Beretta PX4 Storm pistol – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Continuing our look at the Beretta PX4 Storm, let’s examine functioning and then shoot it for velocity. I’ll also record the number of available shots per 12-gram CO2 cartridge, because there’s a lot of interest in that number.

Trigger
The trigger is both single- and double-action and is a bit strange in the single-action mode (when the hammer is cocked). The first stage is there and light as it should be, but the second stage divides into two distinct parts. The first part is a pull that stops at a definite point, and the second part is the letoff. If you’re familiar with old (pre-1930) Colt double-action revolvers, you’ll know they “stack” toward the end of the double-action pull…meaning they come to a definite pause in the pull as the effort to release the sear increases. You can use this stacking to control the release of the hammer if you’re careful. The single-action trigger on the PX4 Storm feels remarkably similar to those old Colt double-actions. I suspect it has to do with advancing the 8-shot clip to the next chamber. It releases in the single-action mode at 4 lbs., 12 ozs.

Two types of shooting
I tried the gun two different ways in an attempt to learn how to get the maximum number of shots from a CO2 cartridge. The first method was to pause 30 seconds between shots to let the pistol recover from the cooling effect of the CO2. Using that method, I got 5 full magazines and half of a 6th, which amounts to 40 shots on a cartridge. At the end, the power was definitely falling, meaning that all liquid CO2 had evaporated and the gun was shooting on gas, alone. I dry-fired a few more shots; within four more shots, the slide was not cocking the hammer.

Gamo Match pellets ranged in velocity from 226 f.p.s. to 356 f.p.s., but the 226 was an anomalous shot. All other shots were above 332 f.p.s. The average for this pellet with a fresh CO2 cartridge (and excluding the lowest shot) was in the low 340s. Gamo Match were also the final pellets I shot under this technique, and the final string went from 292 to 360. The average was about 350, 10 f.p.s. faster than the first string, which proves that CO2 acts as a pressure regulator, as long as there is liquid CO2 remaining. The final shot at 292 f.p.s. was the result of the liquid being gone.

Crosman Silver Eagle lead-free wadcutters averaged 410 f.p.s. Of course, they’re 2.3 grains lighter than the Gamos and H&Ns, so an increase is to be expected.

I also shot H&N Finale Match pellets on this CO2 cartridge. They weigh almost the same as Gamo Match pellets and produced an average velocity of 337 f.p.s.

When the cartridge ran out, I swapped it for another and started shooting with a string of Crosman Copperhead BBs. They’re made of steel and are 2.4 grains lighter than the lead pellets I shot, but they averaged only 370 f.p.s. They’re quite a bit smaller in diameter than the pellets and therefore allow some gas to blow past the BB in the barrel. They’re held in the magazine by a magnet in the center of the revolving clip.


Steel BBs leave a lot of room in each chamber. The BB is held in by a magnet. Those ribs in the chamber are there to hold the pellets.

Fast shooting
This time, I shot as fast as the Chrony could register, which is about a shot every 1.5 seconds. The strings went down in velocity from the first shot to the last, as you might expect. For example, the first shot with Gamo Match went 360 f.p.s., while the 8th shot with the same pellet went only 328. Gamo Match went from a first-shot high of 334 to a last-shot low of 290. However, shooting this way did improve the total number of shots I got from the pistol, from 40 to 48. On the final string, I waited 30 seconds between shots and the average for Gamo Match was 318 f.p.s. So, if you want more total shots per cartridge, shoot the pistol rapidly. The temperature on my office range was 70 degrees F throughout the test.

Impressions
I didn’t know what to think before starting this test. I’ve read reviews both praising and condemning the PX4, so I was ready for anything. I like the trigger and the way the gun feels in the hand. It’s on the large side for me, so shooters with big hands are going to enjoy it. Next, we’ll see how it does on paper.

53 thoughts on “Beretta PX4 Storm pistol – Part 2

  1. Look-a-like pistols are lots of fun. They make several revolvers with the gas in the grip. Why in he** not a Colt SA copy with gas in the grip like others? Or under the barrel even, like old Crosmans?
    Want more good, mostly metal revolver copies.


  2. I have a T4 opts with all the junk on it. After about a minute of shooting i took it all off. Now its just the raw gun. Its kinda fun to shoot but when im looking for a co2 pistol i always reach for the cp88.

    -sumo



  3. BB:
    This is completely off base. But I would like to know the best non lead pellet on the market. With the push here in California and other places to get rid of lead all together. It seems like a blog on this would help some of us make a decision on where to start. Would like to address hunting and paper punching. As well as spring and PCN guns.
    Any help would be much appreciated.



