The Beretta BM59 7,62x51mm caliber battle rifle was conceived after World War II and fielded ever since the 1960s in several variants as the standard service weapon system for the Italian Armed Forces. It was informally known among the Italian troops as the FAL − an acronym for "Fucile Automatico Leggero", or "Light Automatic Rifle", despite having nothing in common with the Belgian rifle of the same name and despite all but "light", standing at around 4,4 kilograms of weight without a full magazine.
Conceived as a straightforward select-fire, magazine-fed .308/7.62mm modification of the M1 Garand rifle, the Beretta BM59 was conceptually old already back at the time of its introduction − being a contemporary of much more modern battle and assault rifles such as the FN FAL, the Heckler & Koch G3, and the AKM; nonetheless, it served the Italian Armed Forces up until the 1990s, and many Italian gun enthusiasts who were in the military or did the national service remember it all too well.
As the years went by, many companies tried to bring semi-automatic, civilian-grade variants of the BM59 to the market. Most of times they were rebuilt clones using components of scrapped BM59s and M1 Garand rifles, or modern clones; Beretta itself did manufacture a certain number of civilian-grade versions, dubbed the BM62, which are now highly collectible and very highly priced.
Starting today, however, even the most average gun collectors in Europe will be able to add a Beretta BM59 battle rifle to their stash.
The Nuova Jäger company − an armory headquartered in northern Italy and specialized in the distribution of demilitarized firearms − recently purchased a vast lot of original Beretta BM59 battle rifles from the Italian Army's stocks of obsolete firearms.
Nuova Jäger subsequently demilitarized those rifles, making them capable of semi-automatic fire only according to the rigid Italian specifics for the work; the Beretta BM59 rifles as distributed by Nuova Jäger are now being made available to licensed gun owners in Italy and Europe (where legal) at a starting retail price of 1150 Euros.
One thing is worth stressing: these are not moder rebuilds, mutilated reconversions, or clones of the BM59 − something that Nuova Jäger used to manufacture up until not too long ago. These are original Italian Army BM59s in surprisingly excellent conditions: barrels are selected and serviceable, mechanical components still feature the original green phosphate finish, and they all sport the original folding bipod and the wooden stock in perfect working conditions.
The Beretta BM59 rifles as demilitarized by Nuova Jäger also pack some features that the previous civilian-grade variants didn't come with: these include the original grenade launching muzzle device, also dubbing as a flash hider and sound suppressor, and a winter trigger pack conceived for alpine troops.
Among the modifications required by law to make the BM59 rifles capable of semi-automatic fire only and non-reconvertible are several operations on the trigger group; the fire selector was blocked on the "Semi" position, and proof-marked as such; and the gas block has been modified so that it will not allow the launch of grenades. This meant that the original grenade sight − which, when flipped up, automatically set the gas system to the "Grenade" position − also had to go.
All the Nuova Jäger's BM59 rifles feature the original Beretta markings, which also refer to the year of manufacture. They all come with five-rounds magazines, but are compatible with original twenty rounds magazines.
An accessories kit is available through Nuova Jäger for the Beretta BM59 rifles, but due to limited quantities they're sold separately. These include the original carry sling, the original lubrication and cleaning kit, and a twenty rounds magazine. The accessories kit sell for 80€ each; adding the original bayonet to the kit will bring the price up to 100€.
Thus, from the starting price of 1150€ (rifle only, no accessories kit), the price can go up to 1230€ (rifle and accessories kit, no bayonet) or 1250€ (rifle, accessories kit, and bayonet).
It's still a very affordable price for an original BM59 battle rifle in perfectly working condition, if compared to the +3000€ that an original BM62 Beretta semiauto can go for these days. So, what are you waiting for?