Beretta Upgrades Italian Battle Rifle



Beretta rolled out its updated version of Italian military’s primary battle rifle – the ARX 160A3.

This new version features a handful of slight design changes over the ARX 160A2. Beretta has added larger venting spaces along the top of the handguard to help with heat dissipation.

Another change Beretta engineers added is a detachable knob that slides over the rather slender charging handle, so the shooter can get a more comfortable grip when charging the weapon.

The bolt release is now located on the side of the lower receiver instead of inside the trigger guard.

The Italian military began adopting the ARX 160 to replace the older, AR 70-series rifles in 2009. A version of the ARX 160 was also being evaluated in Phase II of the U.S. Army’s improved carbine competition before the service formally cancelled the effort in June.


About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at He can be reached at
  • Part of me really really wants one of these in SBR flavor.

    • JCitizen

      I like the idea of having a removable barrel when it gets hot! These are an awesome design, Maybe they need a belt fed version? HA!

  • Lance

    Rather had a A-70/90 less bulky than this thing. Yeah some units have them in Italy many still have AR-790/90s.

  • Jeff

    That thing is hideous and looks poorly designed for ergonomics.

    • RattedHalo

      The Italians being world renowned for tasteless design and poor ergonomics.

  • I spent a few years assigned to the San Marco Regiment (Italian Marines) in the late 1980s (then a reinforced battalion). The Berreta version then was comparable to the M-16 in use, but seemed just a bit off-balance, which was compensated for once you became used to the feel.

  • Eric

    Cool! They put gold handles on a garbage can.

  • israelisellouts

    they need to start thinking less starship trooper and more practical, that is one fat mother

    • RattedHalo

      You’ve fired it have you?

  • Pat Collins

    Italian WWII rifle for sale. never fired and dropped once.

    • Stefan S.

      Pat you mean French rifles. The Italians fought France did not.

      • Balais

        The hell they didn’t.

        Ever read about De Gaulle’s trek across the colonies in Africa to assemble an army against the vichy and nazis?

        Or the resistance forces?

  • JMB

    For anyone who hasn’t seen the vid, here’s a great overview from Shot Show 2011 that NutnFancy did. The guy from Beretta did a great job and it’s an review piece..

  • spd522

    Beretta needs to stick with shotguns.