Many Olympic golds have been won with this marque, and, indeed, more medals have been gained overall with Beretta than any other gun.
They will be much in evidence at the London Olympics, as will Perazzis. The test gun is especially interesting for being a new model, an evolution of the highly successful DT10.
Both can trace their heritage to the pre-Second World War ASE.
The new gun is a little wider in the action and came for testing with 30in barrels (32in tubes are an option) hitting the scales at about 8.1⁄2lb.
First impressions are positive.
It is a big gun and well finished. I am not quite sure about the blue fill on the single-line, quite deep border-engraving on the action.
Nevertheless, the DT11 is attractive, with a mainly matt action with polished decorative ribbons and a nickel finish. There is a practical, non-reflective satin finish on the barrels.
On the handling front, I was struck by extra weight between the hands, ample stock shapes and a relatively large, quite acutely angled grip with palm swell and full comb typical of an Italian trap gun.
There is an attractive and ergonomically efficient rounded fore-end as well.
The DT11 not only looks smart but has a solid feeling of quality.
One should, of course, expect this with an RRP of £6,565. Nevertheless, it is cheaper than a comparable Perazzi, Kemen or Krieghoff, the main competitors in the upmarket target-crunching stakes.
Decoration apart, the principal changes in the DT11 are an action 3mm wider than the DT10 and Steelium barrels with tapered bores.
The trap version tested has tight fixed chokes with a bore diameter going down to 18.4mm, the sporter model (simultaneously released) goes to 18.6mm (a modest back-bore) with interchangeable chokes.
Both guns have detachable, leaf-spring trigger locks and excellent trigger pulls.
The DT11 has a few other subtle modifications.
These include an ergonomically reshaped top lever, which is also suited to southpaws, and an improved, more positive safety and barrel selector.
The ventilated top rib is 10mm wide (and parallel) and the side ribs are also vented to reduce both weight and heat haze. The sighting bead is white.
This series of guns differs from the Silver Pigeons in having a wider, squarer look to the rear of the action, which accommodates a cross bolt for extra strength of lock-up.
The stock of the test gun is made from better-than-average walnut that has been well finished in oil and appears hand-chequered.
Standard measurements are 14.3⁄4in for length of pull (with the adjustable trigger set in the middle position) and 1.1⁄4in and 1.5⁄8in for drop. High and nearly parallel, typical of a trap gun.
The butt is finished with a black rubber pad. Left-handed guns are available, as are adjustable stocks and guns with headed-up stock blanks.
Beretta has re-jigged the action of the DT11 to put a little more weight between the hands. This is of real benefit; the gun feels more solid than its predecessor.
The tri-alloy barrels are made by a new process that is a combination of hammer-forging, deep drilling and vacuum stress-relieving.
Beretta barrels have a reputation for durability and consistency.
I know of no other firm that takes the same care with its metallurgy and there is a specialist laboratory within the Beretta factory (as well as its own branch of the Italian proof house).
Barrel and other components are regularly subjected to X-ray and other analysis.
This scientific approach has always impressed me, as does the great care Beretta takes with checking barrel regulation.
It sets a standard that few other firms meet or even seem to aspire to.
As this was a trap gun, it seemed appropriate to break our normal test routine and head straight for a trap range. Happily there is one at the Fennes Shooting Ground where I do much of our regular testing.
The hefty DT11 shot trap extremely well and I preferred it to the DT10 (which has many fans nevertheless).
Recoil was soft, trigger pulls light and crisp and muzzle rise seemed reduced.
There was good purchase thanks to the generous stock shape and comfort, too. Breaks on clays were impressive, smoke ball after smoke ball.
The gun was not tiring to shoot. I can honestly say I did not miss a bird with it although I shot only 20.
The DT11 trap is a potential winner, and not that expensive by modern standards. It may well be seen on a podium near you soon.
Berreta DT11 shotgun