Using interchangeable barrels, an adjustable trigger, and an innovative two-movement linear ambidextrous reloading system, Beretta has introduced the new BRX1 rifle.
Debuted in Europe on Tuesday, the rifle is interesting in design, with an eight-lug (16-lug in magnum calibers) rotating bolt head, the bolt can be changed from right hand to left without any tools. Further, the gun was subjected to NATO qualification tests, and Beretta's engineers ran over 120,000 rounds through their prototype guns, in 70 different ammo types. One test gun survived over 200 over-pressure loads, proving the strength and geometry of the rifle.
Modular, the BRX1 houses its cold-hammer-forged free-floating barrels in a "V" cradle locked in place by two screws and a steel dowel, allowing it to be easily swapped out without the loss of zero of attached optics. The barrels available at launch include a 20-inch .308 Win, a 22.5-inch .30-06 Springfield, and a 24.5-inch .300 Win Mag. Accuracy is guaranteed to be sub-MOA with three-round groups with all guns shipping with an accuracy certificate to vouch for the fact. All barrels have a threaded muzzle.
Weight, due to the adjustable polymer stock, is in the 7.2-pound neighborhood.
The straight-pull bolt includes a bolt handle with a medium-sized knob positioned close to the trigger for the best ergonomics and speed in reloading. While straight-pull rifles are coming back in vogue in the U.S. – the new Savage Impulse for instance – they are also especially popular with hunters in Central Europe and Scandinavia, where repeaters are tough to license.
Available for now just in Europe, the asking price is €1,549, which at the current rate of exchange is right at $1,800. While most of Beretta's current rifle lineup in the U.S. amounts to CX4 carbines and ARX rifles, the BRX1 could be an interesting addition to the company's catalog, although it would compete against other top-shelf European rifles from such brands as Sakoand Tikka, both of which are owned by the same company as Beretta.