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Courtesy Joe Grine

Beretta released the “Cx4 Storm” in 2003, hoping to compete in the law enforcement market. The case for the Cx4 is strong, since it’s a lightweight, accurate, reliable blowback-operated carbine that allows an officer to use the same magazine as his or her 92 FS or Px4 pistol. Unfortunately for Beretta, most departments have opted for AR-15s and M-4s, so the Cx4 never really achieved the type of US LEO market acceptance that I imagine Beretta would have hoped. But that doesn’t mean the venerable Cx4 isn’t a viable option . . .

 Courtesy Joe Grine



 Courtesy Joe Grine

The Beretta Cx4 Storm is a blowback-operated polymer-framed carbine that fires from the closed bolt. The simple blow-back action ensures perfect reliability. It weighs in at a very light 5.75 lbs and has an overall length of 29.5 inches. Available chamberings include 9x19mm and .40 S&W; Beretta recently discontinued production of the .45 ACP version.

The Cx4 is fed via pistol magazines that are inserted Uzi-style (i.e. through the pistol grip). The advantage to this system is that it is easy to insert magazines even in complete darkness, because the trigger hand gives you a point of reference for the location of the mag-well.

The Cx4 sports a 16-inch, 6-groove, RH twist barrel which is both hammer-forged and chrome lined.

Courtesy: Beretta USA

The Cx4 isn’t fully ambidextrous, but most of the controls are reversible. From the factory, the Cx4 is set up for right-handed operation, including right handed ejection. In about five minutes (or less with practice), the operator can reverse the extractor and ejector, the safety (1), the magazine release (2), the cocking handle (3), and the ejection port cover (4) for left handed use. The only control that is not reversible is the bolt release lever.

The fixed thumbhole stock can be adjusted in length via the use of up to three 15mm (.6 inch) spacers.  In my opinion, pretty much every thumbhole stock sucks on a tactical rifle. However, the Beretta Cx4 is not nearly as bad as others I have tried.  In fact, it is about as good as one might expect, given the political limitations Beretta was faced with.

Ergonomics and Operator Controls

Courtesy Joe Grine

The biggest selling point for the Cx4 has got to be its lightweight, comfortable design. It feels as comfortable as a broken-in set of Ferragamo Derbys. I’ve fired scores of different pistol caliber carbines and SMGs, and perhaps none feel as good in the hand as the Beretta Cx4. Even the legendary HK MP5 feels big and clunky in comparison, and an UZI feels like a boat anchor next to the Cx4.

One of the most important design criteria of the Cx4 was the use of pistol-like controls. Beretta intended to ensure that police officers using their pistols such as the 92F or Px4 Storm could make easy transitions to the Cx4. In this regard, Beretta’s engineers designed the magazine release and bolt release to be in familiar locations for pistol shooters.

Courtesy Joe Grine

The Cx4 is festooned with safety features. A manual safety blocks the trigger, and can be engaged regardless of whether the bolt is open or closed. The carbine also features a bolt travel stop safety, a firing pin block safety, a hammer block / drop safety. Should the carbine be dropped or struck against an object, the bolt travel stop safety will not allow the bolt to cycle.

As an additional safety feature, Beretta added a loaded chamber indicator on the ejector.

The Trigger

The plastic factory trigger is a definite low point, and is primarily what made me initially have reservations about the Cx4. For some reason, Beretta still has an old-school mindset when it comes to triggers on tactical rifles and carbines. In short, Beretta likes them heavy.

As a former Army officer, I get the fact that heavier triggers equate — at least in theory — to fewer negligent discharges. But the US civilian market definitely places high value on 3-5 pound triggers. So Beretta choosing to put heavy triggers on their tactical rifles frustrates me to no end, since I know that Beretta doesn’t do that with their shotguns. My Beretta Silver Pigeon III shotgun’s trigger breaks at around 5 lbs. As it should.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Unlike the Silver Pigeon, the factory Cx4 trigger pull is long and creepier than Joe Biden. To make matters worse, the overall trigger weight is in the bowling ball range — about 10-12 pounds range. That’s entirely unacceptable. While it’s possible to master a heavy trigger with practice, I found myself frequently pulling the lightweight carbine off target a bit as I attempted to “squeeze” the trigger. Needless the say, it was fairly obvious to me that the trigger is the “limiting factor” when it comes to accuracy. As mentioned above, I eventually replaced it with the excellent Sierra Papa mods.

I have one other interesting and little-known fact about the Cx4 trigger. The trigger assembly contains a small ball bearing that rolls back in forth in a cradle. When the carbine is pointed up or down above a certain angle, the ball bearing moves in a manner that causes the trigger pull to increase by a few pounds. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I do know that it is possible to remove that little ball bearing for a smoother trigger. I have shot well over 3000 rounds without the ball bearing with no effect on accuracy or reliability.


The Cx4’s iron sights are unique and it took me a while to get to appreciate them. The front post sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation, but it does require the use of a proprietary tool (included).   The rear sight is a simple “L-shaped” sight, similar to World War II issue M-1 carbines or Enfield No.4 mk 1s.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Courtesy Joe Grine

I learned how to shoot using sights on my Ruger 10/22, but I was never really a great shot with those Ruger sights. However, I really started to master irons at age 14 when I shot M-16A1s at my first JROTC summer camp. The instructors taught us to use the protective “ears” on U.S. military front sights as an aiming “aid” by lining them up with the circle created by the rear aperture, as shown in the photo below. I actually try to back off the rear sight far enough so that the ears “touch” the circle, but not everybody uses that technique. In any event, these outwardly curved “ears” have been a standard on every U.S. military rifle since the Model of 1917.

U.S. Army File Photo

But the U.S. military design is not the only one that uses the protective shield of the front post sight as part of the aiming system. For example, the famous HK front sights are either curved inward or create a complete circle, and can be used to make a very intuitive a “circle in a circle” sight picture.

