NRA: Hands On With the New Beretta APX Centurion and Compact Pistols

Beretta APX compact

I’ve been a fan of the striker-fired Beretta APX since it was introduced about a year ago (see our review here). It’s a remarkably reliable, comfortable, and well-conceived duty-size pistol. But it’s not just a duty-size gun any more. In addition to a variety of color and feature options for the full-size modular design pistol, Beretta’s announced two new smaller additions to the APX line just before NRA that I got to play with today.

First is the slightly smaller Centurion model. It’s a half-inch shorter in both overall length and in height than the 7.5-inch full-size APX. That makes it a more concealable 15-round pistol than its big brother, but one that you can still get all three fingers on for a full, firm grip.

Even more stealthy is the APX Compact, which is, yes, more compact that the slightly bigger Centurion. While it’s the same overall length as the Centurion at 6.97 inches, it’s almost half an inch shorter (which means a 2.5 finger grip). That makes the 13+1 Compact the most concealable pistol of the APX line.

Both models will be available in 9mm and .40 S&W. The Compact is hitting stores this week. Look for the Centurion at your LGS toward the end of May. Like the full-size model, both the Centurion and Compact will have an MSRP of $575. Here’s their press release:

Beretta Introduces New APX Models: APX Compact and APX Centurion

Beretta is pleased to introduce our new APX Compact and APX Centurion pistols. Building upon the proven APX series, these new models now provide customers with a concealed carry and mid-size offering.

As a part of the ultimate striker-fired pistol family, these pistols feature aggressive slide serrations and a trigger that breaks at 6lbs with a clear tactile and audible short reset.

Focused on controllability and ergonomics, both the APX Compact and Centurion feature a low bore axis, an ambidextrous slide catch, and a reversible magazine release.

With an end-user removable serialized chassis, these APX models can be easily modified with our line of replaceable grip frame housings, available in Flat Dark Earth, Wolf Grey, Black, and Olive Drab. Both the Compact and the Centurion retail for $575.

Available as a 13+1 (9MM) or 10+1 (.40S&W) with a flush fit magazine, the APX Compact can also accept both Full and Centurion size APX magazines.

The APX Centurion is available as a 15+1 (9MM) or 13+1 (.40S&W) with a flush fit magazine and can accept the Full size APX magazines.

The APX Compact is available in stores now and the APX Centurion will be available later next month.

Both of these new models along with the entire offering of APX pistols can be seen at the Beretta booth (#7224) this week at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, TX.

In the booth, Beretta ambassador John “Chappy” Chapman from Forge Tactical will be available to answer questions and to provide insights from his hands-on experience with Beretta’s APX pistols.

Beretta pistol product managers from both the U.S. and Italy will also be present in the booth to discuss the development of the APX striker-fired pistol family.

comments

  1. avatar Bloving says:

    I remember all the grief that poor pistol got when it first came out… those full-length slide serrations just creeped some folks out.
    I like it though. The grip has a good angle and the texture seems to work well in the hands of most folks… I really can’t figure out why I don’t sell more of them.
    Guess I need to push it more.
    🤠

    1. avatar Moltar says:

      GLOCK. GLOCK is why you don’t sell more… Well that and maybe Springfield, S&W, SCCY, Ruger, Taurus, Kel Tec, Walther, Remington, and the multitude of other manufacturers in the same space. There are simply too many more common choices with strong aftermarket support behind them, fiends already owning them, and brand recognition for most people to really think about a different brand outside of what they’re used to.

      Bloving, let’s try this exercise I’m a new gun owner I come in and ask for a small-ish 9mm semi auto. What’s the first gun you reach for before I even mention a price range?
      See? There’s the issue. I’m pretty sure it isn’t the Beretta. No more likely it’s the Glock or your preferred Glock-off. So from now on, when somebody wants to look at a small-ish 9mm semi auto, reach for the Beretta and put it in their hands before you start talking price.

      Oh crap wait… nevermind you might have those huge glass cases that folks look into and pick the guns out of in which case they’re just put off by the hideous look.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      That ugly rebar look isn’t a gimmick. I gave it to a friend with a weak grip and wrists to see if she could easily rack the slide. She made it look easy. Just because it looks different doesn’t mean that it has no purpose.

