Beretta ARX160 in 7.62x39mm

While other manufactures call their new assault rifle designs milti-caliber, but don’t produce them in anything other than 5.56mm, Beretta is shipping a 7.62x39mm version of their Beretta ARX160. It is one sexy rifle (I really like the Beretta style). This rifle as on display at Eurosatory.

[ Many thanks to Starik for the photos. ]

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.


  • Jingles

    So they have two lowers, one with a STANAG magwell and one set up for AK mags? Would this gun be switchable to 5.45 or 5.56?

    • Mr_Lorenco

      If you swap the lower receiver to the one that accepts AR15 compatible magazines,and the barrel to a 5.56 chambered standard barrel,then yes it IS switchable to 5.56 without to much work.

  • David/Sharpie

    Hmm, it might be kinda weird to rock back that AK mag with the mag well the way it is.

    Well, I think I can see a notch in the stock out front so maybe not.

    • Doug

      It’s pretty hard to tell if there’s a cut-out just ahead of the mag. If not, it looks pretty difficult, but this isn’t Beretta’s first trip round the block so it’s probably not as bad as it looks.

      • David/Sharpie

        2nd pic, right in front of mag KINDA looks like it’s cut out.

        Yeah that’s what I’m thinking, the cut out just isn’t visible in the pics.

    • AznMike

      I don’t remember if it is this website or it was TTAG that covered it but there was a link in the article that showed a cutout in front of the mag well

  • AznMike

    Damn, for a second there i thought it said Stark, like as in Stark Industries.

  • Stella

    ARX-160 and Tavor: please, please let me buy you. You will…complete me.

    • lolinski

      I would rather have a Steyr AUG instead of the Tavor, it doesnt seem that good IMO. Only reason you want it is cause its exotic and you know you cant get it.

      But the ARX-160 i definately want.

      PS: I hope I didnt step on some toes with not liking the Tavor, since I have seen some guys(mainly Glock and 1911 fanboys) who dont tolerate anyone not liking what they like

      • Esh325

        What type of experience have you had with the Tavor to form that opinion?

      • Stella

        I like the AUG, though finding a Styer made example is pretty hard. I spent a great deal of time in the Mid-East including Israel, where the Tavor has become near ubiquitous. So, if I am going to spend way too much money on a bullpup, I want the one I have a personal connection with. Rational? No. But smart?

        Also no.

        • BaconLovingInfidel

          The AUG (esp the NATO mag AUG) can do anything the Tavor can do. Both are terrific rifles, but the Tavor is more compact, so if that’s your primary interest in a bullpup, it’s as short as you can go for OAL with a full length barrel.

  • Doug

    I must say I’m pretty impressed with Beretta for marketing a x39 chambering. Makes me wonder if they’re going for Middle Eastern contracts.

  • Kenny Blankenship

    People say this gun is sexy. I don’t see it… it’s like a girl with a nice face but 40lbs overweight. Different strokes for different folks I guess!

    • unger

      Hah, suit yourself. More cushin for the pushin (of high-velocity lead), I say. Fat bottom rifles, you make the rockin’ world go round.

    • W

      dude, its the opposite. a girl with a really nice body but a butter face. and theres nothing wrong with that 😀

  • Rangefinder

    It appears from the product literature that the weapon was not designed to be operated with the stock fully collapsed (transport mode). A concern. Another interesting item is that, according to the literature, the bayonet affixes to the top side of the barrel.

    • Esh325

      A minor concern if anything. It already has a folding stock, which is much better for transporting than a collapsible stock.

    • Colin

      The stock is collapsible and foldable, like the ACR or SCAR (without cheek adjustment), I have a photo of it folded and it clears the ejection port.

  • bbmg

    When are we going to see a western rifle chambered for the 9 x 39mm round?

    A heavy bullet at high subsonic speed that can still penetrate armour at the outer envelope of typical assault rifle ranges, that is also easy to suppress.

    AAC have come some way forward with their 300 BLK, but the reason the Soviets developed the 9mm was because they found that heavy bullets in their 7.62 were still inadequate at subsonic speeds.

