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Posted - 03/09/2006 : 10:10:48 AM
Need some information from our Italian members or anyone else who may know.

Picked up a fairly nice Beretta Model 1915. On the right, above the grip is the letters "DR" within a box. Would like to know what the letters are for. My guess is some organization within the Italian government.

Thanks, Don

Posted - 03/09/2006 : 7:21:58 PM
You are right but I have never seen DR before. My 1915 7.62 & 9mm have PS in an oval. It stands for Polizia--part of the army during WWI.

Posted - 03/09/2006 : 10:35:02 PM
"PS" stands for Pubblica Sicurezza (full name, Regie Guardie di Pubblica Sicurezza) founded in 1934, I think, under Mussolini, a "Police Force" in the traditional sense, to go between the Military Carabinieri(who were both Military and National Police),
and the GuardiaMunicipale, which were basically a Town Council officer who looked after Licences, parking, and similar NON criminal activities, such as serving Town tax assesments and so on.

The Marks could also relate to an Inspector who approved the Guns for Military service.

The "DR" could mean "Dogana Reale" (Royal Customs) But this is NOT a name given in Italy to the Customs Agents, who are Part of the "Guardia Di Finanza" (Finance Guards) , a sort of combined Customs and IRS Unit. In anycase, the"GdF"is a recognised property mark on Italian Pistols.

The Only other "DR" I know is "Deutsches Reichsbahn"(German State Railways), Which did arm its members, especially the Uniformed Reichsbahn Polizei, before and during WW II.

Anybody got any other Ideas? (The PS mark on M1934 Beretta Pistols is definitely "Pubblica Sicurezza" from recorded supply contracts.
And the PS is referred to commonly as "Polizia" in Italy since WW II.)

Lanceri Novara 5
Posted - 03/10/2006 : 3:34:35 PM
Hallo All,
A summary from Menchini Taviani "Le pistole automatiche Beretta fino al 1945"

Beretta 1915

Designed by Tullio Marangoni, a foreman employed by Beretta, the pistol’s patent dated 29 june 1915, a month after the war againist Austria had broken out.
The calibre choice had doubtlessly been influenced by the fact that Italia Royal Army automatic pistol (the M1910 and Brixia) were in 9mm Glisenti. Moreover, Beretta had tooling equipment for manufacturing and gauging in this calibre for the FIAT model 1915 submachine gun.
Patent 1915 was designed, with an eye to simplicity,: a fixed barrel, blowback operation, an enclosed hammer rather than a striker, a solid frame, without the side plate wich was popular at the time. The only extravagance was the very small safety catch on the rear of the frame, the reason for which is not clear. Most likely it concerned an addiction specifically requested by the military.
The contract for the first 5,000 was dated 11 November 1915. It was followed by two contract for 5,000 each and one for 300.
15,300 pistols is the total Italian Army Contract. 300 more gun was built for civilian market. The serial Number range is 1-15.670.
The gun was used by military, but the ordnance pistol was the M1910. No crowned RE (Regio Esercito) is marked on these pistols. The Brevetto 1915 guns remain in service after the second half of the thirties when Model 1934 became available in large quantities. In 1943 the last 1915 was offered for sale to officers at a modest price.

General Specification
Calibre: 9 mm Glisenti
Operation: Blowback, Semiautomatic. Single Action
Hamer: Enclosed
Length: 170 mm
Height: 131 mm
Thickness: 29,5 mm
Weight (with empty magazine): 850 gr.
Barrel length: 94 mm
Rifling: RH 6 grooves, pitch 270 mm
Front sight: Blade, integral with barrel
Rear sight: V shape dovetailed to slide
Sighting line: 135 mm
Safeties: Manual, lever acting on trigger; Auxiliary, lever acting on hammer
Feeding: Detachable box
Magazine capacity: 7 cartridge
Magazine catch: Bottom in butt
Hold open system: Follower contrast on breechblock
Finishing: Blued by immersion
Positioning of serial number*: Frame, slide, barrel, trigger, bar, sear plate, sear, mainspring guide, firing pin, extractor, ejector, manual safety, rear auxiliary safety, magazine catch, grips
Start of production: 1915
End of production: 1918
Quantity produced: about 15670
Serial numbers: from 1 to 15670

*From pistol number 10,000 onwards the serial number was marked in full only on the frame, the slide and the barrel: on the remaining components only three or four digits were stamped depending on space available.

