Beretta ARX 160
Beretta ARX-160, displayed at Interpolitex 2012.
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Variants||ARX 160SF, ARX 160 PDW, ARX 100|
|Weight||3.1 kg (6.8 lb) (empty with 406 mm barrel)
3.0 kg (6.6 lb) (empty with 302 mm barrel)
|Length||755 mm (29.72 in) (stock exteneded w. 302 mm barrel)
680 mm (26.77 in) (stock collapsed w. 302 mm barrel)
580 mm (22.83 in) (stock folded w. 302 mm barrel)
920 mm (36.22 in) (stock exteneded w. 406 mm barrel)
820 mm (32.28 in) (stock collapsed w. 406 mm barrel)
755 mm (29.72 in) (stock folded w. 406 mm barrel)
|Barrel length||302 mm (11.89 in)
406 mm (15.98 in)
|Width||80 mm (with extended stock)|
|Action||Gas-operated rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||700 RPM|
|Effective firing range||5 position rear sight up to 600 m (656 yd)|
30 round STANAG Magazine,100-round C-Mag drum magazine
|Sights||Front sight adjustable in elevation and windage|
The ARX-160 is a modular assault rifle manufactured by Pietro Beretta S.p.A.. Developed for the Italian armed forces as part of the Soldato Futuro ("Future Soldier" in English) program, the ARX-160 was launched in 2008 as a commercial weapon system independent from the Soldato Futuro ensemble, complete with a companion single-shot 40mm NATO low-velocity grenade launcher, called GLX-160, which can be underslung to the rifle or used with an ad-hoc stock system as a stand-alone weapon.
The ARX-160 departs from the previously issued Beretta 70/90 weapon system on several points. The weapon is composed of upper and lower receiver, both manufactured mostly in polymer, and operates through a short-stroke piston system. Feeding is through STANAG magazines.
The weapon's unique features include ambidextrous safeties, magazine catches and charging handle, the ability to change which side spent casings are ejected, a quick-change barrel which can be removed and replaced in seconds without tools, picatinny rails, and a foldable telescopic stock.
The lightweight barrel is chrome lined and manufactured by the hammer forging process at the Beretta factory in Gardone Val Trompia, Lombardy. The standard length is 16 in (410 mm), with a 12 in (300 mm) barrel for special operators. A 16 in heavy barrel with match-grade rifling for marksmen and a 20 in (510 mm) barrel are being tested. The flash hider has 5 radial cuts and 4 smaller cuts to control muzzle climb in automatic firing. Barrels have a 1:7 twist to fire NATO standard ball and tracer rounds. The non-free-floated barrel is easily removed simply by pulling on slide levers and pulling it out. Changing barrels without re-zeroing the sights results in little change in point of impact. An M7 bayonet lug is positioned on top of the barrel rather than underneath it.
The ARX-160 operating system is unique in that the piston moves almost 2 in (50.8 mm), while other systems move fractions of an inch. The piston follows the bolt carrier almost all the way rearward, resulting in low gas pressure levels and a less sudden and more constant push on the carrier group.
The rifle has the ability to eject shells out of either the left or right for ambidextrous operation. The bolt has seven lugs and an extractor on the left and right, with no ejector. The extractors are spring-loaded and which way cases are ejected is selected by pressing one through a small hole located past the port. It is small and optimized for the tip of a bullet to fit. The ejection port is open on both sides and directs shells at a 45 degree angle from the barrel. The cocking lever is on the bolt carrier and can be positioned on either side by pulling it out, swinging it through the ejection port, and pushing it in to secure it in place.
Back-up iron sights are standard and made of the same polymer as the gun's receiver. The front sight post is adjustable for windage and elevation and the rear peep sight has six positions to fire in increments from 100–600 meters. The primary optical sight is the Aimpoint ACIES, a domestic version of the M2 close combat optic. Night vision systems, thermal sights, and other accessories will be available through the Soldato Futuro program.
Different calibers are planned by changing out the barrel, bolt, lower receiver, and magazine. In addition to 5.56 NATO, 7.62×39mm and 6.8mm Remington SPC configurations are planned, as well as the possibility of 5.45×39mm. A prototype heavy version is chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO as a battle rifle.
Designed for the civilian market, especially within the United States, is a semi-automatic variant labeled the ARX-100 that retains the ARX-160's operational features, with the exception that the safety rotates 90 degrees into the Fire position.
Developed for the Italian armed forces as part of the Soldato Futuro ("Future Soldier" in English) program, the ARX-160 was launched in 2008 as a commercial weapon system.
The Beretta ARX-160 was a Phase II contender in the United States Army Individual Carbine competition to replace the M4 carbine. The Individual Carbine competition was cancelled before a winning weapon was chosen.
- Albania: Special forces.
- Egypt: Egyptian Navy Thunderbolt, ARX-160SF variant.
- Italy: Italian Army. Ordered 30,000 in 2012.
- Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan Special Forces in 7.62x39mm caliber 
- Mexico: Federal Police., Policia Metropolitana de Guadalajara.
- Turkmenistan: Military of Turkmenistan. Ordered 1680 ARX-160 along with 150 GLX-160.
- Italy’s Next Generation Rifle: The ARX 160 - SAdefensejournal.com, 19 August 2011
- Beretta's ARX-100 Product Page
- The Army’s Next Generation Carbine - Cheaperthandirt.com, May 19, 2012
- Army Kills Competition to Replace M4 - Military.com, 13 June 2013
- Argentinean Special Forces Evaluating Beretta ARX 160 - Thefirearmblog.com, February 6, 2013
- India to put assault rifle contenders through winter trials - Janes.com, 4 August 2013
- Mexico joins Albania and Italy as customer for new Beretta rifle, DefenceNews, September 10th, 2009 by Tom Kington
- Egyptian Navy Special Forces Adopt Beretta ARX-160 - Thefirearmblog.com, 18 July 2013
- Beretta Defence
- Beretta Defence ARX 160 brochure
- Beretta ARX 160 assault rifle (Italy)
- Beretta ARX 160 at Berettaweb.com