Watch: The Story of Beretta U.S.A.
Kevin Felts 12.15.17
2017 marks 40 years since Beretta opened its first factory in the United States. When someone hears the name Beretta, they may think of the M9, 92F, or Beretta shotguns. What most people do not realize is that Beretta has been in operation for 500 years.
Beretta and the United States have a long history together. When John Alden stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he carried a wheellock carbine that had Beretta markings on it. That rifle is in the NRA’s National Firearms Museum, and is called The Mayflower Gun.
In the 1970s, a member of the Beretta family wanted to open a factory in the United States. Eventually, in 1977 Beretta purchased F. I. Industries Inc. The factory was retooled with machinery imported from Italy, employees trained, and production started. The first production run was for compact Beretta handguns that had been banned from import into the United States.
In January 1985, Beretta was awarded the M9 contract. It later went on to win the XM-10 contract. Eventually, the United States military started looking for a new handgun, which was dubbed the XM17 Modular Handgun System. Beretta did not enter the XM17 trials. The SIG Sauer P320 was chosen to replace the Beretta M9.
How reliable is the Beretta M9? Shooting Times from January 1990 answers that question. The M9 had a Mean Rate Between Failures (MRBF) of 1/35,000+ rounds.
Besides the M9, Beretta produces a line of compact and full sized handguns, shotguns, carbines and rifles.
With some 500 years of history behind Beretta, will be interesting to see how the company does in the future.