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.


  • Zincorium

    Still looks like an ACR that got pregnant.

    • Jim Gerson

      Really, cause the arx.weighs alot less than that acr pos.

  • Rijoenpial


    only on the outside… only on the outside…

    This weapon is so much more than the ACR in every single way…!

    Lighter, more advanced, dual ejection ports, three mag releases, barrel removal in 3 seconds with the simultaneous touch of two buttons… Low recoil… you name it…

    And it’s already in service, with so far no complaints, not that I’ve hear of…

    The ACR is still vaporware as far as military adoption is concerned… The Remington version is slowly getting ready, but with the ARX-160 out there, as well as the SCAR, who wil want it, military-wise?

    The Bushy ACR got a bad rep quality-wise, and the Remington probably will get some part of that fallout…

    Don’t get me wrong, I liked the MAgpul MASADA, but the ACR’s weight, quality issues (recalls), they all put a dent into the reliability of the whole ACR project…

    And from what I hear, the SCAR and especially the ARX-160 are stealing the ACR’s show… This is a question of ‘who came first will win’: The ACR design is a lot like the SCAR, minus the bolt catch/release, which forces re-training anyway, and the SCAR has seen action, whereas the ACR has not… and probably never will…

    Having said that though, I kinda like the changes done to the Remington version and if they managed to shave off that extra pound, and resolved all the design flaws, such as the safety mechanism, barrel looseness and so on and so forth, then maybe it can get a chance… MAYBE…

    Cheers, guys!

  • Niceness

    This is all nice and dandy, but where are the civilian versions?

  • Dave

    Now that everyone’s making desert colored guns, I bet the next war’s going to be in a jungle. Then everyone’ll have to switch to some tactically-named shade of green.

    • SpudGun

      There’s plenty of oil in South America and Africa, so why not?

  • SpudGun

    The more I see of the ARX-160, the more I like it. The way it can be disassembled and re-configured without tools in a manner of seconds is a real triumph in innovative design.

    If it proves to be reliable and accurate, it deserves to be a massive hit.

  • JC

    It seems like a nice gun, but why is it so bulky? It seems like there’s a lot of extra “fatness” around the magazine well.

    • Melissa

      Look who’s talking

  • Dan-0

    The ARX160 had a similar R&D and LRIP process the SCAR went through, albeit with a different regional armed forces. The over-all quality and implementation of the design seems to be superior to the SCAR as well -i.e. no floating POI shifts, reciprocating bites.

    • GVD

      @Dan-0: Are you kidding me? The SCAR went through far more rigorous testing than the ARX160.
      How could you know quality is better anyway? The barrel locking system on the ARX160 seems to be more flimsy than the SCAR. I’ll believe your claims when I’ve tested it myself.
      And do I REALLY need to remind you that the reciprocating charging handle is due to requirements from SOCOM? They wanted a forward assist and FN-H wanted to keep parts count down for reliability & simplicity. What’s the simplest forward assist? A reciprocating charging handle…

      That said, it does have some very nice features and will be keeping a close eye on it. However, fanboys hyping it before anyone had a hands-on look helps no one…

      @Rijoenpial: The SCAR was never meant as a general infantry issue assault rifle… Don’t put it together with stuff that is meant for that.

      • W

        dan, please provide a source of information in which you can point out these comparisons as fact.

        The reciprocating charging handle is a tactically sound idea, especially for military forces that actually use their small arms in combat and not as gun rack space. Reciprocating handle bite? how about holding the damn rifle the right way. the magazine well grip is the improper method to hold any rifle or carbine in both close quarters combat and longer range marksmanship, so i don’t understand why people continuously get bent out of shape over this. By some rarity, if a piston seizure occurs, you can manipulate and free the piston without disassembling the rifle.

        The POI shift is nothing but unsubstantiated BS. It is a very, very unlikely problem (not impossible however) since the hand guard on the SCAR is free floating and the attachment of a bipod would be done on the handguard and not the barrel.

  • I am keeping my eye on this one.

  • KFin


  • Josh

    Did anyone else think that it was made by “stark” industries and nOt “starik” at first because of the font? Lol,it definately looks futuristic enough to be made by stark industries!

  • Lance

    Military wise with this or other plastic rifles like the Remington or FN…. Not going to happen, budget and M-4A2 will be better than this. But for a rifle for plinking with or for even special troops maybe.

    Its too ugly though the AR-70/90 was way more handsome of a rifle.