      1. avatar Moltar says:

        Never thought of that. Still there is probably a more aesthetically pleasing way to accomplish that goal.

  2. avatar tdiinva says:

    I am an APX fan and purchased one over the P320 for my great white north winter carry gun. The only reason to get the P320 is if you are going to do a lot of swapping, However, I am disappointed in the the latest offerings. The compact is slightly larger than my XD/m compact and the Centurion is basically a G-19 with a shorter barrel. If I was starting from.scratch I would buy the Beretta compact over the XD/M but it is not worth it to trade for one. I was hoping for something in the 6.5″ range with a 3.5″ barrel.

  3. avatar S.Crock says:

    It looks like FN, Springfield, and a toy company had a hideous baby together.

  4. avatar No one of consequence says:

    If I want a slide like that I’ll ask Lone Wolf to machine one up for the Glock I don’t own … oh, wait.

    Seriously … it leaves me kind of “meh” but I could see it causing a strong reaction, either positive or negative, depending on the eye and mood of the beholder.

  5. avatar Moltar says:

    It looks like something went terribly wrong during a Hi Point’s slide reduction surgery.

  6. avatar johnny says:

    need cutout for RMR.

    need true modularity…like buy standalone slides that cost close to the price of a complete unit.

  7. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    That slide also works quite well at getting the mud off your boots.

  8. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I tried out a Taurus Millinium .40 the other day, decent sidearm but IMO to small for the caliber. As much as I dislike 9 mm, they are about perfect for these compact pistols.

  9. avatar MLee says:

    Ugh. That thing is ugly besides being more striker garbage already saturating the market.

  10. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    As a life long 1911 carrier.
    Ive recently in the last 3 months changed my EDC thoughts.
    After over 30+ years of 1911s.
    I wanted more capacity and cant find any wide body 1911s to be had anywhere. Seems to be a steel shortage in the 1911 world. They advertise guns for sale that don’t exist yet.
    Anyway so Ive been buying plastic guns in search of something that will work for me.
    So far a Canik, a SAR, M&P 2.0 Compact and last week an FNS-C all in 9mm. 4 guns in 3 months.
    These guns your fan favorite flavor Glock, the Walther PPQ and now Berretta. Lets not forget over priced H&K and Sig.
    My point being for me.
    They all are the same gun. 100% interchangeable. Plastic fantastics with a really crappy trigger system.
    Each one is a clone of the other make.
    Odds are Im going to dust off one of my 1911s and back on the belt it will go.
    John Browning was a genius and got it right over 100 years ago.
    Other then a few more bullets in the handle. I don’t see the purpose of any of these striker fired guns.
    Now for the people here that don’t read all the posts.
    This is just how I feel about yet another Compact plastic gun.
    Not knocking anyone else’s choice in a carry gun at all.
    If they only made one of these. Id get me a PPQ-SC and might just do it anyway and make it 5 guns in the last 4 months.
    You can never own too many guns.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      If you want higher capacity but don’t want the cookie cutter plastic with a crappy trigger there’s still a couple options out there. Never owned one but there are a lot of CZ fans. Beretta still makes the 92 and Storm series. The first pull is crappy but after that it’s a lot closer to your 1911 than a striker pistol, and if you’ve got a quarter second to spare you can thumb the hammer back. I believe CZ has DA/SA and models that can be carried cocked and locked like a 1911. That or you can go the other way and go up in power instead of capacity with .357 revolver. If you can’t get out of trouble with 6 shots of .357 (or 8 rounds of .45acp) you probably need to rethink your life choices anyway.

      1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

        I own 15 handguns for carry purposes over the years and have kept them all. Among them 2 CZ clones. A EAA 45 compact and 9mm compact. Both all steel. My 1st gun bought was a Model 66 2.5 inch. Carried that in NYC for 5 years. Then left NYC and got into 1911s. Own a crapload of them 1911s that is. 9mm 1911s among them. I have to say Im 101% spoiled by a good single action trigger. Ive never cared for DA/SA. Both EAA guns I carried cocked and locked. Not great triggers even in SA mode. But usable.
        Im just getting tired of carrying 2 pounds plus of gun with 8-9 rounds. I have nothing against these newer 9mm loads and due to the lighter weight and larger capacity. Ive been trying to find a new carry gun.
        Not really succeeding for me with striker fired guns.
        I have never felt outgunned having only 6 rounds……………I just would like to have a few more. Now that 9mm has caught up with the 45acp my preferred choice. More or less. Why not take advantage of 12+ rounds if available.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          I went from carrying 18 rounds of 9 mm to 6 rounds of .357 (plus a speed strip) and didn’t feel undergunned either way. If you’ve never tried revolvers I wouldn’t discount them. If you decide not to carry one it will still make an awesome range toy. Your 3.5-4# tri gger pull is right about what I’ve got with my GP100s, although I did install lighter hammer and trigg er return springs. The hot stuff will net around 600ft/lbs out of my 3″ and it doesn’t take much practice to quickly dump 6 rounds into the 8 ring on a silhouette at 15 yards in DA (revolver DAs are much better than pi stol DAs).

          You could also stick with a 1911 but go with a lightweight commander. The nines hold 9+1. Carry a spare mag and you should be ready for just about anything.

        2. avatar JW says:

          maybe you should try a cz p-07?

          Lighter than the steel guns you have, double stack capacity and can be carried cocked and locked. Single action trigger is not going to match the best 1911’s, but not bad.

    2. avatar Moltar says:

      I think the APX’s problem is not that there are so many others but that anymore it seems there are so many others that do the same job AND aren’t as ugly.

      “Son, nobody pays to f*ck the ugly hookers.” – Moltar’s Grandpa.

      That bit of advice was given to a 16 year old Moltar who was debating between a good looking cheap Oldsmobile (G body RWD V8) and one of those ugly old 70s land yachts (Cordoba without that “awesome” Corinthian leather).

    3. avatar tdiinva says:

      Browning designed the the first commercially successful striker fired pistol for FNH in 1910. It’s not a new idea.

      I think your problem with striker fired pistols is that you are a 1911 guy. Outside of a few custom triggers there is nothing better than a stock trigger in a basic 1911. Revolver guys talk up single action revolver triggers but the only time you are going to be able to use single action is in slow fire target or hunting applications. If you are looking for a self defense pistol a revolver trigger is going to be as long and heavy as the first round in a DA/SA pistol, i.e., heavy and long. Even a stock Glock trigger will produce greater practical accuracy than a revolver.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        ‘Revolver guys talk up single action revolver triggers but the only time you are going to be able to use single action is in slow fire target or hunting applications.’ – Unless you’re carrying a SAA.

        1. avatar MLee says:

          Well to be fair, got to admit SA triggers can be might damn fine and really hard to beat. I only have one SA revolver now and it’s the Taylors & Co 4109DE which is their Smoke Wagon Deluxe It has the custom tuned trigger and I gotta say it’s hands down the finest trigger I have ever felt. Do I carry it? No, I only drool on it.
          Here is is for all to see.
          https://drive.google.com/open?id=0By3-l1P1kK4sRTlJQ2ZHcmE4X00

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Definitely drool worthy. I will occasionally carry a S,R&Co birdshead Vaquero in .44mag with 180gr. SJHPs ( https://www.realguns.com/articles/789.htm ). Reloads are a 30+ second affair from a speed strip.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Also, while heavier, the DA revolver trigger will generally be smoother than a striker pistol. Either way, it doesn’t take much practice to be effective in DA out to 15 yards or so. In the extremely unlikely event you’ll have to engage an enemy at longer range you at least have the option of thumb cocking the trigger, which really only takes a quarter second or so.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          It takes a lot of practice. I can’t hit $h!t with my 686 in double action. You with a stock Glock will outshoot you with a revolver.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Maybe your 686 is defective. It shouldn’t take more than a cylinder or two to get so you can put every round in a 12″x16″ rectangle out to 15 yards. That said you’re probably right, I would likely be more accurate with the Glock than in DA. However, my effective range with the revolver is much farther than a striker because I have the option of shooting SA.

