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Hammer Down

It’s a plastic, striker-fired world out there these days in the handgun market. Even longtime purveyors of classic metal-framed, double action autos like the Sig Sauer P226 and the Beretta 92 have been driven into offering polymer-framed striker-fired guns as a matter of market survival.

Part of it, of course, is that when teaching shooting on an institutional level to people who may or may not do any sustainment work between qualifications, the single trigger pull of the striker-fired gun is simpler to learn and gets better results. The unspoken part of it is that a striker fired gun can be built simpler and therefore cheaper than a DA/SA.

There are virtues to the traditional hammer fired DA/SA auto, however, and for those of you who appreciate them, Beretta has been listening to your pleas…or copying off your wish lists, maybe.

A couple of years ago they began offering a Compact Carry version of their PX4 polymer-framed DA auto, featuring a bunch of improvements from the mind of pistol shooting legend (and committed double-action auto fan) Ernest Langdon.

It had a narrower slide stop as well as slimmed-down control levers on the slide to reduce the width of the gun. The slide levers are also decocking levers only, eliminating the chance of accidentally putting the gun on safe while performing weapon manipulations. The trigger pull was lightened, and the gun featured a unique Cerakoted gray slide and Langdon’s Ameriglo sights. There was also a Langdon Tactical/ROBAR Custom version, with a bobbed hammer, a custom trigger job done by LTT, and all parts done with ROBAR’s NP3 coating.

If someone were looking for the hammer-fired size equivalent of a tricked-out Glock 19, the PX4 Compact carry is it.

At SHOT Show Industry Range Day, Ernest was there with the newest development of his involvement with the PX4: A full-size PX4 with the same suite of enhancements as the Custom Carry.

The demo gun also featured Ernest’s handiwork on the trigger, like the LTT/ROBAR guns have. The trigger pull was phenomenal. We didn’t have a scale with us, obviously, but it would be surprising if the weight of the double action pull were even double digits. The single action was more like five.

Muzzle flip? Minimal.

Muzzle flip? Minimal.

In the full-size gun, the flat-shooting nature of the rotating barrel is noticeable, and the Langdon-designed front sight, with its hi-viz orange insert, was easy to track.

The guns will be hitting store shelves soon, each shipping with three magazines and featuring an MSRP in the eight hundred dollar range.

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