Gun Review: Beretta PX4 Storm .40S&W

The Good
This is one of the softest shooting guns we’ve tried
The Bad
Slide tension is very heavy which is compounded by the de-cocker switch design
The Ugly
Our monthly cost spend on .40 S&W ammo is now totally out of control
Our Rating
3 Nuns Three Nuns
Beretta PX4 Storm Pistol .40 S&W

Beretta PX4 Storm Pistol .40 S&W

Beretta PX4 Storm .40 S&W Pistol

Approximate Retail Price: $550

The Beretta PX4 is an exceptionally soft shooting gun in terms of feel. The model tested was a .40S&W double / single action model. Even with fairly stout self defense loads the perceived recoil impulse was gentle. I think the combination of well rounded design, rotating barrel recoil mechanism, and weight make for a great feel. The trigger and trigger guard are also smooth and well polished, so high volume shooting does not tend to irritate your hand and fingers like other polymer framed pistols. An additional nice touch is the shaping of the rear of the trigger guard area. There is a cutout area where the trigger guard and grip meet that allows a little extra breathing room for your trigger finger – reducing the likelihood of interference during trigger pull.

To really test the comfort factor of the Beretta pX4, I shot a Steel Challenge match with it. Steel Challenge has a fairly high round count due to multiple stages with each stage being repeated 5 times – and you shoot until you hit. A perfect competitor shoots a minimum of 125+ rounds in short order. That’s assuming no missed targets. In my case, I go through a 10 or 20 thousand by the time all the steel is hit. The comfortable design of the PX4 Storm, combined with low felt recoil, made for a pleasant match. No blisters, blood, or broken digits.

Laserlyte Pistol Bayonet

The Laserlyte Pistol Bayonet Can Attach Easily

Like most polymer pistols on the market, the Beretta PX4 features a Picatinny Milstd-1913 rail for attachment of lights, lasers, and even a Laserlyte Pistol Bayonet if you’re so inclined. Other now common features include three different backstraps to accommodate different hand sizes, 14 round magazine capacity (17 round extended magazines are available) and a reversible magazine release button to serve righties and lefties.

Field stripping for cleaning is a snap. Just pull down on the release lever and the slide glides right off the front of the frame. The recoil spring is captive so nothing goes flying.

One thing to be aware of in the PX4 is the heavy tension on the slide. It takes some serious muscle to rack the slide. With proper technique – using your strong hand to push the frame forward, rather than using the weak hand to pull it back – it’s manageable though. I think the heavily beveled and smooth slide makes it feel more difficult than it actually is. The design and shape of the safety/decocker switch adds a little grief to the process as the lever is just big enough to tear up your hand and just small enough to be a bit of a challenge to engage and disengage with a thumb-flick. Like the Beretta 92FS, the safety/de-cocker lever de-cocks the gun back to double action and disables the trigger connector so the trigger swings freely.

The “night sights” cause me a little grief as they require pre-charging with a light source prior to use. For certain law enforcement tactical applications I suppose this *might* be a workable solution…

“Hey, hang a sec, before we break down this dirtbags door, I need to charge up my sights!”

For home use, I think it’s even more of a stretch. Consider this scene:

Setting: 3am, master bedroom. There’s a bump in the night…

My wife: Hey, wake up, someone has been beating on the front door for the past 20 minutes!

Me: Can’t you deal with it? Oh, OK, hang on a sec.

(fumbles in nightstand for gun)

Me: Hey, you at the front door, can you wait a sec? I can’t see the sights on my gun so I need to shine a flashlight on them for a bit. Be right with you.

Dude breaking into the house: Sure, no sweat, I’ve got about 20 minutes before my next home invasion.

Me: Awesome. Thanks, I really appreciate it. Honey, have you seen the flashlight?

My wife: Hey will you shut up? Can’t a girl get any sleep around here?

In summary, I love the Beretta PX4 – it’s one of my favorites. Yes, there are a couple of minor annoyances like the safety lever. I can’t really fault Beretta for those Super-LumiNova ‘chargeable’ night-sights though. Adding tritium sights would bump the retail price up another hundred bucks easily. I just don’t really see the point in them. The PX4 is a gun that’s really enjoyable to shoot – comfortable, nice perceived recoil, and it’s not bad on the eyes!

