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Hands-On with Beretta APX Striker-Fired, Polymer-Frame Semi-Auto 9mm/.40 S&W Combat/Tactical Pistol Prototype!: Initial Impressions (Photos!)

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

April 5, 2015
Last updated on 4/11/15.

Back in late February, Rob Curtis of GearScout wrote a detailed heads-up article on the Beretta APX polymer-frame, striker-fired semi-auto 9mm (9mm Parabellum/9x19mm NATO)/.40 S&W pistol right after it was introduced at International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) 2015. The piece covered all the pistol’s features, including the modular trigger pack chassis system (the serialized part), fiberglass-reinforced polymer frame with modular backstrap, 17-round 9mm and 15-round .40 S&W steel mags (magazines) with anti-tilt followers, tear-drop-shaped reversible magazine release button, wide 6-lb trigger with Glock-type trigger safety, striker disengagement pin, large, course slide serrations, and adjustable 3-dot sights. So, check that piece out for the details right after you read this piece.

DefenseReview (DR) recently got to handle a prototype Beretta APX pistol at Beretta Tactical Summit 2015 (the first one ever), and it impressed us. Being a prototype, we only got to handle it for a few minutes, not fire it at the range. However, the pistol looks good AND feels good in the hand. The first thing DR tested was the trigger pull (listed by Beretta’s literature as 6mm in length), which felt good. We particularly liked the trigger’s short reset (listed by Beretta’s literature as 3mm in length). The APX’s trigger is nice and wide, with a very prominent trigger safety. DR doesn’t know if the APX’s trigger module will allow the user to quickly and easily adjust the trigger pull at the end-user/operator level. Again, the APX’s trigger pack (trigger module) is the serialized component of the gun, and most likely relatively expensive to replace versus the replacement Glock trigger parts required for adjusting the Glock’s trigger-pull weight. Then again, unless you’re using the APX for IPSC or 3-Gun competition, you’d be best advised not to adjust the APX’s factory trigger-pull weight or length-of-pull or reset length.

The APX’s large, coarse slide serrations are very easy to grab, and ease slide manipulation. Defense Review found the APX’s gripframe well designed and very comfortable to hold. We particularly like the extended beavertail grip tang that extends pretty far back, while remaining almost flush with the rear of the slide. It’s an interesting and aesthetically pleasing design aspect, and it should eliminate any possibility of slide bite, which is problem with Gen-3 Glock pistols, including DR’s Gen-3 Glock 19 (G19).

The APX’s bore axis is also very low, which should minimize muzzle flip and aid in fast follow-up shots.

Speaking of Glock pistols, if the Beretta APX proves reliable, accurate and durable under high round count and adverse conditions, it will join the Smith & Wesson M&P, HK VP9 and the Walther polymer-frame pistols  (including the Walther PPQ M1 Classic, Walther PPQ M2 and Walther PPX) in chipping away at Glocks dominance of the polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol market. It may have taken the Italians quite a bit longer than than the Americans, Germans and Austrians to design and develop a pistol in this genre, but Beretta’s certainly doing it with some flair and aplomb, better late than never, and the more competition the better. Just because you already own a Porsche, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy a Ferrari to enjoy and park right next to it–assuming you have the funds, of course.

Anyway, DR looks forward to test-firing the production-version APX pistol as soon as possible. We also look forward to seeing compact and sub-compact APX variants developed. Hopefully, Beretta will develop compact and/or sub-compact single-stack APX variants to compete against pistols like the new Glock 43 (G43). In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how the Beretta APX performs in the US Army Modular Handgun System (MHS) program competition/trials to replace the Beretta M9 pistol, for which we believe the APX was developed.

Company Contact Info:

Beretta USA
17601 Beretta Drive
Accokeek, MD 20607-9566
Toll Free 1: 800-237-3882
Toll Free 2: 800-929-2901
Office: 301-283-2191
Email Contact Page:
Website 1:
Website 2:

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links. If you are reading this article anywhere other than, please email us the website address/URL (where the unauthorized DR article reprint is located) at defrev (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you.

All photo and video content contained in this article was shot by, and is copyrighted. owns the copyright on all photo and video content. All DR photos and videos were shot with a Sony Cyber-shot RX100 (DSC-RX100/B) Digital Camera with 20.2 MP (20.2-megapixel) still camera and 1080p HD video camera capability.

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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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