HELP! New gun purchase - M&P 40 vs. PX4 40

This is a discussion on HELP! New gun purchase - M&P 40 vs. PX4 40 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You guys have a great forum here. Long time reader, first time poster. I have finally come to the realization that I cannot depend on ...

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Thread: HELP! New gun purchase - M&P 40 vs. PX4 40

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    Member Array fisherofman's Avatar
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    Question HELP! New gun purchase - M&P 40 vs. PX4 40

    You guys have a great forum here. Long time reader, first time poster. I have finally come to the realization that I cannot depend on local law enforcement to protect me or my family and for me to depend on this is asking for trouble. I've discussed this with my wife and am ready to take the next step.

    I've been reading thru the different threads in this forum for several months and have gained a great deal of knowledge from you all. I’ve done so much research on the internet, gun magazines, forums, gun friends, etc that I’ve learned more than I could ever have hoped to gain (and possibly confused myself at the same time!). After all of that, I still am unsure on what to do. Here is my dilemma:

    I am looking to purchase my first handgun. I have been around guns and shot many rifles, shotguns, etc. I consider myself competent with guns, gun safety, and responsibility of owning guns. I have several at home now. All are put away in a safe place and stored separate from their ammo. Problem is, I have never owned a handgun and my experience with them is pretty limited. Other than a few here and there, haven’t spent too much time shooting them either. Everything I’ve read on this forum and others is “to go try each one out” , go “to a range and rent one of each”, etc. Great advice, but we don’t have a range anywhere within a couple of hundred miles that has rentals. I have numerous buddies that have several handguns, but none have the ones I’m looking at. (Most of their guns are older models or more expensive guns). I’m looking to spend somewhere between $400 - $600. I have narrowed my search to a .40 caliber. I’m also almost certain that I want a polymer frame gun (for cost, durability, ease of cleaning, weight for CCW, etc). This will start out as my home defense gun. But I am also wanting to get my CCW in the next month or so, so it would probably end up being my EDC gun too. My wife and I are expecting (and she’ll soon quit work to be a stay at home mom) so I don’t really have the funds to buy one now and get another one then. Sure, I hope to own more at some point, but for now, this is my only “intended” handgun purchase.

    I shot a few handguns my coworker had. He really likes his Ruger LCP .380. It was ok, but not really something I want. I want a full size frame. It shot ok and I had ok groupings with it at 7 yards, but it was too small in my hands. I didn’t feel like I could get a comfortable grip on it. Everyone I’ve talked to has tried to convince me to go the “pocket carry” route. As I said though, this will also be my home defense gun, so I’d like a full size…and not to start any caliber wars, but I don’t really like the .380 for the “best” choice in SD calibers.


    I also shot his .40 Sig. I think it was a P220, but haven’t been able to find one to match the description of his on any websites. It was DAO and I think held 10 +1. I got really good groups at 10 yards, had great recoil, easy to handle and fun to shoot. It had no safety and no de-cocker. Enjoyed shooting it and shot well with it. I tell you this just to give you an idea of what I’ve shot and how it worked for me. I’ve also shot a KelTec 9mm and it was ok too. Wasn’t that impressed with the gun, but didn’t have any issues with it.


    When I first started this “journey”, I really thought I wanted a striker – fired pistol, but am not 100% sure now. I have gone thru the whole array of checking out Glocks, XD, M&P, Taurus, XDM, and so on. I like the fact that there is less to get caught on clothing without having a hammer. I also like the idea of constant trigger pull (instead of the DA/SA action). I didn’t like the Glock grip or trigger system, the XD seemed muzzle heavy and chunky, and I don’t really like the idea of not being able to cycle the slide or fire if the grip safety isn’t engaged. (True in a perfect scenario it should always be engaged…but if I’m wounded, or in an altercation, I’d prefer it fire without having the “ideal” gun hold”).



    But the last couple of weeks, I’ve been checking out a few hammer fired pistols too. I have held and “played” with all the guns mentioned above and the two that I’ve narrowed my search down to. I just need some advice now on which of the two I should get….and no…unfortunately, “get them both” isn’t a viable option.