More detailed information on the PX4 Storm is available at

He said She said
I don’t see a lot of these at the range. That’s OK though, I am secure in my manhood. It’s a big gun, although I have no problem carrying it. Weight is more than some of the other pure plastic guns out there, but I like that. Same reason I still like the Beretta 92FS I suppose – it just feels good. Holster availability isn’t bad – you can generally find what you need. It’s not bad – for one of ‘his’ guns. The grip is still a little large for me. I also found the slide to be *very* heavy to operate. Personally, I liked the operation of the safety / de-cocker. I found it easy to reach and operate.


Accessories available at Brownells

Find holster options in our new book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – available at! Learn more about our Insanely Practical Guides!

Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Review: TruGlo TFO Handgun Sights

The Good
Way, way, way brighter than Snooki
The Bad
Crud can collect in the fiber optic channels
The Ugly
Slight risk that the 13,000 lumens of apparent light can burn your eyeballs to a crisp
Our Rating
4 Nuns Four Nuns
TruGlo TFO Tritium / Fiber Optic Handgun Sights

TruGlo TFO Tritium / Fiber Optic Handgun Sights

TruGlo TFO Tritium / Fiber Optic Handgun Sights

Suggested Retail Price: $153.99

TruGlo’s TFO line offers a great combination of fiber optic and tritium sights in one package. The basic idea is that tritium lamps are placed behind the fiber optic tubes. In dark conditions, the tritium light source shows through the fiber optic tube. In daylight conditions, the fiber optic tube provides sight brightness while the tritium lamps provide low doses of radiation sickness. A little radiation nausea can go a long way towards improving your sight picture according to some experts.

TFO’s are available in two varieties right now – green front and green rear or green front with yellow rear sights. I’ve got the green on green version and I absolutely love them. Dudes at the range almost always ask about them, which makes me feel much better about my sense of worth. Even though both front and back dots are green, I find the the front sight literally jumps out in your field of vision. I’ve used them quite a bit on a Glock 32 in speed competitions like IDPA and Steel Challenge and they are quite fast to acquire.

Street prices run about $100 and you can install them yourself without too much trouble. Warning: If you are a Glock user, that proprietary little tool for removing the factory front sight is a must!

In summary, there are a lot of tritium sights on the market. What makes the TFO’s really stand out is the daylight visibility. The fiber optic tubes really shine outdoors. No batteries required.

He said She said
These are on my daily carry gun. Quick to acquire in all light conditions and low profile so they don’t interfere with any holsters that I have tried. Other dudes Jones for them, which makes me especially popular at the range. Cool. Even with my failing eyesight I can line them up. Can I get back to Fashion Police now?

BUY NOW: TruGlo TFO Brite-Site Handgun Series Sight – GLOCK Low

Review: Mack’s Ear Seals Shooter Earplugs

The Good
  • GREAT sound reduction and comfortable fit
The Bad
  • Not incredibly sexy to wear out.
The Ugly
  • Does not improve your shooting
Our Rating
4 Nuns Four Nuns

My Gun Culture Bottom Line

Macks Ear Seals Shooters Ear Plugs

Macks Ear Seals Shooters Ear Plugs

Mack’s Ear Seals Shooter Earplugs

Retail Price: ~$3.25

Mack’s offers a broad range of earplugs for multiple applications – shooting, construction, mothers-in-law, and screaming kids to name a few. The Ear Seals model is a low-cost, yet very effective design featuring a -27dB noise reduction rating. These were perhaps the quietest semi-disposable earplugs that we’ve used – and we’ve tried ‘em all.

Macks Ear Seals Shooters Ear Plugs Hard Plastic Case

Includes Hard Plastic Storage Case

These have a removable cord which is handy for in and out convenience at the range. Better yet, a hard plastic case is included to keep them squeaky clean between uses.

We found that this was in fact one of those times when it pays to actually read the instructions. To get them in with a good solid fit, just rotate them into your ear like a screw, although use of power tools is not advised. Once that’s done, you have a very snug and secure fit that will last hours without adjustment.

