienced - the double action is harder to inadvertently fire
3. I'm not as accurate with Glocks
4. I like the looks of pistols with hammers
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Old November 1, 2012, 03:25 PM   #10
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PX4 series gets my stamp of approval, and I've been noting them trending upward in popularity. I endorse 'em!
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Old November 1, 2012, 05:33 PM   #11
tahunua001
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Quote:
To answer tahunua001's question, I don't hate striker fired pistols, it's just that I prefer hammer fired because:

1. Safety for the inexperienced - the hammer let's you see if the gun is cocked
2. Safety for the inexperienced - the double action is harder to inadvertently fire
3. I'm not as accurate with Glocks
4. I like the looks of pistols with hammers
alright I have to give it to you on 1,2 and 4 but I must say the just because you can't shoot a glock well does not necessarily mean that you can't shoot an XD, M&P, FNS or SR9 well and the same can be said for the opposite. just because you might be able to shoot a Sig 229 well does not necessarily mean that you will be able to fire a PX4 well.
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Old November 1, 2012, 05:42 PM   #12
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My first real gun purchase for a number of reasons that you mentiona also.

1. hammer fired - I like it better to practice at home. Striker fired are just not the same.

2. looks - i just liked it

3. gun fit - with the adjustable straps, perfect.

4. polymer - light weight

5. capacity - my 9mm full size is 17 rounds i believe.

6. reliable - no problems although might only have 600 rounds or so.

7. safety - DO and safety was on my list at time.


Overal a great gun and still one of my favorite guns period.
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Old November 1, 2012, 09:06 PM   #13
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I suggest looking at the FNX-9 or CZ P-07. I like that they are capable of condition 1 (unlike the Beretta). I like that the safeties are frame mounted instead of slide mounted.

But, yup the fit and finish of the PX4s are really good for the price. If you don't mind the location of the safety and the lack of condition 1. I'm sure you will like it.
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Old November 1, 2012, 09:31 PM   #14
tahunua001
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Quote:
I suggest looking at the FNX-9 or CZ P-07. I like that they are capable of condition 1 (unlike the Beretta). I like that the safeties are frame mounted instead of slide mounted.
do you even know what condition 1 is? it was beat into my head in boot camp at the clearing barrel and again at M9 requals let me tell you what is involved in condition 1
loaded magazine inserted
round in chamber
hammer down
safety on
the M9 is capable of this and the PX4 uses the exact same safety setup. the PX4 uses a combination safety/decocker. now I wont argue that the slide mounted safeties are hard to reach and operate and the main reason why I do not own one myself.

I would like to see a single semi automatic pistol that can't be carried in condition one. even glocks, by definition and technicality have a condition 1.
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Old November 1, 2012, 09:36 PM   #15
iMagUdspEllr
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-Condition Four: Chamber empty, no magazine, hammer down.
-Condition Three: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
-Condition Two: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
-Condition One: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
-Condition Zero: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.

If you put the safety on the Beretta decocks (hammer down). It can not be in condition one.
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Old November 1, 2012, 10:50 PM   #16
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Just get it.

It's a good gun. The will always be some gun out there that does this or that slightly better than whatever it is you are shooting at the moment. If the PX4c is what makes you happy then get it and don't worry about what strangers say on an Internet forum. If you get tired of it you can always sell it and buy something else. Or better yet buy something else and have 2 guns .
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Old November 1, 2012, 10:54 PM   #17
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condition two only applies to single action hammer fired guns such as the 1911. as the berreta is a double/single, hammer down is irrelevant it is capable of firing as long as the safety has been disengaged. ask any sailor, soldier, airman or marine what condition they carry their M9s in

100 bucks says it's not condition two or zero.
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Old November 1, 2012, 11:01 PM   #18
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A choice in your ballpark would be the CZ Compact, as it has a frame mounted safety and, unlike most other double action autos, can truly be carried Condition One, hammer cocked, safety on, or traditional double action. The alloy framed version, the PCR, has a decocker only instead of the safety, but it is one of the best CCW pistols ever built.
I had a Storm PX4 40 full size - I traded it off recently, as it was very disappointing to me. If you get one, try to test fire one first.
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Old November 1, 2012, 11:10 PM   #19
iMagUdspEllr
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@tahunua001: The conditons were invented by Jeff Cooper for the 1911. However we have continued to use them to describe the conditions of other guns without modification. You can bet all you want but that doesn't prove you to be correct. Sigs and berettas can't be in condition 1. My source? Jeff Cooper. Yours is?
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Old November 2, 2012, 08:31 AM   #20
Diesel77
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Thanks for the continued feedback! It's been really helpful.

Is Condition -1 where the round is exiting the barrel?

And thanks to I'm a good speller for the suggestions on alternate pistols - do y'all have any other suggestions?
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Old November 2, 2012, 09:28 AM   #21
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PX4 Compact : First time owner POV

I'm a relatively new shooter (been shooting, but only recently bought first handgun) who've purchased PX4 Compact as my first gun choice. Here's my take:

I absolutely love this gun. I've shot variety of guns before choosing this for exactly same reasons that you are purchasing in your first post. After owning this for about 2 months and putting ~1400 rounds down range, I'm about to purchase full size PX4 9mm.

My intention when I bought it new ($425 at LGS, $470 Out the door), I would abuse the hell out of it since it's my first gun and I want functionality instead of "preserving" it.

