The NEW Beretta ARX 200 7.62mm Designated Marksmen Rifle

ARX200_02

Italian company Beretta Defense Technologies unveiled at DSEI military exhibition in London new ARX 200 rifle in calibre 7.62×51 mm NATO.

The ARX 200 battle rifle is distant derivative of modular Beretta ARX 160 assault rifle introduced in 2008. The rifle operates through short-stroke gas piston system with a rotating bolt. The weight is 4.5 kg without magazine and length is: 730 mm with folded stock; 890 mm with collapsed stock; and 1000 mm with extended stock.

In 2014 the Italian Ministry of Defence allocated USD2.7 million to Beretta for the development of the new battle rifle. The Italian Armed Forces has announced a possible requirement for 1,170 rifles named ARX 200 chambered in 7.62×51 mm NATO cartridge.

ARX200_01
The Italians are planning to introduce two variants of ARX 200: a fixed stock designated marksman rifle (DMR) and foldable and telescopic stock battle rifle; both capable of semi-automatic and automatic fire. The new rifle is planned to fill the gap in Italian infantry armament between the 5.56 mm assault rifle and large calibre bolt-action sniper rifles, based on combat experiences in Afghanistan.

The Beretta ARX 200 DMR is to be equipped with a computerised Intelligent Combat Sight (ICS) developed by Steiner Optics (a subsidiary of Beretta Defense Technologies), which integrates a laser rangefinder, an inclinometer, and a ballistic calculator into a compact 6×40 optics.

The battle rifle is equipped with interface for the Beretta GLX 160 grenade launcher chambered in 40×46 mm NATO ammunition, a foldable telescopic stock with adjustable cheek rest, shock absorber back plate and four fixed sling attachments.

Italy has ordered four hundred ARX 200 battle rifles for trials and evaluation. The Italian Armed Forces be also testing how to introduce an battle rifle into small infantry units. Possibly 2-3 designated marksman rifle and battle rifles are planned to be at squad level. It is expected the first batch of ARX 200s be delivered to the end of 2015.

ARX200_03

The Beretta ARX 200 rifle features fully ambidextrous and oversized controls includes bolt catch lever, magazine release button and fire selector. Unlike its predecessor, the 7.62 mm battle rifle is not designed to change which side shells are ejected. However the cocking handle remained reversible and can be switched from right to left side of upper receiver.

The ARX 200 is equipped with a quick-change free floating cold hammer forged barrel which can be removed and replaced in a minute using one wrench. The barrel locking bolt is located in front of magazine well. The Beretta informs the ARX 200 accuracy is 1.5 MOA with 5 shots at 100 meters. The 406-mm (16 inch) long barrel (excluded flash hider) has four right-hand grooves and 279 mm (11 inch) twist rate.

The monolithic upper receiver with long Picatinny rain on top is made of polymer reinforced by steel parts, including internal rails for a weapon bolt carrier. The polymer lower receiver is equipped with modular magazine well for new Beretta 20-round polymer magazine or with adapter for M110/SR-25 magazines. The ARX 200 is easy to convert to Russian 7.62×39 mm and 5.45×45 mm NATO ammunition.
The Beretta ARX 200 has passed following military and environmental tests: cold and hot temperature; temperature and humidity; ice; salt fog; heavy rain; salt water; sand and dust; mud; unlubricated; double feeding proof; and barrel obstruction proof.

UPDATE: Steve says: Our friends at Ares Armament have also blogged about this rifle, read more here.




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  • Chen

    Wait 4 more years!

    • Kivaari

      I wont, I never expected to live this long. I don’t plan beyond doctor appointments, Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Interesting

    • Joshua

      I doubt it. The ARX-160 isn’t know for its match grade accuracy.

      • The way the article is written it sounds like they just put a fixed stock on an ARX and now it’s magically a DMR, am I missing something?

        Also Wasn’t the major “Selling Point” (I still think this rifle is awful) that it was fully ambi without tools?

        • M Cats

          A dmr doesn’t necessarily mean <1 MOA, or even <2 MOA. It is a "role intended" rifle meant to be scoped, and capable of accurate suppressing and disabling fire. As long as it is guaranteed Minute of Man out to whatever their specified range, it doesn't matter. So even 3 MOA at 300 yards is a 9 inch target. So as long as you are aiming at the chest, you have a good chance to hit.