    My first choice and the one I was initially drawn to is the full size M&P 40. I have heard so many good things about the M&P series. It felt great in my hand and seems to be a great gun. They’re getting great reviews and it seems as though all the problems they initially faced (mag drop problems, feeding issues in the 45’s, issues with the compacts) have been fixed. Every account I’ve heard of S&W’s customer service has been great. Many times those having to send in their guns have had them back (and fixed) within the same week. Often S&W has thrown in a free mag for the trouble. Seems like a company who values their customers. And I haven’t seen (or don’t remember) what their warranty is, but I was under the impression it was a lifetime warranty – please correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve spent many, many hours reading on many different forums, magazine websites, etc reading about how great the M&P is. when I held it, it felt great. Everything seems really good about the M&P. Great price, dependability, reliability, good reputation. And….it’s made in America! In fact, I’ve had a hard time finding any issues with the M&P – and I’ve tried. Even spent time on the M&P forums to see if I could. The only “issue” I have with the M&P (without having actually shot one) is the fact that it lacks any form of external safety. YES, I KNOW….safety is keeping your finger off the trigger , using your brain, and following the 4 rules of gun safety. I know that it could be something that many don’t want because it complicates the issue of just pulling the trigger. (Some mention in the heat of the moment having to remember the safety as a knock against it – and rightfully so). However, with this being my first gun and with plans to CC with it, I’d feel a little more comfortable (at least at first) with an external safety. We’re all human and all (unfortunately) have moments of stupidity…and I like the thought of knowing there is one more thing to protect me against those moments. I know…you should never count on any mechanical safety to “protect” you….but the reality is, sometimes they do/and have. I plan on carrying IWB in a Crossbreed Supertuck (I’ve read so many good things about them too!). So, having a safety as I’m re-holstering, clearing clothing, etc gives me a little more piece of mind at this point (I’m sure as I get more comfortable carrying, it won’t be as big of a deal). I plan on carrying full mag +1 because I understand that things happen quickly. So…I like the M&P…love everything about it, just not sure about it without an external safety for the reasons mentioned above.



    The other gun I’m considering is a totally different platform. It’s the Berretta Storm PX4 .40. Like the M&P, I’ve spent a great amount of time researching this gun. Spent many hours on the Berretta forum. It’s a DA/SA action. I love the fact that the “F” version has a safety/de-cocker. I never thought I’d want the hammer, but after shooting the Sig, I kind of changed my mind about it. I liked that I could also visually see the “break” point on the trigger with the hammer. It has a ½ cock position, uses the rotating barrel design, and is supposed to be one of the most accurate defensive guns. The rotating barrel is supposed to help with recoil. It also has 3 interchangeable palm swells, ambi features, etc (just like the M&P). The good parts are the external safety (and as I get more comfy with it I can progress from DA action to cocked and locked in SA. It’s ready to go at all times, but has more safety features than the M&P I think), rotating barrel reduces feed problems and increases accuracy, adjustable palm sizes, etc. It also would be carried in a Crossbreed supertuck. But now the bad….while I hope I never have to use it, I haven’t heard such great things about Berretta customer service. It seems at best that they are hit and miss…and turnaround time for having to send a gun to them varies greatly from a week or two to several months. Their initial warranty is 1 year and then if you send in your registration card, they’ll throw in another 2 years….so, 3 years total. Additionally, they seem to still be having some growing pains (as is to be expected with a new firearm). I’ve read several reports of trigger sting in the .40 (in fact, there was a large thread on the Beretta forum about this). While Beretta stepped up to the plate and replaced those pistols, I don’t know that they have the issue contained and remedied at this point. Some were having mag drop problems, some complained of the finish. ( I do understand in a carry gun that the finish will experience some wear – gives it character right, but I’d like the finish to stand up against the normal stuff.) I really like the operation system/platform of the PX4…and the reviews have also been very favorable, but I worry about the issues they still have and if I experience one of those issues, how/if Beretta will stand behind their product…and how long that will take (as I said, this will be my only handgun for now). So a great gun at the factory isn’t going to help me. but I really like the safety/decocker on it too.



    Both guns are available locally, both are within about $10 - $20 of each other (so price isn’t an issue). I’ve actually seen great deals on both at Buds. They are very similar in weight, height, length, capacity, etc. I’ve heard so much about the M&P and different agencies around the country going to it. Haven’t heard as much about the PX4 and not nearly as many agencies using it…in fact have read of some having issues and “suspending” their use of it when they first came out. Why isn’t Beretta pushing the PX4 more? If it’s as good as those who have it say it is…then it should be giving the M&P, XD and Glocks a serious run for their money.



    So there it is…my dilemma….which would you chose and why? Would you want the M&P or the PX4? Which makes more sense for my use? Which do you think is more reliable? Should the lack of an external safety prevent me from getting the M&P, or is that just a mindset change that will occur with time and getting use to CCW? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated…and sorry for the long post…just wanted to give you as much background as possible. Thanks in advance for your help!

