Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A, or just Beretta if you prefer, is an Italian firearms company born out of the European Renaissance. I don’t think many people associate Italy with weapons engineering, but Beretta is definitely one of the finest manufactures in the world. I grew up shooting a Beretta (U22 Neos) so they will always have a special place in my book. Nevertheless, all of my personal biases aside, Beretta is a fine company with a tremendous reputation and an excellent repertoire.

Beretta has been growing exponentially over the last 40 years and currently pumps out around 1,500 guns a day! Be it hunting rifles, sporting shotguns, CCWs, or assault rifles, Beretta makes it.  One of their proudest accolades is that almost 90% of their weapons are sporting firearms, some of which have been used to win Olympic medals. Additionally, ever since they expanded as an international company, more than ¾ of their guns are exported to approximately 100 different countries across the globe. For a company that started off as a little village guild, they have certainly come a long way.

Nowadays, Beretta does more than just manufacture weapons; they have recently added tons of hunting apparel, shooting accessories, outdoor sporting items, and tactical equipment to their collection. The Italian company has developed a reputation for excellence, and it’s easy to see why.

The History of Beretta Firearms

Beretta Logo

The rich history of Beretta is part and parcel of what makes it such a reliable company. Although the first recorded Beretta transaction can be traced back to 1526, family tradition seems to indicate that Beretta has been operating since as early as 1498! It’s incredibly rare to find an organization that has not only succeeded for this long, but has also remained a family business all this time. The Beretta dynasty is 15 generations in the making and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Their story begins with their fortunate proximity to one of the richest iron mining centers in Europe. While their company began as a small forge, by the end of the 1600’s, they were already the 2nd largest maker of gun barrels in their region.

Beretta’s continued commitment is what ultimately propelled them into the ranks of the top-rated gun makers in the world. Nearly 40 years ago, several companies joined together to form an association called the Henokiens. This organization is made up of companies who have remained family-owned and continuously operated for over 200 years. Beretta is one such company. After initial regional success, it wasn’t until Giuseppe Beretta (1840-1903) that they became an international seller. With that being said, their transformation into a world-renowned arms manufacturer couldn’t begin until Giuseppe’s son, Pietro (1870-1957), introduced modern production methods and machines to the company.

Mr. Pietro Beretta, sons Carlo and Pier Giuseppe

Ever since their humble beginnings, Beretta has been in a constant upswing, both in terms of production and in size. One of the Italian company’s proudest moments was in 1985 when U.S. military and state police started carrying the Beretta 92 series.

The U.S. Armed Forces have been using the Beretta 92s under the distinction M9 up until earlier this year when they unfortunately lost the contract to the 9mm version of the Sig Sauer P320. Shortly after the Americans opted for Beretta, countries all over the world like Spain, Turkey, and France, began arming their soldiers and police with Berettas. Like many other European firearm manufacturers, Beretta has an interesting war record. They developed one of the first submachine guns in the world which the Italian Army happily purchased in 1918. In fact, they supplied their homeland Army with handguns and rifles up until the middle of the 2nd World War. Once the War ended, Beretta expanded their operations to include more police and civilian friendly markets.

When Beretta saw a boom in business during the 80’s they began acquiring some of their fellow Italian gun makers such as Benelli and Franchi. Beretta’s storied past, impressive present, and bright future make it one of the most exciting companies in the entire weapons industry.

Beretta Semi-Automatic Pistols Review

Beretta APX Pistol

When it comes to handguns, there’s no shortage of options with Beretta. They manufacture dozens of different models with a wide range of purposes. While there is a wide span of their semi-auto prices, the best way to categorize them is by size. That being said, Beretta makes several great full size, compact, and subcompact (pocket concealed carry) pistols. For starters, I would be remiss if I didn’t make the bold statement that I think their Px4 Storm might be their best firearm overall. The often underrated polymer handgun is surprisingly light and doubles as a good choice for a concealed carry weapon. Plus, if you prefer an even smaller version, Beretta also produces them in compact and subcompact varieties (with mag options ranging from 14 to 20 rounds).

Although the Px4 had initial firing difficulties, they employed a rotating barrel locking system to ensure its quality, accuracy and reliability. As I mentioned earlier, the Beretta 92FS was a staple military and police sidekick until very recently. After complaints about reported defective slides by the military, Beretta redesigned their classic firearm to cut out any possible malfunctions. Since then, their 92FS has become of their most reliable handguns and arguably one of the best semi-auto self-defense pistols. The list of the Beretta’s semi-auto pistols is extensive, so stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of some of their best, this month at Gunivore.

