One of the guns that I always assumed was a bit of a unicorn was the BUL Storm Compact. According to some information I had read on a previous auction of one, only 300 were ever produced. However, as I posted on the blog, about a dozen of the guns went on sale on Gunbroker over a short time period last year, and I was lucky enough to snag one.
Unfortunately, my state of residence takes forever to put a gun on our handgun roster. And what’s worse, the Storm Compact that I bought had an undiscovered broken magazine release, so it had to take two trips through that process. So, despite having bought the gun quite a long time ago, I’ve only really had it in my hands for a month or so, and I wasn’t even able to get the magazine that came with it.
That’s been enough time for me to formulate some thoughts on the gun, though. Read on for more.
The BUL Storm Compact is – surprise! – a compact form factor version of the BUL Storm. I’ve examined the BUL Storm in some detail previously, and you may assume the BUL Storm is just a smaller version of that gun. In particular, two areas were shortened: the grip, and the slide/barrel/dustcover.
The slide/barrel/dustcover shortening is pretty standard fare. I still wish the Storm guns had a replaceable front sight, as I’m not a huge fan of the fixed factory front sight.
The grip, however, was a bit of a surprise. It seems that compact Tanfoglio derivatives have a shorter grip than the CZ-75 Compact, so the CZ-75 Compact magazines stick out a bit. (Not to mention that normal Tanfo/CZ-75 mags stick out quite a lot.) I am told that the E-Lander Jericho Compact steel floorplate magazines are flush fit and work well, but I didn’t have any on hand to try. Worth noting is that the shorter grip does mean a lost round of capacity on flush magazines compared to the CZ-75 Compact (13rds vs 14rds). Whether this trade-off is worthwhile is an exercise left to the reader.
Since I had both the Storm and the Storm Compact out, I decided to do a bit of parts compatibility testing. Long story made short, it seems like they’re 100% compatible. I swapped the Storm’s top end onto the Storm Compact’s frame to make a “Storm Compact Long”. You can also do a similar stunt and put the Storm Compact’s top end on a Storm Frame to make a “Storm K”.
I verified that both of these configurations work using the LaserAmmo SureStrike cartridge that I have previously reviewed.
On the range, the gun performed as expected. Using IMI 115gr FMJ RN ammunition, I was able to land shots at 50ft very accurately, perhaps with slightly more concentration than usual due to the shortened sight radius. No failures were experienced. However, I must make it clear that I only used standard 16rd Tanfoglio magazines,as I did not have any compact magazines on-hand at the time.
In conclusion: it’s a compact Tanfo. It shoots well, but it’s obsolete and takes a bit of an oddball magazine. But I love a good unicorn in working condition, and the BUL Storm Compact fits that bill quite nicely.