The Beretta APX family has expanded significantly since 2016, when the world’s oldest firearm manufacturer submitted its first duty-size, striker-fired pistol for evaluation in the U.S. Army's XM17 MHS competition to replace the Beretta M9 (which had been the official military sidearm since 1985). Ultimately the APX was not selected to succeed the incumbent M9, but fotunately for consumers, the company went forth with producing the gun for the civilian market in 2017. By the number of models and variants that have evolved since then, we can conclude that the APX series of pistols has become a popular choice among those who favor a 9mm polymer pistol, particularly for concealed carry and personal defense. Subsequent models include the APX Compact, APX Carry, APX A1 and multiple sub-variants. The latest, reviewed here by NRA America’s 1st Freedom Managing Editor Mel Dixon, is the APX A1 Compact. You can read her full review at A1F.com, but for a condensed version, she offers NRA Women the top five things she loves about this gun:
1. Easy to Shoot
The Beretta APX A1 Compact is remarkably easy to shoot. Though the slide seemed chunky to me right out of the box, once loaded I found it well-balanced. It has a very natural grip angle, resulting in feeling like I could get on target more quickly than with many other guns. It has well thought-out grip texturing (there’s more texturing on the front and back of the grip than the sides) and smart ergonomic details like the double-undercut trigger guard.
2. Easy to Aim
Besides the well-designed grip angle that gets the shooter on target quickly and naturally, the APX A1 Compact sports a bright-red fiber-optic front sight that just leaps into your attention. If you like red dots, this gun comes optics-ready with five possible kit options.
3. Easy to Manipulate the Controls
Initially, I was surprised by the APX A1’s sizeable controls (such as the ambidextrous slide stop). However, as I put the gun through its paces, it was obvious why this design choice was made. The controls are far easier to manipulate than those found on many other guns, which is a significant factor considering you often lose fine motor skills in defensive situations. It’s also nice for anytime you’re wearing gloves.
4. Easy to Fit
Beretta thoughtfully included additional backstraps with the APX A1 Compact, which is just smart, considering how much hand sizes vary. If you still don’t feel the fit is perfect, the serialized portion of this gun is its chassis, not its frame, so you can switch it out with a frame tailor-made for you.
5. Easy Mind
Finally, and most importantly, this gun offers excellent reliability. When a gun manufacturer has been around since 1526, you can be sure they know a thing or two about the art. Name isn’t a guarantee, though, but it’s backed up by the testing. I was unable to get the APX A1 Compact to malfunction, and I always try hard to achieve that, mixing ammunition loads and styles, rapid-firing, and using a poor grip. The APX A1 Compact didn’t deign to notice my efforts, and, while I don’t generally like being ignored, in this case, it’s a fine thing indeed.
As you can see, the Beretta APX A1 Compact impressed me overall and now sits solidly in my “recommended” category. As with all guns, however, there were a few quibbles—the main one being that I didn’t love the trigger. (Admittedly, I haven’t found a striker-fired gun’s trigger that I love.) For a full review with all the quibbles and stats, please visit A1F.com.