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The Beretta AR70/90 is a gas operated self-loading rifle chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge, and is the standard issue service rifle of the Italian Armed Forces. The weapon is also designed to be fitted with a rifle grenade, and has grenade sights. The AR series comes in many variants such as the AR90, with a wire folding stock, for use by paratroopers.

Beretta AR70/90
2june 2007 209.jpg
Italian soldiers of San Marco Regiment with the Beretta SC70/90 rifle (Rome, 2007)
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Italy
Service history
In service AR70/223: 1972–1990
AR70/90: 1990–present
Used by See Users
Wars War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Mexican Drug War
Production history
Designer Beretta
Designed AR70/223: 1972
AR70/90: 1985
Manufacturer Beretta
Variants See Variants
Weight 3.99 kg (8.80 lb) (varies slightly)
Length 998 mm (39.3 in) (varies slightly)

Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO
Action Gas-operated
Rate of fire 650 RPM (varies slightly)
Muzzle velocity 950 m/s (3,100 ft/s)
Effective firing range 500 m (1,600 ft)
Feed system 30-round STANAG Magazine
100-round C-Mag drum magazine
Sights Iron/grenade sights



The Beretta AR70/90 assault rifle was developed in the 1980s when the Italian Government decided that its military and law enforcement agencies needed a new standard service weapon. It was made to be compatible with other NATO weapons by the adoption of standard 5.56mm STANAG loaders, whereas the AR70/90's predecessor, the BM59, derived from the U.S. M1 Garand, was chambered in 7.62 (.308), another NATO caliber which today is considered suitable mostly for sniper or machine gun use. There is a semi-auto version of the AR-70/90 called the AR 70/90S which lacks a flash hider and bayonet mount.


The AR-70/90 is manufactured according to 1980s standards, i.e. with limited use of polymer plastic parts and using stainless steel whenever possible (a Beretta staple). It weighs approximately 4 kg in standard configuration. It has three firing positions (full auto, three-round burst, and semi-auto) and a safe, and has a carrying handle not unlike the Vietnam-era M16, a long, bulky barrel, and a hollow stock. It is usually fitted with an ACOG or a red dot optic.


As of late 2010 the AR70/90 is supplemented in service by the new Beretta ARX-160, a totally new project which sees a great leap forward in soldier-to-weapon interfacing, several major developments in sighting and firepower such as the integrated (and also detachable) grenade launcher GLX-160, and the "Future Soldier Program" integration.


Version Caliber Length Barrel length Mass Effective range Rate of fire
AR70/223 5.56×45mm M193 995 mm 450 mm 3.8 kg 400 m 650 rpm
AR70/90, SC70/90 5.56×45mm NATO 998 (756) mm 450 mm 4.07 kg 500 m 670 rpm
SCP70/90 5.56×45mm NATO 908 (663) mm 360 mm 3.8 kg 350 m 670 rpm


Italian soldier of the Folgore Brigade armed with an SC70/90 rifle.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bozinovski, Igor (4 October 2017). "Italy to gift rifles to Albania". IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35th edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.[page needed]
  3. ^ Giorgio Beretta. "Italia: ecco le armi esportate da Berlusconi a dittatori e regimi autoritari". ControllArmi. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Alvaro Diaz. "Las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras comenzarán el 2014 con nueva cúpula militar. El país busca en Israel asistencia técnica para repotenciar los F-5". Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-08. 
  6. ^ a b c "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "RMR Museum". 
  8. ^ "Gli affari della Beretta coi regimi repressivi e il "Codice Gheddafi" / Armi leggere / Guerra e Pace / Guide / Home - Unimondo". Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  9. ^ [1][permanent dead link]

External linksEdit