  • Lance

    Military wise with this or other plastic rifles like the Remington or FN…. Not going to happen, budget and M-4A2 will be better than this. But for a rifle for plinking with or for even special troops maybe.

    Its too ugly though the AR-70/90 was way more handsome of a rifle.

    Ohh I prefer black make anti-gunners cry hahaha.

    • SpudGun

      Hi Lance,

      Can you explain how the M4-A2 will be ‘better’ then this?

      And you do realize that there are other military customers out there besides the US Army. Do you not imagine, I don’t know, the Italians or other European countries buying this rifle for their militaries?

      Your answers would be much appreciated.

    • Lance

      Easy Spudgun

      Fact is most NATO armies have either stayed with there 1980s rifles or in the case of a few most have gone with standard metal weapons like the FNC HK 416 and even the polymer G-36 there no real nations in NATO who want new small arms. the M-4 is made with stronger material and with a piston system it’ll be cleaner than most competitor rifles. Im not sold on almost all plastic rifles it works in Glocks but Glocks and hand guns don’t get knocked around and handle high pressure calibers like a rifle. For a lower receiver its fine but a none steel/metal reinforced stock they break too easily.

      • SpudGun

        Sorry Lance, I’m finding your reasoning to be a bit baseless and somewhat short sighted.

        The Beretta AR-70 has been in service with the Italians since the early 1970s in one format or another, it must surely be coming to the end of it’s service life. I’m fairly positive the ARX-160 will be it’s natural replacement.

        And if pigs fly, you never know, the ARX-160 could even win the contract to be the replacement for the M4 when the time comes around, after all, they did win the M-9 pistol contract. (Stranger things have happened).

        How will the M4 piston be cleaner then the Beretta piston? How are the M4 parts inherently stronger then the ARX-160 parts? I don’t understand the basis for your logic, please explain.

        Finally, I can’t really comment on the last bit of your post because you’ve given me your opinion on polymer framed rifles rather then any sort of scientific fact. Again, any solid evidence you might have to back up your statements would be appreciated.

      • Lance

        I think Tinkerer and Komrade put it well a new caliber could win a new rifle but the M-4 has stronger parts sorry spud but metal beats plastic. Im not trying to bash your fav ARX BUT in the end its another 5.56mm pea shooter. no real improvement over a AR.

      • SpudGun

        Again, I am confused by your responses.

        How is a strong polymer weaker then a thin aluminium?

        What parts are stronger on the M-4 then the ARX?

        How is the 5.56mm a ‘pea shooter’?

        Obviously there have been endless debates on The Firearm Blog about adopting a new caliber but the answer has always been the same – it won’t happen due to the cost and logistics.

        Sorry to keep asking you for answers, but you’re making sweeping statements without any evidence and I would like some proof please.

      • Lance

        Easily butstock is stronger rail system stronger barrel heavier more durable. No reciprocating charging handle that’s what killed the SCAR in the IAR competition last year. Better Iron sights less bulky in size. Solid barrel lug so no accidental blow ups when not properly seated barrel, and Piston system NOT attached to the barrel which is way easier to clean and replace w/o replacing or taking off the barrel.

      • SpudGun

        A badly designed buttstock / rail system in metal or polymer are both equally fragile. You seem to have condemned all systems based upon the reported performance of the SCAR-L for SOCCOM – who I believe are still using the SCAR-H even with it’s reciprocating charging handle, polymer rail and buttstock.

        In all likelihood, the internals (and iron sights) of the SCAR are probably radically different to the ARX, so comparing the two without a working knowledge of the both (such as the strength of the Beretta barrel lug) is hearsay at best.

        You’ve not answered my other questions and it’s looking doubtful you ever will, so I will end this conversation and move on.

      • Lance

        @ spuds

        Well if you want to end it ok. The SCAR I mentioned that failed was at the IAR competition where regular marines operated the systems in use and said the SCAR was horrible in those two key areas. Yes some SOCOM units use SCAR H but most chose the BIG army’s M-110 and M-14 EBR over it due to easiness to find replacement parts and mags in the field.

        The main point is there’s no money to replace all US rifles with European guns for at least a decade despite some test the DoD dose once in a while.

        Out of the ACR SCAR and ARX the ARX is the better of the three since it uses more proven design points and it made ofr one caliber and doesn’t have crappy barrel lugs which makes the weapon gain alot of weight.

        I feel no matter how many facts I gave you your set on the ARX anyway so there’s no point you love plastic rifles so be it its your opinion. The facts you gave are just opinion as well.

