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Italian GWOT Steel: the Beretta AR-70/90

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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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