Despite seemingly possessing all the attributes the American consumer could want in a firearm of this type, the Cx4 Storm has yet to be fully embraced by the gun-buying public.
Several years ago, the legendary Italian armsmaker Beretta introduced a new gun. Off and on for nearly 500 years, the company has done so many times. Beretta is easily the oldest continuously operated firearm maker in history. The arm in question had a set of features that should have made it a runaway best-seller, but it somehow fell way short of that goal. It was not a failing in quality; quite the contrary. After firing the gun in question in several chamberings, I think that shooters in general might want to try a bit more of an in-depth look at this unique firearm from Italy.
The firearm in question is the Beretta Cx4 Storm. It is a light, polymer-and-steel, pistol-caliber carbine sharing chamberings and magazines with existing Beretta semi-automatic pistols. This affords a shooter the advantage of feeding both weapons from the same magazines. The company produced quantities of Cx4 carbines in 9 mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. There were plans to produce the guns in .357 SIG, but the platform was never offered in that high-speed caliber.
Pistols in these calibers are typically some form of locked-breech, recoil-operated mechanism. For the carbine, it is possible to use a heavy bolt and a strong recoil spring in a blowback system. This feature is essentially the operating system used in most submachine guns, but the Cx4 fires from a closed bolt. The trigger cannot be modified to fully automatic fire.
While most guns of this type—compact, pistol-caliber carbines—are laid out in similar fashion, the Cx4 is decidedly different. On this gun, the magazine well is through the pistol grip. This effectively shifts the balance of the gun backward a bit. The controls may be adjusted to suit the tactical tastes of the shooter. Having been forced by vision problems to shoot left-shouldered, this arrangement is ideal for me. My Cx4 is arranged to eject brass to the left, but the operating handle is to the right. I use the back of the right hand to rack the bolt.
Manipulating the magazine catch is from the left—with the trigger (left) finger. In this arrangement, the gun stays in my left hand and can even be fired one-handed effectively at close range by tucking the butt against the elbow. This procedure is a major advantage.
The Cx4 is unique in more ways than the tactical management, though. It is obvious the designers were shooting for a firearm with styling that is as exotic as one of the automobiles for which Italy is known. Some of the shapes of the Px4 pistol are repeated in the Cx4. The little carbine is shaped to appeal to the eye, with non-traditional, but strikingly attractive curves. There are a number of practical features, like bolt-on rails on top of the receiver and the front edges of the fore-end. It is also possible to adjust the length-of-pull of the buttstock. When you start adding lights and lasers, they seem to interfere with the curves, but that is the user’s choice.
All things considered, this would seem to be an effective firearm, but we need to look at the Cx4 in service. So far, it looks like the biggest user of the little Beretta carbine is the Indian border police, as well as a couple of countries in Latin America. Police and military use of the Cx4 has not been widespread in this country. But, if everything I have heard and read is true, the Beretta carbine runs better than Grandma’s Singer sewing machine. Multiple reviews glowingly report trouble-free performance. Since the main purpose of the arm is close combat, that kind of reliability is absolutely essential.
It would seem a home defense-firearm that is modestly priced, reliable, accurate and laden with special customizable features would be a hit, but it hasn’t happened for the Cx4. I don’t mean to imply it was a complete sales dud, but there hasn’t been a waiting list for them anywhere I know of. I can only speculate why this has happened. It could just be that the unique appearance of the Cx4 was cause for suspicion on the part of American shooters. The gun neither looked like, nor handled like, anything in shooters collective memory banks.
But, a feature like the straight-line stock is valuable in the sense that it vectors recoil directly to the rear—against the shooter’s shoulder. Muzzle rise is minimal, as online video footage clearly displays. If a shooter had a tactical need for a lightning-fast magazine change, he or she can do so without taking the butt of the gun off of the shoulder.
This is a different gun, but one designed with great care. Beretta’s Cx4 Storm is proper fightin’ iron.