Beretta revealed its first full-size striker fired pistol, the Beretta APX, at the IDEX (International Defence Exhibition & Conference) in Abu Dhabi last week.
The Beretta APX joins Beretta’s handgun lineup - folks that converged in Abu Dhabi for IDEX had a chance to have a look at it before it is released in the United States.
What about Beretta reveals that are more targeted to the U.S.? At the SHOT Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Beretta featured a range of new weapons including the debut of the new M9A3 pistol. In December 2014, Beretta USA submitted to the U.S. Army the M9 Engineering Change Proposal that outlines their key advances to the M9 including enhanced reliability, durability, ergonomics and modularity.
IDEX is one of the first big fixtures on the defense tech calendar so many companies opt to unveil their latest and greatest to the international military customers there.
Since 1915, Beretta has manufactured semi-automatic pistols and the company will now be one of the few major players that makes full-size polymer and metallic framed handguns in both hammer and now striker fired operating systems.
The company has produced more than 600,000 of the M9 U.S. Armed Forces sidearm for the Department of Defense over the past 30 years. Their first full-size striker fired pistol, the APX, has also been designed with the needs of the military and law enforcement in mind.
Beretta and Beretta Defense Technologies Vice President Carlo Ferlito explained, in a statement, that “Beretta waited to enter the striker fired market until we had a pistol we knew would meet the needs of the operator. The APX has been more than three years in development. We tested it extensively with professional end users and incorporated that feedback at every opportunity.”
“The result is a pistol platform that delivers superior performance in durability, reliability, accuracy and ergonomics,” he said.
The pistol can withstand a 45,000-round firing schedule with 5,000 rounds between stoppages, according to Beretta. That degree of success in exhaustive testing would suggest it is highly durable and reliable.
It is still early days since the Army requirements have yet to be released, but Beretta does plan to enter the APX to compete for the eventual U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System selection. In the meantime, the IDEX reveal began generating buzz in the market beyond the US military.
The APX may have been tailored to meet the military and law enforcement client needs, but the company will also make a commercial version available later this year.
The APX in a nutshell
The full-size 7.55-inch-long APX is a striker fired pistol built on a chassis system. The just over 4.25 inch long barrel is cold-hammer forged and there is a nitriding surface treatment on all the steel parts. Beretta describes the operation as semi-auto, tilting barrel locking system using a non-pre-cocked striker block.
The serialized stainless steel chassis is encased with a fiberglass reinforced polymer frame and this helps to reduce the weight. With an empty magazine loaded, the APX weighs about 26.8 ounces in the 9 mm versions and just over 26.8 ounces in the .40 S&W variant.
To accommodate different hand sizes, there are three sizes of removable backstraps and grips. Each option provides a different palm swell and length of pull for the user.
For those who may need to wear heavy gloves, the trigger guard opening is designed to make that possible. APX also features coarse slide serration making cocking with cumbersome gloves easier.
The trigger, designed to be flatter and wider than others in the striker-fired pistol space, has a pull weight of about 6 pounds. The trigger travel is 6 mm, with reset at 3.
For mounting accessories, the APX has the standard 1913 Picatinny rail. Keeping in mind the military customer, the APX sights will be a standard three-dot combat sight system with a unique mounting system. For one handed slide cycling, there’s a rear sight ninety-degree face.
Fieldstripping and switching components should be super easy. Triggerless disassembly is one of the advantages of striker-fired pistols and the APX has enhanced safety with the ability to disassemble without pulling the trigger. There is a disconnector pin on the rear right side of the pistol under the breech.
When will it hit U.S. shores?
The company intends to submit a variant of the new APX pistol to the upcoming U.S. Army Modular Handgun System and a similar model tailored for the civilian consumer should be released later this year.
Eventually, it will be available in 9x19 mm with 17 round magazine capacity, .40 S&W with 15 round magazine capacity and 9x21 mm IMI calibers with 15 round magazine capacity. The APX will not take M9/M92 magazines to the dismay of some.
Beretta has yet to confirm a price point or release date in the United States.
But you can follow this link to become one of the first to know when APX becomes commercially available in the U.S.
IDEX is the only international defense exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North Africa that showcases tech that encompasses land, sea, and air defense. Held biennially, IDEX is conducted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
At this year's IDEX, more than 1,100 companies from around the world converged to showcase their wares covering 124,000 square meters of space.
IDEX is touted as an opportunity to reach potential buyers in the Middle East and North Africa – as well as beyond.
Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Allison_Barrie.
Allison Barrie consults at the highest levels of defense, has travelled to more than 70 countries, is a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees and now the author of the new book "Future Weapons: Access Granted" covering invisible tanks through to thought-controlled fighter jets. You can click here for more information on FOX Firepower columnist and host Allison Barrie and you can follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie.