Firearms

ARX 100 — Beretta’s Best

Black Beretta ARX 100, barrel pointed left on a white background

I’ve enjoyed firing and using the Beretta ARX 100 discussed in this report for several weeks and during that time, have been impressed with the its performance. This isn’t my first Beretta rifle, even ignoring the pistol caliber Storm carbine.

My favorite Garand rifle is an Italian rifle and also a Beretta. Only U.S. Military Garands bring a collector price, although that is fine. The ARX 100 is a result of the demand for AR-15 type rifles. The ARX 100 isn’t an AR-15 at all although fits the same market niche. Beretta hopes to give the Steyr AUG and the IWI Tavor a run for their money as well.

The ARX 100 is a result of the latest developments in Black Rifle technology. The AR-15 outpaced the M1 carbine and the ARX is designed to be a more advanced rifle than the AR-15. Just the same, as a nod to logistics and practical deployment, the ARX 100 uses AR-15 magazines and is chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge.

The ARX uses new materials and strict quality control with attention to detail and cost control resulting in a price tag just shy of $2,000. The barrel, manufactured in the Beretta facility in Maryland, is a Nitride-treated 16-inch tube with a 1:7 twist rate. The barrel was designed to be easily switched to calibers such as the 6.8 and .300 Blackout; until we see the kits available I reserve comment.

At the moment, Beretta is simply trying to meet demand. The ARX 100 features a unique design that lets you change brass ejection on-demand from right to left. This makes the ARX 100 a truly ambidextrous rifle, with excellent interchangeability and ambi options. The selector controls and the magazine release are ambidextrous units. There is even an “emergency” magazine release. If the magazine release does not function correctly, there is another release just in front of the trigger guard for a total of three magazine release buttons! The third lever is actually a lock rather than a button. It is more like the AK 47 than the AR-15 type release, while the primary release is a close copy of the AR-15.

Federal American Eagle Green Tip

This load is as close as it gets to the present service load. Breaking 3,050 fps from a 20-inch barrel, this is consistently among the most accurate loads for use in the 5.56mm rifle. Federal Cartridge Company is there and accuracy cannot be faulted.

Unlike the AR-15, the charging handle on the ARX 100 reciprocates with the bolt. Therefore, it is easy to simply grasp the bolt-mounted handle and give it a tug. To change the ejected cartridge’s path from one side to the other, a bullet nose is inserted into an opening just to the rear of the receiver. This is a bolt that lets you press the bolt to one side or the other to control ejection. There are two extractors and this cross-bolt activates one or the other. Another point, there are no dust covers. This may be debated at length, and it is what it is, and when being used, cocked and ready for action the rifle will be open.

The receiver is of modern impact-resistant polymer and features a rail for mounting optics ranging from a red dot to a dedicated long-range optic. The ARX 100 is also supplied with flip-up battle sights. There is nothing revolutionary about these sights; they are credible tools. They appear to be calibrated for the NATO green tip 62-grain load, so this is the load I used primarily for testing. The front post is the usual rotating post.

The rear sight is familiar to anyone who has used an AR-15 battle sight. There is a dial aperture and wheel. The trigger is a typical, military-type that does not win over any target shooters, yet breaks clean and does the business. When carrying the rifle, there are four sling slots for the supplied sling. The stock is adjustable for length-of-pull and may be folded for easy storage and carry.

The range firing was uneventful. There were no surprises. The Beretta sailed through 240 rounds of FMJ ammunition without a single failure to feed, chamber fire or eject. The rifle was not lubricated; Beretta says it will run dry. It did.

The feel is different than the AR-15 and the polymer receiver takes some getting used to. Just the same there are those that felt the recoil was lighter than AR-15. This may be due to the absence of the buffer tube shuffling.

The polymer receiver was easier to hang onto than a sharp-edged quad rail, yet the rifle has plenty of rail for mounting equipment. The rifle was tested fired at 50 yards. The limits of iron sights made it unwise to attempt a comparison of accuracy at 100 yards.

With the Federal American Eagle 62-grain Green Tip load, the rifle consistently grouped three shots into less than two inches at 50 yards. This is acceptable for a start, although good optics make a difference. The rifle handles well, is reliable and seems accurate enough for most tasks. The rifle was also fired with the Federal 55-grain JSP with good results.

In short, the Beretta ARX 100 is an interesting and useful rifle, suitable for personal defense, target shooting and hunting appropriately sized game.

Are you ready to give the Beretta ARX a try? Tell us all about it in the comments section.

[bob]

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (31)

  1. I served in the Marines for 4 years and I was deployed to Haiti, Liberia, Djibouti, Iraq twice and was hit by an IED my second tour. My M4 had Shrapnel damaged but still fired during an engagement. I own Dozens of ARs, Tavors, and I bought an Arx100 and I love the simplicity of the weapon. The accuracy is great. I also own a KRISS Vector. When I grab a weapon out of my safe during an emergency, I grab the ARX. I’ve learned several things since I was in the Marines. If the weapon I’m looking at buying and it says Mil-Spec. I don’t buy it! I want better than Mil-Spec. I’m a certified Gunsmith and if anyone ever has questions just visit my website or email me at marineveteran0206@gmail.com I will help you make decisions on weapons, troubleshooting, and will help you decide on finding the right price. Sgt. K. Wells, USMC

  2. Nice write up. I own this gun and really like the ambi aspects. I am massively left eye dominate so I shoot rifles left handed and pistols (or this rifle with the stock folded) right handed. Beretta made it super easy to switch which was the selling point for me. One thing I missed though while reading this blog – and many like it – is the lower rail is somewhat limiting. It is true the gun has lots of rails but the lower rail is small. I bought a bipod that did not fit flush, returned that bipod, and then bought this one http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003KOX294/ref=pe_385040_127541850_TE_item which fits (and performs) perfectly on the ARX100. Btw, Beretta also makes an ARX100 bipod but it is only available in Europe at present.

