This week, Italian gunmaker Beretta dropped the news that its striker-fired APX pistol will be hitting gun shops in the U.S. soon. It’s been a bit of a wait since rumors first began surfacing about two years ago regarding a new Beretta.
The APX was then unveiled at the 2015 International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, but since it has been relegated to sales overseas.
While Beretta’s Px4 Storm is a popular hammer-fired polymer-framed pistol, the APX represents the company’s first entry into the growing, striker-fired, full-sized duty pistol market in the U.S.
Much like the SIG-Sauer P320, which ultimately won the Army contract, the APX is a chassis-based design with a focus on modular features. The serialized chassis, which includes the trigger and firing mechanisms, accommodates different external frames that can be of various sizes and colors. Currently, Flat Dark Earth and Olive Drab frames, in addition to the standard black frame, will be available for $50 each.
This story from thetruthaboutguns.com says the APX will be rolled out in full-sized 9mm and .40 S&W configurations with 4.25″ barrels first, while a .45 ACP version and a compact frame model will follow soon.
All versions will have the full-length, prominent slide serrations that are the gun’s signature feature, setting it apart visually from other polymer guns. The widely spaced vertical “serrations” are clearly meant to give the gun an aesthetic edge, but they also serve a very practical purpose, ensuring a sure grip no matter where or how you grab the slide, especially with gloves.
They’re also deep enough that each can be braced against a solid surface like a belt, table edge, etc., to rack the slide chamber if one hand is disabled or otherwise engaged, which is an important feature for LEOs and military personnel. It’s a task usually handled by a robust, specially contoured rear sight, which is also a racking option on the APX.
The pistol also addresses one of the M17 competition’s specifications that the pistol’s disassembly not require the user to pull the trigger. The APX has a tiny striker deactivation button to the rear of the slide catch that must be depressed with a pen or a 5.56 bullet tip. Disassembly is completed via an oversized take-down lever.
The APX’s grip has subtle finger separators with textured grip panels between, on the sides, and on backstrap. The gun ships with small, medium, and large backstraps that include the side panels, much like the interchangeable grip panels on the S&W M&P.
The magazine bases are flared a bit to make them easier to grab from mag carriers and also to make them easier to pull free from the magazine well should a malfunction occur.
The oversized magazine release is reversible for left-handed shooters and the magazine catch/release is ambidextrous. Three-dot sights are mounted on the nitride-coated slide via a proprietary dovetail—the front dot is slightly larger than the rear dots for faster target acquisition. The frame also includes a mil-spec Picatinny accessory rail for a weapon light or laser sight.
From photos, the APX seems to be designed with a narrow slide and a low bore axis, much like Glock and M&P pistols. Early range tests from thetruthaboutguns.com report positive results with the only malfunctions being a couple guns not going into battery on fresh magazines.
Many of the APX’s features are direct results of the specifications of the Modular Handgun System competition, including a trigger-blade safety, and the option of a frame-mounted thumb safety, as well as the no-trigger-pull takedown and the modular characteristics.
Some extensive testing of the APX is required for sure, especially considering something kept the Army from choosing it and renewing its sidearm contract with Beretta, who has been supplying the U.S. military with the M9 pistol for almost 35 years.
|Beretta APX Striker|
|Caliber:||9mm, .40 S&W|
|Magazine:||9mm – 17 rounds; .40 S&W – 15 rounds (10-round magazines are also available for both)|
|Weight (unloaded)||28.24 ounces|