The Beretta AR-70 began development in 1968, and was being sold by 1972. The Italian government purchased the rifle only for special forces units, but several other countries did adopt it, including Jordan and Malaysia. The design is fairly standard, with a long gas piston operating a two-lug rotating bolt. Upper and lower receivers are both stamped.
When the Italian military decided to replace the aging BM-59 in the late 1980s, Beretta submitted a modified version of the AR-70 to the trials. Subsequently adopted as the AR-70/90, this version differed from the original by having an ambidextrous selector, ambidextrous push-button magazine release (the original AR-70 used a lever magazine release), standard M16 magazines (the original used proprietary rock-and-lock magazines), strengthened upper receiver, and NATO standard accessory rail. In addition, carbine and light machine gun variants of the 70/90 were also developed (though the LMG version never saw major production). The AR-70/90 is still the primary infantry weapon for the Italian military, and is in use in Afghanistan.
Manuals (English and Italian)