Beretta

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For the surname, see Beretta (surname). For the automobile, see Chevrolet Beretta. For the headgear, see Biretta.
Fabbrica D' Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A.
Private
Industry Firearms
Founded 1526; 489 years ago (1526)
Headquarters Brescia, Italy
Products Firearms, weapons
Parent Beretta Holding S.p.A.
Website

www.beretta.com www.berettausa.com (USA)

www.berettadefence.com (Military)

Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta [ˈfabbrika ˈdarmi ˈpjɛtro beˈretta] is an Italian-based multinational firearms manufacturing company. Its firearms are used worldwide for a variety of civilian, law enforcement, and military purposes. It is also known for manufacturing shooting clothes and accessories. Founded in the 16th century, Beretta is the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world. Its original products were arquebus barrels.

History[edit]

Beretta has been owned by the same family for five hundred years. The Beretta company was established in 1526,[1] when gunsmith Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta[2] of Gardone Val Trompia (Brescia, Lombardy, Italy) was paid 296 ducats for 185 arquebus barrels by the Arsenal of Venice.[3] The bills of sale for the order of those barrels are in the firm's archive.

In 1918, the Beretta Model 1918 was the second submachine gun the Italian army fielded. Beretta manufactured rifles and pistols for the Italian military until the 1943 Armistice between Italy and the Allied forces during World War II. With the Wehrmacht's control of northern Italy, the Germans seized Beretta and continued producing arms until the 1945 German surrender in Italy. In that time, the quality of the exterior finish of the weapons diminished and was much inferior to both the pre-war and mid-war weapons, but their operation remained excellent.[4] The last shipment of Type I rifles left Venice for Japan in a U-boat in 1942.

After World War II, Beretta was actively involved in repairing the American M1 Garands given to Italy by the U.S. Beretta modified the M1 into the Beretta BM-59 rifle, which is similar to the M14 battle rifle; armourers consider the BM-59 rifle to be superior to the M14 rifle in some ways, because it is more accurate under certain conditions.[5]

After the war, Beretta continued to develop firearms for the Italian Army and police, as well as the civilian market.

In the 1980s, Beretta enjoyed a renewal of popularity in North America after its Beretta 92 pistol was selected as the service handgun for the United States Army under the designation of "M9 pistol". In the 1970s, Beretta also started a manufacturing plant in São Paulo, Brazil. A contract between Beretta and the Brazilian government was signed, under which Beretta produced Beretta 92s for the Brazilian Army until 1980. Later this plant was sold to Taurus, who continues to manufacture the Beretta 92 under the name of PT92 using the same tools and labour which Beretta used, without the need for a license from Beretta, since the design is based on the original Beretta 92, of which the patents are expired.

Beretta acquired several domestic competitors (notably Benelli and Franchi) and some foreign companies (notably in Finland) in the late 1980s.

Overview[edit]

Today, the company is owned and is run by Ugo Gussalli Beretta and his sons, Franco and Pietro. The traditional father-to-son Beretta dynasty was interrupted when Ugo Gussalli Beretta assumed the firm's control; uncles Carlo and Giuseppe Beretta were childless; Ugo married into the Beretta family and adopted the last name Beretta. His sons are now direct descendents through their mother's side of the family.

Beretta is known for its broad range of firearms: side-by-side shotguns, over-and-under shotguns, hunting rifles, express rifles, assault rifles, submachine guns, lever- and bolt-action rifles, single- and double-action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. The parent company, Beretta Holding, also owns Beretta USA, Benelli, Franchi, SAKO, Stoeger, Tikka, Uberti, and the Burris Optics company.

The model Beretta 92FS is the primary side arm of the United States Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, designated the M9 pistol. In 1985, Beretta was chosen after a controversial competition to produce the M9, winning a contract for 500,000 pistols. A condition of the original agreement was domestic fabrication of the M9.

Subsidiaries[edit]

Beretta Holding S.p.A., also called the Beretta Holding Group, in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy, has been the holding company for Beretta industries worldwide since 1995.[6] Gardone Val Trompia is also the headquarters for the enduring Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta company, as well as the A. Uberti replica firearms company. Beretta also holds two other Italian companies, Benelli Armi in Urbino and Meccanica Del Sarca in Pietramurata, Trentino.[7][8]

International holdings include Turkish firearms manufacturer and distributor Stoeger Silah Sanayi in Istanbul, distributor Russian Eagle in Moscow, NightLaser Technologies in São Paulo and WanCai optical company in Chongqing.[9][7]

Europe[edit]

In addition to its operations in Italy, Beretta holds several European companies, including Beretta Hellas in Athens, Espingardaria Belga in Lisbon and Beretta Benelli Iberica in Trespuentes, Spain. Beretta has two subsidiaries in France, Humbert CTTS in Veauche, along with Cougar France which operates the Beretta Gallery retail store in Paris.[10] Beretta has one Swiss subsidiary, Outdoor Enterprise in Muralto, and two in Germany, Manfred Alberts GmbH in Wiehl-Bielstein and Steiner-Optik GmbH (German) in Bayreuth.[11] In northern Europe, Beretta has the Finnish firearms manufacturer SAKO as well as UK distributor GMK Ltd, which owns the Beretta Gallery in London.[12][13][7]

North America[edit]

Beretta USA was founded in 1977 and based in Accokeek, Maryland. It manufactures military, police, and civilian pistols.[14] In May 2013 the company announced that, despite disagreements with the State of Maryland over recently enacted changes to Maryland gun control laws it would not relocate its Accokeek facility.[15] The facility employs around 400 workers.[14]

