Beretta APX A1 Compact: A Review of the Newest Addition to the APX Family

in Authors, Crysta Jane, Gun Reviews, Handguns
Beretta APX A1 Compact
The A1: Beretta’s Newest Addition to the APX Family

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

In the ever-evolving world of firearms, manufacturers are constantly striving to create innovative and reliable weapons that cater to the needs of shooters. The Beretta APX is a family of polymer-framed, modular, striker-fired semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Beretta. The series began in 2016, starting with the full-size standard model. The line includes compact, concealed carry, and competition models. 

Beretta APX A1 Compact view of the left side
Beretta APX A1 Compact left side view
Beretta 9mm right side view
Beretta APX A1 Compact right side view

The Beretta APX A1 Compact is a highly anticipated addition to the APX series, known for its exceptional reliability and performance. Designed for concealed carry and personal defense, this compact pistol offers a perfect balance of size, firepower, and ergonomics. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the features, specifications, and performance of the Beretta APX A1 Compact, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses.

Design and Build Quality

The APX A1 Compact boasts a sleek and modern design, featuring a polymer frame with aggressive texturing for enhanced grip and control. The overall build quality is excellent, with attention to detail evident in every aspect of the firearm. The slide is made from durable stainless steel, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear and tear. The Aqua Tech Shield coating ensures top-notch corrosion resistance, while the extended frame stippling and squared trigger guard provide enhanced control. The compact size and lightweight construction make it ideal for concealed carry, without compromising on reliability or accuracy.

Beretta APX A1 Compact and interchangeable backstraps
Beretta APX A1 Compact

Performance and Reliability

One of the standout features of the Beretta APX A1 Compact is its exceptional performance and reliability. The pistol is chambered in 9mm, offering a balance between stopping power and manageable recoil. The striker-fired system provides a consistent trigger pull, resulting in precise and predictable shots. The APX A1 Compact has proven to be highly reliable, with minimal malfunctions or failures to feed, fire, or eject. This reliability is crucial for a self-defense firearm, ensuring peace of mind in critical situations.

Winchester 9mm Luger ammo
Winchester 9mm for Testing

Ergonomics and Comfort

Beretta has paid great attention to ergonomics in the design of the APX A1 Compact. The grip is comfortable and well-contoured. The slide serrations, trigger guard, and grip make it disappear in the palm of your hand. The  APX A1 Compact comes with 3 different backstrap sizes, all marked visibly as S,M,L accommodating various hand sizes. The APX A1 Compact’s slide is well-balanced, and the gun points naturally with a good grip angle. The aggressive texturing on the grip ensures a secure hold. The ambidextrous slide catch and reversible magazine release make it suitable for both right and left-handed shooters. The low bore axis and minimal muzzle rise contribute to reduced recoil, allowing for faster follow-up shots and improved accuracy.

Beretta's Large backstrap size
Backstrap sizes all visibly marked

A1 Sights and Optics

The Beretta APX A1 Compact is equipped with a red fiber optic front sight and an optics-ready slide, which allows for the attachment of various optics kits. Beretta offers 5 different optic kit options available for purchase. The bright fiber-optic front sight was easy to pick up quickly and the pistol also features a two-slot rail for the addition of a flashlight or laser, further expanding its optics capabilities. This combination of features makes the Beretta APX A1 Compact a robust and versatile firearm, ready to accommodate a wide range of optics and accessories.

Beretta A1 bottom view to show pic rail
Picatinny Rail

SEE MORE: Tough Meets Tiny – The Beretta APX Carry

Beretta Fiber Optic Sight
Red Fiber Optic Sight

Magazine Capacity and Controls

The Beretta APX A1 Compact comes with a generous magazine capacity of 15 rounds, providing ample firepower for self-defense situations. The magazine release is easily accessible and responsive, allowing for quick and efficient reloads. The oversized controls, including the ambidextrous slide stop, are very noticeable and easy to operate under stress but are a bit stiff out of the box. In the case for my review of the APX A1 Compact, there was 2 magazines and a magazine loader. The magazine loader was not very effective due to the design of the piece that pushed the bullets down, causing them to point upwards and misload. It was faster for me to not use it and have sore thumbs instead.

Beretta APX A1 contents in the case
Everything in the case

Safety Features

Winchester 9mm
Time to shoot some Winchester 9mm

Beretta has incorporated several safety features into the APX A1 Compact. These include a striker block safety, trigger safety, and a loaded chamber indicator. The trigger safety prevents accidental discharges, while the loaded chamber indicator provides a visual and tactile indication of a round in the chamber. I did find that the loaded chamber indicator wasn’t very distinguishable and would make me second guess whether there was a round chambered or not if I wasn’t familiar with it.

Beretta loaded chamber indicator
Loaded – Chamber Indicator
Beretta chamber indicator empty
Empty – Chamber Indicator

Specifications For the APX A1

Magazine10, 15
Barrel Length3.7″
Overall Length6.9″
Weight27.7 oz.

Disassembly and Maintenance

Disassembling the Beretta APX A1 Compact for cleaning and maintenance is a simple process. After ensuring the firearm is unloaded, users can remove the slide by retracting it slightly and engaging the takedown lever. The barrel and recoil spring assembly can then be easily removed for cleaning. The APX A1 Compact’s design minimizes the number of small parts, simplifying maintenance and reducing the risk of losing components.

Pros and Cons of the A1


  • Excellent reliability and performance
  • Comfortable and ergonomic grip
  • Versatile ambidextrous controls
  • Ample magazine capacity
  • Easy disassembly and maintenance


  • Limited aftermarket accessory options compared to other compact pistols
  • Slightly heavier than some competitors in its class

More: Beretta’s New APX Carry Sub-Compact 9mm

shooting the Beretta APX A1 Compact at watermelons
Fun shooting with the APX A1 at a watermelon and target square
Shooting the Beretta APX A1
Comfortable to shoot

Conclusion On the Beretta APX A1

In conclusion, the Beretta APX A1 Compact is a top-tier handgun that excels in performance, reliability, and versatility. Its compact size, ergonomic design, and excellent build quality make it an ideal choice for concealed carry and personal defense. With its impressive features, ease of use, and exceptional reliability, the APX A1 Compact is a worthy investment for both experienced shooters and those new to firearms. Whether for self-defense or recreational shooting, the Beretta APX A1 Compact delivers on all fronts, making it a highly recommended choice in the compact handgun market.

Shooting the Beretta
Testing away

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