Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Is Hunting About For You?

(by Brad Wilson - guest contributor)

Have you ever just sat back and asked yourself why you hunt? Have you ever wondered what it is all about with the expensive leases, high price of ammo, $1000+ guns, ATVs, boats, dogs, and so on?
I have hunted most of my life and sometimes I have to stop and ask myself what it is really all about. There was a time when all I cared about was getting that bull pintail sporting a pair of 8” sprigs or that mallard drake that had 4 curls, fully plumed out, with some jewelry on its leg. I have to admit I was caught up. I was more worried about showing off my accomplishments than being thankful for what I had been blessed with.
It wasn’t until about 4 years ago while I was at a Blast & Cast Men’s Ministries event that I realized that this “game” that we all take part in is more than we sometimes give it credit for. It is about sitting in a duck blind, brushed in by the natural habitat that had grown up around it. It is about watching the sun rise over the bay that has a thin layer of fog over the top of it and seeing a wad of early morning teal come buzzing into the decoys. It is about the smell of gunpowder when you pull the trigger on that brand new Beretta A400 Xtreme shotgun that you were so forunate to receive. It is about watching your dog work to retrieve the bird you shot but didn’t know was banded until you got it in your hand. It’s about friendships, camaraderie, and brotherhood that you share with some of the closest friends in your life. It’s about watching your first-born child shoot his or her first duck with your grandpa’s old Stevens single shot .410 and seeing the huge smile on their face. It’s about being able to share that same first duck with your brothers in the blind. It’s about taking your 70 year old grandpa hunting with you and soaking in his “infinite wisdom,” quietly, because one day he won’t be there to share it with you.
All-too-often we get caught up in the rat race of life, whether it be work, home, or these great outdoors that we were so graciously blessed with. All-too-often we need to stop, take a step back, and realize the money, time, and effort we spend has its own rewards that are far beyond what we sometimes give credit for.
So what is hunting about for you?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Embarking On A Waterfowl Journey

(by Brad Wilson - guest contributor)

It was a warm September morning. The sun was due up in a couple of hours, and what we like to call “The Rebirth of an Addiction” was about to take place. The boat was parked in a cane break that harbored what we would soon find out to be a waterfowler’s dream. About an hour to legal shooting time, we decided to go ahead and throw out the decoys and get set up. The spread was going to be large and very inviting. We had just over 15 dozen blocks of various species tossed out and bobbing up and down with every ripple of the salt water beneath them. As time grew nearer, the feeling inside was comparable to your first kiss but with a slight difference. See, this feeling was familiar but never ceases to change when this time of year rolls around. It is a feeling that you have been looking forward to since the last day of the previous season, and it is something that non-hunters could never understand. An addiction. A feeling. A passion. The morning ended with full straps of Blue Wing Teal and little did we know was a true sign of things to come.

My name is Brad Wilson, and I am just your average Joe that grew up in an industrial town just outside of Houston, Texas called Baytown. I was raised as an outdoorsman by an outdoorsman. My dad was an avid deer hunter and we shared many cool Texas mornings in a deer stand in the piney woods of deep East Texas chasing that elusive wall hanger that so many have a yearning for. It wasn’t until the age of 21 that I was introduced to waterfowl hunting by a really close friend that I worked with. Matt is still like a brother to me, and we are blessed to be able to get out in the field together a few times a season. From then on there was no looking back. I have hunted ducks and geese all along the Texas Coast every season since. I am also an avid fisherman and will get a line wet every chance I get whether it is chasing speckled trout and redfish in Trinity Bay or black bass and crappie on Lake Sam Rayburn. I have an extremely understanding, beautiful, and loving wife, 2 awesome sons that I share my passion for the outdoors with religiously, and 2 labrador retrievers that are not only my duck dogs but family as well. I shoot a Beretta A400 Xtreme, have recently been drawn to reloading my own shells, and run a JB Custom duck call on a Cut Em Custom Lanyard that I made myself. God, family, my country, hunting, fishing, and guns are the things in life that I love in that very order with the last three running hand in hand with each other.

I was very blessed to be asked to write for the Beretta USA Blog, and I look forward to sharing as I “Embark On A Waterfowl Journey” over the next few months. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's your time to tell me what you think

You guys are social-media-savvy, so I might be preaching to a well-educated choir, but, from time to time, I'm asked why Beretta is so active in social media.

The answer, in my opinion, is easy: contact. Contact with our customers, with those who use (or are thinking about using) our products.
Beretta Nation was born to allow people like you to be a step closer to us. Gone are the days of a brand being a distant "entity" that people only partially knew.