    • Sian

      Even getting 7.62×39 to subsonic is sketchy (generally requiring a very short, ported barrel, even with heavy projectiles) which is why the Sovs went to 9×39 in the first place. Fact is it’s a 65 year old cartridge, and despite passing similarities, .300blk is superior in every way, (Except cost!) able to handle a 220gr subsonic bullet, which is very close to the 9×39’s 250gr SP-6 AP round, plus the advantage of being smaller caliber and flatter shooting, and cycling happily with the AR platform. I don’t know if anyone has even tried to make a 9×39 AR upper, but I expect it would have some of the same challenges and shortcomings as its 30 caliber brother.

      Do I Think the 9×39 would be a good hog and self-defense round? Hell yes it would. I just think the new stuff we have is better, and I don’t see the chances of importing a semi-auto Vikhr or AS-VAL going up anytime soon.

      • bbmg

        The AAC round certainly compares well in terms of ballistic coefficient, at almost the same weight but close to 30% less frontal area, there is every reason to think that performance against tissue and (body armour if provided with a steel core round) would be more or less equivalent.

        Before settling on the 9mm round though the Soviets did their fair share of experiments with heavier 7.62 bullets though, it would be interesting to know why they found these to be inadequate. Bigger rounds like the .458 SOCOM have of course been produced when it comes to hard hitting subsonics but the 9mm seems like a good compromise. A heavy and streamlined bullet is less dependent on velocity when it comes to doing damage, though of course it lacks the flat trajectory of the smaller calibres.

      • snmp

        9x39mm have a bullet of 9.3mm.

        That’s would be nice to have 223R/222R brass with the 9.3 bullet of the 9.3X62 Mauser. In plus, you could found 9.3 mm supercavitating (SuperPenetrator) bullet .

      • Esh325

        From what I understand, a lot of the “superiority” over the 7.62×39, comes from the diverse and modern selection of .308 bullets where the selection of .311 bullets the 7.62×39 uses is far more limited.

    • jim

      When I see people go on about the “more aerodynamic. 308 bullets” I want to puke.
      Just because a .308 bullet is more areodynamic at supersonic speed, means jack at subsonic speeds. Go do yourself a favour and look at the striking difference between a supersonic and a subsonic wing profile, so you don’t make a fool out of yourselves next time.

      • bbmg

        A well designed supersonic bullet will be aerodynamic even as it enters the subsonic region. If you are suggesting that a round nosed flat tailed bullet is a better idea at subsonic speeds then you’d better let the manufacturers know that their efforts to make pointy boat tailed bullets are superfluous, I’m sure they would be glad to hear it.

        When creating a subsonic round, one has a ceiling in terms of muzzle velocity, so the only option left to ensure a flat trajectory is to avoid losing velocity downrange. This explains the profile of modern subsonic “sniper” bullets, they have the shape they do because it works.

        Wholly apart from aerodynamics, there is sectional desnity to be taken into account too, and here subsonic bullets trade velocity for weight, resulting in a much better ballistic coefficient that means they loose speed at a lower rate compared to lighter supersonic bullets.

      • bbmg

        Tony Williams’ article on the evolution of subsonic cartridges makes the point very well:

  • hikerguy

    Nice. It is a shame it wasn’t developed in time for the army’s new carbine competition. It would have done well.

    • hikerguy

      The 5.56 mm version, that is.

      • Colin

        As far as I’m aware the ARX (556) is in the Individual Carbine Competition, at least the first phase…

    • TheGuruofWar

      I’m pretty sure it was just for the Italians…

    • Woodroez

      The Military/LE 5.56 rifle is complete and already in use with Italy’s special forces-types. It’s just the civilian version of the rifle that’s still in the incubator.

      I don’t mind if they take their time, either. If they really nail it, I think this thing’s gonna be huge.

  • Darkness


  • Higgs

    AK mags in anything other than an AK look gross

  • Gunhead

    Huge like eksbawks. Why’s it so bulky?

    • TangledThorns

      Reason why is because its a polymer rifle with ceramic innards that keep it from melting. Even with the bulk the rifle will still be lighter than a similar sized AR or AK variant.

  • Aurelien

    Steve, there was also a 7.62x39mm AR15 by Silver Shadow and a 7.62x39mm Sig 553 (called the 553R).

    But on the other hand, there were also Polish Beryl rifles running M4-style mags.

