So here we have my current Unicorn. The Beretta APX. Beretta has been taunting me with this thing for about a year now, and I’m getting a little sick of waiting, honestly. But if Beretta is taking the time to get it right, I suppose it will be worthwhile.
In the meantime, I’d like to address a little something that you may have noticed in that pic up there. The controls are all in the normal spots. Mag release at the tip of my thumb, low. Slide release at the upper rotation. Take-down lever where it should be. Manual safety where it will perfectly meet my chubby thumb knuckle…
That’s not on the earlier released images of the APX. And there is a very good possibility that we know why it’s there now. Along with the brown on brown color scheme. Guns for US Military contracts have to have an external safety. (I may be wrong on that, but it has always been the case.) And with Beretta’s M9A3 being declined already… well, I didn’t expect Beretta to just give up and go home, and neither did you.
Now, this isn’t a new thing. Adding a manual safety to a gun that doesn’t need it, that is. Smith and Wesson has been doing it on the M&P from the very beginning. After all, many Military Police agencies require it, and it is called the M&P for a reason. But they are also available without, and this tends to follow with every company who has a striker gun with a manual safety. But S&W did a decent job with it, from what I have seen. It fits and works just like on the 1911, which is pretty much how it should be.
Ruger has a little tiny manual safety on the side of the LC9s, which I first considered just to be a “We don’t want to make a lot of new tooling” holdover from the hammer fired LC9. With its freaky semi-DAO system and magazine disconnect, one would thing the LC9 was safe enough, but no… no it wasn’t. And the little manual safety on the LC9 and LC9s have had complaints from a lot of folks for being too small, too slick, too stiff or otherwise slightly problematic. The LC9s Pro model lacks the safety, and there are instructions everywhere for removal on the standard models.
And yes, even GLOCK gave it a whirl. For those who hate Gaston’s creation, or just don’t know, the Glock has four safeties. The only one that is even close to manual, is the trigger safety. Building the safety into the trigger is pretty standard on newer striker fired designs. And even with the manual safety on there, like the Ruger, S&W and GLOCK pictured here, they did not remove the trigger mechanisms when they stuck the thumb switch in there.
A manual safety on a striker gun doesn’t bother me if it is done properly. It needs to fit my thumb rotation and catch on the knuckle, not be loose, not be stuck, and engage positively in both positions. If it’s going to be there, it needs to function well. And, as I said in the beginning of this post, I’m sure Beretta is doing exactly that with this gun. Making sure it’s all right.