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          It must only be defective in double action because I can wear out the 10 ring at 25 yards in single. /sarc

          The fantasy is strong I see. You won’t be exploiting that long range capability in self defense.

      3. avatar Jay in Florida says:

        tdiinva
        You are correct!!!! Im spoiled by 1911 triggers period. I am more then content with even as light as a 3lb trigger on a carry gun. 2.5 not so much. Most of mine are 3.5 to 4 lb max.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          My primary carry is either a 1911 or a BHP from March to November. I leave the striker fired pistols for specific situations like the golf course or air travel. I am not as accurate with the plastics as I am with Browning designs but it has more to do with their natural pointing than the trigger. The APX is the first striker fired plastic that I can shoot as well as a Browning design.

  11. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Another black, striker fired gun. Neat.

  12. avatar Mark says:

    So I’m a total convert. Wanted nothing to do with the full sized, thought it ugly and I don’t need a duty pistol.

    Then I saw the compact, saw it’s capacity, wondered about its dimensions and was impressed at the route they went in choosing a carry size. Between a compact and subcompact, it’s like a compact’s compact.

    Still I waited to see how it shot from online reviewers. Almost exclusively high praise for shootability, though it missed the endless churn of the hype machine. Now I get one.

    I swear, to me, this might be the best defensive carry pistol ever divised. I love my 2.0 compact, love my shield, but don’t carry either anymore. Shooting this thing accurately doesn’t even feel like a concerted effort, like I’m trying. It’s like shooting skeet after some practice where it just happens without thinking. Like thinking just muddies the process.

    Every time I pull it to fire:

    1) the grip locks solidly in my hand without thought,
    2) the front sight post is automatically within the rear notch as it’s coming to my eye level already pointed at the target,
    3) the front lines up with the rear instantaneously (best OEM standard three-dots I’ve ever seen also for more than a few reasons),
    4) the trigger pulls to a break seemlessly,
    5) muzzle rise is barely noticable and the flash sight picture is back near immediately, which is a good thing because
    6) the trigger reset is like 3mm, and ready for another shot just as fast.

    It’s certainly heavy by comparison, but if it shoots like a full size (or better than most), yet doesn’t print, then who cares? The fact that I can get a full hand on it and 14 rounds out of it at a moment’s notice make this the best CC design I’ve seen up to this point.

    It can hold mags for 13, 15, 17, and 21-rds, with. OEM grip extensions available for each and the 3.7″ barrel is less than an inch from most full-sized guns in both ballistic performance and sight radius. To me, but I’m recommending that you try it as well, this is the one pistol to rule them all in the modern evolution. And it’s selling for like $450 some places because no one’s giving it any interest.

    I also think this is the best looking of the APX sizes, though it’s still ugly, but even that makes it utilitarian, not even trying kinda cool. Also the serrations help more on a smaller slide as those are traditionally harder to use fast, so they make the most sense here.

    Sketic turned believer… this is a real sleeper. Give it a try. It really feels instictive and super fast.

  13. avatar marinedoc says:

    I see myself several times on this website. For years carried a 4″ bbl 1911 Wilson Ultralight). I could shoot it well and even competed with a 5″ Wilson, so natural to carry a 1911 with a shorter bbl. However, when I took a course with Rob Pincus and he suggested a higher capacity magazine and a gun with “less to do” when you were firing under stress I checked out the Glock 19 Gen 5 and found it to be an amazing gun. And under stress no worry about thumb safety, grip safety; just aim and shoot. It is now my EC gun with a Stealth ACIW holster. At the course over 500 rounds fired without a misfire, failure to feed etc. And now over 2,000 rounds and still no failure to fire issues. No ejection problems and with the Ameriglo sights, excellent accuracy and easy to pick up the sights when doing rapid fire drills.

  14. avatar Jack says:

    Don’t knock it till you shoot it. I have the full size Apx it’s the flattest shooting pistol that I ever shot, and fits my hand perfect , never had a issue with it.. Looked at the Glock 19 Walter pps2, Fn9c did not like there fit.. Everyone I know that shot these pistols come away loving it. I’m getting the Centurion for edc.

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