No referring to DR marks.
All Marks on italian pistols I remember are in the rear part of frame, left side
RE Regio esercito Royal Army
RM Regia Marina Royal navy
RA Reale Aviazione Royal air force
PS Pubblica Sicurezza Police
4UF IV Ufficio Tecnico IV technical Bureau a tipical mark of the Repubblic Period about from 1944 to april 1945
PSF Polvere senza fumo Smokeless powder with a crowned mark of Proofhouse of Gardone or of Brescia on civilian items

I don't reply your answer, but enjoy your gun is a real piece of history: the first auto pistol made by Beretta and designe by Marengoni, used during WWI. In fair condition is a rare collector piece.
Take care if you want to fire the gun that 9 mm Glisenti is look like 9 parabellum as dimension but with less charge. So ammo is not interchangeable your Beretta need original 9 Glisenti or recharged 9x19 ammo with 30% less powder than 9 Parabellum.

Posted - 03/10/2006 : 8:14:22 PM
Thanks DocAV for your inforation.
Lanceri Novara 5, the serial # of my 9mm is 508x so it was part of the second delivery. I collect Italian WWI hand guns. In 15 years of collecting I've only seen 2 9mm of this type--it is rare! Do you have any information on spanish made 'RUBIES' used by Italy during WWI? How were they marked?

Posted - 03/11/2006 : 10:29:28 AM
Lanceri Novara 5
Thanks for the information, very useful.
My Beretta 1915 is serial number 45072, so marked on frame, slide and barrel. Most small parts marked with last 2 or 3 numbers. Slide is marked "PIETRO BERETTA - BRESICA - CAL 7.65 BRLVETTO 1915". Grips are wood vertical grooved with "PB" at top.

The only information I could find on this model before I bought it was "Axis Arms" page 266. It states esimated production was 65,000 and manufactured from 1915 to 1922. Guess I'll do some more digging on the internet

Posted - 03/11/2006 : 12:57:36 PM
Hello teiko41!
There is a referring* to mark DR , that is related , as well as PS , to an inspector ,for Berettas 1915 in 32ACP(that is popularly called 1917)of the middle production .
It is a rather unusual mark impressed within an attractive ornamental border .
I've never seen Beretta 1915(9mm Glisenti)with this mark.
Enjoy your Beretta!

*Menchini e Taviani page 64.

Lanceri Novara 5
Posted - 03/11/2006 : 2:02:56 PM
Sorry Teiko but you call Beretta Brevetto 1915 another gun: the Beretta Brevetto 1915-17 chambered for the 7,65 mm round; the serial number of this gun range between 16000 - 71744.
Ciccio correctly reply you about DR. Enjoy your gun that is correct in any parts.Regards to you

DG13 about Italian issued Ruby pistol the number is around 100.000, and are produced by the same Eibar factory that was working for French Army:
A = Gaspar Arizaga,
AA = Azanza yArrizabalaga,
AH =Acha Hermanos,
AR = Alkartasuna (Alkar),
BH = Beistegui Hermanos,
EA = Echave yArizmendi,
EU = Esperanza y Unceta,
GB = Gregorio Bolumburu,
GN = Garate Anitua,
GU = Gabilondo y Urresti
HE = Hijos de A. Echeverria,
I = Bonifacio Echeverria
IG = Isidro Gaztanga,
IS = Iraola Salaverria,
MB = Martin Bascaran,
MS = Modesto Santos,
RH = Retolaza Hermanos,
UC = Urrejola y Cia,
VB = Vincenzo Bernedo,
ZC = Arizmendi, Zulaica y Cia.
Italian Army pushed by the shortage of handgun bought also spanish copy of the ordinance revolver Bodeo Modello 1889 cal.10,40 that was produced by two Eibar Factories Antonio Errasti & Eulogio Arrostegui and Arizmendi y Goenaga, 200.000 of this revolver was supplied to Italian Army.
It was also bought an unknown number of revolver and semiauto imported by Tettoni Brescia.
The Name of importer and the town of Brescia are marked of right side of slide of Astra Modello 1915 and on the barrel of Hermanos Horbea S&W copy top break model, the same supplied to British Army. The revolver is marked Modello 1916. Both handgun was used by Italian Army, but not regularly adopted.

