Previous Post
Next Post

When you’ve been making guns for just short of 500 years — that’s half a millenium, folks — you learn a thing or two about manufacturing. Touring Beretta’s Gallatin, Tennessee factory northeast of Nashville makes that abundantly clear, even if you’re woefully ignorant about all things mechanical.

Beretta USA Gallatin, Tennessee TN factory facility production

One of the benefits of writing about guns is you get to see how a lot of them are made. That ranges from relatively small shops to large industrial operations. Beretta’s Gallatin facility is easily among the most advanced we’ve seen anywhere.

Beretta moved its U.S. manufacturing out of Maryland after the Crab Cake State rushed to enact “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazine bans back in 2013. We’re told Maryland politicians were warned their post-Sandy Hook anti-gun jihad would provoke a move, but legislators didn’t believe enacting the bans would result in Beretta actually pulling up stakes. They were wrong.

Beretta USA Gallatin, Tennessee TN factory production facility

I was lucky enough to be invited to Music City, USA to get a look at Beretta’s latest product, which you’ll be hearing more about soon. After giving the new gun a good going over, we headed to Gallatin to see where all the magic happens.

Beretta expects to turn out about 185,000 firearms in Tennessee in 2022, most of which will be pistols with some shotguns mixed in as well. We were able to freely take photographs inside the plant because Beretta has shipped the last of their M9s just last week, completing its contract with the U.S. military after supplying those guns since 1985.

Beretta 92X frames

But as you can see, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a very healthy market for Beretta’s venerable large frame 9mm platform.

Beretta 92X frames

Here’s a brace of 92X RDO FR Centurions ready for packing and shipment . . .

Beretta 92X RDO FR Centurion pistols

The Gallatin plant makes a range of handguns including the 92X, M9A4, 92FS, the APX platform guns.

Beretta Tomcats

Bobcats and Tomcats are produced there, too, somewhere between 25,000 and 35,000 per year.

Beretta Tomcat

While Beretta employs a couple of hundred people at Gallatin, they also have some of the most sophisticated production processes available. That include three 5-axis machining cells. Here’s one of them in action . . .

Doug Linder, Beretta’s VP of Operations and R&D, told us the 5-axis machines are replacing 4-axis machines that have been on the job at Beretta for about 25 years. Each 5-axis cell runs about $1.7 million.

Beretta 92 large frame production

The machine in the video above is taking large pistol frames from what you see on the right, above, to what you see on the left. The new machines make what were 3-load jobs that previously took 45 minutes into 2-load jobs that take 20 minutes. Do the math and you can calculate the improvements in throughput and cost.

Beretta makes about 45,000 shotguns a year at Gallatin, most of which are different flavors of their new(ish), very popular A300 Ultima series semi-auto scatterguns. One of those 5-axis machines takes zero percent receivers like these . . .

Beretta A300 shotgun aluminum blanks

And converts them thusly . . .

Beretta A300 shotgun aluminum receiver production

Not everything is automated. This is deburring being done to APX A1 Carry slides before the next step in the manufacturing process.

Beretta APX slide deburring

Here’s another robot doing slide finishing . . .


That automated unit can do much of what used to be done this way . . .

Beretta 92X slide finishing

Here’s the result . . .

Beretta 92X slide

Beretta 92X slides

Only so many steps in the process can be automated.

Beretta 92X slides

Here are APX A1 Carry pistols ready for packing . . .

Beretta APX A1 Carry pistols
Beretta APX A1 Carry pistols

Every single firearm produced in Gallatin is fired in one of the factory’s three ranges.

Beretta also produces hammer-forged AR barrels under contract in Gallatin.

Hammer-forged barrels
Hammer-forged barrels

Here are some of those A300 Ultimas that have been recently completed . . .

Beretta A300 Ultima shotguns
Beretta A300 Ultima shotguns

And these are the first of Beretta’s new Prairie finish A300’s . . .

