Beretta Tactical Experience: APX

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.


  1. avatar Outwardhound says:

    If Liberte Austin endorses the APX, then I want it. Yes, I’m shallow that way.

    1. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

      Try manipulating the slide with sweaty or wet hands.. Those slide cuts are a joke! For that reason alone this pistol will not be in my carry box or my safe.

      1. avatar Tim says:

        Liberte doesn’t ‘sweat’. She does ‘glow’ from time to time, though. As for being ‘wet’, well, I’m a gentleman so let’s just leave it there.

  2. avatar Badgerman says:

    If you like APX, I think you might like the CZ P10c even more. Check it out if you can.

    1. avatar Trouser Schnauser Mauser says:

      Steyr M9-A1. Try one if you can. They’ll grow on you.

      1. avatar Baldwin says:

        M40-A1. Sweetest shooting 40 ever. E. V. E. R.

  3. avatar Damcowboy says:

    “17 round magazine clip”

    Sign. Come on girl, clip? Really?

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      I am pretty sure that that was humor on her part.

      1. Yes. That was a joke.

    2. avatar Doktor says:

      Clip. Of course Lib’s a poser. I’m surprised she wasn’t wearing her tactical camo bikini. If she wants the true tactical experience then she should join the military or law enforcement. A pistol does not make someone tactical but thinking it does make them insecure. Like her hunting pics that just scream for help.

      By the way the other chick in the photo is way hotter and she’s not trying so hard to be hot. But she does look tactical.

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        The one with tatts is a guy, dude;-)

        1. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

          The girl in FRONT of the guy with tat’s dumb ass…!

        2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          You do realize that I was just yanking Doktor’s chain, no? The winky and all…

      2. avatar Liberte Austin says:

        OMG my feelings are so hurt (wiping away tears)

        Only the smart people got my joke.. or the truly sarcastic

        1. avatar MiserableBastard says:

          Perhaps the more technical “Clipazine” should be used for the less cerebral readers.

        2. avatar joe3 says:

          “For a female with small hand, grip is everything (that’s what he said). ”

          We have almost trained Farrago away from his weak-ass/playboy advisor-type double entendres.

          Could you please stick to reviewing the gun and skip the BS?


        3. avatar M.Johnson says:

          I will admit that the APX looks good. Though I doubt that they will succeed at a 9/40/45. The reason has to do with the way the chambers, extractors and ejector works. The 9mm 40SW (short and weak, lol) and 357 Sig all have the same case diameter. Yes, I like the 10mm over 45ACP for my large bore but the wife likes 45ACP. Thus they can all use the same or similar ejectors. Likewise the extractors are also similar due to the design of the cases.

          45 ACP, 10mm etc are designed differently. For these calibers you need a shorter and thick ejector and a stronger extractor. The extractor is not the hard part it is the ejector. So the issue becomes the same as Sig Sauer. You placed all the main components in a removable chassis. However, that also means that is prohibitively expensive, time consuming etc to modify the chassis. To run a 45ACP or a 10mm from an APX you would need a different ejector than you would with a 9mm, 40S&W or 357 Sig. If it was my two cents, stick with 9mm, 40S&W and 357 Sig. Of those the 357 Sig has much better ballistics than the other two and can be run hot to almost 10mm levels. Did I mention that the 357 Sig is so much cheaper to load or manufacture due to it using 9mm bullets. Anyway, I am digressing.

          Like I said, Beretta is likely not going to be able to pose a workable solution to that issue. 45ACP doesn’t have any compatibility with the 9mm/40 mechanics. You would have had to design the entire system accordingly from the get-go. Which it doesn’t look like they did. Furthermore, would of been easier and smarter to design from the 45ACP down to the 9mm. Thereby, making the design process easier and more scalable.

        4. avatar Mark says:

          The APX is a good shooter. I own one and for the most part enjoy it. The problem for me is that my natural grip has my left thumb (support hand) just behind the takedown lever which drives its lovely point into it after each shot. I have to alter my grip such that my thumb is on the takedown lever. I shoot just fine, but I have to consciously alter my natural grip which isn’t the greatest. I prefer the clean controls of a Glock and CZ P10.

    3. avatar Clark45 says:

      She was making a joke. Like the “That’s what he said” bit about “grip is everything.”

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        I found that stirring.

        I’m shallow that way. 😊

  4. avatar tfunk says:

    Pretty sweet that it comes with not one, but TWO, magazine clips

    Even with that egregious error my marriage proposal still stands

    1. avatar Liberte Austin says:


  5. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    I am done buying any polymer guns, well except for that CAV-15 lower I just ordered, but after that, no more!

