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Beretta PX4 Subcompact Range Review

This is a discussion on Beretta PX4 Subcompact Range Review within the Non-XD Handguns forums, part of the Other Handgun Talk category; Alright guys, I recently purchased a Beretta PX4 subcompact in 9mm for my wife for her birthday. I've been carrying for a couple years now ...

Old 04-26-2010, 11:10 PM   #1
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Unhappy Beretta PX4 Subcompact Range Review

Alright guys, I recently purchased a Beretta PX4 subcompact in 9mm for my wife for her birthday. I've been carrying for a couple years now and over the past year, ever since we've had our first child, she has expressed an interest in concealed carry for herself. I carry an XDM 9mm and also use it as a nightstand weapon, and this is the weapon she used to become familiar with handguns.

We shopped around quite a bit before we bought the PX4 as I was hoping to get her something a little smaller like a LCP or ladysmith but she had her mind set on the PX4 so that is what we bought. I was ok with this because the PX4 has a hammer and slide safety which I wanted her to have for her first concealed weapon. Before we ever shot the weapon I fell in love with it. It is perhaps the tightest fitting weapon I've ever handled with absolutely no rattles and with the interchangeable back-straps it fits both her and my hand extremely well.

However, we took it to a friends house the other day with 50 rounds of federal target ammo just to see it in action and I have to say I was less then impressed. First of all... it is perhaps the loudest gun I have ever fired. I expected it to be loud with only a 3 inch barrel but this was strangely loud (we forgot our ear plugs). Not necessarily a complaint... just an observation. Secondly I immediately noticed that my wife couldn't hit an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper from about 10 feet which worried me as she is quite proficient with my xdm... so I took it and squeezed off a few rounds... no hits. We then realized the PX4 was shooting almost 8 inches low from only 10 or 15 feet. I was not happy but regardless we finished off the 50 rounds and I later called the dealer where we bought it to see what would be involved in replacing the rear sight. He suggested that we clean the gun really well and fire another 100-200 rounds before we changed the sight so yesterday we went to an indoor range to get a better feel for the weapon.

To make a long story short we shot an additional 200 rounds through the weapon and eventually the bullets started rising to meet the sight. By the end of the 200 round the firearm was only hitting about 2 inches low from 10-15 yards which I can certainly live with. It ends up that this was definitely the right gun for my wife... she is deadly with this thing... from 15 yards she shot an entire clip at the head of a silhouette target without a single miss... about a 4-5 inch group. She has always been a crack shot with my XDm but this was beyond impressive. However, there were a few more problems that arouse with the PX4. Once a round failed to feed and got stuck between the chamber and magazine leaving the slide cracked open about a half an inch... then later there was a complete failure to feed where she shot off a round and the slide closed without feeding an additional round out of the magazine... not something I expected from a trusted brand like Beretta. I'm not sure if the spring is too heavy for the gun or what. I will state that the gun never failed in any way while I was shooting it, making me wonder if perhaps she isn't gripping it tight enough and allowing the gun to move too much in her hand. My last quarrel with the pistol is that the finish on the belly of the slide is chipping off. Now obviously I expect some wear to show on the gun after 250 rounds but this isn't your normal wear. Instead of the normal straight scratch/wear lines you'd see under the slide... the finish is "chipping" off instead of wearing off. Again, it's just not exactly something I expected from a high quality brand like beretta.

In the end I'm not sure how I feel about the gun. My wife and I have probably put between 3 and 5 thousand rounds through my XDm without ever having a single failure other then one round with a dud primer that failed to fire. It came dead on from the dealer and I've had absolutely zero complaints with the gun. Now with only 250 rounds through the PX4 we've had 2 failure to feeds, it took 200+ rounds to get the barrel broken in and to make it fire inline with the sights and the finish is much more worn then the finish on my XDm... again... all this after only 250 rounds. Not awe inspiring in my opinion.