    FOM
    "Come, follow me, " Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17

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  3. #2
    Member Array TonyB's Avatar
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    1)welcome
    2)I like your signature
    3)I'd go w/ the m and p.....it has the same trigger pull every time.I believe the px4 is 1st pull double action(could be wrong)also if you get the m and p compact it's good for ccw too.The only draw back I would see is that .40 is a little on the snappy side for a 1st caliber.I personally don't like it,but ii is an excellent choice for defense.I have the compact in 9mm and it's been awesome.Easy to shoot and fits my hand w/ the smaller backstrap(they come w/ 3 different ones)
    good luck in your search.
    I also used to be weary of no safeties on autos....I got over it w/ time and usage.
    "Just because I'm paranoid,doesn't mean they're NOT after me...."

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    Member Array fisherofman's Avatar
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    Tony,
    thanks... I appreciate the welcome. As I said, I've been "lurking in the background" reading for some time now and have really enjoyed the forum and how knowledgable all it's members are.

    the PX4 is a double action first pull (unless you manually cock the hammer). and I know that would take some getting used to. in fact, at first, I'd probably cock it most of the time and shoot it SA. I'd still like to go with a full size if possible and with the .40 I've shot before, I feel comfortable I can handle the recoil. I know the sig that I shot was a good gun, but i would expect that with the M&P or PX4 would be as good in the recoil department.

    glad you like your M&P....I've heard nothing but great things from those who have them...almost like it's too good to be true! I too think that the saftey thing would take care of itself over time once I got used to the pistol and all of it's features/components.

    just not sure which one to "pull the trigger on"...I know....sorry...couldn't resist
    "Come, follow me, " Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17

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    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    Ihave to say that I have not either of the ones you are looking at. i did just get a new M&P Pro a week ago but have yet to find the time to hit a range of any type. But, I'll throw in my opinion anyway.

    Go with the M&P. You said it felt great in your hand. That is a good first step. next, you have done your research and found out about their quality, which as you said, seems to be very good. And S&W backs it up with a lifetime warranty. The M&P does have the interchangeable back straps so you can sort of customize it. What would tip it over for me is accessories. While there aren't as many accessories for the M&P like as there are for Glocks, many companies are starting to make stuff for it. it is a very up and coming hand gun line.

    On the other hand, the PX4 isn't an up and coming. I don't think it ever was. There aren't a lot of accessories for it and I really doubt that there will ever be.

    As for the safety mindset, People tend to get over it pretty fast. Once you carry it a while, take a training class where they go over drawing/holstering or hit and IDPA match or two you would probably get comfortable enough with it that it becomes second nature to have a loaded, no external safety firearm on your hip.
    Bend the knees, smooth is fast, watch the front sight.

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    I have the M&P 9c which after a bunch of different gun fondling I found the most appealing in my hand. The compact .40 would be similar but like some others that posted, it is going to be a little snappier. I have not heard anything really negative about the M&Ps. You may try this site for additional information.smith-wessonforum.com- dedicated to Smith&Wesson firearms

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    Just to muddy up the water a bit, have you looked at the CZ75 P-06? 4" barrel, 10+1, comes with night sights. MSRP is $630. but can be had for less.

    CZ P06
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    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    After my personal research I ended up with S&W's full size .40 M&P several months ago and still smiling about my choice. Good luck with your decision.
    For God, Family and Country!

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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    I'm impressed with all of the research you did before your first post! That's rare to see around here, good for you and welcome to the community.

    Between the two, my vote is also on the M&P. I haven't owned either of the two specific models you've mentioned, but from personal experience, the Smith's are more reliable than the Beretta's.
    I think you'll also have a better time finding accessories (holsters, magazines, sights, etc...) for the M&P.

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    Pete Zaria.
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    Member Array RevDerb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fisherofman View Post
    Tony,
    thanks... I appreciate the welcome. As I said, I've been "lurking in the background" reading for some time now and have really enjoyed the forum and how knowledgable all it's members are.

    the PX4 is a double action first pull (unless you manually cock the hammer). and I know that would take some getting used to. in fact, at first, I'd probably cock it most of the time and shoot it SA. I'd still like to go with a full size if possible and with the .40 I've shot before, I feel comfortable I can handle the recoil. I know the sig that I shot was a good gun, but i would expect that with the M&P or PX4 would be as good in the recoil department.

    glad you like your M&P....I've heard nothing but great things from those who have them...almost like it's too good to be true! I too think that the saftey thing would take care of itself over time once I got used to the pistol and all of it's features/components.

