Beretta Goes to College

By  | November 27, 2017 | Filed under: News

I believe the year was 2005.  I was working at the University of North Alabama Police Department, assigned to the North Alabama Law Enforcement Training Center.  NALETC was a program that conducted Advanced L.E. Enforcement Training to Officers throughout the United States.  We had an Officer from Brussels attended a Course once at UNA.

In 2003, I proposed the idea of an Advanced Law Enforcement Training Center to the University of North Alabama.  With guidance from Dr. G. Dan Howard and Chief of Police, Jim Glasso, the North Alabama Law Enforcement Training Center was born. I was the Deputy Director for NALETC from 2003-2009, as well as a Contract Instructor until 2010.

During this time, I was writing various articles for Law Enforcement Magazines.  Below is one of the Articles I wrote on the Beretta CX-4 Rifle.  UNA purchased several of these rifles for their Officers after this Article was written.    As per guidelines, I give Quad Cities Daily permission to reprint the below article.



The Beretta CX-4 goes to College

By Sgt. Bobby V. Inman


The North Alabama Law Enforcement Training Center, a division of the University of North Alabama Police Department, recently hosted the NRA Tactical Shooting Instructor Course.  Twelve participants from various agencies across the United States and abroad attended the course.  Luckily, the author was able to attend this course for the University Police Department.  This article is about an old friend (Beretta) who was able to go with me.


Our department issues Glock pistols.  However, during this course, pistols and long guns were utilized and permission was given to use a Beretta pistol and rifle.


We have always been a Beretta pistol shooter since the start of our Law Enforcement career in 1995.  A Beretta 96-G .40 S&W pistol was to be utilized during this course.   This pistol was purchased in 1988.  It has quite a bit of holster wear and has been through a bunch of shooting courses.  Now, we had to come up with a rifle.


The author recently purchased a Beretta CX-4 .40 Smith & Wesson Rifle to utilize during the NRA Tactical Shooting Instructor Course.   One of the appealing features of the CX-4 Platform was magazine interchangeability.  Being able to use the same magazine with rifle and pistol helped to reduce the different amount of equipment to carry on the body during the course.


Author (3rd from right) with Beretta CX-4


The Beretta CX-4 .40 Smith & Wesson Package that was purchased contained the rifle, Two (2) Side Rails, One (1)  Bottom rail, Forward Vertical Handle and Three (3) magazines.  A Specter Gear Single Point Sling and a Surefire G-2 Light (attached via a 1” ring) were added to round out the necessary equipment needed for the upcoming course.  The Surefire G-2 Light was attached at the 9:00 position on the rails.  Activation was achieved be pressing the back switch with the left thumb.  During a night course of fire, it was determined that the factory front rail was a better mounting point for ambidextrous activation.


Beretta CX-4 Stats

The Beretta CX-4 rifle is a pistol caliber carbine produced by Beretta U.S.A.  The rifle has a 16.6” barrel and accepts the same magazines as the Beretta pistols.    The CX-4 is available in .9mm, .40 Smith & Wesson and .45 ACP.   A good feature is that there is a magazine adaptor that can be changed, that allows the use of Cougar, PX-4 or standard 92/96, in the carbine, as long as the caliber is the same.  For example, this rifle tested, is set up for the 96, 40 Smith & Wesson Series magazines.  A quick change of the magazine adaptor and a PX-4 .40 Smith & Wesson Pistol Magazine can be used.

Below is a chart representing technical specifications for the Beretta CX-4 Platform:



NRA Tactical Shooting Instructor Course

Due to overtime shifts and really bad weather in the area, the CX-4 was not used before the course. We did not really want to utilize a weapon that had not been previously unfired for a course. However, a back-up AR-15 was available if something happened.


Author with Beretta CX-4 Carbine



Of course, as luck would have it, the author was the only participant utilizing a Beretta pistol (and rifle) for the course.  We were “picked on” by several members of the class., for using an antiquated (their views, not mine) pistol platform.  Boy, police officers are vicious when it comes to “ribbing”.


The NRA Tactical Shooting Instructor Course was a very challenging 44 hour course.  The first half of the day is spent in the classroom, with pretty much of the course, is on the range.  The NRA Instructor, Dan Gray, relayed top notch information during the course.


