Beretta has been owned by the same family for over five hundred years. The Beretta company was established in 1526, when gunsmith Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta of Gardone Val Trompia was paid 296 ducats for 185 arquebus barrels by the Arsenal of Venice. Thus began the Beretta company and the beginning ofberetta firearms. In fact, the bills of sale for the order of those beretta firearms are in the firm’s archives. As the Beretta name became synonymous with uncompromising quality, design, materials, construction and performance, word spread beyond the Italian borders, establishing a tradition that has carried over, uninterrupted, through fifteen generations of Berettas.
IN THE EARLY 1900S PIETRO TOOK THE COMPANY REINS, INTRODUCING MODERNIZED MANUFACTURING METHODS, MANY PATENTS FOR MECHANISMS AND SIMPLIFIED CONSTRUCTION, CONSEQUENTLY ESTABLISHING BERETTA, THE FIRST ITALIAN FIREARMS MAKER, AS ONE OF THE MOST MODERN FIREARMS PRODUCTION FACILITIES IN THE WORLD. THIS IS WHEN BERETTA FIREARMS FIRST STARTED TO BECOME DESIRABLE.
In 1918, the Beretta Model 1918 was the second submachine gun the Italian army fielded. They manufactured beretta rifles and beretta pistols for the Italian military until the 1943 Armistice between Italy and the Allied forces during World War II.
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, in some ways, to the M14 rifle, because it is more accurate under certain conditions.
After the war, Beretta continued to develop firearms for Italian army and police and for civilian market.
The modernization process and accelerated production of beretta handguns was continued by the sons Giuseppe, and Carlo. They secured the Company’s multinational character with commercial and production activity in numerous European countries and the United States. These efforts created successful ventures in the military, law enforcement and private sectors.
Today, the company is owned and is run by Ugo Gussalli Beretta (a direct descendant of Bartolomeo) and his sons, Franco and Pietro.