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Beretta TX4 Storm Review

by Tom Beckstrand   |  March 19th, 2013 3


The shotgun is very much a part of American gun culture. Homes that vigorously exercise their Second Amendment rights and possess more than one firearm will frequently have several shotguns, and often the number of shotguns will outnumber the rifles. The shotgun’s popularity is partially due to the varied types of shooting done with it (skeet shooting, waterfowl and upland hunting, self-defense, etc.) and also due to the widespread cultural acceptance of the shotgun.

While the reasons for its acceptance vary, the evidence is incontrovertible. Homes that eschew “military type” or AR-pattern rifles will still frequently possess shotguns for hunting or defense. Likewise, city and law enforcement organizations that shy away from the more aggressive appearance of AR-pattern rifles still embrace the shotgun as an appropriate and necessary implement of domestic security.

Here in the South, I often see prison work details picking up trash along the side of the road. Nestled on the hip of the corrections officer is almost always the ubiquitous pump-action shotgun. Whether it’s for hunting or law enforcement, the shotgun’s omnipresence speaks of its popularity born from generations of exposure and use.

While the shotgun has been around for more than a century, advances in shotgun-making technology and performance occur on a regular basis. One of the most recent and profound advances came in the shape of Beretta’s new TX4 Storm, the first and only semi-auto shotgun that reliably feeds both reduced- and full-power loads.

The Mechanics
The TX4 is a gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun. With the fore-end removed, the gas system is visible for both inspection and maintenance. There are two small holes in the bottom of the barrel that allow gas to escape and move down into the gas piston that cycles the action.

The piston is surrounded by a sleeve that allows the proper amount of gas to cycle the piston while simultaneously bleeding off excess gas. This self-regulation is the key to reliable functioning regardless of the load fired through the shotgun. The gas system is also self-cleaning, ensuring that extended range sessions or hunts don’t come to a premature end.

As I inspected the TX4, I noticed some features that are greatly appreciated on a tactical shotgun. The barrel comes threaded for choke tubes, making it possible to tailor the shot pattern to the round issued by one’s department or most readily available to the shooter.

Each load fired through a shotgun will pattern differently. The TX4 takes five different choke tubes, enabling the shooter to select the tube most appropriate for the range and load used. Where one load of buckshot might open up at the 30-yard line with the cylinder choke, a modified or even full choke can extend the range to 40 or 50 yards.

The Picatinny rail atop the receiver is also a welcome addition for the tactical shotgun. The TX4 comes with the rear sight affixed to the rail, but it can easily be removed and replaced with any number of red dot or holographic sights popular on today’s market. The Picatinny rail is what makes this possible.

Shooting the Storm
One of the first tests I wanted to run on the TX4 was to see if it could digest the eight-pellet 00-buck reduced-recoil load so popular with law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies like the load because of its lethality at typical LE engagement ranges, and the reduced recoil makes it easier for small-statured or recoil-sensitive officers to shoot effectively.

The major issue with reduced-recoil loads is that they raise holy hell with semi-auto shotguns. The one load that never worked in any semi-auto shotgun was Remington’s eight-pellet reduced load. This is problematic because the Remington load is probably the most issued load in law enforcement. Even the vaunted Benelli can’t digest the Remington load without some tuning from a qualified gunsmith.

I ran an entire box of the Remington reduced load through the TX4 and never experienced a malfunction. Semi-auto shotguns are unforgiving of what you feed them, and they usually tell you what they will or won’t eat within the first five rounds. Loads either will or won’t run a semi-auto. The Remington reduced load runs in the TX4. This is the only semi-auto shotgun that can make this claim.

Patterning the Remington load revealed that the TX4 shoots this load to point of aim/point of impact (POA/POI), with the pattern being evenly dispersed across four quadrants. From 15 to 25 yards with the cylinder choke, the Remington load disperses the eight pellets into an eight-inch circle.

When pushed back to 30 yards, the group opened considerably to 22 inches, or about as big as I’d want it to be for LE purposes. Every pellet must be accounted for, and if the pattern got any bigger, pellets would start missing a man-size target. However, a modified choke should easily stretch the range of this load to 40 yards.

The next load I fired was Federal’s nine-pellet 00 buck. This load was substantially hotter than the Remington load, and once again the TX4 digested every round without a malfunction. The patterns for these loads also shot POA/POI. However, the pattern opened up faster even with the same cylinder choke.

The Federal load grouped all eight pellets into an eight-inch circle at 20 yards, opened up to 18 inches at 25 yards and finally to 26 inches at 30 yards. The Federal load produced noticeably more recoil with its higher velocity and additional pellet.

Last up for the evaluation was Federal’s rifled one-ounce slug. The hollowpoint maximum load was hot and also functioned with no issues in the TX4. I fired the rounds offhand at 50 yards and was able to easily keep all rounds in the chest of a human-size target.

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