In January 2014 Beretta announced the construction of a design and production facility in Gallatin, Tennessee to expand its US operations.[14] The US$ 45 million facility was scheduled to be completed in 2014 and will employ another 300 workers.[16] CEO of Beretta Ugo Beretta personally visited the site and stated regarding the new facility, "In return for our investment in jobs, facilities, and assistance to the local economy, we ask for respect and a supportive business climate. We deserve such respect. We make the standard sidearm for the U.S. armed forces. We also make firearms that police and consumers use to save their lives and the lives of others."[17]

On July 22, 2014, in a reversal of their 2013 decision to keep some production operations in Accokeek, Beretta announced that in 2015 it would move all manufacturing from Maryland to the new Gallatin facility, which was originally expected to manufacture machinery and new products only. Beretta stated that the decision was in response to further restrictions on firearms manufacturing being considered by the Maryland Legislature.[18] The main office of Beretta USA will remain in Accokeek, as well as unspecified gunsmithing and repair operations.[19] Beretta's I.T. support organization, 3 Arrows Services, remains in Accokeek, as does Stoeger Industries.[20][21] Stoeger Canada is situated in Whitby, Ontario.[22][23] The offices of Benelli USA are located in Pocomoke City, Maryland.[7]

Other North American companies include Cougar Corp., which operates the Beretta Gallery showcase store in New York City, and two optics manufacturers, Burris Company in Greeley, Colorado and Steiner eOptics (formerly Laser Devices Inc.) in Monterey, California[24][25][7]

Product lines[edit]

Semi-automatic pistols[edit]

Revolvers[edit]

Shotguns[edit]

Rifles and carbines[edit]

Submachine guns[edit]

Machine pistols[edit]

Launchers[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.beretta.com/index.aspx?m=53&did=1501
  2. ^ "Bartolomeo Beretta" Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ The Beretta Story at the official website.
  4. ^ "Beretta International". Beretta.com. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  5. ^ http://www.gunsmagazine.com/bm59/GCA0283.pdf
  6. ^ "Beretta Holding - Since 1526". Beretta. Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Global Presence". Beretta Holding S.p.A. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "History". Benelli. Benelli Armi S.p.A. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Benelli was acquired by Beretta in 1983. 
  9. ^ "Company Profile". Stoeger Silah Sanayi AS. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Since the beginning of 2002, Stoeger is owned by Beretta Holding. 
  10. ^ "Gallery Paris". Beretta Galery. Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Following the opening of the New York, Buenos Aires and Dallas Galleries, Beretta was opened its first Gallery in Europe coinciding with the 476th anniversary of the company in 2002. 
  11. ^ "Company Profile". STEINER-Optik. Steiner-Optik GmbH. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Steiner-Optik was recently acquired by the Beretta Group and is now part of the Beretta family. 
  12. ^ "OUR STORY". SAKO. Sako Ltd. Retrieved 24 March 2015. At the turn of the millennium, Sako was honored to become a member of the Beretta Group, which gave access to new and advanced production methods enabling us to continuously refine our product development. 
  13. ^ "About Us". GMK. GMK Limited. Retrieved 24 March 2015. In 2006 Beretta, the major supplier to GMK bought 20% of the company. In March 2013, Beretta increased their share of the business to 60%. 
  14. ^ a b c Noble, Andrea. "Beretta building firearms plant in Tennessee worries Maryland". Washington Times. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Despite threats, Beretta plans to stay in Maryland for now. On 1/29/2014 Beretta announced it will build a manufacturing and R & D facility in the Nashville Tennessee area.". Baltimoresun.com. May 24, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  16. ^ NRA Staff (29 January 2014). "Beretta USA Expanding Operations, Opening Facility in Tennessee". American Rifleman (National Rifle Association of America). Retrieved 23 March 2015. Only states that had a consistent history of support for and a likelihood of future support for Second Amendment rights were considered. 
  17. ^ Beretta, Ugo Gussalli (4 February 2014). "BERETTA: Maryland disrespects us and gun owners, so we expand in Tennessee". Washington Times. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Ward, Gehtan (July 22, 2014). "Beretta USA to move all manufacturing to Gallatin". The Tennessean (Nashville, TN: Gannett). Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ Keefe, Mark (2 September 2014). "Anatomy of a Move: An In-Depth Look at Beretta's Decision to Leave Maryland for Tennessee". American Rifleman (National Rifle Association of America). Retrieved 22 March 2015. When company leaders asked themselves, 'Where can we grow?' The obvious answer was 'not in Maryland.' 
  20. ^ "3 Arrows Services". 3 Arrows Services Inc. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 3 Arrows Services, Inc. is a Company of the Beretta Holding Group 
  21. ^ "About Stoeger Industries". Stoeger Industries. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Stoeger Industries, established in 1924, is a member of the Benelli USA family of companies, located in Accokeek, Maryland. 
  22. ^ "About Us". Consumer Site. Stoeger Canada. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Stoeger Canada is owned and operated as a subsidiary of Beretta Holdings. 
  23. ^ "Defense About Us". Beretta Defense Technologies. Stoeger Canada. Retrieved 24 March 2015. In April 2007, a contract to supply the pistol model Px4 Storm to the Canada Borders Services Agency was signed. 
  24. ^ "Burris Optics". Burris Company. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Burris Company is owned by Beretta Holding S.p.A. 
  25. ^ "The History of Laser Devices". Steiner Defense. Beretta, Inc. Retrieved 24 March 2015. Laser Devices products are manufactured in our 34,000 square foot facility located along the scenic central coast of Monterey, California. 

External links[edit]