  4. No-lead,

    I suppose I should do something on lead-free pellets. I avoid them because they are poor performers compared to lead pellets, but I know they will become more popular in the future.

    I’ll keep my eyes open.

    B.B.


  5. B.B.

    I wonder if there would be any interest in realistic reproductions of famous rifles like the M1 Garand or M-16 as pellet guns similar to what is done by this Beretta and some of the Colt pistols? I seem to remember you writing about bb guns like this. Anyway, it seems like there might be a niche for high-quality reproduction pellet rifles. I expect that they would be cheaper than the M1 Garand I’m about to buy.

    The dangers of leading the bore are starting to bug me, especially when I recall language about the lead “welding” to the rifling. What kind of cleaning is necessary too remove this? Can you run patches with solvent? Do you need to use a bronze brush? If so, is solvent enough to use with the brush or do you need something more powerful like the JB Non-embedding bore compound? Much as I like the Crosman Premiers, I’m thinking of dropping them altogether in favor of RWS Hobby pellets. Using the Crosman Premiers with the Daisy 747, my first single-shot gun has given me a sense of what leading must do. With my fingers all black, I can’t imagine what my barrels must look like.

    Matt61


  6. Matt,

    Slow down! There is an issue, but it’s not life-threatening.

    Your Garand will get copper fouling in the bore, too, if it’s anything like mine.

    Keep the velocity with Premiers under 900 f.p.s. and clean with JB paste and a brass brush when the accuracy drops. If you can’t clean with JB because of the design of the gun (an springer with a sliding compression chamber), don’t shoot Premiers unless the velocity is low enough.

    B.B.


  7. B.B.–Scott298 reporting in. Believe it or not I have now had my 3rd rws 350 break. The 1st time Pyramyd replaced it. The 2nd time umarex fixed it and they put 1/2 dozen new parts in the gun. I took it out to the range today for the 1st time -got all set up-loaded the 1sr pellet, fired and blew the breach out of the barrell. What has happened to quality? I can see a malfunction with one gun but to have the same model breal 3 time-my patience is gtowing thin-have you heard of many complaints on the 350 breaking? Mine is chambered for .177 and all I shoot are heavy pelletts-has to vent thanks Scott298


  8. Scott298,

    It’s time to buy a different model, don’t you think?

    How can the breech be blown out? Do you mean the breech seal?

    I haven’t heard complaints about the 350 breaking, but I will tell you to switch to lighter pellets. Heavy pellets aren’t good in a springer.

    I know lightweight pellets go too fast, so what you need are the lightest ones that don’t detonate and give good accuracy.

    And I understand the need to vent.

    B.B.


  9. B.B.

    Thanks. That’s reassuring about leading, and it looks like speed is another variable that I wasn’t aware of. I expect that the B30 is the only high-velocity gun I will get anytime soon, and I will shoot it infrequently enough that I may as well steer clear of the Crosman Premiers altogether. Otherwise, I use the IZH 61 and the 1077 for indoor shooting. Are their velocities low enough so that leading isn’t a problem?

    With all the airgunning I’ve been doing, I’ve thought that in the new year, I may as well see how it all translates into firearms. I don’t expect it to displace airgunning but with all of the tradition and technology in firearms, it makes sense to give them a try, and what better one than the venerable M1 Garand. I’ve also found a gunsmith by the name of Clint Fowler who looks to be quite a grand old man–don’t know if you’ve heard of him. He has quite a record of high-power competition shooting, and even better, he claims to be able to accurize a surplus Garand to sub-MOA for under $500. His work has to do with adjusting the gas plug, adding locking lugs, and some other proprietary thing he was not too specific about. Most of the technical discussion on his website was over my head, but I was convinced. So, the plan is to get a restocked sub-MOA M1 for a total cost of about $1000–a great prize in cheapness and accuracy.

    I hadn’t heard about the copper fouling problem in my reading and will keep it in mind. Thanks.

    Matt61


  10. B.B.–Scott298 again-I went thru my notes and this what was replaced by umarex-main spring, mainspring tube and they added a washer to the breach seal to make it fit better. But I thought that the rws350 was made to handle crossman premiers heavy. It’s a magnum gun and should therefore take heavy pelletts–I must have fired 2 to 3 thousand thru the ist gun. If it can’t take a heavy load and should stick to lite pellets-wich will go supersonic then what was the point of making the 350 in .177cal. Also looking at another web site the 350 surpasses the 460 mag in .177–is this another mistake? You know I want the air arms more than ever but at this point I simply cannot afford it-thanks ,Scott298


  11. Matt61,

    Yes to Crosman pellets in the slower guns.

