February 14, 2020
By Brad Fitzpatrick
Beretta’s new APX Carry is the trimmed-down, single-stack version of the brand’s full-size APX striker-fired pistol line that’s built in the company’s Gallatin, Tennessee, factory. Like the full-size APX, the Carry version comes with a nitrocarburized slide with aggressive texturing along its entire length and a polymer frame. But unlike the larger APX, the Carry model is small enough for inconspicuous carry, even under light clothing.
The APX Carry is equipped with a 3.07-inch barrel with a six-groove 1:10 RH twist. Like the slide, the barrel is nitrocarburized for maximum durability and minimal maintenance.
The reinforced polymer frame—available in black, OD green, wolf gray and flat dark earth—is serialized and measures just 0.9 inch wide. Length is 5.63 inches overall, and height is 4.17 inches, dimensions that compare favorably with other pistols in this class. The APX Carry’s length is less than the Glock 43 (6.26 inches), the Walther PPS M2 (6.3 inches) and the Ruger EC9s (6.0 inches), and its height is also shorter than all three of those guns.
At 20 ounces unloaded, the Beretta is heavier than the Ruger and the Glock but about an ounce lighter than the Walther.
There’s no manual safety on the APX Carry, but it’s equipped with both an automatic striker block safety and an integral trigger safety. A striker deactivation button allows the gun to be decocked without having to pull the trigger.
In keeping with the ultra-concealable design cues, the APX Carry’s controls are minimal and unobtrusive. There’s a small slide stop and a reversible oval-shaped magazine release.
The APX Carry breaks down differently than other APX pistols. After removing the magazine and ensuring the pistol is unloaded, decock the gun and turn the takedown screw on the right side of the frame 90 degrees to remove the slide and barrel.
The frame itself is well-designed and shooter-friendly with deep finger grooves, a substantial undercut and a trigger guard that will comfortably accommodate large fingers. The texturing on the grip panels is functional but mild and it’s bookended by aggressive texturing on the frontstrap and backstrap.
The backstrap features a noticeable bulge that forces the hand high on the grip, and there’s a substantial beavertail. Unlike some competing models, the APX Carry doesn’t ship with additional backstraps or grip panels, although the grip geometry should accommodate the hands of most shooters.
Two metal magazines as well as interchangeable base pads are included. The six-round magazine functions with either a flush-fitting base plate or a pinky extension. An eight-round extended magazine, which is ideal for those with really large hands and is more practical for range applications, is also included.
The APX Carry comes with a pinned post front sight with a white dot and a drift-adjustable black rear ledge sight that’s dovetailed into the slide. Aftermarket XS Big Dot and tritium sights are available from Beretta, but he standard sights work well. The large white front dot is easy to find and the low-profile design won’t hang up when drawing.
Aggressive texturing on the slide makes it easy to grasp for reloading and press checks, and the spring weight isn’t excessively heavy. The gnarly texturing is a real benefit when dropping the slide on reloads because the slide stop is small and requires significant force to operate. It’s much easier to slingshot the slide.
The mag release is well positioned, and there were no issues with the six-round magazines hanging up in the gun. They load smoothly and easily.
The APX Carry’s trigger pull is very long even for a striker-fired gun, although it’s relatively smooth. A long trigger pull isn’t necessarily unwelcome on a carry gun, but shooters with long fingers may find the design burdensome. The trigger broke at six pounds. Recoil is quite manageable, though, thanks to a low bore axis and well-designed grip.
Despite a long trigger pull, the APX Carry is relatively accurate for a 9mm with a three-inch barrel, and group size averages at 15 yards ranged from 2.1 inches to 2.8 inches with five different loads. There were a few malfunctions. In one instance the extractor failed to pull an empty clear of the chamber, and on four occasions the slide failed to lock back upon after firing the last round.
Overall, the Beretta is trim, light and easy to carry and conceal. I could hide it under light clothing in a belly band holster, and even in an inside-the-waistband holster, it won’t print with loose-fitting garments. Being able to decock the pistol for disassembly without pulling the trigger is a bonus. The nitrocarburized finish and polymer construction will hold up well to the rigors of everyday carry.
At $450 it’s attractively priced, and it’s a functional and well-designed carry gun that probably deserves more of a market share in the crowded concealed-carry market.
Beretta APX Carry Specs
- Type: striker-fired centerfire
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 6+1, 8+1
- Barrel: 3.1 in., nitrocarburized
- OAL/Height/Width: 5.6/4.2/0.98 in.
- Weight: 20 oz.
- Construction: matte black nitrocarburized steel slide, black polymer frame (as tested)
- Trigger: 6 lb. pull (measured)
- Sights: pinned white dot front, ledged black rear
- Safeties: automatic striker block, integral trigger safety
- Price: $450
- Contact: Beretta USA, beretta.com
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