  6. avatar ACP_arms says:

    What’s a “1991”? I’ve heard of 1911’s and 2011’s, but not a 1991.

    And thank you, Liberte, for the break from the last weeks s–t with your hunting digest and this.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      There is such a “series” in the Colt catalog:

      1. avatar Shawn Graber says:

        Dyspeptic Gunsmith, I can already hear the sounds of exuberant hipsters scouring the internet for sales of the Colt 1991. Imagine being able to tell your ultra hipster friends over a non-conflict soy latte that what you have may LOOK like one of those “filthy, commoner, plebian 1911’s” but is instead an ultra elite “you’ve-never-heard-of-it” 1991.

    2. avatar Liberte Austin says:

      Lol OOPS 1991 sounds cool though

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        In my best Mr. Mom, “1911, 1991, whatever it takes.”

    3. avatar Mike says:

      It’s a Model of the Colt 1911.

  7. well guys I don’t think the cheap shots on her were nice, we need more girls shooting guns to strengthen our side and they are not going to join if we keep taking shots at them. the more people we get shooting the people vote to keep our rights. and I think women especially should get a couple of guns and learn how to protect themselves, and they should also learn so form of hand to hand self defense as well. and I don’t find anything wrong with the way Liberte looks.

  8. avatar Cadeyrn says:

    STI for the overall win. Mine have never let me down.

    The APX looks a lot like my Steyr M9-A1 except the grip angle is different and, of course, the Steyr double-triangle sights are sweet. Still… I’ll probably give it a whirl when it shows up at my local rental range.

  9. avatar p51jimjam says:

    nice new gun but i live in california guess gen 3 glock 17 will have to suffice not really interested in leaving earthquake prone la la land los angles lol

  10. avatar adverse4 says:

    Why did her oculars need surgery? ( I failed anatomy ).

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      If miss Liberte doesn’t mind, I’d like to know as well.

      I’m considering RK for my warped, blind eyes, and if that can change eye dominance…

      1. avatar drunkEODguy says:

        I’ll tell you this as someone who had PRK. If you can get good ole’ laser lasik surgery, opt for that. I was talking into PRK because it apparently has a longer time in general until people start to notice a degradation in their eyesight again. While that may be true, either way we’re talking decades here and its probably not a large concern in reality. The guys I who got lasik had itchy sore eyes for about a day and were on with life. I and others however, had a pretty bad time. I guarantee if RK is anything like PRK you will be out of work for a week. My recovery consisted of trying to sleep when I could, taking pain medicine, and sitting in the dark listening to the radio for about 8 days. My eyes felt like they got dragged behind a pickup on a dirt road. The good news is after the recovery my eyes have been 20/15 and my light sensitivity is very minimal, but I was fairly light sensitive before. YMMV

        1. avatar TrappedInCommiefornia says:

          I had lasik done on 1 eye and prk on the other. While the recovery was definitely quicker on the lasik side, I did not experience any real discomfort while healing on the prk side.
          As for eye dominance, I’ve always been right eye dominant, but before my surgery I had a recurring corneal abrasion on my right eye (which is why it got prk instead of lasik). Because of that, my vision was extremely blurry for quite a while and in that time I became left eye dominant. Post-surgery, however, I returned to right eye dominance.

      2. avatar Snatchums says:

        They still do radial keratotomy? I thought it had been completely replaced by lasik.

      3. avatar AdamTA1 says:

        I wish LASIK had changed my eye dominance. I’m cross-dominant and I hate it. In regards to LASIK though getting that process done is the best decision I’ve made in my entire life. I wish I had done it 10 years earlier.

      4. avatar Liberte Austin says:

        My condition was muscular, I didn’t have lasik.

  11. avatar Robert Eucare says:

    Is it better than the FN 509?

  12. avatar Mar says:

    Come on Liberte, I carry a Glock 17 all the time so you need to step up.

    1. avatar Liberte Austin says:

      LOL, its too big!! Can’t hide it in my pants 🙁 wait all of this sounds bad

  13. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    What is the slide on the customized apx shown, it has lost the Toblerone serrations in favor of more aesthetically pleasing angled ones. I see STC but I am not familiar with them.

  14. avatar Mark says:

    I have the APX and I love it!

  15. avatar Roy F. Wilt says:

    Much rather have an FNX-45!!!!!!!!!!!

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