Beretta Moves to Tennessee Update and New Model Review

By Dave Dolbee published on in Industry News, Manufacturers, Shotguns

Cheaper Than Dirt! recently had a chance to talk with officials at Beretta and check on the progress of the move to Tennessee we all read about a few months ago, and take a quick run through some of the new products for 2014. The result: we got even more than we had bargained for!

Beretta 692 shotgun

A competition over and under should have as much weight as possible in the receiver area, to provide higher stability before and after each shot. Better stability, more precision during handling and better balance, the new 692 features a 1.3mm wider receiver (with respect to the 682 Gold); thus allowing better handling and control.

The new plant will be in Gallatin Tennessee, which is about 20 minutes outside of Nashville. Cheaper Than Dirt! wanted to update our readers as to the progress of the move, so we reached out to the folks at Beretta and requested a few pictures. Unfortunately, Beretta told us that currently the new site is still rolling hills and lines on paper. It makes sense; this was not a move that had been planned for years. Instead, it is a move prompted by the draconian lawmakers in Maryland. To set up an entire new facility, with manufacturing capabilities and staff members, takes more than a few months.

Currently, Beretta has mock ups of what the plant will look like, and plans to break ground this fall. In the beginning, the plant will feature manufacturing and engineering. However, the first two things that need to happen between breaking ground and turning the lights on will be developing the infrastructure itself and hiring the key people necessary to take it from foundation to full deployment. This will include engineers, key staff to ensure the machines are properly laid out and a staff to hire the remainder of the required employees—today’s estimates have this number at around 300 people. Beretta’s current thinking has the plant fully operational in 2015.

This is not only good news for gun enthusiasts in Tennessee, but also shows the direction Beretta has been moving in the last several years. In an interview with Beretta, officials confirmed to Cheaper Than Dirt! that its engineering and R&D departments in the United States have grown several times over in the last seven to eight years. This has resulted in products such as the Nano, U22 Neos and now includes the A300 Outlander shotgun, Pico and ARX100.

Beretta Pico


Super thin, ultra concealable, and easy to configure, the Beretta Pico sets a new standard for the micro compact carry pistol. The thinnest .380 auto
made—by a full millimeter—the snag-free Pico’s slide and frame is a true 18 mm at its widest point.

Manufacturing

It is typically easier to start manufacturing a new product in a new facility than to relocate manufacturing of a current product. Beretta’s original plans were to manufacture the ARX line in Tennessee, believing the residents making the product should not be barred from also owning the product. However, at this time, it is currently too early to foretell what the political landscape will look like and definitively say which products will be manufactured at any specific U.S. plant.

As with any large corporation, Beretta is still ironing out some of the details and hopes to have a more definitive plan some time next month. Beretta has assured Cheaper Than Dirt! that it will be among the first to hear of the news, so be sure to check back.

Made in the USA

Introduced at the beginning of the year, the ARX100 started shipping in May 2014. A noteworthy fact of the ARX100 is that the barrel is manufactured right here in the U.S.—a first for Beretta. Another new Beretta product made in the U.S. will be the Pico, a sub-compact pocket pistol chambered in .380. The Pico is the little brother to another U.S. manufactured pistol, Beretta’s 9mm Nano, which has been a top-selling pistol for the last several years. A key shotgun is Beretta’s A300 Outlander, which is also a U.S. manufactured product.

To be fair, the A300 is also manufactured in other locations around the globe. Manufacturing facilities build A300s for their local market, which means in the North America, they are made in Maryland. Part of the reason behind that decision is the fact the A300 is considered a price-point offering aimed at the hunting market or someone new to the shooting sports who may not be ready—or in a position—to spend $1,700-2,000 for a shotgun, but still wants the quality and reliability typically associated with owning a Beretta.

Tactical and 3-gun

Beretta ARX100 rifle

The ARX100 is the ultimate evolution of the modern sporting rifle. Designed for ease of use and ultimate reliability, the ARX100’s feature set is unparalleled.

Beretta is one of the few companies manufacturing all three guns used by serious competitors of 3-gun. Complementing the ARX100 are Beretta’s 1301 Tactical and 1301 Competition. If the first thing that comes to mind with the words Beretta and competition is clay shooting, you would be right. However, 3-gun takes a shot at busting clays from an entirely different angle. The 1301 Competition is a black (shot)gun designed for 3-gun competition and more than worthy of doing whatever it takes to run one through it paces. Rumor has it, that a certain Cheaper Than Dirt! writer has a complete 3-gun setup on its way, so be sure to check back for a complete range report in the near future!

