Russian special forces use the Beretta ARX-160A2

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

Some special forces operators of the Russian Federation, the KSO (Komandovanie sil spetsial'nalnykh operatsii), were recently photographed carrying a Beretta ARX-160A2 assault rifle, probably during a drill.

Seeing Russian special forces using Western armament is certainly not a peculiarity. In fact, even the Western operators, as well as those of the Italian COFS (Joint Command for Operations of Special Forces), are trained in the use of weapons of the former Soviet block, should they find themselves in the need to use them. During the initial stages of the intervention in Afghanistan, the special forces Americans have made extensive use of the Hungarian version of the Ak-47, called AMD-65, also appreciated for the better ballistic performance of the 7,62x39 caliber ammunition compared to the standard NATO 5,56x45 one.

The ARX-160A2 was developed specifically for use by special forces, thanks to the collaboration of operators of the 9th assault rgt Col Moschin.

The firearm employs a 12 'barrel length, considered optimal in a CQB context (Close Quarters Battle).

Compared to the A1 version, the ARX-160A2 has the articulated arm of the stock shorter by 2 cm, while remaining the four intermediate adjustments.

In the A2 version the flash hider-compensator is highlighted, in the initial cylindrical section it houses a small expansion chamber which subsequently injects the gases into the open part of the flash hider, with four ellipsoidal windows that rotate radially on the upper 210 °. The expansion chamber has a dual function: as a linear compensator and as a chamber capable of retaining and slowing down the gases, in order to balance and maintain the impulse for operation.

The barrel has undergone the most significant intervention compared to the ARX-160A1. The operators of the special forces, compared to the members of the conventional departments, may find themselves in the need to use the weapon with automatic shooting for prolonged periods. In the original project, in the part towards the muzzle of the polymeric fore-end, there is a circular steel seat for assembling and centering the barrel. This metallic mass, in the event of prolonged gusts, would accumulate a large amount of heat. To overcome this drawback, on the A2 version the steel bushing was replaced by a ceramic one, wrapped in another steel sleeve. This device improves heat dissipation, even if 210 shots fired in a burst (equal to 7 magazines), would lead the chamber to reach the critical cook off point.

The Beretta ARX-160A2, as far as we know, is used quite frequently by some Italian special departments (such as the Rangers), however it did not seem to satisfy the needs of the Nono (although as previously mentioned it contributed to its realization) is looking for a more performing assault rifle, perhaps on the M-4 platform.

Photo: Twitter / Navy