The Beretta APX Pistol Is 2017’s New Duty Gun

Built to ‘win the fight,’ the Beretta APX pistol is a full-size duty gun designed for when tactical operators need it most.

Beretta hosted its second Tactical Summit Feb. 14 and 15 at the O’Gara Training Center in Virginia, where industry insiders got an exclusive look at the Beretta APX.

The APX was the centerpiece of the Beretta Tactical Summit 2.0 and for good reason, as it represents a refocusing of Beretta’s attention toward the tactical market.

The slogan that Beretta has adopted for the APX is only three words long, but it carries a substantial message: “Win the fight!”

The implication is clear: If you have a fight that you need to win, the APX is the tool you want in your hand to help make that happen. So far, my limited but positive experience with the Beretta APX leads me to believe that the APX delivers on Beretta’s slogan.


The Beretta APX, as it currently exists, is a duty sized, modern striker-fired handgun chambered in 9mm and 40 S&W. The barrel length of the APX is 4.25 inches and the trigger is a wide, flat faced design that is housed in an oversized trigger guard to accommodate gloved fingers. Its trigger features a tab safety and performs well with a 6-pound, relatively clean, relatively crisp press.  The APX operates off a tilt barrel, locking breech and incorporates a push button that allows the user to deactivate the striker system so that disassembly can take place without pressing the trigger.

The core of the APX is a stainless steel, serialized chassis. It is this chassis system that allows the APX to achieve its modular nature.

Beretta’s black, modular, polymer grip is fiberglass filled, comfortable, and fits a wide variety of hands well due to its interchangeable back straps. In front of the trigger guard is a standard rail system for the mounting of a variety of accessories. The magazine release is swappable from side to side and the slide catch lever is ambidextrous and is designed to operate both as a slide catch and a slide release.

The slide comes with a matte black finish and incorporates features that exploit the gun’s simplicity. A low bore axis helps to reduce felt recoil and provide for faster follow-up shots and the slide has aggressive serration from front to back to make sure you can work the action regardless of where you grip it. On top of the slide mounted in proprietary dovetail cuts are low profile three dot sights. Both front and rear are drift adjustable.

Shooting the Beretta APX

On the square range, the APX performed as would be expected.  It ran reliably, it seemed durable, had decent ergonomics, had a solid performing trigger and the modularity proved to be a benefit. Where the APX seemed to excel was when the gun, and the shooter, were pressed. Over the course of the Tactical Summit I fired approximately 600 rounds through the APX. Every time I pressed the trigger, the gun went bang and the shot landed where I put it.

The conditions weren’t perfect. It was winter in Virginia (so maybe pseudo winter) — about 45 degrees and wet. I shot with gloved hands from start to finish. In the first 50 or so rounds, I pulled three shots low and left on the 8 inch circles at 7 and 10 yards strong hand and support hand only. Not my best performance, but, the gun did exactly what I told it to do and nothing the modularity of the APX couldn’t help fix.

Over the course of the 600 rounds and two days of shooting I experienced no malfunctions. This isn’t a miraculous feat. It is simply expected of a fighting handgun. More impressive is that the only malfunctions I heard of from 15 shooters over two days were failures to feed immediately following a slide-lock reload.

The APX performed solidly regardless of the conditions that we forced it into. It performed reliably and comfortably placing multiple rounds in accordance to the skill I applied to the gun. It was as if I was running my personal carry gun with a slightly better trigger and a significantly better fit.

Beretta shared with us that we were shooting bone stock production guns. I certainly want to spend more time with an APX in difficult circumstances to test the pistols limits and hear reports from other folks who put the APX through its paces. Only time will tell how the gun performs in the environments and contexts it was designed for, but I would have to say that the APX is off to a running start.

The Beretta APX and Modularity

Although I didn’t have the opportunity to see the full range of modularity that the APX will have to offer while at the Beretta Tac Con 2.0, it isn’t terribly difficult to see what is coming down the road. What was present was a solid start on a truly modular handgun platform.


For the armed citizen, there are advantages as well that go beyond the fit issues I solved. For years, I have carried a Glock 17 handgun with the grip cut off to the length of a Glock 19. I talk about why I carry that combination on the Safety Solutions Academy Podcast here. In simple terms, it really comes down to comfort and the ability to conceal the handgun.

With a gun like the future Beretta APX, a small investment in a compact length grip, a few minutes in swapping the chassis from one grip to another, a new magazine or two, and you are off to the races.  If you change your mind, simply rewind time, undo what you did and you are back to square one. The modularity of the chassis guns like the APX is a real step forward when it comes to the user’s ability to tailor the gun to their specific needs.

The Beretta APX will be available April 15. For more information on the Beretta APX, please visit

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