Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Beretta PX4 Compact: Go Small Or Go Home

I've  had my PX4 for almost a year, and am approaching the 700 round mark. I've carried it concealed all winter long, it sits on my nightstand, and now I'm using it to compete at a local USPSA club. In short, it's really excellent.

First things first, I've had no malfunctions of any kind, and the magazines all drop free easily. I added a Talon rubber grip two months ago, but that's the only modification I've made.

All in all, the PX4 Compact is a very good all-arounder. It is about as big a gun as I can carry without looking like I'm stealing toaster ovens, but it will hide if I dress around it. It's a no-brainer on the nightstand, being nearly service-sized. And it's not too shabby on the USPSA range. James was kind enough to take some tactical cell phone pics of me on a couple of different runs. What jumped out at me is that the PX4's muzzle is on target while brass is still making an exit in both photos. I also noticed I have a lot of black t-shirts, as these photos were taken two weeks apart.

Two things really stand out in this platform: accuracy and recoil control.

The PX4 Compact is as accurate or more so than my custom, tuned-up, high-dollar Para LTC. I've shot it to 100 meters with relative ease. It groups well with whatever ammo I feed it (though 124gr seems to do slightly better than 115 or 147). The Texas Star at my gun club lives in fear of me. The PX4 Compact has eclipsed the great and powerful FN Hi-Power as my best weapon.

I have photographic evidence of the recoil control. Below are two pictures taken two weeks apart. Both show brass in the air, and the muzzle back on target. It feels like a much larger, all-metal gun. I wouldn't think twice about carrying this gun as a duty piece. Or for combat, were I a contractor. On the competition range, I don't feel handicapped by the barrel length or sight radius at all. I score just as many or more points per stage than the competition using 4" and 5" guns, I just did it slower. And that was a software problem, not a hardware one.

Note brass about ear muff high, muzzle back on target already.

Brass between my head and the gun (the spot on the white barrel), muzzle on target.

Now, I do have some cautions. This gun has a very large grip. Even with the "small" panel installed, this isn't an ideal pistol for Grandma or little sister (or Peter Dinklage). If you have large-ish hands, it will probably fit well. If not, you'll probably struggle to hit the mag release and the safety-decocker. The slide release is nicely oversized, so that won't be a problem.

I added the Talon rubber grips because Beretta's plastics are slightly slippery. I didn't have trouble getting purchase on the gun before, but my Nano was like a wet bar of soap, and Talon gives a good discount if you buy multiple grips. Since adding them, I would recommend this as a necessary upgrade.

Apart from the grips, the PX4 is almost perfect. It's the first pistol I've owned that I have no plans to upgrade or change in any serious way. If you like traditional DA guns, and you liked the 92 but thought it was too bulky or heavy, this is the gun for you. I just wish they made a 5" Competitzione version.


James said...

Does Beretta sponsor any USPSA/IDPA shooters and if so, what do they shoot? Is the 92/96 really it?

The Flatland Gun Nut said...

I can't find a single sponsored handgun shootist for Beretta. "Team Beretta" is a group of clay busters.

I'm still interested in the 92, though leaning toward an M&P9 Pro. There is room in the market for a "G" type 5" PX4, but if they made that, no one would buy a 92. Sort of like Ford and the Global Ranger. The 92 is a product line Beretta is protecting at all costs, even though the PX4 is superior in every way.