2014 has marked the year where Beretta has taken a step back by expanding or refining product lines to fill in the gaps consumers have clamored for engineering to address—particularly in the areas of upland and competition shooting. As evidence, although launched last year in Europe, the Beretta 692 Competition Grade over-under shotgun finally made its way to our shores in 2014. The 692 was built on the legendary Model 682 which dominated for over a decade and features some exciting enhancements.

Major advances of the 692 and DT11 include replacing the stepped cones for restriction of the barrel to a barrel with a progressive conicity utilization. The new design uses a single step for the 692 and no steps at all for the DT11. The progressive restriction of the 692’s barrel provides a tighter and thus more predictable pattern. That is more than lip service for serious shooters. As proof, Kim Rhode, a five-time Olympic medalist—including three gold medals and several national championships and member of the U.S. Shooting Team—recently signed on with Beretta and selected the DT11.

Beretta 1301 Tactical shotgun

The 1301 Tactical is Beretta’s new gas operated semi-automatic shotgun designed for law enforcement and home defense.

Whatever your shooting pleasure Beretta not only has you covered, it has your back. In addition to a lineup that has something for every shooter, Beretta’s expansion to Tennessee was in response to Maryland lawmaker’s draconian rules imposed upon its citizens. Companies with that kind of moxy are the ones we, as shooters and supporters of the Second Amendment, need to be supporting. Of course the fact that Beretta offers some of the finest firearms on the market doesn’t hurt either.

Do you have a favorite Beretta? Have you been pining for a Model 692, DT11 or something else? Share your Beretta story in the comment section.

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (34)

  • Mike

    |

    I can honestly say that I was lucky enough to be issued three of the
    the best pistols during my careers in the of Army and Law enforcement..
    (Army) The Colt 1911, ( Law enforcement) The Smith a Wesson Model 15, Masterpiece, and of course the Beretta 92f . All of these fine “Combat Weapons” have a place marked in history as the best of the best. I am lucky enough to afford all but the Colt 1911 ( I bought them from my agency). Maybe someday I will be able to get a Colt 1911 but until then I consider it an honor to have the other two.

    Reply

  • Tim

    |

    I purchased two Beretta “neos” .22 cal pistols and ventured the opinion that every household would have one given the chance to run a few rounds thru one.

    It has a full length picatinny rail on top (the action and barrel are under it), and it breaks down with an imbedded thumb nut in 10 seconds into 3 subcomponents, the picatinny with accessories, barrel and action, and the trigger and lower frame. It has 2 ten round mags with a thumb knob that one can press for ease of loading.

    The downside is having to bore-sight the iron sights and any optical accessories each time you take down the gun with the thumb nut.

    Reply

  • James Byrnes

    |

    Beretta is my favorite brand of firearms. I have an older Beretta 92 in 9MM that has been running trouble free for well over 20 years. I also have 2 PX’s, a full sized in 40 S&W that sits in my nightstand and occasionally is used as my car gun. My wife has a sub-compact PX in 9MM that is her usual CCW gun she keeps in her purse. My wife’s former CCW pistol, a 32ACP Tomcat she now keeps in her jewelry safe. One of my Berettas, a gun show find I couldn’t resist. A WW2 bring-back, a 6.5 Carcano manufactured by Beretta.

    My goal is to some day have a fine high grade Beretta O/U 12 ga shotgun. Currently I have Zoli and Franchi O/U’s which are both fine shotguns for their day. With both being close or over the quarter century mark in age. In the next few years I hope to add a modern functioning but classic looking wood stocked Beretta O/U. Strangely I even use a Beretta manufactured spreader choke tube in my Turkish made 12ga home defense riotgun.

    I hope some day to have the financial resources to afford a trip to Italy. The Beretta museum second only to the Vatican will be on my list of places to visit. I’m told Beretta’s museum has firearms dating back to the 1600′s.

    Reply

  • MARK TRUITT

    |

    Let me know when they start hiring. I currently have a job but would love to be able to work for BERETTA

    Reply

  • DaveN

    |

    From one Sgt. to another Glock has been around for 30 years still 10% that of Beretta and I love them both but truly two different animals. One’s a machine and ones a machine that’s a work of art.
    If Glock is so bad why is everyone and their cousin making metal/polymer guns? Enough!
    Am I the only one who would buy a tomcat in 380? Guess I’ll keep carrying my .32 tomcat.

    Reply

  • rodney s

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    My model 85f in 380 acp is a super reliable and accurate firearm. I have ran over 15k rounds through this in the past 10 years .

    Reply

  • S Barringer

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    Hey, all of your comments are making me feel real good about the Beretta I just bought.

    Reply

  • Alex Perez

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    I’m glad Baretta is creating jobs , we’re their products are appreciated , I feel sorry for the loss of maryland, but stupidity thrives in the north.

    Reply

    • Mike Derenthal

      |

      AMEN !!!

      Reply

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