Beretta's PX4 Storm 9mm is an attempt to reclaim a substantial portion of the Wundernine market. Having owned an 8040 Beretta, I wasn't a fan of the rotating barrel, but I wasn't opposed to it. Finding a good deal on one, I picked up an LE model (3 magazines, 1 backstrap). It has very good ergonomics, and a very good trigger... 10, maybe 10 1/2 pounds double action, 4-5 single. Reset is positive, but looooooong compared to some of the better triggers out there. It's light, balances and points well and is similar in size to H&K's USP 9 / 40.
One thing you notice is that your "hold" is very high up on the gun, with a grip shape similar to the 92. Since it's narrower, and gives you a shorter trigger span, and you can get those nifty backstraps of different sizes, this gun will be a hit with a wide variety of shooters. NO magazine safety, which is a feature, not a bug. The action is very, very smooth, typical of Beretta. 2 things I'm not that fond of. First, the PX4 manual states to release the slide, you pull back the slide & let go - slingshot. It does mention using the CX4 like "slide catch" when chamber loading. The issue I have with this is that *very* prominent safety/decocker interferes with this if you're doing a fast magazine reload & then grabbing the slide to free the slide catch. The 2nd, and this is nitpicking, but the CX4 like slide catch "feels" more frail than some other examples out there. I have no reason to think it will fail, and it may grow on me. The slide catch is not ambidextrous, by the way, like the H&K P2000. I'll bet that Beretta could've done this if they'd put their minds to it, it appears that the slide catch axle runs under the trigger bar... but it is close. THe slide catch can *easily* be reached with right thumbs from average sized hands, probably even small hands. It's prominent enough to be used by left handed shooters as well.
PX4 over the 92.
Top to bottom: 92, 92 Vertec, PX4
PX4 Storm top, USP 9mm LEM bottom
Beretta's managed to stuff more rounds into the PX4 mag in a shorter space than any other 9mm I have. Right out of the box, hard insertion of the mag sends the slide home with a round chambered about 1/3 the time. I look forward to when I've got it to the 100% level of my 92. There's a very slight beveling of the magazine well on the PX4, but honestly, I never had a problem getting magazines into the 92 with no beveling whatsoever...
92, 92 Vertec, PX4 Storm & H&K USP 9mm
17 rounds capacity each
The Storm mag on the bottom, 92 mag in the middle, USP9 mag top
Here's one thing that's going to be a burr in the saddle of Beretta LE sales - assembly / disassembly. It's much better than the 8000 series, but you can see from the pictures it's more complicated than some of the guns that you have to pull the trigger on to disassemble (yuck). This is a nitpick too, it's not at all hard to disassemble, clean and reassemble, and, even reassemble with no parts left over!
disassembly after 850 rounds fired
I'm still wondering what this is for!
How does it shoot? Very nicely. The magazines are a little tough on the thumbs for rounds 16 & 17, but not impossible. The controls are all easily reached. The safety decocker requires you shift your grip with your shooting hand, but at least it's ambidextrous. I am not partial to guns which are "made safe" by mechanical device, like a safety lever. I much prefer "decocker only" guns like the G model Berettas. Fortunately, only 2 extra parts delineate the difference between the F model (safety/decocker) and G model(decocker only). Wouldn't it be a shame if they didn't make it back when the low profile decocker lever is installed... Anyway, with target, practice & other cheap ammunition, it shoots just like any other light, standard capacity 9mm. With defensive, hotter, more personal protection oriented ammunition, there is a difference. It doesn't jump as much. It's not bunk, marketing hype or unsubstantiated. I shot the PX4 back to back with my USP with identical high velocity 115 grain ammo. The recoil signature and muzzle jump was by far less pronounced shooting the PX4. I was surprised, I shoot the USP9 pretty well, and it's still high on my list of favorite semi automatic pistols. The PX4 is also pretty accurate and fairly easy to make follow up shots. The trigger pull is smooth, with minimal stacking. My only gripe about the trigger is the long reset. Positive, but long. Nevertheless, accurate and fast successive shots are not difficult to make. I let anybody who had 9mm with them shoot the PX4 one week, to the tune of about 450 rounds, I put another 400 through it before disassembling. The gun was still 'wet', showed no signs of slowing down. I'd say the PX4 is a good gun that will likely meet with brisk sales.