James River Armory BM59 7.62×51 NATO Semi-Auto Rifle w/Grenade Launcher

SODL FOR: $1,577.52

WOA#:  WY240302MH004

Make: James River Armory/ Beretta Italy

Model: BM59 ITAL

Serial Number: 2183

Year of Manufacture: Modern

Caliber: 7.62×51 NATO

Action Type: Semi-auto, 20 round detachable box magazine fed

Markings: The top of the receiver is marked “7.62MM BM59”, “James River Armory”, “Burgaw, NC”, and “2183”. The winter trigger, bolt release, underside of the bipod, gas cylinder lock screw, grenade launcher, trigger group, op rod spring housing, and magazine release are marked “PB BM 59”. The trigger pack is marked, “D 28290-PB” The top of the bolt is marked “D28287-12SA S-04” and “PB BM 59”. The op rod is marked “6535382 PB”. The bottoms of both magazine is marked “PB BM 59”. The left side of the buttstock is marked “BM 59 PB”. The right side is marked “214-P”. The rubber buttpad is marked “P.BERETTA ITALY”.

Barrel Length: 23.5” with the grenade launcher.

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade set between two protective wings. The rear sight is a fully adjustable aperture sight set between two protective wings.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The wood stock has a semi-pistol grip, metal nose cap with sling loop, metal nose cap connected to the barrel and gas tube, two divots for the bipod feet, underside swiveling sling loop, and a hard rubber buttpad with a two hole storage compartment. The buttpad has wear along the edges and on the corners. There are light compression marks. There is detritus in the buttpad storage compartment door slot. The LOP measures 12.8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad. The stock rates in about Excellent overall condition.

Magazine Quantity & Condition: 1x 20 round box magazine in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Original to refurbishment

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 9/10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 99% of its metal refinish. There is light scratching on the receiver and barrel. There are a few drag marks on the bipod legs. The screw heads show light use. The markings are mostly clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Excellent condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with One 20 round magazine and a hard case.

Our Assessment: Following the Second World War Italy’s industrial base was in shambles, including their arms factories. Like the armed forces of many other nations that were devastated by the war, the Italian armed forces procured American surplus arms in the form of M1 Garands to rearm themselves. These remained the standard arm of the Italian armed forces until it became apparent that an upgrade to a 7.62 NATO cartridge capable rifle was necessary to stay on even footing with its other NATO allies. Italy was still a poor nation in the late 1950s so the full-scale adoption of something like the FAL or G3 was out of the question. Instead, some engineers at Beretta came up with a solution that would utilize the M1 Garands Italy had on hand. The rifles were rechambered to 7.62 NATO, set up to take detachable magazines, fitted with bipods and a grenade launcher/flash hider, and reworked to be select-fire. These new rifles were designated as the BM59. The BM59 would serve Italy from its introduction in 1959 into the 1990s when it was replaced by a much more modern 5.56 rifle. Numerous parts kits and semi-automatic versions were later imported into the United States. This is an example of a parts kit gun that was remanufactured by James River Armory in North Carolina. This would fit into any Italian, Cold War, or parts kit collection. Please see our photos. -R.E.

James River Armory BM59 7.62x51 NATO Semi-Auto Rifle w/Grenade Launcher
James River Armory BM59 7.62×51 NATO Semi-Auto Rifle w/Grenade Launcher