The Italian gun concern of Beretta has been making firearms since 1526 and semi-automatic pistols since the days of World War 1 (1914-1918). The all-modern Px4 semi-automatic pistol was debuted in 2004 to challenge competitors in the law enforcement and self-defense markets around the world. It is a largely conventional semi-automatic gun with all of the usual components and function expected of this class of weapon while introducing some new qualities not typically encountered with Beretta sidearms.
At the heart of the Px4 is the proven short-recoil, locked breech action with rotating barrel locking. Externally, the gun is given a very stylish, stout profile. Breakdown of the weapon is facilitated by a disassembly latch which releases the slide for access to the internals. The hammer is exposed at the rear of the receiver to provide an instant visual cocked/decocked indicator. The grip backstrap is replaceable for customization of the weapon. Similarly, the magazine release can also be replaced by one of three available button sizes and can further be and arranged for right- or left-handed shooters. Polymer construction adds a lightweight quality while high tolerance areas are appropriately formed of steel. A section of Picatinny rail (MIL-STD-1913) ahead of the trigger allows for the mounting of accessories (typically a tactical light or laser aimer). Sighting is by way of a three-dot iron sight arrangement forward and aft along the top of the slide. Overall weight sans magazine is about 785 grams while the gun carried a length of 192mm with a barrel measuring 102mm long.
The Px4 uses an all-new slide design by Beretta which intends to nullify snagging and aid management of the pistol from a holster. The trigger guard is also rounded for this very purpose. The slide also incorporates ribbing along the rear and forward sections of the slide to aid in operating the assembly. Recoil is reduced and accuracy heightened by the direct barrel-slide locking system, promoting a low barrel axis design feature.
The Beretta Px4 is marketed across four major forms - Full Size, Compact, Sub-Compact, and Special Duty. It is available in chamberings of 9x19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, and .45 Auto to which chosen caliber also reflects the number of cartridges that can be housed in a given magazine - as such magazine counts can range from nine to seventeen cartridges depending on model chosen. A flush magazine is generally used though Beretta makes mention of support for extended magazines as well.
As a military sidearm, the Px4 Storm has seen acceptance by several police forces including those of Argentina, Canada (Border Services), Malaysia, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, and the United States.
The Px4 Storm forms a portion of a family of "Storm" named weapons by Beretta that includes the Cx4 carbine, the Mx4 submachine gun, and the Rx4 semi-automatic rifle.