The Beretta Cx4 does have protective ears, but it is less intuitive as to how you can use them as aiming aide because they don’t turn outward like the U.S. military, nor do they make an obvious circle like the HK front sights. However, if you only focus on the outer edge of the Cx4 front sight ears, it does make a circle pattern, and you can use those outside edges to mirror the “circle” pattern created by the rear peep sight. It works, but it is not as obvious or intuitive as the HK sights.

But let’s not kid ourselves… that beautiful aluminum picatinny is just screaming for optics, and I don’t see too many guys running the Cx4 with irons in any event. Slap an Aimpoint T-1 on that puppy and you won’t need to worry too much about iron sights!

Courtesy Joe Grine

Courtesy Joe Grine

One really nice feature is that both the front and rear sights can be pushed down out of the way when using optics, as shown in the photos above.


Courtesy Joe Grine
L-R: 30 rd, 20 rd, and 15 rd magazines.

Beretta makes two versions of the Cx4. One version uses magazines that are compatible with the Px4. The other is compatible with “90 series” of pistols (92F/96 etc) mags. If you have the version made for the Px4 mags, 8000 series magazines (using optional adapters),you can use P92/96 and 8000 series magazines by purchasing two separate magazine inserts.  In either case, the magazines are made by Mec-gar, and are extremely high quality.

The one thing that I found a bit odd is that the 20 and 30 round magazines come from the factory with extremely heavy springs. The first time I loaded them it was extremely difficult to get them loaded to full capacity, even using the factory magazine loader accessory.   Thankfully, the magazine springs lightened up over time, and now it is possible to load them to capacity even without the loader.


Courtesy Joe Grine

The Beretta Cx4 is relatively simple to disassemble. A single metal-reinforced polymer non-captured “disassembly latch” holds the upper and lower receivers together. It can be removed by pushing it out from either end.   Next, the bolt assembly can be removed by backing it out of the upper until you reach an index point, where the charging handle is removed. Once the charging handle is removed, the bolt carrier can be removed out of the rear of the upper receiver.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Courtesy Joe Grine

The extractor, ejector and spring guide assembly are held in the bolt assembly via a “retaining spring,” which is a “horseshoe” shaped leaf spring.   Once you remove that spring, everything pretty much falls out. Pay attention to the way the extractor and ejector are positioned, because the direction of ejection is reversible depending on which side of the bolt carrier you install the extractor and ejector.   The design is both simple and ingenious.

Courtesy Joe Grine

Courtesy Joe GrineThe trigger housing can be removed from the lower receiver. Rather than explain how to do it, I will simply direct you here for a step-by step video.

Accuracy & Reliability

One definite high point for the Cx4 is its utter reliability. Since I purchased the Beretta, I have fired roughly 5000 +/- rounds through the weapon without a single malfunction of any kind. I typically don’t run the cheapest ammo out there, but I’m not running the expensive stuff either. Mostly, I run a combination of gun show reloads, UMC, Winchester (mostly Wally World white box), Tula Brass, Blazer Brass, and American Eagle. Again, the Cx4 eats it all up with boring regularity. Just how I like it.

Courtesy Joe Grine
50 yard group (UMC 124 grain ammo).
Courtesy Joe Grine
100 Yard Groups (UMC 124 Grain)

Accuracy of the Beretta was a bit disappointing at first, with groups averaging roughly 2-3 inches at 50 yards. As mentioned above, the trigger group clearly is the limiting factor to achieving peak accuracy. I probably could have spent a bunch of time and money “learning” the trigger’s quirks, but instead I went the aftermarket route. Indeed, accuracy improved once I installed the Sierra Papa modifications. Shown above is a particularly nice 50 yard group and some “typical” 100 yard groups which I achieved with the Sierra Papa upgrades and a 6x scope (not shown).  Make no mistake, even as modified, it’s still not a target trigger.  But it’s a lot better than it was. More on that below.


Courtesy Joe Grine

Beretta typically is fairly generous with its accessory package, and the Cx4 does not disappoint in this regard. It includes an excellent polymer hard case, two 15-round magazines, a magazine loader, a sight adjustment tool, a cleaning kit (rod, bore mop, bronze brush, and jag), gun lock, and one two-inch section of rail which can be mounted on either side of the firearm.

Note: If you buy a new Cx4, pay close attention to the warranty card. The Cx4 comes with a “1(+2)” warranty. What that means is that it comes with a one year warranty, but if you send in the warranty card within 30 days of purchase, Beretta will extend the warranty for two additional years.

Sierra Papa “Upgrade” Parts

Pic 21

As discussed above, the OEM version of the Cx4 Storm is an excellent design but has a few annoying quirks / flaws. If you want to improve your CX4 to make it go from “good” to “great,” you owe it to yourself to check out Sierra Papa.  As they state on their website, their goal is to “improve the breed.”

The owner, Brian Montgomery, is a retired airline pilot who became a Cx4 enthusiast soon after the carbine was released. With an extensive engineering and manufacturing background, he began figuring out ways to improve the weak links in the system. The photo below shows both the Sierra Papa parts and the tools needed to install them. SP used to allow the purchaser to install the parts, but their current policy is to require you to send your trigger pack to them so that they can inspect the unit and decide whether a sear clip is needed. Click here to learn more for the reasoning behind this new policy.

Sierra Papa completes the work very quickly, ensuring a typical 7-10 day door-to-door turn-around time, including shipping.

Courtesy Joe Grine

In the photo below, you can see the difference between the OEM plastic hammer and the SP Stainless steel hammer. In the event the photo does not speak for itself, trust me when I tell you that the SP is a gorgeously milled part that vastly improves the trigger pull. The factory OEM part is very light, and only generates enough inertia when driven by a powerful hammer spring to ensure sufficient energy to reliably operate the firing pin. Unfortunately, the “heavy” hammer spring, in turn, requires a heavy trigger pull. Thus, when you switch to the heavier Sierra Papa hammer, you can also use a lighter hammer spring, which can be operated by a lighter trigger.

