Beretta APX Combat optics-ready pistol
The APX line of striker-fired, polymer frame pistols by Beretta now includes a tactical, optics-ready version: the APX Combat comes with a threaded barrel and a modular reflex sight interface
First showcased at the 2018 edition of the NSSF SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the Beretta APX Combat is a tactical-oriented version of the Italian company's striker fired pistol platform.
There's not much left to say about the APX pistol design that hasn't been said already: Beretta's first striker-fired, polymer frame service- and combat-oriented full-size pistol, it is based on a modified Browning tilting barrel working system and a locking mechanism more akin to that of a SIG Sauer P220 than to those used by other handguns of the same Company. The APX was first announced in 2016, and launched officially worldwide in 2017 after scoring second place in the MHS - Modular Handgun System competition for the replacement of the glorious M9 as the U.S. Army's service sidearm. The contest was won by SIG Sauer.
The launch of the APX gets a generally traditionalist company like Beretta in line with the current market trends; the APX series is set to replace the rotating-barrel Px4 Storm, and possibly even the venerable but now aging M92 line.
And indeed, Beretta seems to have great expectations for the future of the Beretta APX design – so much so that new variants were added to turn a single handgun into a full-fledged weapon system in a very short amount of time, just about one year.
The year 2018 saw the launch fo the APX Compact and APX Centurion concealed carry versions, as well as the introduction of the APX RDO and APX Combat models, both offering the desirable aability to easily mount a small size reflex or red dot sight on the slide.
The ability to mount a reflex sight provides the new version of the Beretta APX pistol an undeniable advantage and appeal for defensive and tactical uses. Likewise, the growing popularity of pistol shooting disciplines where reflex or red dot sights are used on tactical or defensive pistols – such as the IPSC Production Optics and the USPSA and IDPA Carry Optics divisions – are contributing to the growth of a market niche which the new Beretta APX Combat and APX RDO pistols seem to be aiming to take on by storm.
What tells the Beretta APX Combat apart from the mentioned APX RDO is essentially the barrel: while both models can be promptly equipped with small-sized red dot sights, the APX RDO model comes with a standard barrel while the APX Combat doesn't.
The cold-hammer forged barrel of the Beretta APX Combat is 125 mm (4.9") long in contrast with the 108 mm (4") standard barrel length of the APX, and comes with six right handed grooves and a 1:10" twist in 9mm caliber or a 1:16" twist in .40 Smith & Wesson.
The muzzle features a 1:2x28TPI thread, normally protected by an easily removable cap, allowing the installation of competition-oriented accessories such as muzzle brakes, flash hiders or compensators, as well as of silencers or sound suppressors for military and law enforcement uses or for civilians where allowed by law.
Another feature that tells the Beretta APX Combat apart from the baseline model is a redesigned slide conceived specifically to provide a mounting platform for reflex/red dot pistol sights – a feature it shares with the APX RDO model.
The redesigned slide features a new seat for the indicator of the automatic firing pin block safety – which protrudes briefly from atop the slide itself when the trigger is pulled – and a modular, proprietary optics interface system consisting of four interchangeable mounting plates conceived for compatibility with five of the most common reflex pistol sights currently manufactured by Burris, Trijicon, Leupold, C-More, and Docter.
Each Beretta APX Combat pistol comes equipped with a full set of interface plates and a a fixed blanking plate that covers the slide cut and allows the pistol to be used sans optic mount. The only downside of the system is that its position and height does not allow the reflex sight to cowitness with the factory iron sights given their low profile. An issue that may be fixed in the future, when higher-profile iron sights shall become available either from the company itself or from third party manufacturers.
As previously mentioned, the Beretta APX Combat is available in 9mm Luger (9x21 IMI for the Italian civilian market, due to local restrictions) and .40 Smith & Wesson. Magazines are available in 10-rounds and 15-rounds capacity for both calibers; 17-rounds capacity magazines are available in 9mm only.
Also available for the Beretta APX line of pistols is a set of extended magazines with a protruding synthetic pad, specifically conceived for free dropping in competition, offering up to eighteen rounds in .40 Smith & Wesson and up to twenty-one rounds in 9mm.
The Beretta APX Combat pistol is already shipping worldwide; the manufacturer's suggested retail price is set at $715.00 in the United States, while the average price in Europe ranges around 800 Euro.