Beretta’s New 9mm, The APX A1 Comp Tac

Beretta APX A1 with Federal Ammo on cement

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The APX A1 Compact Tactical is Beretta’s newest addition to their line of APX pistols. This compact 9mm boasts premium features at an entry-level price. Let’s find out if this pistol lives up to its expectations.

Get A Grip

The very first thing I noticed as I unboxed this pistol was its superb grip texturing. I’m a dedicated Glock fan, so I notice when other manufacturers nail it. The APX grip stands out—it’s aggressively textured like skateboard tape, ensuring a secure grip in any condition.

In addition to the texture, the shape of the grip is very pleasing as well. The ergonomic contours make for a pistol that feels very natural and the three interchangeable grip sections mean that you can create a custom fit for your hand. 

Beretta APX A1 with interchangeable grip sections and extra magazines

For all its comfort this pistol’s grip still has one crucial flaw. The thick beavertail keeps your hand far away from the reciprocating slide to prevent slide bite, but it also keeps your grip well below the linear recoil force that acts on the gun from the height of the barrel. Simply said, the lower your grip, the heavier the felt recoil. 

Beretta APX A1 Compact Tactical with Holosun SCS at the range

I am certainly not saying that the recoil of this 9mm is unmanageable but comparing apples to apples, this pistol is just not as flat shooting as other compact 9mils that allow a higher grip.

APX A1:  Premium Features

The “tactical” designation is defined by the inclusion of a threaded barrel and suppressor height sights. The barrel measures 4.2 inches long and is threaded 1/2×28. The barrel protrudes .75” past the end of the slide which contributes to the 7.75” overall length. 

Beretta APX A1 Compact Tactical with Holosun SCS on ground with brass

The suppressor height sights are of sturdy aluminum construction and are serrated on the back side to reduce glare. 

The tall sights are not only useful for use with a suppressor but more commonly for co-witnessing through a red dot. What a handy coincidence that the slide comes milled to accept an optic. Beretta offers a variety of adapter plates to mount a wide range of optics or, in my case, I have a Holosun SCS which is made to mount directly to the APX slide. I also have an MOS version of the SCS on one of my Glocks and it has performed well so I would say it is a solid option.

Beretta handgun with Holosun red dot on grass

At the time of writing the APX SCS is not on Holosun’s website but hopefully, it will be available soon.

Read More: New Holosun SCS is Solar Powered and Pushing Boundaries

APX Trigger

I generally don’t expect much from the triggers of striker-fired pistols but this one was a pleasant surprise. It consists of a flat-faced body and a center safety leaf that both seem to be well-made and fitted. The trigger pull has a short take-up which leads to a firm wall. The wall has just a small amount of creep before breaking at just under six pounds. Overall a very good trigger for a striker-fired pistol. 

Miscellaneous Features on the APX A1

Another feature to note is that the slide has deep serrations both on the front and the back. I am always happy when pistols include serration on the front of the slide as that is my preferred place to grip, especially on a pistol that has an optic.

Beretta handgun lying on gravelly ground with old bullet brass scattered around it

This pistol comes with three fifteen-round magazines and spares can be found for around $25. They are made of stamped steel and even though the followers seemed to be a bit loose, all three performed reliably.

Disassembly is nice and easy. Just make sure the weapon is clear, pull the trigger, press the button above the trigger on the right side of the gun, twist the lever on the left side, and the slide comes right off. 

Beretta APX A1 Compact Tactical with Holosun SCS disassembled on concrete

This pistol also offers ambidextrous controls. There is a slide release lever on both sides and the magazine release is easily swappable from the left side to the right in just a couple of minutes.

Light Mounting

One of my main criteria for any defensive gun is that it must have a weapon light. Most bad stuff happens at night and target identification is crucial when using deadly force so I don’t see it as something I can skip. The most popular, and my personal favorite, light for use on compact pistols is the Streamlight TLR-7. Its small size fits well on compact handguns yet still boasts an impressive 500 lumens of illumination. 

Unfortunately, the TLR-7 does not naturally fit the APX A1 Compact with any of the six adapter keys that come with the light. The shortest one was just slightly too long to match up with the slots in the APX’s rail. I had the same issue with two other lights I tried as well. The rail was just too short for them to mount properly. 

Beretta APX A1 Compact Tactical with Holosun SCS and streamlight tlr-7

So, if it doesn’t fit; break out the file. The fit was so close with the shortest TLR-7A adapter that I just filed the plastic key down a bit until it mated properly. Getting a good light on this pistol substantially increases its value as a defensive tool. Unfortunately, concealment holster options for this pistol/light combination are limited but I hope that will change as more of these guns hit the market.

At The Range With the APX A1

As I already mentioned, you have to be more conscious of your recoil control with this pistol compared to its piers but that did not stop me from having a good time with it over the last few months. The comfortable ergonomics, aggressive grip texture, and good trigger make it a ton of fun to shoot. 

Looking through sight of Holosun SCS at the range

So far I have about 350 rounds through it and I have yet to have a single malfunction. For most of the review, I was shooting flat-nose 115gr Syntech and 124gr Punch hollow points courtesy of Federal Ammunition. I also used some 115gr PMC and Blazer but the pistol had no issues with any of it. 

Beretta APX A1 with boxes of ammunition and extra magazines on cement


Overall I would say the APX A1 is a pretty good buy considering the $550 MSRP. If you are looking for an optics-ready pistol with a threaded barrel and suppressor height sights, this may be a good option for you. 

Head over to Beretta’s website for more information on this pistol or to find a dealer near you.

*** Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE! ***

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend