Beretta BM59, De-Mil RPG-2 launcher & Valkyrie Revolvers (IO Writers Event 2016)

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It was late September 2016, and I was again invited to visit I.O. Inc. in Palm Bay, Florida for their 3rd annual Writer’s Event. The event showcased I.O. Inc.’s upcoming products and touring their facility. As seen on the title image, one of those new I.O. products is their new Keymod AR-15 model.

Yes, I.O. Inc. is now offering an AR-15. In fact, they have been making AR-15s in low production volume for the past few years. Those included small contracts to government agencies and foreign users. The I.O. AR-15s that I seen before use a lot of Colt parts in them.

M215KM15_leftThe new I.O. M215-KM15 model featuring a 16-inch barrel with a 15-inch Keymod free floating modular handguard. The barrel has a mid-length gas system with low-profile gas block. The Mil-Spec upper and lower receivers are forged 7075-T6 alloy and type III hard coat anodized. Standard M4 collapsible stock and A2 grip. The MSRP is around $750 for the black version, and extra $85 for the FDE Cerakoted color version.

 

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I.O. Inc. will CNC the AR receivers in house from forged receiver blanks as well as making their own barrels. The AR barrel has a 1:8 twist rate for the best accuracy and it’s nitride finished in and out for durability. The newly made I.O. AR barrel will have the mid-length gas system and in the standard M4 profile, less the useless grenade launcher cut on the barrel. The only reason that the US military rifles have the 1:7 twist rate barrel is because that’s what needed for firing tracer ammo with its extra lengthy projectile.

 

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De-milled surplus RPG-2 launcher. There’s a big hole cut on to the right side of the steel launcher tube and a metal rod welded inside as the de-mil process. It would make a nice wall-hanger for a gunroom. The price should be around $400 online and a little more with the full accessories kit.

 

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I.O. Inc’s owner Uli Wiegand is holding a Beretta BM59. He said I.O. Inc. had gotten their hands on a a bunch of BM59 part kits and they are working on building the BM59 from those with US-made barrel and receiver.

 

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The Beretta BM59 was developed from licensed built American M1 rifles from post-World War II stock. It’s basically the Italian’s take of the M14 concept by adding the magazine-feed and chambering in then new 7.62x51mm NATO caliber. The BM59 remained in Italian military service until it was replaced by the 5.56mm Beretta AR-70 and AR-70/90 rifle in the late 1970s.

 

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Introduced at the event was the new Valkyrie .22LR mini revolver. It has a flip-out cylinder, replaceable grip panel and optional detachable laser designator. The Valkyrie will be available sometime in 2017 with a price of $299.

 

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Photo credit: Todd Jaderborg

A working prototype of the Valkyrie mini revolver is built on a cool 3D printed titanium alloy frame. The production version will be using a casted aluminum alloy frame. The cylinder is machined stainless steel.

 

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Photo credit: Todd Jaderborg

The Valkyrie mini revolver prototype in the manly hand of my buddy Todd. Being a single-action only pistol, the hammer needs to be cocked for every shot. Due to its miniature size, the Valkyrie’s hammer features an enlarged thumb pad.

 

io_Tactical-BipodAnother interesting product released at the I.O. Inc. event is their new tactical bipod. It’s made oversea but it seems to be well make from all solid CNC aluminum alloy and both legs are locked in place with a locking-claw design. The MRSP is $110 but the street price will be under $100.

 

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AK improvements from I.O. Inc.:

– Reduce barrel gas port size to that of the Polish AK blueprint
– Revised rivets in both the material it’s made from and the riveting procedures.
– Bolt CNC machined from 4140 billet steel
– New bolt carrier machining with added chamfer on the receiver rail contacts
– 15% stiffer recoil spring and recoil buffer made from better material
– Solid hard pinning of all barrel components. No more using roll pins.
– Quality control improved with MPI (Magnetic Particle Inspection) sampling.
– In house barrel manufacturing that will be every barrel drilled, buttoned and re-contoured on CNC equipment.

 

Full-auto with the I.O. AKs at the range session. Short and controllable burst like it should be. Neal in the first video is former US. Army.

