Beretta ARX160

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Beretta ARX160
Beretta ARX-160, Interpolitex 2012.jpg
A Beretta ARX160 with a 12 inch barrel
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Italy
Service history
Used by See Users
Wars War in Afghanistan
Production history
Designer Ulrich Zedrosser
Designed 2008
Manufacturer Beretta
Variants See Variants
  • 3.0 kg (6.6 lb) (empty with 302 mm (11.9 in) barrel)
  • 3.1 kg (6.8 lb) (empty with 406 mm (16.0 in) barrel)
  • 755 mm (29.7 in) (stock extended), 680 mm (27 in) (stock collapsed), 580 mm (23 in) (stock folded) (302 mm (11.9 in) barrel)
  • 920 mm (36 in) (stock extended), 820 mm (32 in) (stock collapsed), 755 mm (29.7 in) (stock folded) (406 mm (16.0 in) barrel)
Barrel length 16 in (406.4 mm)
12 in (304.8 mm)
Width 80 mm (with extended stock)

Cartridge Military Variants:
5.56x45mm NATO
Civilian Variants:
5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem
.22 LR
Action Gas-operated rotating bolt
Rate of fire 700 RPM
Effective firing range 5 position rear sight up to 600 m (656 yd)
Feed system ARX160:
30-round detachable STANAG Magazine, 100-round detachable C-Mag drum magazine or AK/AKM magazines.
20-round detachable magazine.
Sights Integrated Picatinny Rail provided for optics and front sight adjustable in elevation and windage

The Beretta ARX160 is a modular assault rifle manufactured by Beretta. Developed for the Italian Armed Forces as part of the Soldato Futuro (English: "Future Soldier") program, the ARX160 was launched in 2008 as a commercial weapon system independent from the Soldato Futuro ensemble, complete with a companion single-shot 40×46mm NATO low-velocity grenade launcher, called GLX160, which can be mounted underneath the rifle or used with an ad hoc stock system as a stand-alone weapon.


Developed for the Italian Armed Forces as part of the Soldato Futuro ("Future Soldier") program, the ARX160 was launched in 2008 as a commercial weapon system. Between 2008 and 2014 around 30,000 ARX160s have been supplied to the Italian Army, Italian Navy, Italian Air Force and Italian special forces in the specific version A2 and have been since used in several missions including in Afghanistan. The current program aims to replace the older Beretta AR70/90 as the standard assault rifle for the Italian Armed Forces.

In 2008, the ARX200 battle rifle was introduced. It is a distant derivative of the modular Beretta ARX160 assault rifle. The battle rifle has passed the following military and environmental tests: cold and hot temperature; temperature and humidity; ice; salt fog; heavy rain; salt water; sand and dust; mud; unlubricated; double feeding proof; and barrel obstruction proof. The ARX200 is being supplied to the Italian Army.[1]

Foreign interest[edit]

The Beretta ARX160 was a Phase II contender in the United States Army Individual Carbine competition to replace the M4 carbine.[2] The Individual Carbine competition was cancelled before a winning weapon was chosen.[3]

In February 2013, the Argentine Army received an ARX160 rifle and GLX160 grenade launcher for evaluation for their special forces.[4] In December 2016, Fabricaciones Militares signed a deal with Beretta to produce the rifle ARX-200 under license.[5]

The Indian Army tested the ARX160 as a replacement for the INSAS rifle.[6] The tender was retracted in June 2015.[7]

The ARX160 was one of the 5 finalists of the French Army tender to replace the FAMAS, eventually won by the German-made HK 416.



The ARX160 departs from the previously issued AR70/90 on several points. The weapon is composed of an upper and lower receiver, both manufactured mostly from polymer, and operates through a short-stroke piston system. The weapon is chambered either for the 5.56x45mm NATO or 7.62x39mm cartridge. Feeding is through STANAG magazines or AK/AKM magazines. Other calibers, including 5.45×39mm and 6.8mm Remington SPC were planned, but may have been cancelled.

The weapon's 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. Barrel lengths for this rifle are 16 in (40.6 cm) for its standard barrel, and a 12 in (30.48 cm) barrel for special operators. 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. A bayonet lug, designed for the Extrema Ratio Fulcrum bayonet is positioned above the barrel rather than underneath it.[8]

The ARX160 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.[8]

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 a case 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.[8]

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 Aimpoint CompM2. Telescopic sights, night vision systems, vertical forward grips, and other accessories will be available through the Soldato Futuro program.[8]


The ARX 200 battle rifle is a derivative of the ARX160 introduced in 2008. The rifle operates through a short-stroke gas piston system with a rotating bolt. Weight is 4.5 kg without magazine and length is: 730 mm with folded stock; 890 mm with collapsed stock; and 1000 mm with extended stock.[9]

The Italian Army is planning to introduce two variants of the ARX200: a fixed stock designated marksman rifle (DMR) and a foldable and telescopic stock battle rifle; both capable of semi-automatic and automatic fire. The new rifle is planned to fill the gap in Italian infantry armament between the 5.56 mm assault rifle and large-caliber bolt-action sniper rifles, based on combat experience in Afghanistan.[9]

The Beretta ARX200 DMR is to be equipped with a computerised Intelligent Combat Sight (ICS) developed by Steiner Optics (a subsidiary of Beretta Defense Technologies), which integrates a laser rangefinder, an inclinometer and a ballistic calculator into a compact 6×40 optic.

