Beretta CX4 Storm 9mm

In today’s downsized and crowded patrol car, a long gun…


In today’s downsized and crowded patrol car, a long gun that carries its own spare ammunition on board, comes out of the cruiser door in a hurry, and readily takes tight corners inside buildings is naturally going to have some appeal for everyone from marked patrol units to plainclothes details. Toss in a very light package, easy operation with one hand, high magazine capacity, light recoil, commonality of caliber and magazine with certain pistols, very respectable accuracy, and the ability to customize to individual user’s needs and sizes, and you have the Beretta CX4 Storm carbine.

storm2.gifThe Gun
The Storm is a very handy 16.6-inch carbine that uses a simple and reliable straight blowback action in a lightweight polymer stock and receiver, and Beretta’s design team has incorporated several useful features into the CX4 that make it a candidate for private purchase use on the job.

With an overall length of 29.7 inches and an unloaded weight of 5.7 pounds, the compact carbine carries, handles, and maneuvers through cramped confines quite well. Sights are amply protected from impacts inside substantial polymer “ears,” with the front post adjustable for windage and elevation using a tool supplied with the carbine, and the rear adjustable for short and long range by flipping up the appropriate “S” and “L” aperture. Both front and rear sights can be folded down completely for use with any optical sight that can be installed on, or adapted to, the standard full-length Picatinny rail on top of the gun, and there are other short rail options available from Beretta for side-mounted accessories besides the standard retractable fore-end rail under the barrel.

The Storm carries its magazine Uzi-style, inside the pistolgrip, where it’s a natural hand-meets-hand orientation for quick reloads in any lighting without having to divert the eyes from more critical things like threats, moving to cover, and so on. The CX4 carbine comes in three calibers, 9mm, .40, and .45ACP, and accepts Beretta magazines from the 92/96, Cougar, and PX4 series.

Main controls like the safety, magazine release, cocking handle, and ejector are reversible for lefties, and takedown is a matter of pushing the latch pin out and sliding off the front part of the carbine for access to the internals. The carbine also features four sling attachment points, a crossbolt safety, a rubberized stock cheekpiece, and a rubber recoil pad with removable stock spacer.

On The Range
I chose the newer 9mm version that accepts the 17-round PX4 pistol magazines for review here. The 17-shot PX4 magazine can also be increased to 20 rounds using a “+3 round” magazine extender. Beretta also offers 17- or 20-round extended magazines for the Model 92/90-Two variant of the CX4. Since the 9mm is cheap to train with, offers the highest capacity of any of the CX4 versions with Beretta factory magazines, and recoil is toler-
able by almost any shooter.

The cold-forged chrome-lined barrel is no shortcut on the Storm, and accuracy off the bench at 50 yards using the short-range aperture was perfectly adequate for typical engagements at and inside that distance. Three different test bullet weights all produced five-shot groups less than 3 inches, with the inexpensive UMC practice round surprisingly coming in as best-of-session.

The Perspective
Introduced in 2003, the Storm carbine is unconventional in many ways, and the durability of a non-steel material in a high-impact part like the polymer hammer raised a question regarding long-term durability. The question seems to have been answered since then, and the hammers are holding up to the point where the Storm is inching into the LE market with recent contracts signed by the University of North Alabama and the College of William & Mary for their campus police organizations.

In previous testing with a .40-caliber version and with this 9mm, the CX4 has been entirely reliable in my hands, extremely portable, very easy to fire one-handed with either hand, accurate enough to reach out to 100 yards if necessary (although I wouldn’t expect too much of the projectile when it gets there), and it does not appear to be particularly ammunition sensitive. As a relatively affordable car gun there are few other pistol-calibered packages that can match it in performance, compactness, and overall shootability. For right-handers, the left-side cocking handle allows bolt operation without losing the strong-hand firing grip, and reversing the controls does the same for lefties.

A couple of details need attention. The heavy two-stage trigger pull registers just over 8 pounds on my scale, and the bottom of the magazine well has sharpish edges that are a nuisance when locking a magazine in under speed.

Beretta has done their best to cater to the trend to dress up carbines with the number of rail options and other accessories that can be ordered for the Storm. I see no need to take a very totable gun as it comes and bog it down with extraneous gear and weight. The fore-end light of your choice, a Beretta Storm sling, the DeSantis Buttstock Double Mag Pouch, and merely filing off the bottom of the polymer magazine well flush with the magazine, makes one of the handiest grab ’n-go on the market.

The CX4 comes with fitted hard case, cleaning rod, magazine loading tool, spare magazine, short accessory rail, and screwdriver tool, for a price of $825.

Load Comments
  • I have been on the fence about the CX4 for sometime. I have a PX4 9mm and a PX4 in 45 ACP both are quality, accurate, and comfortable to shoot. After reading your review and the many positive CX4 owner comments I think I’m finally on my way to buy my CX4 in 9mm.

  • SD3

    Just picked mine up recently, & I’m very happy with the choice. I’m a 92FS owner, and have been on a waiting list for a Sub2K for about 8 months now. Now I’m glad the Sub2K never came in, because I think I’d be disappointed. Definitely dropped some coin on the cx4 (~800 w/taxes), but now I’ve got the pistol caliber carbine I’ve always wanted in a name I can trust.



