Choosing the right handgun for private use and self-defense can be a difficult process. You need something reliable and accurate, but so many handguns can fail or jam when you need them the most.
A malfunction or slip of the trigger can be the difference between life and death when faced with an armed intruder or wild animal so you need a firearm that you can trust and know will perform.
The Beretta APX comes from a well-known and respected firearms manufacturer and was originally developed for military use.
It has several features and functions that make it appear trustworthy and reliable, but how does it perform? Can you trust the Beretta APX with the safety of yourself and your family?
In this article, we will look at the specifications of the Beretta APX and how it performs.
Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta is an Italian company that manufactures firearms and is the oldest firearms manufacturer that is still active in the modern-day.
The exact year the company was founded is unclear, but the first document transaction occurred in 1526, so this is the year most history books consider the company’s beginning.
Beretta was family-owned and has been kept in the same family for over 500 years.
Beretta is known for a wide variety of firearms, including shotguns, rifles, submachine guns, revolvers, and pistols.
The Beretta 92FS was widely used until 2019 by the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, where it was known under the M9 designation.
The Beretta APX was created for the Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition and was intended to replace the service pistol used in the US Armed Forces. Although it wasn’t chosen to replace the M9, the APX has since been released to the public.
As part of the MHS competition, the gun was rigorously developed, tested, and evaluated, with over one million test rounds fired.
With a four-year development time and the expert input of over 500 expert gun owners, you can be sure that the APX is a solid and quality firearm.
Length And Weight
It is a full-sized semiautomatic pistol and has a four and a quarter-inch barrel, making it around eight inches long in total.
Weight-wise, it’s a little heavier than some other guns in the same class but not uncomfortably so as it weighs around 28 to 29 ounces when it is unloaded, depending on the version.
This weight means the gun is comfortable to hold but still solid in your hands.
The APX Is striker-fired and uses a double-action trigger with a modified Browning-type locking system.
This is a change for Beretta, and the first time this mechanism has been used on one of their full-size handguns.
It also has a trigger safety, so gun owners more used to handling Glocks will feel right at home with the APX.
The trigger pull is six pounds and it has a pretty short reset. This weight makes it easy enough to fire accurately, even at longer distances, but is heavy enough that you don’t have to worry about it firing at the slightest pressure.
It can be configured for both left-handed and right-handed use pretty easily, due to the bilateral locks and reversible magazine release.
The Beretta APX is available in both 9mm or .40 S&W versions. The 9mm has a 17-round magazine capacity whereas the .40 S&W can hold 15 rounds.
The .40 S&W is slightly heavier than the 9mm, as it weighs 28.92 ounces compared to the 28.24 ounces of the 9mm. This is negligible though and will be barely felt.
The development of the APX for the MHS competition and use amongst the military and law enforcement suggests that this gun is both accurate and reliable, and hands-on testing proves that to be true.
The sights of the gun take the form of three white dots on the barrel with the dot on the front sight being larger than the two at the rear.
This gives the effect of all three dots appearing to be the same size when held at arm’s length. Both the front and rear sights can be adjusted if necessary to compensate for windage.
The construction of the barrel itself also aids its accuracy. It’s made with polygonal rifling and is cold-hammer-forged, so the gas produced when firing the gun is firmly sealed inside, leading to better accuracy.
We found that the APX could run around three inches low at a distance of 25 yards, but this is within the expected range for a gun of these specifications.
The APX performs very well both in testing environments and in the field. We fired over a thousand shots with this gun and didn’t suffer a single malfunction.
If you care for the gun and keep it well-maintained and clean, there’s no reason why the gun won’t perform just as well for you.
The few malfunctions we have heard about with the APX seem to be caused by user error and not using the slide release correctly, so keep this in mind. Make sure you always pull the slide as far back as it needs to go.
Beretta themselves claim that the APX has a service life of 45,000 rounds and 5,000 rounds between stoppages. If the gun can achieve those figures, then it will be a very reliable and long-lasting pistol.
The slide on the Beretta APX deserves its own section because it’s such a big feature of how the gun looks and acts. The APX has large, indented, ladder-like serrations that run along the entire length of the slide.
These are around 11mm wide and 1.5mm deep at the top, making them both stand out and easy to grip. Some people love how these look, whereas others hate it.
The style of the slide is very functional, however. The deep indentations make gripping the slide easy, so even if your hands are slick with sweat, you will have no problems cycling the slide.
If you’re not used to such heavy serrations on a slide they may feel a little too harsh after consistent use, but for us, the style of the serrations was one of the APX’s highlights.
Safety features are important on any gun and the Beretta APX is no different. As we mentioned earlier, the trigger is heavy enough that accidental firing and trigger-happy fingers are unlikely to be a concern.
The gun doesn’t have a thumb safety unfortunately but does have a trigger safety as another defense against accidental shots.
The gun is also safe during disassembly. There is a striker deactivation button on the back, so you can be sure that you won’t accidentally pull the trigger and fire a shot while disassembling the gun.
So far, the Beretta APX has shown itself to be a good choice for a full-size semiautomatic pistol, but like most guns on the market, it’s not perfect.
As we mentioned in the section about reliability, the slide can cause malfunctions if you don’t pull it back firmly so make sure you do this every time you fire.
The main drawback of the Beretta APX is arguably one of its high points, too. The APX is designed so that you can swap out the frames and backstrap and has small, medium, and large backstraps.
The combination of the differently sized backstraps and the checkering on the grip ensures that the gun will remain steady in your hands and won’t slip.
However, changing the backstraps can be complicated and tricky the first half a dozen times that you try. It involves stripping down the pistol and removing the takedown lever.
These steps are easy enough to complete, but the final step requires several things to be done at once and this can be difficult to master at first.
You need to remove a tiny spring, push a pin through a frame, and also depress the striker-deactivation button all at the same time.
We struggled with this the first few times that we tried, but were able to master it with practice.
This shouldn’t be seen as a major negative against the APX as changing the backstrap is not something you will need to do more than once or twice unless the gun is used by multiple people with different-sized hands. It is worth keeping in mind, however.
The Beretta APX retails at $399 for both the 9mm and .40 S&W versions.
This is a pretty competitive price considering the features and quality of the gun. If you shop around, however, there are some deals to be had that will bring that price down.
The Beretta APX has proven itself to be a reliable and accurate handgun. It performs well in tests and rarely malfunctions.
Its length and weight make it easy to handle and carry and it should be a consideration for anyone considering purchasing a new semiautomatic pistol.