Beretta Releases Photos of MHS-Model APX Handgun

Soon after SHOT 2015, Beretta announced a new striker fired, polymer framed handgun for civilian, LE, and most importantly military sales. A chassis-based handgun with interchangeable grips, the APX – as it was dubbed – was clearly designed with the US Army’s Modular Handgun System pistol competition in mind. Seeking to become the “M17”, as the winner of the competition will be designated, Beretta has released photos of the APX in a new tan color scheme as the MHS variant of the pistol, through the Facebook page of Retex MAG, a French gun magazine:

12742815_986906678012933_6844619614311027414_n 12733495_986906791346255_6811763829307460668_n 12743962_986906784679589_1070738893241415595_n 10367142_986906728012928_6892410616328608905_n 12742364_986906781346256_5369795989989883890_n 12715480_986906664679601_7037741814086905002_n 12744038_986906641346270_5742966290398204692_n 12734081_986906634679604_3668314312467646573_n 12742815_986906654679602_1172808214530740158_n

Beretta, attempting to retain its stranglehold on US military pistols, hoped to circumvent the Army’s Modular Handgun System program with its updated M9A3 handgun, but that pistol was rejected as not meeting the Army’s requirements for a new handgun. Beretta’s back-up horse is the APX, which will likely compete against the SIG P320, a variant of the S&W M&P, the H&K VP9/40, and possibly other entrants. The deadline for the competition was extended from February 1st to the 12th, possibly because not enough entrants had made submissions. It’s known that Sturm, Ruger & Co will not be entering the competition, citing the competition’s high cost and high risk. The US Army has repeatedly held competitions between manufacturers who were expected to fund most or all of their participation, only to cancel the program and leave everyone unhappy.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • koko

    Looks like something made in Turkey, but probably is not, because of the italian price.

  • Ezra Bristow

    It looks like an XDM

  • Sam

    Beretta with a frame-mounted safety? Interesting. Oh wait… a safety on a striker-fired pistol? Y u stay behind da times, Beretta?

    • mlk18

      Required by gov’t specification. Every gun entered will be a striker fired gun with a manual safety.

      • I don’t recall that in the specs, source?

        • Darhar M.

          Google Search

        • “M.3.1.3 Upon receipt of hardware submission, inspections will be conducted to ensure that the MHS candidate has an integrated rail, an external safety mechanism, adjustable for ergonomics by means of grip inserts, grip panels, front or back straps, different triggers, or other means, and be other than single action only. Submissions without these features will not be considered for evaluation.”

          • Jwedel1231

            “external safety features” could easily mean the trigger safety alone.

          • Thanks! Bummer the specifically ban single action only, despite it having a manual safety.

          • JSIII

            I agree with this, were ND’s back when the military used 1911’s really that big/common of a thing?

          • Sam

            I haven’t read a thing about this, so clarify for me if you know: Is this “external safety mechanism” going to mean existing models will provide a military-specific variant? The P320 nor the VP9 have external safeties aside from the trigger safety…

          • SIG-Sauer has already shown a P320 MHS prototype with a manual thumb safety.


          • n0truscotsman

            I dont care or the 320 much, but that is a pretty sweet looking pistol.

          • Rick5555

            It’s quite easy for manufactures to add an external safety to a model that doesn’t have one. Look at FN-FNS or S&W, M&P models. They come with or without a safety. For xmas, my wife got me a FNS with a safety. I simply removed it, and it works fine.

    • Rock or Something

      There is no way the U.S. military will ever accept a firearm for general service use without some sort of manual safety. Heck if it was possible for swords and sabers to have manual safeties, the military would probable mandate them too.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        Plenty of European armies has Glocks as sidearm. Why is it the UA military won´t accept a pistil w/o safety?

        • nova3930

          organizational inertia coupled with severe risk aversion

        • Joshua

          Because between active and reserve personel the US military has more members in it than all European armies combined.

