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Beretta APX: A Great Gun for the Price?

Beretta APX. Image: Creative Commons.
Image: Creative Commons.

While I am a big fan of Beretta, every Baretta handgun I’ve fired up to this point had been a traditional double-action (TDA) hammer-fired semiauto pistol like the Beretta 92FS/M9 9mm, Cheetah .380 ACP, Cougar .45 ACP, PX4 Storm .45, etc.

Given that I’ve been on a striker-fired pistol test-firing kick as of late, it would only make sense to add a striker-fired Beretta range session to my “Been There, Done That” list.

Hence the subject of this article: the Beretta APX 9mm. 

Beretta APX Early History and Specifications

The Beretta APX series made its debut in 2016. Seeing how Beretta is not only the world’s oldest existing gunmaker but indeed the world’s oldest existing industrial firm of any kind, I reckon they can afford to bide their time in being a Johnny-come-lately on the striker-fired pistol market comparatively speaking. According to the manufacturer’s official info page

“The ultimate convergence of Form, Function & Fortitude, the Beretta APX A1 takes the proven ergonomics, reliability, and accuracy of the APX family and delivers a superior firing solution – from the casual shooter to the most demanding professionals in the world…The Beretta APX A1 brings an improved trigger and every performance-enhanced feature to bear in the fastest, most comfortable striker-fired pistol ever made.”

Specifications of the full-size model include a barrel length of 4.25 inches, an overall length of 7.5 inches, a height of 5.6”, a width of 1.3 inches, and an empty weight of 29 ounces. The standard magazine capacity is 17+1 rounds. 

Shooting Buddies’ Impressions and Observations

My friend Wernich Van Der Walt, a South African who was one of my colleagues during my last Iraq contract stint at Balad Airbase, shares my enthusiasm for Beretta pistols, and in response to my review of the Beretta PX4 Storm .45 ACP pistol, he told me that as much as he likes the Storm, he likes the APX even better: 

“Like said here above, it’s obviously not the best pistol out there, but the APX is a great pistol for the Pricepoint, I only got the APX and then a modified CZ P10C Optic ready as well with an RMR and some internal changes … Ergonomically speaking, it’s a great pistol and fits excellently in the hand, it one at least that was my main reason for choosing it. Recoil is not too bad with the full size, can’t speak for the other models, trigger is a bit ****, but I imported the TR1 trigger developed in Italy for the APX (and they do other guns as well), and I love it even more after that.”

Personal Shooting Impressions/Range Report

After having fired the PX4 Storm at the Shoot Smart range, it was back to one of my local ranges in “The Swamp,” namely the highly impressive Silver Eagle Group (SEG) indoor pistol shooting range in Ashburn, Virginia, to try out a rental 9mm APX A1 full-size. It was one of three pistols I test-fired that day, along with the Ruger SR1911 and Walther PPQ

The trigger was delightfully crisp; as far as striker-fired pistols go, I’d rate it on a par with the SIG Sauer P365, a hair above the Canik TP9 and Walther PPQ, and significantly better than the Walther PDP. “What about Glock triggers?” you may be asking, given what a big-time Glock fanboy I am. Well, truth be told, as much as I love Glocks, they require the aftermarket 3.5lb. trigger connector to really deliver optimal performance; the factory standard 5lb. trigger is only fair-to-middling, and don’t even get me started on that 8lb. abomination known as the “New York Trigger!”

The rest of the ergonomics on the Beretta were quite pleasing as well, from the feel of the grip to the trigger reach, mag release reach, slide stop release, and ease of doing a manual slide-rack and thumbing the slide release alike. The sight picture was optimal.

The target used was the IPSC Practice Target. The ammo used was 50 rounds of CCI-Blazer Brass Case 115-grain full metal jacket (FMJ), divvied into 25 rounds of head shots at 7 yards and 25 yards of center-torso shots at 25 yards, all delivered from the Classic Weaver Stance

As for practical accuracy performance?

At seven yards, I put two shots high and three shots low into the B-zone of the target’s head, but I chalk that up to operator error, not the fault of the gun; the remaining twenty rounds delivered a satisfyingly destructive group in the A-zone head box. At 25 yards, seventeen rounds took the A-zone of the torso and eight went middle-left into the B-zone. Overall, a more than sufficiently satisfactory and enjoyable shooting experience.

After I posted my Beretta APX experience and sentiments on my Facebook page, my aforementioned boet (that’s Afrikaans for “bud”) replied, “Told ya.”

Want Your Own?

The manufacturer lists an MSRP of $499.00. In this day and age of Bidenflation, that’s an absolute bargain, especially when you factor in a manufacturer of such long-standing repute like Beretta!

Christian D. Orr has 34 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.

Written By

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).