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Old December 23, 2017, 12:08   #1
VALMET
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Beretta BM-59/62 imports?

Looking for some concrete info on Beretta BM-59 and 62 rifles. Iím aware that there are Bergen Corp and SA imported examples but Iíve heard varied stories as to the time-frame and configuration that these guns came into the country. I do know that many were imported in parts and assembled here while others came in as complete rifles. Iím unsure as to who did what/when. I had the opportunity to acquire a Mk IV/Nigerian config (PG and bipod) and cannot recall if SA or Berben (though I want to say SA).

Any info is appreciated regarding these guns.
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Old December 23, 2017, 14:23   #2
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I'm pretty sure that's a Springfield build and/or import, as far as I know, Berden only imported the BM62 (2000 of them from what I've gathered over the last few decades).
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Old December 23, 2017, 21:34   #3
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I think all the SAI guns were built on parts kits with reciever forgings imported in various stages of completion. Finish machined in the US and assembled. I have a “Beretta” marked heel SAI ‘59. It shoots well.
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Old December 23, 2017, 22:08   #4
AliYahu
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There were factory Beretta BM62 and BM69 models imported in quantity, and a very few very early BM59 'Mark 1' reworked USGI M1 rifles imported.
SAInc assembled M1, BM59, BM62, and BM69 rifles from leftover parts Bob Reese imported from Italy. SAInc did not import any assembled rifles, and some parts were procured from American sources.
I wrote this several years ago, it's somewhat dated but fairly accurate:
Quote:
Copy and paste this address:
stevespages.com/pdf/beretta_bm59.pdf
It will take a while to download, but it is the Beretta factory 4-language brochure for the BM59 that Reese used to sell for $15.
I'd save a copy of each of these, especially the last one - if you can get it to download, it oftentimes takes a while or fails.

The 4 main variants of The BM59 series are the BM59, BM59E/BM59SL, BM62, and BM69. There are sub-models of each, but here are the main distinguishing characteristics.

BM59:
Only made in select-fire except for a very few early export samples and US-made SAI models.
Gas cylinder is bipod cut and has provision for gas cut-off to launch rifle grenades on almost all models (except "Mark I").
Bipod cut gas cylinder and stock.
Rubber butt pad with hatch for cleaning kit ALWAYS.
Provision for select fire, even on most semi-automatics.
Beretta "Tri-Compensator" muzzle device, either 5" or 7" long.
Most Italian military rifles were remanufactured Garands, there are a few "holy grail" rifles that are factory Beretta semi-auto remanufactured Springfield rifles. These bring over $3,000 when encountered, and I think there are only 6 known imported.
There were several military variations of this model, it was offered worldwide as both new and remanufactured with a variety of options.

BM59E/BM59SL:
These are M1 Garands modified by shortening the barrels, op rods, rear handguard, butt stock, etc., about 1/2" to convert from .30-06 (7.62X63) to 7.62 NATO (7.62X51, 1/2" = 12.7 MM). Additionally, the trigger group and receiver were heavily modified for detachable magazines and a different spring guide was installed.
The original BM59SL was semi-automatic only and nearly identical in appearance to the Garand, the BM59E adds a rubber butt pad, muzzle brake, and select-fire capability.
Many "BM59SL" models appear to be fitted with brakes and butt pads, and not all "BM59E" models are select fire.
In other words, a "BM59E" and "BM59SL" could be identical.
The Sarco kits are believed to have originated in Argentina and seem to be a combination of BM59SL and BM59E, all appear to come with brakes and butt pads but not all were select fire - the stock cuts are a tip-off even if the parts aren't included, and a pin is different (solid on the semi and hollow on the select-fire).
Rubber butt pad should have a hatch for the cleaning kit, the same as the standard BM59.
No provision for bipod due to retention of the standard Garand gas system.
As far as I know, all BM59E and BM59SL models are re-manufactured Garands except for some new ones assembled by SAI.
These models is the kissing cousin of the "Tipo II" 7.62 Garand conversions done in Italy. In fact, the op rods, barrels, and rear handguards are interchangeable between the 3 models.

