Laser "engraved" Beretta

Archie Woodworth

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5 axis laser technology .... A laser engraved Beretta for just under $20K.

Per the marketing dept.
STUNNING ENGRAVING
Renaissance-style motifs, a modern technique
The engravings on the Beretta SL3 are an evolutionary achievement made possible through the development of a cutting-edge technological process, developed within Beretta, a 5-axes laser system. Designed to deliver what has been impossible: the ability to cover rounded surfaces with unprecedented continuity of pattern and stunning accuracy in design. Our master engravers and our innovation lab put their experience to work and delivered timeless engravings with a touch of modernity.

http://www.beretta.com/en-us/sl3/
 

mitch

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and the work is CR@P. for that kinda money couldn't they at least have good design & execution?
 

John B.

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To be honest I think that is very tough competition for 20K. Not every ones cup of tea but.......
A high quality plain shotgun with a stock of this caliber will cost a very big slice of twenty grand.
Look at the prices of the fine, plain shotguns made by Connecticut Firearms or some of the English, German, Austrian companies.
Yes, this engraving is not up to the quality of a Phil C. or a Ken H. or a Winston C. job but I doubt that you could get near this much engraving alone, without the gun and stock from any of these great artists for 20K. and a 2-3 year wait.
Many clients just want a beautiful gun to use in the field or at the trap club and this fills the bill.
These buyers are not looking for museum art pieces to just sit in their gun room safe.
This is not competition for the great artist engravers but is going to be a tough row to hoe for the regular high level working engraver working on new production items.
The saving Grace is that for a long time it will not pay to set up a program for one-off's.
But just like self driving cars, it's coming.
 

Crazy Horse

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Five axis machines have been around for several decades. The Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard (PNSY) used one to machine submarine propellers in the 80's. Adding a laser to one isn't all the innovative. The "engraving is what one might call static. It appears to lack life. In fact, it's flat.

Hey, and for $20K they can't even checker the stock??? My guess is that Beretta isn't gonna sell a boat load of these guns. They just might end up to be short run collectors items.
 

Doc Mark

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I agree with John. The design is pedestrian, at best, as compared to most of you Master Engravers. (In general, I would not be ashamed if I did this design , except for a few areas that bug me) But for a gun that is not going to be a "safe Queen" it's better than any of the other laser "engravings" I have seen. You should of seen the unbelievable crap that was burned into my Mossberg 20ga. I should have taken a photo of it before I draw filed the entire gun. The reason this is so flat is that lasers can't taper their cuts, as we do. That's what gives our hand engraved canvases their "life". But be aware, if there is a market for more laser "engraving" at a higher spectrum, then someone will figure out a way to get the laser to mimic a graver cut with more accuracy.
 

papart1

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I'm not quite sure yet how many I'll order............................I'll get get to all of you on that.;);) pap
 

Crazy Horse

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Mark is correct. In fact there is a way to enhance laser engraving, as well as rolled engraving, and that is by touching up the engraving with some hand cuts. I've seen this on some Winchesters. Hey, for Twenty Thousand Dollars the least Beretta could have done is make some hand cuts to enhance their product.

It sems Beretta has let quality and art take a back seat to the almighty buck. Clearly, that's just my less than humble opinion.
 

monk

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i agree with crazy horse-- just way too flat in appearance. i did a couple guns with my laser a few years ago. i scanned my drawings, and sized them in corel. easy as pie to do, and the results were rather drab to look at. never again did i try to combine art and commerciality. it just fizzles !
 

Roger Bleile

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"Starting at $19,999.00" That is a high price for a sideplated boxlock shotgun with laser etching. At that price, you can get a like new, used Beretta S3 or SO5 with sidelocks and hand cut engraving.

My objection to Beretta's description is calling laser etching "engraving." Many gun companies and retailers use the words "engraving" and "decoration" interchangeably. Hand engraving is decoration but all decoration is not engraving. An accurate description should read "laser etched" or "laser decorated."

I shoot a Beretta 687EELL Diamond Pigeon for skeet and sporting clays. It has very nice roll impressed scrollwork and hand chased sideplates. I think that, new they sell for about $8K. In my opinion it is a much nicer looking gun than the one at issue. In fact, the impressed scrollwork is so well done that were I not an engraver and knew you can't get that much hand engraving for such a sum, I would think it was hand cut. That is because the roll dies are hand cut by real gun engravers at Bottega Giovanelli.
 

gcleaker

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Mark is correct. In fact there is a way to enhance laser engraving, as well as rolled engraving, and that is by touching up the engraving with some hand cuts. I've seen this on some Winchesters. Hey, for Twenty Thousand Dollars the least Beretta could have done is make some hand cuts to enhance their product.

