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An Earlier Connection Between Taurus and Beretta - The Beretta PR71 Revolver?

1042 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Daniel E Watters
Here's a bit of trivia I picked up recently while compiling a mini-history of Forjas Taurus. While everyone knows about Taurus's 1980 purchase of Indústria e Comércio Beretta S.A. in São Paulo, there is very little accurate knowledge about when Beretta opened its Brazilian facility. According to Beretta, they started operations in 1971, before the Brazilian military adopted the PM12S submachinegun (MtrM M972) and later, the Model 92 pistol (M975.)

Beretta's first Brazilian factory product in 1971 was a revolver, which was then exported to Italy for European sales. These were initially named the Velox (.22 LR,) Audax (.32 S&W Long,) and Tenax (.38 Special.) At some point, they received the designation PR71. Given the protectionist nature of Brazilian law, Beretta really needed to have a domestic factory in Brazil with a local labor force before they could ever hope to win official government contracts. Moreover, the Brazilian government would have never allowed Beretta to open a factory in Brazil if they were perceived as threat to the domestic gun industry.

What would be the easiest way to play nice with domestic firms? You could partner with a Brazilian gunmaker, preferably one who wasn't offering an overlapping product line...say for instance, Taurus. Look at the following links showing the Beretta revolvers. Those are the spitting image of early 1970s-vintage Taurus revolvers rebadged with Beretta rollmarks. I suspect Taurus supplied the parts which Beretta's Brazilian employees then assembled and finished. It had the side benefit of allowing them to train their local workforce before they tooled up to make Beretta's own designs.


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I've never seen one of those Beretta marked revolvers. Huh.
It is only mentioned in passing in R.L. Wilson's "The World of Beretta." There is a collage photo with different Beretta revolvers and brochures on Page 195 and confirmation of the Brazilian revolver's date of introduction on Page 222.
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