My run down of PX4 range time:

*initial clean*
200 Winchester white box (bulk pack), 115 gr FMJ
*clean*
100 Winchester 147gr JHP
200 Winchester white box (bulk pack), 115 gr FMJ
*clean*
300 Federal bulk pack, 115gr FMJ
**NO CLEAN**
200 Winchester white box (bulk pack), 115 gr FMJ
50 Federal 115 JHP
*clean*
200 Federal bulk pack, 115gr FMJ
200 Winchester white box (bulk pack), 115 gr FMJ
*shot last night, cleaned*

I like to run my guns as much as I possibly can and throughout all this, not a single FTF or FTE, absolutely flawless. As you can see, I tried to run the cheapest ammo I can find at Walmart. I clean my guns well, but just to add, after all the abuse, it still looks like it's LNIB. Take down and cleaning this gun is an absolute breeze.

It's soft shooting like most have said as well as very accurate for compact pistol. Although it's compact, it's not the smallest and not so easy to CC, although it's definitely easier to CC than most full sized pistols.

My ONLY gripe is the slide safety - when you rack the slide, sometimes the rough edge of safety catches your finger and it does get annoying after 300-400 rd range session. However for functionality, it's non-issue as I have no problem flipping it up with either my thumb or off hand and it's just natural for me.

If I can do all over again, I probably would've liked full sized PX4 instead of compact (LGS didn't have full size). It's not exactly "compact" enough for CC, and my intention wasn't CC anyway so yeah, that' my only regret if there is any. That's why I'm making full size as my next purchase plan.

Hope this helps your decision making, but do try it out before you buy if you can.

Last edited by Mr_Jumper; November 2, 2012 at 09:33 AM.
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Old November 2, 2012, 12:01 PM   #22
tahunua001
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Quote:
@tahunua001: The conditons were invented by Jeff Cooper for the 1911. However we have continued to use them to describe the conditions of other guns without modification. You can bet all you want but that doesn't prove you to be correct. Sigs and berettas can't be in condition 1. My source? Jeff Cooper. Yours is?
my sources?
United States military training doctrine.
information contained in
M9 overview and safety module
Small Arms Instructors Toolset
M16 and M11 overview and training modules also describe conditions 4 through zero with 2 not applicable. but the common theme is that condition 3 is loaded round in chamber and either hammer down or safety engaged(where applicable)

Quote:
Is Condition -1 where the round is exiting the barrel?
firearms readiness conditions describe the amount of steps that need to be taken to bring the gun to bear on an enemy. my counterpart in this discussion laid them out pretty well.
condition 4 is normally how firearms are to be stored, devoid of ammo and magazine.
condition 3 is where there is a loaded magazine in the gun but the chamber is empty.
condition 2 only applies to single action only hammer fired guns like revolvers are 1911s.
condition 1 in round in the chamber, magazine loaded and safety on, this is the condition where the only step necessary to engage the target is to disengage safety and finally
condition 0 is when you are ready to engage the target, magazine loaded, round chambered and safety is off, you are ready to go weapons hot.
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Last edited by tahunua001; November 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM.
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Old November 2, 2012, 12:28 PM   #23
chewie146
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If it's to be your only gun, it would be fine, but you might be better served by something a hair bigger. However, it will do anything you need it to do. I'm not a hammer-fired fan, preferring the striker-fired pistols. The PX4 is as good as any subcompact. Accuracy is there, and the cartridge is adequate. I can't NOT endorse it. Keep in mind that the SC does not have the rotary lockup ala the full-sized PX4 and Stoeger Cougar. However, there's nothing wrong with that pistol. If it's your only one, make sure it's the one you shoot best.
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Old November 2, 2012, 05:44 PM   #24
iMagUdspEllr
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@tahunua001:

I said that the PX4 can't be in condition 1.

You said I was wrong.

I state the condition system I was using (the one laid out by Jeff Cooper).

You use a different condition system than me.

You use that to "prove" me wrong.

The equivalent argument would be if I said the length of an object was 1 foot. And, then you said I was wrong because its length is actually 12 inches.
*facepalm*


The system I am using is more precise anyway(it takes into account the condition of the hammer). That is why I prefer Cooper's system. Also, I can actually count from 4 down to 0 in mine. I don't just throw out a number because I don't feel like properly renumbering my new system from 3-0 or 4-1. I'm sure you are aware that the military doesn't always make the smartest decisions.

So, no, the PX4 can't be in condition 1 (a.k.a. "cocked and locked"). If it bothers you that I am using my condition system correctly and I am wrong according to yours... that isn't my problem... I'm not using yours (or claiming to).

The capability for a gun to be in condition 1 (a.k.a. "cocked and locked") is a desirable feature for me. And, that is why I am recommending the FNX-9 and the CZ P-07 to the OP. Since your system doesn't have my condition 1 in it at all. I can't use it to describe what I'm recommending anyway.
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Old November 2, 2012, 06:47 PM   #25
tahunua001
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in my defense you did ask me for my resources and I responded in kind. I normally do not get this excited over solicited information. the united states military bases a lot of their small arms training off of jeff coopers work and teach the 4 basic rules of firearms safety as well as an "updated" readiness condition system that allows for more than single action revolvers and 1911s. generally speaking the phrase "safety enabled" replaces the term "hammer down".

by Jeff Cooper's criteria when he laid out the 5 conditions the only step necessary to move from condition 1 to condition 0(IE firing the weapon) is to disengage the safety and the beretta PX4 accomplishes just that, regardless of whether it has been cocked or not.
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Last edited by tahunua001; November 2, 2012 at 06:54 PM.
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