Beretta A300 Ultima Prairie shotguns
Beretta A300 Ultima Prairie shotguns

This is some prototyping of what looks like an APX slide being done . . .

We asked Linder which products are causing him supply chain headaches. His response: all of them.

Soon-to-be APX barrels.

He said literally everything is a challenge these days. They’ve even had to stop work on some products at certain points when those challenges have gotten bad enough, but they’ve managed to rebalance production and switch to other products to keep the factory and its employees humming.

Again, only some of the products Beretta makes for the US market are made here in Gallatin. Many shotguns and other products are made in Italy and elsewhere, but Linder estimated that 60% to 70% of every firearm with the Beretta name on it is sold in the United States. That’s how big a market we are.

As for that new product we were there to see and shoot, stay tuned. More details to follow shortly.





Previous Post
Next Post


  1. If it’s aluminum then it’s a “supply chain problem”. Don’t worry though, after he fixes baby formula Joey is gonna take care of aluminum.

  2. I bought a Beretta 92x and the thing JAMS ALL THE TIME. Am I limp wristing it? Need more break-in time? Maybe. But it has happened with as many brands of ammo as I’ve been able to find. I bought two new magazines and still have the same problem. I’ve taken it apart, looked for burrs, debris, etc. and cleaned and lubed it thoroughly. I’ve owned a Beretta PX4 and had no problems with it.

    Not happy. I would not trust my life to this pistol. If I carry a semi-automatic, it’s the Glock 32. Flawless operation, lots of punch.

  3. I’m a revolver guy but I’m pretty happy with my compact Inox 92. Especially since I put the 14# hammer spring in it. Also love my Uberti 5-1/2″ birdshead. Next to S,R&Co. they’re my favorite brand.

    Also note, sadly last weekend I had a terrible boating accident…

  4. I’m glad to see they’re still turning out the pop up barrel pocket guns. That’s on my bucket list for when we move out of CA.

    I never cared for the 92. Nothing to do with its reliability or quality. It just never fit me right. I’ve always liked the smaller Berettas. I had a Beretta auto shotgun. Made in spain and I think it was called a pintail. One piece barrel and receiver of steel. No way to change the barrel and it was kinda heavy. I replaced it with a Benelli m2. Much happier with that.

    • “I’m glad to see they’re still turning out the pop up barrel pocket guns. That’s on my bucket list for when we move out of CA.”

      I have that exact model above, in that guy’s hand, the ‘Covert’ model. You’ll like it.

      With that molded-looking wood grip, it feels *really* nice in the hand, and it’s got the threaded barrel ready for something like this :

      That’s my ‘Velo-Dog’ setup while out bike riding.

    • Good news: the 3032 “Tomcat” (.32 ACP) is actually CA compliant and you can buy one. 21A “Bobcat” (.22LR) is legal to possess and transfer but can’t be bought new.

      • Was the 3032 the one that has issues with the frame cracking with any load or just the hotter European/American +p loads? I used to remember but it’s been a while.

        • They fixed this. I had one of the early models that cracked. And Beretta sold me a new improved one at a discount since the warranty had expired by the time I discovered it.

          That is kind of a sore spot with me. The original Tomcat had a design defect, but Beretta only covered it within warranty. The second Beretta I bought was a M9a1 and it was also defective out of the box. The roll pin that holds the pin that lowers the locking block under recoil wasn’t driven in correctly. It was only about half way in and scratched up the frame. Beretta did fix it, but the pistol never should have left the factory.

          I’d like to try a M9a4, but overall I’m not super impressed with their QC.

    • Bidff if you know offhand do you remember when they fixed the tomcat issues I know someone with one of the inox models and not having much luck with what years/model numbers to watch out for.

  5. For some, nothing beats a 1911 in 45acp while others just like to collect interesting .22lr’s and then there is all that AR15 love.

