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Aug 24, 2022 | 08:55 am 2557 0

Beretta - The Oldest Firearms Maker

Beretta - The Oldest Firearms Maker

Beretta is a famous Italian company with a long history. It independently develops, tests and produces various types of firearms, specialized clothing, and shooting accessories; it also has representative offices in many economically developed countries. Its products have been in demand for many centuries on all continents. They are used by civilians (for self-defense, night and day hunting), athletes (for various shooting competitions), military personnel of multiple units (for conducting exercises and performing actual combat missions), law enforcement officers (to catch criminals and neutralize terrorists), as well as representatives of many other areas of activity.

The Early Years

In early October 1526, a master gunsmith from Gardone Val Trompia (province of Brescia, Lombardy region) named Bartolomeo Beretta completed the first officially documented transaction, which included the production of 185 arquebus barrels (smooth-bore matchlock muzzle-loading gun) for the Venetian Republic. This event at the beginning of 16th century marked the beginning of the history of the famous Italian company, which gradually expanded the range of services provided and eventually began to produce pistols, rifles, carbines and other types of Beretta firearms, which quickly became famous worldwide and entered various popularity ratings.

Bartolomeo Beretta Shotgun 16th Century

Beretta Firearms: 19th Century

After Napoleon conquered or took, without resistance, the Venetian Republic, at the end of the 18th century, control of the firearms production enterprise passed to the French. At the beginning of the 19th century, they became the leading suppliers of orders for producing Beretta's arms. In subsequent years, the famous arms factory alternately experienced periods of growth and decline in sales. Still, by the 60s, the situation had stabilized, and the company began developing new weapons models that could conquer the international market and became severe competitors to models of other companies.

Early 1900's

In 1903, the firearms factory turned into an advanced enterprise that attracted the best engineers and other qualified employees to work on various types of weapons, received modern equipment at that time, and was also able to establish all production processes under its control. Thanks to this, the world's oldest weapons company has become the undisputed leader in its industry, and its products have become one of the best in all the most critical indicators. This event attracted the attention of the top leadership of the Italian army, which in 1918 adopted the Beretta pistol and some types of rifles (they were the primary weapons of soldiers of various units until the capture of the plant by the German army during World War II), which showed excellent performance during the famous military operations of that time.

Beretta Today

In the 21st century, Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta became one of the most influential in its industry. Representatives of various professions liked its new models of weapons so much that they began to be used almost everywhere (in security activities, conducting complex and dangerous police operations, exercises of many military units, and sports competitions at the highest level possible). Today, Beretta remains the world's most prestigious arms manufacturer, with many official representative offices in different parts of our planet. It produces more than 1000 units of Beretta shotguns, pistols, rifles and other modern weapons daily. Most of the assortment consists of models for sporting, hunting, and military purposes, sold in the company’s stores or manufactured in particular order (for example, for the armed forces of the USA, France, and Italy).

Beretta Goes International

An essential part of Beretta firearms history began in the 50s of the last century, when the famous Italian manufacturer began supporting athletes and providing them with weapons to participate in the most prestigious shooting competitions, including the Olympic Games. This made it possible for representatives from around the world to evaluate the company’s products and forever remember the logo with three arrows, which is still one of the most recognizable today. Inspired by the incredible successes of athletes, in the ‘60s, the owners of Beretta opened stores in the UK, France, and Greece, with the help of which they began selling branded weapons outside of Italy, and already in the 70s and 80s, they launched the process of creating official representative offices in the USA and other countries with populations of many millions (most of these organizations still function successfully today).

Beretta At Olympic Games


At different periods of Beretta’s handgun history, the company produced many models of weapons: mini pistols, rifles, carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, machine guns, air pistols, and revolvers. Over the past 500 years, these weapons have been used for shooting many times and, with their help, have helped achieve many vital goals.

Mini Pistols

Everyone knows where Beretta is made and what famous weapon models the company produces, but not everyone can name the most famous mini pistols, which bear the well-recognized logo with three arrows. Over the almost five-century history of the company, only four models of such weapons were produced (21 Bobcat, 950 Jetfire, 950 Minx, and 3032 Tomcat), each of which has a maximum length of 120 mm and weighs only 280 grams. All listed mini pistols are ideal for police officers (as a backup weapon in case of unforeseen situations) and civilians using weapons for self-defense.

