Beretta AR70/90

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Beretta AR70/90
2june 2007 209.jpg
Italian soldiers of San Marco Regiment with the Beretta AR70/90 rifle (Rome, 2007)
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Italy
Service history
In service 1972–1990 (AR70/90 .223)
1990–present (AR70/90)
Used by See Users
Wars War in Afghanistan, Iraq War
Production history
Designer Beretta
Designed 1972 (AR70/.223)
1985 (AR70/90)
Manufacturer Beretta
Variants See Variants
Weight 3.99 kg (8.80 lb) (varies slightly)
Length 998 mm (39.3 in) (varies slightly)

Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO
Caliber 5.56mm
Action Gas-operated
Rate of fire 650 RPM (varies slightly)
Muzzle velocity 950 m/s (3,100 ft/s)
Effective firing range 500 m (1,600 ft)
Feed system 30 round STANAG Magazine
100-round C-Mag drum magazine
Sights Iron/grenade sights

The Beretta AR70/90 is a gas operated self-loading assault rifle chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge, and is the standard issue service rifle of the Italian Armed Forces. The weapon is also designed to be fitted with a rifle grenade, and has grenade sights. The AR series comes in many variants such as the AR90, with a wire folding stock, for use by paratroopers.


The Beretta AR70/90 assault rifle was developed in the 1980s when the Italian Government decided that its military and law enforcement agencies needed a new standard service weapon. It was made to be compatible with other NATO weapons by the adoption of standard 5.56mm STANAG loaders, whereas the AR70/90's predecessor, the BM59, derived from the U.S. M1 Garand, was chambered in 7.62 (.308), another NATO caliber which today is considered suitable mostly for sniper or machine gun use. There is a semi-auto version of the AR-70/90 called the AR 70/90S which lacks a flash hider and bayonet mount.


The AR-70/90 is manufactured according to 1980s standards, i.e. with limited use of polymer plastic parts and using stainless steel whenever possible (a Beretta staple). It weighs approximately 4 kg in standard configuration. It has three firing positions (full auto, three-round burst, and semi-auto) and a safe, and has a carrying handle not unlike the Vietnam-era M16, a long, bulky barrel, and a hollow stock. It is usually fitted with an ACOG or a red dot optic.


As of late 2010 the AR70/90 is supplemented in service by the new Beretta ARX-160, a totally new project which sees a great leap forward in soldier-to-weapon interfacing, several major developments in sighting and firepower such as the integrated (and also detachable) grenade launcher GLX-160, and the "Future Soldier Program" integration.


Version Caliber Length Barrel length Mass Effective range Rate of fire
AR70/223 5.56×45mm M193 995 mm 450 mm 3.8 kg 400 m 650 rpm
AR70/90, SC70/90 5.56×45mm NATO 998 (756) mm 450 mm 4.07 kg 500 m 670 rpm
SCP70/90 5.56×45mm NATO 908 (663) mm 360 mm 3.8 kg 350 m 670 rpm


Italian soldier of the Folgore Brigade armed with an SC70/90 rifle.
  •  Burkina Faso[1]
  •  Egypt: Ordered 2450 SCP.[2]
  •  Honduras: Delivered 1,000 in 2006.[3]
  •  Italy: Army has 105,000 AR70s and 15,000 SCP70s in service; the weapons are also in service with the Navy, Air Force, Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza and Polizia di Stato.[4] Those models are going to be decommissioned in favor of ARX-160.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35th edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  2. ^ Giorgio Beretta. "Italia: ecco le armi esportate da Berlusconi a dittatori e regimi autoritari". ControllArmi. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Alvaro Diaz. "Las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras comenzarán el 2014 con nueva cúpula militar. El país busca en Israel asistencia técnica para repotenciar los F-5". Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]