Has anyone else had any problems with this weapon? I had read only positive reviews before we bought it... I'm thinking maybe we just got a lemon or something. What do yall' think?
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:16 PM   #2
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I have been interested in this gun for a while now and I saw that Buds has them on sale right now for $499. The only reason I haven't bought one is because you never hear about anyone buying or shooting them.

Thanks for posting and sorry you had bad luck. It sounds like your wife might have limp wristed but you won't ever know for sure.

As for the chipping, that just sounds like a manufacturing defect, I would personally call Beretta and see what they say.

Good luck and please keep us posted on any further updates.

Last edited by GoBigOrange; 04-26-2010 at 11:16 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:50 AM   #3
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i shot this exact gun in .40 when researching my purchase. my good friend has a 92fs, and loves it. however it stovepipes fairly often, and had doubts the px4 would do the same. it did 2 times out of 100 rounds, and that was enough to steer me away. it is a great looking pistol, and very comfortable to hold, but i don't have confidence in it, unfortunately. i really liked this gun till i shot it...

i think beretta's might just be a little ammo sensitive...
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:04 AM   #4
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I had one with maybe 2000 rounds through it in 40 cal. it is dead accurate and recoil is low. I have never had a failure and i dont know why your finish is worn mine still looks new.
"Si vis pacem, para bellum" If you wish for peace, Prepare for war....

Since my list was to long last time ill only put my favorite pistols

Browning Hi power
FN Hi power
Sig p232
Sig p220 Elite SS
Norinco Ak47
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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The 9mm PX4 subcompact is my IWB carry.

You are absolutely right about the noise - this gun BARKS. I've had several people at the range look over to see what the heck I was shooting and laugh when they see the tiny PX4sc.

This gun has been my most problematic piece, but I, too, fell in love with the thing and put in the time to get it running right.

Mine never had the extreme shot placement issues yours seemed to experience early on, however my finish was chipping after only 250 rounds. I called Beretta and they said I'd have to ship the whole gun in on my dime before they would "evaluate" whether or not they would fix the finish.

I said Hell NO to that offer and got it refinished with satin Cerakote at Customized Creationz instead. So now it has a spiffy 2 tone look.

I also had CC install Trijicon Night Sights on the gun. When I took it out to the range every shot I took was low. And the further out I moved the target, the lower it got. After testing and testing and testing I determined the sights were off and sent teh slide in to Trijicon for testing. Trijicon had AWESOME customer service and replaced the rear sight at no cost with a different size. This corrected all of the aiming issues.

Now the little PX4 is incredibly accurate. Every time I get bad memories about the fixes and think about selling it for an XD subcompact, I take it out to the range and print some tiny groups. That cures me of wanting anything else.

Also, after a few hundred rounds the plastic guide rod started to look a little ... wilted and bent. So I replaced it with a Steve Bedair stainless steel guide rod.

I also put in a clipped Beretta 92 "D" spring to lighten and smooth the trigger pull slightly.

One thing that DOES seem unusual about the OP's gun is the FTF/FTE. My PX4 has never failed to fire on factory ammunition.

It is hard for me to recommend the PX4 subcompact to others simply because of all of the issues I had with mine. If it's EXACTLY what you want as far as features, then it's probably worth working out the kinks - there are no other subcompacts with quite the same feature set as the PX4 (changeable backstraps, Decocker/Safety, DA/SA, 13 round capacity). I really liked the idea of a DA/SA with safety/decocker for my first CC gun. I never carry with the safety on, but I do engage it if I am transferring the gun from one holster to another, or form my holster to the safe - gives that extra peace of mind.
Springfield Armory:
XD Svc. .40 S&W, Trijicon Night Sights, Powder River Match Trigger, Don's Stainless Guide Rod 22# spring, XDm slide stop

XDm 9mm, Springer Match Trigger, X-treme Grip,
Don's Stainless Guide Rod 16# spring

And more from Beretta, Benelli, CZ, Kimber, Rock River, Ruger, and Savage.

