Beretta ARX 160 Carbine Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
July 25, 2015

Beretta ARX 160 Review

In this part of my Beretta ARX 160 .22LR Carbine Review, I take a close look at the external and operational features of this rimfire rifle.  As always, remember that clicking on a photo will bring up a high resolution photo allowing you to see the finer details if desired.


The Beretta ARX 160 Carbine has what I consider a futuristic look.  Maybe that is just my dated opinion due to my age and a predisposition to traditional styled ARs and AKs, but it still looks futuristic to me.  Note that the bipod shown does not come with the rifle.

Figure 1
Beretta ARX 160 Review

The majority of the firearm has a polymer appearance, but it in no way has the feel of a cheap and flimsy rifle like some other polymer shell firearms on the market.

Figure 2
Beretta ARX 160 Review

One unique feature is the length adjustable side folding buttstock which mimics the same functionality as the Beretta ARX 100.

Figure 3
Beretta ARX 160 Review

Figure 4
Beretta ARX 160 Review

The rifle has an overall width of about 2.78" across the side Picatinny rails on the forend and the specifications state 3.15" width which I think includes the charging handle.

Figure 5
Beretta ARX 160 Top View

The overall length is about 34.1" with the buttstock collapsed and 36.6" with it fully extended.  The height of the rifle with the sights deployed and without a magazine was about 9.5",  With the 20-round magazine installed it was about 11.5".

Figure 6
Beretta ARX 160 Right View

Figure 7
Beretta ARX 160 Bottom View

Figure 8
Beretta ARX 160 Left View

The review rifle plus the 20-round magazine weighed in at 6.1 pounds (97.5 ounces).  This was less than the 105.82 ounces advertised.

Figure 9
Beretta ARX 160 Weight

This carbine rifle comes with a nominal 18" barrel that Beretta states to be 18.11".  I measured it to be about 18.16" on this review rifle.  The portion forward of the mock gas block is about 5.6" in length and and about 0.615" in diameter which I consider to be a slim or pencil profile barrel.

Figure 10
Beretta ARX 160 Barrel Forward of Handguard

I couldn't find any markings on the barrel identifying the caliber or twist rate.  The only marking I found was the serial number inside the cutout area on the right side of the gas block.  Using a cleaning rod and watching the rotation as I pulled a brush through the barrel, I measured the twist rate at about 1:16" which is similar to many other rimfire rifles.

Figure 11
Beretta ARX 160 Barrel Bottom

The end of the barrel includes a steel A2 style flash hider.

Figure 12
Beretta ARX 160 Flash Hider

The flash hider is threaded on the barrel and then pinned in place with a roll pin as shown.

Figure 13
Beretta ARX 160 Flash Hider Side View

The end of the barrel has a flat spot on the bottom where the roll pin passes to prevent rotation of the flash hider.  You can see this in the photo below.

Figure 14
Beretta ARX 160 Flash Hider Front View

I knocked out the roll pin and removed the flash hider to show that the barrel is threaded with a 1/2-28 thread which is the standard thread size for 5.56/223 REM muzzle devices.  This gives you many options if you choose to replace the flash hider in the future.  This installation included an O-ring between the shoulder portion of the barrel and flash hider to prevent the flash hider from appearing loose.  On this rifle, there was no rattle, but I could slightly rotate the flash hider with my fingers.

Figure 15
Beretta ARX 160 Flash Hider Removed

The barrel includes a mock aluminum (I think) gas block which also interfaces to the forend of the stock with a polymer shroud.  This configuration causes the barrel to be supported by the forend and thus is not a free floated barrel.  I found there to be a very slight amount of freeplay between shroud and forend when I pressed the barrel in various directions.  In my opinion, my Range Test Results showed this is not an issue for this style rifle and with the right ammunition you can expect average group sizes less than an inch at 50 yards.  If this were a target rifle, I would probably have a different opinion about this freeplay being OK.

