Celebrating 500 Years of Beretta

Amid the waning days of the Italian Renaissance in the sixteenth century, Bartolomeo Beretta forged the first of the guns that would bear his name—elegant firearms that have since starred in James Bond movies, at the Olympic Games, and on dove fields and sporting clays courses across the South. These days, the historic brand is as popular with outdoorsmen as ever. In a handsome new book, Beretta: 500 Years of the World’s Finest Sporting Life (available October 25), writer Nicholas Foulkes and photographer Andy Anderson, a G&G contributor, tell the story of how the family-owned company built that international reputation from its humble beginnings in iron-rich northern Italy.

The coffee-table tome starts there, at Beretta’s headquarters in Gardone Val Trompia. Foulkes and Anderson then traveled the world for two-and-a-half years, chronicling the guns in action—from a driven hunt in Scotland to a dove shoot in Argentina to the sporting clays course at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. “Beretta sent us out to these spots, and then they let us document them however we wanted,” Anderson says. “I spent four or five days in each place getting all the shots I needed.” That freedom triggered a rich array of images. Depictions of adventure stories and sweeping landscapes alternate with up-close shots of vintage weaponry and elaborate engravings to create a portrait of a sporting tradition that’s the next best thing to being in the field yourself.

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