The battle rifle is equipped with an interface for the Beretta GLX160 grenade launcher chambered in 40×46 mm NATO, a foldable telescopic stock with adjustable cheek rest, shock absorber back plate and four fixed sling attachments.[9]

Italy has ordered four hundred ARX 200s for trials and evaluation. The Italian Armed Forces is also testing how to introduce a battle rifle into small infantry units. Possibly 2-3 DMRs and battle rifles are planned for use at squad level. It is expected that the first batch of ARX 200s will be delivered to the end of 2015.[9]

The ARX200 features fully ambidextrous and oversized controls, including the bolt catch lever, magazine release button and fire selector. Unlike its predecessor, the 7.62 mm battle rifle is not designed to change which side shells are ejected. However, the cocking handle remains reversible and can be switched from the right to left side of the upper receiver.[9]

The ARX200 is equipped with a quick-change, free-floating, cold hammer-forged barrel which can be removed and replaced in a minute using one wrench. The barrel locking bolt is located in front of magazine well. Beretta claims that the ARX 200 has an accuracy of 1.5 MOA with 5 shots at 100 metres. It features a 406 mm (16 inch; excluding flash hider) heavy barrel with match-grade rifling with four right-hand grooves and a 279 mm (11 inch) twist rate.[9]

The monolithic upper receiver with long Picatinny rail on top is made steel-reinforced polymer, including internal rails for a weapon bolt carrier. The polymer lower receiver is equipped with modular magazine well for a new Beretta 20-round polymer magazine or with an adapter for M110/SR-25 magazines.[9]


Military Variant[edit]

  • ARX160 - an assault rifle chambered either for 5.56x45mm NATO or 7.62x39mm. It features a 16-inch and a 12-inch barrel. A conversion kit in 7.62×39mm, which requires changing the barrel, bolt, lower receiver assembly, and magazine, is available. It uses standard AK/AKM magazines.
  • ARX200 – a battle rifle variant chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO.[8] The Italians are planning to introduce two variants of the ARX200: a fixed-stock designated marksman rifle (DMR), and a foldable telescoping stock battle rifle; both capable of semi-automatic and automatic fire. It features a more streamlined forend for operators who use the C-clamp grip when shooting, a 16 in barrel, and three gas settings for normal, adverse, and suppressed firing. It does not feature an ambidextrous ejection port, weighs 8.6 lb (3.9 kg) unloaded, and uses the new Beretta 20-round magazine, although there is a special magazine-well adapter the can be removed to accept SR-25 magazines.

Civilian Variant[edit]

  • ARX100 – a semi-automatic only variant, featuring a 16-inch barrel, to make it legal for the American civilian market.
  • ARX160 .22 LR (Tactical Training Rifle) – is a semi-automatic only variant, featuring a 18.11 inch barrel for the carbine variant and a 8.3 inch barrel for the pistol variant, and a 5-, 15-, 10-, or 20-round magazine, is available for the civilian market.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beretta Displays New CSASS in 7.62mm -, 29 September 2016
  2. ^ The Army’s Next Generation Carbine -, May 19, 2012
  3. ^ Army Kills Competition to Replace M4 -, 13 June 2013
  4. ^ Argentinean Special Forces Evaluating Beretta ARX 160 -, February 6, 2013
  5. ^
  6. ^ India to put assault rifle contenders through winter trials -, 4 August 2013
  7. ^ "Army scraps the world's largest assault rifle tender". India Today. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Italy’s Next Generation Rifle: The ARX 160 -, 19 August 2011
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "The NEW Beretta ARX 200 7.62mm Designated Marksmen Rifle - The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2017-03-26. 
  10. ^ a b c Mexico joins Albania and Italy as customer for new Beretta rifle, DefenceNews, September 10th, 2009 by Tom Kington
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ Egyptian Navy Special Forces Adopt Beretta ARX-160 -, 18 July 2013
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Kazakhstan Special Forces Adopt Beretta ARX-160 in 7.62x39mm - The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Beretta ARX 160 in Turkmenistan - The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  18. ^ Giorgio Beretta. "Italia: ecco le armi esportate da Berlusconi a dittatori e regimi autoritari". ControllArmi. Retrieved 11 November 2014.

External links[edit]