Ernest Langdon

Px4-in-Ernie-hand

About Ernest

Ernest Langdon has 12 years active duty as a U.S. Marine and 19 years in the firearms industry. His duties in the Marine Corps include participation in military operations all over the world to include Panama, Cuba, Philippines, and the Persian Gulf. He served as the Chief Instructor of the Second Marine Division Scout Sniper School and the High Risk Personnel Course as well as the Platoon Sergeant of a Close Quarters Battle (CQB) and Designated Marksman (DM) teams and a Scout Sniper Platoon. 

rotatingBarrelErnest is a graduate of 40 formal shooting schools and 4 anti-terrorism schools with instructor certifications from the FBI, NRA, US Army, US Marine Corps and is a California POST Certified Firearms Instructor. Mr. Langdon has accumulated over 1500 hours of formal instruction on the use of firearms since 1985. He is also a graduate of US Army Ranger School, Navy SCUBA School, US Army Airborne School, US Army HALO School and both USMC Scout Sniper School and Scout Sniper Instructor School.

After leaving the Marine Corps and entering the private sector, he has been shooting competitively for over 25 years and has acquired a Grand Master Class rating from the United States Practical Shooting Association. He is one of the few Distinguished Masters in the International Defensive Pistol Association with 10 National Championship Shooting titles and 2 World Speed Shooting titles.

He has trained over 5000 students in advanced marksmanship skills to include personnel from the FBI, DEA, CIA, DIA, Federal Air Marshals, State Department, Secret Service, state and local law enforcement, as well as every branch of the US and some foreign military services. He is a published author with several articles in print in major industry magazines on firearms techniques and tactics.

He is on staff with The Police Policy Studies Council and has been an adjunct instructor for Beretta, among other global brands.

GENESIS OF A GUN

HOW THE PX4 STORM COMPACT CARRY WAS BORN
(Excerpt republished from the Gun Forum.)

[…] I was talking to customers about the new handguns from Beretta, like the M9A3, Wilson Combat Brigadier Tactical, and the full 90 series product line. I am fully familiar with all of them, but I was contemplating getting a smaller gun for daily carry. I carry the full-size M9A1 now and while I have become accustomed to it, summer was right around the corner and I wanted something smaller and lighter. 

Of course, most would say “get a 92 Compact” and while that was an option, there were a few things that have stopped me from carrying it full-time: 
[…]

So, this brings me to the PX4. I started playing with the PX4 Compact and realized it had the features I was looking for in a smaller, lighter compact carry gun. The PX4 also has a 15 round mags (17 with extension), dovetail front and rear sights, the safety converts to a G configuration easily and it has the same manual of arms as my full size 92s. Most importantly, I can load it full speed without catching the heel of my hand with the magazine floor plate. Not to mention, the trigger is smooth and shootable out-of-the-box. 

The PX4 was feeling like a great option, but there were some other factors to consider. […]

So I started asking the questions… 

Ernest: What about those huge safety levers? 
Beretta: “We make stealth levers that are much smaller.”
Ernest: Really? What about those huge ambi slide stops? 
Beretta: “We make a smaller single side one.” 
Ernest: Really? What about that really little mag button? 
Beretta: “We sell a kit with three different size buttons.” 
Ernest: Really?

 

PX4 Compact Carry

 

I mean why did I not know this stuff? I consider myself a gun guy and a Beretta guy, but I did not really know anything about the PX4 at all. I knew the safety lever could be converted to G and that it was a rotating barrel design like the Cougar, but that was really about all I knew. 

So, when I got back from the show I continued looking into the PX4 with more detail and finally broke down and picked one up. […]I put 200 rounds through it right out of the box. Easy to shoot, very flat shooting for the size and weight. (Surprisingly flat shooting, actually). It also hit to point of aim and was very, very accurate! 

I liked it, but, of course, I was headed home to take it apart and swap out the hammer spring to a 12 pound chrome silicon spring for the 92 (thanks to Bill Wilson for that tip - he likes them too). The DA pull weight decreases quite a bit and I decided to start the 2,000 round-test with this thing. I clean it, lube it, black out the rear sight and add some orange paint to the front dot, slip a piece of bicycle inner tube over the grip and we’re off to the races. 

[…] So, 2,240 total at this point and I’m liking my decision so far.[…]Not a single malfunction. 

So, now what? If I am going to carry this thing there are some things that need to be addressed. To start with, I need those “Stealth Levers” I was told about […]I also ordered up as set of Trijicon HD sights. […]I also did a little stipple work on the frame (got rid of the inner tube) and changed out the smaller magazine button for the medium mag button to make it slightly larger. 

So here I am, a couple months later and many trips to the range, and I really like this gun. […] I like it so much that I am carrying it all the time now and used it to qualify as my off-duty carry gun with the Sheriff’s Department. 
[…] If you are like me and prefer a DA/SA Traditional Double Action gun for carry, this is a great option. I carry AIWB, therefore, I prefer an external hammer gun – this PX4 is treating me well.”