Posted - 03/13/2006 : 3:40:16 PM
Lanceri Novara 5

I need to clarify something on this model Beretta. There is another auction with a 1915 Beretta and slide reads "PIETRO BERETTA-BRESCIA - CASA FONDATA NEL 168 CAL. 9m - BREVETTO 1915". If you read my post above with my slide markings you can see they are different.

Would the 9mm Beretta Model 1915 be in the serial number range you state in post above, but not the 7.65mm.
The only book I have is Axis Arms which lists the Model 1915 in both 9mm & 7.65mm. There is nothing on the Model 1917

If I understand correctly, the 9mm is Model 1915 & the 7.65mm is the Model 1917 you mention.

Am I right or wrong on this. Tried to find that book you listed with no luck.

Posted - 03/13/2006 : 7:30:03 PM
The 7.65 & the 9mm are called 'the Model 1915'. He is refering to the 9mm with his data although.

Lanceri Novara 5
Posted - 03/14/2006 : 04:10:56 AM
Hallo All,
According with the Bible about Beretta Menchini e Taviani the BERETTA BREVETTO 1915 CAL.9 Glisenti is the first gun produced by Beretta. In 1917 Beretta developed and offered to Regio Esercito a new gun, evolution of Brevetto 1915.
This new gun was called Brevetta Modello 1915 Modello 1917 the difference between the 15 and the 17 gun are:
Mod.17 is without espulsor wich function firing pin do.
Mod.17 have only manual safety. No auxiliary one, in the rear of frame.
Mod.17 carried 8 rounds in magazine, 7 the 15
Mod.17 weight(570 gr) is 65% of 1915 (850 gr), dimension of Beretta 17(150 lemght) is 87% of 1915( 170 lenght)
Mod.17 have no the spring for refuce recoil
Mod.17 is chambered for 7,65 ammo, Brevetto 1915 for 9 mm Glisenti
Beretta Brevetto 1915 serial number range is: 1-15670 (total production 15670 pieces)
Beretta Brevetto 1915 Mod.1917 serial number range is: 16000-71744 (total production 55700 pieces)
Axis Arms is wrong if list Beretta 15 as the same gun produced in two different caliber 9 mm Glisenti e 7,65 mm. Beretta Brevetto 1915 and Beretta Brevetto 1915 Mod.1917 is two different gun.
I hope this is now clear.

Posted - 03/14/2006 : 10:51:20 AM
Lanceri Novara 5

It is now very plain about the two models. Mine does not have the rear safety on the frame. The one in the current auction has that safety. Guess "Axis Arms" is wrong (sure wish I could fine that book you have)
Using your information I have a Model 1917 which I can add to my collection & classify correctly. Will have to look at that Model 1915 again.
Really appreciate the information and time you took to post it.


Lanceri Novara 5
Posted - 03/15/2006 : 03:50:44 AM
Hallo Don,
Happy to be usefull for you!
Enjoy your gun and take, if you can, the Brevetto 1915 on Auction, you will have a complete series of WWI Beretta autos. Good luck.

2 Posts
Beretta 1915 Brevetto

I have a Betetta marked "Pietro Beretta-Brescia-Fondato NEL 1680"
and below: CAL. 9M-Brevetto 1915" Frame and slide serial #14624. On the right side is a "PS" in a circle, which I gather has already adequately discussed. Problem I have is that it is not a 9mm nor a 7.65. Bore is too big for either. Grips are custom plastic inserts over mahogany. Apparently, it has been greatly bastardized over the years. Any suggestions on replacing the barrel and disassembly instructions?​
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