Courtesy Joe Grine


Out of the box, the Beretta Cx4 is diamond in the rough. It shows great potential because it’s utterly reliable, light, and compact. However, the plastic hammer makes for a heavy, creepy trigger pull that robs the carbine of its inherent accuracy. The government-mandated thumbhole stock is well-designed, but still detracts from the otherwise good handling characteristics. Fortunately, Sierra Papa can fix these faults, and turn the Cx4 Storm into a real Ferrari. Admittedly, like a Ferrari, these aftermarket mod turn the Cx4 into an expensive project, so you have to decide if it is worth the cost. By the time you invest in a number of 30-round mags, rails, optics, and the Sierra Papa upgrades, you can easily have $1500-2000 into the project. I can easily justify the initial investment by recognizing that the 9×19 chambering will pay for itself in ammo saving: even if you shoot a relatively conservative 2000-3000 rounds a year, the cost savings add up quickly. However, $2k is a big number, and I realize that for many folks it is simply out of the question.

In thinking about pistol caliber carbines, there are lots of options. At the top of the market you have HK SP-89s, HK-94s, and HK UMPs. Colt and JP make 9mm ARs that are really nice, but again they tend to be rather expensive. Sig-Sauer just released the excellent MPX ($1600-ish), and I am definitely going to buy one in the near future. The CZ scorpion Evo 3 is also on the market and comes in at a highly competitive price. At the lower end of the price scale, Kel-Tec’s Sub 2000 is a nice gun if you can ever find one, and the Hi-Point 995 is ugly but apparently works pretty well. The Taurus CT-9 would have been serious competition for the Beretta if Taurus had addressed the 10-round magazine problem, and figured out a way to make the CT-9 a bit more compact. But instead Taurus has discontinued importation of the CT-9, so it’s DOA.

Despite the other options, I think the Beretta offers a professional, bet-your-life-on-it patrol carbine for a very competitive price. Once I solved the trigger “issue,” I really started to like… er.. love…  this carbine, and I can recommend it without any reservations.   Indeed, it makes a fine addition to my Beretta collection.  Better yet, all of my friends who have shot this gun walk away saying “I gotta get me one of those.”  That is high praise and it is well deserved.

Courtesy Joe Grine


Importer: Beretta USA; (301) 283-2191;
Calibers: 9×19 (as tested), .40 S&W; (.45 ACP Discontinued).
Action Type: blowback-operated semi-auto

Frame: molded techno-polymer upper and lower.
Barrel: hammer forged, chrome lined, 16.25inch, six-groove, RH twist
Magazine Capacity (9×19): (10, 15, 18, 20, 30)

Sights: aperture rear, post front adjustable for windage and elevation
Trigger: single-stage 10+ lbs.
Overall Length: 29.7”
Width: 2.5”
Height: 7.5”
Weight: 5 lbs., 12 ozs.
Supplied Accessories: hard case, manual, short rail section, spare magazine, magazine loader.
Street Price: $600 -$800.


Ratings (Out of Five Stars):

Accuracy (Stock): * * *
The barrel is inherently accurate, but the 10+ lb. trigger robs the gun of its accuracy potential.

Accuracy (with Sierra Papa Modifications) * * * * *
Ah, much better.

Ergonomics & Aesthetics: * * * * *
A true Ferrari.

Reliability * * * * *
Eats anything, never jams.

Customization: * * * *  
It’s not an AR platform, but the basics are covered. Point taken away due to no aftermarket folding stocks. Bonus point for using Beretta 30-round mags.

Overall: * * * *
Once you get the Sierra Papa mods, there are few 9mm carbines that are superior to the Cx4, and those that are cost 2x more than the Beretta.

Courtesy Joe Grine


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  1. It’s also a good looking weapon. That might have something to do with Giorgetto Giugiaro being involved in its design.

    • From the 3200CS, to the Esprit, to the Mangusta, any Maser worth owning, the dozens of amazing Italdesign showcars, the original Golf, that stupid 250 GT SWB Fezza that fetches $10MM+, ad infinitum, the man is the DaVinci of things automotive.

      He also styled the Beretta Neos…

  2. I like the Storm as a companion to the 90-series and Px4 model pistols. Especially for those of us who own a 92 model since spare mags are pretty dang cheap. That said, I wish someone offered an upgrade to allow for a folding or collapsible stock

  3. Beretta made a major error in not introducing versions of this carbine that would accept Glock and SIG mags. I understand and appreciate wanting to boost your own accessory sales, but when your pistols are somewhere between third and fifth on the list for L.E. use, you are just crippling your own long-gun sales by ignoring the most popular L.E. and non-cop pistols on the market. A “sleeved” magwell that allowed changing mag brands would have multiplied sales by a factor of 10 or more, and probably would have catapulted it to the top of the pistol-caliber carbine market permanently.

    If they had made one of these that took Glock mags, I would have owned one years ago (actually, I probably would have owned two or more, one for each family member). They are that handy.

    • At the time many police departments used berettas which was thier main target audience.

      And it is a sleeved magwell, but the only factory sleeve options are between 92 and px4 mags.

    • Or in other words, “Glock made yet another major frigging error by NOT producing a pistol caliber carbine, despite the entire planet telling those idiots to do so for 15 years”.

      There. Fixed it for you.

      • Despite me being a Glock fan, I’m not convinced that they could have built a better carbine than Beretta’s. I like it that much.

        So while I appreciate your basic sentiments, I don’t necessarily agree with them.

      • My prediction is Glock will have a carbine 1-2 years after the old man dies.
        Only guessing that he has a bug up his ass about a carbine.

        • 5 years later and they still haven’t……instead they made a .22 version of the g19 after 6 months of “we wont tell what it is yet” hype

    • I agree, they would sell many more of them if they had one that accepted glock magazines. However, there is a a certain “pride” they will have to swallow because they’re adapting their gun to accept a competitor’s product.

