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Assault rifle Beretta AR70/90 – the stinging bee of the Italian army

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – In the early 1980s, the Italian army decided to replace the outdated 7.62 mm Beretta BM59 automatic rifles with a new 5.56 mm NATO sample, for which a competition was announced.

Samples from various firms were submitted for this competition, including Franchi (licensed HK G41 rifle), SOCIMI, and Beretta. The sample of the Beretta company was an AR-70/223 rifle modernized according to operating experience, and was presented in 1985.

And in 1990, the new Beretta assault rifle was officially put into service under the designation AR-70/90. In addition to the main model, on its basis were created: a carbine for special operations forces SC-70/90 with a folding stock, a shortened carbine for the airborne forces and crews of SCP-70/90 combat vehicles, and an AS-70/90 light machine gun.

On the basis of the AR-70/90 rifle, a self-loading version is also produced specifically for the civil and police market (a similar version of the earlier AR-70/223 model was called the Beretta 70/223 Sporter).

The AR-70/223 series rifles were discontinued back in the 1980s, and the AR-70/90 series rifles are still in production, are in service with the Italian Armed Forces and are offered for export.

Automatic rifle AR-70/90 works on the principle of using the energy of powder gases discharged from the barrel. The vent tube is located above the barrel. A gas piston with a rod acts on the front of the bolt and moves it to the rear position. The barrel is locked by turning the bolt by 30 °. The shutter has 2 lugs.

The gas venting mechanism has a regulator with two settings, which ensure the normal operation of automation in normal conditions and with increased pollution, and also allows firing rifle grenades.

To shoot grenades, the regulator lever is moved to a vertical position, closes the gas outlet in the barrel bore and is used for aiming. When lowering the lever, installation on the barrel of a grenade is impossible.

The firing # trigger mechanism of the hammer type provides firing single shots, fixed bursts of 3 shots and continuous fire (in some modifications, the short burst mode is absent).

The weapon is equipped with a flag safety-translator of fire into four fixed positions: safety catch, single fire, automatic fire and fire with fixed bursts (the last position may not be present).

The flag along with the magazine latch are brought out to both sides of the receiver for the convenience of using the weapon with both right and left hands.

For the same, the cocking handle was moved to the top of the receiver. The grip is comfortable to use with gloves or with the folded shoulder rest.

The slot on the receiver, in which the cocking handle moves, is closed by a spring-loaded cover.

The sighting device consists of an open dioptric sight with fixed firing range settings at 250 and 400 m and a front sight.

A removable handle mounted on top of the receiver serves to carry the weapon. A sighting device is also mounted on the handle itself. Instead of a handle, guides can be installed to mount an optical or night sight that meets the NATO standard.

The ammunition is supplied from a detachable box magazine with a capacity of 30 rounds. The special device of the magazine receiver allows you to use magazines from the American M 16 rifle for 20 and 30 rounds.

Receiver and magazine are made of sheet steel by stamping. The stock, pistol grip and forend are made of impact-resistant plastic. The stock is equipped with a rubber butt pad.

The bayonet is attached to all weapons of the AR-70/90 family. It is also possible to install a device for silent and flameless shooting.

The modification of the light machine gun is equipped with a removable folding adjustable bipod made of light alloy.

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