 

 

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A picture taken by the I.O. Inc. marketing director of yours truly in the process of taking the title image for this write-up. Yes, Jorge was using the very tactically uncool mag-well grip with the new I.O. AR-15. That gun’s hanguard was super hot from exposure under the Florida sun and we had also put some magazines through it already. A common problem with all those new slim handguards.

 

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No more AK vs. AR talks; it was Mojito vs. Pina Colada afterward. Palm Bay is just a short drive from Melbourne, Florida. Nice view on the beach bar.

 

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Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


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  • Twilight sparkle

    Were the buffer tubes unstaked?
    I wonder how bad I.O. will mess up those bm59s

    • Anonymoose

      Unstaked buffer tubes don’t matter on a semi-auto rifle so much. It’s only with full-auto and banging it around a lot that it can shoot loose.

      • Twilight sparkle

        That’s only if they’re torqued properly and even then I’ve seen them work loose… I wouldn’t expect much from io

        • M

          Yep. I had a spare PSA built rifle that just laid in the safe untouched and unfired. I decided to cannibalize the parts for a build. When I was going to pull the buffer tube, I found out i could hand loosen it. staking is really the way to go

      • Zachary marrs

        No.

  • Anonymoose

    Looks like they’re learning from their past mistakes.

    • imachinegunstuff

      or just making more

    • Sasquatch

      I would say. I got one of there newer ak m214 and it seems alright. Groups 4 moa. Good for an ak with a utg 4moa red dot at 100yrd. Shooting tula ammo at that.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      Every year they say this same crap. Oh, we’re really fixing our terrible, dangerous products guys. Seriously.

      And another year of garbage products goes by.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    $750 for a rifle setup like that seems to good to be true.

    How was the trigger on the Mini revolver?

    My buddy has an NAA but it has a super stiff trigger and it’s hard to be 6inches at 7 yards for the gun.

    • mazkact

      I thought I wanted a NAA until I shot one. The same day discovered I no longer wanted a Bond. Ungaurded triggers (rightly) come lawer approved .

      • Harry’s Holsters

        To me they are cool little novelty pieces. Bond is extreme quality and the NAA is pretty good too. My buddy carriers his and I tell him he’s crazy. He’s a tight bastard and only likes buying 22s because of ammo cost. He’s got a buckmark he’s very good with and runs great with his carry ammo and I made him a holster for it. He doesn’t like the weight though.

    • Kefefs

      “$750 for a rifle setup like that seems to good to be true.”

      That’s because it is. Remember, this is IO. They make Kel-Tec look like master craftsmen.

  • Porty1119

    IO? By all accounts, RUN.

  • Reazione Catena

    IO is a joke, their customer service or lack there of makes them legendary in the firearms circles. I have one of their Hellcat .380 pistols… it was sent back twice at my expense when they were in Monroe, NC. The gun should never have been sold in the condition I got it; magazines would not seat, slide burs caused scratching of barrel hood, bore looks like it was cut with a chisel rather than a button…basically a horrible POS and zero customer service… was told they would pay freight then they renegged. Can’t wait for Uli to chime in.
    I wouldn’t give these a penny of my hard earned money…there are too many alternatives that will honor your purchase….IO, no thanks

  • John

    If they can’t make an AK correctly, how do they expect to build BM-59s? I don’t trust them to install rivets much less hand fit parts

    • Ken

      When Century was making them on the cast receivers, the most difficult part was supposed to be milling the op rod track. They could never quite get that right.

      • John

        Yep, exactly my point. The Garand family of rifles (m1, m1a, bm-59, etc) relies on a cottage industry with builders who are specialists at fitting the parts. I doubt a bottom of the barrel company can achieve the same, even if they use CNC.

  • LazyReader

    If you like polymer handguards! And have Keymod on the brain!!

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    Pina Collada > Mojito. I’m here to have a good time and get blasted, not sip mint chewing gum.

    • AHill

      Only one of those drinks rhymes with “best bros”. (I’ll give you a hint – it’s mojitos)

    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t matter now that the bar is probably washed away…

      • Bill

        A swim-up bar by definition.

        • Doom

          wouldn’t it be a dive bar? lol

    • Bill

      Margarita trumps either, and you have to be really secure in your masculinity to order a Pina Colada. Plus there’s that song that makes me want to murder the guy…

      • iksnilol

        What wrong with the pink umbrella? Makes me feel like a tropic princess… I don’t mind that to be honest. Being manly is about being secure in yourself.

