May 2006

.40 S&W Carbines: We Shoot Hi-Point, Beretta, Olympic Arms

And the results? Based on its function and low price, we think Hi-Point’s 4095 is a winner. The Olympic Arms K40 was a crowd pleaser, but we’d pass on Beretta’s pricey Cx4 Storm.

A handgun is many times more difficult to learn to shoot well than a rifle, but there are times when a rifle cartridge is too powerful for the task at hand, whether it’s punching holes in old tin cans or defending your home. The solution is one about as old as cartridge firearms, a short rifle that shoots handgun cartridges. A pistol-caliber carbine makes hits easier, and often gives away very little practical usefulness or stopping power to a full-size rifle cartridge. There too is the advantage of multiple firearms taking the same cartridge, so ammunition supply is simplified.

With the steady or even increasing popularity of the .40 S&W cartridge, it seemed to us it was time to see what’s available in .40 S&W carbines. To that end, we acquired three, Hi-Point’s Model 4095 ($225), the compact, polymerized Beretta Cx4 Storm ($800), and Olympic Arms’ K40 with its collapsible stock ($834), and put them through our paces. As with pistols, we tried them for fast bursts of two shots, and also from the bench at 50 yards. We tested with Cor-Bon 140-grain DPX JHP, with Remington 155-grain JHP, and with Speer 180-grain GoldDot HP. We also tried several other types of ammo, but didn’t record all the results. This is what we found.

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