Beretta CX-4 Storm – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

There is a new podcast up on the website.

Podcast – Part 2

It’s the first of August, and I’m back to the CX-4. Let’s take a look at performance downrange. Before we do that, I tried to mount an optical sight. I say “tried,” because at that point I discovered a problem with this design.


Pretty obvious why this scope doesn’t work. This is the UTG Tactedge 4x long eye-relief scope that I believe is perfect for this airgun, but taller mounts are needed.

The tall front and rear tactical sight housings are so high that they limit the scopes that can be installed. You will need ultra-high Weaver rings to fit a long scope like the UTG Tactedge 4×40 long eye-relief scope I tried to mount. I have such mounts in 11mm, but not in Weaver because it isn’t a traditional airgun scope base.

Next, I tried to mount a lower red dot sight with a Weaver base. It fit between the sights okay, but it was so low that the red dot could only be seen through the rear sight aperture. That wouldn’t work, either! And before someone beats me up for not remembering that the Crosman NightStalker kit that I tested back in February of 2006 also has a red dot sight – I tried that, too. Not high enough!


Nope! This one fits, but it’s so low that the red dot appears through the rear aperture!

However, legend tells us of an earlier time when primitive marksmen used those front and rear sight appendages that still come on many airguns to actually align their guns for shooting. It’s called the BS era, for “before scopes.” I reckoned that anything my ancestors could do I could also do, so I shot all my groups without the aid of an optical sight. I did wear my bifocals, though.

Comedy of errors!
Starting with the sight adjustments – the front sight adjusts rapidly on a cam, which the manual fails to explain. I broke a screwdriver tip finding that out. I’ve broken other Taiwanese screwdriver tips before, but never while adjusting a sight! The manual said the gun was sighted-in at 10 meters by the factory, but this one wasn’t.

Moving to the rear sight, my front sight experience sensitized me to make small adjustments – this time with a tiny Allen wrench – and nothing happened. So here’s what to do in the back. Treat the rear sight like a windlass and pretend you are raising a ship’s anchor. I wound it around completely three or four times before the pellet moved the required two inches at 20 yards.

Then, it was time to shoot.

The open sights didn’t do their job
All that joking about open sights, and these turned out to be the worst I’ve used in ages. At 20 yards and shooting from a benchrest, I never got a group smaller than one inch. I may not be a crack shot, but I can keep them inside a dime with good open sights at that range. I don’t think this was the rifle’s fault – I blame the open sights.

Pellets that performed…or didn’t!
I tried RWS Hobbys, RWS Superdomes, RWS Supermags, Crosman 7.9-grain Premiers and Gamo Match pellets. The Hobbys seemed to perform the best. In this case, “best” is a very relative term.


This is the best I could do at 20 yards. This was with RWS Hobbys.

In every target, there was a cluster of three or four shots that told me the rifle wants to shoot better than this. I think with optical sights I can do better.

Well, not too good, thus far. I don’t like the sights, how they adjust and the fact that you need tools to adjust them. Also, who makes front and rear sights that adjust with two DIFFERENT tools? That’s just crazy. But, I’m not finished with the CX-4 yet. I’ll get some kind of high scope mount, and we’ll see how well it can shoot with proper sights.

I do expect Umarex USA to come out with some kind of optical sight and mount for the CX-4. With that Picatinny rail sitting on top, they’d be fools not to.

One last comment. Where is that reader who said I never criticize airguns that Pyramyd Air sells, because all I’m doing is selling things through these blogs? Without the use of profanity, this report was about as critical as I get. I don’t load it with frownie faces to let you know how I’m feeling, but I don’t think there are any lines that you need to read between.

43 thoughts on “Beretta CX-4 Storm – Part 3

  1. BB

    hey, here is the reader who asked if you were persuaded to only say nice things :)
    This Beretta does indeed seem to be a very bad design. Umarex should bring out a mad tactical looking scope that suits the gun. Though would a scope that is made for only one gun actually be a viable option??



  2. Hey B.B.,

    I know your to do list is very full, but can I make a request for more field target articles? I eagerly await each one.

