Beretta Px4 Storm Air Pistol Review
It seems with rising ammo costs that air pistols have become the shooting enthusiasts new friend because the cost is only a couple of pennies per shot. There has also been a report of law enforcement agencies using replica airguns for target practice for the same reason. So, let’s take a look at one of the replica Umarex air pistols, the Beretta Px4 Storm. At first glance the Px4 Storm air pistol looks like its Beretta firearm counterpart, but there are some differences, the most notable being in the frame and slide’s ejection port.
Starting at the bottom of the frame’s grip, the Px4 CO2 pistol has a rotating CO2 charging knob that’s positioned to the rear of the grip as opposed to the firearm’s magazine that is positioned toward the front. As you travel up the grip, there are some serrations on the backstrap that don’t exist on the firearm. The backstrap on the air pistol is actually the CO2 compartment cover and the serrations provide a gripping point for ease of removal. Although the actual firearm’s pins don’t exist on the air pistol at the top-rear of the grip, circles have been molded in to represent their size and shape. There’s a third pin, a split design, that holds the valve assembly and frame together, which is not on the firearm.
At first, the slide catch seems the same as the firearm version of the pistol, but it does not function—it is molded into the frame. Continuing up the frame the magazine release button is slightly different. I was hopeful that it could be reversed for left-hand thumb release, but when I did so, the magazine would not click into place, because the notches that catch on the release when the magazine is inserted are not duplicated for left-hand release. A crafty shooter could indeed handle this slight modification to the magazine and have an ambidextrous Px4 Storm air pistol, although you may want to have a couple of extra Px4 Storm CO2 gun magazines on-hand for practice. The last two noticeable differences on the frame is the lack of a disassembly latch, which instead has a couple of pins inside the indention where it is normally located and an additional lever at the top-right side of the frame, which is the safety mechanism.
The serrations on the slide are exact by naked eye, 15 at front, 7 at rear on either side. The lever that would be the safety on the slide of the Px4 sidearm is present, but molded in and non-functioning. The red dot, which indicates the pistol is “On Fire”, is not located by this molded-in lever, but has been appropriately placed by the air pistol’s actual safety lever. The sights look the same—3-dot sight system, but are not adjustable or coated with Superluminova®. There is a screw centered on top of the slide just in front of the rear sight as opposed to an offset “nipple”. I don’t recommend removing this screw as the Px4 Storm airgun manual states that disassembly will void your warranty. The biggest difference in the slide of the Px4 airgun and the Px4 firearm is in the area of the ejection port. While the shape and opening start out the same, the air pistol’s slide does not have the extractor area molded into the frame.
The frame is plastic, as is the magazine. The slide, trigger, hammer, and internal working parts are made of metal. Unloaded and without airgun ammunition in its magazine or a 12 gram CO2 cylinder installed, the Beretta Px4 Storm air pistol weighs 25.4 ounces while an unloaded Px4 Storm firearm with an empty magazine weighs 27.7 ounces. Add an un-punctured 12g CO2 cylinder and the Px4 Storm airgun comes in at 26.81 ounces, hardly a noticeable difference in weight.
From appearances, the Beretta Px4 Storm air pistol isn’t exact, but at first glance it’s so close that you’ll hardly know the difference.
The Px4 Storm Airgun Replica—In Action
The function of the Px4 Storm airgun is different as is the sound it generates, but the most exciting feature is its blow back action or “recoil”. It is the kick that gives this pistol that added touch of realism and a higher level of attraction for Px4 firearm owners that want to target practice economically.
Before charging the pistol with CO2, the first thing you’ll notice (after making sure your pistol is on safe) is that when you drop the magazine free of the grip it has a rotary magazine at either end. Each mag holds 8 projectiles so the magazine will hold a total of 16. Only a pellet is engraved on the magazine’s side, but worthy of a knowing is that the Px4 Storm will also hold and fire 4.5 mm steel BBs. Be careful when pushing the magazine release button—the mag “springs” out, so you’ll want to hold your free hand below the grip to catch it so that it doesn’t hit the ground and break or collect debris. Just remember to always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
The CO2 capsule is inserted in the rear of the grip.