It sems Beretta has let quality and art take a back seat to the almighty buck. Clearly, that's just my less than humble opinion.
that has been their moto for some time now.
 

gcleaker

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"Starting at $19,999.00" That is a high price for a sideplated boxlock shotgun with laser etching. At that price, you can get a like new, used Beretta S3 or SO5 with sidelocks and hand cut engraving.

My objection to Beretta's description is calling laser etching "engraving." Many gun companies and retailers use the words "engraving" and "decoration" interchangeably. Hand engraving is decoration but all decoration is not engraving. An accurate description should read "laser etched" or "laser decorated."

I shoot a Beretta 687EELL Diamond Pigeon for skeet and sporting clays. It has very nice roll impressed scrollwork and hand chased sideplates. I think that, new they sell for about $8K. In my opinion it is a much nicer looking gun than the one at issue. In fact, the impressed scrollwork is so well done that were I not an engraver and knew you can't get that much hand engraving for such a sum, I would think it was hand cut. That is because the roll dies are hand cut by real gun engravers at Bottega Giovanelli.
i totaly agree with you rodger 687 eell or a so3 - 5 are much nicer guns for much less money.
 

Mike Dubber

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When I visited the Giovanetti Bottega with the GRS Group in 2005, we saw rolling racks of Beretta receivers that were very lightly laser etched. The Bottega engravers were then recutting the etched patterns.
This is the next step, then, in recreating hand engraving in the modern format. I've had many people ask me about laser engraving over the years, and I've always tried to explain the differences as I saw them...depth of cut, tapered entry, etc., et., etc. Although I never completely discounted laser work during these discussions, I presented a pretty good argument, at least, for the value of handwork over laser work...art over rote production.
Now it's becoming clear that technology like this will continue to improve. This looks flat and artistically unappealing to me, but somehow I know what's coming.
 

Roger Bleile

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Despite my comments above, I am a Beretta fan, when it comes to shotguns. Beretta offers good quality for price and has a very broad range. Being a Mercedes Benz fan as well, I think the two companies are a parallel comparison. Firstly, they are both the oldest companies in their respective fields.

You can buy a four cylinder Mercedes CLA250 for about $38.K or go all the way to a 12 cylinder Maybach cabriolet for $335.K Regardless of price, you get the best quality vehicle for that price point.

New Beretta over/unders run from the 690 at about $2,500. to the SO10 EELL at $100,000. Regardless of price they are all good quality and, at the high end, they offer hand engraving by some of the top Italian masters.

Yes, laser decoration has come to shotguns guns of a wide range, and to a lesser degree, rifles and handguns. Nonetheless, the laser, like roll stamping and acid etching are primarily high volume production methods. While there are a few hand engravers who do repetitious production work, most engravers work in the realm of one off custom pieces where the clients want to be in direct contact with the artisan. Using the laser to do one of a kind pieces, on order, closes the price gap considering the art work, set-up and amortization of the equipment cost.

I don't know if laser decoration will eventually replace all hand engraving but I don't think I will see that day.
 

monk

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All things considered I think it looks pretty good. I wonder how deep it is.
cant speak to the shotgun in question. the depth of the guns i did was may be a thousandth of an inch or so. my laser tube is co2. the yag tubes would probably go maybe.005". the yag will actually "dig" into the metal due to the wavelength of the laser output.. my co2, at 30 watts would just basically erase the finish on the gun. the dude didn't want hand embellishment over the lasing, as he had shallow pockets.
 

Sam

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I saw a 1911 at a gun show recently that made me do a double take. The top of the slide was fully "engraved" and even signed LDN. It was a copy of a Nimschke design and it was laser engraved. I posted it to Facebook and it was criticized and raked over the coals, but quite frankly, it looked pretty darn good considering what it was. Of course it was flat and had a laser look, but the dang thing was good enough to stop me in my tracks to get a closer look. And I can assure you there are tons of people out there who would be quite happy with its decoration.

Laser engraving will never have the sparkle and character of hand work, plus every one of them will be clones since the beam follows a vector path that someone had to program.

We will continue to provide for the connoisseurs of art and fine engraving. For those who simple want a decorated gun and don't care how the decoration got there, the laser is proving itself to be very capable of that.
 
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