    Thanks,

    Matt



  3. I think even with poor open sights the Cx4 is probably a hoot to shoot. Pop cans wouldn’t stand a chance!

    Keep us posted on the Cx4!


  4. B.B.,

    Thanks for todays report. Given what we’ve seen so far, I think my son and I are better off with the NightStalker for a fast action CO2 rifle. Haven’t heard anything so far that make me want to part with the extra bucks for the CX-4. However, your thoughts on this would mean a lot to us.

    LS & Son




  5. As per you comments about the Gamo articulated cocking link…

    I always thought that this link arrangement was designed to reduce side-loading on the piston during the cocking stroke. The side loading on the piston in a single-link gun is pretty heavy, which would tend to wear the inside top of the compression tube.

    Also, I don’t think you’d find that Gamo played any tricks with the linkage. The rear link still tries to pop away from the tube, but it is kept in place by a roller that rides along the inside of the stock.

    At least I’m virtually certain that this is how the Extreme works… the normal “1000fps” Gamo’s (Shadow, 220, 440 and derivatives) used this arrangement.

    FYI – The Crosman Quest-based guns (Quest, Phantom, G1 Extreme, Remmington Summit, etc) use the same arrangement.







  6. Ok i have some more news.

    i am out of kodiaks but orded 4 more tins yesterday.

    I have tried Logun Penetrators. They are more accurate and more powerful than jsb’s. I tried turning the velocity down to 900 with jsb’s and they would not group.

    The Logun Penetrators grouped very well! Plus i can have the power almost on full!

    The uin jins groups were good but there was not much of a power advantige with them. I get another 2 or three foot pounds with them but 805 fps is not enough. My fave is 930 fps, you get 40 foot pounds or so with kodiaks and dont have the transonic inacuracy. 30g ant 805 is about 43 foot pounds but the pellet drops so much. With the gun dead on with Logun Penetrators the eun jin falls 3-4 inches low.

    So its were down to kodiaks and Logun Penetrators. If only the Logun Penetrators were in stock at pyramyd.

    by for now,

    -sumo


  7. B.B,

    This is a little off topic but I spent some time last night listening to Tom Gaylords Pod Casts on Pyramyd Air Waves. I enjoyed both of them very much.

    Informative, well produced and I was suprised to find that Mr. Gaylord had such a fine speaking voice (guess we’re lucky we didn’t loose him to radio).

    Anyway one of the suggestions he made was to check out the Crosman University on Crosman’s website.

    While on the site I noticed that Crosman has added a 2250 style carbine to their build a custom gun application and that there are now choices for 18 and 24 inch barrels in addition to the standard 14.1″. That got me thinking about the fellow that was interested in a long barreled 2250. Do you suppose that the Crosman custom shop “tweaks” the valve to take advantage of the additional barrel length or is it possible that we were wrong about it’s effect on velocity (or at least shot to shot consistancy)?

    Also, I like doing business with Pyramyd (excellent customer service)is their a way to order one of the custom shop pistols through Pyramyd?

    Thanks,

    LS


  8. Yea i dont say in enough, NICE JOB PYRAMYD.

    I am probibly just a blind fool but i cant find any Logun Penetrators in 20.5g 22 caliber. I found .177, .20, and .25 but no .22(20.5 or 16 but i am looking for 20.5).

    -sumo


  9. LS,

    Now I am Laughing Out Loud (LOL)!

    So, after all my work to show the best barrel length for CO2, work that Crosman pushed in my face, I might add, they are now going the other way.

    I give up! Up is the new down.

    B.B.


  10. Crosman had voting last summer to determine what options would be available for the new custom CO2 carbine (2250). Of course Crosman listed the possible options to vote on.

    .22 multi-shot


  11. B.B.

    If I were to buy either the CX-4 or the Nightstalker, is it really worth the extra $150 for the CX-4? Why is it priced so much higher? They appear to be quite similar…



  12. I was able to get a scope to work on the Beretta, and if you are interested then I will tell you what groups I achieved as well.

    – Dr. G.