The NRA advertises the course outline as:


The Tactical Shooting School is intended for experienced and certified firearm instructors. The basics of instructing, communication skills, use of training aids, construction of lesson plans, and other basic instructor classes are not included in this school. This school advances towards teaching the tactical use of the duty handgun, secondary handgun and long gun (patrol rifle or shotgun with slugs). Students MUST possess strong firearm handling skills prior to attending this school. The program concentrates on advanced shooting skills, use of the “safety circle” concept, pivoting and turning to fire, movement, unconventional shooting positions, two-man patrol tactics, use of the back-up handgun, use of the off-duty handgun, an extended reduced light training session and decision-making under stress. During the course of the week student teams will design a tactical course of fire, and will be responsible for developing a lesson plan and running fellow students through this course at the end of the week.


The above is all true.  The course contains a lot of firing.  Courses such as these, lets an officer see if their equipment works or if there are problems.  Within the first hour of shooting, a modern 1911 platform went down and was not repairable by the participant.


Author firing Beretta 96-G Elite .40 while Charles Vanderscoff (Beretta U.S.A.) looks on.

When we first pulled the CX4 out for the course, there was a little flack for not using an AR platform. The comments of “does Mattel Toy Company, make the gun “ or “Maybe it will grow up to be a real rifle someday” were forthcoming.


During the course, approximately 800 rounds of .40 were fired through the pistol and 750 rounds through the rifle. On the first firing of the CX4, the group was unbelievable. The rest of the class had AR-15 Platforms for the rifle portion of the course.  Several of the participants have malfunction problems with these rifles.


There has always been the argument of “is a pistol caliber rifle needed, if rifle cartridges are available?”  We believe that the pistol caliber rifle and the rifle caliber cartridge have a place in law enforcement.  A local department does not allow AR-15s due to “the Black Rifle look.”  The Beretta CX-4 may be a viable option for them.



“Uncle” Jaye Slayton (Lauderdale Co., AL Sheriff’s Dept) tries Beretta pistol during Traffic Stop Exercise.


Is the Beretta CX-4 a sturdy platform?  It sure is.  During one of the firing exercises, the participants were divided into two teams of 6 students.  Each team raced against the other to finish the exercise first.  The exercise consisted of running 25 yards to a various level barricade.  Each member would then shoot 10 rounds (per stage) from:


Left Hand Prone

Left Hand Kneeling

Left Hand Standing

Right Hand Standing

Right Hand Kneeling

Right Hand Prone


The course of fire included proper use of cover/concealment and magazine discipline.  The team we were on was running a little behind the other team.  When it was the author’s turn, my thought was that a “Running-Diving Tactical Approach” was the way to go.  Sounded real good until the diving part came into play.  As luck would have it and we know the Mr. Murphy is always with us, a misstep was taken and the Beretta was on the bottom, when the 235 lbs hit the ground.  We recovered, checked the Beretta CX-4, charged the chamber and completed the exercise.    **Note to self:  you are no longer 25 years old**



As you know, nothing is 100%.  Were there some issues present on the Beretta CX-4 that we wished were different, sure there was. The sights could be a little more robust.  The rear peep sight could be opened up a little more, and a front sling adaptor/mount should be provided with the rifle.  Lastly, the magazine capacity in the 96 Series .40 Smith & Wesson Series, needs to be increased.  If Beretta produced an extended .40 Smith & Wesson magazine (such as their 20-round magazine in .9mm), that would be great.  We utilized eleven 10-round magazines for the pistol/rifle comb during the class.  However, some extended factory Beretta .40 Smith & Wesson magazine would have fit the bill.


The two Berettas were not cleaned, just to see if they would malfunction. We are happy to say, there were no malfunctions with either. Other participants of the course begin asking about the Beretta CX-4.  Many seemed interested in purchasing the CX-4.  After some of the participants shot the CX-4, one could see that purchases were soon in the future.

The author has always recommended Beretta handguns.  Now, we can say with experience that the Beretta CX-4 Platform works and is a good purchase option for officers.

  Bobby Inman is retired from Law Enforcement after 21 years of Service.  He owns Hammer Down Gun & Pawn located in Sheffield, Alabama.  He has articles published in Law & Order Magazine, Police Marksman Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine as well as several published ebooks on Amazon as well as Nook (Barnes & Noble).  He is owner of Poopiedog, an Animal Rescue Dachshund, who is his constant companion.  

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