The Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta − headquartered in the northern Italian town of Gardone Val Trompia, and the world's oldest gunmaker still active, not to mention one of the world's biggest and most famous − celebrates two important anniversaries in the year 2015.
First and foremost, this year marks the first one hundred years of Beretta pistol-making: the Company's first semiautomatic handgun, known as the "Brevetto 1915" was launched shortly after the Italian involvement in World War I, and indeed its first version, chambered in the quintessentially Italian 9mm Glisenti caliber, was produced until the year 1918 and adopted by the Italian Army for wartime use, while a .32 ACP caliber variant (dubbed the "Brevetto 1915 Modello 1917", or 1915-17, or M17 for short) remained in production up until 1943 and was adopted by the Italian Navy and by the Finnish Army.
Second, but not less important, the year 2015 marks the thirtieth anniversary from the end of the U.S. XM9 trial and from the adoption of the "Pistol, Semiautomatic, 9mm, M9" (a.k.a. the Beretta M92F, later M92FS) as the unified service pistol for the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Beretta Centennial pistol was first showcased at the 2015 HIT Show − held last February in the northern Italian town of Vicenza − everybody was however instantly pretty sure that the collectors' community would be pleased by this limited edition model.
The Beretta Centennial pistol is currently available internationally in a very limited production run: only 1915 numbered samples will be made, of which 1500 will be 92FS Centennial 9x19mm caliber pistols, built for the international market, while the remaining 415 samples will be 98FS Centennial 9x21mm IMI caliber pistols, reserved for Italian market.
What we have here, basically, is a true exclusive model that will be dreamed by many, but owned by a very selected few!
The Beretta 92FS and 98FS Centennial pistols are built with the best available materials and technologies.
Unlike Beretta's service and defense variants of the M92 platform, which use a lightweight aluminum alloy (ERGAL) frame, the Beretta Centennial is built around a machined stainless steel frame; same material is used for the slide, whose outline is patterned after the Beretta 92FS Brigadier pistol slide − a design also used on the Stock model and many other competition-oriented variants of the Beretta 92FS design.
The Beretta 92FS and 98FS Centennial pistols sport an ambidextrous frame-mounted safety, a lightened hammer, and micrometric sights. Both versions feed from a classic Beretta 92FS double-stack, 15-rounds detachable magazine.
The stainless steel barrel of the Beretta 92FS and 98FS Centennial pistols, mounted on a Walther/Beretta-type tilting block, is externally polished; the slide is embelished with micro-pattern laser engravings; and the selected walnut grip panels feature an embedded round metal tag.
Last, but not least, the Beretta 92FS and 98FS Centennial pistols are sold in a specially-designed metal carry case that also holds all the factory-issued accessories and replicates the look and feel of military-issue ammo boxes.
The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the Beretta 98FS and 92FS Centennial pistols range between €2,950.00 in Europe to $3,000.00 in the United States.
With only 1915 units available for the entire world, interested buyers and collectors will have to hurry if they want to catch up with this once-in-a-lifetime occasion!