The Px4 Storm Tactical version (drop down menu on right of link) sports several tactical accessories.
A feature I like about this pistol’s safety is that it is so easy to push on safe, but a bit more difficult to put on Fire. It’s made in such a way that to move the lever to the Fire position, you have to pull back on the serrated tensioner. This and its location make putting the Px4 Storm air pistol on Fire an intentional movement. To put it back on Safe you simply have to push the lever down all the way so that the red dot is completely covered. There’s no need to pull back on the safety tensioner. Plus, when you put the pistol on safe, it blocks the trigger movement and if the hammer is cocked, it automatically de-cocks it.
The backstrap comes off easily and the piercing knob at the bottom of the grip is clearly marked so you know which way to turn for “open” before inserting the CO2 capsule. There’s a platform screw inside that you can lower by turning clockwise. The CO2 cylinder sits on this platform and lowering it will allow more clearance thus making it easier to insert the capsule. Because CO2 guns use a valve and o-rings, it’s recommended that you put a drop of airgun lube, like RWS Chamber Lube, on the tip of the CO2 capsule before inserting it tip up into the Px4. If you turn the gun upside down (with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction of course—not at yourself or anything else you don’t want to get shot) you can easily snug the platform screw against the capsule. Now snap your backstrap back on and turn the piercing knob toward “power” until it stops. You should hear a faint hiss when the knob pierces the capsule. Make sure to turn the knob until it stops hissing.
Before loading the magazine, I like to make sure the CO2 valve system is working properly and there’s a good seat against the o-ring by pulling the trigger 3 or 4 times with the pistol pointed in a safe direction. Be mindful though, it’s easy to get excited and pull the trigger a few more times after you feel that realistic kick! It’s fun, but save the CO2 for propelling pellets or BBs at your target.
Take a close look at the magazine, there are arrows pointing in the direction that pellets should be loaded. Inserting in the direction of the arrow with the head of the pellet going in first is the correct direction. The skirt of the pellet should be to the rear of the arrow. Whether loading pellets or BBs, make certain that they’re pushed below the surface of the projectile’s chamber in the rear and not sticking out past the surface of the chamber a the front. Any part of the projectile breaking the surface of the magazine can cause the pistol and/or the magazine to jam. Once the magazine is loaded, insert it into the grip frame with the arrows on the sides pointing toward the muzzle of the pistol.
I got a little excited when making sure the CO2 capsule was punctured, so my first shot through the chrono was already lacking the pressure it would have had with a full capsule and it achieved 360.7 fps with an average of five shots at 354.8 using 7.0 grain RWS Hobby pellets. I then immediately followed it with five RWS Premium Gold BBs. The average of five shots with BBs was 343.3 fps. Out of curiosity I wanted to try RWS’s new Hyper Max pellet. Claims are it’s faster than lead pellets when shot out of air rifles. I put a new CO2 capsule in and the HyperMax pellet flew out of the barrel at 392.7 fps while a 7.0 grain Hobby achieved 372.2 fps. The Px4 Storm air pistol package states 380 fps.
Video of the Px4 Storm in Action:
A popular configuration of the Px4 Storm is the tactical version of the gun. The difference between the regular and tactical versions is the addition of a Walther Shot Dot Point Sight, a Tactical Bridge Mount, a Tactical Flashlight w/Grip Switch, and a Removable Compensator. These additions give the tactical look that many crave. It also provides some functionality that the regular version does not have.
As for the number of shots you can get out of a 12 gram CO2 capsule, a Walther CO2 capsule in particular, I was able to get 5-1/2 magazines worth of shots firing at a rate of one round per second, although the last 16 rounds were down around the 215 to 225 fps mark and the slide recoil was noticeably slower. If you consider UmarexUSA.com’s retail cost of a Walther 12g cylinder, which is a litter pricier than some (but cleaner and better for your airgun) and add that to the cost of an RWS Hobby pellet, we’re still only talking about 2.4 cents per shot fired based on 5-1/2 magazines or 88 shots compared to about 21 cents a round and up depending on the type, brand, and amount of ammo bought at one time. Definitely a bargain!