      • Variance


        The reason SpudGun kept hounding you is because you never actually stated any facts, or at least, and evidence to support your claims enough to be able to call them “facts.” All that you managed to provide in your responses were your own opinions; the sheer fact that you felt it necessary to claim that “no matter how many facts I gave you your set on the ARX anyway so there’s no point” only succeeded in showcasing your own narrow-minded point-of-view. It would behoove you to not attempt to force your own opinions upon others in the future.

      • Lance


        The fact is Spud gun was only telling his opinion like you and some how if you like the gun every thing you say is fact and If I say some doubts about it im wrong that’s your opinion and many on here agreed with me on this gun and the ACR issue (IE if its ok to show Marines on here and other sites as well as solders too). It behoove you too to not state your opinions as facts too. Fact is metal last longer and is stronger than plastic and it dosnt meed a scientific test for that. Most of you plastic gun lover get so defensive over the real fact that the military probably wont adopt your gun being FN ACR or this ARX, I didn’t say its a bad gun i just said current weapons in 5.56mm are for 5.56mm just as good and so dont need replacing. Your the one who jump to personal attacks fast showing your too defensive and NUTS over these guns clam down guys you can still buy one just the military isn’t is no point to cray fowl and have a temper tantrum.

      • W

        so using your logic lance, tin metal is weaker, thus “metal guns are weak”.

        I find your logic amusing. Despite polymers being immensely strong, they are still just plastic. You sound similar to people that think polymer magazines are poor quality because of orlite magazines (while deliberately ignoring the superior material differences in Lancer and Pmags).

        I find the deliberate ignorance of facts and unwillingness to change is a form of cowardice. Unwillingness to utilize new technology and implement it (or at least test it) is shortsighted according to some. Ill say it is being stupid. Using this same logic, or lack thereof, we should be using muskets and bolt-action rifles because they were tried and true in their day.

        The irony is that you have a love for the AR15 design: a design that was met with intense skepticism and disdain because it was “plasticy and space age”. The irony is so rich you can cut it like a cake. In contrast to Spud (i don’t blame him), you will find that I will continue to call BS as i see it and endure the tsunami of it to shine light on the truths that exist.

  • Brian P.

    I don’t see this on Beretta’s websites; neither their U.S. site, nor their main website.

  • Komrad

    It’s ugly. There I said it. Now, I am still trying to figure out how the SCAR, ACR, and now this ARX160 are significantly better than an AR-15. They fire the same cartridge with similar degrees of accuracy, have similar modularity, similar ergonomics, but cost two to three times as much as an AR. I just don’t get why these sell at all.

    • Lance

      Your right since there is no no caliber change there no real difference with a AR carbine/Rifle. If you want barrel changes get a CM901 which share all the AR parts and is still cheaper than a ACR.

    • W

      they sell because people are willing to accept new technology in order to have a decisive edge on the battlefield. For the same exact reasons, the US adopted the M16 to replace the aging M14 just as it replaced the M1 Garand back in the day. There is a reason why nobody has come out with a new direct impingement rifle: such technology is obsolete.

      The conservative mindsets are the reason why these weapons remain expensive: because they are not adopted widely like the AK and M4/M16. It is interesting how you don’t see any new direct impingement rifles but see a ton of gas piston rifles being designed.

  • Vitor

    Why so many people try to bash the gun without even looking at the specs? I mean, people calling it bulky or fat…the gun weights less than 6.8lbs!

    And once the person sees how easy is to change the ejection side and barrel, it’s hard to not fall in love with the design.

  • Mike

    Okay, maybe I’m an idiot, but I’m gonna ask anyway. What is with the brown shoe lace (550 cord?) tied to the black bar behind the charging handle? And what are those black bars for?

    • SpudGun

      I’m guessing that it’s another point of contact for a sling. The sling attached to the buttstock looks similary tied on.

  • Tinkerer

    High tech polymer body and magazine? Check.

    Quick change barrel? Check.

    Easy-change ejection port? Check.

    Now make it a bullpup, and you’ll have something that the AUG has had for over 30 years.

    It IS a nice rifle with a lot of good things going on for it, but I believe that for a new generation of rifles to be a real step forward, we need a new caliber. Make an armor-piercing and tumbling round with a polymer telescopic case (or even caseless), and THEN we can discuss a rifle that is better than the self-soiling AR-15.

