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SOCIMI AR-831

Italy (1985)
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Italy
Year: 1985
Type: Assault Rifle
Manufacturer(s): SOcieta Costruzioni Industriali MIlano (SOCIMI); Luigi Franchi SpA - Italy


The Italian SOCIMI AR-831 intended to improve upon the reliability of the American M16 by using a Soviet Kalashnikov AK-47-style gas action.


Detailing the development and operational history of the SOCIMI AR-831 Assault Rifle.  Entry last updated on 8/17/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

As its Type 821 submachine gun was based on the famous Israeli UZI 9mm, SOCIMI (Societa Costruzioni Industriali Milano) of Italy attempted to sell another automatic weapon based on a popular, existing design - the AR-831 born of the AR-15/M16. Design work began in 1985 and the weapon retained certain qualities consistent with the original product - namely its 5.56x45mm NATO chambering, STANAG magazine feeding, over-receiver integral carrying handle, and fixed stock to name a few. It differed in its operation via a gas system as opposed to the direct impingement piston system of the AR-15/M16 family. In essence, the AR-731 was anM16 with a Soviet Kalashnikov AK-47-style system of operation.

As SOCIMI lacked industry know-how to produce such a rifle from scratch, it enlisted the help of Italian firearms maker Luigi Franchi of Brescia to develop its AR-831, the Type 821 SMG, and the AR-832 Battle Rifle that followed. SOCIMI was one of many other new concerns appearing during the height of the Cold War attempting to cash in on the popularity of NATO-standard firearms.
The AR-831 was developed with the intent on improving the reliability of the AR-15/M16 action and thusly a gas-operated system was selected which mimicked that of the AK-47. The AR-831 lacked the forward bolt-assist of the AR-15/M16 and utilized a three-position M16-style fire selector. A fixed stock and folding stock (Para model) version were eventually developed from the base AR-831 design to which the folding stock variant relocated its recoil spring from the stock area to the gas cylinder (as in the AK-47). Iron sights were standard on both and charging of the weapon was through an M16-style pull system found at the rear of the upper receiver. The rifle was also inherently capable of firing rifle grenades and featured a tool-less field stripping design. It fed from 20- or 30-round STANAG magazines.

The AR-871 of 1987 became an improved form of the original AR-831 and added a gas-operated rotating bolt internal action that locked into the barrel extension while introducing a more conventional, left-handed charging handle along the side of the receiver. All other functions remained faithful to the original product though streamlining was readily apparent with the newer model.

The AR-831 did not find many takers on the open market.
Supported Mission Types:
Frontline Issuance
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Sniper
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Suppressed/Silenced
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Anti-Material
Attachment Weapon
Aircraft-Mounted
Vehicle-Mounted
Antique/Collectors
Prototype/Development
Global Operators:
Italy
Structural - Internal Design, Dimensions, and Weights:

Operation
ACTION


System
Gas-Operated; Selective-Fire


Operation
CALIBER(S)


(Model / Chambering Dependent)
5.56x45mm NATO


Operation
FEED


(Model / Chambering Dependent)
30-round detachable box magazine


Length
BARREL


Millimeters
970 mm


Inches
38.19 in


Structural
WEIGHT


Pounds (Unloaded)
7.94 lb


Kilograms (Unloaded)
3.60 kg


Ranged
Sights


Arrangement
Iron Front and Rear

Operating Performance (Typical):
Performance
MUZZLE
VELOCITY



Feet-per-Second
3,180 ft/sec


Meters-per-Second
969 m/sec


Performance
Rate-of-Fire


Rounds-per-Minute
725 rpm


Performance
RANGE


Feet
1,970 ft


Meters
600 m


Yards
657 yd

Variants: Series Model Variants
• AR-831 - Initial form; model of 1985
• AR-871 - Improved version of 1987 with selective-fire system, rotating bolt arrangement, and general streamlining.