Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta is a privately held Italian firearms manufacturing company operating in several countries. Its firearms are used worldwide for a variety of civilian, criminal, law enforcement, and military purposes. Sporting arms account for three-quarters of sales; Beretta is also known for marketing shooting clothes and accessories. Founded in the 16th century, Beretta is the oldest active manufacturer of firearm components in the world.
In 1526 its inaugural product was arquebus barrels; by all accounts Beretta-made barrels equipped the Venetian fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. In 1650 the company invented the breech-loading cannon, and Beretta has supplied weapons for every major European war since.