Third Generation Gunmaker Grew from Post-WW2 Shop in Northern Italy
Originally published in the September-October 2023 issue of Safari Magazine.
Gunmaker Stefano Fausti opened a small shop in 1948 in a northern Italian city known for access to iron and world-class craftsmen. That same company now celebrates its 75th anniversary in Marcheno, Val Trompia, this year, and is still proudly family owned and operated.
After World War II, like many other industries in this period, Fausti Arms started out as a small workshop where craftsmen did all the creation, assembly and engraving by hand. The business grew steadily because of Stefano’s passion to create fine firearms, his manufacturing technique and his business acumen.
Today, Fausti Arms makes shotguns that combine quality and beauty. It currently employs 40 people and annually produces 4,500-5,000 guns. The company said that modern technology and craftsmanship combine equally to offer hunters and shooters the shotgun of their dreams. They have a wide range of products for hunting and shooting enthusiasts.
In the 1990s, the family’s second generation started leading the company. Daughters Elena, Giovanna and Barbara gave fresh energy to the Fausti company. They grew it outside of Italy, into a medium-sized enterprise operating internationally.
Fausti’s commitment to foreign markets took a giant leap in 2009 when they opened Fausti USA. It is headquartered in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where there is more than 8,600 square feet of exhibition space, sales offices and warehouse.
The U.S. market is not easy for foreign companies to access, so this move represented a milestone for the family company. Fausti’s success in the U.S. demonstrates the quality of its products and the family’s skill as entrepreneurs. In 2018, a year before he passed at 90 years old, Stefano Fausti had the pleasure of seeing the family’s third generation join the company.
Soon after, the company took stock of its past and future, and reorganized around a steering committee that planned a clear and structured vision.
Now, 75 years since its humble beginnings, Fausti celebrates its birthday, not as a point of arrival but a stage, said Fausti leaders.
Fausti has built its essence on three pillars: pride in its past, an organized present and an orientation towards the future. The company is grounded in values and traditions, and its gaze constantly turned towards innovation.
Fausti’s objective is to allow enthusiasts to choose from basic models — already an expression and synthesis of high-quality standards — up to the most refined shotguns. Owning a fine shotgun should not be a luxury for the few but a possibility for everyone, said the gun-making family.
They achieve this goal, thanks to teamwork. Workers express their professionalism in all the company’s departments, from the CNC machine tools to the manual work by craftsmen.
Quality is also made visible by a clear vision of its future, which involves responsible behaviors and choices towards employees, society and the environment, but also towards those who choose a Fausti shotgun.
The company strongly believes in the value of relationships, from strengthening internal teamwork to building close partnerships with external collaborators. All this while keeping a careful and conscious eye on ethics and corporate social responsibility as well as on innovation and improvement of its production processes, also through a digital transition linked to industry 4.0.
Investing in new technologies and sophisticated machinery will improve construction quality and make its products more reliable and long-lasting.
All this without ever losing sight of the care and protection of the land and the people who live there, which is a fundamental cornerstone of Fausti’s lines of development.
An essential set of values lies behind the company’s shotguns. Whoever buys a Fausti side-by-side or over-and-under shotgun is a mature hunter or shooter, not in age, but in terms of awareness of his or her wants.
He is looking for a technically advanced shotgun that embodies all the classic firearm’s values and stylistic and constructional canons. An instant classic to be proud of, combining substance and beauty.
Today, the company has developed a unique worldwide product line, divided into two product lines: Core and Boutique. It’s a complete line-up capable of satisfying a wide range of customers.
The Core line, the brand’s entry-level, is characterized above all by simplicity — not to be confused with improvisation or superficiality — without sacrificing quality and reliability.
The distinguishing features of the Boutique line of side-by-side and over-and-under shotguns are premium finishing, author engravings and higher-grade stocks, where the levels of excellence reached will gratify even the most demanding.
Fausti’s side-by-sides use an Anson & Deeley-type mechanism. Created in 1875, this system is an undisputed symbol of high-quality construction and reliable operation even to this day, thanks to its simplicity and robustness.
Secondly, the concentration of the weight in the center of the gun guarantees a fast and balanced movement. Over the years, this mechanism has undergone several adaptations, including a new system with coil springs aimed at greater industrialization. However, at Fausti, everything from that ingenious intuition has been retained, starting with the coil hammer springs.
The Anson & Deeley mechanism is a system where the high construction quality of the individual components, machined from solid block using CNC machines, is further enhanced by final inspection of experienced personnel.
A dedicated gauge receiver encapsulates it, which may seem a constructive complication in a time of ever-increasing simplification and optimization. However, it pays off with more incredible elegance, better ballistic performance and ease of use due to less weight and excellent balance.
Components machined from blocks and a dedicated caliber receiver are strengths shared by the family of over-and-under shotguns, which feature the exclusive Four Locks system: four lugs that work together to create an unbreakable lock.
Such a lock allows you to fire thousands of shots without any problems, even with the most potent ammunition. Indeed, it opposes the forces that would tend to move the barrels along the vertical and horizontal axis of the receiver at the moment of firing.
Micrometric movements are widespread and natural in any gun, but Fausti has decided to tackle them in its constant search for the best. To this end, a second pair of lugs inside the receiver’s sides support the usual one carved into the monobloc of the barrels, ensuring even lateral closure and a perfect mechanical seal. These shotguns guarantee higher reliability and durability, even when subjected to intense and prolonged use on shooting competition or in special hunts such as duck or driven hunts.
Behind every Fausti product, side-by-side or over-and-under, there is a thorough and complete design phase. From the choice of materials to the study of shapes, from the internal dimensions of the barrels, drilled with the utmost attention to profiles and chokes to guarantee the best yield of shot patterns with any cartridge to their mating.
It’s also in the choice of the best woods for a final result, both in terms of quality and aesthetics of maximum satisfaction to the careful definition of the moving parts — closures, extractors, batteries, safety mechanisms — for smooth, harmonious and safe functioning.
Over the last 75 years, Fausti has proven that advanced technology, attention to materials, care for detail and, above all, a love of beauty and craftsmanship, are capable of creating products of outstanding quality.