  3. Thanks SS1.
    When I first read your comment I thought you was being sarcastic but then I read it again and I realised someone could be sincere about a comment. Thanks again.

  4. Being a Beretta freak I got the ARX100 mainly because it was a Beretta. Maybe because it is just different than my AR`s makes it really fun to shoot. My IWI Tavor like thr ARX is also kinda strange but if during a SHTF scenario I would probably pick up one of these two versus an AR. But that ARX is just one fun gun.

    1. If you are a “Beretta freak” then I understand. I know what it’s like to be passionate about something like that.

      .

    2. Took the plunge and paid $1,200 for an ARX. I have owned dozens of AK style carbines purchase at an entry level price point of $500-700. All of them have proven extremely reliable. I bought the Beretta and paid what I consider to be a high price due to it’s reputation for reliability. As luck would have it, it’s been extremely unreliable with failures to eject every third or fourth round. It is on the way back from Beretta (for the second time) and hopefully it will prove to be reliable from this point on. Otherwise, I am really regretting the decision to “pull the trigger” on the ARX.

    3. @W B:

      Thanks for taking the time to share this experience. It will help out some people who are on the fence with this gun. Hopefully Beretta will step up to the plate and get this fixed for you.

    4. I have put several thousand rounds through this unit and have gotten it hotter than hell and haven’t had a single issue with it.

  5. I agree the cost is keeping me from even thinking about the rifle and it’s not that I can’t afford it as in the last year I’ve bought two Olyimpic Arms AR15 for $600 less then one ARX 100. I did get the 160 in .22LR and 6 months later I still haven’t put a round through it.
    I love my Berettas but until they compete in price I won’t be buying this one.

  6. I sincerely hope they fixed the charging handle issue that plagues the .22 version of the rifle I own. It may be manufacturered by someone else as the .22s often are. Every five rounds fired the shooter gets a charging handle to the teeth. Now when I do shoot it (it’s by far the least expensive and least fun gun to shoot and has turned me off to .22 plinking in general) I pull the charging handle out and put it in my pocket after chambering the first round. Again as many AR manu’s do they may have subcontracted the manufacture of the .22 design out to someone else, but it carries their name and yet Beretta has yet to respond to a single one of my emails regarding the issue.

    1. DRD tactical makes a qd barrel upper for under 1000$. I own one and don’t know why I ever owned any other ar15. I swap 7.62×39, 5.56, 300 blackout, and 6.8 in less than 30 secs with NO tools. The arx is a day late, dollar short, and ugly as hell

  7. At $2000, how is this better than 3 AR-15’s at $660 each? Price seems too high for a HK wannbe. Why put on the extra plastic if it is unneeded? I think it is a weapon trying to make a market for itself.

    1. I totally agree with your points Zeke. This freaky looking thing is so frickin overpriced. I’d rather buy a real gun that was made for it’s caliber, and has tighter specs because it isn’t trying to be a jack-of-all-trades.

  8. Great system (bolt lock takes some getting used to) and shoots smooth and clean with the gas piston system (just don’t grab that barrel after 50 rounds). One note is the Magpul Gen 3 will not seat with the ARX100, do not use the Gen 3.

  9. Quick change to 300 blackout is nice when you have a suppressor. You then get a real quiet rifle with sub-sonic ammo. Don’t know if this gun will have a flip of a lever to change barrels or not. If it does, it will be real handy providing the 5.56 barrel can hit a pie plate at 200 meters or better.

    1. People that want to shoot more than one caliber. I shoot .223 and 300 Blackout through the same gun all the time. I have multiple barrels with gas tubes on each one. Takes me 10 minutes to swap out a barrel on the ARs I have now. Faster barrel swaps with fewer tools would be a plus.

    2. Since before I ever joined the Marines I had a passion for shooting, hunting, and gunsmithing. I have dozens of ARs in many different calibers. The mindset on who or why would you need interchangeable barrels and calibers is easy especially if you aren’t financially able to own 2-3 ARs in different rounds. Hence the Berettas ARX 100 with simple interchangeability. In North Alabama where I live you can go months when you can’t find .223, 6.8, or 300 to purchase but you can always at least find one of them to purchase. I found the ARX 100 a pleasure to shoot and my 16 yr old Daughter loved it. The ease in changing out the barrels was exhilarating. For those who want a really good rifle that’s not an AR. This is a good one
      And for the G36 critic. Those are very reliable for semi-auto owners. I have one and I’ve never had a single problem . If you properly clean and lubricate a weapon you will get what you want out of it. SEMPER FI!

    3. if u have mail service u can order any caliber u want. Ammo is readily available and prices have come down. Even the elusive .22lr is available if your willing to pay triple.

    4. Geez Kevin, how can I disagree with such a nice, well written and thoughtful post like yours!! I like arguing with the rude guys, but to you, I just have to say hey maybe you’re right!! 🙂

    5. Just ask all the people that have mod kits for their pistols and rifles so they can shoot smaller calibers like .22LR kits that are out there in the millions for guns. Have you tried to buy 22LR ammo recently?

    6. Easy…hunters. If you’re out hunting varmints or small hogs a .223 is fine. If you’re hunting large hogs or any game like deer, then 6.8SPC or 6.5 Grendel makes a lot more sense.

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