Beretta guns are considered some of the best in the world, which is why the US military has used them many times.
In many of my older articles, I’ve said that Beretta is not only the oldest gun company but also the oldest industrial company in the world. They started making arquebus barrels in 1526, making them the world’s oldest business.
While some may enjoy making fun of Beretta weapons, it’s clear that the Italian company Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta (Beretta Weapon Factory) has a firm grasp on what it’s doing. Beretta USA has offices in Gallatin, Tennessee, and Accomack, Maryland. Now that that’s out of the way let’s check out the best five firearms made by Beretta.
Attention, regular readers: Sorry if this is old hat; the M1911-45 caliber single-action auto pistol served the US military for 73 years before being replaced by the double-action semi-auto pistol, which began trials in 1984.
After 33 years of service, the M9 was officially replaced by the SIG Sauer P320/M17 9mm in 2017. However, by that time, has already established the 92F’s reputation for accuracy, reliability, and user-friendliness had already been established amongst a wide variety of domestic law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the New York City Emergency Services, and countless private citizen gun owners (including Yours Truly, who has owned a 92F
The M1951 Brigadier was manufactured before the 92F/M9 from 1951 until 1980. While the 92F and its successor, the Brigadier, had open-top slides and falling locking block systems to prevent stovepipe jams, the Brigadier was a single-action auto pistol with a sliding trigger, similar to the M1911.
It was one-of-a-kind among handguns because the rear of the grip featured a push-button cross-bolt safety catch, as you’d find on a shotgun (“smooth on the right, ready to fight”). The M1951’s 8-round magazine capacity was also lower than the “Wonder Nine” capacity of the M92F.
The Italian Army was the first to use the Brigadier pistol, but Israel’s and Egypt’s armies quickly adopted it. In a twist of fate unique to war, Israeli and Egyptian troops used Brigadier pistols against each other in the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War.
Mack Bolan, a protagonist of Don Pendleton’s best-selling The Executioner novel series, briefly used it.
In time, Egypt began manufacturing its licensed handgun, the Helwan Brigadier.
Many years ago, I got the chance to shoot a rented Helwan at the Los Angeles Gun Club in the heart of Los Angeles, and I was astonished by using it.
Despite the widespread familiarity with the Beretta brand, the open-bolt Beretta M12 still needs to achieve the same level of success as the Heckler & Koch (HK) MP5 and the Uzi 9mm SMG. That’s not to say the M12 hasn’t had any success, though.
This SMG entered manufacturing in 1959 and is still being manufactured today. It is employed by the military and police forces of around two countries, notably Italy’s elite Nucleo Operativo Centrale di Sicurezza (NOCS; “Central Security Task Group”) and Gruppo di Interveno Speciale (GIS; Special Intervention Group).
The weapon uses detachable box magazines that can hold 20, 32, or 40 bullets and fires 550 shots per minute.
The Italian armed forces adopted the Beretta AR70/90 in 1990 as their standard infantry weapon, replacing the AR70/223 that had previously been in use. According to the Military-Today website, “unlike the previous AR70/223, the AR70/90 proved to be reliable.”
About a dozen other countries, including Albania, Burkina Faso, and Honduras, have also adopted the weapon with Italy.
Many excellent Beretta shotgun models are on the market, so it was challenging to choose just a few to highlight in this article. But in the end, I chose the A400 because it is very flexible and comes in many different models, such as the Xplor Unico, the Xcel, and the Xtreme 5 Max. As The Clay Bird notes, regarding the Xcel edition in particular:
The Beretta A400 Xcel, also called “the Blue Gun,” is a semi-automatic shotgun many devoted clay sports shooters favor. This work of art is easy to clean and lasts long, so you won’t have to clean it very often. In semi-automatic shotguns, no single weapon is guaranteed to perform perfectly. The A400 Xcel, however, is practically flawless because of its almost nonexistent rate of misfires. In addition, it has the softest possible recoil because of the combination of its gas-operated feature and the optional “Kick-Off” recoil reducer.