Figure 16
Beretta ARX 160 Gas Block Area

The aluminum mock gas block includes an aluminum sling loop.  This configuration mimics that of the ARX 100 Rifle, but the ARX 100 sling loop can also rotate from left to right side.  This is not the case on this ARX 160 version.  Both the sling loop and mock gas block are held in place with steel roll pins.  The height of the sling loop is 1.22" which easily handles a 1" web sling.  Although, the other sling points measure about 0.85" at the location where you would loop the sling and this makes getting a 1" web sling installed a little tricky at the other locations.

Figure 17
Beretta ARX 160 Gas Block Area Left View

The forend of the stock comes with 4.3" 10-Slot sections of polymer Picatinny rail on each side which are attached with three screws on each rail to the forend.

Figure 18
Beretta ARX 160 Handguard Top View

The screws are threaded into steel nuts embedded into the polymer forend and these nuts can be seen by looking through the slots in the forend.  I checked the tightness on all these screws and found them to be sufficiently tight.

Figure 19
Beretta ARX 160 Handguard Right View

The upper section of the forend includes a polymer flip-up front sight that is pinned to the polymer stock with a single roll pin.

Figure 20
Beretta ARX 160 Handguard Left View

The sight can be deployed by pressing the end of the polymer bar to the right side of the rifle.  This bar has a detent so that it will stay in position on the right side until pressed back to the left for securing the sight back in the folded position.  When deployed, the front sight is held in the up position by spring force.  If something hits the sight and causes it to fold down, the sight will automatically pop back up.

Figure 21                                                           Figure 22
Beretta ARX 160 Front Sight Folded  Beretta ARX 160 Front Sight Deployed

When folded and secured in place, the sight has a lug that becomes captured inside the hole in the bar.

Figure 23
Beretta ARX 160 Front Sight Top View

The front sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation.  The front post and windage adjustment screw are both made from steel.

Figure 24
Beretta ARX 160 Front Sight Deployed

Beretta supplies a front sight adjustment tool with each rifle.  This tool has a side like a screwdriver for adjusting windage and a ridged side which mates with the sight post for adjusting elevation.  If you lose this tool, you can still adjust the sight with a screwdriver and I was able to rotate the post using my fingers (although it was difficult).

Figure 25                                            Figure 26                                           Figure 27
Beretta ARX 160 Sight Adjustment Tool  Beretta ARX 160 Sight Adjustment Tool  Beretta ARX 160 Sight Adjustment Tool

The rear sight folds rearward to be deployed and forward to be stowed.

Figure 28                                                          Figure 29
Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Folded  Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Deployed

The latch mechanism is the same as the front sight.

Figure 30
Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Top View

The distance between the front and rear sights measured 16.8" giving you a relatively long sight radius.

Figure 31
Beretta ARX 160 Sights

The rear sight has a series of peep holes on a wheel which can be rotated to different positions for different distances and different peep hole diameters.  According to the Instruction Manual (page 31), each position on the rear sight corresponds to the following distance and diopter (peep hole) diameter:

  • Position 1 - distance 10 meters, diopter diameter 2.8mm
  • Position 2 - distance 10 meters, diopter diameter 3.5mm
  • Position 3 - distance 25 meters, diopter diameter 2.8mm
  • Position 4 - distance 25 meters, diopter diameter 3.5mm
  • Position 6 - distance 50 meters, diopter diameter 2.8mm

Personally, I might have used the number 5 instead of 6 for the 50 meter distance with the 2.8mm diameter.  Better yet, I think marking the actual distance would have been just as easy than this numbering system.  Keep in mind that since the front post is adjustable in elevation you have the ability to sight in for other distances.

Figure 32                                                                 Figure 33 
Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Position 1  Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Position 2

I found this sight system to be effective, but the rear sight seemed to cover too much of my field of view when sighting on a target.

Figure 34                                                                 Figure 35
Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Position 3  Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Position 4

Figure 36
Beretta ARX 160 Rear Sight Position 6

The main body of the stock is made primarily from polymer materials and has a tall profile which attributes to its unique look.  The top of the stock includes a full length 34-slot Picatinny rail which appears to be made from aluminum and measured about 13.9" in length.  The front and rear sights are pinned in place preventing scope mounts from being installed on the rail by sliding them from the end of the rail.  This will limit some of your optics mounting solutions, yet there are many other clamp style mounts available.