    I have heard of Clint Fowler. The price you are paying for what you are getting is super!

    Use Sweet’s 7.62 bore cleaner on the bore of your Garand. Follow the directions to the letter and it will clean up well.

    B.B.



  12. BB -

    Off topic, but just have to ask… Have you had a chance to shoot your new Wilson Combat CQB since you got it for Christmas? Impressions?

    - Jim in KS


  13. Scott298,

    The big magnum spring guns don’t like heavy pellets in .177 caliber. I guess they have too much resistance, given that the small bore makes the gun act like it already has a head cold. They do better in .22, but even then medium-weight pellets are better.

    Try 7.9-grain Premiers and 8.4-grain JSBs, or some of the RWS pellets.

    What was the point of making the 350 in .177? Bragging rights to super-high velocities. They are not intended for those who really understand how airguns work.

    Okay, you have a lemon. But you are not stuck. You can have your rifle de-tuned, to about 14-16 foot-pounds. There’s some expense involved, but nothing like a new rifle would cost. I’ll bet you’ll like it even better that way!

    You know the R1 in my book? At the end of the book it had a gas spring in it. Well, I got tired of cocking 50 lbs. of effort for every shot, so I replaced that spring with a coiled steel spring that dropped the energy from 23 foot-pounds down to about 15. The gun is now a dream to shoot.

    I did the job while writing about the “spring gun tune” report for this blog, which is a 13-parter. So you can follow along and see what I did.

    If you don’t want to do the work on your rifle, find someone who will do it for you. Diana rifles aren’t terrible to work on, but they’re not the easiest, either.

    And learn from this experience.

    B.B.


  14. Jim in KS,

    YES I DID! Last week I got feeling cranky, so I went to an indoor range and shot about 200 rounds.

    I was looking for another article to write while I’m at the SHOT Show and you just gave it to me.

    Thanks,

    B.B.




  15. has anyone noticed the new Ruger air guns? I just caught sight of them, and wondered if anybody knew if they were just rebranded Chinese guns, or if they’re something worth looking into. For the price, the thumbhole stock doesn’t look too bad.


  16. B.B.
    Your answer regarding a suppressor on the Benjamin Discovery indicates that the front site is permanent, not easily removed? Thanks.


  17. I have to mention that this gun has taught me that speed is not everything. I to chronied mine with the Silver Eagle HPs and received an average like yours of 453 fps. My Beeman Lazers were 372.8. These are some of the lowest numbers I’ve received from any of my C02 pistols yet it does not seem to affect the enjoyment of shooting the gun. I can only guess it must be the blow back that is such a ball and makes it feel more powerful than it is.


  18. B.B.

    I’m following with interest the thread about the deficient 350 and pellet weights for .177. Since the B30 is recommended for field target, it can perform at .177 despite its power, right?

    I’m looking forward to hearing about the Wilson CQB as well.

    Matt61


  19. Thomas I : Yes I have seen the Rugers & am watching closely. I asked B.B. when I first noticed them, Not Diana,most prob. China or Turkey.They have sparked some hot debate on other forums. I think they look great,& if that copy? of Diana T-O 5 trigger, Thumb safety, ect. is half as good, seems like the standard ($110) version may be a GREAT entry level & above gun! Heck, for that kind of & I would buy one now if they were in stock! We will see. Tim.


  20. BB,
    After about how many rounds would you recommend I clean my R9′s barrel? I was told when ever accuracy starts to decrease to clean it. BUT I have been experimenting with different holds and pellets for its first ~400 shots. So…you see the problem?LOL
    (I cleaned the barrel out of the box)
    Thanks
    Tree


  21. Matt61,

    I recently went to a range and shot a Mosin Nagant a little. Coming from airguns gave me little something to work off of which really helped in the beginning. When I squeezed the first few shots, I didn’t flinch or even anticipate the recoil and I’m pretty sure my groups were tighter than my friend’s. After about 50 rounds in a span of two hours using the standard metal butt pad though I couldn’t help but anticipate the impact. It’s like getting punched 50 times in the same spot!

    Anyway my point is, the habits you get from airgunning help a lot with aiming since with airgunning, even with powerful springers, you’re more able to focus on the target (rather than the impending recoil on a shoulder that’s already tender from the previous 49 shots.) Also… if you’re getting your Garand restocked, rubber butt pad. Most definitely.



