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.
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.