What is the history of Beretta?

Quality is typically the most important factor to think about when seeking to purchase a firearm, and Beretta is well-regarded for it. Generation after generation, the company has only produced products of unwaveringly top-tier quality, designs, and construction. 

Back in the year 1526, the Republic of Venice bought 185 arquebus barrels from Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta of Gardone for which the latter received 296 ducats in return. He was also known as maestro di canne which means “master gun-barrel maker), an Italian artisan from Lombardy, who established the Arms Manufacturing Enterprise – Beretta. 

“Pietro Beretta Weapon Factory,” is a privately held Italian firm that manufactures firearms and has operations overseas. Its firearms are utilized on a global scale for a range of military, law enforcement, and civilian missions. Beretta is the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world, having been founded in the 16th century. Beretta has provided weapons for every significant European war since 1650. 


Beretta has remained in the same family’s hands for approximately 500 years under the guild system. The knowledge of making gun barrels has been bequeathed to Jacopo, from his father Bartolomeo, was then passed on to his own son Giovannino, to his grandson Giovan Antonio and so on – until Napoleon abolished guilds after he conquered the Venetian Republic in 1797. 

In 1918, one of the first submachine guns in the world was the Beretta Model 1918, it was fielded by the Italian army. Beretta started manufacturing rifles and pistols for the Italian military until the 1943 Armistice between Italy and Allied forces during World War II. With the Wehrmacht in control of northern Italy, the Germans seized Beretta and continued to produce weapons until the 1945 German surrender in Italy. During that time, the quality of the exterior polish of Beretta’s firearms diminished, but their operations remained outstanding.  

After the war, Beretta took a lead role in fixing the American M1 Garands that the United States had delivered to Italy. They revamped the M1 into the Beretta BM-59 rifle, which was superior to the original M1 rifle. 

Beretta continued to manufacture firearms and weapons for the Italian Army, Police, and the civilian sector. They also opened a manufacturing facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the 1970s up until 1980. Beretta produced Beretta 92s for the Brazilian Army under a contract it had with the Brazilian government. Later, Taurus Armas S.A (formerly known as Forjas Taurus S.A), a Brazilian manufacturing conglomerate, purchased this facility and now produces the Beretta 92 under the trade name PT92. They are utilizing the same equipment and labor that Beretta used without requiring its license, considering that the design is based on the original Beretta 92, whose patents had expired.


The company experienced a surge of popularity in North America after its Beretta 92 pistol was chosen as the service handgun for the United States Army under the name “M9 pistol”.

Today, Beretta is under the leadership of Franco Gussalli Beretta as the President and CEO. Beretta has remained as one of the world’s most famous firearms company and continues to manufacture a wide variety of handguns and weaponry, which would include: lever- and bolt-action rifles, single- and double-action revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, side-by-side shotguns, over-and-under shotguns, semi-automatic shotguns, hunting rifles, express rifles, assault rifles, submachine guns and other premium guns that they offer in the market. In addition to selling firearms, they have expanded their deals by designing clothing for people of both sexes, and gun accessories.


With an over 500-year history of making firearms, Beretta continues to thrive in the gun industry today. Under the guild system, the same family continues to operate the company by manufacturing various handguns and weaponry. Not only do they sell firearms, but Beretta has also expanded its market by producing top-tier quality clothing and accessories.