  4. The one I shot in 9mm somehow had more recoil than my colt 6720 in 5.56. That’s really stupid, so I passed.

    • In carbines of the same weight, the 9mm will have one-third to a little more than one-half the recoil energy of a 5.56mm/.223, depending on the ballistics of the exact loads. This is easy to compare if you use an internal ballistics program to compute the figures for each caliber (I used a 6-pound gun weight, and this program: ).

      However, the heavy steel bolt of the blowback 9mm will make the carbine bounce a bit more than the AR when the bolt slams against the receiver and starts to return forward, so it may have been that effect that you were noticing.

    • Interesting comment. Originally, I thought the recoil impulse was heavier than I would have expected. And I think DJ9 is correct – what you are feeling is that heavy bolt rocking back and forth. Having said that, now that I have that muzzle brake and the Sierra Papa trigger and buffer mods, I barely notice the recoil. I find I really easy to double tap targets – split times are .10 to .15, and it is rare that the second round goes off target.

    • My .45 cx4 kicked as much as a 7.62 ak. I think people who have only ever shot pistol calibers in pistols don’t realize how much kick they really have.

      That being said, I like the feeling a gun that feels like something happens when you pull the trigger.

    • Hmm. I haven’t tried the CX-4, but my Sub 2K has very light recoil. I’d expect them to be similar. Of course, my Kel-Tec Su16 and my AR-15 also both have light recoil. I just don’t think recoil is an issue when we’re talking about these classes of rifles and carbines. I don’t start worrying about recoil until we’re talking 12 gauge, 7.62x54R, .45-70, etc.

      • I agree! Also, a 12 or 20 ga going off in your house will leave you blind and deaf for a few minutes…Secondly, the comment about fixing the drywall is probably very apt. If you don’t have to worry about neighbors on the other side of the wall the 9 mm carbine would be one hell of a surprise to things that go bump in the night.

      • The “recoil” issue is different than what you are thinking about. Its not a “pain” issue like firing a .458 Lott, but its more about keeping the gun on target for rapid double taps.

  5. This is the kind of weapon that urban police should have and not a rifle chambered AR. The Arlington County SWAT commander told me that longest SWAT shot in metro Washington was 60 yards. I think the optimum caliber for the police and personal defense is the 30 caliber carbine round. It would be kind of cool if someone chambered an AR with the round although I would prefer the M-1 carbine just because. I am tempted to buy the Auto-Ordinance version but it has very mixed reviews.

    • Supposedly the reason they want 5.56 carbines is to take out people with body armor, but I see no reason why a pistol-caliber carbine in something like 5.7 (Or maybe a new 7.62×25 with modern AP ammo) couldn’t fit the bill… Sure, the 5.7 flopped, but that doesn’t mean that a similar cartridge couldn’t be successful. I would think that there has to be SOME market for more powerful carbines

      • SWAT is for armored up bad guys, not serving common warrants. I have no problem with SWAT having 5.56 chambered rifles but your basic patrolman isn’t normally going to run into Mr. Armorall. And would think that at close range a 30 caliber carbine round would penetrate.

  6. Wow, best article yet on the Storm and a LOT of info I didn’t know. I have to say, now that I know it would be possible to mod one and get rid of that rear sight, thumbhole stock, heavy trigger, etc – it definitely becomes MUCH more interesting of a proposition. THANKS!

  7. Meh-if I want a 9mmcarbine I’ll get a Hi-point(or keltec-which I had). I can get a decent AR for 6-800bucks…and a 10pound trigger? At least it looks cool…

    • I went through both those guns before buying a CX4 and frankly they were garbage.

      The Hi-Point has a plastic stock made out of the same stuff as a Little Tykes playset and it actually slapped me in the face with each and every shot I took. You’re limited to 10 round single-stack proprietary mags that look and feel like they’re made out of old tin cans. You can have iron sights or an optic, but not both as the rail replaces the rear sights. Cleaning the gun (which I had to do often to ensure accuracy and reliability) often makes you lose zero, as the rail or rear sight is mounted on a dust cover retained by two hardware store bolts. The front sight is held to the barrel with a setscrew, which caused it to walk to the left or right on me multiple times. The safety fell off. The charging handle was another hardware store hex-head threaded into the zinc bolt, and since cleaning requires it to be removed and re-tightened eventually the threads loosened up and I lost the handle in the woods. After a couple years of this the rails where the bolt and receiver interface started to peen and crack, so I got a replacement and sold it to help pay for a Kel-Tec Sub-2000.

      The Sub-2000 was just a different flavor of junk. The 995 may have had sights that liked to wander but at least they were metal, easily adjustable, and the front blade wasn’t a 1/8th inch wide piece of plastic. Sure it folds but you can’t fire it folded, and that also means you have to choose between optics and the folding capability (official Kel-Tec rail sold separately for $101.) You could buy an aftermarket rotating handguard tube that lets you flip the optic to the side and fold it, but that costs about $225 with a single top rail and additional rail sections are extra. It was also one of the least-pleasant guns I’ve ever shot, and I say this as someone who can shoot half a spam can through a stock M44 Mosin in a single range trip and not really complain. I eventually figured out why it’s so painful, on top of weighing only 4 pounds the poor design of the buttstock means a 1″ circular section of your clavicle partially serves as a stop for the large blowback bolt. It was like getting smacked with a little ball peen hammer every shot, and there was always a small circular bruise left after our range trips. The charging handle, located under the tubular stock, caught my beard and my wife’s hair. On top of that there’s a nontrivial amount of failures being noted on various forums where the cheap, 1980s-style glass-reinforced plastic that makes up the frame and barrel trunnion cracks under moderate use. Often it’s around the barrel or ejection port, but in some situations the gun has completely separated at the hinge. I wasn’t happy with the one I bought for $265 back in 2006, and I sure wouldn’t be happy with the same thing today that regularly sells on Gunbroker for its current MSRP of $500 if not more due to supply/demand issues. (For the record it looks like you can get NIB CX4s for as little as $570 on GB, if you keep your eyes peeled.)

