A few months ago, I decided to pick up something different from what I currently shoot. I snagged a Beretta APX Compact at my local gun shop. When I first picked it up and put the gun in my hand, I immediately noticed how aggressive the grip checkering was on the handgun which isn’t a bad thing for me. I think this is a good alternative to stippling and with three adjustable backstraps, the gun is able to fit a lot of different hand types. The grip is right in between a Glock 19 and a Glock 26. The APX Compact is just big enough to fit all my fingers onto the grip which is a plus for being controllable. The compact version holds 13 rounds in a flush magazine and is a fairly compact gun.
The APX is rather thick in width for what it is, but it helps with charging the slide and manipulations. My APX has a crisp trigger with a defined wall which felt fairly nice for a stock factory trigger. I couldn’t find a model with night sights in stock so I bought the basic three dot set up that does the job fine. The combat style sights are easy to pick up and do well for quick transitions.
One thing that really surprised me was the mag release pressure. The magazine flies out of the gun when you hit the release. I was surprised more than once with how much force the magazine shoots out of the gun, but it’s useful when you get used to it. The overall ergonomics of the gun felt great and reminded me of the full-size APX. In the hand, the gun felt solid and the stippling made the gun feel anchored in your hand.
The disassembly of the APX is fairly straightforward and breaks down like most polymer handguns with a disassembly lever. I did clean the gun before hitting the range but didn’t throw a ton of lube on the slide because I wanted to see how it would function. I spent about an hour dry firing the trigger and getting used to the gun after cleaning it, I was happy with how predictable the trigger pull was after a little bit of practice.
When it comes to weapon lights, the APX Compact has a Picatinny rail for accessories, but it is a small space that does not have enough room to attach a Surefire X300 Ultra or a Streamlight HL. There is enough space though for a small laser or an Inforce APLc, so heads up there. The square trigger guard reminds me of the trigger guard from the M9A2 for some reason, but it doesn’t affect shooting or handling. I shot this earlier when it was cold as well, and the trigger guard was large enough to shoot with gloves on. Wearing gloves can sometimes be a challenge when shooting in the cold months, but the APX Compact was very enjoyable to shoot with gloves.
When it comes to shooting the APX Compact, the gun is very controllable and rather comfortable for the size of the gun. It has a very smooth recoil which makes it an easy gun to pick up and shoot. This controllability is most likely due to its larger size than a gun with similar capacity but smaller package. The SIG Sauer P365, for example, has a quick straight back recoil that can seem snappy if you run higher pressure self-defense rounds. The P365 can be a handful with certain shooters but is much smaller. The APX is a larger handgun. but is much softer to shoot when it comes to recoil.
On my first range trip, I put roughly 1,800-1,850 rounds through the APX compact and overall I thought it was a fairly nice gun to shoot. I didn’t have an amazing reaction where I fell in love with the handgun. It was a really pleasant experience and since it shoots so softly, I did find myself enjoying the gun at the end of the day. The aggressive factory stippling in the front didn’t tear my hand up but kept the gun right where I wanted it and I liked how the overall grip performed while shooting it.
I plan on shooting the gun more and I will keep you guys updated with my thoughts in a few months. So far, I am enjoying the APX Compact and think it fits a unique role in the market between a Glock 19 and Glock 26. I would put this in the same category as the VP9SK or P30SK from H&K where they are compact guns but not micros. I’m happy with how positive the grip is and how it almost feels like an extension of the full-size APX. I plan on continuing my test of the APX Compact and will report back with how it has been running. Let me know what you guys think of the Beretta APX Compact in the comments below. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!
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