BM62:
Finger groove fancy stock, with no provision for cleaning kit (solid stock).
No provision for bipod on gas cylinder or stock.
Non-compensating muzzle device, although and standard BM59 device may be fitted (drop-in).
At least 2 different types of rubber butt pads, without cleaning kit hatch.
Always semi-auto.
Manufactured by Beretta specifically for export, all US examples were imported by Berben.
The only factory variations are in the butt pads.
Marked ".308W" for caliber.

BM69:
Based on the BM59 "Mark I" these were made for civilians and imported in 1969.
Unique gas cylinder that is bipod cut but does not have provision for gas cut-off.
May be fitted with a bipod.
May be fitted with either a 5" Tri-Compensator or 'BM62' muzzle device.
Varying rubber butt pads, sometimes a "Shotgun" type sometimes BM59 military type.
All US examples were imported Benet Arms.

Any FACTORY semi-automatic BM59 type rifle should have a serial number
below 4,000, whether it is a Beretta or SA, Inc.
All of the Beretta "semi-auto" receivers were numbered this low, perhaps below 3,000. This
includes all SAI BM59 variations, Beretta BM62s, and Beretta BM69s.
"Fake" BM59s almost always have Garand gas cylinders, no muzzle device or a rudimentary flash hider, standard Garand steel butt plates, and 'high' serial numbers.
With SAI/Reese selling parts for many years, it is common to see BM62 and BM69 rifles "militarized" with Tri-Compensators, bipods, cut-off gas cylinders, etc.
This is generally seen as detracting from the collector value of the gun but shouldn't detract from shootability aside from the added weight of accessories.
The wooden folding stocks marketed for the M14 by SAI and Reese Surplus originated on the BM59.
Most parts interchange across the board for the entire BM series.
A BM59 Tri-Compensator drops onto a BM62, stocks mostly interchange, most mechanical parts are the same.
Most parts are marked "P B BM59" even if fitted to other BM series rifles.
All factory BM series receivers - Beretta or SAI - are forged by Beretta in Italy.
SAI finished some raw and/or semi-finished receivers in Illinois.
Firing pins are standard Garand, extractors are unique for magazine clearance.
Recoil springs are available from Wolff Springs ( http://www.gunsprings.com/ ).
All trigger group parts (hammer, trigger, sear, safety, trigger guard, etc.) are standard Garand, except the obvious magazine catch parts.
As far as I know, all factory BM series rifles have stripper clip guides and accept standard NATO 7.62 stripper clips. In fact, this is how the Italians loaded them, the rifles were only issued with 1 magazine!
Because of this, magazines are a bit rare and pricey - starting at around $75 and working their way to over $100 each. With that said, Sarco sells used ones for substantially less, but they might not be
pretty.
All factory magazines have chrome followers as far as I know. Some may be encountered with plastic followers, these are 'aftermarket' but I think used some factory parts.
It is possible to modify a BM series rifle to use standard M14 magazines, but it requires fabrication of a front magazine catch and modification of the rear magazine catch.
BM59 magazines are larger than any other 7.62 NATO rifle's magazines and don't fit into most magazine pouches.
The "Israeli FAL magazine pouch" available from http://gunthings.com/ for $6 are said to work well with BM59 magazines.
As far as parts suppliers, Reese Surplus and Andy in Italy are no longer in business. Gun Broker is going to be your main supply.
If you need receivers, assembly, parts fabrication, or customization, I'd suggest Tim at Shuff's Parkerizing ( http://www.shuffsparkerizing.com/ )
I'd suggest a 5-inch "BM69" Tri-Comp (bayonet lug under the screw) for a BM62 if you can find one, its a drop-in and fantastic compensator and flash hider.
Standard Parts ( https://www.standardpartsllc.com/pro...?idCategory=26 ) seems to have Beretta parts. Inventory seems to vary depending on what they can get.
From my understanding, the main parts that break are the same as on Garands - firing pins and extractors.
http://www.machinegunboards.com/foru...hp?showforum=7 is a dedicated BM59 message board, although it is slow the guys there can help with a lot of parts, information, and advice.
http://forum.shuffsparkerizing.com/f...?22-BM59-Forum is the new Shuff's Parkerizing BM59 forum that I'm a moderator on.
Eli
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Old December 24, 2017, 08:01   #5
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Thanks for posting that Eli- very helpful.
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Old December 25, 2017, 10:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliYahu View Post
There were factory Beretta BM62 and BM69 models imported in quantity, and a very few very early BM59 'Mark 1' reworked USGI M1 rifles imported.
SAInc assembled M1, BM59, BM62, and BM69 rifles from leftover parts Bob Reese imported from Italy. SAInc did not import any assembled rifles, and some parts were procured from American sources.
I wrote this several years ago, it's somewhat dated but fairly accurate:


