Flex Your Guns Photo Contest: Entry #9

Our ninth entry into the Flex Your Guns contest is this customized Beretta Storm from Brent Yamamoto, lifelong martial artist and Suarez International instructor.

Beretta 1

 

  • Custom-trimmed buttstock, reducing the Storm down to an overall length of 28.5″
  • Removal of the “Bridge” plastic connecting the stock to the pistol grip
  • Reduction of the plastic material around the sights
  • Sierra Papa aluminum trigger
  • Sierra Papa aluminum guide rod
  • Surefire G2 light and a Voltor light mount
  • Aimpoint Micro on the ARMS 31 QD mount
  • Custom rear sling attachment for MagPul QD sling mounts
  • Ambidextrous charging handle

Here’s what he has to say:

The Beretta Storm is an excellent gun right out of the box. It’s light, it’s handy, it’s simple to operate. Much like an Italian sports car, it’s got smooth lines, sexy styling, and it handles like a dream.

However, like any gun, there is room for improvement. I have yet to meet the “perfect” gun. Almost anything can be improved upon with the right parts, some creativity, time, and yes, money.

The first thing to consider is “what is this gun’s purpose”? There is no such thing as a “do it all” gun…if you can afford more than one gun, then you can afford to have some specialization in your armory.

I think the Storm shines at room distance, so I set it up for home defense. The Storm doesn’t have a lot of rough edges, so I wanted to keep it that way, which meant no vertical forward grips or other unnecessary snag points. I wanted to keep it as light as possible. I also wanted to improve upon the less than perfect sights and sight picture.

For the most part, that meant cutting things away from the gun, rather than adding to it.

First, I cut a couple inches off the buttstock. This allows easier and more comfortable shooting for smaller framed shooters. It also makes transfers to the support shoulder much easier (this is absolutely necessary for indoor fighting). Reducing the overall length of the gun just makes it that much more maneuverable in the home, and it also makes it somewhat easier for transport (concealment in a backpack for instance). My Storm now measures 28.5″.

The polymer “wings” that protect the sights cover up too much of the view in my opinion. I removed some material on the inside edges, making the sight picture wider. I also removed material from the top; the wings are much shorter now and don’t occlude so much of the sight picture.

Finally, I removed the bridge connecting the stock to the pistol grip. This greatly enhances the both the shooting as well as the handling of the Storm. With the bridge in the way, you can’t get an optimal grip with your trigger hand; the heel of your shooting hand is more on the side of the pistol grip rather than behind it where it should be. Shoulder transfers are also easier, and compressed positional shooting postures (such as underarm assault, over the shoulder, etc.) is greatly improved. These all enhance close quarter, indoor shooting.

Beretta 2

As for additions…

If you decide to cut the bridge, you have to add the Sierra Papa aluminum trigger. This not only keeps the gun in compliance with 922r, it’s also a nice improvement over the stock plastic trigger.

I also added the Sierra Papa steel guide rod. Mostly because I broke the stock plastic one…keep that in mind because it’s very easy to break! It’s kind of expensive but worth it in my opinion for the extra piece of mind, not to mention saving a lot of frustration. One tactic I’ve used with the Storm is breaking it down and carrying it concealed in a smaller bag. The gun goes back together quickly (with some practice). If you plan on employing this tactic, the steel guide rod is absolutely essential.

The Storm allows you to have charging handles on both sides of the gun. Is that necessary? No, but I think it’s a nice feature, allowing you different options to charge the gun from different positions.

A CQB weapon needs a light. One of the simplest methods is a Surefire G2 and a Voltor light mount. No pressure switches or wires or extra drama.

The sights on the Storm are decent in bright light, but they are no great shakes in low light. I find them slow and indistinct, so I just leave them folded out of the way. I have an Aimpoint Micro on the ARMS 31 QD mount. Though I leave the sights folded out of the way, this combination does give perfect cowitness. Mounting it as far forward as possible keeps the QD piece of the mount out of the way of the left side charging handle.

