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Beretta The Oldest Firearm Manufacturer in History

If you are looking to buy from a gun manufacturer with a long and distinguished history, look no further than Beretta. This company is one of the oldest in the world. As such it has had many hundreds of years to perfect their firearm design. When you buy Beretta, you know that you are getting a durable, accurate, and reliable weapon that has literally stood the test of time.

Beretta is the oldest firearm manufacturer in history and is still owned by the family that began it. The company, Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A., has been in business in Italy since 1526. There is evidence that Beretta was active in the 1400s, but we do not have a recorded history for Beretta before 1526.

In the almost five hundred years since Beretta’s founding, there have been some major changes wrought by its owners—all members of the Beretta family. The company was founded by Bartolomeo Beretta who lived in the Val Trompia district of Italy—a major source of iron working in the country during the Renaissance.[1] Bartolomeo passed down his gun-making knowledge to his son, who passed it to his son, and so on. Thus, the same family has maintained control of the company for hundreds of years.


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Digging deeper into Beretta, The Oldest Firearm Manufacturer in History

Before the 20th century, Beretta was a boutique gun manufacturer, not the powerhouse that it is today. It was not until after World War II that the company began to expand using modern production techniques. This change was made by Pietro Beretta, who upon his death left the company to his sons Guiseppe and Carlo. Beretta is now run by Ugo Gussalli Beretta and his sons Pietro and Franco.

Beretta introduced their famous Model 92 pistol in 1975. The 92 series of pistols have been one of the most popular all over the world with police and military personnel. Also, in the 1970s Beretta expanded into the lucrative American market. Even though today Beretta produces about 1,500 firearms in their factory, they still bring the high-quality materials and workmanship that made their name famous when they were a boutique, artisan firearm maker.

In addition to high-quality firearms, Beretta produces a large number of other products like clothing, wine, and cars. The family also owns and operates the Beretta museum, the Beretta Foundation—a non-profit that funds research into cancerous tumors—and twenty-six other brands. The brands that fall under Beretta’s controls includes famous names like Benelli, Steiner Optics, Uberti, Sako, Franchi, Stoeger, and Tikka.

Beretta Models

Beretta creates handguns, rifles & tactical guns, shotguns, and premium (custom) guns. Because there are so many varieties of products, today we will be focusing on their pistols. Like other firearms manufacturers that have a lot of models, Beretta creates lines of their guns. Thus, their website shows forty-one different models of pistol for sale, but these break down into five different families. The differences between many of the pistols within the lines are size, grip color, and certain features.


Here we will provide a brief overview of the pistol lines and the models within it. We recommend consulting our break-out articles for a more detailed look at each pistol.



Beretta designed the APX semi-automatic pistol specifically for police and military operators. It is available in 9mm and .40 S&W. This is a line of full-sized striker-fired pistols that is completely customizable with interchangeable backstraps and modular grip frame housing, but that has also been extensively tested for accuracy and durability.


                        APX RDO

The APX RDO has the same frame as the APX but includes a factory slide cut that accepts different optic options. You can mount Mini-Red Dot Optics from the companies Buris, Trjicon, Leupold, or C-More. None of these ship with the pistol. The APX RDO also comes with a fixed blanking plate that allows you to fire the pistol without an optics mount.


                        APX Combat

The APX Combat comes with all the features of the APX and APX RDO. It also ships with a 1/2x28TPI threaded barrel.


                        APX FDE

The APX FDE is the exact same pistol as the APX, but with a flat dark earth (FDE) frame.


                        APX FDE Special Package

The APX combines the features of the APX with the flat dark earth frame of the APX FDE. It then ads night sights to the resulting package. This special edition pistol is only available at Davidson’s.




The variations in the PICO family occur because of differences in grip frame colors. Currently three other colors in addition to the standard Inox and black are available: FDE, Lavender, and RE Blue. These three colors are new to Beretta’s PICO line.


All PICOs shoot .380 ACP and are marketed to home and self-defense shooters. The PICO is designed as a conceal carry weapon (CCW) and so is one of the thinnest on the market, it is only 18mm wide. It is also extremely light, 11.5 ozs unloaded, which make it easy to carry all day.


            BU9 Nano

Like the PICO, Beretta’s BU9 Nano pistols comes in multiple colors. The options available include FDE, Rosa, RE Blue, and Sniper Grey. The blue and grey models are the newest additions to the series.


All BU9 pistols are micro-compacts that shoot 9mm. Beretta has made another CCW with the BU9. Their addition of the 9mm instead of .380 ACP will make many fans of that caliber happy. Even with the larger magazine, the pistols still have a width of less than one inch. Its size will make it easy to conceal on your person without printing.


            92 Series

This family is known for two specific pistols the M9 and 92 FS. These are all combat models that have been adapted for conceal carry and home defense. There are nine pistols currently in the 92 series.



Beretta wanted to create a tactical and functional pistol with their M9A3. Designed specifically for military, law-enforcement, and VIP-professionals, the 9mm pistol has instinctive point and a thin grip.


                        92 Brigadier Inox                 

Beretta has designed the 92 Brigadier Inox to have a low recoil and maximum durability. Otherwise, it includes the same features as the 92 FS and M9 combat pistols. You also receive a stainless-steel (Inox) instead of the standard finish on this pistol.



