March 13th, 2017

The Right Stuff — Chuck Yeager’s Beretta Model 1935 Pistol

Chuck Yeager Beretta 35 Gold Pistol Right Stuff Pilot General Cuban gift
Photo courtesy NRA Museum.

Each day, on Facebook, the NRA National Firearms Museum showcases something special from the Museum collections. Earlier this month the Museum displayed a very special Beretta pistol — a gold-plated .32 ACP belonging to legendary airman Chuck Yeager.

This engraved, gold-washed Beretta Model 1935 pistol was presented in 1950 to Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, U.S.A.F., by the Cuban Minister of Defense. (This was before Castro seized power in 1959). Three years before receiving the gun, in 1947, Yeager — piloting the Bell XS-1 — was the first person to successfully break the sound barrier. Yeager was one of the legendary airmen profiled in the book (and Hollywood movie) “The Right Stuff”.

Though this historic, elaborately-engraved sidearm is a “one-of-a-kind” treasure, the Beretta Model 1935 was actually produced in great numbers. Chambered in .32 ACP, more than 500,000 Beretta Model 1935s were made over a 32-year time-span.

You can see hundreds of other interesting firearms on the National Firearm Museum website, www.NRAMuseums.com. Or, if you’re lucky, you can see the collections in person. The NRA now operates three Museum locations: the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum (at BassPro) in Springfield, MO; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, NM.

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