Steve Says: We welcome Nathan on board as our newest TFB staff writer. This product review was made possible by GunsForSale.com. To get up-to-date information on where to find Beretta firearms for sale, please visit GunsForSale.com.
Introduced at SHOT 2010, the Beretta Tx4 Storm rounds out Beretta’s Storm line of defensive weapons. It is a lightweight, gas-operated semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun, with an 18″ barrel, based off the A400 line of hunting shotguns. Recently, Beretta sent me one to review.
The first thing I remarked upon opening the case while waiting for my transfer to go through at J&E Guns in Bellefonte, PA was the Tx4′s diminutive size. Just a hair over 39″ in overall length, with an 18″ barrel and a 13-14″ length of pull, this shotgun is very maneuverable, even in the close quarters of a home. The second thing I noticed was the weight of this shotgun, at 6.4 lb, it is very light, and with that I expected to see a snappy and powerful recoil impulse. The fit and finish of this shotgun is spectacular, everything is tightly fitted, and the firearm has no perceptible rattle at all.
The stock and forend are black polymer with rubber inlays in the grip surfaces, providing a solid grip on the weapon. The trigger group is polymer as well, with a cross bolt safety at an excellent position to flick off with the trigger finger when it is indexed along the trigger guard. The trigger is one of my few gripes with this gun. It is not bad, but it is also not as good as other Beretta shotguns I have fired. It is definitely passable, and I didn’t notice it at the range, but when dry-firing, it had a good bit of creep to it. The reset of the trigger, however, was incredibly crisp, one of the best I’ve felt.
The action is Beretta’s Blink system, which is also featured on the A400. It features a self-adjusting exhaust valve, allowing it to cycle all types of loads, from low power birdshot, to high pressure buckshot loads without adjustment, replacement of pistons, or damage to the action. The action spring is in front of the receiver, allowing room in the stock for a Kick-Off unit, an optional recoil reduction system. The spring is captured in a sleeve, so when disassembling, it will not fly across the room. The bolt handle is small, but adequate. I personally love huge, over-sized bolt handles on shotguns, and would love to see a larger model available for sale in the future.
The magazine tube is advertised at 5 rounds capacity for 2 3/4 shells, however the ammo I was using in it (Rio Royal Buckshot) was a little too long, and would only fit 4 in the tube. An extension would not be missed on this gun. Unfortunately, Beretta only sells their extensions to LEO/Military, however some searching of gun boards reveals that the extensions for the Benelli Nova may work on it. A +1 or +2 extension on this gun would make it even better.
EDIT: Thanks to Chuck and btr for pointing out that since this shotgun is made in Italy and imported into the United States, it cannot legally have a tube extension without replacement of other parts to be 922r compliant.
A very nice feature, which I have only seen before on Benelli shotguns, is the Shell Release button, which is located at the rear of the shell lifter. This shotgun will not load a round from the tube unless the trigger is pulled or this release is pressed, allowing the user to empty the chamber without having to mess with a second shell plopping out onto the lifter. This makes quick changes of ammunition types, such as from buckshot to slugs, very easy and fast.
The sights are a set of 3-dot ghost rings from LPA, which are mounted atop the barrel in front, and to the optics rail in the rear. They are very fast to pick up and provide excellent alignment, especially for shooting slugs at longer ranges. I’ve made the comment before, while shooting other shotguns with ghost rings in competition, that they are effectively cheating, I find it very hard to miss a shot with these style of sights.
The addition of a factory threaded barrel to allow chokes right out of the box is an excellent addition to a home defense gun. This gives the user the ability to tune the patterns of his/her gun to exactly what they want. Personally, in a home defense situation, I would want the tightest patterns as possible, to prevent collateral damage to my home or family, and thus I found myself using the full choke on this gun when testing it much more than the cylinder choke.
At the range, the Tx4 ate anything we could feed it, from low velocity target birdshot, to 3″ magnum buckshot without a single hint of a hiccup. The Blink action is incredibly fast cycling, and offers a very soft recoil impulse. I hinted earlier that I was worried about the recoil on such a light gun, but I was proven very wrong after firing it. Bulk birdshot loads are remarkably gentle, I could fire them all day long and not be even close to sore. Low recoil and Standard recoil 00 buckshot definitely kick more, but are still easily manageable. 3″ 00 Buck is more punishing, but not uncontrollable, 1oz Slugs are the same way.
In my time at the range, I patterned the Tx4 with 3 different types of ammo, Rio Royal Low Recoil and Standard Recoil 00 Buckshot, and Winchester Super X 3″ (76mm) Magnum 00 Buckshot. The resulting patterns are shown above, from 5, 10, and 15 yards using cylinder and full chokes. The Winchester was only patterned using the Full Choke.
The weapon patterns quite well with Rio Buckshot out to 10 yards, while the 15 yard patterns from it are a little bit larger than I would like to see. The Winchester loads, which are buffered for better patterning, patterned much tighter, with impressive patterns out to 15 yards, and presumably beyond. Personally, The Rio buckshot, while inexpensive, I feel does not pattern well enough to be used as defensive ammo, however, it is still very reliable and clean firing, and is still great ammo for blasting about at the range. For home defense use, I would recommend a buffered 2 3/4″ (70mm) 00 buckshot load, to tighten patterns and prevent fliers from missing the intended target and causing collateral damage.
The Beretta Tx4 Storm is an excellent shotgun for the home defense role for which it was intended. It is also quite fun to shoot at the range. As a side note, the cartouches and proof marks on many of the parts of this weapon make the inner history buff in me smile.
Not a single malfunction in all of the rounds I fired, ranging from low to high pressure rounds, without any adjustment of the gas system needed.
Comfortable to hold and shoot, controls are well placed. Recoil is present, but very soft. Half-star off for small bolt handle and mediocre trigger.
Swappable chokes, optics rail, and an available recoil reducing stock add-on. 1 star off for lack of availability of Magazine extensions to Non-LEO/Mil, it’d be nice to have 1 or 2 more rounds as a factory option.
An excellent choice for an autoloading home defense gun, and a solid offering by Beretta for their Storm home defense line.
Caliber: 12 gauge, 76mm (3″) Chamber
Barrel length: 18″
Action: Gas-Operated, rotating bolt
Capacity: 5+1, 4+1 with longer 2 3/4″ and 3″ loads
Choke: OptimaChoke Interchangeable – Supplied with Cylinder
Sights: LPA 3-dot Ghost Rings
[ Special thanks to J&E Guns, Inc. in Bellefonte, PA for helping us out with the transfer. These guys are really great, I never hesitate to go in and see what they have. ]Related