    • Buster Charlie

      I don’t want to be a smartass but while the AUG is a really nice weapon (Im a bullpup fan but the AUG is so neat I wondered why nobody made a ‘normal’ rifle version) it’s ability to change ejection ports is stone age by comparison to the ARX160.

      To swap the AUG to left hand ejection, you need to field strip the rifle, and replace the right hand bolt with the left hand bolt (which you have to purchases for another ~$250).

      To swap this ARX160 you just need to flip the charging handle around. I’ve seen the patent for this rifle, it has two extractors that also act as ejectors and when you swap the charging handle it flips their function.

      This may or may not be a good idea in the long run, but it’s rather clever IMHO.

      Now IMHO this still doesn’t solve the ejection issue for combat with a bullpup, Unless you got REALLY good at flipping that charging handle around I doubt you’re going to be swapping it back and forth as you fire around a left or right hand corner.

    • Why d’ya need to switch ejection ports with the Beretta on the fly exactly? I have no trouble shooting an AR from either shoulder, without getting hit by brass. I can sort of understand why a left-handed shooter might want to change which side the brass ejects from, but unless you’ve got a bullpup that doesn’t eject out the bottom, there’s not that much NEED to change quickly.

    • W

      I’m thinking of something like the Swedish CBJ MS.

      I am fascinated by this weapon and am looking for new information and more independent testing regarding this revolutionary concept.

  • Andrew Racek

    Look at the size of that thing!

  • Alex Vostox

    Wait for the French film ‘Forces Speciales’ (Nov 2011). Djimon Honsou will used this rifle (with Grenade launcher attachment) as his main weapon.

  • clamp

    At SHOT the Beretta rep stated he didn’t know when or if the civilian version would come out. From the video I’ve seen on the youtubes on this, I’d gladly sell my 2 AR’s to get one of these. But I like the black one.

  • Chase

    It looks like there’s a bayonet lug above the barrel, but the barrel is way too short for a bayonet to mount on it. Planning ahead for longer-barreled version?

  • hojo

    If it weren’t for the left-handed ejection port, I’d suspect there was an AR receiver hiding under all that plastic. πŸ˜€

  • hojo

    I’ll admit it does look freakin’ cool. Time for another “Aliens” movie?

  • jack

    Height over bore for the sights looks high.

    Stock looks like it would provide a ‘chin’ weld instead of a ‘cheek’ weld.

    Not sure about that grip.

    The ejection port swap is kind of cool but seems more like a gimmick, but I’m only shooting paper and cans.

    The quick change barrel is great for cleaning but you could argue that the AR has that already with the detachable upper. Is a boot infantry soldier going to be swapping barrels mid engagement?

    Less than 7 pounds is nice.

    I know it’s hard to convince a lot of gun guys that there are other things out there besides the 1911, AK and AR but polymers offer a lot of advantages over metal. Heavy is fine when you only have to haul it from your truck to the bench and back.

  • Erik

    Does STARIK have his own blog? And I can’t wait to see this come out for civilians, I’m liking the looks of this rifle!

  • Guardsman

    I haven’t yet fired the ARX 160, but i have ‘played’ with it on quite a few occasions now. I don’t like it at all. It is a beast to strip and there are way too many things to snag your fingers on. it doesn’t field strip easily or quickly. I can’t believe the Italian Army gave the contract to Beretta without any other manufacturer pitching in.

    I am not a fan of polymer assault rifles. The German Army has had problems with their G36s in AFG. I don’t care what anyone says, polymer simply isn’t as robust as steel or aluminium equivalents. The heat can cause the plastic to leach / sweat or even warp. Sight alignment is frequently compromised by temperature changes. Don’t believe me? Drop polymer and aluminium AR on to hard rock from 15 feet. Repeat until one breaks. The polymer will give first every time.

    My understanding is that whatever comes next for the German Army will be made of steel or aluminium. The Hk416 is in my opinion the class of the field at this time. Personally, I would not take a 5.56 mm weapon into combat. My choice would be a 7.62 mm HK 417 with 16.5″ barrel.

    • SpudGun

      Is it a ‘beast’ to strip? All of the You Tube videos I’ve seen show this rifle being disassembled and re-assembled in seconds, without the need for tools or popping out any pins.

      Are the HK G36 and ARX-160 exactly the same in every way? Will they experience the same problems in Afghanistan equally?

      Have you dropped an ARX-160 and an AR on to rocks from 15 feet lately? What have been your exact results? Do Glocks also break easier then 1911s when you do the same test?

      If you fire a ton of rounds through a metal framed rifle, will it never heat up or warp?