          NDs happen on ranges with the AR platform, which is a very user friendly and safe weapon. Do you not think a ND would happen on a gun without a manual safety?

        • JumpIf NotZero

          You are about to see a Glock with a new manual safety.

          • Martin Buck

            They’ve made a variety of Glocks with safeties, just not in the USA.

          • JK

            And we’re about to see a new one.

        • Hoth

          Greater intelligence.

    • Joe

      Almost every small arm in use by the US military has a manual safety. The issued M1911A1 was carried in Condition 3 because the grip and thumb safety weren’t considered safe enough. AD/ND are way more of a risk to life and limb than “Oops I didn’t flick off the safety”.

  • Anon

    I actually like it quite a bit for some reason I can’t explain.

  • I like the slide serrations, but I’m surprised they didn’t opt for the threaded barrel ala M9A3.

    Also, very curious what the trigger is like. Hopefully it’s a super light and crisp SA due to that manual safety, but realistically I doubt it.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It does have a threaded barrel model, for the contract they don’t want the typical model to stick out any.

      • iksnilol

        Could just go with internal threads… though that would require custom suppressors or at the very least adapters.

  • Dracon1201

    I think Ruger has some real sense here. These programs tend to fall through or get caught up in politics. There are so many good competitors that one should be able to make it (unless there is an unsurprising cancellation), even with these requirements.

    • Mike Dennis

      Funny company. They tested a gun on the side with the army at the last pistol trial in the 80s.

  • Major Tom

    “cue the us army cancelling the program with a “psyche!” and “can’t you take a joke?””

    Given what happened with Individual Carbine if they did that, there will be a lot of busted down brass by the Congress.

    • Joshua

      I can almost guarantee the Xm17 will result in a new handgun, same for the CSASS.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Yep. They haven’t changed the requirements suddenly like another recent contract, they have submissions in hand, New Jersey seems to be all about it, the burden is on the mfgs, this one is almost certainly going through.

        I’m as curious as anyone who the winner will be, but there is clearly a favorite already in mind. I don’t buy that “delay the contract to because of bad weather” part one single bit.

        • Joshua

          No doubt. This is one of those times I honestly can’t call it.

          The Sig P320 is very promising. S&W teamed up with Lockheed whoc is a government powerhouse. Glock was talking of entering, and they have a huge track record on Black and White side of the Military, Beretta has a history and the M9 was a good design for its time and this looks to be another well designed handgun.

          Honestly all the entrants look to be capable of winning.

          I knew who would win the ICC trial, and I know who is winning to CSASS competition….this one, I have no idea.

          • john huscio

            S&W teamed up with general dynamics, not Lockheed martin

          • Joshua

            That’s right. I knew that…….

          • Giolli Joker

            Lockheed? I thought it was General Dynamics.

          • Joshua

            It is. I knew it was one of the big government players and I was to lazy to fact check to verify….you see where that got me.

          • 360_AD

            And the SEALs dropped the P226 for Glock.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Looks like Beretta is now copying Taurus. Life is funny…

    • JK

      Hopefully they don’t copy the ADs.

      • Phillip Cooper

        I own several and have literally beat them with sledgehammers trying to induce ADs…. don’t believe everything you hear.

  • Parnell

    Looks like a Sig slide/upper frame mated to a Walther lower frame.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Grup angle will be the same because they are using the first significant evolution on the class Beretta Mecgar magazine that Sig and Walther among others have been using forever.

  • Joe

    Looks pretty good, I just wish I could get a SAO M92 without paying a grand or more for the privilege of being able to reach the trigger.
    I know, Taurus PT92 is the answer, but I don’t quite trust them by comparison, even if produced on former Beretta tooling.

    • J.T.

      You could try to find a Vektor SP1.

      • Lt_Scrounge

        I knew I had seen the pistols used in “The Hunger Games” movies somewhere. They were Vektor CP 1s with a coat of white paint.

