Yesterday my family and I took a stroll around the Upper East Side. I happened to get a parking spot in front of the Beretta store on Madison Ave., a place I’d always wanted to check out but hadn’t had the chance to before. The Beretta Gallery isn’t your typical Bass Pro Shop or Cabela’s brand of outfitter. Befitting the neighborhood, the Beretta store blends right in with the adjacent tony shops such as Longchamp and Devi Kroell. In fact, there’s zero chance of assaulting the typical New Yorker’s sensibilities with anything so crass as a firearm. Waking by, they’d never know there’s a store in their midst that sells – gasp – guns for hunting. No PX4 Storm window displays in Mike Bloomberg’s town . . .

The first floor is all clothing and spendy outdoor gear. The second floor’s stocked with more togs, optics and some overpriced eye protection. But if you’re a member of the cognoscenti, you can walk up the narrow staircase from the second floor to the third level to see what’s perhaps the most expensive showcase of firearms in the United States.

Can you say sticker shock? Once you’ve picked your jaw up off of the counter top, chat up  the sales staff a little and they’ll actually pull a few six-figure shotties from their perches to let you fondle and shoulder them. Supposedly the store exists mostly to give the ancient Italian gunmaker a flagship presence in New York than to actually, you know, make money. And as they say, if you have to ask how much….

I’m sure the Gallery isn’t terribly well known, but if you happen to find yourself in the Big Apple, it’s certainly worth a visit. Sending the Armed Intelligentsia champagne wishes and caviar dreams, I remain your faithful Upper East Side gossip correspondent.

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Brett Solomon got his first taste of the magazine world covering car electronics for CarSound & Performance Magazine. He landed the job by being noticed for designing high-end car audio systems. Which was fine by him because there was no way he was going to pass the third level of calculus toward an electrical engineering degree at University of Delaware. Not with those DuPont scholars around campus, he’ll take Journalism over Engineering, thank you very much. He has since written for a number of publications (think in-flight journalism) that lack the chutzpah of Robert Farago, and having all of those milquetoast reviews pent up in his system now allows his pen to spit fire. We’ll, he is just not that mean but happy to tell the truth…and the truth is most firearms are fun!


  1. As a kid growing up in NYC, a major pastime was to ride the trains to Manhattan after school (yeah you could could do that back when). We’d get off somewhere and wander around, then head back home for dinner. One day I discovered the old Abercrombie and Fitch store on 5th. Back almost 50 years ago, a 12 year old kid could go up to the gun room and hang out. Social services wasn’t notified. The police weren’t even called. After a number of visits there, the gun salesmen got to recognize me. Then one day I was given the privilege of handling a Holland & Holland African double gun. The damm gun salesman, by that act, set me on my path of ruin. Life was considerably different in the days gone by.

    • Youths used to take their guns on the subway with them to their high schools where they would go into the basement and target shoot, at the school’s shooting range. With almost no fatal school violence to speak of. It’s almost like it’s not the guns.

    • One day I discovered the old Abercrombie and Fitch store on 5th

      The greatest store in the history of the planet from a time when Abercrombie’s wasn’t selling hoodies. There was a liquidation sale when the store was closing. I bought some Fin-Nor reels and Bimini rods for 1/3 price. If I’d had more money, I would have bought everything in the store.

      • I hear ya brother. Never enough money for toys.

        If anyone wants a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous, a trip to the Vintage Cup is in order. All the top custom gun markers come to it and have tents set up with million of dollars of guns (yes that is MILLIONS). Highest price tag I saw was something like 350K. The guns are truly works of art. It is like buying a Picasso.

        • What got me were the barrels of Broom-handled Mausers and SMLEs in the Woolworths when I was a kid. They were $5 or $10 each.

  2. Based on that pricetag, I suspect the staff is trained in chat, dusting and fingerprint removal without need to know how to complete a sale since there’s someone on the first floor who can do that if it should ever become necessary.

  3. Am I the only one who isn’t surprised that that price looks reeely old?

    Also, is that price at the high or low end of the spectrum? What was the ~average?

    • Hi Derek- in the middle photo of the seven guns, the low was 40K and the high was 225K. Its nice to be able to live large…

    • Maybe I can answer that. Most guns in the Gallery are NOT premium guns. Only about 10% of the firearms fall in this category.
      The balance is made up of production guns like the A400 series, at about $1500 and up, or the Silver Pigeon series of over and unders, at $2,500 and up.

  4. The gun room that has most impressed me in my 55 plus years of life, is the one at L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Maine. I got to see cased sets of “D” class engraved Browining over and unders, exotic rifles in African calibers, dueling pistols in a fitted leather box, and all the great firearms names I had read about in my childhood. Names like L.C. Smith, Parker, Purdy, Holland & Holland. The stuff that dreams are made of, stuff that I will never be able to afford, but for one afternoon, I was able to hold a couple of these firearms in my hands and admire the exquisite craftsmanship and quality of materials used. I know that a $300 Walmart shotgun will kill pheasants as well as a $50,000 engraved Browning, the same way a Chevy will get me to work just like a Ferarri or a Bentley, but there is something wonderful in style, feel, and look of ultra high end firearms and cars that makes them special.

  5. I liked the bit about the narrow staircase going up to the third floor gun room…well it is NYC. Narrow staircases are good (easier to block and defend) just in case a wild violent mob of mad gun control nuts decides to protest the existence of such a gun store in their morally superior and politically advanced political culture (sarcasm off).

    On Saturday, I went to Portland’s own chic boutique gun store aka ‘the gun room’. OK, it is nothing fancy like Beretta’s in NYC though they do have some fine collectible pieces. They still had the two custom black powder rifles engraved with Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent’s names on them. Rather costly gifts from someone local or maybe they were just keeping them to show off. I had to leave the Gun Room in under five minutes since they were doing their annual vacuuming and I couldn’t stop sneezing.

    • Gotta love the ‘bang bang’ Gun Room. Not quite world class, but it certainly fits the neighborhood the same way that Beretta does. Hope you asked if they had and Glocks in stock.

  6. “to the third level to see what’s perhaps the most expensive showcase of firearms in the United States.”

    There are others that are almost impossible to put a value on…The colt museum in Hartford, or the Autry museum, smithsonian, etc. But yes the ones at Beretta are very nice.

  7. Beretta also has a store in Dallas. While it’s not on Madison Aveune, it is in Highland Park the “swanky” part of Dallas and carries a full line of Beretta merchandise, pistols, shotguns, and rifles. It’s in Texas because we’re awesome.

  8. The ATF number refers to the to the Gallery’s record-keeping log for the ATF.
    I also wanted to point out that – while the NYC Gallery has on display premium guns not found in most gun stores – it also sells semiautos like the A400 series and over and unders like the Silver Pigeon series at very competitive prices.
    It’s fun to look at a $156,000 gun, but you can walk out with a $1,500 shotgun just the same.

  9. At least I know where to go if I’m ever in NYC and the Zombie apocalypse starts. And I’ll be killing zombies in some serious style.

  10. Not the most expensive in town- Holland and Holland I believe dominate the price war. The highes price war, that is.

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