Long-time readers (or recent ones who dig into the gun review archive) know that I used to own a Bushmaster AR-15. It was a fine piece of machinery, but when I found myself in a financial pinch, it was the obvious choice to sell: not only would it bring a high price, I rarely had the chance to shoot it.
This latter factor was key in my decision. Shooting is a perishable skill, and the proper and safe use of firearms requires constant practice and care. While heroes in the movies can pick up a handgun and instantly know how to use it, in the real world, you need to be intimately familiar with your weapon.
When my financial circumstances changed, the problem of where to practice loomed large in my calculations. The only indoor range in the area prohibits rifle calibers and while there are several gun clubs with outdoor rifle ranges, I wasn’t in a position to make that kind of commitment.
I decided that what I really needed was a carbine – a long weapon that used a pistol cartridge. This would give me everything I wanted: longer range and hitting power than one could obtain in a handgun caliber while retaining the ability to shoot at indoor ranges.
When I surveyed the field one option stood out: The Beretta CX4 Storm in 9mm. I mentioned this possibility to the lovely Sithkitten who immediately recognized that it was the prop gun for the Battlestar Galactica remake from a few years ago. I hated the show (Starbuck is a GUY, dammit!) but she liked and it was thrilled at the notion of owning a firearm just like she saw on TV.
The Storm does look pretty futuristic, which was why it was chosen to be pitted against CGI Cylons. Up close, it’s actually a very simple and ergonomic weapon. The polymer shell is about as corrosion resistant as you can get. The ergonomics are amazing – it fits naturally in your hand and points with ease.
You can even adjust the length of the stock by adding or removing extenders – not as elegant as a telescoping stock, but that’s a minor quibble.
The magazine goes through the pistol grip, and while my version came with two 17-round magazines, larger capacity versions are available.
In terms of accuracy, it is amazing. Admittedly I wasn’t going for long-range targets, but the ability to shoot out the bullseye is pretty cool. Recoil and noise are minimal – about what you’d expect from a 9mm pistol cartridge.
In terms of operation, it is simplicity itself and it uses a single shaped takedown pin for cleaning. This was clearly designed with the military and police market in mind. Everything about it says “ease of use.”
The Storm can also be used with regular M-9 (Beretta 92) mags, though you do need an adapter because the catch is in the wrong place.
Despite all this, it sells like crap. I’ve seen them at various shops but no one wants to buy them. I got mine at a considerable discount as well.
I don’t know why people don’t like them – maybe they don’t look “tactical” enough, but the Storm is a fine, well-crafted piece of machinery. My advice is to take a pass on the AR-15 and pick one of these up instead.
True, it lacks the range of the .556 round, but up to 100 meters you’re fine. Unless you live out west and want to pick off varmints, it isn’t likely to be a big deal.
Like all modern carbines, it’s basically a submachine-gun locked into single-shot mode. That’s more than enough horsepower to get the job done. I suppose one could buy a semi-auto Thompson replica, but they are much more expensive (and so is their ammo).
I’ve been very pleased with my purchase and highly recommend it.