Beretta SCS-70 for Italian Special Forces

The SCS-70 (Special Carbine, Short) is a version of the standard Beretta AR-70 rifle made for Italian special forces use. It has a 12.7” barrel, no gas cutoff or rifle grenade capability, pistol grip storage compartment, and a polymer sidefolding stock. These were used until about 1990, when they were replace with the similar SCS-70/90 pattern, incorporating all the updates of the AR-70/90 development.


  1. Why in the name of all the Gods did Colt refuse to give Beretta a license for the M16? It wasn’t like it was top secret – I’m sure the Russians had ones that were captured in Vietnam by that time. Colt could have been getting all that lovely royalty money on every copy the Italians made…

    • Probably because “give” was the operative word, from Colt’s point of view. Every deal has two sides, and they have to agree. It all comes down to money, and quite obviously Colt wanted more than Beretta was willing to pay.

      • On the other hand, there were no chances for the Italian Army to adopt Colt made rifles, so even one cent for rifle was better than nothing.
        Beretta on the other hand had always been pretty liberal wit its licences, with licenced copies of it’s weapons ending up being made in Egypt, Iraq, South Africa, Brazil, Nigeria, Morocco, Indonesia…

    • When Berretta started working on the AR70 it was 1968, so Colt still has more than 10 years left for the AR15 patent.
      Ironically, when the AR70/90 had been really tested for the adoption by the Italian Army, in the ’80s, the patent had expired, and an AR15 derivate, the SOCIMI AR831 (like the Daewoo K2 it had however an AK-style long stroke piston with overbolt recoil spring) was among the competing bids.

  2. Cute is a strange descriptor for any modern military arm but does seem to fit the abbreviated models reasonably well. Why Colt would not license Beretta to build M-16s for their military sounds like there might have been some political pressure not to allow said licensing. Remember what the American mindset in the 60’s-70’s was and that Italy had a very strong Socialist/Communist party in power at the time.

      • Lockheed had lots of backdoor dealings with various foreign politicians, and I’m sure this came back to bite when some rather shady details were leaked to the public. I could be wrong, of course.

        • The whole business of bribery relating to the Aluminium Death Tube is a really interesting story that lead to, among other things, an actual kamikaze attack by an ultranationalist porn actor/former neo-samurai militaman on the home of a yakuza boss who had been a major conduit for Lockheed bribes in Japan.

    • “Cute is a strange descriptor for any modern military arm but does seem to fit the abbreviated models reasonably well.(…)”
      This reminded me about PUP
      Officially designated the “Sopwith Scout,” it picked up the nickname “Pup” due to the fact that it resembled the 1½ Strutter but had smaller dimensions. Whilst the “Pup” nickname was never officially recognized, it persevered despite widespread measures by authorities to refer to the aircraft’s official designation ‘Sopwith Type 9901″ or “Scout.” It also led to the practice of naming all subsequent Sopwith aircraft after a bird or animal.

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