Beretta has always been active in the field of fine guns – but as a matter of fact, the vast majority of those have been shotguns so far. With this one-of-a-kind collector's piece, Beretta launches the Premium Custom Pistols project. And this is just the beginning...
The 98FS Demon semi-automatic pistol was Beretta's response to a very special request from an Italian gun shop – more specifically the Armeria Red Point, headquartered in Ostia, at the outskirts of Rome. The request was for something unique and completely hand-crafted that would have the demonic and arcane world as its main Motif.
It should be pointed out that the Beretta 98FS Demon is a unique creation, in the purest sense of the word: this is not just a limited-production sample, like the "Fusion" model from some time ago, but a single high-quality product, specifically manufactured under customer's order.
Of course, the first question that popped to mostly everybody's mind following such a request was: "Why would Beretta associate its name with the creation of a gun engraved in such a controversial theme – something that's never been done before?”.
And yet, Beretta's immediate reaction was: "We are receiving daily requests for extreme custom creations based on our top-of-the-line Premium shotguns, so why should we just say 'no' to a similar request when it pertains to a handgun?”.
That sanctioned the birth of the Beretta 98FS Demon pistol – the gun that also marks the start of the Beretta Premium Custom Pistols project.
The reasons behind such an event were personally highlighted by Franco Gussalli Beretta, President of the Beretta Holding, who supported the project and personally delivered the finished pistol to the customer – Mr. Fabiano Visintini, owner of the Red Point gun shop of Ostia, a town in the Province of Rome.
« A project for custom-made pistols is particularly important – Mr. Beretta said – because Beretta's tradition in that sense has been so far limited to shotguns, and we have always provided our customers with unique models.
We have long been offering limited issue lines of pistols, but we never went as far as towards the full custom realization of a project following the detailed and specific request of a single customer.»
The Beretta 98FS Demon was manufactured out of a model 98FS Fusion Black pistol – which features a steel (not aluminum alloy) steel, an enhanced breechblock, a full matte finish, a single-action only trigger, and overall high performance levels.
The mainstay of this "Demonic pistol" is the engravings: hundreds of hours were dedicated to the preliminary sketches and to the engavings themselves, all of which followed the guidelines of the customer – although Master Burinist Luca Casari had full freedom of action in interpreting the customer's request and left a distinctive Beretta tradition signature in his work.
The work was made with a mix of hammer-scalpel and burin engraving techniques, which allow both the chiseling of figures and subjects and the highlighting of rich details.
Last, but not least, master burinist Luca Casari used 24k, 99% pure gold inlays to embellish the final work and instill an aggressive personality in it through the highlighting of details such as the pentagram, the demon's mouth and the snake eye under the barrel.
Silver was used to highlight the thunderbolds chiseled on the slide.
Another reference to the Biblical snake is the scale-like engraving that seem to emerge from the matte sides of the frame and slide, as well as from the shiny, polished surfaces of the trigger and its guard.
The Beretta 98FS Demon pistol is a world to be discovered: a new detail meets the eye every time you look at it.
The varying surface treatments and finishes used for the different surfaces provide for a captivating play of light and shadows that can either highlight or hide some details depending from the type and intensity of light they reflect.
After the pistol was fully finished and assembled, two mother-of-pearl inserts were inlaid in the frame by hand; a small, brilliant-cut diamond was also nestled in the front sight.
The hand-polished, fully concentric and highly accurized barrel is aesthetically perfect under all points of view and marks a stark contrast with the breechblock and the slide. Its only other feature is a pinpoint accuracy... because yes, the Beretta 98FS Demon pistol can be fired.
The Beretta 98FS Demon pistol provides the same astonishing level of accuracy of the Beretta Fusion Black pistol it's based upon: 40mm -wide 10-rounds group at 25 metres – an accuracy far superior to the most stringent military standards, and more akin to high-grade competition standards.
The dress is the final touch: the Beretta 98FS Demon pistol is issued with a peculiar suitcase that enhances its style and elegance: completely hand-manufactured out of black cowhide leather, it features a brass lock and corners and is lined in ivory-colored velvet to accent and highlight the raven-black surfaces of the pistol even more.
A hand-made cleaning kit is also issued – featuring a brass and Buffalo horn barrel cleaning rod, and a pewter oil bottle hand-engraved with the PB logo.
The identity of the final owner of the Beretta 98FS Demon pistol is still unknown, but the lucky one will enjoy all the artistic and manufacturing features and will be able to trace back all the different phases of manufacturing – from engineering and sketches down to production – thanks to the multimedia documentation that's issued with the gun and that will allow the future generations to rediscover the history of this true masterpiece.
For further information: Red Point gun shop