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.
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.