In 1526 Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta (1490 – 1565/68) of Gardone received 296 ducats as payment for 185 arquebus barrels sold to the Arsenal of Venice.
Already in production in the early 1500s, Beretta products were chosen by the highly discriminating Republic of Venice because of their excellence. 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.
Today, under the leadership of Ugo Gussalli Beretta and his sons Pietro and Franco, Beretta embarks on the 3rd Millennium with the benefit of centuries of experience. That experience, combined with investments in technology, organization and growing product lines, has prepared Beretta for the demands of the global market of the 21st century. Quality Without Compromise. This core value of total commitment to quality was established by Bartolomeo Beretta almost five centuries ago, and continues to be the bedrock of our Company today. As a crucial part of our Mission, it remains the unchanging key to Beretta’s worldwide success.
Beretta’s output is approximately 1,500 weapons a day and covers just about the entire range of portable weapons: over-and-under and side-by-side rifles for hunting and competition in different calibers and finish grades, semiautomatic rifles and carabines, express double rifles, semiautomatic pistols (from.22 short to.45 automatic calibers), and assault rifles. An estimated 90% of Beretta’s production consists of sporting firearms, with more than 75% of its arms being exported to about one hundred countries.
In the early 1990s Beretta added to its traditional sporting guns production a complete line of hunting apparel and accessories, clay target shooting and outdoor sports items which rapidly earned it a reputation for high-tech content and understated elegance. The first Beretta Gallery was inaugurated in New York in 1995. Other galleries were opened in Dallas, Buenos Aires, Paris and Milan. In December 2005 a new Beretta Gallery in the centre of London was opened.
The Beretta Clothing & Accessories line is sold in leading gun shops in Europe and America, and also through the Shop in Shop chain, specialized outlets designed specifically to accommodate large exclusive Beretta showrooms.
Beretta has been supplying firearms to the Armed Forces and Police Corps of Italy and numerous other countries for many years.
The greatest success story regarding pistols is the fact that the American Armed Forces and State Police Forces started using the Beretta 92 series in 1985. Subsequently the French National Gendarmerie and Air Force also opted for a similar solution.
In 2002 an agreement was signed for the supply of 45,000 pistols (92FS) to the Spanish Guardia Civil. In the same year it also supplied about 40,000 pistols (92 series) to the National Turkish Police Force. In May a new contract was clinched for 18,744 pistols (92 series) to the US Air Force. In September 2007 another contract to supply the US Army and the US Air Force with10,576 pistols (series 92) was signed. In January, 2009 Beretta won the largest US military handgun contract since World War II to supply a total of 450,000 model 92FS pistols. In September 2012 – The US Army announced that Beretta USA has been awarded a contract for up to 100,000 92FS pistols.
Beretta’s success in the defense and law enforcement realms is matched by its success in competitive shooting sports. Beretta won its first Olympic Gold medal in clay pigeon shooting in Melbourne in 1956 ensued by frequent Beretta victories in major international competitions. It won medals at the Olympic Games of Rome (1960), Munich (1972), Montreal (1976), Moscow (1980), Los Angeles (1984), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) and Beijing 2008 not to mention the numerous medals it has won at World Championships starting from 1978. At the London 2012 Olympic Games, Beretta confirmed its sports vocation by securing one gold, one silver and one bronze. Beretta competition shotguns have won more International Competitions than any other brand.
Industriousness, inventiveness, traditional methods, attention to the needs of its customers and its craftsmen, as well as ongoing research, technological improvement and state-of-the-art manufacturing methods are the foundation on which Beretta has built its image. Since 1526 its competition and military firearms have brought the trademark of this historical gun manufacturer.
Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. is controlled by Beretta Holding S.p.A., which also controls major sports weapons and optical equipment manufacturers, as well as Italian and foreign sales and distribution firms. In the 2011 financial year Beretta Holding reached a consolidated turnover of 480 million euro.
Ugo Gussalli Beretta and his sons, Pietro and Franco, run the business.
The net total sales of Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. in 2011 reached € 164 million euro.