Recently, I had the chance travel about 30 miles northeast of Nashville to Gallatin, Tennessee, which has a population currently sitting at just over 45,000. That is about to change, with Facebook (Meta) building a nearly one-million square-foot data center that is set to open next year. Not far down the street from there is the Beretta USA factory, which opened in April 2016.
Beretta kept its U.S. corporate offices in Maryland, but moved the research and development and manufacturing divisions of Beretta USA to the new factory, allowing for a significant increase in production capabilities. The 156,000 square-foot factory sits on 100 acres of land in Tennessee, with more than 400 employees on site. This factory also boasts a mixture of CNC machines, state-of-the-art robotics and areas where employees are still manually running 92 pistol slides through buffing machines. Additionally, there are several quality control stations located throughout the factory that ensure that the best possible parts are produced and sent to the assembly areas. (Check out this inside look at the Beretta factory in Italy. —Ed.)
The variants of the Beretta 92 are made here, as well as the APX, Nano, Pico, ARX 100 and the A300/400 shotguns. There were rows and rows of slides and frames ready to head to the assemblers before being placed back in racks. Once assembled and placed back in the racks, the firearms that are made at the Tennessee plant are sent to the indoor firing range for testing and function firing. After inspection and cleaning, the firearms make their way to the packing and shipping department. While the factory is set up for lean manufacturing, there is still a lot of hand work that goes into making every one of the Beretta firearms.
As part of the facility tour with Beretta Business Development Manager Nicola Leronzi, I was introduced to his team in research and development to discuss USPSA and competitive shooting. The team was receptive and interested in learning and had many questions. While I’m not sure that there is going to be a Jake Martens Signature Beretta model, it was great visiting with the Beretta team to learn what goes into the making the company's firearms.
It is great to have companies that are producing out-of-the-box, race-ready firearms. Beretta has jumped into this arena with the Performance and Defensive models of the 92X series handguns. J.J. Racaza snagged two national titles with these guns in both the IDPA and USPSA Carry Optics divisions. He has also been in some tight races, garnering second place in Production and in the last two Open Nationals using his customized Beretta 92X Performance pistol.
Article from the January/February 2022 issue of USPSA’s magazine.