Beretta is undeniably one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world, with an output of more than 1500 weapons a day. Although their pistols cherish the biggest popularity in the states where they are distributed by Beretta USA, the brand’s roots can be found in Italy. The company originally called Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta was founded way back in 1526, making it probably the oldest gun manufacturer still in existence. The company was established by Bartolomeo Beretta and it’s ownership has been passed from one generation to another. The first weapon produced by Beretta was an arquebus long gun, a firearm popularised by Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 15th century. As Beretta is the longest established firearms producer in the world, it’s of no surprise that it has supplied weapons for every major war conflict in Europe since 1650.
Beretta produces a vast array of shotguns, rifles, carbines, submachine guns, launchers, and, most importantly, handguns. When it comes to handguns, with the exception of two revolvers - the Beretta Stampede and Beretta Lamarie - the manufacturer focuses solely on production of semi-automatic pistols. In the 20th century, the famous Italian gun producer branched out to the states and Beretta USA was established (both branches are currently owned by Beretta Holding). This proved to be a right decision, as in the 1980s, Beretta enjoyed a renewal of popularity in North America after its Beretta 92FS pistol was selected as the service handgun for the United States Army under the designation of "M9 pistol". The M9 won a competition in the 1980s to replace the M1911A1 as the primary sidearm of the U.S. military, beating many other contenders, and only narrowly defeating the SIG Sauer P226 as it was offered at a more affordable price. To this day, the Beretta 92 series of semi auto pistols are the brand’s main flagship.
However, Beretta is about much more than the Beretta 92FS model. The company’s first semi-automatic pistol was actually the Beretta Model 1915, designed by Tullio Marengoni. Since 1915, Beretta has introduced a large number of other semi-autos, the most popular of which are the Beretta 70, Beretta Cheetah, Beretta Px4 Storm, Beretta 92, and Beretta 96 series of pistols. Although most of Berettas products are full-size pistols (with their compact and subcompact alternatives), the brand has introduced a number of smaller pistols over the last century. The most notable of these are the Beretta Pico, Beretta Nano, and Beretta 950 (widely known as the Beretta Jetfire).