The origins of the Bernadelli family's involvement in the firearms business can be traced to 1631, when Bernadelli forebear Bartolino Barnelli married into the noble Acquisti family which owned several gun factories in Gardone Val Trompia at Brescia, Italy. In the following year, Bartolino's sister would marry his wife's brother to further seal the tie between the two families. Sometime between 1632 and 1721, the Barnelli family name changed to Bernardelli. In 1721, some Bernardelli brothers are recorded to have bought a large gun factory in Gardone Val Trompia.
The proper genesis of the gun company that would bear his namesake, would begin with Vincenzo Bernardelli (birthdate unknown). Vincenzo Bernardelli learned gun-making as an employee of the Franzini Arms Factory, that at the time, was one of the most important firearms manufacturers in Gardone Val Trompia. Working in company, Bernardelli would eventually become chief of the Damascus twist shotgun barrel division.
In 1865, Vincenzo Bernardelli would branch out from the Franzini Arms Factory and would start his own firearms business. He founded a large factory with water-powered machinery, which served as the institution to his firearm company. The Bernardelli company utilized water to power its machinery right up to the end of the 20th century.
As at Franzini Arms Factory, Vincenzo Bernardelli originally made Damascus twist shotgun barrels. In the following decade, he would start making complete firearms in limited numbers. He would be joined by his four sons, whom each were assigned a particular role in manufacturing process. The firm soon outgrew its original quarters and began a search for better facilities and room for expansion. In 1899 Vincenzo Bernardelli died and the management was taken over completely by his capable sons.[1
In 1997 the V. Bernardelli company was forced into bankruptcy and its assets, brands, and trademarks were acquired by the Turkish Sarsılmaz Arms.
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