Ballistics by the inch

Some “Super” performance out of a Cx4 Storm.

This is the third in a series of informal blog posts about the .45 ACP/Super/.450 SMC testing sequence we conducted over the Memorial Day weekend. You can find the previous posts here and here.

Today we’re going to look at the results out of a stock Beretta Cx4 Storm in (obviously) .45 ACP. I have previously reviewed the Cx4 Storm in .45 ACP for, and it is a great little pistol caliber carbine with a 16.6″ barrel. Here is Keith shooting the one we used for this recent testing:


I want to re-iterate that the Cx4 was completely stock, with no modifications or additions whatsoever for these tests.

As I said with the previous posts about these tests, it’ll be a while before we have all the data crunched and the website updated, but I thought I would share some preliminary thoughts and information through a series of informal posts.

Quick note about the data below: All the ammo used, with the exception of the four * items, were part of our overall test sequence and had three shots made over the Oehler chronograph (which is a double-unit, and automatically records and then averages the two readings), representing a total of 6 data points. I’m just giving the overall averages here; the full data will be available on the website later. The four * ammunition types only include two shots/four data points through the Cx4. That’s because we only had one box of each of this ammo, and were wanting to get data which would be of the greatest use to the largest number of people.

Ammo                                                                               Cx4 Storm

      Buffalo Bore

.45 ACP Low Recoil Std P 185gr FMJ-FN                 997 fps / 408 ft-lbs

.45 ACP Std P 230gr FMJ-RN                                933 fps / 444 ft-lbs

.45 ACP +P 185gr JHP                                       1361 fps / 760 ft-lbs

.45 ACP +P 230gr JHP                                       1124 fps / 645 ft-lbs

.45 Super 185gr JHP                                         1555 fps / 993 ft-lbs

.45 Super 200gr JHP                                         1428 fps / 905 ft-lbs

.45 Super 230gr FMJ                                         1267 fps / 819 ft-lbs

.45 Super 230gr JHP                                         1289 fps / 848 ft-lbs

.45 Super 255gr Hard Cast                                 1248 fps / 881 ft-lbs

      Double Tap

.45 ACP +P 160gr Barnes TAC-XP                        1315 fps / 614 ft-lbs

.450 SMC 185gr JHP                                          1618 fps / 1075 ft-lbs

.450 SMC 185gr Bonded Defense JHP                  1556 fps / 994 ft-lbs

.450 SMC 230gr Bonded Defense JHP                  1298 fps / 860 ft-lbs


Critical Defense .45 ACP Std P 185gr FTX              1161 fps / 553 ft-lbs

Critical Duty .45 ACP +P 220gr Flexlock                 1018 fps / 506 ft-lbs


.45 Super 170gr CF                                           1421 fps / 762 ft-lbs

.45 Super 185gr XTP JHP                                   1578 fps / 1022 ft-lbs

.45 Super 230gr GD JHP                                     1264 fps / 815 ft-lbs

*Federal  HST .45 ACP Std P 230gr JHP                882 fps / 397 ft-lbs

*G2 Research  RIP  .45 ACP Std P 162gr JHP        979 fps / 344 ft-lbs

*LeHigh Defense .45 Super 170gr JHP               1289 fps / 627 ft-lbs

*Liberty  Civil Defense .45 ACP +P 78gr JHP        2180 fps / 822 ft-lbs

Something in particular I want to note: that in comparison to .45 ACP loads (whether standard pressure or +P), a number of the .45 Super/.450 SMC loads gain significantly more from the longer barrel. Compare these numbers to the previous posts of handguns, and you can see what I mean. You typically only gain about 10 – 15% in terms of velocity from the .45 ACP loads in going to a carbine — and this is very much in keeping with our previous testing of that cartridge. But you see upwards of a 30% gain in velocity out of some of the .45 Super/.450 SMC loads … and that translates to a 50% increase in muzzle energy!

A heavy, large projectile hitting with 900 – 1,000 foot-pounds of energy is nothing to sneeze at. Particularly when it comes with very little felt recoil out of this little carbine. That means you can get quick and accurate follow-up shots, which is always an advantage when hunting or using a gun for self/home defense.

