Beretta is back on the bolt-action rifles market… in style: the Beretta BRX1 is Italy’s first ever straight-pull rifle, boasting a stylish design with unique features
The new Beretta BRX1 straight-pull rifle represents both the beginning and the end of a long run – and we’re not “just” talking about the lengthy research and development process that marks the birth of all Beretta firearms, be them hunting shotguns, sporting rifles, defensive pistols, or the latest, cutting-edge military rifles.
The BRX1 is in fact Beretta’s first straight-pull rifle, as well as the first sporting and hunting straight-pull rifle design to be put into mass production in Italy, and is the first bolt-action rifle to hit the market directly under the Beretta brand in decades, at least ever since the Beretta Holding left that specific product segment in the hands of – albeit extremely experienced and worthy – controlled companies such as SAKO, Tikka, and Victrix Armaments.
Nevertheless, Beretta’s own technicians put to good use the experience of the Beretta Holding as a whole – not limited to the industry-leading achievements of SAKO, Tikka and Victrix, but also including the experience of companies such as Franchi and Benelli with bolt-action rifle designs such as the Horizon and Lupo – particularly in terms of ergonomics and maneuverability. This, because the working system of the new Beretta BRX1 is unique under many points of view.
The new Beretta BRX1 straight-pull rifle was conceived to provide the best in comfort and rugged reliability specifically for hunting purposes in the harshest conditions, and as such, it is built around a black polymer stock that’s extremely reminiscent to that of Benelli’s own Lupo rifle, with dual-texture contact surfaces surfaces, a set of interchangeable palm swells on the pistol grip, and a set of replaceable buttpads for LOP adjustment.
Other features of the Benelli BRX1 include a set of factory-issued sling swivel studs and the shooter’s choice of a 51, 57 or 62 cm (20”, 22”, or 24”) long barrel with a 16mm, M14 threaded muzzle and an interchangeable optics mount system located just above the barrel extension.
The Beretta BRX1 can be equipped with a standard Picatinny rail, a Tikka-type 17mm dovetail mount or Beretta’s new proprietary mount for quick-detach optics interfaces, to be made available in the 4th quarter of 2021. The interfaces are kept in place by a recoil lug and a set of four screws; Tikka and Picatinny rails are also secured at the rear by a specific notch to provide superior stability for long optical sights or night vision devices.
The Beretta BRX1’s self-contained trigger group can be removed from the stock with any improvised small tool – from a screwdriver to a pocket knife, down to a bullet tip, just anything will do! – and will allow the user to adjust the weight of the single-stage trigger from a minimum to 900 grams (approximately 31 oz.) to a maximum of 1,5 kilograms (3.3 lbs) in 200/250 grams increments.
A top tang sliding three-position manual safety is also provided, located at easy and quick thumb reach for left-handed and right-handed shooters alike, allowing the user to block both the bolt and the trigger or just the trigger, allowing the bolt to cycle manually if need be – eg. to clear a remaining round from chamber.
The new BRX straight-pull locking system is lightning-fast, feather-weight, and adaptable: upon field-stripping, the charging handle can be located on the right or left side, and the bolt head can be turned 180-degrees to select between right-hand or left-hand ejection and operation.
The peculiar locking system, built with safety and reliability in mind, is based on a removable and replaceable rotating bolt head with a single row of eight locking lugs for standard and long-action calibers and or two consecutive rows of eight locking lugs – for a total of sixteen locking lugs – for Magnum calibers; each bolt head goes with its own barrel and barrel extension.
This means that the Beretta BRX1 can be converted from the factory chambering to any of the other available calibers simply by swapping the barrel, bolt head, and magazine. As of today, the BRX1 is available in .308 Winchester (7.62x51mm), .30-06 Springfield, 6,5 Creedmoor, and .300 Winchester Magnum. The BRX1 has been subject to the most rigid NATO endurance and safety tests, passing them all with flying colors: while it’s not mandatory, nor customary, for the Italian arms industry to subject non-military firearms to NATO-standard testing procedures, Beretta decided to go with it anyway for the BRX1 in order to be absolutely, positively sure of the quality and safety of the new BRX system design.
The Beretta BRX1 straight-pull rifle feeds through flush-fit, detachable box magazines, holding up to five rounds in all available calibers. The BRX1 rifle magazines are manufactured out of polymer, featuring a blaze orange high-visibility body and a black endplate with a set of symmetrical release buttons for additional safety; they’re available in three variants, distinct per caliber groups (Standard action, Long action, Magnum), and identified as such by a number located on the rear of the body.
The Beretta BRX1 straight-pull rifle ranges between 1095 mm / 43,11” and 1145 mm / 45” in overall length, depending on the caliber and barrel configuration, and weighs in at approximately 3,2 kilograms (7 lbs); a reliable, sturdy design – as it’s supposed to be, being a Beretta! – the BRX1 offers fast target acquisition and rapid repetition for those occasions when semi-automatics are not an option but quick follow-up shots are a must-have nonetheless.
A vast line of dedicated accessories and add-ons – an “ecosystem”, as dubbed by the Company – will be immediately available for the new Beretta BRX1 straight-pull rifle; additionally, BRX1 users will be able to connect to Beretta’s official website and download the specific accuracy certificate for their own rifle, reporting the results of the precision shooting test that the rifle will go through before being shipped off to the retailer.
Only time will tell if the BRX1 will be a successful gamble for Beretta; sure thing, for what we can see here, the new all-Italian kid in the block is ready to tackle the big names of straight-pull rifles head-on – from Merkel to Blaser, from Browning to Verney-Carron, down to Strasser and Savage – and beat them at their own game.