  • MAF

    Does the Army spec request a manual safety?
    In general, the gun looks chunky but functional, reminds me of an HK.

    • JumpIf NotZero


      Although as to the HK; this is a low bore axis gun like Glock, M&P, XD. Not that it’s better, just that it’s on that side of the fence where Sig, HK, Beretta, Walther, etc usually sit on the other side.

      • Curious_G

        A low bore-axis XD?

    • Lt_Scrounge

      It not only has a safety, it’s in an ergonomically correct frame mounted position and is up for safe and down for fire, just like John Moses Browning designed them over 100 years ago. Unlike the slide mounted one on the M9.

      • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

        i prefer slide safeties. I like the p-38 / m9 locking it has more potential for accuracy as it not sustainable to barrel flop.

  • Mmmtacos

    I didn’t like the APX when I first saw it, probably one of the few guns that looked ugly with two-tone to me. This one is quite a bit more appealing, but just doesn’t have the sexy lines of a Beretta, the slide mounted safety (well, no complaints there) or some special unlocking system instead favoring the regular (albeit of course, proven) Browning system.

    The new finish though has me warming up to it. If the price is right I may see another Beretta in my future.

    On an off-note, what a serendipitous day, another article concerning a subject I was just thinking about yesterday.

  • Lance

    Overall since no new caliber was selected then it makes no sense to goto another 9mm pistol. The question if MHS would seceded would be what caliber in the end the Army will choose. If we stay with 9mm then this is ICC 2.0 all over again.

  • English

    Am I the only one who thinks it looks like beretta decided to make the walther ppq?

  • Has a safety? Okay, I’ll buy one.

  • Don Ward

    Good. It has a safety. And being a Beretta, it still finds a way to be somewhat attractive despite being a polymer contraption.

  • Giolli Joker

    Looks shorter than the one I handled in IDEX…

  • hacedeca

    All the Glock-Nay-Sayers must come clear with the fact, that everybody is producing Glocks now. Yawn! Somehow chinese, I’d say…

    • Kivaari

      The ones using a the XD-style strikers wont cut it for me. I just don’t like them, even with the nice trigger pulls it allows.

      • Lt_Scrounge

        My police trade in Glock has such a light trigger pull that I won’t carry it with a round in the chamber. My preferred concealed carry holster is an IWB and that thing is simply too ease to make go bang for me to want that risk. It has almost the same trigger pull as a decent 1911, and I wouldn’t carry one of those cocked and a round in the chamber without the safety on. Better safe than sorry. The Israelis train to rack the slide when bringing up to target. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

        • Kivaari

          You can easily put a new connector I Glocks. We were issued G17 or G19 having the 3.5 pound connector. We never had NGs. I wouldn’t hesitate to carry a Glock fully stuffed and ready to go. A gun that needs to have the slide racked is no gun at all. Just like packing a S&W M10 .38 Special revolver, the gun needs to be ready to go at any time and with one hand only. Serious users will not carry the chamber dry, unless it is a demand of higher ups. At 3.5# (the G34 competition trigger) all of us could shoot much better. NYPD installs 11-14 pound trigger pulls, because they wont train the officers adequately. The Glock will not fire unless the trigger is fully depressed. I am not a fan of the M1911, and have owned many of them out of nostalgia, not out of practicality. Israelis for the most part are more worried about NGs than being ready. I don’t know how they expect to fire a shot from a pistol without a chambered round, if the officer is fighting to retain control of his gun. It allows your adversary an edge, they should not have. It is why we carried two guns, with a .38 Centennial in the off-hand front pocket. If we are struggling to keep the Glock holstered during a grab attempt, the off-hand can be used to get it, or to make another move.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            The trigger on my Glock has a weight and pull length comparable to a 1911, without a manual the benefit of an added safety. The trigger only goes back about 1/8th of an inch before the striker drops. I will carry it with a round in the chamber in my paddle holster, but since I normally carry it in an IWB holster, I am not risking something getting into the trigger guard and ventilating my leg.

