The well-known Italian company has completed its Storm series. After the futuristic Cx4 carbine, Px4 pistol and semi-automatic rifle designated Rx4, a new submachine gun known as Mx4 has entered the fray. This bad boy is just about to push aside its predecessors and counterparts. Indian border police have placed an order for dazzling 34,500 pieces. The role of the submachine guns has been waning since the end of the Second World War, which was the golden age of SMGs. After the the advent of AK-47 on one hand, and Stoner’s breakthrough AR-15 design, the submachine guns became the second class firearms. Using the standard pistol calibers, underpowered, they found their place in inventories of special forces and anti-terrorist police units. Their small mass and length came useful in confined spaces and on long missions behind enemy lines.
Once the Belgian FN came up with its revolutionary P90 design, closely followed by the Italian Spectre M4, the submachines have become popular again. The P90 boasts its completely new 5.7 mm ammunition design, while the Spectre M4 is fed by the compact, quadruple-stacked magazine, can be carried around without safety engaged, and has an interesting barrel cooling solution – the forced cooling by the operation of the bolt. Since the world’s first submachine guns, the Villar Perosa, and the first submachine gun with the magazine housed inside the pistol grip. Armaguerra OG- 43 were made in Italy, one shouldn’t be surprised to find Beretta Mx4 Storm an exceptional and well-made weapon. Maybe it was because this submachine tradition that the Beretta’s engineers have chosen the submachine gun for the last piece of the Storm series, after its predecessors, the Cx4 carbine, Px4 pistol and Rx4 rifle, have met a good reception. With the reputation of Beretta’s small arms, attractive design, and modern materials, such are the durable polymers, nothing less was expected.
Beretta Mx4 Storm was initially presented on the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in 2011. Not long after its premiere, the guns market was shaked by the news that India has ordered, according to some sources, 40,000 new Italian submachine guns. Such a large orders are extremely rare nowadays, after the Cold War, especially for the submachine guns, which have had a narrow field of use in special forces and SWAT teams. The Indian border police has, however, decided to equip its personnel by Mx4s, because up to then they had used by all means obsolete British L2A1 Sterlings. This news was a surprise for many, especially since the Indians have been developing their own MSMC submachine gun for years. Apparently, something went wrong, as it was the case with not so successful INSAS assault rifle.
The Beretta Mx4 Storm is based on a semi-automatic carbine which was made for civilian users and certain security agencies. From it, the submachine gun has inherited the simple blowback operation. The materials used are durable shock- resistant polymers, with steel inlays. The use of polymers even extends to the firing mechanism, including the hammer itself, which might be an issue for the all-steel enthusiasts.
The design of Beretta Mx4 Storm is more than futuristic, with curved lines and truly Italian aesthetics. The unique feature is the non-collapsible stock, which is uncommon for most submachine guns, and even assault rifles. The reason may be the simplification of use, as the designers have not intended the Mx4 for concealed carry. With the first major user in mind, the Indian border police, it’s certain that those guys won’t conceal their weapons. The question may arise, why don’t they use assault rifles instead? The answer is in the compact size and small weight, when compared to the assault rifles. Indian borders mostly extend throughout the inhospitable mountain ranges, where the altitude and extreme temperatures take their toll on a patrolman.
For truly, the empty Mx4 weighs only 2.48 kg, and is 647 mm long, with the barrel measuring respectable 312 mm. For the sake of comparison, the H&K MP5 with the stock extended measures 688 mm, and 485 mm with the stock collapsed. The empty weight is, depending on a model, from 2.54 to 2.88 kg, with the barrel only 223 mm long. The sheer length of the barrel ensures the outstanding performance of the 9×19 Para ammunition increasing its kinetic energy for about 100 J – to respectable 689 J. The initial velocity is increased from 389 to 430 m/s. This initial velocity is on the terms with the powerful .357 Magnum (436 m/s), which because of the 10.36 g round has the energy of astounding 972 J.
When compared to other submachine guns with the magazine housed in the vertical, uncomfortable and thick pistol grip, the Storm is the definition of ergonomy. Besides from the remarkable ergonomy, which can also be attributed to the angled pistol grip, the weapon is fully ambidextrous. The charging handle and the ejection port can be transposed onto the left or right side. The double-stacked 30-round magazines are shaped more like pistol clips than those of a submachine gun. The between the basic iron sights is the standard Picatinny rail, which can receive a number of sighting devices. With the role of the Mx4 on mind, the those will most certainly be reflex or laser sights.
According to the available data, the coast of the Indian shipment of Beretta Mx4 Storm’s is 35 million dollars. That means that a single piece costs a little more than 1,000 dollars. Time will tell whether such a high price is justified or not. For the time being, Beretta has made a deal of the century, by putting ergonomy on the first place and offering an ultra- modern design, primarily for the users that don’t carry their weapons concealed.