Beretta’s strange Punches
FAG means “Fabbrica Armi Guerra”, a Government organization that stays like: “War Weapons Arsenal”, charged for inspection of guns produced by sub-contractors to be distributed to the Italian Army.
From 1939 onwards, Model 34 pistols showed a profusion of marks. The most relevant is the crowned FAG mark with two digits referring to proof year or year of acceptance.
On the right side of the trigger guard there is an ellipse with two initials, indicating the inspector. In some other parts there could be other inspection or sub-contractors punches.
The most curious aspect of this weapon is the fact that the year of construction indicated on the slide (1940) does not coincide with the FAG punch (1939). XVIII E.F, indicates that the pistol had been manufactured in 1940, but before 28 October 1940. Perhaps it concerns a weapon that had been completed during early January, when, probably, FAG had not yet got from the Official Mint Office, in Rome, the punch mark for 1940 at time of inspection. (nothing different from today…)
On the middle of 1940 the inspection punch changed from Crown-FAG-Year to IV U in an ellipse indicating the “fourth technical office”, the inspection office based directly on the Beretta’s premises.
In the Beretta collection there is an exemplar exactly equal to yours.
A. Riccadonna (Italie)
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