All4shooters.com first briefed its readers and followers about the limited edition Beretta 98 "Fusion" semi-automatic pistol when it was first showcased − that being, at the 2012 edition of the now-defunct EXA expo that used to take place in Brescia (northern Italy).
An extremely limited availability model, manufactured only for the Italian civilian market − given the 9x21mm IMI chambering, used by Italian civilian shooters as local laws prohibit the use of the 9x19mm caliber in handguns − the Beretta 98 "Fusion" was conceived for the most discerning collectors and connaisseurs, and based upon an aesthetic design that meant to be a "fusion" between the old and the new, between five centuries of Beretta history and the company's strong and constant dash towards innovation and future.
Of course, when the Beretta 98 "Fusion" was first launched, most samples had already been booked, and the entire limited run was sold out literally overnight.
However, after well over two years, the Beretta company decided to offer another chance to those collectors who couldn't get the first opportunity to own such an exclusive collector's item.
After all, the Beretta M92-FS semi-automatic pistol − of which the Beretta 98 "Fusion" is an obvious variant − has two more consecutive years of global successes to celebrate, including the contract for the delivery of 100.000 additional M9 handguns to the United States Armed Forces, which was indeed signed in September 2012 and will ensure a continuous stream of M9 handguns rolling out of Beretta factories and into the U.S. Government arsenals for three more years.
And here it is: once again for the Italian market only, Beretta rolls out another limited run of 30 numbered samples of the 98 "Fusion" collectors' model. The guns have already been released, as witnessed by the pictures you see on this page: the very same gun portrayed in them is available at the Beretta Gallery shop in Milan.
Technically speaking, the Beretta 98 "Fusion" is a deluxe version of the classic Beretta 92/96/98 pistol system, sporting the same short-recoil working system with the sicnature Walther-type tilting block acting as its centerpiece.
There is however one main technical difference that tells the Beretta 98 "Fusion" apart from the other variants of the design, and that's the single-action-only trigger; this means that, while the frame-mounted safety will work as usual, the decocker will disarm the gun, and the shooter will have to cock the hammer manually with his or her thumb to be able to fire (no double-action first shot!).
The finish and the packaging do the rest.
The Beretta 98 "Fusion" pistol sports a shining and slightly golden finish all through its metal components; the slide is peculiarly engraved, and comes with checkered rear serrations. The grip panels are made out of carbon fiber, with wooden inserts. The controls configuration is otherwise the same as in any full-size Beretta 92-type pistol.
The 30 samples of the Beretta 98 "Fusion" pistol launched on the Italian market are all sold with two double-stack, serialized 15-rounds magazines and with a peculiar (and also serialized) cleaning kit; it all comes in a wooden box with a safety lock and a leather lining, including the original papers for the gun and a panel plaque with historically-themed decorations.
The retail price for the Beretta 98 "Fusion" pistol is not available to the general public − so don't think it will be a "popular" item.
Interested collectors will have to specifically ask about availability and pricing, addressing their questions to the Beretta company, to their closest Beretta Gallery shop, or to their local Beretta authorized dealer. Of course stocks are very limited, and is not known when, or if, other series of the Beretta 98 "Fusion" pistol will ever be manufactured. No information has been provided either concerning possible exports from Italy.