Some of the best and most beautiful firearms in the world, whether for civilians or law enforcement or military, are made in Italy. From shotguns for hunters, remakes of historical firearms for collectors, and more, Italy spouts numerous manufacturers of quality weapons.
Gun enthusiasts, military veterans and law enforcement throughout the world all know about Beretta. This company is the most famous of all Italian firearms manufacturers, mainly because numerous military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies throughout the world have selected Beretta weapons, often sidearms, for use. And it's no wonder. Beretta makes some fantastic weapons, from its famous pistols to quality shotguns and sometimes even futuristic-looking firearms, including sub-machine guns. Beretta weapons are not cheap, at least not compared to lesser manufacturers, but the prices are still usually within reasonability, especially considering the quality. Having been owned by the Beretta family for more than 500 years now, this company has expanded and now has plants outside of Italy, including one in Accokeek, Maryland, in the U.S.
This company is one of the more versatile listed here, at least when it comes to the variety of firearms they manufacture and sell. They make plenty of modern versions of historic firearms, making this company popular with re-enactors and the the cowboy shooting crowd, but they also make several modern firearms, drawing some support from the self defense folks, enthusiasts, competitors and collectors. This company even makes and sells some black powder weapons. The company is stationed out of Brescia, Italy, but they also have a U.S. headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. I don't have any experience with Chiappa firearms, but I've known several people who have and they have nothing but good to say. Oh, and the prices aren't too steep, either.
If money is no object or you're willing to take out a decent-sized loan, and you love the idea of owning a fine shotgun for hunting or trap shooting, you will want to consider Caesar Guerini. Operating out of the Gardoneval Trompia, as do several companies on this list, this manufacturer puts out over-and-under shotguns, semi-auto shotguns and several competition shotguns mainly for trap shooting. You were warned, however, because the prices of these firearms run into the thousands of dollars. The guns from this manufacturer are quite beautiful, though they tend to be not as artsy as those of some others on this list.
Bolt action rifles. Double barrel rifles. Big game rifles. All these and more are made by the folks at ZanardiniArms in the Gardone Val Trompia in Italy, a region famous for fine firearms manufacturing. These guns are quite unique, featuring engravings that are beautiful piece of art. There are several other gun manufacturers on this list that make beautiful weapons, but personally, my favorite for artistic value is Zanardini Arms. Please click on the title to check out the weapons from this gun maker, because these guns are truly a sight to behold. Keep in mind, these guns are expensive, running into the thousands upon thousands of dollars, so they're not for everyone's budget. Still, the craftsmanship is solid and inspiring.
This company, working out of the Gardone Val Trompia, focuses upon making replicas of historic American firearms, which makes Uberti popular among cowboy action shooters, civil war re-enactors, and collectors.Uberti's weapons mostly are from the American 19th Century period, and the company has a wide variety of lever-action rifles, single-action pistols and other firearms of that time. I've personally owned a couple of Ubertirevolvers, both 1875 Outlaws (modern remakes of Remington revolvers first made in 1875), and I have nothing but good to say about those two handguns; they were of quality make and performed like a dream, being better guns than I am a shot, to be honest. There's long been a rumor that film director Sergio Leone usedUberti firearms in the 1960s for his Dollars Trilogy movies, but I do not know if this is true or not. Also, I wanted to add that Uberti's pricing is quite reasonable, in my opinion, and they also make and sell black powder arms.
Like several other gun makers on this list, this company works out of Brescia, Italy. I don't want to sound snooty about it, but if you have to ask about the prices of these weapons, you probably can't afford one. Yes, they're that expensive. I'm talking put-off-paying-for-your-kid's-college expensive. But that's to be expected from such fine, quality collectibles as the classic shotguns made by this company.
This company is probably best known for its competition handguns, but they also make pistol parts for a fewmilitaries. If you are into serious pistol competition, you probably want to take a look at the guns by this company, made in the Gardone val Trompia of Brescia, Italy. One nice thing about guns from this manufacturer are the prices. No, these aren't cheap weapons, but considering they're mainly competition pistols, the prices aren't too bad, usually in the range of $700 to $3,000 (U.S.)
Perugini & Visini Armi
If you are into collecting beautiful firearms that can be considered artwork, this might be the company for you.Perugini & Visini focuses almost entirely upon hunting firearms, double-barrel shotguns, over-and-under shotguns, double-barrel rifles and even a single-shot rifle. These guns are beautiful. They are so nice, I'd almost be scared to fire one. Especially considering the prices! If you plan on buying a weapon from this manufacturer, be prepared to get a second mortgage on your house, because these firearms, new, are going for $25,000 (U.S.) and higher. But considering each of this company's weapons are handmade and made to order, you can expect the quality to be high. This gunmaker works out of Nuvolera, Brescia, Italy.
I wanted to point out in case you've not noticed by now, that while most of the links to these firearms manufacturers lead to pages in Italian, nearly all of them offer translation pages in English and sometimes other pages. Okay, now if you are into shotguns that look like pieces of art but are also quite functional and of fine quality, this is the manufacturer for you. Most of these are double barrels, though there is one single barrel, and all of them have fantastic engravings that must be seen to believe. Truly, these shotguns are artwork to make any artist proud. Like a few other companies listed here, this one works out of the ValleTrompia in northern Italy, a region known for firearms manufacturing.
Famars Abbiatico & Salvinelli
When you think of big bore rifles used for hunting big African game, this is one of the companies that comes to mind. This company makes several varieties of shotguns, but also some rifles for big game hunting. These are just pretty weapons, with fine engraving work all over the metal and polished woods that can make you teary-eyed just looking at them. Okay, I'll admit to some exaggeration, but these are darn fine weapons to behold. And the quality craftsmanship shows through, as well. The one drawback for many firearms enthusiasts is the pricing. Guns from this company tend to cost more than $10,000 (U.S.), so be prepared for some sticker shock. It's up to you whether or not the price is worth it. Can you guess where these fine firearms are made? If you guessed the Gardone val Trompia, you are correct.
Okay, I lied. If you've kept count so far, this would actually be firearm manufacturer No. 11. I just couldn't help myself. There are so many great companies in Italy that make solid, great-looking guns, I just had to add a bonus company. Working out of the Valle Trompia in northern Italy, this company produces some of the finest shotguns in the world for hunters and collectors, though considering the prices, probably mostly for collectors. How much do these guns cost? Usually five figures. I'm not kidding. You could spend as much money on a Piottishotgun as you would for an automobile. But this company's shotguns are beautiful, each being unique, and are quite impressive. These shotguns are all double barrels, some being side-by-side and others over-and-unders. One unique shotgun this company manufactures is its Mod. Serpentine Side Lever, which houses the lever for breaking the gun open on one side instead of on top, which is much more common.
Ty Johnston is the author of a number of fantasy and horror novels and other books, and he writes weekly articles for the role-playing gamer site Nerdarchy.