The Px4 Compact 9mm, shown here equipped with an ArmaLaser Stingray Sub-Compact SR2 laser unit, offers concealable firepower in a modular package.

I admit to being a fan of mid-size semi-automatic pistols, regardless of brand. To me, the perfect carry gun will still fill my hand, but is no larger than necessary. I know, I know…this is easier said than done, but I have had a number of such pistols over the years, all of which have met my individual need(s). The first was the Smith & Wesson Model 6906, a double-stack but compact 9mm that was easy to hide but was still large enough to use for target shooting—which may very well be the standard that I am seeking. Other guns I have carried in this genre have included the Sig Sauer P225 and P228, the Heckler & Koch USP Compact and my current carry gun, the Glock 19. All have been “big enough yet small enough” for what I view to be the perfect combative carry gun.

The novel rotary locking system results in a barrel that remains horizontally aligned with the target during slide cycling.

While walking the aisles of a recent gun show, I happened into the Beretta booth. As I moved into a corner where they had their Px4 Storm pistol line displayed, one of the display models caught my eye. It was a Px4 all right, but it was not the blunt looking sub-compact or the full-size service pistol, it was a mid-size that I had not seen before and interestingly, no one seemed to have noticed it. I picked it up and immediately liked both the contour and feel of the gun. It filled my hand without excess material hanging from under my grip, it was not overly tall and was compact enough to easily carry concealed, but would also look right at home in a belt holster.

beretta-px4-storm-compact-9mm-cThe Beretta Px4 Compact employs an ambi, slide-mounted safety that also acts as a decocking system for the DA/SA trigger system.

Gun Details
Like Goldilocks who entered the home of the “Three Bears” sampling their beds and porridge, the Beretta Px4 Compact was “just right”—or at least that is how I see it. With an overall length of 6.8 inches and height right at 5 inches, the Px4 Compact is sleek and symmetrical and at just over 27 ounces is not overly heavy for its size. At the same time, the Px4 series is one of the most advanced semi-automatic firearms lines currently available. Built as a modular platform so the pistol can be adapted to a wide range of shooters, the Px4 uses an innovative locked breech system built around a rotating barrel, which keeps the barrel constantly locked in a horizontal alignment, even as the slide reciprocates. The steel slide assembly is mounted on top of a frame made from fiberglass-reinforced techno-polymer that features an interchangeable backstrap system. Being able to “re-size” the grip is an important feature these days.

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The Px4 Compact 9mm, shown here equipped with an ArmaLaser Stingray Sub-Compact SR2 laser…