Beretta 501 (7.62mm NATO) Italian Sniper Rifle

Beretta 501 (7.62mm NATO) Italian Sniper Rifle

Beretta 501 (7.62mm NATO)

Here’s the sniper rifle used by the Italian Army until the late 1990s: the bolt-action Beretta Model 501, in 7.62mm NATO (.308 Win):

There are three interesting things about this rifle, for a standard sniper issue: it comes with a wooden stock (so much for the more-common composite stocks being "more reliable" than wood); it comes issued with iron “match” sights; and its barrel length is a rather unusual 23”—apparently, this length is the optimal for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge, of which the magazine holds five. The “500” action is the forerunner of the commercial “Mato” action.

I like the look of this rifle. I like the eccentricity of its design (the added cheek-piece on the stock is a nice touch, as is the thumbhole stock itself), and the little touches like the iron sights. It costs about $1,500 unscoped.

If I were going to have only one .308 rifle, this wouldn’t be a bad choice. And it’s also available in .243 Win (for about $1,100).

samD's picture
Posted by: samD
9 years 16 weeks ago

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