  • Ben

    This looks like it could be a great rifle so far, very unique design. Hopefully it won’t run into the same problems as other rifles fed with AK mags, I’ve heard about a lot of misfeeds with the Sig 556R which is a bit worrying since that was even based off the AK design.

    • Esh325

      A properly designed non AK rifle won’t have any problem feeding 7.62×39 AK magazines.

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      the 1st gen 556r was a debacle, but the 2nd gen 556r eats any 7.62×39 and runs like a beast on any good steel AK mag. If I can get my greedy little fingers on an ARX in x39, I’ll be running the 556R and ARX and will be out of AKs for good except for maybe a nasty little Suchka SBR.

  • Vhyrus

    I have the most awkward boner right now…..

    • MariusG

      He wants the precious. Always he is looking for it. And the precious is wanting to go back to him… My… Precious…

      • W

        you guys are killing me…

  • TangledThorns

    Sigh, Beretta needs to get going on releasing their 5.56 ARX civilian version. I was originally planning on waiting for that but patience is running out and I’m looking at building a AR15 instead.

  • Mike Knox

    Looks like some sort of mutant fish. Sort of what it’d look like if Italy became communist again..

    • DW

      Italy never had a communist regime…

    • 6677

      Italy was facist not communist. Complete polar opposites.

      • Mark

        Actually they are very close in political philosophy. The polar opposite would be anarchy.

      • W

        fascism and communism are polar opposites on economic issues, though socially, they are very similar: authoritarian in regards to dealing with all aspects of society. Im not sure why mike was down voted…his comment parallels the opinions of many economic and political scholars.

    • Mike Knox

      Can’t take a joke? After Fascism, socialism took over, which is just communism from across the street. In 1946-1949 they were, but not that significant though. The PCI/ICP stuck around till 1991. Even though it wasn’t the governing party it still was that significant.

      Anyhow, this alteration still doesn’t make the ARX-180 look any better than before..

      • W

        socialism is vastly different than communism. Capitalism is just as different as fascism. Both communism and fascism are radical variations of each ideology that favor authoritarianism and are opposites on the economic spectrum (communism is collectivist with publically owned institutions and fascism is a merger of state and private corporate interests).

      • Mike Knox

        Facism is a branch of socialism which is the political root of communism. Comunism was rampant and was basically part of the facist regime until 1926. Even after World War Two, the Italian Communist party stuck around until the 90s..

  • Pepin the Short

    A part of me always wonders how designers fit the AK-style ‘grab and tilt’ magazine into the more Western button release receivers.
    Is this that? I see a little lever by the trigger guard, but I thought that the ARX-160 usually had an AR-styled magazine well.

  • The non-replaceable grip makes it a terrible design in my eyes. It looks like it was molded after a regular A2 grip, which is way too small for my hands, and I have pretty small hands!

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      That might be the biggest disappointment. I think an aftermarket comb for better cheekweld might be possible, but a modular grip that allowed any AR option would be awesome, seems like a no brainer for the US market. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Beretta address this going forward, but it’s too bad they didn’t straight away. Fortunately for me anyway, the A2ish grip will be fine for me.

  • Bryan S.

    Interesting.. modern weapon tech with 60 year old mags. Well, if it works, then it works 🙂

    • jim

      Actually any rifle in 7.62×39 that is not using ak mags is missing half the potential market. The ak mag compatibility is a huge plus. Most ak guys have tons of the cheap, reliable, almost indestructable ak mags.

      • David/Sharpie

        Except in Canada =(

        We have to settle for the 858 (Semi auto Vz. 58)

        Does anyone know if the 858 mags will fit in a MOLLE AK mag pouch?

      • David/Sharpie

        Does anyone know?

    • W

      they may have been 60 years old, but they were exquisitely built out of steel and had anti-tilt followers. AK mags are awesome.

  • Steveweiser

    Looks ugly to me. Like the Delta Burke of firearms.

  • Lance

    I like it that ot take cheap AKM mags. Beats buying $80+ dollar special mags for the weapon.

  • Chase

    I went to SHOT 2011 and 2012 and I can tell you this is vapor ware.

    Beretta was at range day, but at 2011 even though they were bragging about Italian SF using it during the show, didn’t have the gun there.

