History of the Beretta Firearms Industry: Part 2
Like stated earlier in this series, Beretta firearms have been around longer than any other gun manufacturing company. The company was started by Bartolomeo Beretta in a small Italian city in the 1520s. Now, the company is run by his grandsons (a few times removed, of course) and has spread across the world.
The growth of the Beretta Firearms Company
From its small roots in Italy, the Beretta firearms business continued to grow until they became the second largest barrel producer in Gardone in the year 1698.The Beretta family even continued to produce gun barrels throughout Napoleon’s invasion in 1797 and into times of Austrian rule.
THE COMPANY DIDN’T GET ITS OFFICIAL NAME UNTIL 1832 WHEN PIETRO ANTONIO BERETTA FINALLY DECIDED TO CALL IT “FABBRICA D’ARMI PIETRO BERETTA.” AT THIS POINT, THE COMPANY WAS STILL PRODUCING ONLY GUN BARRELS AND DISTRIBUTING THEM THROUGHOUT ITALY. PIETRO’S SON, GIUSEPPE, TOOK OVER THE COMPANY AFTER HIS DEATH AND DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO BEGIN MANUFACTURING COMPLETE BERETTA FIREARMS, INSTEAD OF JUST THE GUN BARREL.
While Pietro’s grandson, also named Pietro, ran the family business, it grew substantially.By 1880, Beretta was producing nearly 8,000 firearms a year. During WWI and WWII, Beretta had contracts with the Italian Royal Army to be their primary firearm producer. This brought about the first pistol in the company–the model 1915s.
It wasn’t until 1975 that the first Model 92 Beretta firearms was produced which is not the most widely used self-loading pistol in law enforcement and military today. And, after the much awaited arrival, Beretta began producing in the US market in 1977.