      ‘I don’t care what anyone says…’, ah, okay, just read that bit. Ignore everything I’ve just written.

    • Vitor

      Guardsman, would you mind recording a video of yourself stripping the ARX?

      Because there a lot of videos of people stripping it in real time without any issue at all…

      • SpudGun

        Vitor, I don’t think there will be a video coming anytime soon.

        The sheer amount of misinformation and ignorance by some of the commentators on this thread is truly staggering.

        They quote scientific ‘fact’ without providing any facts and claim that metal, any metal, is superior to polymer, thus showing a total lack of understanding of tensile strength.

        They’ve also confirmed that the M-4 is superior in every way to the ARX-160 based upon secret tests they’ve made up in their heads and a picture on the Internet.

        Finally and in an act of complete hypocrisy / irony, these same commentators will practically applaud polymer pistols, polymer-ceramic body armor and polymer AR-15 accessories due to their strength, reliability and ability to absorb damage.

        Magpul P-Mag? Not me, it’s made of polymer and it’s a fact that metal is better then polymer!

      • W

        spud, don’t fret too much because i need the entertainment πŸ˜‰ What utterly fascinates me is all of the stories, which i guess are contrived from internet blogs (without references or sources conveniently).

        These are the same stories about SF dumping the SCAR “because it breaks”, soldiers not liking the G36 and problems with the polymer construction, the M4A2 being superior even though it hasn’t even been conceived yet, and people having difficulty disassembling the ARX (when odds of them getting their hands on the design are very unlikely to say the least). I wish I had such a vivid imagination to make up “facts” and tests that never existed. All of the criticisms of polymers boil down to the contention that “its plastic”. never mind science or facts regarding the vast differences in different polymers…

        Like i said previously, the hilarity is that their beloved and lauded AR15 design underwent the same criticism in its day.

    • W

      I don’t believe these allegations of “problems with G36’s in afghanistan”. Especially with the polymer magazines compared to aluminum ones, polymer magazines have many advantages over aluminum. Its pros/cons of each individual material. Magazines are meant to be disposable anyways, and even in combat, most average shooters don’t subject their magazines to the awesome abuse that i have seen P-mags and aluminum endure.

    • GunMonkey1

      In regard to G36 having issue in Afghanistan, The issue was with G36C and it was having so-called “wandering zero”. The weapon was having issue when it was fired in full-auto by KSK while . After contact , the weapon was tested by their armorer and found to be perfectly fine. Report was send to H&K and they end up sending engineer to look into the problems. KSK were the only German troop at the time to be issue with G36C. Other German troops, mainly German Paratrooper did not report any similiar issue with their weapons (they were issue with G36 and G36K). H&K engineers determined that the issue was result of combination of barrel and trunnion. The barrel on G36C was of heavier profile than other and trunnion being made of polymer were the two factor in so-called “wandering zero”. KSk switch to G36K and never have the same issue again.

  • Lance

    There you go again Spuds you trying to say your opinion is fact and everything else is fase your wrong pal.

    • SpudGun

      Well Lance, if you say I’m wrong, then I must be wrong.

      BTW do you have any proof, evidence or facts to back up that statement? πŸ˜‰

  • Lance


  • Vitor

    Best video I found on the ARX:

    Complete dissasembling of the gun followed by assembling in just 3 minutes without any hurry and with explanation of what is being done.

    Also provides a very nice look at the BCG.

  • cc19

    Sweet, a Lancer mag! Nice change from all the Magpul Kool-Aid. πŸ˜›

    • W

      I was going to say that its a nice change from the aluminum kool-aid…

  • Lance


    Obviously other agreed with me just dump your witch hunt W and quit attack other because they scare your personal view of a weapon.

    • W

      it must be nice living in delusional ignorance. I can see “everybody” agreeing with you…LMAO!!!

    • Lance

      W your biggest jerk on here you keep smearing anything that threatens your lame view on plastic guns if you where half a man you could just stay on topic instead of attacking others since most don’t support your lame ideas.

    • W

      I may be the biggest jerk, but as long as i prove myself true to the reasonable, scientific method when it comes to firearms, then so be it. I believe in progress and any advantage, however slight, should be pursued in warfare…especially against eastern armies that have done the same for over a millennium. My intent is to derail the myths and archaic, conservative thinking that hold back firearms technology and imperil our military personnel on the battlefield.

      “Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you.

      never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time.

      If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind.

      Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”

      -Mohandas Gandhi-