      After that I got a 9mm AR and it was actually a great and reliable shooter, but it was so long and heavy for what it was that I traded the upper for a CX4. That’s where I actually found the gun that ended my years-long search for a pistol caliber carbine that didn’t suck in at least one major way, and since then I’ve bought another for my wife. The controls are more accessible and intuitive than a stock AR-15, it comes with both folding fully-adjustable sights _and_ a rail, it’s user configurable semi-ambi, it’s lightweight and solid without notable compromise, you can perform a simple trigger job with a jeweler’s file that drops trigger pull weight by at least half, and it fires all the cheap Wolf 9mm I can feed it.

      • I can see some of your complaints with the Sub 2k. As far as optics, I just count it as an iron-sight rifle. For the ranges I expect to use it that’s adequate. I also have the lower foreend rail attachment and have a laser/light combo mounted below, so it can be folded with those on. For home defense at night, the laser and the light are probably all the optics I need.

        I am not a fan of the quality of some of the plastic, though, or the front sight blade. If I was doing it over again and didn’t care what I spent, I would probably go a MechTec Glock Carbine Kit for a G17 or G19 frame. But that’s not a cheap option. Since I have the 2k, it will do for now.

      • Check out the Hi-point fan clubs on Facebook. PLENTY of folks don’t care about your opinion. Cheap carbine that runs and is guaranteed forever. Hi-point would sell a lot more if they had reliable mags over 10rounds(or made them compatible with Glock mags-like Keltec).

        • then again, plenty of people with Hi-Points are praising them because they want to prove how they bested all those people with EXPENSIVE firearms.

        • I don’t know about wanting to “best” anyone, all I know is that Hi-Points and Kel Tecs have an application, as do Berettas. use the weapon as it was designed to be used, and it will not let you down. Period.

    • I was deciding between this and the JR Carbinem, and went with the JR primarily because of commitment to the Glock platform and mags. Big mistake – the JR is a pain to clean and has a tendency to jam after it rips a brass casing into two.

      Now it’s too late to get the Storm, but I really wish I had.

  8. Good review, I’ve bought two over the past ten years. Great guns. I have the SP trigger upgrade on my second one but I never thought the trigger was really that bad.

  9. Marlin Camp Carbine in 45acp uses 1911 mags. I picked up mine 10 years ago for 300 bucks…..lmao

    • I had a Camp Carbine in 9mm that I bought used in the 90’s with a scope on top and scope ring mounts you could look through to use the iron sights. It took S&W mags. I think they were 15 rounders, and not cheap, at least compared to Pmags for my AR. Hell of a lot of fun to shoot though. It was not a very lightweight gun with that full-length wooden stock. The CX-4 appeals to me more after reading this review.

  10. Looks like a cool range toy, but the concept doesn’t appeal to me as a defensive weapon. There are two advantages of a carbine over a pistol, power and accuracy. There just isn’t a lot to gain out of a 16″ barrel in 9mm, .40 S&W or ,45acp. Even with +p 9mm ammo I doubt this rifle would hit any harder than my 3″ .357 magnum with full power ammo. Maybe not even the more pedestrian .357 stuff. It would be nice if they’d offer a 10mm version, but then it probably couldn’t run as a straight blow back without adding a bunch of weight. For my money I’d rather go with an M1 carbine. Auto-Ordnance makes one I’ve seen for around $650. ( ) It’s a few inches longer but actually weighs less. I don’t know if it’s got a great trigger or not but it’s got to be less than 10lbs. You can get 30 round magazines. And it hits with 900+ lbs/ft of energy. With modern defensive ammo that should be pretty effective. That and I’m kind of in to the retro thing.

    • I’d submit that 9mm+p in a 16″ barrel hits just about as hard as 357 from a 3″ barrel. It’s a decent option.

      • According to Ballistics By The Inch it looks like +P 9mm out of a CX4 is slightly slower than similar loads from a 4″ .357, but is faster than their 3″ test gun.

        CX4 also has the advantage of less muzzle flash and blast thanks to a longer barrel. It’s also got MUCH higher capacity and reloads way faster, and most people will be more accurate with a carbine than a pistol in the same situation. In terms of maneuverability a short carbine like the CX4 also really isn’t any longer than a pistol held in a proper outstretched weaver or isosceles grip, either, and with a tactical sling becomes a lot harder to take away and use against you.

        The only realy downsides I can think of are that of course you can’t CCW a CX4, and safe storage for HD is more difficult with a rifle vs a pistol. Quick-access pistol lockboxes are compact, affordable, and easy to hide while storing a carbine in the same way would require a much larger and more expensive safe.

        • By ‘full power’ loads I was referring to Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, etc. which are actually just full pressure loads, not +p. You’ll get 600+ lb/ft of energy out of those from a 3″.

          Of course you still have the advantage in accuracy, but to me you’re not gaining much in power. I’d rather have something like an M1 carbine where you get both, or even a lever gun where you’ve only got 8 or 10 rounds but get huge gains in power. Not saying the Storm wouldn’t be effective, it just wouldn’t be my first choice.

        • Check out 40ballistics from a 16″ barrel-up to 800muzzle energy with 135corbon(or buffalo bore or pow’rball-even better than 45.

        • Not to mention 9mm is one of the most popular and easy to find calibers in the world while .30 carbine ammo is expensive and hard to find. As with any gun you will probably spend 10x what the gun cost in ammo over its lifetime so ammo cost is a huge consideration.

        • FWW, my concern with that would be that such a lightweight bullet tends to under-penetrate even in handguns. Cranking up the speed to 1600fps could turn it into a frangible round.

    • …which is interesting, since the M1 Carbine was meant to replace the pistol as a sidearm for support troops, etc.

      • True. And compared to a 1911 it hits with over 2 1/2 times the energy and is more much more accurate, especially for supporting troops that get very little small arms training. Worked so good they gave them to the paratroopers.