    There is a special place in my heart for Beretta. There are others for sure but this brand and many of their products are set apart.

  6. Well done article. Liked the photos and videos. Glad that Beretta voted with their money and taxes and moved to a more firearm friendly State.

    Mirroring what jwm said above…I have not cared for Berettas ever since I carried a 96D for a few years. Large, clunky, l o o o n g trigger pull and only held 11 in the magazine (.40 S&W). Accurate enough out to 15 yards with the accuracy dropping off steeply at 25 yds and beyond. Had lots of little issues dealing more with quality control than function. The only ND I’ve had* was when I (briefly) owned a Beretta 950 Minx…it got sold shortly thereafter.

    *so far. That was around 39 yrs ago. Been trying not to repeat that – Oooops! – since then. I was the only one present, no injuries and the small dent in the vehicle floorboard was covered by the rubber mat and a liberal application of dirt and greasy mud for camouflage.

    • Only complaint I ever had for the M9/92 was the safety was odd compared to anything else I had used (personal problem corrected by enthusiastic encouragement and lots of pushups). I also enjoyed the cx4 rifle (not practically NY SAFE compliant unfortunately) and the tomcat was an interesting rental as well. Haven’t really tried anything else of theirs yet but see what they come up with next.


  8. First off the use of the word “Merica” is an insult to anyone who has even a mediocre amount of education. Its also arrogant because the real word America does not necessarily designate North America as there are millions of people who live in Central and South America. The proper word to use is “United States”.

    The term “Merica” brings visions of over weight Joe Six Pack guzzling booze while eating pizza and passing rectum gas while screaming “The Commies are coming”.

    Now to get on to the subject of Beretta. Today most of the guns Beretta is making are not only of poor quality but many are not even reliable especially many of their very small handguns.

    The Beretta 92 has been cheapened to the point of it being only a half step above pure junk. Beretta tried using a cheap ass cast steel locking block that went snap, crackle and pop with much regularity. The op- rod is now made of junk plastic and ditto for the plasticky safety and trigger. Its an insult to the buyer.

    Beretta had military guns blow up because the slide was too thin and could not take a steady diet of hot Nato loads so they put a bump of raised metal on the left and right side of the slide which was about as laughable as trying to put a Band-Aid on a Gladiatorial sword slash.

    I observed at our skeet range a Beretta automatic shotgun that regular broke its op-rod into two pieces. The owner sheepishly admitted he had an entire draw full of broken op-rods at home.

    I do own some of the Beretta guns of the distant past and they were quality firearms but no more is this true in todays world of blind stock holder greed with C.E.O.’s that make millions in salaries and perks while the employees live in abject poverty and despair. Welcome to 21st Century Capitalvania were blind greed rules and worker always come out last.

      • Valid assumptions. He’s uneducated and disabled by mental illness. Yet he seems to have at least one of each type of firearms discussed here.

        The truly amazing part is that he believes he’s getting one over on us.

        • Dacian is the Cliff Clavin of TTAG. A self appointed expert on everything. A legend in his own mind.

        • Jethro just because you are either to cheap and stingy to own many firearms or because as you stated many times your independently wealthy and cannot afford them (sarcasm) does not mean the rest of us do not have extensive gun collections and experience with them which you have neither.

    • Just wanted to mention that in North America there is a nation named Canada and one named Estados Unidos Mexicanos, but there is only one specifically named United States of America.

  9. Some of these negative comments about Beretta pistols lead one to imagine what the authors current drug of choice is for that week. Not a Beretta fanboy, but own several in the 92 and Storm series.92x is the best hi-cap 9mm I own. Great products.

    series. Happy with all of them ,especially the 92x centerion

  10. That’s why I say we have no hope for change except by force. This country has been taken over by corrupt politicians for over 45 years. Everyone one that in government from the past 45 years has baggage. They all need to be put on trial and investigated.i do home work ….. 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤.𝐜𝐨𝐦


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here