  13. Both the Beretta 30-shot air rifle and the Drozd 30-shot BB air machine gun share several things in common, including the fact that both present challenges in mounting a scope because both have plastic parts in “fashionable” (read military) shapes addornng the top. Fortunately, a tire iron sitting on the stovetop burner for 5 minutes acted like the proverbial “hot knife through butter” with both these air guns, slicing off whatever plastic needed to be removed to allow regular height scope mounts to be attached and enough room for the scope to fit.

    The 10 yard groups achieved by the Beretta were so bad that there is almost no reason to go to the trouble of modifying it to fit a scope. None of the common 6 types/brands of pellets that I tried were grouping better than 1 1/2″ using 8 shot groups (something about having a 30-shot magazine lends itself to groups larger than 5-shot). Yes, the barrel was cleaned with the non-embedding bore cleaner.

    For those of you who buy this air gun, remember – all the pellets must be below the lips of all the plastic magazine loops, or the gun will jam. As long as the pellets are below the lips (I seated mine with the plastic tip of a Bic pen – perfect size), then the gun cycles as smooothly as greased plastic rubbing against oiled plastic.

    If you want to know whether I think this gun is worth the money, and what kind of value and workmanship I see (I have owned about 10 other air rifles/firearms), then I will tell you.

    – Dr. G.


  14. Dr. G.,

    Interesting that you had the same experience with accuracy as I did. And you went to the trouble of cleaning the barrel – something I haven’t done.

    Interesting. Please tell us more.

    B.B.


  15. Because I am very impressed with the value provided by Umarex with their plastic stock, 8-shot 850 88 gram CO2 air rifle and have been satifsfied with the quality shown by Beretta .22 rimfire semi-auto pistol and Beretta XXtreme air pistol, I thought that for around the same amount of money ($230, give or take) the CX-4 Storm might provide good value.

    I was also expecting a good shooting experience as I prefer a lighter rifle (under 8 pounds) and actually prefer most man-made stock materials to wood. I also have a strong preference for repeating and semi-automatic or automatic rifles.

    My initial impression upon holding the CX-4 Storm was how small and toylike it seemed. The light weight and Toyota-like plastic reminded me of the Crosman 1077AS, which is a $100 88 gram CO2 repeating air rifle that feels like a $100 air rifle.

    The chronograph indicated speeds around 560-580 fps, but since that was after at least 50 shots it is possible that the Beretta might break 600 fps during the first 20-30 shots of the CO2 cartridge. The pellets I was using were not lightweight, but of mostly average to above average weight. I suspect that lightweight pellets are probably more appropriate for an airgun of this moderate power, but there is no reason to believe that in my indoor range they would prove any less innacurate than the pellets I was using.

    Interestingly, when shots are fired rapidly (about 2 per second), the speed begins to fall off about 20 fps by the 5th or 6th shot, because I believe that the CO2 cartridge is cooling off a bit too rapidly to keep up with firing rate, even though it is a “large” 88 gram cartridge. The speed continues to drop another 15 fps or so after another 5 rapid shots. If you pause 20 seconds and fire again, the pellet speed returns to about the speed of the 1sth shot in the string.

    I have noticed the same type of speed dropoff also with the Drozd BB gun when 5 or more shots are fired rapidly, although because that uses a 12.5 gram CO2 cartridge this effect is not surprising.

    I wonder if perhaps the barrel of the CX-4 may be too short for proper accuracy, but since I was never able to get acceptable groupings with any pellet, and since the trigger feels unpleasant, this air rifle is headed for the scrap heap. A gun that won’t shoot straight is very frustrating.

    – Dr. G.


  16. Dr. G.,

    Another good report. But I have a couple of observatiuons. First, you mention that the CO2 cartridge is cooling off. Actually it is the GUN that is cooling when you shoot fast. You could have a tractor-trailer full of CO2 connected to your gun – it would still cool down. CO2 does not do well with rapid-fire.

    Second, a short barrel doesn’t affect accuracy. Olympic 10-meter air rifles have short 16-inch barrels, yet they still shoot fine. And when they are converted to field target rifles, they still shoot fine at high power.

    Thanks for the report,

    B.B.