Finally, because I believe every long gun needs a sling, I had to make some modifications because I’d shortened the stock and no longer had the rear sling mount. Being an indoor, CQB gun, I wanted QD ability with the sling so I added Magpul QD mounts at the front and rear. For the rear mount, I used epoxy to create a solid base where the bridge used to be.

I think of the Storm as a big pistol. With the exception of concealment, it will do anything that the pistol can, only better. While it shines at close quarters, in a pinch it will also do well at distance. Considering that many in my circle can easily make body shots at 100 and even 200 yards with a pistol, the Storm can easily manage that and more, out to the limits of the cartridge.

I’m always experimenting and so reserve the right to change my mind. But for my purposes, this is the “perfect Storm”. I think the only way to make it better is to SBR it and add a suppressor.

Beretta 3

I think Brent’s Beretta Storm is a great example of a pistol caliber carbine done right. The accessories are simple, the purpose is singular, and the execution precise.

As I explore rifles with shorter and shorter barrels, a reoccurring question is : “is it better to have a pistol round in a longer barreled rifle or a rifle round in a shorter barreled rifle?” With PCCs like Brent’s I think the case could very easily be made for a rifle-sized firearm firing pistol ammunition.

At the exact same length as the Hera Triarii, I would take Brent’s Storm over my SBR Glock 19 in the Triarii any day.

Keep Brent Yamamoto’s build in mind when we vote on the top submission on May 29, 2014. Also, please consider Brent for firearms / defense instruction if you’re up in the Pacific Northwest (where we all should be). He also does some instruction in Colorado. Later this summer Brent will be co-teaching the Zero to Five Feet class that I took a few years ago from a different Suarez International instructor out here in Minnesota. It’s awesome, and everyone should take it.

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER!

HERE’S WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR:

  • At least one photo of your firearm. Send me photos of short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, point defense weapons, SMGs, AR pistols, or any type of firearm that would fit the theme of this blog.
  • Any details about it that you think other readers would find interesting, such as barrel length, important or unusual components, rarity, etc.
  • One reason you love it or hate it.
  • Email photos of your gun to blasters@shortbarrelshepherd.com

Here are the contest details:

  • Make sure you’re signed up for my email list – and don’t forget to verify your account!!
  • I will choose the firearms to feature each Thursday by myself.
  • You can enter as many times as you want, but once your firearm is featured on a Thursday you can’t submit again for the same contest.
  • Once we hit 10 weeks, the readers (that’s you!) will vote on who wins out of the pre-selected firearms. My own submissions (f any) won’t count.
  • If your photo is chosen by the community you’ll have five business days to email me a picture of the firearm you submitted plus a piece of paper with your email address on it. This is very important to make sure the firearm is actually yours. Our friends in law enforcement may enter their unit’s firearms as long as they can provide the evidence linking their email address to their photo.
  • The contest will end on May 28, 2014.
  • Judging will start on May 29, 2014 and close at 11:59PM CDT June 4, 2014.
  • Winners will get their gift card via email, so make sure you send me your photos from a valid email account that is also on my email list!

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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1 Comment on "Flex Your Guns Photo Contest: Entry #9"

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  1. B R Kurtz B R Kurtz says:

    “Is it better to have a pistol round in a longer barreled rifle or a rifle round in a shorter barreled rifle?” Interesting question, as in all things the mission and the location is the answer.

    I continue to be a HUGE fan of SMGs and Brent’s Storm certainly fits into the Modern SMG realm. Sure a shorter barrel would or might be nice but that brings with it the restrictions of NFA weapons. Those restrictions are usually worth the effort but having a Non-NFA option means free(er) travel.

    Brent’s decision to set the gun up for a “House Gun” is a great idea. It also means he’s able to practice in HIS home so he knows how to deal with the longer length.

    As for longer barrel pistols, Id suggest the real proof is in the caliber. The potential of 10mm and 357SIG in longer barreled SBRs or Stocked Handguns is something Id be interested in seeing. Those are just a few “modern” calibers; 762×25 and 30Carbine also come to mind for this category.

    Best

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