I have several handguns, many of which are in 9mm. Two that found their way into my collection last year were the Beretta PX4 Storm and the Sig SP2022. I consider both of these to be mainstream budget 9mm handguns. Before anyone takes offense at the term “budget,” I do not use this to infer substandard quality or “rock bottom” price. However, when you look at what these pistols sell for (my SP2022 was $339 and the PX4 was $435, both brand new) they are a good mix of quality and features for the investment. They are not the most expensive pistols you’ll find, yet they are both modern designs from mainstream, respected manufacturers. Now that we’re past that, let’s get down to the details.
Both of these pistols are very similar. They are mid-size 9mm DA/SA polymer framed handguns with fixed sights and decocking mechanisms. Both come with 15 round magazines, and both feature removable grips that can be changed to match shooters of varying hand sizes. When handling the two, the largest difference one will notice is the location of the decockers: slide mounted for the Beretta and frame mounted for the Sig. I don’t have a clear preference for either, but the Sig is a somewhat easier reach. The Beretta’s grip feels flatter on the sides, but both are comfortable.
I measured single action break on the Sig and Beretta using my Timney trigger pull gauge. The Beretta breaks right at 4.5 lbs; the Sig at 5 lbs. I didn’t measure the DA pull but both guns have smooth DA pulls out of the box. If I had to guess, I’d wager they are both around 9 lbs. I do feel the Beretta has a more consistent DA pull in terms of pressure throughout the length of the pull, as the Sig seems to stack just a little at the end of the DA pull.
I had shot both of these pistols in a few occasions, with the Sig seeming to perform slightly better in my hands than the Beretta. However, I do have to admit that I prefer the looks of the Beretta. Its design seems more sleek and modern, with styling that takes queues from its Italian roots. But, none of that matters in the end compared to down-range performance. Throughout the past year, I have considered getting rid of one if not both of these handguns. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but I’ve had a hard time figuring out where they fit in my line-up and what role they fill that my Beretta 92fs, Sig P226, CZ-75b, and now my Walther PPQ (not to mention the other caliber handguns) do not fill as well if not better. So, while I still ponder this decision, I felt that gathering more data is necessary before doing anything.
Today’s trip was to the local indoor range where I have a membership. I shot a number of groups from 10 yards, 50 ft, and 25 yards. I am going to post pics of these and provide a summary. But, know that these are not “cherry picked” groups. You will see seven 5-shot groups at 10 yards, one 10-shot group at 10 yards, and one 5-shot group at 25 yards for each pistol. That’s all I shot with both; there are no groups shot today that you won’t see on this blog. I was standing unsupported in Weaver stance for all shots.
So, here we go. Remember that you can click any of these pics to see them larger.
Here’s the first set: four 5-shot groups from each at 10 yards. Sig on left, Beretta on right.
Here’s the 2nd set: three 5-shot groups from each at 10 yards. Again, Sig left, Beretta right.
Third set: two 10-shot groups from each at 10 yards. You know by now which is on the left and which is on the right.
Fourth set: two 5-shot groups from each at 25 yards.
So, what does this all mean? You can see the measurements of the groups as written on each sheet of paper. However, here’s some quick analysis:
Average of ALL groups for the Sig was 2.458″; Beretta was 2.736″.
Sub 2″: Sig = 4, Beretta = 2
2″ – 3″: Sig = 2, Beretta = 5
3″ – 4″: Sig = 2, Beretta = 0
4″ – 5″: Sig = 1, Beretta = 1
5″ – 6″: Sig = 0, Beretta = 1
As you can see, the differences were slight but the Sig seems to shoot better in my hands in general. I will note that the Sig posted a 3.5″ group at 25 yards (compared to the Beretta’s 5.75″ group), which is the smallest off-hand 25 yard group I have shot in the past month. And, while the Sig and Beretta only had .25″ difference in the 10 shot group size, the Sig seems to have a tighter overall shot distribution… but not by much.
In the end if I do keep only one of these two pistols, it will likely be the Sig. Although I love the looks of the Beretta and it is a fine gun, I feel that I have to try a little harder to shoot accurately with it for some odd reason. I chalk this up to nothing other than individual shooter tendencies, not to anything related to the design of the Beretta in any way. However, I’m not in a rush to unload either of these handguns as I enjoy both and feel they are well suited as multi-purpose shooting instruments.