I don’t carry a plastic pistol. I carry a .45 caliber STI Shadow 1911-style handgun. So when Beretta Gallery Dallas invited me to “the full tactical experience” to try out the Beretta APX, I wanted to know if the the gun billed as “the ultimate striker fired pistol” lived up to its claims.
The APX was designed for military and law enforcement. Hence our instructor John Wayne Walding. The former Green Beret received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Airborne Air Assault and the Special Forces Tab. If John Wayne Walding endorses the APX, then I want it. Yes, I’m shallow that way.
Did I mention I’m a GLOCK fan? While it’s too big to carry, I use my GLOCK 17 for pistol courses and range time. I’ve never have been impressed with other lesser copycats. (Except the SIG P320, I LOVE YOU!)
When I picked up the APX I began to feel like I was cheating on my 17. Beretta’s lightweight fiberglass-reinforced techno-polymer frame has a lower profile than the GLOCK; the Italian pistol was easier to have and to hold.
The APX’s ample undercut and interchangeable back straps enable a comfy and stable grip. The slide serrations continue the length of the barrel, making chambering a round a breeze, even for my skinny fingers.
After several drills and hundreds of rounds, there was never a point when I hated the APX for its design and grip. I know: a lack doesn’t equal love. But it was a starting point, especially compared to my 17, which rubs my palms the wrong way, leaving my hands sore.
For a female with small hand, grip is everything (that’s what he said). Still, the ultra-masculine shouldn’t be dissuaded; this pistol was designed for battle. The APX is currently chambered in “big boy” .40 and 9mm, outfitted with a fully flat trigger, 3-dot sights and two 17-round magazine clips.
The full-size APX has a low bore axis making recoil virtually non-existent. The ideal grip angle, optimal trigger reach and aggressive grip texture all aid in controlling the gun, which improved my accuracy. Which needed help.
My first two strings of 17 rounds each hit the target 20 yards away low to the left. I was frustrated — until a light bulb went on. I wondered if my eye dominance had changed (from right to left) after recent ocular surgery.
“John Wayne sir, I am shooting low and to my left after eye surgery, is it possible my eyes changed dominance? ” I asked, feeling like an enlisted member of his kill squad. “Absolutely” he responded, and for the rest of the runs I shot with my left eye and nailed suitably small groups dead center mass.”
As I’m sure you know, Beretta M9 lost the competition for the U.S. military’s new sidearm. But they may win the contract for my carry pistol. I’m thinking about pitting Beretta’s plastic fantastic against my 1911-style handgun for everyday carry. But one thing’s for sure: I’ve found my new range gun.