Beretta recently introduced the ARX-160 (and civilian ARX-100). One of our readers liked the ARX-100, but I think it’s pretty much terrible from stem to stern. The design isn’t visually appealing in the least, the furniture feels like it was made by Mattel, and the ergonomics just don’t work (for me, anyway). Still, to each their own. The Italian armed forces picked up the gun (surprise!) and the American civilian market seems to be somewhat receptive, but very few others are jumping on board. Following on that resounding success Beretta has decided to roll out a similar looking 7.62×51 NATO based rifle that lacks many of the features that were selling points on the ARX-160 and it isn’t really any prettier . . .
Although not based on the ARX-160, the ARX-200 maintains a family look and feel with the earlier rifle, with many features such as the magazine release, the hold-open, and others remaining the same to facilitate training in services using both rifles.
A gas-piston operated weapon with locked breech and rotating bolt, the ARX-200 has no double-side expulsion, brass being always ejected on the left. However the cocking handle can be switched left or right dismounting the rifle, and the three-position fire selector (safe-single shot-automatic) is available on both sides.
The ARX-200 does not feature an immediate change barrel system, a quick change system having been adopted in the form of a single bolt under the handguard, fixing the heavy 16-inch free-floating cold hammer forged barrel to the bolt assembly.
I’m still sitting here scratching my head and wondering, “why?” I mean, I get that this is a natural brand extension of the ARX line, but the 200 lacks every single feature that Beretta fanboys were pointing to as proof that their Chosen One firearm was superior. The gun is no more ambidextrous than any other standard AR-10. The barrel change system is gone, replaced by something closer to the SCAR way of doing things. And it still looks more like a Super Soaker than a real firearm.
As for accuracy, there’s not much of note. “In terms of accuracy the new 7.62×51 mm rifle exceeded company expectations, obtaining a 1.5 MOA accuracy at 100 m using match-grade ammunition, a performance in line with designated marksman rifles,” the article boasts. That might sound great to a lot of people, but as someone who refuses to keep anything that groups over 1 MoA with normal ammo in their safe, no thank you.