Beretta ARX-160 Carbine

The new ARX-160 Carbine is Beretta’s entry into the M4 replacement competition. Photos by SMG-Lee

M16 magazine, folding iron sights


 Smglee Ausa Huge Dscn0830
Folding stock


Originally I called this rifle the NRX after misreading the logo. It is in the ARX-160. Below is a photo (from of the ARX-160 carbine (left) and the rifle version (right). Both have the new Beretta grenade launcher attached.


A big thanks to Ed who was kind enough to let me know about my mistake after he spoke to Beretta. He and has more info on the rifle/carbine.

Apparently the Italian Special Forces will be adopting it in 2009.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • R.A.W.

    This appears to be the same weapons system, or at least substantially similar to the ARX-160.

    Interesting features include:

    -quick detachable barrel, apparently similar to the AUG’s.
    -quick reversible ejection. A button behind the pistol grip changes the side the brass is ejected on. Odd that they would include this feature on a non-bullpup design.

  • So … it’s a black scar without most ambidextrous features, but the same feel as the ar15 that the troops are already acquainted with?

  • Im kinda old school but ill stick with my AR, but maybe im the only one who likes a rifle that actually handles like and extension of my arm.

  • R.A.W., I think you are right, it looks like it is the “M4” version of the ARX-160. I had not come across the ARX before.

  • jdun

    So the rifle is almost completely made out of plastic. It won’t have a chance in the test.

  • Spence

    does anyone know the weapon below it? it looks familiar.

  • Oscar

    The weapon below the NRX looks like the Beretta CX4 Carbine:

    As for the NRX, I got to see it at the recent AUSA Conference in DC. It’s a neat firearm. The Beretta rep showed me some of the features: it’s got an easy barrel-replacement set-up, so you can go from 10- to 20-inch barrels (and lengths in-between) with relatively little effort. I thought it was pretty light, but I didn’t have an M-4 with which to compare weight. There’s also an awesome feature that allows the user to change the charging handle from right-hand to left-hand mode. Although you can’t see it in the picture, the ejection port opens on both sides, so that with the ability to transfer the charging handle, the rifle is fully ambidextrous. The field-strip procedure is not any more complicated than the M-4/M-16 currently fielded; with the features built into the design, I’d say it would be “value added” for the warfighter.

    As per the Beretta rep, this rifle is to be fielded with the Italian military and some Carabinieri units. There is no word on whether Beretta will field it with any other national militaries, or with units within the U.S. military. Of course, nix on the civilian version for now.

  • R.A.W.

    Oscar, it’s not just the charging handle that’s reversible. The bolt’s extractor can operate as an ejector and vice versa (I believe they’re actually symmetrical, interchangeable parts), so with the flick of a switch you can make the rifle throw brass left or right.

    According to their marketing brochures the reason for this is to allow the rifle to be used with a helmet-mounted fiber optic sight that would allow the user to shoot around corners and not burn themselves with the brass. Pretty slick urban combat setup.

    Obviously, the no-disassembly reversible ejection concept would be very, very handy on a bullpup.

  • R.A.W., you were spot on! It is the ARX-160

  • J.J

    it is actually made of a composite material

  • Oddly enough, the designer of the rifle is Ulrich Zedrosser. Zedrosser used to work for Steyr, and participated in the development of the AUG, ACR, and Scout Rifle.