          • Anon

            9″ at 300 yards sucks for a DMR. Even a rack grade M4 can shoot around 1.5-2 MOA with half decent ammo. Why even bother with a heavy gun with no ammo compatibility if you’re less precise than a regular carbine? The DMR should provide the ability to identify and engage threats out of a regular rifleman’s reach. This means prepared fighting positions, loopholes, and enemies in cover. When all you’ve got to shoot at is a head and a pkm, you want more precise than 9″ at 300 yards.

          • jcitizen

            An SR-25 or newer variant would come closer I’d think.

      • Esh325

        Doesn’t mean they can’t make this one match accurate

  • Giolli Joker

    It looks more gun and less toy than the ARX-160/100.

    (no reference to decades long caliber wars, just evaluating the visual appeal)

  • Shmoe

    “easy to convert to Russian 7.62×39 mm and 5.45×45 mm NATO ammunition.”
    Previously had exactly zero interest in the ARX, now I do.

    • Ethan

      +1 That’s the first actually interesting thing I’ve heard about this platform.

    • Raven

      That’s what they said about the Bushmaster ACR, too, and the Colt CM901.

      • Shmoe

        They did, and I was interested in those, as well. The 901 did/does convert to 5.56 quite easily.

    • Bal256

      Where does one get this 5.45x45mm NATO ammunition?

      • Shmoe

        Oops! I assume it’s a typo, I misread is as “misread it as 5.56 NATO”. Not that there would be anything wrong with a 5.45×39 capability!

  • Major Tom

    Is it me or has the world gone Bizarroworld in the last 20 years or so? With stuff like this and the ARX-160, the Italians are making all the cool good guns and the Germans are making nothing but crap like the HK-121 and G-36.

    It used to be the other way around.

    • Giolli Joker

      Well… Italy has never been a land of great assault/battle rifles designs, but I guess there are quite a few cool good Italian guns as there’s a very strong tradition in firearms manufacturing.
      On the other hand, I’ve heard not so positive reports on the ARX-160 from people who were issued it. Mainly they were complaining about materials quality. Unfortunately I don’t have details.

      • dshield55

        If they were mainly complaining about the materials quality and not necessarily performance issues, it’s probably just a polymer bias.

        • Giolli Joker

          It wasn’t.
          Happy Glock shooters.

      • Kivaari

        Can a rifle get uglier than Beretta’s?

        • Giolli Joker

          I’ll just say: India.

          • Kivaari

            Good point.

    • dshield55

      What was the issue(s) with the HK-121?

      • Matrix3692

        To quote another forum,

        “Der Spiegel reports that the MG5 is continuing to have issues. Several issues already needed to be corrected

        – propensity to rust in salty environments

        – reduced precision after barrel swap

        – some changes on the shoulder rest are being mentioned

        – the latest issues is that it doesn’t fit into existing vehicle weapons mounts, modification is expected to cost 50 M€”

        • Claudio

          Too bad there isn’t software that solves these problems!

    • Joshua

      You mean cool looking right? The Beretta didn’t perform the best in the Army’s trials and that was an “Americanized” and “extra over engineered” version of their ARX-160.

      • Esh325

        Their trials are garbage anyways they ran them knowing full well of the result before they were even stated

        • Joshua

          Uh huh. Is that why the M4 didn’t place first in Class I and II stoppages. I’ve been over this, and this was one of the most honest tests run to date by the Army.

          They took great caution in not having bias play a part, which is one of the reasons the people making the decisions didn’t see the rifles tested and only saw the results, and why the guns were given a letter instead of having their names listed.

  • ostiariusalpha

    I was really hoping they’d go this direction, but this seems like three steps forward and two steps back. At least with the 7.62 NATO they can justify a lot of the bulk of the ARX design, much the same as the SCAR comes off as a bit unwieldy in 5.56. With any luck, Beretta will have figured out something better than the poorly attached afterthought that was the picatinny rail on the ARX-160, it certainly looks better integrated from what I can make out of the picture. Still, the loss of the ambidextrous ejection feature is more than a little disappointing, since that was a real selling point for the ARX versus the other new rifle designs. And what is up with needing a wrench now for the quick change barrel? If it’s required to maintain better accuracy in the barrel, that’s somewhat justifiable even though it’s not nearly as convenient as on the ARX-160.

    • dshield55

      I’m assuming a stronger connection point for the barrel led to slightly better accuracy. The reversible ejection mechanism being taken out may of been for the same consideration. When I first read the headline of a .308 ARX based DMR, I got curious how the hell they would pull that off with a polymer receiver, because even in AR10s, the thicker and stronger the aluminum you use in your upper receiver, the more accuracy you get out of it and here these guys were using a polymer receiver. In HKs DMRs based on the G3, even though it’s already a steel receiver, they run huge/thick metal bars across the receiver to improve stiffness and strength.

      Anyway, my guess is that with the metal inserts and what not that they needed to add strength to the receiver, the original barrel locking mechanism and the ejection button had to be removed to make room for the new metals.

  • Friend of Tibet

    Soooooo ugly

  • andrey kireev

    I’m not a big fan of the way it looks for some reason…. it just looks tacky… like furniture made by FAB / MAKO

    • dshield55

      I find Chinese/Indian/Malaysian/etc firearms design to be interesting. In the places where they can do aesthetics that don’t affect performance, they make some funky choices. I think designs that appeal to Americans and/or Westerners apparently aren’t universal across all cultures.

      • andrey kireev

        Well it’s not that… I can appreciate different designs over the world… ARX just looks weird and unlike anything from Eastern / Western school of gunsmithing…

        • Kivaari

          I wonder what function the ugly configuration of the Beretta rifles serve. Is there a reason for all that ugliness?

  • dshield55

    It’s interesting that they chose the ARX-200 platform to be convertible to 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm since you’d more expect that to come from a gun that fits AR15 style mags that can hold those cartridges. It’s a little silly to fit 5.45x39mm in the same magwell that fits .308……… which makes me wonder if they’re going to have adapters that accept actual AK47/AK74 magazines.

  • Ryan

    Dear, REMOV. I believe there is a mix up with the calibers. I fairly certain that NATO never adopted a 5.45x45mm cartridge.

  • Bobing

    Is this gun really supposed to get this much hype?
    The ARX-series from Beretta, if the 160 is any indication, is a terrible, horrendous gun.

  • Joshua

    A DMR with a handguard the length of the KAC RAS…hahahahahhahhahaha.

    Could Beretta be any more clueless on what a DMR is.

    • Llewellyn Franks

      Long handguards aren’t really all that critical on DMR. As long as theres room for a scope and a bipod, maybe a laser designator you’re going to be fine. Plus it keeping it short cuts down on weight, which is desirable on a DMR.

      • Joshua

        You ever used a bipod on a 6″ hanguard? It sucks and its hard to load properly. There’s a reason DMR’s come with full length rails and the weight is negligible, a few oz at most.

        Times change and one thing everyone has learned is that long handguard are better across the board.

        The other negative to this handguard is now they are limited to what they can do with optics. You ever used a variable scope with NVG or IR attachments? It gets insanely long and short handguard don’t have to the room to mount what you need.

        Fact is long handguard are needed in a DMR for modern ancillery item packages that they generally come issued with.

        • Kivaari

          It seems that long full-length hand guards would protect the barrel from impacts. Make it very light weight and run it to the end of the flash hider. No trips falling on ones face would hit the barrel.

  • Don Ward

    So it’s a 10 pound Designated Marksman Rifle – without the magazine and presumably any other accoutrements like scopes – that you engage targets out to 800 meters with that you then use as a Close Quarters Combat weapon… Yay?

  • Lance

    Italy is the only real fan of the ARX series of rifles many tried but it failed in accuracy and durability test. Seems just way to replace its bolt action sniper rifle more than a new weapons system. Well the Italian Navy still uses some BM-59s still.

