Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo / by RANGE R.A.T.S.

The Beretta Imperiale Montecarlo side-by-side shotgun is an example of what can be achieved when no limit is placed on the gunmaker’s and engraver’s virtuosity: the result is much more than a work of art--it is nothing less than a part of gunmaking history. For this reason, the Imperiale Montecarlo is the absolute top of Beretta’s line, and it is crafted in very small quantities for the world’s most exclusive clientele.

To the outside, it features a superior-quality rebounding-hammer sidelock action, with hundreds of hours of engraving by top artists who carry a living tradition going back to the time of Dante and Petrarch. To the inside, it works like a custom-made watch, with every part lovingly fitted by hand by artisans who boast centuries-old father-son generations of Northern Italian gunmakers. In short, owning an Imperiale Montecarlo is like owning the modern equivalent of an original big-name Renaissance sculpture. 

The compact receiver (48-mm plate) features a fine ribbon border that outlines the side- and floor-plates, and together with the unique design of the top moldings, gives the gun a distinctive look and an elegant balance of forms. After initial cutting from a steel Ni-Cr-Mo ingot, the receiver takes shape through patient, accurate chiseling and extensive smooth refinement by file and emery cloth. Lug fitting, polishing, finishing: all is executed by hand with near-maniacal care.

English scrollwork, hunting scenes, floral motifs, deep relief, mixed technique engravings, portraits and more--any type of engraving is possible on an Imperiale Montecarlo. It is executed only by the most expert master engravers dedicating themselves heart and soul to the project. From the development of a subject or theme with the client to the preparation of samples (that the client can keep, on request); from the acceptance of a design to the actual engraving, each step is a testimony to the total and absolute dedication of the master engraver whose signature will leave an indelible legacy for generations to come.

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