Beretta Revolvers Review

Beretta Stampede Revolver

Besides for their wide array of semi-autos, Beretta also produced a few revolvers. I had a lot of trouble finding them, but if you look hard enough, they can be purchased online, almost always used. The Beretta Stampede and Laramie were their two most successful revolvers. However, to give credit where it is due, the Laramie is just a copy of the S&W Model 3 and the Stampede is basically a duplicate of the Colt SAA (Peacemaker). These are nice guns but nothing to rave about.

Beretta Shotguns Review

Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun

Although Beretta is more famous for their handguns, they have come to be one of the best manufacturers of shotguns too. One of the ways they’ve achieved this is by reintroducing older models as affordable shotguns. By doing this, Beretta has some of the best overall buys, including their 1301, Outlander, DT11, A400, and A350. I mentioned earlier about Beretta’s impressive track record in the Olympics, but their shotguns also carry a remarkable distinction; their competition shotguns have won more international shooting competitions than any other brand.

Over the years, Beretta has solidified themselves amongst the top shotgun producers like Browning and Remington. Whether you’re in the market for a double barreled or otherwise, Beretta is the way to go. Their impressive line goes even deeper when you consider that they’ve recently acquired Benelli, an extraordinary shotgun producer in their own right.

Beretta Rifles & Carbines Review

Beretta ARX 100 Rifle

Unlike their line of handguns and shotguns, Beretta’s inventory of rifles and carbines is pretty limited – in terms of quantity, not quality, that is. Though they’ve produced around 10 different models throughout the past few decades, their catalog currently offers just four rifles/carbines. Most notably is their ARX 100, which is an average military style semi-auto rifle. That being said, their below average price tag makes it a common alternative to the ACR. However, you generally get what you pay for and the lower price of the ARX 100 gives a cheap feel and inferior performance compared to their top-shelf competitors.

To get a full rundown on the ARX, stay tuned because we’ll be doing a comprehensive review of this rifle later this month. Besides for the ARX, the Italian company also makes one of my favorite carbines on the market. The CX4 Storm is a tactical gun that handles beautifully. The highly rated Beretta may have an unconventional appearance, but every aspect of this gun’s design was crafted with accuracy, control, and ergonomics in mind.

Beretta Submachine Guns Review

Beretta M12 Submachine Gun

During the 20th century, Beretta began to introduce their line of submachine guns; in fact, their Model 1918 was one of the first in the world. Although most of these guns are primarily used by police and militaries around the world, it is possible to get your hands on some of their models. The fact that these submachine guns are trusted universally speaks volumes of their quality. Organizations ranging from the CIA to the Indian Border Security Force (and hundreds of others) arm their personal with these Italian submachine guns. The two most popular models are the M12 and Mx4 both of which have impressive specs.

Beretta Gear Explained & Review

Beretta 92/96 Series Hybrid Holster

Simply by virtue of their expansive list of firearms, it’s clear that Beretta has been interested in becoming a one stop shop for all things shooting. To help that cause, they began producing their own line of gear and equipment. Whether you’re a big time hunter, a concealed carrier, competitive shooter, or just an average target practice shooter, Beretta has something for you. I was skeptical at first that their products would be low quality, but after getting my hands on a few select items, my initial fears were put to rest. They manufacture great holsters, hunting accessories, backpacks, gun cases, knives, and clothing. I fell in love with some of their knives, but they were way out of my price range; I guess that’s the price you pay for handcrafted Italian knife manufacturing.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a top of the line holster for your Beretta, look no further. The fine, Italian leather, plus ergonomic construction make these holsters some of the best on the market. Personally, I’m a big fan of their 92/96 series Hybrid Holster (IWB RH). These holsters are hand made in Italy with durable and comfortable components to ensure a safe and accessible carry every time. All in all, I was very impressed with Beretta’s line of gear. Besides for just their gun related equipment, even their clothing and bags were top-notch.


My fondness for Beretta has only strengthened with the passage of time. Beretta is constantly updating and upgrading their weapons, proving that they are not satisfied with just passing grades. This has been Gunivore’s overview of the Italian Beretta company; stay tuned for more reviews of Beretta’s excellent selection of handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

Sam M

Sam is an avid firearms enthusiast who loves sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow gunivores.

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