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Ultimately, I know I need to rent some pistols at a range to gauge feel, but I like to do my homework first. I'm looking for a first gun, in .45 caliber, primarily for home defense, and when traveling to the desert/mts to go off-road motorcycling with a toy hauler.

Based on reliability, reputation, accuracy, etc. the USP Compact .45 seems like the best of all words.

Question 1: Not sure which variant is best for a newbie to shooting?

Question 2: Now that Beretta has released a .45 version of the PX4 Storm, I'm also very interested in it. Can you explain the technical / safety / and performance differences between the USP Compact .45 and the PX4 Storm .45?

Other things I should consider for this purchase?

I live in San Diego, CA.

Recommendations for a great dealer?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I have not yet shot the PX4 45acp, but have the PX4 9mm and had a USP 9mm fulsize.

The PX4 has a rotating barrel recoil system which IMO just simply WORKS.
It is the lowest recoil handgun in 9mm I'ever shot, and off hand outshot the USP 9mm at 15/30 and 75 feet when I compared the two before selling the loser (USP).

Don't get me wrong, the USP IS a top notch gun, but the PX4 trounces it considering the lower recoil, ability to rapidfire and still stay on target, higher capacity (18rnds vs 16) better grip (for me at least).

When the 45acp PX4 hits the stores, I will be picking one up for sure, and when the PX4 SC 9mm hits the stores next year, I'll 'probably' pick one up, aslong as it shoots as well as the reviews say. We'll see if it will replace my current Subcompact for summer carry. :D
 

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I wouldnt be comfortable with a rotating barrel in a sandy or dirty environment. Its just one more type of movement that can jam IMO. Either way you probably wont build up enough dirt or dust to effect either gun, but you asked for opinions. I also think the PX line felt to thick and chunky for a CCW gun, but again just my opinion. There are several threads around the net about the rotating barrel technology some good, some bad, I would read them for yourself.
 

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I've shot the PX4 Storm in 9MM also. I can't directly compare it to my USPc and P2000 because they are both in 40S&W. The rotating barrel of the PX4 to me did have a perceived less recoil than other 9MM pistols I've shot. The only things I did not care for were the feel of the trigger in SA mode, and the location of the safety/decocker on the slide. It was a little awkward for me to reach. At ~$499, its not a bad value.

Regards,
~V
 
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