  22. Blog Topic: A ‘Hole’ in the Airgun Pistol Marketplace?

    I discovered your blog a while back and enjoy it so much I read it regularly. I even went back and over the course of several months looked at all the archived topics and read all that were of interest to me. I wanted to share an opinion with you and throw this out for consideration as a possible future blog topic or topic(s). I’ve looked high and low for airgun pistols that I like. I may eventually settle for the Benjamin EB22 but the key word is ‘settle’ and in fact may never get around to seriously considering a pistol given my preferences.

    Here’s what I’m NOT finding in the marketplace combined in a single CO2 pistol model:

    1) Airgun pistols that LOOK LIKE airgun pistols

    2) Airgun pistols that offer basic REPEATER functionality (preferably pellet)

    Let me expand on each. While I understand that many do like them, I personally have no particular interest in airgun pistols that attempt to look (and even function) like known production firearm pistols. I don’t believe I’m unique in this regard. They just don’t do anything for me. I do however have a strong affinity for those pistols that look like what they are. For example the Benjamin EB/HB series and the Crosman 2240. Out of production examples include the Daisy Powerline 1200 and Crosman 600. And I’m sure a host of others. These are all examples of airgun pistols that LOOK LIKE airgun pistols – very well proportioned with form that complements their airgun functionality, nice looking and unmistakable as to what they are.

    Likewise in an airgun pistol I REALLY LIKE a repeater. That is load up 6 or more pellets or a whole handful of BBs, plug in the CO2 cartridge, cock and shoot, cook and shoot until empty… This avoids having to load each pellet before each shot or have multiple movements or steps. And it also avoids potential complexity, cost and other trade-offs involving CO2 powered ‘semi-automatic’ functionality. And finally it avoids having to index the next round as part of a ‘double action’ trigger pull. It leaves the CO2 to do nothing but project the ammo. The trigger to do nothing but release the hammer. And the non-shooting hand to do nothing but move the cocking/loading mechanism. I prefer not to be concerned with potential jamming or other intricacies of a CO2 powered auto cycling mechanism like a semi-automatic might offer. And I’m certainly not interested in wasting any CO2 on a simulated blowback feature. Nor do I wish to have some of the trigger pull, rotate a cylinder or something. The defunct Daisy Powerline 1200 is a perfect example of what I’m talking about though it only shot BBs.

    Examples:

    * Benjamin EB/HBs, Crosman 2240, Daisy Avantis and Crosman 1377: All have great classic airgun pistol looks. Some are even CO2 powered. But all are single-shot.

    * Daisy Powerline 1200: If it were still in production and were designed to shoot pellets – it would fill the gap for BBs. It’s long out of projection and they don’t age well. But it held a ‘bunch’ of BBs and a simple one-inch movement of a small slide lever elegantly placed under the forearm dropped a BB into the barrel and cocked the hammer in a single movement with the non-shooting hand. The looks were reasonably good and unmistakably airgun. The repeater action was great.

    * Crosman 600: Again, long since out of production. And it was a semi-automatic as opposed to a repeater. You’ve already written an entry on this collectible pistol – nothing I can add here.

    * Others…?

    So there you have it: The lack of an airgun pistol with an elegant design that looks like an airgun and offers simple basic multi-shot ‘repeater’ capability, CO2 powered and shoots pellets (or BBs). I believe the market would respond strongly to such a pistol: An airgun pistol that looks like an airgun pistol, is CO2 powered and specifically offers multi-shot repeater functionality with pellets. All the elements have existed in various pistols at various times. But to the best of my knowledge, they have never converged into a single pistol model. Consider how popular the 2240 continues to be today – does it’s uncompromising airgun styling have something to do with that? Consider how popular multi-shot functionality is to firearm look-alike airguns – would they be as popular without the multi-shot capability? Give me (a) an EB22 or 2240-like outward appearance, (b) a simple cocking mechanism such as the Powerline1200-like slide cocker and (c) a repeater pellet ‘clip’ – that would nail it. That’s my opinion. What’s yours?




  23. Alan,

    No breech seal tricks, but don’t freak out when the breech seal seems to have a nick in it. That is intentional. It allows air to go around the seal and push it up from beneath, sealing the breech tighter.

    B.B.


  24. Thanks for reviewing this one. I’ve been wanting an air gun for a long time, so I’ve been reading your blog obsessively since I found it, and I’ve been wanting to see a review on this. I can’t wait to see how it does on paper.

    I’d also like to see a review on the Crosman 1088



  25. Hello BB,

    Great pleasure to meet you at Roanoke. Haven’t posted in a while, but read here daily.

