Beretta has been building firearms for quite sometime. The company enjoys an enviable position in the law enforcement, military and commercial markets offering a high quality and well diversified product portfolio.
Currently, Beretta supplies the United States Armed Forces with the M9 and M9A1 handguns.
In 2007-2008 the company developed the ARX160 carbine for the Soldato Futuro Program. After considerable testing, Beretta’s ARX160 was adopted by the Italian Army; since then, the company has been successful in placing the carbine with the Mexican government as well as other EU customers. Beretta is also a participant in the U.S. Army’s Carbine Competition.
While at SOFIC 2011, I had an opportunity to spend some time with Len Lucas, Beretta USA law enforcement and military sales, and the ARX 160 carbine.
The ARX160 was designed from the ground up to be fully ambidextrous; any control was accessible and operational on both sides of the weapon. Changing from right side to left side ejection was a snap as was swapping barrels. Take down was easily accomplished without tools and the procedure was simple – not a lot of hand movements.
Ergonomics were also superb. One of the challanges encountered by many of our small-arms manufacturers is creating a rifle that will fit any gender or body type. This is a task that is more easily verbalized than done, but Beretta seems to have accomplished that in my view.
The ARX160 uses a gas operated rotating bolt system with a cyclic rate of approximately 700 rounds per minute. The carbine uses a standard 30 round STANAG magazine but will also accept a 100 round C-mag drum.
Without a live fire test, I have to defer further comment but I like what I see and if accuracy and reliability are as good as the design itself, Beretta is sure to give contenders a run for their money.
Beretta has also developed a complimentary 40 mm grande launcher designated the GLX 160.
Watch Len Lucas as he takes us through the ARX 160.