The advent of social media for Beretta is deeper than one would think. The vision for a more open, accessible and interactive Beretta came from the office of Mr. Franco Beretta himself. As someone who is holding the rudder of a 500-year old company, he knew that Beretta exists thanks to its customers. Feedback and contact has always been at the root of how Beretta operates: in the 19th Century, in Gardone Val Trompia, the Beretta family created a showroom that would be the place where business was conducted. People would literally walk in and see the World of Beretta. This showroom (today it is the site of the Beretta Museum) sits attached to the Beretta villa where the family lived.
Today, with business in all Continents, conducted in dozen of languages and including millions of transactions every day, the Beretta showroom needs to move from a physical place to a digital one. But the sentiment behind it is the same: it is the desire to be in direct contact with the customer, to understand what the Beretta Nation needs and wants, how they like our products. It is a deep understanding of the importance of transparency in what we do, of keeping the promises we make, and of giving employees a way to communicate with every customer in a way that is as personal as possible.

I see our Facebook account not as a way to push product, but as a way to connect, seek feedback and - as importantly - listen. Our Twitter activity is a tool that lets us tell you about our day-to-day activities: meetings, decisions, funny stuff that happens at the espresso machine (our form of water cooler,) cool pictures and shared ideas.

I have learned more in the past six-or-so months of activity than I had in over a decade of trade and consumer shows, of press conferences and meetings.

Beretta Nation is a community, now; one that I value and one that, I trust, will always give it to me straight. There's no wrong opinion. People are usually very complimentary. Sometimes they are not, and that's ok: our social media activity is also a way to make things right, when we drop the ball.

YouTube is another wonderful community. We do have a lot of fun, filming our how-to videos, our product overviews and our presentations. There is a reel of out-takes that I'm always tempted to show. Should I?
I also dabble in forums. These aren't "Beretta turf" and so I walk in as a guest. I will give my opinion, sure, but I let other people talk. The enthusiasm and honesty that reigns in forums is truly heart-warming. (PS: check out the Beretta Forum!)
So... why social media? Because we can't fit all of you in our Accokeek factory, or we would. We want to hear from you. We want you to be the driving force behind our next Five Centuries of business and success.
But I do want to hear from you: do you follow us on Twitter? Are you a Facebook fan? Have you seen our videos? In other words: are you Beretta Nation?
What do you expect out of social media presence? Did we deliver? What do you like best about what we do in this area? Where can we get better?
After all, blogs are made just for this!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fast and furious (deer)

(by Mark Joyce - Guest Contributor)

A few days ago, I harvested a great-looking deer. Here's how it went...
Equipment Used: Beretta 390 with a fully rifled cantilever barrel from Beretta. Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 scope. Remington 385 grain, 2 3/4" AccuTip slugs.
Got in the stand at about 1:30 on Monday, 11/14/11. It was the first low wind day in about the last three days. Heavy winds and rain finally moved out and the afternoon was almost totally calm. We are about 4 days past the full moon and the time was right for big deer to be on their feet looking for does.
I was in a elevated ground blind on one of the few hills in the flat land corn country of Newton Co., IN. At about 3:15 PM I heard some movement in the thick brush to the NW of my stand. Close, very close. Since the wind was so low the noise was easily recognized as that of a deer. The snap of a twig really echoed. Before I knew it, there he stood, out of the brush and on the edge of a cut corn field. And only 20 yards away. I was low and out of sight in the blind so he never saw me. All I needed to do was stand and take the shot. But, first, I had to get the safety pushed over to the "fire" position. But, with him being so close, I really had to be careful not to snap it into the "fire" position.

I managed to get it to the fire position, stand and take aim. The deer, at this point, was only 27 yards away and gave me just enough of a quartering away shot. As soon as I pulled the trigger and saw him hunch up his back, I knew the shot was good. He still managed to jump over a fence he was standing next to, but it didn't matter. He ran about 50 yards into a cut corn field and piled up, DOA.

The whole encounter took less time than it probably took you to read this. But that's how it goes. Two minutes worth of excitement that creates memories for a lifetime.

Did you harvest your first buck yet? How did it go?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

International SWAT Roundup

What an experience!

No, I'm not talking about the balmy Florida weather, but the amazing two days spent at the International SWAT Roundup.

The concept is simple: dozens of SWAT teams from around the world, coming together for a competition that, eventually, will crown the best team, but that is really designed to celebrate and test the skills of the heroes that keep countless communities safe and orderly around the world.

Beretta participated by having their products on hand, to display and answer any question about our key tactical products, including the Tx4 tactical shotgun, the Cx4 carbine, the Benelli tactical shotguns, and Sako and Tikka products.