As noted previously, we noticed no unusual wear on the Cx4 Storm, though a steady diet of such ammo could increase wear on the gun over time. And the Beretta didn’t have any problems whatsoever feeding, shooting, or ejecting any of the rounds. Where we had experienced some problems with the same ammo out of some of the handguns, there wasn’t a hiccup with the Cx4 Storm.

Look for more results, images, and thoughts in the days to come.

Jim Downey

June 16, 2015 - Posted by | .45 ACP, .45 Super, .450 SMC, Data, Discussion., General Procedures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Now, I’d like to see how this works out of my Tommy gun… 😀

    Comment by The Dread Pirate Muffin | June 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!

      Comment by James Downey | June 16, 2015 | Reply

      • If only I had enough time to come down and visit…I’d drag it along. Sadly, I still can’t afford the original but the longer barrel should give a bit more of a jump than the ~10″ barrel of the full auto one.

        Comment by The Dread Pirate Muffin | June 16, 2015

      • Well, I could probably bring along some ammo in August …

        Comment by James Downey | June 16, 2015

      • Bring the chrono too and we could go out to the range to do some testing. Then I can add “unofficially aided BBTI with numbers and stuff” to my firearms resume. 😀

        Comment by The Dread Pirate Muffin | June 16, 2015

      • Heh – will do, though I’m not going to lug the big Oehler chrono along, just my personal little one.

        Comment by James Downey | June 16, 2015

  2. […] sneeze at. Particularly when it comes with very little felt recoil out of this little carbine,” said Ballistics by the Inch frontman Jim Downey. “That means you can get quick and accurate follow-up shots, which is always an advantage when […]

    Pingback by Cooking with carbines: .45 Super and 450 SMC performance – Guns Ammo and Tactical Gear Blog | August 1, 2015 | Reply

  3. […] I had seen the results from the extensive .45 Super/.450 SMC tests (some of which has already been published), I had a pretty good idea of where the power band for these loads was, […]

    Pingback by Does primer size make a difference? « Ballistics by the inch | October 21, 2015 | Reply

  4. […] Seeing this performance out of the Cx4 Storm actually prompted me to act on something I had just been thinking about: to go out and buy one of the remaining new Cx4 Storms out there (Beretta decided to discontinue the gun in that caliber earlier this year). In a future blog post I’ll talk about the alterations I am making to that gun, and that I have made to a Glock G30S, to handle the additional power of the .45 Super cartridge. […]

    Pingback by .45 Super data now published. « Ballistics by the inch | October 30, 2015 | Reply

  5. […] Yeah, those cans jump pretty good when popped with .45 Super rounds, particularly out of my Cx4 Storm. […]

    Pingback by Dealing with power, part II: Recoil. « Ballistics by the inch | December 23, 2015 | Reply

  6. Reblogged this on rgrunderground and commented:
    These “+P+” 45 ACP compatible rounds REALLY DELIVER!!!
    Make sure your firearm is capable of the pressure and
    recoil, but they fit the weapon with No Mods!
    Standard Chamber sizes.
    Plus, the slower burn powders work better in a carbine
    length barrel, than even a 460 Rowland!

    Comment by underground12x8 | December 24, 2015 | Reply

  7. […] Storm carbine, as I have mentioned and reviewed. Particularly once it was set-up to deal with the additional power of the .45 Super cartridge, it has proven to be a reliable and formidable home defense […]

    Pingback by Working within your limitations. « Ballistics by the inch | October 16, 2016 | Reply

  8. […] category, because it sees the same increasing power levels out to at least 18″ of barrel: .45 Super. This proved to be more than a little surprising, since it is based on the .45 ACP cartridge.  […]

    Pingback by Reprise: Levering the Playing Field: a Magnum Opus « Ballistics by the inch | April 2, 2017 | Reply

  9. […] six years ago, I’ve gotten my own Cx4 in .45 … and then beefed it up to handle the additional power of the .45 Super cartridge. I’ve also added mag extensions, a Vortex Venom reflex sight, and […]

    Pingback by Reprise: Beretta CX4 Storm .45 ACP/Super review. « Ballistics by the inch | November 1, 2017 | Reply

  10. […] doesn’t apply to any of the ‘magnums’: .327, .357, .41, or .44. And as I’ve noted previously, it doesn’t apply to the .45 Super cartridges, which behave much more like a true […]

    Pingback by Reprise: Why I love the Kel Tec Sub-2000 « Ballistics by the inch | November 4, 2017 | Reply

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