    Question on the PX4… have the magazine issues been resolved? Pyramyd had a comment about replacing the original ones with modified replacements. Is all ok now? I’ve delayed purchasing this one for that reason. None of the comments mention magazine problems.

    Thanks, enjoy SHOT !

    Joe




  26. Rodney,

    You can answer the rifled barrel question yourself. Go to the product page and look at the left side of the page. Do you see the words Model Assistant at the top of the left column? Under that are the words Overview, Specifications, Manual and Assistant. Put your cursor on Specifications and click once. The Specifications tab will open and show all the specs, including whether the barrel is rifled or not.

    B.B.


  27. B.B.

    Do you recommend using lead BBs on the rifled barrel of the PX4 instead of copper or zinc covered steel BBs. (I’m worried about the rifling integrity) or just stick to pellets for this gun.

    Pulsar



  28. B.B.

    I just realized that lead is not a magnetizable metal thus lead BBs won’t hold into the chambers appropriately.

    Pulsar.


  29. Pulsar,

    No, you’re right about that. But that’s why I suggested 4.4mm lead balls. They are 0.174″ in diameter and should hold like pellets. And if you want to be sure, try Gamo .177 round balls, which are .177″ in diameter. They will stay in the cylinder for sure.

    B.B.


  30. Just got one of these from my gun dealer, quite pleased, has a good kick and slide action. I get a good amount of shots per co2 bulb. It’s on the loud side, which is good or bad depending on your situation. Trigger is a little heavy and it would be better if the slide felt like it engaged with somthing when you cock it, feels a little weak. Accuracy is not bad for a blowback. I’m a real blowback freak so that’s why i got this gun, if you like blowback and a bit of powerful plinking action this is ideal.


  31. BB,
    How accurate is the PX4 at about 30 feet? Could it hold a 2 inch group or better?

    Thanks, I love the blog.

    K.M.



  32. I own the Beretta px4 storm air pistol and love it – I was wondering if anyone had a guide on how to clean the gun? Umarex sells oil to oil the main spring but not sure how to get to the main spring – anyone have any manuals or guides or help?

    Thanks


  33. Ron,

    The PX4 is a pellet gun and doesn’t get dirty in the conventional sense. Hence, no cleaning required. Maybe after 100K rounds, but most folks don’t get that far.

    Just shoot and enjoy!

    B.B.


  34. BB. I'm looking at the PX4 and the Walter CP99 and CP99 Compact. I know that none of these are precision target shooters, but which seems to be the most accurate of the bunch? I like the flexibility of the Px4's clip, but the CP99 models are classics and beautiful. I know they're all fun action plinkers I but I'd like to be able to hit an egg sized target at around 35 feet, at least sometimes. Thanks!


  35. Bristolview,

    There was a lot of discussion the other day about these pistols under part 2 of the Evanix Blizzard article that B.B. wrote. Here's link to the article, go to the comments and read through them all to find the one's that relate to the discussion on the CP99, the james bond gun, etc.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/08/evanix-blizzard-s10-part-2.html

    B.B. writes a new article every weekday. If you will go to that new article and click on "comments" you will find the majority of airgunners, like you, talking there, sharing experiences, asking/answering each others questions, etc. Here's a link that will take you to B.B.'s most recent article everytime:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/

    Look forward to seeing you there!

    kevin


  36. Bristolview,

    Here is the automotive equivalent of the question you have asked.

    "Which is the faster car, A 2009 Aston Martin One-77 or a 1958 Anglia?"

    A pellet gun that has a rifled barrel will always out-shoot a smoothbore BB gun. The Walther CP99 is a pellet gun. The other two you mentioned are BB guns. The Beretta is rifled to shoot both BBs and pellets, which makes it a compromise gun, but that is never good for accuracy.

    Read part 3 of the report on the PX4 Storm to see the accuracy:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/01/beretta-px4-storm-pistol-part-3.html

    If you are interested in hitting eggs at 35 feet, buy a pellet gun that does not also shoot BBs.

    B.B.





  37. When shooting CO2 powered weapons, specifically handguns which have the ability to shoot pellets; since the power of such guns depreciates as the cartridge is used, for example: the Beretta Px4, which could use up to six magazines per cartridge; could using lower weight pellets, as shots progressed, say two mags of heavy pellets, followed by two mags of medium weight pellets, followed by two mags of light weight pellets, make sense, regarding an attempt to keep the impact of pellets closer to the point of aim? The idea being to lighten the load (pellet) as the gas in the cartridge decreases, thus keeping the impact point closer to the desired point of aim, rather than watching the impact point drop (if only one weight pellet was used), all other conditions being equal?


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