Beretta Model 418

Rifles and Carbines

Knowing what a Beretta is, you can easily guess that this company produces various popular rifles and carbines worldwide. Throughout history, several truly high-quality models of such weapons have been made, each of which has become the standard of its class and was able to outperform most of its competitors in many respects. The first weapon in this category was the BM-59, then Beretta released the AR70/90, AS70/90, Cx4 Storm, Rx4 Storm, ARX-200, BRX1 and other models that became popular in the military sphere.

Submachine Guns

Beretta was founded in 1526, and since that time, the company has not stopped developing, modernizing, and producing weapons. Among the types of firearms produced at different periods of history, of course, there were submachine guns, which used pistol cartridges for firing and were most effective on the battlefield. Over the years of its work, the Italian company managed to create the Beretta Model 1918, Model 38 (modifications: 38A, 38/42, 38/44), Model 3 (a submachine gun version that appeared after WWII and became an improved copy of the Model 38/42), M12 series, Beretta PMX, Beretta Mx4 Storm.


Anyone who owns Beretta can call themselves lucky since this weapon is one of the best in the world and has practically no analogs worthy of attention. For most of the history of the Italian company, shotguns have always been among the leaders in terms of popularity among civilians, which are ideal for various types of day and night hunting and for protecting your own home. Among the many released models of this weapon, the most famous are Beretta 1201FP, DT-11, Model 694, Silver Pigeon, AL391, SO5, Xtrema, Xtrema 2, Model A, ES-100, A-300, and A-400.

Beretta DT-11 Shotgun

Machine Guns

Most people know where Beretta shotguns are made. Still, only a few realize that the plant in Gardone Val Trompia also produces machine guns, namely the FN Minimi model, which fully complies with NATO standards. It is not a development of an Italian company. Therefore, it is produced at its enterprises under the license of a long-term partner from Belgium, Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (part of the Herstal Group with several American firearms manufacturers). The models released recently are actively used by the Italian armed forces as the main machine gun, helping in various military operations.

Air Pistols

Famous on all continents, the company, which today is led by Ugo Gussalli Beretta (together with his two sons, Franco and Pietro Beretta), produces high-quality and easy-to-use air pistols. They are actively used in various fields of activity, including helping the armed forces of the United States and government intelligence agencies cope with tasks of varying complexity. Among the most famous Beretta pistols today, in which the bullet is ejected due to the action of compressed gas, stand out Model M92N, Model M92B, XX-TREME Air Pistol-Tactical, Anics A-9000S, Elite II BB Pistol, M9A3 FDE.


The range of the famous Italian arms company, whose founder is Bartolomeo Beretta, includes not only air pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, and mini pistols but also revolvers. Despite not having the highest popularity in the modern world, this type of weapon continues to be produced at Beretta's European factories. Today, the most famous revolver models are the Beretta Stampede, Laramie and Manurhin MR73 (which has many modifications), which are distinguished by their compactness, lightness, safety (the possibility of an accidental shot is eliminated when carrying a weapon in your pocket) and maximum ease of use.

Beretta & Night Vision Devices

Weapons founded about 500 years ago by the Beretta brand are popular among representatives of various professions due to their high quality and ability to combine them with night optics. For example, combining the Beretta 9mm carbine Cx4 Storm with the AGM Wolverine-4 NW1 or AGM Wolverine-4 NL1 night vision sight models will make the weapon more versatile and suitable for use at any time of the day. With the help of such optical devices, the products of the famous Italian company will become helpful during night hunting, in round-the-clock protection of classified objects, conducting counter-terrorism operations in the dark, as well as during night military exercises or in actual combat operations. In most cases, owners of weapons manufactured by Beretta will have no problems mounting any modern NVDs, and their joint operation will be as simple as possible.

