The Beretta For Sale forge was in operation from about 1500, although the first documented transaction is a contract dated October 3, 1526 for 185 arquebus barrels, for which the Republic of Venice was to pay 296 ducats to Maestro di Canne (master gun-barrel maker) Bartolomeo Beretta (in Italian). The original account document for the order of those barrels is now stored in the Archivio di Stato di Venezia (in Italian) in Venice. By the end of the 17th century, Beretta For Sale had become the second largest gun barrel maker in Gardone.
Under the guild system, the knowledge of gun barrel fabrication that was bequeathed to Jacopo (1520/25 – …) from his father Bartolomeo (1490 – 1565/68) was then passed on to his own son Giovannino (1550 – post 1577), and to his grandson Giovan Antonio (1577 – post 1649) and so on until guilds were abolished by Napoleon after his conquest of Venetian Republic in 1797.
Beretta has been owned by the same family for almost five hundred years and is a founding member of Les Henokiens, an association of bicentenary companies that are family owned and operated.[10