    • You can get a Mini-14 in .300 BLK. They tend to go bang when you pull the trigger under crap conditions.

      • I do have a Mini-14 in 5.56, but with the 2-7x scope on it it’s well over 8lbs. It’s my go to defensive weapon when (or if) I need to reach out passed 50 yards.

        • I also use the mini 14 5.56/223REM rifle as a 50-100 yard rifle and keep some high quality rounds on standby in case of emergency home defense needed. My carbine is a Ruger Police carbine (circa 1997) that i picked up used for $500. That will be my wifes home defense weapon. My pistols are both 9mm

    • A 9mm standard pressure bullet fired through a 16″ barrel has the same muzzle energy as a .357Mag out of a 6″ barrel. A 9mm +P with 420 FPE out of a 4.5″ barrel Glock comes out with 789 FPE from a 16″ barrel. If you like, I post the link that compares 9mm, ..357Mag, 40SW, & 45ACP fired from a 4-5″ barrel versus a 16″ carbine barrel. As you might expect, the .357 Mag has the most to from longer barrels as there is always powder to burn when they are fired out of revolvers. There’s lots of FPE gain when fired from a rifle (which they have been doing for some time). For this reason, a nice 2-gun low-cost home defense/survival pair would be a Rossi 38/.357 Mag 6-round 4″ revolver and a Rossi M92 or Puma loop lever-action 38/.357 Mag with 16″ barrel which is good out to 100 yards. The nice feature is being able to shoot the cheaper .38 Sp +P ammo out of both the wheel gun and rifle. The .38 Sp +P can do some serious damage coming out of the rifle.
      Cost being an issue, I’d definitely invest in a reloader. Lots of bullet choices, too.

  11. What’s up with a 16″ barrel on a 9mm? Is that just because of our stupid laws? Looks to me like replacing the last 6-8″ with a can and adding a folding stock would make a fun gun! Can a 10″ barrel with a welded and pinned suppressor get away with no SBR tax, just the suppressor?

    • Yes, the law is stupid but its a big deal to get around it so you can’t really dismiss it as a minor consideration, and as an imported gun you have to change some of the parts out for american made just to SBR it.

      • no you dont have to play the american parts count on an imported rifle when you go for the SBR tax stamp, You are mixing up the hybrid import parts on an american made frame regulations that AK’s fall under. Been there, done that

    • it depends on the suppressor, Most of them would be a nogo as the main body is not part of the end caps, if it were welded or machined as one piece with the attachment end yes it could be pinned AND welded like a muzzle break/flash suppressor can be to bring the rifle barrel to 16 inches per letter of the law. However this isnt how the suppressors are made, as they are made to be repaired, since they are easily misaligned and subsequent damage to the body can happen. (before any nimrods lip off yes I own and use them, and its pretty sad that I need to make such a preemptive statement)

    • FYI, a TRS only lasted me about three years on my storm before it broke while a Vortec SPARC only costs about $50 more and has a lifetime warranty.

  12. I know there are a plethora of Hi-Point carbine reviews out on the Internet but I’d personally like to see one done by TTAG (that wasn’t a guest review). It’d also be neat to see the sub-2000, HP995, Cx4, run up against Sigs/Skorpions/etc in various scenarios.

    • Check out Gunblast for the 995Hi-point. He said he never bothered because he figured it was junk-until he shot one. YMMV

      • I have to laugh every time someone brings up the Hipoints. Someone who never shot one will always pop up citing what junk they are, without considering that no company would put a lifetime warranty on junk. Yes they are ugly as all get out and heavier than the rest, but form follows function, they are pure blowback actions, and have shells rather than frames, so yes heavy and ugly are mandated, And until broke in are ammo sensitive, but so are most other firearms that go for twice the price. But they work , and once broke in will eat any ammo, and as for cleaning, all it takes is a can of wd40 and a rag, along with a barrel swab and rod. The Storm has done almost the same thing, well except for price…

  13. To each their own in the looks department, but I always found the Cx4 to be ugly as sin.

    It has curves in all the wrong places. Take those batman head pieces off the top and replace it with monolithic rail and add some square rail real estate to the front. Make it feed from Glock mags and you’ve a real winner.

  14. I have probably 25000+ rounds through mine over the 10+ years I have had it. The trigger does lighten a bit after shooting. There are aftermarket lighter trigger, but I am not spending the money on them. The thing goes bang every single time. The round goes exactly where I point it out to 50 yards. I can hit the 8 inch steel plate out to 100. And beer cans most of the time at that range. Never shot farther than that. If the world gets to a “The Road” place, I am grabbing the Storm. I have a 92 as well.

  15. I love mine. Agree with Sierra papa replacements. I’m currently working on dialing in my trigger. To me the cx4 is a great home defense weapon.

  16. Thanks for the review and the pointer to the aftermarket mods. I’ve been waffling on a pistol carbine for a while, and while I’m cheap, I think the HiPoint is too cheap (plus the 10 round mags are “numba 10, GI!”). And the KelTecs aren’t as nice looking, plus seem to be hard to find.

    This is looking more and more an option, even though I don’t have Beretta pistols. At least higher capacity mags are an option. And the aftermarket trigger/hammer upgrade sounds like a big improvement.

    Is that muzzle brake the one from Grizzly Gunworks that you previously reviewed?

    • Yes, same Brake. Its been a great addition, although its a PITA to clean. I might have to break down and get one of those ultrasonic cleaners.

  17. Nice piece of machinery. I already have a SUB 2000 that uses Beretta 92 mags, an M4 clone in .45ACP that uses Glock mags, and a Hi-Point carbine in .45 that uses . . well, Hi-Point mags along with pistols to go with all of them.

    They are all good little pieces of engineering and a blast to take to the local indoor range. And, they are very practical survival and home defense guns. I may have to think about investing in a Storm, just for the coolness factor.

