Beretta just announced a new first for the company, a purpose-driven straight-pull bolt-action rifle for hunting. While the storied manufacturer has produced military rifles and commercial versions of the same designs, the new BRX1 is Beretta’s first dedicated sporting rifle.
And they’ve been paying attention to the increasingly competitive hunting rifle market in order to deliver a product that stands out. The BRX1 comes with a full suite of features from ambidextrous controls to a modular multi-caliber design, with a stylized V-bedded polymer pistol grip stock.
“Beretta is introducing the most innovative and new rifle that’s available on the market for big game hunting,” said Product Manager Ricardo Olivieri. “Ladies and gentlemen, and hunters, may I present to you the BRX1, the first Beretta big game-hunting rifle.”
At launch, the BRX1 is available in .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield and .300 Winchester Magnum. It weighs about 7.2 pounds, give or take depending on the model, and has either a 20- or 22.5-inch barrel in .308 and .30-06 or a 24.5-inch barrel in .300 Win. Mag. All have cold hammer-forged, threaded barrels.
It is a fully ambidextrous rifle with a reversible charging handle and a two-piece reversible rotating 8-lug bolt. The bolt and charging handle can be swapped from right-handed to left-handed without any special tools. The trigger can be adjusted from about 2 pounds to 3.3 pounds.
The barrel, bolt and receiver rail can be removed and swapped for caliber changes, or to replace the rail if it is damaged in the field. Beretta also offers a Tikka-pattern rail for people with Tikka mounts. In order to accommodate both left- and right-side ejection, the bolt carrier opens on both sides which also eases clearing and single-loading.
The three-position safety is on the tang of the receiver. In its locked position, it locks the trigger, the hammer and the action. In its safe position, the trigger and hammer are disabled but the action can be cycled for inspection, loading and unloading, and with the safety off, the rifle can be fired.
Safety and reliability are top concerns for Beretta. “Since we are also a factory that makes military-grade weapons and some guns that need to be NATO-approved, we wanted to go further and not stay with the standard CIP (Permanent International Commission for the Proof of Small Arms) testing procedures that we have for sporting rifles, we decided to do all those tests that any approved NATO rifle needs to pass,” said Olivieri.
These include a wide range of drop tests, high and low temperature testing and barrel obstruction testing, where an unloaded projectile is pressed into the bore of the rifle before loading and firing another round.
“We invested more than 60,000 man-hours, we tested 165 individual carbines from authorized stages through the pre-series runs,” said Quality Director Davide Prezuiso. “We shot more than 120,000 cartridges representing 70 ammo types to guarantee full ammo compatibility worldwide. All the tests took place in our facilities with full respect … following the worldwide military international standards regularly applied and in use for the NATO qualification process.”
Each rifle must also pass Italian proof-testing with two over-pressure rounds. According to Prezuiso, the BRX1 was able to withstand more than 200 proof-test cartridges fired consecutively, and when the rifle was examined, it still passed CIP tolerance standards.
The BRX1 feeds from a 5-round flush, detachable magazine in all current calibers. The polymer magazine has a high visibility orange body with a black floorplate, and cutouts for the magazine release levers so users can easily tell if there’s a magazine in the rifle.
Pricing for North America has not been released but in Europe, it’s 1,549 euro. For more information visit Beretta today.