  • Greg

    I’m paying on a cx4 right now, I’m glad to hear all these good comments. Can’t wait to get it out.

  • Everett

    Bought mine back in 2004. It’s fun to shoot. I’ve used it at the range and for just plinking targets on weekends. I have only used the iron sights so far, but I’m going to pick up a red dot just to make it even more fun.

    As others have commented it just feels right in your hands. My CX4 is also the 9mm, so it combos well with my pistol. I frequently fire 100 to 200 rounds through it without any issues.

    It’s one of my favorites guns and always gets to go out for shooting trips. Always a crowd pleaser as well. Anyone can shoot it after only a few shots, most are impressed with how accurate it is. Most want one after shooting it.

  • Nick Jacobs

    I have the Storm in 9mm. Burris “Short Magnum”, 3-9 scope with extra-high see-thru muzzle loader rings. You can hit a soda can from 50 yards all day long — its actually boring. The trigger could be better, but the internal mechanics are simple and well-designed. I haven’t had a FTE or FTF with this gun as of (appx) 1,000 rnds and a few years.

    The weight seems to be more in the buttstock, so the balance is between your trigger hand and shoulder. The gun points so fast and easy — that is really where I was sold on it. If you handle one, even without shooting it, you’ll understand.

    I bought my at around $650 from Academy in San Antonio around 2006.

  • jon

    What a waste! Is it a rifle? a handgun? WTF!? If you need a real rifle buy an M4…If you need a 9mm with a lot of rounds buy the XDM 9mm (19+1). If you want to plink around, buy a .22 cal. I like the Bretta brand but so far the have FAILED with this weapon, and the PX4 storm, it holds less rounds than a Glock or the XD’M, a .45 cal that only hold 8 rounds, FAIL,a 1911 would be a better choice to put by your nightstand than this thing. It’s like putting a Geo Metro engine into a Corvette body and bragging about it WTF.

  • Bill Kendrick

    My CX4 in 9mm is an outstanding gun. I added a laser and light to make it a perfect HD gun that is by my nightstand every night. It is very accurate to 25 yds. with a red dot 1X red dot sight. There is little recoil. Besides, the cool factor is off the charts. I recommend this gun.

  • Great gun just got back from my indoor range ran 100 rounds thru it had groups in the 3″ range at 50 feet just iron sights…. my gun is the 45 cal…
    great shooter !!!!!!

  • chris clark

    bought his gun last year after my buddy let me shoot his. feels great in the hand, and accuracy was suprising.plinking cans hasen’t been this fun since i was plinkin with my daddys rifle. got several 30 rd mags for the 9mm,and that takes this carbine to a totally new level of controlable accurate compact bad ass little tactical gem.keeper.

  • keith martin

    I love to shoot my cx4 I added a aimpoint red dot.I love it more

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  • Ozzie Ostheimer

    I purchased mine when they first came out. All it took was to hold one, and I took it home. The ergonomics are that good. The only problem I have shooting the gun is that once I get it out I tend to end up with a crowd wanting to know more about it.
    What surprised me the most was accuracy. I was loading up some Penn Bullets for a friend’s MP5. He was looking for a heavier lead bullet and I used my Cougar to work up a load.
    I have a Aimpoint on mine and using titegroup and the lead bullet with the gun on sand bags it held under 2 inch groups at 100 yards. To say the least I was shocked.
    With cheep Winchester white box it would hold 6 inch groups at 100.

  • Here’s a funny quote to make you smile 🙂

    Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface. 🙂

  • sonny

    Love this little carbine…every time I go to the range seems like everyone wants to try it out. I had a police officer come over and shot 8 fast rounds of .45 acp from it and was in and around the bullseye with all eight shots at 25 yards…he told me he was going to get one. I put a tru glo dot site on it with a tatical sling Thanks to Berretta for making such a versital pistol cartidge carbine.

  • Art Lamb

    I have a CX4 and shoot it every week. I find it easy to shoot and accurate. My favorite drill with it is to shoot full body targets at 25 yards and 50 yards. At 25 I go for 3 head shots by snap shooting and do the same at 50 but to the body. It is fun to run drills like this as hits are easy. I tend to keep my shooting at 100 yards and under with this weapon, and find it a great house gun too.

  • Awesome review. I’ll have to get one!

  • James Bryant

    The worst mistake I ever made….. was selling my CX4 storm carbine. I originally bought it for a home defense long gun that would be cheap to shoot and that I could practice with at my local indoor gun range. I added the top, left and right side and underside “U” rails that allowed attachment of a short vertical foregrip. I put a cheap BSA red dot on it and added a Beretta barrel shroud (that thing that goes up). It was an awesome gun; short, quick and manuverable, with very light recoil. My wife quickly claimed it as “her” gun and that was that!

  • Mark Johnson

    This review fits exactly what I want to know about any weapon into a very compact read. Thanks for your concise and illuminating article. Now, all I need to do is go out and find one! 🙂