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Beretta APX A1 Compact


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Beautiful slide finish and broad front fiber optic sight of the Beretta APX A1 Compact
Beautiful slide finish and broad front fiber optic sight of the Beretta APX A1 Compact

Several of our viewers and Patrons have long been asking us to review the Beretta APX A1, but with over 400 handguns reviewed there hadn't been a Beretta (aside from the Langdon Tactical LLT 92 Elite). Thanks to your requests, we were able to get a Beretta APX A1 Compact in for review.


The Beretta APX A1 is a chassi-system gun meaning the frame can be changed.
The Beretta APX A1 is a chassi-system gun meaning the frame can be changed.

What Is It? The Beretta APX was developed beginning in 2016 to compete in the US Army Modular Handguns Trails. As a result, the APX A1 features a modular chassis system, meaning that the internal chassis is the serialized part (legally the firearm). For we the civilian consumers this opens the platform up to an aftermarket of different grips, or the ability to convert frame sizes should those become available separately.

A well-chamfered barrel speaks to feeding reliability and the three-spring recoil assemble to reduced felt recoil on the Beretta APX A1 Compact.
A well-chamfered barrel speaks to feeding reliability and the three-spring recoil assemble to reduced felt recoil on the Beretta APX A1 Compact.

Ignoring the modularity, the APX A1 Compact is an optics-ready, striker-fired compact pistol. In a departure from the classic 4" barreled, 15-rd build for a 9mm pistol, the APX A1 Compact has a 3.7" barrel. This reduces overall weight and provides for better carry comfort with less slide and barrel to tuck in your pants.


The Beretta APX A1 Compact is optic ready via a plate system.
The Beretta APX A1 Compact is optic ready via a plate system.

Who's it for? The Beretta PAX A1's pedrigree suggests it will make an excellent duty gun, the Compact model reviewed here is certainly a choice for concealed carry. To capitalize on the modularity, other grip frames can be purchased for around $50 direct from Beretta, $56 from Optics Planet, or around $40 from GrabaGun. You can either buy a different size, or the same size to change colors or experiment with stippling without risking your firearm.


Ambidextrous slide control and a reversible magazine release on the Beretta APX A1 Compact
Ambidextrous slide control and a reversible magazine release on the Beretta APX A1 Compact

To see the APX A1 Compact up close see the tabletop video below. I had so initial concerns while filming the video, but most can easily be dismissed as learning something that is new or different. One point of confusion was the lack of an included manual. The manual is available online and I appreciate that this allows a company to update or change things without printing, but the takedown instructions didn't seem to match with what actually worked.

Fit and finish are absolutely beautiful on the APX A1 Compact. I don't know what makes the slide finishe different, but it is absolutely goregeous. Once I figured out takedown the inside of the pistol was very cleanly designed. I noticed a slightly rubbery texture and consistency of the frame. This texture would come in to play at the range.

Specifications:

  • Model: APX A1 Compact

  • Magazine Capacity: 15

  • Action: Striker-fired

  • Frame Material: Polymer Frame

  • Overall Length: 6.9"

  • Safeties: Striker deactivation button, firing pin block safety, trigger safety

  • Weight Unloaded: 27.7 oz

  • Frame Size: Compact

  • Caliber: 9X19 (PARA)

  • Barrel Length: 3.7"

  • Grip Width: 1.06"

  • Overall Height: 5.2"

  • Overall Width: 1.3"

  • Sight Radius: 5.7"

  • MSRP: Starting at $499

Online Price as of 20FEB24 (click links for current pricing)


In the Box:

  • Magazine loader

  • bore brush

  • three total backstraps

  • two 15rd magazines

  • safety brochure





Considering the seemingly heavy, but shorter slide I was really curious to see how the APX A1 Compact performed on the range. I admit that while the construction quality impressed me, I didn't have any expectations of being wow'd on the range. As always, to keep things fair, the standard GBGuns range protocl was followed including:

  • Cold Shots: Truly the first rounds through the gun.

  • Full Magazine +1: Suprisingly some modern guns still struggle with this. It's a test of how much play is in the magazine as well as how the slide cycles with pressure. This is also when I do my best to learn the trigger.

  • What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.

For this gun we used the following ammunition:

What's For Dinner for the Beretta APX A1 Compact
What's For Dinner for the Beretta APX A1 Compact

Priced and linked where found at the time this article was written

100gr Hornady Critical Defense Lite $23.89 / 20 at Global Ordnance 

100gr S&B Non-Tox

115gr Sig Elite Defense V-Crown $19.99 / 20 at SigSauer.com

115gr Igman FMJ

124gr Federal Premium Law Enforcement HST $37.99 / 20 direct from Federal

147gr Federal Syntech Training Match $19.76 / 50 at Global Ordnance 

147gr Federal HST $38.99 / 20 at Optics Planet

158gr PPU Subsonic $23.74 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide 


  • Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.

  • Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.

  • After Shots: Final impressions and reflections from the range session.

The entire process can be seen in the Shooting Impressions video below.

Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared.


The backstraps of the Beretta APX A1 Compact have a slightly rubberized feel. This may be part of the softer shooting experience.
The backstraps of the Beretta APX A1 Compact have a slightly rubberized feel. This may be part of the softer shooting experience.

The range session proved an enjoyable experience. Despite the slide mass and shorter barrel the APX A1 Compact is a pistoleither Teya or I would be comfortable spending extended time with. Intial loadings of the magazines was not fun as the mags felt stiff, but they broke in quickly. I don't know if it's the rebberized grip material or the three-spring recoil system, but the pistol shot softer than many pistols of larger sizes. We also saw marked improvement in accuracy as we got to know the gun.

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Did you know when it is MADE IN ITALY… on it by Italian law every material must be sourced from Italy and every part or thing made in Italy AND EVERY BIT OF LABOR PUT INTO IT done by ITALIAN Citizens. How I found out was buying a Kiton suit fitter explained … maybe that why the invoice was nearly $11,000.00. But then a Brioni shirt costs $700-$900 but is hand sewn by 80 year old Italian men at 200 evenly spaced and individually knotted stitches.

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Love Berettas… why in the hell did the Army trash their fine Beretta for a PUTAIN DE MERDE… of a SIG Plastic wonder? Well to tell the truth I’ve sworn off plastic guns… but darn maybe better get one of these before the $100 rebate ends 31st March 2024… or a Grand Power before Global Ordnance sell out of the $300 odd Mk 12s… and I have to settle for a dick in a slit Mk23 operating system.

Well dropped by my favorite full retail local dealer… only went in because a slow freight train starting out blocked my way… so excuse to pull in a short 1/2 block away. Looking for steel real honest to goodness metal… looked a…


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elsullo2
elsullo2
Feb 27

And that's a pretty impressive review! You both have the skills to let the gun show its stuff! And then accurately describe it too! Thanks! Please keep on keeping on!.......................elsullo

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I like the styling and affordability of the APX A1. The take down process is a minor challenge. However, not as bad as my Grand Power K100.


I wish I lived on the West Coast. I would definitely pick Graham’s brain for his Grand Power knowledge and manual of arms.

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Replying to

You know my ease with Grand Power (while many others struggle) came to mind when wrestling the Beretta. It's a matter of learning the feel of it I suppose.

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