During the five-day competition (I could only attend two, as duty calls back in DC,) each team is tested in competitions that range from hostage rescue, to repelling, to sniping.
On Day One, the teams were confronted with a hostage situation: the objective was to raid a building and neutralize all threats without harming the hostages. In the afternoon, each SWAT team completed a raid that required teamwork between a sniper and short-arm shooters who, after making their way through a door by way of a battering ram, had to confront fast-moving targets. All of this donning gas masks!
On Day Two, the SWAT teams faced a climbing wall, a barricade and a host of other obstacles. Teams were required to rig a zip-line to traverse a small river, rush to the action site and take their place at the shooting site: four members of the team would fire at fast moving objects with their short rifle or handgun, while one sniper would take position atop a roof in an attempt to hit two, four-inch targets roughly 75 yards away, one of which was rigged with explosive, clearing identifying when it was hit.

The adrenaline-filled air was almost palpable, as the teams raced across the large property, focused solely on completing their task.

Team after team, from the Orange Co., Florida, to the Kwaiti SWAT Team, from the men of Lake Co. Sheriff's Office to the Russian, Jamaican, and Bosnian teams, each group tried to out-do the next, to eat a few seconds by running faster, shooting better, or crawling harder.

What impressed me the most, however, was not the indisputable skill of these men, who put their life on the line when "common weapons and tactics" are insufficient. I was actually astonished at the amount of teamwork they exhibited. Each team member had a specific task, whether it was sniping, using the battering ram, clearing a room as the first man in, or covering with fire while others took position; the key to success, however, was not simply to "do your job" but to do it in such way that allowed others, in turn, to complete their task.

On the sideline, other SWAT team members were screaming words of encouragement, rooting for their brothers in blue to complete the course. In those moments, it was not just the sniper crawling, rifle in tow: it was the entire team carrying him toward the finish line.

More images captured during the event can be found on our Official Facebook page albums here and here.
It became clear how the arduous task of special force members in every law enforcement agency is not simply about knowing how to operate a firearm, or snipe a small target at hundreds of miles: the most important skill is the ability to work together, to encourage one another, to stop and turn when you feel that a team member is in trouble. Every SWAT member, whether behind a gas mask, on the field, or behind the stantions, cheering and encouraging, was an active victory-maker. It was as if coordination disappeared, to give way to one solid body, working in unison.

Needless to say: I was impressed.

Eventually, I had to leave the sunny and warm weather of Central Florida and the inspiring tasks of the International SWAT Roundup, but I bring back with me, to DC, the spirit of the games. I may never be in a hostage rescue situation, but I can sure benefit from the lessons taught by these heroes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My first time with Beretta

(by Aaron Spuler - guest contributor)

I was introduced to the Beretta 92FS by Lieutenant John McClane during the holdup at the Nakatomi Plaza in 1988 (Die Hard). I was eleven at the time. I'd shot plenty of guns on a fairly regular basis with my uncle, but my firearms knowledge was not that large. I did, however, know what I liked. The Beretta 92FS was a highlight of the film. Who can forget the scene at the end when John has it taped to his shoulders and shouts “Happy trails, Hans” as he pulls the 92FS out and takes down the last two terrorists?

I was reacquainted with the Beretta 92FS three years ago while taking the Texas Concealed Handgun Licensing course. Another individual at the course had a Beretta 92FS and achieved a perfect score during the live fire exercise. I told myself then that I would get a Beretta 92FS of my own one day...

I have to say that the 92FS is my favorite handgun to shoot out of all that I own. I have trained my wife on all of my handguns, and the Beretta 92FS has become her favorite as well.

What was your introduction to Beretta?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Introductions by Beretta

(by Matt Rutherford - contributor)

For my first post on, I thought about introducing myself, telling everyone about my fantastic life shooting Sporting Clays in the UK. As I pondered how to start, I began thinking of all the fantastic people I have met since starting shooting just two years ago. For the first few months, I used my friends Beretta 682 Gold. We went to a monthly club in a farmer’s field, about ten or twelve guys shooting 50 targets from manual traps. I came last at first, but more importantly I was making friends. These guys are my monthly anchor, as my shooting develops, I am still coming back to see them. Every month without fail, we meet in the farmers field, drink some coffee (or something stronger at Christmas) and shoot those 50 targets again.

After a while I bought my gun, a Beretta 686 E Sporter and started getting out to more shoots, with harder targets and more experienced shooters. At the same time, I started my website, to capture all the information I was hungrily learning about Sporting Clays, I started to meet shooters from further afield, right across the UK and beyond. I went to the Beretta World Sporting Championship in the UK in July and shot with people I hadn’t met before, learning about the kind of targets presented in competition and watching hundreds of Beretta owners tackling a challenging shoot.

So, my shooting is improving, but so is my social life. I’ve made new friends, started my own website and travelled further to shoot with more people. All down to buying my Beretta. My 686 E has taken me places I couldn’t imagine. As I look forward to I can see more out there – more meet-ups from the people on my website, more competitions to shoot and hopefully, continued progress up the classifications.

