Beretta at 496

In October 1526, Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta of Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia, Italy, received 296 ducats as payment for 185 arquebus barrels sold to the Arsenal of Venice, marking the first documented sale of Beretta-made firearm products in the known world.

I’ve written a lot about Beretta over the years and have had the opportunity to visit with them both in Tennessee and Maryland (alas, not in Italy– at least not yet) but these two guns from their vault are interesting and I don’t believe that I’ve ever written about them before:

Yes, this is a Beretta M1934 (Mod. 34) equipped with a barbed wire cutter. By the early 1930s, the company had developed a 7+1 capacity blowback semi-auto for the Royal Italian Army, the M1934, which was chambered in “9mm Corto,” which is basically just spicy .380ACP by another name. Over a million were produced, with the pistol remaining in Italian military service for a generation as well as being used in Africa and the Balkans as late as the 1990s.

The Beretta M1951R. The ‘R‘ stands for Raffica, or ‘”gust” in Italian. It is a super rare select fire model with a 1,000-rpm rate of fire, hence the foregrip. This is very much the predecessor to the even spicier Beretta 93R.

BTW, Beretta USA is “offering a special promotion on our website as part of our celebration during this “birthday” occasion. From now until October 7th, consumers can receive 20% off their purchase sitewide on Beretta.com using code 22BDAY20.”

So there’s that, if you are looking for some accessories, mags, grips, or whatnot.

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