[FIREARM REVIEW] Beretta PX4 Storm Compact 9mm


I pride myself on being an avid researcher when it comes to purchasing a new firearm or other related equipment. When it came time for me to decide which firearm I’d be investing in for every day carry, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I bounced around from Smith and Wesson, to Springfield, and Beretta. Eventually I decided on the Beretta PX4 Storm Compact; and I have to say I haven’t regretted that decision despite the stigma Beretta seems to hold in some eyes.

I’m a 13 year Veteran of the Active Duty Army. I am more than intimately familiar with the Beretta M9, currently standard issue in the Army. Its reputation tended to rest on both sides of the opinion spectrum. People either hated it, or loved it. The negative opinions could really be justified with the simple fact that any Beretta you came across during your time in the service had most likely seen a fair bit of wear and tear. Most of those M9’s had seen multiple users and deployments. It’s not surprising they’d come with their fair share of issues. I didn’t let that sway my decision, however.

Before stepping into the gun shop to purchase my new carry firearm, I did as much research as possible. I checked reviews, Youtube videos of breakdowns and range tests; as well as visited the official site for the statistics. I wanted to know what other people thought. Their own experience, both positive and negative would help me formulate a decision. I kept an open mind, also keeping in mind of my own specific needs.
When deciding on a new firearm, I always find it helpful to ask myself, “What am I going to be using this firearm for? What are my specific needs for it?” I wanted something compact, concealable, with a large magazine capacity, and manual safety. Yes, yes, I know a manual safety. It’s a personal preference of mine, one engraved into me from years of military service.


Moving on to the specific firearm I decided on, the Beretta PX4 Compact. Right out of the box I noticed a few important facts. It came with two magazines with 15 round capacity; along with multiple interchangeable grips. I decided on the larger grip, as I have long and slender fingers. It fit my hand comfortably. The grip design itself is very streamline and smooth, with just enough of stippling to ensure my grip didn’t slip. The safety was ambidextrous, and positioned on the slide to allow an easy thumb flick to remove the safety while maintaining a proper grip. I had read several complaints about the safety being too stiff, and would not allow an easy transition. I had to disagree. I found the safety easy enough to flip without much effort, but still stiff enough to ensure it wouldn’t move accidentally.


The slide itself was grooved, as most slides are. The factory sights are white, nothing special. I am debating getting some night sights for it in the future; although the frame does have a rail attachment system for whatever light/laser combo you might enjoy.
One specific and very unique fact about the PX4 I find noteworthy is the rotating barrel. A lot of reviews I read mentioned the rotating barrel and how it reduced recoil on the firearm significantly by evenly dispersing the blowback upon discharge. This was something I had to test for myself, which brings me to my next point:  my first experience on the range with the firearm.

On a side note, I did end up purchasing two extra magazines for the Beretta simply because I enjoy having multiple magazines when shooting and running reload drills. Generally when shooting a new firearm for the first time, I check a few things prior to doing so. I tend to perform a functions check, using empty casings or dummy rounds to make sure chambering and ejection works as it’s supposed to. I go through this several times before putting the first live round through it. As the reviews stated, recoil of the Beretta PX4 was minimal. I was actually surprised at how smooth it was. After a few single shots, I went through a few double and triple taps. Again, the ability to stay on target while firing was impressive. Finally I decided on a full mag dump, which with today’s ammo prices still makes me cringe; but I find it a necessary evil to put the firearm through the rigors of shooting rapidly to make sure any malfunctions are identified early on. I can safely say that after pumping 15 rounds continuously through the PX4, the opinions of the rotating barrel’s stability were not short-sighted. Since purchasing the firearm last Spring I’ve put about 1,000 rounds through it of various ammunition manufacturers. In full honesty of disclosure, I did in fact encounter at least three failure to feeds and failure to ejects. This was most likely due to the cheaper ammunition I was using that particular day. I have never had an issue with my Hornady carry loads.


In summary, I have found the Beretta PX4 to not only be a solid firearm for every day carry; but also enjoyable to shoot. As all reviews, I should note a few con’s along with the many pro’s I have for this firearm. It’s heavy. A full magazine easily weighs it down quite a bit, but not unmanageable with the proper holster and belt. It’s also quite wide, even for a double stack. For me personally, being on the more slender side; this creates a small issue when carrying during the warmer months. It’s difficult to conceal the firearm when wearing just shorts and a tee shirt. I’ve opted to wear thicker tee shirts to avoid printing while wearing the PX4. The grooves I mentioned on the slide are also quite narrow. They can be difficult to grip without gloves or during humid conditions.

All in all, I’m pleased with my choice and this particular Beretta will continue to be my every day carry weapon for a long time. Breakdown is easy and simple. Cleaning is a breeze compared to most. My particular PX4 is a 9mm and I run Hornady CD 115gr. My holster of choice is a StealthgearUSA Kydex IWB; which a review of that particular gem will be coming soon.

About Daniel | View all posts by Daniel

Shellshocked is a 13 year Active Duty Army Veteran with a broad experience and knowledge of all things firearms and ammunition related. A resident of Ohio, an Open Carry State…

Shellshocked is a 13 year Active Duty Army Veteran with a broad experience and knowledge of all things firearms and ammunition related. A resident of Ohio, an Open Carry State, but prefers to remain among the ranks of the Concealed Nation. Although you will occasionally find him Open Carrying his FN 5.7 in a BlackHawk! Kydex retention paddle holster. His every day carry is a Beretta Storm PX4 Compact 15+1 in a StealthGearUSA ventilated Kydex IWB Holster. Spare Magazine, flashlight, and knife always on hand.