He said She said
OK, so I have small ears for a dude. So these fit me really well and are comfortable for longer periods of time due to the soft material used. I’ll have to get my own pair though, SHE won’t part with them. I guess I can find a way to swing the three bucks. I love these! They are super comfortable. The rectangular case is handy and I love the multi-colored cord! It’s easy to find in my purse. I also tried removing the cord and it worked like a champ which enables me to use just the plugs for when “he’s” snoring.

Be Sure GI Joe Is Unarmed Before Flying…

Airport security officials brand three inch toy gun “firearm” (From Bournemouth Echo).

Long Lost Kahles Scope Used By Minnesota Iceman

Minnesota Iceman Kahles Scope - Scooby Doo

Minnesota Iceman - Owner of Lost Kahles Scope (Image: Hanna Barbera)

Kahles, Austrian manufacturer of fine rifle optics, recently unveiled the result of what was perhaps the longest field endurance test of hunting equipment ever – a Helia rifle scope lost in the Alps for what initially appeared to be nearly four decades. After showing the long lost rifle and scope at the 2011 SHOT Show, Kahles officials made an even more startling discovery about the scope’s origins.

“When we embarked on a carbon dating test, to settle a bar bet mind you, we discovered that the Kahles scope had been lost far longer than we originally thought” stated Kahles CEO Ben Cartwright. “Imagine our surprise when we found out that the rifle and scope were over 5,300 years old.”

Kahles Lost Helia Rifle Scope

Kahles Lost Helia Rifle Scope (Image: Kahles)

Further research on the scope’s origins yielded more surprising discoveries. Given the location of the find, compared with known hunting trails of the era, it was determined that the rifle and scope were likely owned by the Minnesota Iceman, discovered in 1968. “While most cavemen of that era hunted with rocks and spears, the really well-heeled ones could afford a nice bolt action” commented Cartwright.

Kahles engineers were thrilled with the scope’s perfect operational condition when it was originally believed the scope was in the wild for 30 years. “That in itself demonstrates an amazing feat of engineering” observed Kalhles Product Manager Carl Sagan. “When we found out it was really over 5,000 years old we weren’t really all that surprised. We build these things to last you know. However we were a little shocked that the Minnesota Iceman got his hands on a pre-production model. We hadn’t released those to the market 5,300 years ago. We’re guessing one of our interns borrowed it from the lab or something and got careless.”

After an exhaustive genealogical search, company officials were able to locate a descendant of the original owner in hopes of returning the scope to the family. On hearing the good news, modern day iceman Grrrug was ecstatic. “Mrmffphh urrgghhumpp grrrgxvz Kahles Scope arrgmph grrrrrq frumph” exclaimed the happy descendant of the rifle’s original owner.

Life on the farm & Marine boot camp

It’s all about perspective I suppose…

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well.  Hope you are.  Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile.

Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m.  But I am getting so I like to sleep late.  Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things.  No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee.  Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again.  It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on ‘route marches,’ which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us.  If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different.  A ‘route march’ is about as far as to our mailbox at home.  Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing.  I keep getting medals for shooting.  I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home.  All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it.  You don’t even load your own cartridges.  They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training.  You get to wrestle with them city boys.  I have to be real careful though, they break real easy.  It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home.  I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake .  I only beat him once.  He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6′ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8′ and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,


Source: Unknown from the interwebs

Cool New Kydex From Galco Gunleather

Galco Gunleather new Stryker OWB Kydex Holster

Galco Gunleather new Stryker OWB Kydex Holster

Spent some time with Mike from Galco who was kind enough to give me a detailed tour of the new products. One that struck me was the new Stryker Model. It’s an OWB Kydex model that has adjustable tension. What I liked best was a slide adjustment on the back that lets you get a snug fit on belts ranging from 1-1/4 to 1-3/4. Nice.

Birchwood Casey Prepares for the Zombie Apocalypse

New Birchwood Casey Zombie Targets

New Birchwood Casey Zombie Targets

Brand spanking new from Birchwood Casey. The smaller targets on the top utilize Birchwood Casey’s Dirty Bird Technology. Do real zombies have white blood?

New Birchwood Casey Zombie Targets

I'll pick up my own pizza, thanks.

Taser International Launches New Beer at SHOT Show

Hordes of Gun Wielding Mannequins Attacks SHOT Show

And one is naked. Ouch.

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