Umarex Beretta Cx4 XT CO2 rifle
Jules Whicker tests the Beretta Cx4 XT CO2 rifle
Brocock recently sent me the XT version of the Cx4 CO2 powered semi auto rifle, which comes complete with a host of “tacti-cool” add-ons, including a moderator, a forward rail mount, a Walther QSB combined vertical fore-grip and bipod, and a Beretta-branded 4x32 TriTac (tri-rail tactical) scope.
First on was the moderator, which attaches to the barrel by way of two grub screws. A single-chamber design, it nevertheless does a passable job thanks to its foam lining.
As for the rail mount, this adds short side and bottom rails to the long Picatinny rail between the “iron” sights that –in the absence of the “stowaway” bottom rail found on the original pistol-calibre version - enables you to mount a bipod plus any lasers or lights you might want to add.
The QSB (Quick Shot Bipod) is also a good accessory. As a vertical fore-grip it aids control and makes up for the partial obstruction of the fore-end by the rail mount. But push the ribbed button at the rear with your thumb and a pair of bipod legs pop out from the base. A similar “GPS” (Grip-Pod System) bipod is currently in use with the US military, so it provides a degree of tactical cool, as well as a double dose of practicality.
Finally, the Beretta TriTac scope should be tailor-made for the Cx4, as its high integral mount features a see-through clamp that is notable for its finger-friendly tensioning bolts and its lack of the transverse arrestor bar, characteristic of the standard Picatinny system. This would be superfluous on the recoilless Cx4, and its omission makes it possible in principle simply to slide the scope back or forward on the rail until the correct eye-relief is obtained. Inexplicably, however, the mount hasn’t been made quite high enough to clear the rear sight-protectors, with the result that it has to be set up too far from the shooter’s eye to use without a degree of strain.
Otherwise, it’s all good news: the TriTac goes for a compact 4x32 format that is well suited to the Cx4’s proportions and performance, and features low-profile, finger-adjustable turrets, unusually, but neatly, positioned just behind the objective bell. It also has a mil-dot reticle. The definitive feature of the TriTac scope, however, is its main tube, with its three integral Picatinny rails. As well as complementing the tactical styling of the Cx4, these also allow you to mount your lights and lasers higher and closer to the carbine’s balancing point if that’s how you prefer them.
It was certainly fun trying out all these accessories, and the bipod and scope undoubtedly helped put rounds on target, whilst the extra kit adds inertial stability, but all the same I’ve a sneaking suspicion I prefer the sleek, snag-free lines of the unadorned Cx4.
It was easy to get the Beretta up and running. Squeezing the catches on either side of the stock to detach the butt-pad gives access to the CO2 capsule housing, into which you simply screw an 88g capsule that provides enough gas for around 240 shots. The magazine is unusual, being a rubberised plastic belt, but after inserting a pellet into each of the chambers and checking that it slides smoothly on its runners, you simply slot it into the base of the pistol grip until it clicks into position.
One point worth noting here is that merely pressing pellets into the magazine with your digit will cause jams, but if you take the time to seat them properly with the “dibber” supplied you shouldn’t get a single stoppage.
The sights on the Beretta consist of a rear aperture, adjustable for windage by means of a small screw set into the right-hand side of the large sight protector, and a fore-sight post that offers a choice of around a dozen elevation settings, selectable by turning a corresponding screw at the front. The sights gave a good instinctive picture, with the straight stock delivering a solid cheek-weld, and I found that a little airsoft reflex sight was just the right height to co-witness with the “irons”. The only negative was the way the chunky sight-protector blades restricted the field of view.
Ready to go
With the carbine gassed-up, loaded and ready to fire, pull the charging handle to the rear to index the magazine, and push the safety button, located just above of the trigger guard, to the left and into its “FIRE” position: indicated by a red band.
When you pull the trigger, which is a heavy-but-predictable 11 lbs, the Cx4 will send a pellet downrange at around 390 FPS from its 17.5” barrel and, thanks to its blow-back action, will keep doing so until you’ve expended all 30 rounds in the magazine. For added realism, each time you fire, a sliding panel mounted inside a dummy ejection port in the left-hand side of the action flicks backward. This is fine for southpaws like me, but may be slightly distracting for right-handed shooters. The original Cx4 can be configured for either left- or right-hand use, but why Umarex chose a “hybrid” right-bolt/left-port setup for their CO2 version escapes me.
The Cx4 preferred RWS Superdomes to the Umarex wadcutters supplied. However, grouping wasn’t so good; as soon as a cluster began to form the Cx4 would throw a couple wide. This is probably down to variability in the magazine/barrel interface, and the fact that the barrel itself is un-rifled. Of course, a miss is quickly compensated for when plinking, but to my mind inconsistency of this sort makes the Cx4 more suited to tin cans than scoring targets, and inappropriate for ratting, despite its rapid action and compatibility with lamps and lasers – which is a pity.
The Cx4 was immense fun to shoot, but thanks to its shortcomings in the accuracy department, the Beretta’s lightweight polymer build, capacious magazine and super-fast action actually made it feel more like a clever toy than a “proper” gun. However, when it comes down to a fun-gun for low powered plinking, this CO2 powered semi-auto is virtually unbeatable!
|Model||Umarex Beretta Cx4|
|Stock||Glass-fibre reinforced polymer|
|Receiver||Glass-fibre reinforced polymer|
|Magazine||30-shot rotary belt|
|Power Supply||1 x 88g CO2 capsule (£10)|
|Shots per refill||240|
|Muzzle Energy||2.6 ft/lbs (with Walther pellets)|
|Overall Length||30.75" (780 mm)
|Barrel Length||17.5" (445 mm)|
|Weight||6lb 2oz (gassed & loaded)
7lb 13oz (in full XT order)
|Sights||Adjustable open sights fitted|
|Price||£260 for Cx4 and standard accessories;
• 1 x 30 round magazine
• ABS travel case
• Instruction booklet
£400 for Cx4 with XT Kit;
• TriTac 4x32 Scope
• Forward R.I.S.
• QSB fore-grip/bipod
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates