BM59: The Italian M14

BM59: The Italian M14

After World War Two, both the Beretta and Breda companies in Italy began manufacturing M1 Garand rifles. When Italy decided that they wanted a more modern selective-fire, magazine-fed rifle, they chose to adapt the M1 Garand to that end rather than develop a brand new rifle. Two Beretta engineers, Vittorio Valle and Domenico Salza, began work in 1957 on what would become the BM-59. Prototypes were ready in 1959, trials were run in 1960, and by 1962 the new weapon was in Italian military hands.

The BM59 is basically an M1 Garand action and fire control system, but modernized. The caliber was changed to 7.62mm NATO, and the barrel shortened to 19.3 inches. A simple but effective selective fire system was added to the fire control mechanism, and the en bloc clips replaced with a 20-round box magazine (and stripped clip loading guide to match). A folding integral bipod was added to allow the rifle to be used for supporting fire on full auto, and a long muzzle device was added along with a gas cutoff and grenade launching sight to allow the use of NATO standard 22mm rifle grenades.

In this form, the BM59 was a relative quickly developed and quite successful and well-liked rifle. In addition to the Italian military, it was purchased by Argentine, Algeria, Nigeria, and Indonesia. A semiautomatic version was made for the US commercial market and designated the BM62, and a small number of fully automatic BM-59 rifles – like the one in this video – were imported into the US before the 1968 Gun Control Act cut off importation of foreign machine guns.

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Readers Comments (50)

  1. Sotto sto video 猫 pieno di italiani (lo sono pure io)

  2. Gbonjubola Bolajolbim December 7, 2020 @ 8:40 pm

    So technically, the Italians made a better m14 in less time?

    In probably really off so it would help if someone told me in the comments 馃檪

  3. I didn’t think I would ever find one of these in Poland, but I shot it a few days ago and it’s beyond awesome 馃檪

  4. Cool features. Overall, a nice looking gun. Thanks for the video.

  5. Italians improving on American weapon.

  6. that winter trigger is dope

  7. mi piace!

  8. Love how hes not even distracted by the colt monitor m60 and 2 sturmgewehr in the background

  9. You know the Italians make good stuff. When you want mechanical reliability but with an extra touch of class and exoticism. Cars, Guns, and cars again because you can’t have enough Italian cars.

  10. God I despise the M14 and Rene Studler

  11. The gun that the US should have produced! Instead of that beautiful target rifle the m-14!! The irony is the Italians did a m1 conversion for Argentina just think how much money the taxpayers could have been saved if we had simply rebuilt the several million garands we already had in inventory!!!!

  12. Put a scope on that beast!

  13. Fun fact: When using this gun, you had to aim at the right side of your target, because the bullets wouldn’t go straight.

  14. Massimo Callegari December 7, 2020 @ 8:54 pm

    I remember this rifle, in 1985…military service…馃槒

  15. E ‘ stato un fedele compagno per ben 85 servizi armati sempre con il colpo in canna , 30 poligoni di tiro come istruttore , che botte che tirava , indimenticabile….

  16. Friend of mine had one in select fire. It was very controllable in full auto. Loved it.

  17. Wine, women, cars and guns……………….leave it to the Dagos to do it right.

  18. wavelengthdesigns December 7, 2020 @ 8:57 pm

    Lol $42 in the 60s
    *Cries in 2020 prices*

  19. 12:00 360 USD today, really cheap for a full auto improved m14

  20. That has got to be one of the most Innovative full auto designs ever in a machine gun. Years ago I sold my Beretta M1 Garand tanker in 30 ought 6 and I could kick myself in the ass for it.


  22. we wants it precious, and our birthday is coming up.

  23. $42 in 1962 is about $347 in today’s money.

  24. I would also buy this rifle for the equivalent of $362.74 as of July, 2020

  25. Robert Belliveau December 7, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

    Loved my BM-59. It was a smooth shooter and pretty accurate.

  26. Put some Tetra on that thing

  27. After seeing this I just have on question. How did it take the US military 12 years to convert an M1 Garand to magazine fed and full auto and the Italians did it in six?! Not to mention the M14 was terribly outdated as a military rifle the second the STG-44 was invented. Meaning the design was out of date to begin with. Military intelligence. The greatest oxymoron of all time.

  28. i have question. What is that gunn( behind Ian, second from the left)??

  29. Beautiful firearm. Italians do it best!

  30. $20,125 seems way to much for this gun. On italian market the semi-auto version of this is like1000E.
    Is the import plus full auto value worth that much?

  31. I have read that the BM-59 was also, though less commonly, chambered in 30-06. Does anybody know anything about this?
    I am one of those 30-06 lovers and .308 despisers ( would rather have a .300 Winchester Mag or .303 British over .308), but except for the BAR, I have not heard of a box fed semi-auto 30-06. And I want them.

  32. Teresio Galamini December 7, 2020 @ 9:12 pm

    in 1982 i served in italian army infantery elite corp (Bersaglieri) and Bm59 was my rifle with M1 Garand

  33. Terddy Kartinian December 7, 2020 @ 9:13 pm

    In the past, Indonesia also made this rifle the company made it PMS or now better known as PT PINDAD with a license from Bareta with the name of the rifle is SP-1 (long rifle-1 / senapan panjang-1).

  34. It was only for prime soldiers in eighties (alpini, paracadutisti, bersaglieri, lagunari) not for all the coscripted army. The standard rifle was M1 Garand refitted 7,62 x 51 mm from 308. It was a cheep system to modernized the army that at that time was about 300.000 that had to stop the first hit of red invasion.

  35. Giovanni Tropiano December 7, 2020 @ 9:16 pm

    M14: Who are you?
    BM59: I am you… (Inspires)… BUT STRONGEEEEEEEER

  36. Stefano Pinchetti December 7, 2020 @ 9:21 pm

    I’ve shoot one of those in the military!
    It went like this:
    Officer "Next one!"
    Me thinking "Oh, come on! A lil’ more? Nope?!"
    Well, they didn’t waste bullets for the military cookers school, I can assure You!

    Still better than the grenade throwing training. At one point we figured we would like to throw the meatballs we had prepared, but turns out there’s some NBC convention forbidding it…
    Just rocks guys, they are safer.

  37. Viva Le Arfcom x 87!

  38. francesco giuseppe December 7, 2020 @ 9:23 pm

    Tutta Asti ancora applaude le mie prestazioni con il FAL Beretta BM59

  39. I served in the Italian Mountain Artillery in 1987 and we were issued the BM59 Truppe Alpine with pistol grip and foldable stock but not the detachable muzzle break which was only for the paratroopers version. The tripod was absolutely necessary in full auto while hitting the target with a three round burst after some practice was relatively easy. Truppe Alpine version was slightly lighter than the one in this video but still heavier than the contemporary M16.

  40. Bowel Movement 59

  41. Def the sexiest m1

  42. bagudung channel December 7, 2020 @ 9:31 pm

    I’m from indonesia. .. -Rome

  43. I’m seeing a Mod.99 NuovaJager for sale here next weekend – it’s semi-auto, but in 30’06. It has a collapsible metal stock with 20" barrel. Cannot find much information about it.

  44. Face2theScr33n Official December 7, 2020 @ 9:33 pm

    Nothing reminds the soldiers that their nation cares for them quite like that "winter trigger" LOL

    Well, a gun that works is always a good start.

  45. I,m sure the RUC were using these in 1981,when I was on Op Banner

  46. The Italians waited until after WW2 to make decent firearms.

  47. Wish you could have disassembled the FCG and shown a little more of it…the first thing that struck me was how much that auto-trip looked like an AK one sticking up thru the stock. Would have been interesting to see the rest on the system…Also thought how much the barrel profile for (I assume) attaching a grenade launcher looks like the M4.

  48. People talk about the wood cracking. How common is that? Should i be careful in considering this rifle because of that?

  49. The Italian subtitles are really funny 馃榾

  50. Zing! Went the strings of my heart. That is just the sweetest thing I have ever seen. I feel faint…

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