With Poland's entry into NATO in the 1990s, a new service rifles was needed, chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge. Initial development work had been done in 1990/91 to adapt the wz.88 Tantal to 5.56mm, and this project was dusted off in 1995 to create the Beryl. Essentially a Tantal in 5.56mm, the Beryl includes an improved folding stock, a shorter muzzle device (and correspondingly longer rifled barrel) and a new handguard design.
Initially adopted in 1996 as the wz.96, the Beryl has undergone several mid-life improvements. These include the addition of a Picatinny optics rail, collapsing stock, and improved safety and magazine release. The basic mechanics, however, remain the same as the Tantal, with a left-side selector switch allowing semiauto, full auto, and 3-round-burst firing options.
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