Figure 37
Beretta ARX 160 Stock

The handguard portion of the stock is vented on each side and has a 16-slot Picatinny rail measuring about 6.4" on the lower surface.  The rail is held in place in the forward and aft direction with a single roll pin.

Figure 38
Beretta ARX 160 Lower Rail Side View

The lower rail slots are numbered from 1 to 16 and the rail appears to be made from some metallic material (most likely aluminum).  I believe this rail also helps clamp the two polymer halves of the stock together and provide more strength for attaching accessories such as grips and bipods. 

Figure 39
Beretta ARX 160 Lower Rail Bottom View

The receiver portion of the stock includes two steel sling loops on each side of the rifle.

Figure 40
Beretta ARX 160 Reciever Area Right Side

The way the metal sling loops sit close to the stock limits the actual sling width to about 0.85", although I was able to make a 1.00" web sling work.

Figure 41
Beretta ARX 160 With Sling Attached

One thing that I noticed quickly was how diligent Beretta (actually Walther) was about marking the serial number on the firearm.  The four markings shown in the photo below plus the one on the barrel under the mock gas block totals 5 different locations which represent all the critical assemblies being marked. 

The right side of the receiver area includes the ambidextrous safety selector and ambidextrous magazine release.  It also includes the catch for securing the stock in the folded position.  There appears to be a polymer plate on each side with "ARX 160 CAL. .22 L.R. HV" molded into the plates.  I'm not sure of the reason for the plate because they could have molded this directly into the upper receiver just like they did with the lower receiver with the "BERETTA" name and logo along with  "BERETTA USA ACCOKEEK, MD".

One last feature to note looking at the photo below is that the charging (cocking) handle is configured to extend on the left side, not the right side.  The side the handle extends is easily changed by the user so that you can always keep your shooting hand on the pistol grip when charging the rifle.  Most likely the plates allow them to brand the firearm differently in different countries.

Figure 42
Beretta ARX 160 Reciever Area Right Side

The ambidextrous safety selector is similar in location and operation as an AR style rifle, but only has 45 degree rotation.  The selector has a very positive detent feel as you switch it from "S" safety to "F" fire.  This selector is also used during takedown.  There is another position in the opposite direction of "F" which lowers a pin during the takedown process.  This other position is rotated against a spring so that the selector will always shift back to the "S" position.

Figure 43                                                           Figure 44
Beretta ARX 160 Safety Selector in Safe Position  Beretta ARX 160 Safety Selector in Fire Position

The bottom of the stock in front of the magazine well has some molded features to give the appearance of the cover for the grenade launcher attachment found on the ARX 100.

Figure 45
Beretta ARX 160 Reciever Area Bottom View

The magazine well has no tapered edges for magazine insertion, but the relatively loose fit of the magazine inside the well allows magazines to be inserted easily.  This loose fit is something that you will notice, but does not seem to have any impact on the operation.

Figure 46
Beretta ARX 160 Inside Magazine Well

The left side of the rifle looks similar to the right side with the ambidextrous controls and sling mounts.  One key difference on the left side is the button at the rear used to fold the stock (more on this later).

Figure 47
Beretta ARX 160 Stock Left View

The left side of the receiver area has a polymer plate showing the "BERETTA" name, logo, "MADE IN GERMANY BY UMEREX" and "WARNING: READ SAFETY MANUAL." 

The polymer trigger is wide with rounded edges.  The trigger pull measured 7.6 pounds based on ten pulls using a Lyman Digital Pull Scale.  This was just inside the 5.5 to 7.7 pounds advertised.  Overall I would describe the trigger pull as clunky crisp.  There is an initial take-up of about .1", then the heavy pull weight does break relatively crisp and then the trigger has about .25" of overtravel.

Figure 48
Beretta ARX 160 Reciever Area Left View

One of the unique features of this rifle is the telescoping four position folding buttstock.  In the collapsed position the stock has a length of pull (LOP) of about 10.5" and in the extended position a LOP of about 13.3".

