Italian Army has started adopting the ARX-160  rifle

The Italian Army has started adopting the next-gen Beretta ARX-160 assault rifle. Shooting Wire reports

The Italian Ministry of Defense has become the first military group to receive shipments of Beretta’s new ARX-160 automatic rifle. The first 1,600 units have been delivered subsequent to the ARX-160′s having been formally approved by the Italian Army in March.

Beretta ARX-160

I have previously written extensively about the Beretta ARX-160

[Hat Tip: Ed @ Tell me Why?]





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.


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  • Vak

    And I thought Italians knew how to design good looking stuff. I was wrong.

    Once again.

  • Vitor

    @ Vak,

    Read the review and you see it’s very well designed. Looks are subjective 😉

    “Using two hands, again with no tools, a user can choose from several barrel options, make the change from short, -mid, to -precision length barrel, and be back in action in seconds.”

    “Quick change doesn’t really do the system justice. This one could be called ‘fast change’ – and needs no tools.”

    “the rifle features sling mounts in no fewer than five potential locations.”

    “The rifle’s also built to quickly adjust to accommodate shooters. The collapsible and foldable stock features length of pull adjustments, magazine release, safety and charging handles are all reversible and selectable”

  • I’m looking forward to seeing how this performs.

  • Big Daddy

    It looks like the mating of a SCAR, ACR and G-36. It really doesn’t matter they are NOT a fighting army anyway.

  • Lance

    Nice rifle. I dont know if it will fully replace the AR-70/90? It seems only some units in the Italian Army will have the modular weapon. But I do like the MG style barrel change so a solder can switch between a 11 or 16 inch barrel fast.

  • Aurélien

    Well i had one in my hands a few weeks ago. Maybe it’s not the nicest looking, but its pretty lightweight compared to the SCAR, ACR, HK416 or even G36.
    Features are pretty handy, i loved the way you can switch the ejection side, and the way the charging handle can change sides. And without disassembling anything. The rifle is completely ambidextrous out of the box.

    They definitely went completely bananas on this one. Even if you dont like the looks, you cant find more user friendly on the market today. Even if the ACR-style bolt catch is a little weird at the begining, and they did put on a crappy fire selector.

    • I actually really like the design. Maybe Beretta is in my blood or something!

  • jdun1911

    The rifle is very bulky, more then the SCAR. It’s not a rifle that I would want to have when getting in and out of a vehicle.

  • Lance

    Aot better than a plastic FN scar. But its bulky. I feel the AR-70 mabie around for a bit longer.

  • Hammerhead

    BigDaddy – although they don’t have a large number of forces deployed, Italian army have deployed in iraq and a-stan, as well as a multitude of peacekeeping missions around the globe. alright they don’t have forces comparable in size to US (but then again they started neither war) but how are they NOT a fighting force, do you think they were playing kiss chase?

  • Carl

    It’s kind of fat. But that kind of bulk doesn’t seem very harmful to me. It doesn’t make it longer (than other non-bullpups), for instance.

    It looks a bit like the pulse rifle from “Aliens”. 🙂

    And there might be advantages. The wide body probably makes it very rigid and thus durable, while still keeping weight down.

  • Carl

    Stability on full auto and accuracy looks good:

  • Andrew from Italy

    @ Big Daddy:

    Italian armed forces are currently deployed in various international missions, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Balkans, Bosnia.

    All the defence components are somewhat busy in those operations, including Army, Navy, Airforce and even Carabinieri (The MSU is a specialized force by Carabinieri wich has trained foreign military police forces worldwide about peacekeeping operations)

    Thus, i would say Italy has got a fighting army. And also a quite well equipped one.
    Speaking about numbers, ofc it’s a smaller army if compared to USA, Russia or China, but with high technology equipment and some specialties few countries have.

    Did You know, for example, that even Navy Seals are often trained in some specialities by the Italian COMSUBIN (means Scuba Commandos) and that Italy was the first country to develop Navy special forces? 🙂

    Here’s a short documentary about some of the Italian SF:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAENImHdVP8

    Cya all 🙂

  • Andrew from Italy

    Some more info about Italian armed forces can be found here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Italy

  • Scoutks

    I actually think it looks fine. I am excited about the ambidextrous nature of this rifle. Being a lefty, it having capability for left hand ejection is huge.
    No reason to slander the Italian Army here. They are as honorable as any and I don’t doubt that they are a pretty capable force when needed.
    They provided a large amount of the forces fielded in North Africa and the Eastern front in WW2 and fought well enough. Just did not have the best equipment and the leadership was not equal to the Germans. But thats a high mark to hit that we Americans and the Brits rarely equaled.

  • Andrew from Italy

    Hi everyone again 🙂

    a more recent video about a firefight in Afghanistan involving Italian troops:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-WHMESVlys&feature=related

    Also, some news on the ARX160 rifle and the GLX160 grenade launcher: some (about a hundred, seems) have been dispatched in Afghanistan and are being field tested, while the new Digitalized brigades are training in Italy with the new VBM Freccia http://www.army-technology.com/projects/freccia-vehicle/images/3-vbm-freccia.jpg and the “Soldato Futuro” suite, wich includes the ARX160 rifle and is similar to the American Land Warrior System.

    The VBM Freccia is a new IFV, armed with a 25mm chaingun and antitank missiles, developed for networkcentric battlefields (I suppose the Vetronics are analog to the Stryker’s)

  • ANDREA

    Hi everybody

    Greetings from Afghanistan, where I am performing my 3rd 6-month tour.
    Hey big daddy… You should come over here… We Italians play golf all day and drink cocktails!!!

    So come and join us! A lot of fun!