          • Kivaari

            I have never found a Glock having that short f a pull. It must have an aftermarket FCG. With a factory trigger you can install anything you like. Going off-label you can get a very light pull. I never had a Glock with a M1911-type pull. That would be too easy, especially if holster has a retainer that rides over the trigger guard area while holstering. I always cover the opening while holstering. My two Glocks have the standard trigger/connector running at 5.5#s.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            This was a police trade in from a small department somewhere, so it might have an aftermarket trigger installed. It breaks with VERY little pressure once the little blade in the trigger has been depressed out of the way. I can make it go off with less than half of my finger tip actually on the trigger. As long as there is enough pressure to depress that trigger safety there is almost enough pressure to cause it to go off. I would love that kind of trigger pull on a target pistol, but am not that fond of it for something that might be used in a high stress situation. I carry it in my get home bag, but keep my Kahr K9 on my hip. The trigger pull on the K9 is longer and heavier but really smooth so I feel more confident that I won’t have a negligent discharge with it. Once I get the new holster made, I’ll start carrying the Tristar. It’s love to get an actual CZ 75 compact, but until I can afford another gun, I’ll carry the Tristar. The Tristar worked well for my ccw qualification and the 4 day defensive handgun class at Front Sight so I’ll be more than happy to carry it.

    • Bullphrog855

      And the Glock fandom needs to come to the fact that most of them are are doing it better than Glock. 😉

  • vwVwwVwv

    a lot of glocks these days

  • Kivaari

    Well, I like it. If it uses a Glock-type striker, I will really like it.

  • Broz

    Looks like the result of miscegenation between a Glock and an S&W M&P…

  • Julius No


  • Phil Hsueh

    This has me wondering, if the current issue pistol is the M9 and its successor to be named the M17, what happened to M10 – 16? I know that various SpecOps units use pistols besides the M9 but, as far as I know, none of those use an M designation, except maybe the MARSOC 1911. Were there other pistols that were considered seriously enough to be given an M designation after we adopted the M9 that were never put into service, sort of like the YF-23?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      That’s… not how it works.

      And you sure you can’t think of when they used an “M16”?

      • Phil Hsueh

        That’s the way it works with fighter craft and naval vessels, they continue the numbers sequentially, but of course they do do the occaisional reset or skip a bunch like with the Century series of fighters. I would have thought that this methodology carried through with small arms as well, after all, we had the M1 Garand, the M2 & M3 carbines, followed on eventually with the M4 carbine. Then we skip a whole bunch of numbers to get the M14, skip 15 to get the M16, or was there ever to be an M15 or did the Air Force’s use of the AR-15 nomenclature take care of that?

        Pistols are kind of a mixed bag since before the M9 was the M1911 and used the year of acceptance instead of just a number. Thinking of this, could pistol numbering be based on the last digit(s) of the year of adoption, is the Army planning on adopting the M17 in 2017 and was the M9 adopted in ’89?

        • Lt_Scrounge

          There was an M11. It was the Sig P228 that was issued to CID agents.

  • Nilly

    What, the tan rattlecan wasn’t ready in time for the SHOT Show?

  • L Cavendish

    so when will it be on sale? or will it by like Kel-Tec…all hype and no availability
    at least Ruger’s American is already available for sale…

  • L Cavendish

    hate that color…baby poop anyone? LOL

  • parabellum

    Nice– they even got the rotational direction of the safety selector right: down for fire. Now they should go back and fix the 92s.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    I have no interest. Its ugly and its not hammer fired, but they did do
    well changing to a frame safety. Ill stick with a 220/226, 1911, FNX, or
    Taurus 92. I do however really like the STI/Detonics entry for the

  • Town22

    Poor Beretta, they came late to the dance.

  • thomas

    So Berretta built a glock/sig?

  • Dave Hamer

    Take the safetyv
    off and you have a Canik TP9SF