  17. What kind of velocity ranges are you getting with the lightest up to the heaviest pellets? I am interested to see what’s the most ft-lb energy the CX4 is able to pump up. Thanks.

    I am still debating whether or not if I should buy one of these CX4′s.

    -Don


  18. Also, is the silencer available for this anywhere to purchase online? I saw the XT version and that does come with a silencer among other accessories. Is that even effective at reducing the muzzle sound?

    -Don


  19. Don,

    All velocity testing I did was at the muzzle. Within 12 inches of the muzzle. The pellets will slow down exactly as fast from this rifle as they do from any other, so if they start at 600 f.p.s., they will slow as fast as any other 600 f.p.s. pellets of the same type, regardless of the rifle that fires them.

    I reported velocities in Part 2. This is an 11 foot-pound airgun.

    The “silencer” is not a real one and doesn’t quiet the gun, if you live in the U.S. If you live somewhere else, you may be able to buy a silencer for this, but I don’t have any of the details, because they don’t come to the U.S.

    The U.S. silencer has holes in it and it’s called a compensator. The only websites I found that actually HAVE the XT version are German sites. I did see some U.S. sites that talked about it, but none where it was for sale.

    Did you see one?

    B.B.


  20. B.B.

    Thanks for your quick response.

    As for the silencer/compensator, I saw it on the same German sites that you saw. Maybe down the line, someone will be able to come up with a simple design for one.

    I did read your velocity report in Part2, and I inputted the velocities and the pellet weight of the Hobby into the energy calculator and only got 5.6 ft lbs. Am I calculating incorrectly? I just simply used 600fps and 7.0 grains here… http://pyramydair.com/site/articles/formulas/

    I am in San Francisco bay area, so I can’t own the real steel CX4, so this may be the next bext thing.

    Thanks for your help.

    -Don





  21. Just picked up my CX-Storm last week and have gone through a few tanks and lots of coated hollowpoints from Beeman and Crossman hollow points and was thrilled to death with the accuaracy. 20 yards gives me enough accuracy to completely ventilate any paper coffee cup with out a problem. Haven’t used a rest or anything, just pain old standing. I don’t really like the sights but they worked well after a few clips. Was trying to put a Propoint on it but couldn’t find 1″ tall rings that fit the darn tubes. So I have a Bushnell Holosight ordered for it after test mounting my freinds Holo to it. Sure it’s pricey but it just upped the sexy factor of that gun quite a bit. And it fits perfectly.
    The belt magazine is great and hasn’t jammed at all but it does take some time loading those 30 rounds in there. It certainly takes less time emptying it. ;)Basically, it’s the most fun I’ve had shooting a pellet gun in years. Sure I almost bought the Crossman Nightstalker but the Beretta was just too good of a gun to pass up.



  22. I s there any way to convert to air or to use larger c02 reservoirs with this rifle?
    I was thinking maybe with a paintball remote and some adapters? Thanks in advance.




  23. CX-4 to air,

    You want to start around 850 PSI (use CO2 pressures since it is a CO2 gun). Air at the same pressure as CO2 will be faster because the molecules are smaller. If you go too high on the pressure, you will get valve lock.
    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/09/what-is-valve-lock-in-pneumatic-gun.html).

    Here is a link to a Crosman NightStalker converted to air.
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/thread/1233725222/Crosman+NightStalker+PCP+modification

    And a Pyramyd Air blog article on converting CO2 to air.
    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/08/how-to-convert-from-co2-to-air.html

    Make sure and learn as much as you can before doing a conversion. Paintball sites are a good place to start. Also, be forwarned, you will probably end up spending more converting your gun than just buying a PCP in the first place! Modding is also addictive!

    Join us at the current blog page for the latest discussions and topics.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog

    (The links in this comment must be copied and pasted into your browser.)

    Thanks,
    .22 multi-shot


  24. Sorry for reviving an old blog post, but on the real rifle, it seems that you can fold the sights down inside the “ears”, as they call them, so that they don’t hinder a low mounted sight. Seeing that you had trouble figuring out the mechanisms, could you have overlooked this possiblity or is the replica not that exact?



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