Thanks Beretta.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A day at the range

From time to time, we receive questions about how we come up with some of our videos. Today, for example, we went to the Prince George's County Trap and Skeet facility to shoot some footage of Brian operating the A400 semiauto and Silver Pigeon over and under.

Our followers on Twitter and Facebook asked us to explain why Beretta is known as one of the best over and under products on the market. So, we decided to go to the range and shoot some video footage about it.

You could not have asked for a better day: the sun was not too bright, the temperature not too hot, and the clouds were just enough to give our video footage the perfect light. We first shot some footage indoor, with Brian presenting an overview of the Silver Pigeon and the entire line of Beretta over and unders.

We then moved out to Station 12 to shoot footage of Brian smoking targets left and right. I have to admit he's a pretty talented shot.

Even I got to do some shooting. What impressed me the most was exactly what Brian said about our over and unders: they really have a low profile, and allow for very instinctive shooting!

In addition to the Silver Pigeon I, we also shot the A400 Xcel and Xtreme.

I have to admit: I am having a hard time deciding which one is better. The Silver Pigeon certainly has the traditional, high-level lines that I think of when I think of quail hunting. The A400 series, however, has virtually no recoil, which is obviously important when you're firing hundreds of rounds or three and a half inch cartridges.

Here's the good news. I don't really have to choose! Come next week, when Brian and I go back to Prince George's County trap and skeet to shoot more video footage, I'll be able to use any one of these guns once again.

Life at the Beretta doesn't get any better than this!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beretta and the Boy Scouts of America

This weekend, we traveled across the country, to San Jose, California, to participate in the 2nd Annual Silicon Valley Sporting Clays for Scouting event, where Beretta was the title sponsor.

The proceeds of the event will help over 16,000 Boy Scouts in the local area.

The Sporting clays event was held at Coyote Valley Sporting Clays in Morgan Hill, CA.

Beretta donated 30 guns for the event for prizes, auction, and shooting samples for the stations all to help raise money for scouting!
On the evening of October 14, we attended a raffle, silent auction, and standard auction to raise money for scouting.

The following day we had the main event, with teams squaring off to bring home a piece of the over $20,000 in prizes and giveaways. Over 140 shooters were in attendance.
Many teams showed up with their own guns and I am proud to say most of them were Berettas!
10 stations--6 shots per station for 60 targets total.

Beretta sample guns were located at each station so that the participants had a chance to shoot the entire line of shotgun offerings from Beretta, including our A400Xtreme, Xplor and Xcel.

Some of the most sought-after guns, however, were our Silver Pigeon over and unders.

Many positive comments were made about the multitude of offerings, the natural swing and balance of the guns, and the legendary Beretta performance.

The course was challenging, with a multitude of target presentations--singles, following pairs, and true pairs at each station.

Everyone had a wonderful time. Many personal best scores were shot (with Beretta shotguns, no doubt) and everyone was a winner, at the end of the day (some were just more winners than others!)

We are excited to think about the fact that, thanks to the success of this event, which had a record turnout, and the generous donation from Beretta, the Boy Scouts will certainly have another successful year in their mission to introduce the youth of the area to the wonderful character-building programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The voice is (sometimes) mightier than the sword

How about a multimediatic post for Friday?
Here's a rundown of our most recent podcasts, on Beretta Talk.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Beretta Law Enforcement Day

On September 27, Beretta sponsored a demonstration day at Fresno Police Department, Fresno, CA. The event saw almost 100 officers from a dozen different agencies step up to the line to test fire the entire line of Beretta Law Enforcement products, including the line of Px4 pistols, the Benelli M4, the Cx4 carbine, Sako and Tikka products.
The FPD range is a state-of-the-art facility that proved to be an excellent venue for the event, with a large handgun, carbine, and shotgun area, and a long distance shooting range for the long rifles.
The shooting range was broken up into three functional areas with a representation of the full-size Px4 family, along with compact and subcompact models, the 96A1, the special duty .45ACP for demonstration/use, and the Cx4 carbines.
The shotgun venue featured the M4, M2, and the Nova pump shotguns.
The last venue, the long rifle, featured Tikka T3 and Sako TRG rifles for use in the long range.
The event was sponsored by Beretta, while our host, Fresno PD, provided  breakfast snacks, drinks and lunch.
The event was a great success, with much attention going to the Cx4 carbine. Some of the attendees admitted to not knowing about the depth of the Beretta line as a total solution package for Law Enforcement agencies.
The TRG 22 and the Tikka T3 received very good feedback and the officers were impressed with the weight of the weapon compared to what they normally carry for a sniper rifle.
We look forward to our upcoming Law Enforcement events!
To view the complete album of images from this event, visit our Facebook page.