    just not sure which one to "pull the trigger on"...I know....sorry...couldn't resist
    FoM,
    I have not shot nor have I owned either gun that you are looking at. I do, however, carry and have not had to draw and re-holster my weapon once since I started carrying. I remove the holster from my waistband when I am at the range so, as I said, re-holstering does not seem to me to be an issue. I know that some others will point out that I should be practicing my draw as well but at this point, I'm still trying to hit the targets consistently and by the time I get to defensive draw practice, I will not have any safety concerns around re-holtering my weapon. I admire the research that you have done and the rationale that you are applying to your purchase choice. With the QC/CS issues that you have described with the Beretta, I would lean heavily toward the M&P .40, which by the way, my son has and likes a lot (although he is considering selling it after purchasing a G30SF and an LCP). Buy right and shoot straight! In His grip.
    ... whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. (Luke 22:36b NASB)
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    Senior Member Array jframe38's Avatar
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    S&W Cust Svce is Top Notch

    I have the M&P9C and my son the 40C.
    Both are great shooters. My son tells me the 40C is the most mildest of any of the 40's that he ever shot.
    I actually had to send my gun back to S&W due to a mag drop issue and they fixed it without a problem.
    The catch here is that I am not the original owner. Smith knew this and still fixed it with no charge. They get top grades for this.
    See if you can rent or borrow either gun and see how you like it.
    One thing to consider is a compact model for CC.
    It probably gets hot in West Texas and having a gun that is more concealable will be a plus.
    Good luck with your decision and let us know what you decide.

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    There is no contest in my mind. I'd buy the M&P. Better product support, and the model will be around much longer than the PX.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array fisherofman's Avatar
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    thanks for all of the input so far. I knew I'd get some good input here (have seen it as I've been reading in the background).

    I really thought the deal with the saftey would go away once I had gotten familair with the gun and it's "quirks"...guess it was just an "extra" piece of mind for me. glad to hear so many of you have such great things to say about the M&P from personal exprience...in all of my reading, I've heard the same resounding thing....that they are a great gun and that S&W really stands behind thier products.

    jerry,
    thanks for the link...I've been there... many times to try to find something "bad" on these things and for the life of me can't! that's got to be a good thing!

    archer51...I've looked very briefly at the CZ line. nothing just jumped out at me as I looked, but I'll do a little more indepth look at them. thanks for the additional suggestion.

    Pete, thanks for the kind words...I've been a member of forums before where everyone that came on wanted a quick simple answer without any work from themselves. I didn't really like that, so I try to do my part...and I should...it's going to be my gun protecting me and mine...I owe it to us all to find the best match ....not just some guys word on a forum.

    RevDerb, your probably right...reholstering probably isn't "as big of a deal" as the rest of it all...but still something I thought I should think about. I'm trying hard not to miss any aspect of this deal...because I don't want to be "surprised" in the end.

    jframe...your probably right about the heat and CC. I think that's why most have tried to talk me into pocket carry guns. I'm a pretty big guy (6'4" and around 260), so I think I can comfortably carry and hide a full size...especially if the supertucks are as good as everyone says they are. I don't know...but with it being a dual purpose gun, I think I'd rather have full size....I may end up regretting that later, but that's the way I'm leaning now.

    again thank you all so far for the input. I'm leaning toward the M&P (which as I said was my first choice before I got to digging around more)....but am still open to any additional comments. I think this forum is a great place with many knowledgeable people on board....a true win/win situation for all. Thanks for letting me be a part!
    FOM
    "Come, follow me, " Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17

  14. #13
    Member Array fisherofman's Avatar
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    by the way....I'll keep you all updated as this thing progresses!
    "Come, follow me, " Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    Of your choices to my mind the choice is easy; S&W M&P40...and like others I'd run in it in fullsize which actually is a Commander sizing as relative to a 1911.
    Those things shoot and the .40 is a good balance between 9mm velocity and .45 impact bore sizing. Every M&P 40 I've ever handled has been a scary accurate out of the box shooter.

    - Janq
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Warmon's Avatar
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    You mentioned liking the SIG, looking at Bud's, having a budget of 600 and wanting consistent trigger pull. Here is one you might have missed. I probably would have bought this Two Tone 220 Carry DAK, if I had not found the 220 SAO I was looking for at the right price. Also, I have recently discovered double stack IWB does not work for me - single stack feels so much better and easier to conceal. Good luck in your quest.

    I always aim for the right eye...and I never miss - Goldeneye

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