    • Kivaari

      Like US Navy ships hanging onto M1 and M14 rifles long after ground forces. While on the Civil Disorder Team at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, We all had M1s while the only unit with M16s were the CBs. CBs even knew how to march. But teams were drawn from the current in-port ships. No M14s were observed. But, the newer ships did have M14s. Like the Italians, the need for rifles is pretty limited for ships company. I still said we had the wrong gear. We would have been better off with 36″ batons, M1911s and a few shotguns in each wedge.

    • Claudio

      The BM-59 in Italy is no longer in use since the 90s, replaced by AR70/90.

  • Bal256

    I don’t understand what the hate on the ARX series is for. First people are complaining that 9/10 articles are about ARs. Now someone writes about something that is not an AR, and everyone is saying how terrible this gun is.

  • jng1226

    If it’s got the same uber-suck trigger as the 5.56 ARX, then that advanced Steiner optic is going to go to waste at long range…

  • Giolli Joker

    Well, I’ve never heard particularly happy users of that one either.

    BTW, I’m Italian.

  • Old Fart

    This gun really deserves a chance. I’ve always been intrigued by the ARX platform. The stock and keymod compatibility are an obivous improvement!

  • BrandonAKsALot

    You were so close to making this thing palatable Beretta! Don’t worry, I’ve fixed it for you and I’ll only charge $5 per rifle you sell for my work.

    • Kivaari

      It does look better.

  • jcitizen

    DMR doesn’t make any sense – this is a go between the M4 and the M249. You get the removable barrel, so it can be changed in a heated firefight. Drum mags would be cool if one were found that was reliable. Who needs as much accuracy if what you really want is a cone of fire and possibly a smaller beaten zone. I’ve wanted this one every since I heard about the instant change for calibers – but then it isn’t the only pony at that show.

    • Kivaari

      No rifle equipped soldier is going to pack a spare barrel and change it in combat. Slow the cadence of firing, don’t hose down anyone unless they are 10m away.

      • jcitizen

        If you have the discipline to keep that fire low enough not to damage the barrel, then there is no problem. But my point was that a squad should have a certain number of semi auto shooters, a certain number of squad automatic men( probably an old concept), a certain number of DMR shooters for long range engagement, and a certain number of LMG support members. or similar. This system is much lighter than the M249, and would make a good go between. That is, IF it can actually perform in such a manner.

        • Kivaari

          Most of the time there is no need for full-auto firing from combatants. In reading material created by such men (and only men) they frequently had the training and calmness where semi-auto fire delivered effectively against the enemy. They were also using better optics on carbines. Quality glass has changed the battlefield. I think they have the skills needed to be effective.
          Since every fighter has optics, every man bridges the gap between a “normal” soldier and a DMR. Having better optics allows more warriors that know how to slow things down. Slowing and breaking contact can be a wise mans out. When going on the offensive, they still have the option to flip the selector. From memory, didn’t the Marines recently adopt a variant of the M4 to displace the M249?. Also issuing a few 60 round Surefire magazines can replace the belt fed M249, at least to break an ambush. A few M240s in the mix sure helps on fire and movement operations.
          Now keep in mind I was a sailor and later only did a year in the army. Injuries slowed me down too quickly.

          • jcitizen

            My buddies in the field give me mixed reviews on the N249, so I hope they find a middle ground here. The Berretta may not be even close – I’m just pondering the tactics without judging an unproven weapon system. I know if I were in Afghanistan, I’d want a 7.62x51mm battle rifle for DMR. You can get 1100 meters of at least harassing fire out of that round. Plus it still has the poop to knock someone down. I cringe each time I see a patrol caught out in the open, where our guys are using what is short range ammo against enemy LMGs that probably use the well proven 7.62x54Rmm Russian rifle round. I don’t see many M240s on these patrols, so I’m just guessing the mix the Army uses now.

          • Kivaari

            My kid had an M249 in Iraq. He and others found it to be a troubled weapon. The crazy thing is while in Iraq he never fired his gun in combat or training. While at Anaconda north of Baghdad they were fired at with small mortars almost daily. The fire was mostly ineffective, being fired from the bed of a moving white KIA pickup trucks. Those little trucks were everywhere.

  • The Brigadier

    Jeez Loiuse and they call the SCAR-17 “The Guppy. The Italians should name this “The Pregnant Guppy.” This ARX 200 makes the SCAR-17 look almost svelte.