Posts – Below Author – Small Square 1 (150×150)Advertisement
Posts – Below Author – Small Square 2 (150×150)Advertisement
Posts – Below Author – Small Square 3 (150×150)Advertisement
Posts – Below Author – Small Square 4 (150×150)Advertisement
  • Shawn Powers

    I have the subcompact version and I love it. It still feels like a full size gun with its 13+1 capacity.

  • Joshua Fritsch

    I bought my PX4 storm because I saw all the great reviews. I love the gun. My wife even likes it better than her Ruger LC9. I would say that the only down side is the weight.

    • North Woods

      Use lighter weight ammo and that should cure the weight problem.

  • Ceaser Miranda

    I have the Full and Sub Compact size and both shoot great. One complaint I have about the SC is that the safety is large enough to cut into the seat of my car when I conceal carrying at the small of my back. Its the only reason I don’t carry it, instead I carry my Sigsauer P250 SC 45ACP. I wish Beretta would do away with the protruding edge on the safety or even make it a single sided safety that can be switched from right to left handed use.

    • Ah, the Sig Sauer P250. The gun that destroyed my trigger finger.

  • finsII

    My Storm has become my favorite carry gun.

  • elcue

    First I am a LEFTY. I LOVE everything about the PX4 Storm. Ambi safety is GREAT.
    For me the configuration DA/SA is foremost the best configuration for CC.
    BUT for me it is too fat and clunky for concealed carry. Even single stack would not slim down the size of the rest of the gun.
    I like to carry in battery decocked,safety on DA ready to go.
    I bought a Ruger LC9s but not really happy with it. No way to decock in battery.
    Bersa has the Thunder CC Series but only in 380 and the safety is not ambi.
    Bersa warranty is for the original owner only that is not good for resale either.

  • Two critical points that make the subcompact different from the compact. The biggest difference is that subcompact does NOT have the rotating barrel that makes the PX4 so accurate and recoil-resistant. It has the standard drop-down, Browning locking barrel mechanism. Secondly, the subcompact has the better slide release mechanism than the compact that uses the stupid Glock system like every other Glock clone. BIG mistake!

    I don’t know why the subcompact is the same width and height as the compact when the extra room and width at the top was to house the rotating/locking barrel. Since it’s not in the subcompact, the only reason for keeping it the same as the compact was for aesthetic reasons.

    Except for the Shlock takedown tabs, the controls on the compact are superior to the subcompact.

    I think that Beretta could knock off at least 4oz. of bulk on the big domed slide by making it thinner or porting it.

    Now, I didn’t find the compact that hard to rack. I did with the subcompact. Even so, if you think the PX4 slide is tough to work with slippery hands, you ought to try racking a CZ P07 or P75 where the slide serrations are the size of a small band-aid and located at the very back end and top half of the slide whose bottom half rides on the inside of the frame instead of over the top of it.

    The only way to lower the bore axis on a CZ is to put the barrel below the trigger! ;-)

    The PX4 is mighty meaty, though. It weighs almost as much as a compact 1911. BUT, ya gotta love that rotating barrel! If you think the PX4 handles recoil and muzzle flip well in 9mm – you ought to try it in .40SW – there is not another handgun in existence that has less flip and recoil in a 40SW than the Storm.

    I’m glad to hear that Shellshocked is carrying my favorite SD round – the Hornaday XTP (although I use the CUSTOM variety that doesn’t have a plug in its HP tip). Actually, he’d get better results if he moved on up to the 124grain version. It’s almost like a different bullet – a better one, to be sure. More expansion with less over-penetration (13″ versus 16-17″ using the FBI protocols) thanks to its lower muzzle velocity. Virtually no loss of mass, either.

    Although the PX4 could easily be my 1st choice as a HD weapon, its bulk and weight moves it to 2nd place behind the Walther P99c. What I like about both guns is the presence of a separate decocker that will not fire off a round in the process. The Walther also does not have the large external hammer of the PX4.

    I’m only tolerant of full cocking hammers in revolvers and 1911’s. But, IIRC, you could carry the PX4 cocked and locked if you moved the hammer to its half-cocked, single-action position – provided that you don’t overshoot (no pun intended) that position and end up down in the decock zone.

  • TJ

    I’m with you Shellshocked. I’m not military but have a long history with Beretta pistols. My first was a 96FS and later on an M9. I have been carrying a .40 caliber compact Storm (for which I traded my 96FS ) in an Aliengear cloak tuck IWB for about a year and a half. I have taken quite a few defensive pistol and fighting pistol training classes with this gun. I shoot it at the range on a weekly basis, and it has run flawlessly. At the range I’m normally running winchester whitebox or blazer brass, and I carry Hornady CD. I did do the type G conversion because I’m not thrilled carrying with a manual safety. (love it). It is chubby, and heavy, but the aliengear holster really disperses the weight. I have over 4000 rounds through it now, and it just keeps running. Just thought I’d share and thank you for your review.

  • greywulf1064

    Took mine out last weekend after a long lapse, she was right on target. My favorite pistol.

  • Dan

    Beautiful design .. hardly any recoil thanks to the rotating barrel .. and the large 17+1 magazine while is still legal .. a little heavy and pricey but is worth every cent

  • Drew Gray

    Have you mounted a light on it yet? I’ve read that the compact will not accept a Surefire X300.

  • Bierwagon

    friend has a p4 full frame in 45. i absolutely love shooting that gun, its very accurate and for the bark that 45acp has, its very manageable..i need toget one, but itll be full frame..

  • Craig Greene

    I am looking for a duty safety holster for my PX4 Storm Compact. Anybody have an idea where to get one?