    2012, at range day, nope still no ARX160, they did have a 22 version of it which clearly didn’t have the remove stock. It was also DI and annoying because of the two sided ejection port, so it was gassing you in the face, oh yeah it does all this while not being eject to the left for lefties, so you get gassed in the face for no reason on the 22 version.

    • jim

      Oh yeah. If it’s not at shot show it doesn’t exist………….the entire world has to revolve around the American civilian shooters…………

    • jim

      Oh yeah. If it’s not at shot show it doesn’t exist..
      the entire univers has to revolve around the American civilian shooters…

      • Chase

        It was at SHOT Show, they had them and were bragging about them.

        They just won’t let you shoot them, but will tell you that Italian SF are putting their lives on the line with these things, yet they are aren’t secure enough to show it to us?

    • Vitor

      In the m4carbine forum, there is a PMC guy who has received and tested a big batch of this gun. He loves it.

  • Tony

    Will it take AK mags of different manufactures?
    Anyone remember that SR 47 about 10 years ago?

  • Mike

    That’s definitely an AK magazine. Do want.

  • Tomsao

    Makes the FN FS2000 look like a thin tuna.

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      My two favorite fish: the Belgian Space Laser Tuna, and the Italian Sea Bass. I’m running one and must have the other.

  • Mike Knox

    Maybe Italy should stick to making Sports Cars..

    • Claudio

      Beretta makes weapons for 500 years, Ferrari makes cars for 50 years

  • Jay

    (angelic choir.avi)

  • Higgs

    If you are having that many issues then i would take a good hard look at yourself and not the weapon system.

  • robert

    Iam living in canada and I dout that it will be sold here.
    A) it a hight cap mag. it proibited over 5 shot.
    B) it looke like it using AK Mag or Ak had been prohibited with father right but all mag over 5 shot had to bee suronded or face justice.
    C) it is illegal to use mag of more than 5 shot on anny semi-auto rifles here in canada.

    So why I would spent probably 1 and haft more of my hard dolard to by it. and it will probably enter in canada by an US exclusive importation for north america.. so 50% more costly for is prfit and taxe to pay over and probaly have to surender it to the autority within a year bacause it will have chage the rule and reclasifie it. as it at been done in the pass like the norinco now the Cz858. and others..

    Canada is not a free contry as it pretend to be but a fachiste enty liberty one.. we still have some old semi like reminton hunter but they already trying to prohibit then as well the politique is as it prohibition totalof everies semi-auto fire arms.. soon will be turn to the handgun in this conty..all under the manipulation of the safty public (here the law force and gouvernement parano how faire insurection) fredon in the free world here is more of a words than reality.. in the so call free-world.

    but I do admite that will bee the toy of my choice if It wasn’t of the circontancess of canada law on fire arms and the choice from 223 to 7.62X39 for hunting fron vamint to predator in 223 to change barle and bolt head to 7.62X39 for dear.. saving saving one rifile insted of 2. love it very much..

    • David/Sharpie

      Dude, please stop, you’re making Canadian’s look like morons.

      The mag will be pinned, that is a given, that is no big deal.

      As far as I know the Type 97 has been reclassified and is being sold to the public. Check CanadaAmmo. They are taking Pre-Orders for them, but it might be severe optimism on their part. And the 858 has never been reclassifed. Except for the CSA shorties. But then they’re just like every other rifle.

      Firearms will NEVER be totally banned in Canada, we have too much of a hunting culture and we have our own version of the NRA fighting and winning for our rights.

      This rifle is no different from the ACR, XCR or the SCAR, it will be Non-Restricted (Most likely) but if not, Restricted.

      • David/Sharpie

        And I’m pretty sure AK mags themselves are not prohib.

        I have seen MANY mags that fit prohib guns for sale and they don’t say “Must have 12.x license to buy this mag”

        Plus there are some SKS rifles that are modified to use AK mags.

        It’s only the receivers that you need a 12.x license for.

        And you’re wrong, there are some exceptions to the 5 max rule.

  • robert

    it will bee reelly cool to get AK style bolt head in 223 as well.
    whisch that beretta ting of a DMR version as well. hope that popularity and public demande for it will come..soon for us. thing to mouve out of canada to get it…

    • David/Sharpie

      I’m sorry….what?