This pistol won a landmark contract and renewal with the US military. It can be used in extreme temperatures, hot or cold. The M9 has received the title “World Defender” because it is durable, reliable, and easy and safe to use.





The M9A1 is the second generation of the famous M9. Several worldwide military—including the US Marine Corps—and police organizations contributed to the design of this new pistol. Even the magazines are extremely durable on this variety of the 92 series.


92 Compact with Rail Inox

The 92 Compact with Rail Inox takes the look and features from the M9A1 and puts them on a small, light frame. This version of the pistol comes with a stainless-steel (Inox) finish.             


                        92 FS

Here’s another Beretta 92 series pistol that has been adopted by the US military and other law enforcement agencies around the world. Beretta continually evolves the pistol to keep it as the sidearm of choice. It includes tactical features, a high-level of accuracy, and fast cycle time to separate it from other pistols on the market.                 


                        92 FS Inox

The 92 FS Inox provides all the features of the 92 FS and M9, but with a satin stainless-steel finish.


                        92 A1

Beretta classes their pistols “A1” only when they are a tried and true military defensive weapon. The 92 A1 comes with the most modern tactical features and a reputation for reliability and ease of shooting.

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                         92 ES Fusion

This limited-edition pistol took the design of the 92 FS and made it better. The pistol has unique grips, geometrical checkering, and other sophisticated details. Only ninety of these pistols were made. Sixty use 9 x 19 ammunition, and thirty use 9 x 21 ammunition and were marketed in Italy.


            Px4 Storm

All Px4 Storms have a DA/SA trigger, interchangeable backstraps for customizability, and are rigorously texted for durability, accuracy, and reliability. This line of pistols comes in a variety of sizes and with different grip options.


Px4 Storm SubCompact

Beretta designed the Px4 Storm SubCompact to mimic the look and features of its larger brothers in the ultimate concealable weapon. It has a low recoil for a sub-compact that shoots 9mm and .40 S&W. It also includes a lightweight frame and ambidextrous controls.



                        Px4 Storm Inox

The Px4 Storm Inox is NATO-certified and adds a stainless-steel slide to the famous features of the basic Px4 Storm pistols.


                        Px4 Storm Compact

A slightly larger pistol than the Px4 Storm SubCompact, the Px4 Storm Compact perfectly straddles the line between concealability and functionality.


                        Px4 Storm SD Type F

Beretta designed the Px4 Storm SD Type F, .45 ACP pistol to meet the requirements of the US Special Forces Command (SOCOM). These requirements call for weather resistance, three magazines, an extended barrel, FDE frame, tactical case, and other accessories. Beretta met SOCOM’s strict requirements with the Px4 Storm SD Type F and can now confidently call it the ultimate super duty pistol.


                        Px4 Storm Compact Carry

Beretta collaborated with Ernest Langdon, a tactical pistol designer, in the development of the Px4 Storm Compact Carry pistol. This compact is different than the Px4 Storm Compact and Px4 Compact FDE in that has custom features like stealth levers, night sights, and a light trigger pull.


                        Px4 Compact Grey

This is a new option in the Px4 line. The Px4 Compact Grey is completely concealable with a full grip in grey. Otherwise this pistol includes all of the other features that have made the Px4 an extremely desirable self and home defense weapon.


                        Px4 Compact FDE

Another new Px4 line offering, the Px4 Compact FDE offers all of the features of the Px4 Storm family with a FDE grip color.            



All of Beretta’s pistols are designed to be extremely reliable. We would expect no less from a company that makes firearms for military and police forces all over the world. Even though they have a large variety of pistols available, they craft every single one to meet tremendously high standards. Beretta usually designs their pistols, even civilian models, to adhere to military qualifications, which guarantees a gun that will shoot thousands of rounds without failure.



Beretta provides a one-year limited warranty for the original purchaser of the firearm. This warranty covers defects in materials or workmanship. While this warranty is significantly shorter than many of the larger gun manufacturers, it shows how much Beretta believes in their products. They have designed guns to last, and so you should never need to use the warranty anyway.


By registering your firearm with Beretta, you will receive a free two-year warranty that takes effect after the one-year included warranty ends. This brings your total warranty up to three years. You can register your firearm with Beretta here.


Beretta has been known for making extraordinary firearms since their inception nearly five hundred years ago. Their move from small, Italian business to worldwide sensation has happened over many hundreds of years and occurred because of their focus on durability and accuracy. There is a reason so many of Beretta’s guns are sold to military and law-enforcement personal all over the world.


Beretta firearms are perfect for anyone who wants an easy-to-shoot, reliable, and safe weapon. The pistols described today are all good for expe3/13/18).rt and novice shooters, or any skill level in between. You should always try any gun before you buy it. But, we highly recommend you ask to try a Beretta the next time you are in your local gun dealer.

[1] Beretta, “Fabbrica D’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. Today,”, (accessed 3/13/18).

Intro referenced from  CTD Blogger, “Beretta: A History of the World’s Oldest Firearms Company,” Cheaper Than Dirt (April 20, 2010), (accessed 3/13/18).


[2] NRA American Hunter, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Beretta,” Daily Caller (June 30, 2014), (accessed

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