SHOT 2014 — Beretta ARX-100 Sporting Rifle

Dave Dolbee shooting the ARX-100

At the 2014 SHOT Show Media Day, I got the opportunity to fire a few rounds through Beretta’s ARX-100, the civilian version of the ARX-160 rifle developed for the Italian military. At first glance, I thought it was just another black sporting rifle. However, in true Beretta fashion, they painstakingly included some features that I consider a requirement on modern weapons systems.

Shooting the ARX-100
Shooting the ARX-100

Ambidextrous Controls

Need to lose that empty mag? No problem, the ARX-100 has three, count ‘em, three magazine releases. The user gets one on each side, plus a bonus European-style mag release right in front of the trigger guard and behind the magazine. Don’t like a right-handed charging handle? Simply pull the bolt back and flip the handle through the middle of the ejection port to go southpaw. The AR-style safety selector is ambi too—no switching necessary. A selector button also allows the gun to quickly switch between ejection directions. This means you can have your empty casing fly out the left or right side depending on your dominant shooting hand.

Quick Barrel Change

For 300 AAC Blackout shooters, simply pull the bolt back, twist the barrel and pull it out for an easy change from 5.56 NATO. As you know, you can use the same magazine with either caliber. The barrel change simplicity is similar to that of the Steyr AUG.

Reliability and Accuracy

The ARX-100 is piston driven, rather than direct impingement for long lasting durability and low maintenance in harsh environments. The trigger was very crisp and recoil was negligible. Accuracy was more than excellent and handling was on par with the majority of AR style weapons we’ve tested.

Other Features

Beretta includes storage space in the A2 style grip, Picatinny rails for endless accessories, and the ability to accept standard AR-style magazines to include old-style PMAGS. The stock is collapsible and folding, which gives the weapon usability in tight quarters and in vehicles. Expect to see plenty of these weapons in the near future. We all want weapons we can afford, and Beretta plans to market these weapons below the $2,000 mark.

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Comments (12)

  1. Erik,

    Thanks for the info, but yesterday I bought a Century Arms Zastava PAP M92 “pistol” (LOL) with a 10 inch barrel, from CheaperThanDirt. It uses 7.62×39. I’m waiting for it to arrive and am very excited about my first AK47 caliber gun (I own an AR-15 and an AR-10). I’m very excited about that cheap steel cased ammo that I can’t use in my AR’s.

    I’m sure the 300 AAC Blackout has it’s purposes for some guys, but I don’t need one and I’m looking forward to lot’s of ammo testing and expirementing with my Zastava. And BTW, in case anyone is wondering, I have ZERO interest in all the SBR hype and hassle. My Zastava is staying exactly as-is.

  2. Richard,
    The 300 AAC BLK round is the perfect “all-in-one” round. With 125gr bullets, it has the same ballistics as the 7.62X39 AK47 round. With 220gr bullets, it will be a subsonic round for suppressed applications. It also is capable of being loaded in standard AR15/M16 mags.

    Just fyi, 300 BLK uses a 7.62mm bullet.

  3. For those commenting here, the gun will have a kit for 762X39. In this configuration, a bolt has to be swapped out which is very simple, takes less than 20 seconds, no tools required. No one in a fox hole really cares how sexy their gun looks. Would rather have a gun like the ARX than a pretty gun that is heavy and jams. The ARX is three guns in one, very accurate and doesn’t corrode, minimal lubrication if any, and is a reliable piston design. Good luck with your pretty guns.

  4. Richard, The 7.62 is also to long to fit into the mag well. Also it would be a lot nicer to be able to switch rounds by only having to switch barrels instead of complete uppers. Also between long and short barrels.

  5. Richard, I would guess for the following reasons: 1) 7.62×39 rounds too often have feed issues on the AR platform due to the taper of the casing 2) 7.62×51 is a significantly larger cartridge overall and will require changing the bolt as well 3) .300 blk only requires a barrel change, can use the same magazines and is being considered as a new NATO round and we may be seeing wider production in the near future. This is just the first alternate caliber for the ARX 100, I too hope they will offer more in the future.

  6. Can anyone explain why it would be switchable to a 300 AAC Blackout barrel, instead of a barrel for a more popular caliber like 7.62×51 or 7.62×39? Is there a good reason for this that I’m not aware of?

    1. Richard,
      The 300AAC Round has become very popular for people who want a quiet suppressed round. Suppressed, the 300AAC round is incredibly quiet, fires a heavy bullet that hits like a freight train, subsonic suppressed is crazy quiet and ballistics are incredible. Without having to buy new magazines and the barrel only swap instead of complete upper, makes for a fun, accurate and relatively inexpensive way to have a MSR that is multi-caliber. Hope that answer helps.

    2. Richard,
      Also, if you’re in the market for a multi-caliber MSR, Take a look at the SigSauer 556XI. It has the capability to convert from 5.56 to 300AAC and 7.62×39. It’s a modular rifle with unlimited configurations and accessories. The 556XI Starts out between $1200 – $1500 and shoots like a dream.

  7. It may be a great rifle, but it puts me in mind of the old bulky cellular ‘Brick’ phones. In addition to functionality, I want a good looking rifle [be it the old wood stocks / fore grip or the modern sporting rifle made from composite materials].

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