Last edited by NDB_MN; 01-17-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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I stand correct i own a PX4 full size not a compact other than the name they are different firearms all together. Mine has the rotating barrel yours doesnt.
"Si vis pacem, para bellum" If you wish for peace, Prepare for war....

Since my list was to long last time ill only put my favorite pistols

Browning Hi power
FN Hi power
Sig p232
Sig p220 Elite SS
Norinco Ak47
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:27 PM   #7
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Thumbs down My Px4 subcompact is having the same problems

I took my new Px4 subcompact .40s&w to the range for the first time yesterday and it ruined my day. I had put my 7x9 inch high-visible targets out to about 7 yards to start. I shot off a mag of 10 rounds 165gr winchester fmj and didnt even hit the target! i tried aiming lower at first because i thought there was now way it was shooting that low. Still not hitting the paper. So I aimed higher, and higher and higher. Finally when putting the front sight on the ceiling I was on paper! At 6-7 yards I was holding over around 10 inches high just to get near the center of the target. I continued to shoot about 50 rounds before I gave up in frustration. There has to be something wrong with the sights. I thought it may have been my own error at first but there is no way I was shooting 1-2 inch groups that low every time. It was so far off I can hardly imagine the sights could be that off at 6-7 yards!

So when I got home I took apart my gun to clean it and found knicks on the bottom of the slide where it glides along the frame. Silver metal is shining through after only shooting around 50-60 rounds. I have read nothing but good things about Beretta and their new Px4. I must say I am pretty angry now. I have a Glock and an Xd and they are flawless. I bought this Px4 to replace my Xd as my main CC pistol as I like the option of the manual safety and the decocker and the stainless steel barrel.

Only after I got home and was angry about the whole trip to the range did I start to look up "Px4 shooting low" and found more than one other complaint. I am frustrated and don't know what to do now. I am just glad that I never had to use this pistol in self defense (which I carried for a few weeks prior) because it was shooting so far off I cant really even believe it. Someone could have got hurt and the aggressor may not have even been hit.

I hope the other post on here about the guy who bought his wife this gun and it turned out to be more accurate after a few hundred rounds turns out to be true for me as well. The slide finish chipping off is another worry of mine but i can live with that but I cannot compromise accuracy.

And my Superluminova sights NEVER glowed. I charged them up for 10 minutes with a high powered led light and they didn't glow a bit.

I never did thought have any feeding problems. It actually knocked the shells so far out of the gun they were landing a few feet behind me.

I like the idea of this pistol but I want to LOVE the performance of it as well. I will write back after a few more trips to the range.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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Beretta used to make nice guns, but it seems their QC has gone down the tubes. I guess the Px4 is nice if people want a DA/SA polymer gun without the cost of the USP.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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I can't speak for everybody but moving from a striker fired trigger to a da/sa messes with your accuracy. I have a 92FS and when I bought my XD45C I sucked @$$ with it, but I kept at it and quickly found my accuracy again, without sacrificing accuracy on the 92FS (da/as gun) so give it a chance, in my opinion.
"Scouts: because tanks are too expensive"

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Old 01-17-2011, 07:38 PM   #10
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My PX4 subcompact 9mm has been flawless since day one. Well over 1000 rounds of ever type of ammo, not a single problem. My primary carry is my XD9sc but I occassionaly carry the PX4sc. I'm a bit more accurate with my XD and that's the only reason I carry it over the Beretta. This finish on it is perfect as well. I originally tested several weapons with the wife as she was going to use this weapon as well. We ended up putting almost 500 rounds through the range gun as, without issue. Sucks that some have issues but no gun is perfect. Without a doubt though, the PX4sc is a favorite.
-XDM 45/XD-S 45/9 4.0
-Glock Gen 4 17/19/30/42
-Glock Gen 3 17/34
-HK VP9/Walther PPX/C39 AK47/AES-10B RPK47
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