York book signing and release. Franco Beretta, R.L. Wilson (author),
Brad Taylor, Ugo Gussalli Beretta.
the realm of Beretta collectors, few can rival, or surpass, Texan
Brad Taylor. At age sixteen, he purchased his first of many, a
Model 950B Minx, in .22 short. With that initial pistol, Taylor
realized that Beretta built guns of quality, and further recognized
that, at the time (in the late 1960s), the U.S. public was generally
unaware of the merit of Beretta firearms. In those early years,
that made collecting Berettas easier and less costly. That all
changed when Beretta won the competition for the M9 contract.
Taylor on his first visit to the "World of Beretta"1984
gradually began to understand a number of factors, as his dedication
to Beretta collecting evolved:
carried such a variety of models that the needs of any automatic
pistol shooter were met in one brand. These variations were what
hooked me as a Beretta enthusiast. The company builds their products
with the shooter in mind, and has long made certain there is "something
for everyone"-which gave me a wide array of guns to search
for in building a collection.
92FS Centurion "Especially Made for Brad Taylor" - One
of a special factory pair.
January 1984, Taylor and then Marketing Director Ugo Gussalli
Beretta met to discuss the history of the family as gun makers
and the contents of Taylor's collection. Ugo took a personal interest
in Taylor's dedication to Beretta guns, and invited him for a
tour of the Gardone factory.
Beretta met with me at the factory and his people were very helpful
with research on firearms, as well as organizing a tour of the
massive operations, and explaining how their guns were built.
With access to the Museum I was amazed at the Prototypes and experimental
pieces which led to the finalproduct of the pistols I collect.
It was hard to believe that one company could be involved in such
a varied output. With this visit, I realized that my interest
and collecting were just beginning.
the next several years, one could see the company rapidly growing,
and finally taking its deserved place in the U.S. market. Returning
to visit Gardone many times allowed a better understanding of the
Beretta success story. I believe Beretta owes its remarkable success
to the direct family involvement, and the personal pride which the
family takes in every aspect of the company. It is not just a business,
it is personal, it is the Beretta name marked on every firearm and
the insistence that their products be "only the best."
Following the family example, I have refined my own collection to
the best and most extraordinary examples of their production that
I could obtain, even specializing in acquiring serial number 14
of each model.
the family is extremely busy running the company, they have become
good friends. As Piero and Franco assumed active roles in the business,
they too added a wealth of information to my collecting pursuits.
Mrs. Monique Gussalli Beretta has always been a very good friend,
and has a special place in my heart. Their encouragement has proven
instrumental in my resolve to put together the finest collection
of Beretta firearms-mainly pistols-outside of the Beretta Museum.
In tribute to the Berettas, and their firearms, I have long thought
of trying to organize a Beretta Collectors Association-and hope
that The World of Beretta may be instrumental in making that wish
an indication of what kind of success Taylor has achieved in his
collecting, see the collage images on pages 168,
and 302, which picture highlights from
the Taylor Collection of Beretta Firearms.
Taylor & Ugo M, - Shot Show 2004 - Las Vegas
Collecting Berettas reprinted
with permission from
R.L. Wilson's The World of Beretta-An International Legend