Beretta is the oldest known gun company in the world. When you think of a handgun, the Beretta easily comes to mind.
The company was started in a small town in Italy in 1526 called Gardone, which is near Milan. Founder Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta was a skilled gun barrel maker. Ownership of the company had always run in the family, and passed down generation to generation for 500 years through 15 different family spans.
It’s pretty amazing to have a legacy of family ownership that continues in the modern era. Let’s look at some other fun facts and history about this long-standing company that continues to make some of the most standout firearms in the market today.
The Company is All About Philanthropy
Today, Beretta runs a foundation that supports cancer research, appropriately called the Beretta Foundation. It was named for Pier Giuseppe Beretta in 1981, and was setup per his expectations. Mostly the focus of the foundation is immunology research as it relates to breast and lung cancer. The foundation was recognized with a Presidential decree in 1983 and still does considerable work today in the fight against cancer.
There are also some other business interests the company has which includes owning a few vineyards in Italy for wine production. With three spectacular properties in Lombardy, Tuscany, and Abruzzo, the wines they produce are mainly chianti and other lush red wines.
The Most Widely Used Gun in the World
In 1975, Beretta created a gun that is now the most-used firearm by law enforcement in the world. It’s the Model 92 in 9mm, which is also used by the United States Armed Forces . It beat out the Colt .45 to become the preferred handgun for police officers.
If you would like to see a collection of that original gun and over 900 other Beretta guns made throughout history, you can visit the company’s private museum in Gardone Val Trompia. They have two separate halls that house this stunning collection called the “Great Armory” and “The Boardroom” –which is near the study that was used by the Beretta family.
Production in Italy and the United States
The company makes around 1,500 guns per day, and 90 percent of those guns are considered under the sporting category. 75 percent of those guns are sent to over 100 countries around the world to make this brand a global powerhouse.
Beretta also makes a line of sporting apparel and gear that’s perfect for hunting trips. Some of the company’s guns are even made in the United States. Beretta maintained a facility for years in Maryland, but recently relocated to the more gun-friendly Gaitlin, Tennessee in 2016. Take a look at this behind the scene factory tour in this video from Fox News.
When you purchase a Beretta firearm, know that you are truly holding a piece of one of the greatest gun companies in history.