Beretta 92 with Night Vision

Principal Subsidiaries

The firearms manufacturing company, now owned and operated by Ugo Gussalli Beretta, is part of the world-famous Beretta Holding (founded in 2018 with more than 3,000 employees and headquartered in the capital Luxembourg). In addition to the main plant in Gardone Val Trompia (Lombardy, Italy), it includes many European and several North American companies, one way or another, related to the production of weapons and their components (for example, gun barrels), as well as ammunition, clothing and accessories for shooting. The list of the most famous subsidiaries (in total, Beretta Holding includes 26 world-famous companies) includes A. Uberti (Italy), Manfred Alberts GmbH (Germany), Outdoor Enterprise (Switzerland), Benelli (Italy), Steiner (Germany), Chapuis Armes (France), SAKO (Finland), Humbert CTTS (France), Steiner-Optik GmbH (Germany), STS (USA), Diffraction Ltd (USA). Today, they are all successful companies that generate consistently high income and help Beretta Holding strengthen its position in the global market.

Beretta USA Corp

The Beretta Holding company from Italy has a division in the United States, officially called Beretta USA Corporation. It was founded in 1972 and, from the first days of its existence, chose the settlement of Accokeek (Maryland) for the American Beretta headquarters. These days, this division primarily produces semiautomatic pistols for police, military and civilian purposes (they are popular and considered one of the best in the USA). Still, shortly, it plans to expand its range and increase the presence of the company’s products in the American market.

Principal Competitors

Since the first Beretta gun went on sale, the Italian company began to compete with many well-known enterprises involved in producing model firearms. In different periods, the list of competitors constantly changed due to the opening of new enterprises and the closure of old ones, but it was always quite long. Today, Beretta's main competitors in the world market include the American-holding Remington Arms, which is known for its high-quality but difficult-to-disassemble weapons, the legendary Colt's Manufacturing Company, which has an excellent reputation but produces products that are not the easiest to operate, as well as SIG Sauer GmbH, leading in innovation but offering prohibitively expensive weapon models. In addition to them, Beretta's serious competitors are Smith & Wesson (USA), Browning Arms Company (USA), Springfield Armory (USA), Heckler & Koch (Germany), Brügger & Thomet AG (Switzerland) and other companies.

Legal Troubles

For most of Beretta's history, the company had virtually no legal problems. Still, towards the end of the 20th century, they began to appear very actively, which caused much trouble. In 1987, the Italian manufacturer sued American General Motors, which produced the Chevrolet Beretta without prior approval and permission from the arms company's management. In this dispute, both sides were able to find a compromise solution, as a result of which Beretta received 0.5 million dollars in compensation, and General Motors continued to produce cars under the same name. In 1998, the famous Italian company was sued by the family of a 15-year-old teenager who accidentally shot himself and died while playing with a Beretta M9 pistol but was unable to win the case. A similar lawsuit was filed against a weapons manufacturer in 1999 when a New York man was injured by its product.

Final Words

Beretta is an Italian gun manufacturer with almost 500 years of history and many fans. Over the years, his enterprises have produced many models, including the famous Beretta 92, APX, Cx4 Storm, M9, and Silver Pigeon. All of the above weapons have become popular among civilians, military personnel, police officers and representatives of other professions. Thanks to this, Beretta became a legendary company and forever entered the history of the global arms industry. It maintains a high-level today and will not give up its position.


Where Are Beretta Shotguns Made?

Shotguns, rifles, carbines and all other types of weapons, including Beretta models with night vision optics, are produced at the company's plant in Gardone Val Trompia (Lombardy, Italy).

What Are the New Beretta Shotguns for 2024?

In 2024, Beretta will update its 1301 Tactical shotgun, which will become more ergonomic and easier to use. Similar changes are expected for the Beretta 92x with night sights.

What Shotguns Are Made by Beretta?

The Beretta company produces many shotgun models, among which the most famous are 1201FP, DT-11, 694, Silver Pigeon, AL391, SO5, Xtrema, Xtrema 2, Model A, ES-100, A-300, and A-400.

Is Beretta Better Than Glock?

Yes, most Beretta models have higher power than their Glock counterparts, are the most reliable safety mechanisms, and are the most efficient in working under environmental conditions.

Is a Beretta a German Gun?

No, Beretta has been an Italian manufacturer of various types of weapons since its founding. The company's main plant is located in Gardone Val Trompia.

Why Is Beretta So Famous?

Beretta has a history of almost 500 years, during which it has always been among the leaders. Its products are of the highest quality and affordable price.

Modified: Apr 30, 2024 | 05:27 pm

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