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While the Italian military did adopt the AR-70, it did not actually issue them to all troops. Most continued to use the 7.62mm BM-59 until 1990 when the Beretta AR-70/90 was adopted. This rifle was a substantial rework and improvement of the AR-70, using AR-pattern magazines and a 1:7″ twist barrel to run the SS109 62gr ammunition chosen as the new NATO standard in 1981. The 70/90 also added a 2-position gas regulator to the design, while carrying over the folding bipod and grenade launching capabilities of its predecessor.
The AR-70/90 was made in semiautomatic from by Beretta for the civilian market, but only after US regulation prohibited its importation. As a result, these rifles were essentially nonexistent in the US until a few years ago, when a number of cut-up parts kits were imported. Several small shops set up to make them into semiautomatic rifles with new US-made receivers, including Brimstone Arms, who made this one for me.
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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!