Bad news for the oldest gunmaker in the world. Adcor Industries – makers of the BEAR rifle – have sued Beretta, alleging the company stole proprietary information later used in the development of the ARX-100 rifle. From the Courthouse News Service:
BALTIMORE (CN) – Gun manufacturer Beretta U.S.A stole proprietary information to develop its AR-15 rifle, a gun designer claims in court.
Adcor Industries Inc. and Adcor Defense Inc. sued Beretta U.S.A. in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Friday. The plaintiffs claim they shared proprietary design and manufacturing information with Beretta with the understanding they would manufacture components for the more than 100,000 guns Beretta was given permission by the Department of Justice and Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to produce.
Throughout the two-year development of the firearm, the complaint states, Beretta received a complete bill of materials from Adcor for an AR-15 it produced, purchased equipment to manufacture components through Adcor and sought out information regarding the companies Adcor used to add finishes on the rifles it made.
Adcor claims in the complaint that it eventually produced the first 10 prototypes of the firearm for Beretta and Adcor employees help work out problems with the guns after it was found that parts designed by Beretta failed to operate correctly.
Before cutting off the deal with Adcor and removing the machines it purchased and had in Adcor’s facilities, Beretta received technical guidance on the cutting of its roll mark on the guns, the complaint states.
Adcor claims Beretta currently markets the weapon as the ARX-100. The tactical military-style rifle currently retails for $1,950 on Beretta’s website.
Beretta U.S.A. markets the rifles as one of the most versatile assault rifles available to consumers as it can be completely assembled and disassembled without any tools, has interchangeable barrels and bolts that allow it to shoot several different caliber bullets and has adjustments that allow it to be fired easily by both right and left handed operators, according to its website.
Adcor seeks damages for breach of contract, unfair competition, fraud, civil conspiracy and other claims. It is represented by Thomas Donnelly.
While Adcor is most well-known for its BEAR rifle, this suit does not seem to be particularly related to that rifle’s design. Rather, it sounds like Adcor consulted Beretta closely, only to have Beretta jump ship on them later. The BEAR and the ARX-100 are compared below:
Thanks to Axel for the tip!