Figure 49                                                             Figure 50
Beretta ARX 160 Buttstock Collapsed  Beretta ARX 160 Buttstock Extended

The stock adjusts in length by pressing on the ridged portion of the lever at the front of the butt pad.  I didn't care for this method of adjustment because the lever mechanism and friction on the stock seemed to make the stock stick and hard to adjust.  I sprayed some silicone spray on the stock and this seemed to reduce the friction considerably.  It didn't make it perfect, but it was better.

Figure 51
Beretta ARX 160 Buttstock Positions

On the right side of the buttstock (top in the photo below) is the catch to hold the buttstock in the folded position.  This catch mates with the one on the right side of the receiver shown above in Figure 42.

Figure 52
Beretta ARX 160 Buttstock Bottom View

The end of the buttstock has an integrally molded buttpad with a checkered textured pattern.  This pattern seemed to provide an improved reduced slip surface compared to smooth.

Figure 53
Beretta ARX 160 Buttpad

On the left side of the buttstock is the button for folding the stock.

Figure 54
Beretta ARX 160 Folding Button

You must press the button hard and fully because there is a significant amount of latch engagement and spring force which I feel is a good thing to ensure strength.

Figure 55
Beretta ARX 160 Partially Folded

Beretta (actually Walther) did a good job with this folding feature and I wish the telescoping feature of the buttstock was as smooth as the folding action.  The design of the catch is such that you don't have to push the button to lock the stock in the open position.  When opening, the catch lugs will automatically lock in place.

Figure 56
Beretta ARX 160 Partially Folded

The rifle has an overall length of 27.65 when the buttstock is folded.

Figure 57
Beretta ARX 160 Stock Fully Folded

The buttstock snaps firmly in place, yet there is not too much force required to redeploy the stock.  Even though the folded stock covers the safety and magazine release on the right side, the rifle is fully operational due to these ambidextrous features also being on the left side.

Figure 58
Beretta ARX 160 Stock Fully Folded Closeup

These next two photos show the charging handle in the left and right orientations.  In either orientation, again, the rifle is fully functional with the stock folded. 

Figure 59
Beretta ARX 160 Stock Fully Folded Top View Bolt Handle on Left

Figure 60
Beretta ARX 160 Stock Fully Folded Bolt Handle on Right

The rifle comes with a single 20-round magazine.  I was impressed with the build quality of this magazine.

Figure 61
Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Rear

The magazine includes a ridged surface on both sides of the follower to make reloading easy by pushing the follower down with your thumb and index finger as you insert rounds.

Figure 62
Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Right

Figure 63
Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Front

Figure 65                                                     Figure 66                                                     Figure 67
Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Bottom  Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Left  Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Top

As you load the magazine, the  rear of the shells will start to form a staggered stacked pattern.

                                                           Figure 68                                                          Figure 69
Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Left Loaded  Beretta ARX 160 Magazine Top Loaded

Walther makes other replica rimfire rifles such as the Colt .22 Tactical and HK 416, all of which use the same style magazine.  I purchased a 10-round and 30-round magazine for range testing.  All magazines performed flawlessly in this rifle.  The Colt and HK magazines have a gun metal gray appearance and the Beretta magazine has a black appearance.  For bench shooting, a 10-round magazine is a must in my opinion.  I found these other magazines to also be a couple of dollars cheaper than the Beretta branded equivalents.

Figure 70
Beretta ARX 160 Other Magazines



I was really impressed with the overall build quality of the Beretta ARX 160 .22LR Carbine.  The only features that I didn't like were the way the telescoping feature of the buttstock seemed to stick and it was difficult to adjust, also the way the rear sight seemed to block my field of view.  I would in no way brag on the 7.6 pound trigger pull, but I found it to be livable for this style rifle. Even though the rifle has a very "polymer" look, it appears that they included metallic components at the critical locations.  Since the front and rear sights are not intended to be removable, you will need to use clamp style mounts that don't require you sliding them on from an end of the rail.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments below.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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