If I compare the PX4 to the G17, both are full size and would be difficult to conceal. I’m going by the manufacturer length and height and the Glock 17 is 7.3” x 5.3” and the PX4 is 7.6” x 5.5”. I measured the width's myself because it is so hard to get an accurate width from specs. The Glock slide is 1.006” wide and the Glock frame is 1.166” in the middle of the grip. The PX4’s slide is tapered and its widest portion is at the bottom where it meets the slide and this width is 1.137”. In about the middle of the slide it is at 1.009 and it is smaller at the top of the slide. The frame at the grip is 1.177” wide. What really hurts the PX4’s width is if you look at its overall width on the large decocker safety which has little ears that stick out to form an overall width of 1.400”. The left side slide lock also sticks off the frame 0.191". You can get low profile decocker and low profile slide lock parts if you want to slim it.
Even though the Glock 17 isn’t really that much smaller, it is smaller and what controls it has (slide stop) are flush against the frame so I would give it the edge in concealment.
Magazines / Capacity:
I was surprised when I found I could order PX4 magazines as cheap as Glock magazines! I really thought Glock was unbeatable in the magazine department, but you can order 17rd or 20rd magazines made by MDS (owned by Beretta) which are the same thing as Beretta magazines except for the MDS instead of PB stamp at the low price of $17.
You can get Glock magazines at least for 9mm in 10 round, 15 round, 17 round, and 31 round (all before the +2 extension). You can get PX4 9mm magazines in 10 round, 15 round, 17 round, and 20 round.
The OAL of the PX4 magazine is a little shorter than Glock. I don’t think you could get the 9mm maximum oal of 1.169 in them. My 1.142 handloads had a little room, but not a ton.
Also very subjective, but I don’t find Glock’s particularly great looking. They are absolutely functional and their beauty is in their function I think. The PX4 on the other hand usually invokes some sort of response ranging from really nice looking to horrible. I personally think the PX4 is really cool and futuristic looking as the sales media suggests!
I think the PX4 wins because I like its looks better.
This is a very easy victory for the Glock. I have never seen a pistol as easy to take down to every last spring and part as the Glock. I could take a Glock apart to every spring and part within 5 minutes with only a Glock disassembly tool. I could take it mostly apart without that same tool. Glock has to be commended for its mechanism. You won’t find extra parts that don’t really need to be there or extra complication. In my opinion this is one of the greatest things about a Glock. Maintenance is also very simple, a couple drops of oil the rails, connector, and a little on the barrel hood and you are good to go.
The PX4 like so many others pistols, is much more complicated. You’ll need punches, good eyesight, flashlight, and some skill. I pulled the PX4 trigger mechanism out last night because I made the mistake of putting a little oil down in it like I am so used to doing with the Glock. What I didn’t realize was that the sear actually faces the back of the magazine. So that oil I put in there was finding its way around the sear and once I saw the way it is built I realized that adding oil there could let oil get into the witness holes of the magazine and compromise the ammunition. No problem right? The PX4 literature suggests that the whole hammer mechanism comes right out, it even suggested you could do it in the field. Well, it took me about 2 hours last night to get it apart, clean it up, add some grease instead of oil to the right places, and put it back together. Remove grip insert, push pin, remove hammer spring retainer, punch another pin out, hold down a spring a push out hammer pin, pull mechanism from frame. Not impossible, but it took a little work. The hard part was holding down a little spring and pushing the hammer pin which was in a very small area with no light and I could have used a third hand to do it. Once I got the hammer group out, it was easily to take apart. The components were of good quality, but I didn’t care for the way they riveted the two sides of the housing together. I wouldn’t advise doing any dry firing without the slide on as the hammer would pound on the riveted bar between these two sides and I wonder how well it would take the abuse. I also saw a rubber O ring that I didn’t like that had the job of holding a pin in that contained two metal parts and a spring to apply some tension to those two parts. Compared to a Glock we are talking serious complication here. I guess it is DA/SA so I can understand it to a certain degree. I cleaned off all the parts and got it back together again without too much difficulty. Getting the trigger bar put back in the hammer group before seating it in the frame was a little bit of an ordeal too, but not too bad. I guess my point here is that unless you are mechanically inclined, I would have someone else perform any serious maintenance tasks.
The PX4 is more work to lubricate. I use grease on the barrel everywhere you can see where it rotates. It is easy to know where as there will be silver showing through the blueing to indicate. A little oil for the rails, but don’t add any oil to the hammer group as I did!
Longevity with a Glock is not even a serious question as they have had hundreds of thousands of rounds on them without wearing out. I have read that the PX4 also has a good track record in this regard with posts of people who personally put 14K on it with very little wear and another report of 80K with no problems.
As I said in the beginning of this category, Glock wins this category VERY easily.
Glock has a dovetailed rear sight and a screwed on or staked on front sight. The basic sights it comes with are plastic in the Dot and U configuration.
The PX4 has both of its sights dovetailed and comes with metal 3 Dot Superluminova sights.
In the base configuration the PX4 wins because both are dovetailed, it has metal sights, I prefer the 3 Dot configuration, and they are glow in the dark sights which might help some.
Either way, I would recommend replacing them with Trijicon’s or buying them with the Trijicon’s already installed.
The PX4 wins in the sight department.
I’m only going on my thoughts here as I’ve only shot 260 rounds so far, but I think I am going to call reliability a draw between them. The PX4 loads ammunition more straight into the chamber, has lighter recoil without having to change to a heavier spring, and has a superior lockup, but the Glock has less going on internally and probably less to go wrong or break.
Glock wins this one. You can get an old beat up Glock and send it into Glock and they will rebuild it free and send it back. Doesn’t matter if you are the first, second, tenth owner.
Beretta has a 1 year warranty, but will extend it to 3 years when you register with them. I have read that they take care of their customers even past 3 years, but I’m not sure to what extent. I have certainly read more complaints of Beretta warranty service than Glock.
After Market Support:
Glock also wins this one. There is so much after market support you can build a Glock that isn’t a Glock! Get yourself an aluminum race frame, Lone Wolf stainless slide, and anyone’s barrel plus the internal parts and you can build a Glock with no Glock frame, no Glock slide, and no Glock barrel. The other thing is that Glock parts are cheap and plentiful. I can place an order with www.glockparts.com and I know in 2 days they will be sitting in my mailbox, probably delivered for $2. With the PX4 you can order parts from Italy (takes 3 weeks) and get them much faster than you can ordering them from Beretta USA.
I think that the PX4 and the Glock platform are both great. I really had a hard time deciding between a G17 or the PX4 9mm. I still don’t know if I would have liked a G17 more than the PX4, or the PX4 more than a G17. I will say one thing, I'd have a hard time parting with the PX4 so I guess that says something!
Hopefully some of the above info will help someone decide which they would prefer!