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

SOLD FOR: $1,675

WOA#:  WY240124WP008

Make: James River Armory

Model: BM59 ITAL

Serial Number: 0175

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 “0175”. 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 top of the bolt is marked “D28287-2SA J8” and “PB BM 59”. The op rod is marked “6535382 SA”. The bottoms of both magazines are marked “PB BM 59”. The left side of the buttstock is marked “BM 59 PB”. The right side is marked “597”. 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, scuffs, and scratches. There is wear around the edges of the bipod feet divots. There is some wear along the bottom of the grip. There is a small chip in the rear and the front right edge of the interior of the stock. There is a small chunk out of the rear right corner of the upper handguard and a chip in front of the barrel band on the right side. 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 Very Good overall condition.

Magazine Quantity & Condition: 2x 20 round box magazines in Good condition. One of the magazines has areas of surface rust throughout.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Original to refurbishment

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is light erosion in the bore.

In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 8 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its metal refinish. There are scuffs and scratches throughout the metal surfaces. There is light wear along the edges of the receiver and op rod. There is light pitting underneath the newer finish along the sides of the receiver. There are a few deeper drag marks on the bipod legs. There is verdigris present on the front of the lower nose cap. The screw heads show light to moderate use. The markings are mostly clear, though the serial number on the receiver is shallow. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good 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 two 20 round magazines and a canvas sling.

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. The bolt and op rod on this rifle were originally made by Springfield Armory, hence the “SA” marks. The stock has light wear throughout. The metal retains most of its finish with wear along the edges. The bore is bright with light erosion. The rifle comes with two 20 round magazines, a canvas sling, an attached bipod, and the muzzle mounted grenade launcher. This would fit into any Italian, Cold War, or parts kit collection. Please see our photos.


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