        • Doom

          only had a pina colada once before. it tasted great but was like 95% ice shavings. would like to try one again but I only drink a couple times a year and only socially.

  • Richard

    The rpg would be cool to have.

  • spamlolwut

    I wonder how GG&G feels about that bipod. Seems dangerously close to a rip off…

  • Garfield3000

    Military rifles use a 1:7 twist because it better stabilizes the heavier 62 gr bullet of the M855 cartridge. It’s popular in the civilian world because it has proven more than adequate at effectively stabilizing a wide variety of bullet weights (i.e. 55 gr and up). There’s a reason 1:7 twist has become industry standard. Granted, I’m sure the folks buying $750 I.O. AR’s aren’t overly concerned about twist rate in the first place. I would be interested in finding out which government agencies are buying these guns though.

  • RSG

    I sure hope ISIS winds up with all those IO AK’s and AR’s. Better than American citizens.

    • Doom

      that’s just cruel. no one deserves that fate. lol (just kidding, fk isis and everyone like them with a rusty spoon.)

  • Anonymous

    The wood of the BM 59 shown in the article does not match at all italian production.

    Links to latest demilled samples available in Italy, as reference:

    http://www.nuovajager.it/scheda.asp?id=10453045201545154548

    https://www.all4shooters.com/it/Tiro/fucili/Beretta-BM59-fucile/

  • Alexandru Ianu

    Somehow I don’t think they properly fixed their AKs, but according to this list:

    – Reduce barrel gas port size to that of the Polish AK blueprint

    – Revised rivets in both the material it’s made from and the riveting procedures.

    – Bolt CNC machined from 4140 billet steel

    – New bolt carrier machining with added chamfer on the receiver rail contacts

    – 15% stiffer recoil spring and recoil buffer made from better material

    …at least they addressed the big issues and hopefully it will reduce the number of blown rifles, however they didn’t mention anything about the heat treatment. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of bolts cracking.

    And speaking of gas port sizes, I think they were 25% over spec, which is 56% over in gas flow (and the spec is slightly overgassed as well compared to modern practice).

  • iksnilol

    from what I know about IO, only thing I’d trust from them is the demilled RPG-2

    • Richard

      Knowing that it’s IO, they might screw that one up. I still want one though.

      • iksnilol

        Might risk getting one that’s actually functional :O

        Would be the only thing that works from them.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Mojito. No question.

    • iksnilol

      I knew I didn’t like you for some reason, thanks for making my irrational disdain rational.

      • Cmex

        We all know true men drink gintonics, truer men drink rusty nails, but the truest men drink vodka with nothing else.

        • DanielAllison

          I prefer my bourbon neat.

  • mazkact

    Wow , a government agency purchased AR’s from I/O.

    • Gary Kirk

      Where do you think the atf gets the rifles they give to the cartels

    • mig1nc

      I’m sure they’d be good for malfunction clearance training.

  • Joe Schmo

    Putting a Trijicon ACOG on an IO rifle is like putting a 24k gold necklace on a cheap prostitute. You’d rather have the what’s on the product rather than the product itself.

  • Jimmy D

    TFB has really sold out on this one.

  • I.O.INC

    I read the comments with great interest. I understand that there is a lot of “talk” about our firearms. I dare the person who makes negative remarks and complain to step forward and test our firearms.
    We have 20 AK rifles (M247) allocated for T&E. Please contact us at uli@ioinc.us. Test the firearm and let us know your honest and educated opinion. If you like the firearm, you will be able to purchase it at dealer price. If you do not like it, simply send it back. We are so confident in our product, that we back it up by lifetime warranty! Rumors are rumors and facts are facts.
    We are looking forward to hearing from you,

  • I.O.INC

    I read the comments with great interest. I understand that there is a lot of “talk” about our firearms. I dare the person who makes negative remarks and complain to step forward and test our firearms.
    We have 20 AK rifles (M247) allocated for T&E. Please contact us at uli@ioinc.us. Test the firearm and let us know your honest and educated opinion. If you like the firearm, you will be able to purchase it at dealer price. If you do not like it, simply send it back. We are so confident in our product, that we back it up by lifetime warranty! Rumors are rumors and facts are facts.
    We are looking forward to hearing from you,