The Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta
is a large Italian
gun manufacturing company. Their weapons are used extensively by civilians, police and militaries all over the world. Surprisingly, Beretta is the world's oldest corporation
, and has been owned by the same family for nearly half a millennium. The Beretta company was founded in 1526
when a Venice
gunsmith, Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta received a large order for musket
barrels for the city's arsenal. Today, generations later, the company is owned by Ugo Gussalli Beretta, a direct descendant of the original Bartolomeo.
Beretta is most famous for their 92FS 9mm pistol, which has seen much exposure in American action movies, such as the Lethal Weapon series. That gun has at various times been the official sidearm of several first world armies.
In 1985, Beretta was chosen during a controversial selection process to produce the M9 9mm sidearm for the United States military. They won a contract for 500,000 units.
They are also well known in hunting circles for their top notch shotguns, often embellished with exquisite handcarved stocks and frames.