Welcome to another episode of "I Carry,"Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today, we have a Beretta APX Compact 9 mm in a Crossbreed holster. We also have Magpul sunglasses, Walker’s electronic ear buds and a Crossbreed magazine carrier.
Beretta APX Compact (MSRP: $575)
Beretta unveiled its first full-size, polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol, the APX, in 2017, and expanded the line in 2018 to include an optics-ready model, a tactical model with threaded barrel and the subject of today’s “I Carry,” the Compact. With a shorter barrel (3.7 inches to the full-size’s 4.25), lower height (4.8 inches compared to 5.6) and lighter weight (26.4 ounces versus 28.2), the Compact offers a more-concealable version of the full-size pistol while maintaining the same overall feel and manual-of-arms.
When we reviewed the APX in 2017, the most-notable part of the pistol aside from the love-it-or-hate-it slide serrations was the removable fire-control group. This piece, the actual serialized part that makes it a firearm, can be removed from the grip frame and put into different housings to better fit it to the shooter’s hand. Couple this with a 13-round magazine and the ability to accept the full-size pistol’s 17-round magazines, and the APX Compact offers plentiful capacity and a precise fit in the hand—excellent reasons to choose a pistol for EDC.
One of the advantages to a system like the APX that have multiple sizes available, is the ability to own and carry different sizes that use the same operating system. This Compact version could be a “summer” carry gun, covered by a large T-shirt or polo shirt, while the full-size version is the go-to for winter wear, when cover options are more plentiful. The core shooting experience will be the same, so practicing with either gun should yield identical results. Even better, you’ll even have a backup option when taking classes, which is when the gun gremlins like to induce weekend-ruining failures.
CrossBreed Dropslide Holster (MSRP: $51.95)
Outside the waistband holsters like Crossbreed’s DropSlide work well to present your handgun rapidly while maintaining concealment. The Dropslide’s hybrid design is meant to offer a mixture of comfort and utility. The leather backing is more forgiving against the skin, while the Kydex portion is molded specifically to the firearm for excellent retention. One word of caution with hybrid systems, though, centers on the leather component—periodically check the sweat guard to make sure it is retaining its shape. The possibility exists that exposure to moisture in the form of sweat or rain might cause the sweat guard to lose its shape over time.
Magpul Terrain Glasses (MSRP: $149)
Magpul’s Gear line, expanded significantly in 2018, offers ballistically rated eye wear like the Terrain line of sunglasses. While you might not think of eye protection as EDC gear, think of the Terrain as everyday sunglasses that also work on the range. With lightweight construction and rugged materials, the Terrain glasses are rated for high velocity impact, making them safe to use on the range. Myriad combinations of lens and frame colors allow customization to individual tastes.
Walker’s Silencer Bluetooth Rechargeable Electronic Ear buds (MSRP: $299.99)
As with the Magpul glasses, hearing protection doesn’t immediately come to mind as an EDC item. However, your smart phone certainly is, and the Walker’s Silencer Bluetooth rechargeable electronic ear buds are engineered to connect to your phone via Bluetooth to work like those fancy Fruit-based earbuds. These ear buds, however, offer a Noise Reduction Rating of 23 decibels, comparable to standard ear muff ratings. But, reducing noise is only part of what these ear buds can do. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can listen to music and even take phone calls right on the range. As for EDC capability, well, think of how often you use headphones or ear muffs around the house: listening to music during a workout, keeping noise to a minimum while mowing the lawn, etc. There’s plenty of use for a “do-it-all” set of ear buds like the Walker’s Silencer Bluetooth Rechargeables.
CrossBreed OWB Mag Carrier (MSRP: $36.25)
Constructed with the same materials as the Dropslide holster referenced earlier, Crossbreed’s coordinated OWB Mag carrier keeps a spare magazine close at hand. With a molded Kydex shell attached to a leather backer for comfort, the OWB mag carrier is a comfortable, affordable option for a spare magazine.