  18. A good carbine for sure but right now impact has them for 741.89 (cheapest model). They “have” kel tecs for 289.79 (cheapest model) until you check the “Show Available Items Only”. Kel tec seems to have gotten closest to hitting the positives w/ the Sub 2000 but they are kinda unicornish.

    There are so many other great guns I could get for 750.

  19. I looked into buying one of these. My local dealer said “no way, Jose”. California really sucks sometimes.

    • Vote with your feet, brother. California’s future ain’t looking too bright, anyway. I’d say it’s way-past time to depart for a more sustainable location.

  20. A local shop nearly wrecked my CX4. They reinstalled my barrel upside down by damaging the receiver and it wouldn’t go into battery. The guy offered store credit for the hack job, and never requested an opportunity to correct the issue. Needless to say, I was not pleased.

    After phoning Annette, I sent the CX4 to Sierra Papa for repair and upgrades (trigger, hammer & guide rod). Sierra Papa himself phoned me several times to discuss the situation with the barrel and had it repaired within a week. I thought for sure I would have to get a new fore-end, but he salvaged things for me.

    The upgrades removed the squishy-ness in the trigger pull, and I am much happier with the metal guide rod. Overall, I am very pleased with Brian’s work and happily give a thumbs up to anyone considering his services.

  21. I like the looks of this weapon and I own a PX4 so that is a plus. Not completely sold on the practical application though. But I suppose in the right setting it would be OK. Pistol rounds with a longer barrel than a pistol for a bit more velocity and hitting power but still stops in most walls using hollow points. In most cases I buy a rifle to use as a rifle, not as a modified pistol. What exactly would the advantage to this be over using a pistol inside a building, for example ?

    • Probably not a huge advantage inside structures, specifically, but as a more generic defensive system, a pistol-caliber carbine that shares magazines, ammo, and a similar manual of arms with your pistol, is a winning combination.

      In actual defensive situations, I think pistols basically become useless beyond 10 yards. The ability to instantly transition to a rifle gives you ‘ reach’ out to +50 yards, no problem.

  22. I you like Beretta products you must own one, I shot/own one in 9mm and it is best pistol caliber carbine in my collection. Cheap read dot is all you need, Bushnell Tr25 or such. Large 30 rounds mags are not cheap but better than 15 and available. I love it, I wish they could offer easy caliber swap kit.

  23. As further proof of the ,40SW falling out of favor, the price on the ,40SW is way lower than the 9mm. and, as it is with handguns, I’m finding better bargains in .40 as well.

    How much of an increase in muzzle energy and/or velocity on standard and +P .40S&W when you fire them through a 16″ barrel versus a 4″ or 4.5″ barrel?

    • you get perhaps 130-150 ft/s in velocity, which doesn’t count for much if you were thinking about rifle bullets and trajectory. but if you look at the ballistics it turns lackluster pistol ammo into “good”, or turns good into great.

      9mm CorBon 125 gr JHP+P:
      4″, 417 ft-lb, power factor 153
      16″, 568 ft-lb, power factor 179

      .40SW Federal 180 gr JHP HydraShok
      4″, 417 ft-lb, power factor 184
      16″, 552 ft-lb, power factor 211


      if you don’t know what power factor is then you don’t know what you are doing.

  24. I’ve been pussyfooting around this for years. My biggest gripe is it isn’t in any caliber I want; 357 sig. or 5.7. Does anybody know if anybody could make that conversion?

  25. I own it for over year and it is great carbine. Mine is 9mm it is very accurate with simple Bushnell trs25 red dot, I didn’t shot it longer than 25 yards however. I am sure it should be same at 50-75 yards and I will not use it for longer considesing it is pistol caliber carbine. No single issue besides tricky firing pin removing steps, make sure you understeand them well before trying to remove it. I did clean pin assembly one time and it took me 2 hours to place it back correctly. Not that simple or intuitive!
    Otherwise very happy with it, no single misfiring or other issues and yes it eats any 9mm ammo including cheap russian ammo.

  26. I’ve had a m1 30 carbine for 2 decades, it’s been my favorite…..until the cx4 storm 9mm.
    As Joe commented on, you just have to suck it up and pop for the SP upgrade – about $180 and well worth it.

    What makes the difference from other pcc is the mag well is in the grip, rather forward of the trigger housing, like the AR style…..makes for a shorter platform. I’ve got the 17 rnd mags and I liked this so much – I got the px4 as well, an awesome pair.

    I’m too poor to buy cheap… one is going to say in fifteen years that they made a great decision to buy a high point. My range buddy’s all think this rifle is fun as the dickens – with the price of 9mm at about $12 a box, a lot more bang for the buck!!

  27. Switching from Springfield to Beretta. Just bought the PX4-STORM Compact and looking for a CX-4 STORM now. They have become very hard to find. And you could find them for $550 two years ago, now people want $200 over retail (800).
    S.P. now makes an entire lower receiver from aluminum. Al, his upgrades now will run you over $500!
    I sure wish they had made it compatible with Springfield XD, but I now like the PX-4 almost as much.

  28. I love mine in 9mm. Bought during 2012 rush,I paid way too much for it. Oh well,I couldnt find them forever. I shot it a few times and put it away. Might change to 92 mags Im not sold on the px4. Now,if S&W would get off their Butts…I really like my M&P. Great article!!

