“Budget” 9mm Duel: Beretta PX4 vs. Sig SP2022

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″.

Group distribution:

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.

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About martowski

Garden-variety professional with one too many hobbies.
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13 Responses to “Budget” 9mm Duel: Beretta PX4 vs. Sig SP2022

  1. Sam says:

    Nice comparison – enjoying your blog, nicely done. I’ve checked these pistols out myself at the local shop, but the PPQ just seems a bit more appealing, though a little more in price – and maybe not exactly comparable between striker and DA/SA. Both the 2022 and the PX4 are handsome guns. Lots of good options out there, which is nice. It’s interesting to see the evolution in family lines of the 226/2022 and the 92FS/PX4.

  2. martowski says:

    Thank you! It’s a fun little side project. My posts may not have a precise schedule but I find time here and there between work, spending time with the wife & kids, etc.

    You are correct in the PPQ not being an exact comparison, but in actuality the pull on the PPQ is similar to the DA/SA pistols in that SA is a two-stage pull w/ a clean break at the end. Firing the PPQ is much like firing PX4 and SP2022 in SA mode. However, when looking at something like the Springfield XD, the pull is definitely different since it’s more of a long, continuous pressure pull throughout. Not better or worse, but different.

    The evolution is interesting to see. But, I actually prefer my 92fs to the PX4. I haven’t yet found a clear preference when comparing the P226 to the SP2022, but may have continued use with both. However, as far as service size 9mm pistols go, the PPQ is the current “darling” in my lineup.

  3. Mike M says:

    Excellent write up, thank you. I am wondering how they compare recoil wise and how they feel in your hand?

    • martowski says:

      Thanks! Good questions. You know, recoil wise, I can’t tell a lot of difference between them. Since they are both mid-size polymer framed 9mms, they are about the same. Now, compare them to my 92fs or my STI Spartan and they definitely have more “snap.” Both, as well, feel great in the hand. The Sig comes w/ two grips to change size (but there’s not a lot of difference between the two), and the PX4 comes with three backstrap inserts. The Sig’s grip almost feels too short, like the very bottom of my hand might come off the back side of the grip, but it doesn’t. It’s not enough to bother me, just a trait of the grip I suppose. The Sig also has, in my opinion, a rougher texture to the grip which makes a little more secure hold. But the PX4 has plenty of grip surface so I wouldn’t be concerned. PX4 feels a little slimmer, but that could be because the sides of the grip feel more flat to me. They are both great pistols and I’ll probably keep both long term.

  4. Chris Shockey says:

    I think this was a great blog. I have a sp2022 and have been thinking of buying a px4 compact for conceal carry over my Kimber CDP2 due to the 1911’s cutting holes in my shirts. I like the fact you refer to in your hands. Every one’s hands are differant and the gun may fill good in one persons hands but not another. The facts are what is improtant and you have pretty well covered that, I now have good information not just someone’s opinoin to make my decision by so I won’t regret the gun I buy. I don’t sale a gun unless there is something wrong with it or I just absolutly don’t like it and I never get what I want or need out of one I sale, so thank you agian for the great information.

    • martowski says:

      Thank you; I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I’ve been noticeably absent from blogging for the past year as life has gotten very busy. But I hope to put some new posts out soon.

  5. Bud says:

    Thanks for an honest review of both these pistols. I owned both I have a PX4 compact 9 for EDC I shoot the PX4 better than the SP2022. I’m trading the 2022 in on a full size PX4 this week. again great review.

    • martowski says:

      Thanks! They are both great pistols; it really comes down to personal preference when choosing between these two as they are both outstanding designs.

  6. Scott says:

    Thanks for such a thorough write-up. I’m currently debating between a Beretta 92fs and the Sig SP2022 and while I feel like the 92fs would be a smarter purchase in terms of retaining more of its value, the Sig just feels so *right* in my hands. Your review has helped me decide, I’m going to get the SP2022.
    Cheers!

    • martowski says:

      Glad I could help! You really won’t go wrong with either purchase; both are outstanding handguns. The SP2022 always amazes me as a prime example of an undervalued, under appreciated pistol. I thoroughly enjoy mine and know you will as well!

  7. Thomas McClimans says:

    Is muzzle rise comparable between the two? I’ve read about the supposed recoil-reducing rotating barrel of the PX4, is it really noticeable between it and the SP2022 and does it result in faster doubletaps? Thx!…

    • martowski says:

      I’ve read plenty of people indicating they perceive a lot less muzzle rise out of the PX4 but, honestly, I can’t say that I do. That’s not to say that there isn’t, but I haven’t ever thought, “Wow, that’s a lot less muzzle rise” when shooting the PX4 vs. the SP2022. So, if there is, to me the difference in a real world application is negligible.

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