Eli
There was a guy at the last GRB show that had a BM 59 side marked by SAI.
Before I saw the side mark I asked if it was a MG. No it wasn't but that it was
a prototype that SAI imported. I of course disputed all this BS and he still insisted it was real and was asking 10k for it, had to walk away arguing with the
Uneducated can be painful at times.
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Old December 25, 2017, 12:48   #7
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The guy I got my SAI side marked BM from insisted it was imported not a “poorly made US assembled” rifle. Whatever you say dude. He was also shocked that I would dare shoot the “unfired” rifle. Yep, going to run a mag thru it later when I get back.
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Old December 26, 2017, 11:13   #8
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Eli,

For the most part that is accurate with the exception of using a QD Tri Comp on a BM62/69. The Bbls aren't long enough to support the Comp and it will blow the forward part of the comp off.
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Old December 26, 2017, 17:29   #9
AliYahu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2barearms View Post
There was a guy at the last GRB show that had a BM 59 side marked by SAI.
Before I saw the side mark I asked if it was a MG. No it wasn't but that it was
a prototype that SAI imported. I of course disputed all this BS and he still insisted it was real and was asking 10k for it, had to walk away arguing with the
Uneducated can be painful at times.
There's been plenty of that around for a LONG time, the utter lack of information pre-Internet didn't help at all - and people are still too lazy to actually research!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmurphy View Post
The guy I got my SAI side marked BM from insisted it was imported not a “poorly made US assembled” rifle. Whatever you say dude. He was also shocked that I would dare shoot the “unfired” rifle. Yep, going to run a mag thru it later when I get back.
What good is an unfired gun?
As for the markings, there are still rumors that SAInc imported whole guns (they didn't), that they cast their own receivers (they didn't), that all the American-built guns are junk - they aren't!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAFN49 View Post
Eli,

For the most part that is accurate with the exception of using a QD Tri Comp on a BM62/69. The Bbls aren't long enough to support the Comp and it will blow the forward part of the comp off.
I wrote that up many years ago, they QD para tri-comps weren't really known then. I still like the 5" the best, I wish Reese would sell their stock already!

Eli

Last edited by AliYahu; December 27, 2017 at 11:25.
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Old January 15, 2018, 22:23   #10
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Berben was the importer, short for Beretta- Benelli.
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Old January 16, 2018, 00:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebaker1129 View Post
Berben was the importer, short for Beretta- Benelli.
As much as my father loved guns, this was the only Benelli he was ever interested in: https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/c...enelli-sei-750
The sound of those machines is pure sex!

Eli
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Old January 16, 2018, 19:27   #12
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Well I must be the luckiest guy in America, I ran a Tricompensator on one of my BM62s for almost 2 years with NO issues, I made sure the Tricompensators gas lock nut was tight, but other than that did nothing special to it. I was young and dumb then, maybe I got lucky. But I also ran a Tricomp on my Nat Ord 18" barreled "BM59" with out any issues last year although I did have to modify the heck out of the real BM59 gas cylinder to get the gas port work on that barrel, but I got it to run fine.

My point being you do NOT need a 19" barrel to run a Tricomp., but it HAS to kept tight at all times. I guess it might be safer with a 19" barrel, but I've done it a lot, and NEVER had an issue or even a close call. I ain't say'n you should do it, but I have, with no issues.

And as far as I remember from back in the day only 2000 BM59s were imported, and NONE were ever assembled by Springfield Armory. I think I bought my first BM62 in late 1978 or early 79, I didn't get my second one until around 1982. I've heard different things in regards to BM69s, but that was before my time.
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