    • This CX4 had always interested me. I had several 9mm SBRs, an Uzi Standard, Mini Uzi, two HK 94 and was issued an MP5 for around 10 years. I liked them all, and the HK94SBR/MP5A were great carbines. My favorite dealer had two CX4 carbines on the rack for nearly 2 years. I was interested, but had been spending too much time in hospitals so I ignored them. Less than 2 weeks ago I bout them. He thought they were both the M9/92 series gun. One was new and the other “Like-New-on-the-box”, so I could do a test run on it. He grabbed the wrong box sending me out with the M9 large magazine. I hadn’t even thought of it until I loaded up the mags. The 17 und loaded easily. The M9-20 round was nearly impossible (I said I had spent too much time in hospitals). Off to an informal shooting spot. Obviously this was a very fun gun. It did handle better than , although I do like them. The “legal stock” actually handled quite well. The heavy trigger, was about equal to the MP5 – mushy nd heavy. The CX4 accurate ant to shoot. I stopped back t the store and told him about the magazine issue. Oops! He didn’t know. He just said the gun I tried out came with 4 magazines. That. turned out to be just fine by me. I decided I needed to own it. Initially he offered it to me a price, that would have been foolish to bypass. I said, I’ll take it. Then the next day I found the ad for the PX4 pistol promotion where if you buy any PX4Beretta would send you 2 more magazines and a pouch.. Since I had never held a PX4, I stopped at another store just to see if it fit my hand. It did. I had my dealer order me one. Then made a swap that favored me. He is a great dealer to work with. This new pair wont replace an M4 SBR and Glock M19 for real serious engagements. Since I had used a G17 and MP5 most of my later career I wasn’t under-armed with 9mm weapons. IF I were issued the PX4 and CX4 weapons in 9mm, I wouldn’t have much room to complain. The key is to use them enough to know works best. Instead of the PX4 Model F, I’d use the G model. Where the safety goes back to the ready position not left “on-safe”. I’d recommend both of these weapons. If you want the one taking M9 magazines, you CAN use the magazine well conversion piece and use both. Just don’t forget what you have installed. I keep tactical gear set up for each system, has been 15 years since retiring. You just NEED the gear. Well, I do.

  29. Hellow!
    I am going to buy Beretta CX4 in 9mm. Please tell me about reliability of plastic trigger mechanism? Is it necessarily to replace plastic mechanism by Stainless steel mechanism?

    • I too am looking to buy a Cx4 Storm. However, I am concern about the plastic parts of the gun. There was one previous post by a person who said that he had no problems with the plastic parts. He even mentioned the number of rounds that he has shot. I to would like to hear more from those who chose to keep the plastic?

      • Hello, Bill.I don’t know why but nobody wrote the answer on our question…
        I think that plastic details is not a problem for some reasons:
        1) It’s Beretta – the famous european brand of weapon;
        2) There isn’t negative means in Internet about this issue…Probably, somebody had problems, but I don’t hear about it;
        3) There are a lot of weapon with plastic and polyamid details (ex. – Glock). And a lot of people in the world use it without any problems.

    • No need to be concerned about Beretta’s plastic parts. They are an industry leader in plastic design. They are even putting plastic triggers in their 92 series pistols, which tells you how much confidence they have in them. Having said that, Sierra Papa will sell you an upgrade trigger if you want it.

  30. Had they thought ahead and placed it in an Eastwood movie (21 century “spaghetti western”), who knows what the added Pub would have done. Either way neat looking – fun range gun. I own a 45 version – now discontinued. Something different in the arsenal and at home with its’ baby cousin the U22 Neos.

  31. Mec-gar does not make magazines for Beretta. Beretta owns a company called Meccanica Del Sarca in Italy which makes all magazines for Beretta Italy and Beretta USA. Also, this conversion by Sierra Papa where they cut out the thumbhole is a violation of 922 (r) and the “assault weapon” import ban unless all parts which must be U.S. made under the 10 parts rule which pertain to this particular firearm are replaced. I see on the PS website that they state that the stock of the customer’s choice can be sent in – well if was made in Israel or China that would not be legal unless PS is providing an entire USA parts makeover for the Cx4 which would include new barrel and I doubt they make one. If you don’t believe me, call Beretta’s legal department and find out before you recommend modifications which will get your readers in hot water. The Cx4 was designed around the 1989 AW import ban which is still in effect – you cannot just cut out the thumbhole, period.

  32. It’s a fine, sweet shooting little carbine. Love that it pairs with the Px4 pistol mags. One thing, however, the bolt return spring guide rod / assembly is plastic, breaks easily and sets you back $35 every time that happens.
    Am upgrading to steel rod assembly from to end the problem.

  33. I always liked and admired this gun. But I bought a Wilson AR-9 SBR instead at twice the price and not in need of any additional upgrades as the rifle is built to order.

  34. These concerns about power are really nonesense. Humans just don’t require that much power to incapacitate/neutralize. The last time I checked, a .44 magnum, even at a “paltry” 750 fpe, is a favorite killer of BEARS! I’m a numbers-geek too, but get over it! 10″-12″ of travel is all a bullet needs to neutralize any threat and is less likely to go through the walls that separate your children from the threat! I ordered my sub-2k in .40 almost when they first came out (the hefty disagreements of my dealer notwithstanding). Easily my favorite firearm purchase! After about a decade and thousands of rounds later, its never failed to go “BANG”, is insanely accurate and runs circles around M-4’s in a house-clearing scenario (it weighs all of 4 lbs with Aimpoint red dot and fully loaded). If the crap hits the fan, fold it up, throw it in a backpack and bug out. Of all the guns in my safe, or any other safe for that matter, I’d grab my sub-2k without hesitation for almost any situation other than BEARS!!! Hahahaha

  35. Mount a Streamlight TLR-2 G on the front rail of the CX4 and pop in a factory 30rd mag with your ammo of choice and you have a formidable HD weapon. A Bullpup 12 gauge would be more effective but then you would have to re-drywall your house after an intruder confrontation…

  36. In your column you speak of the magwell inserts and magazine compatibility. Am I mistaken that you said the 8000 mec gar magazines are compatible with the px4 version of insert

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  38. This is not a reliable weapon out of the box. I purchased the .40 cal version almost 20 years ago and didn’t get 50 rounds through it before the guide rod broke and turned it into an expensive piece of junk. Even so I did not give up on it because of the money invested into it via accessories and optics. My biggest problem now is I can’t find any original magazines for it and I tried to order the magazine insert and magazine release so it would be compatible with the Px4 mags and Beretta cancelled my order with no explanation as to why. At this point I may as well sell it for what I can get. Very disappointed with Beretta to say the least.


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