For several decades, the Beretta company’s handguns and submachine guns were nearly all designed by the very talented Tulio Marengoni…but nothing can last forever. After World War 2, Beretta engineer Domenico Salza began working on a new SMG design, one which would be more compact and more controllable that the M38 family. At roughly the same time, Beretta changed it naming convention to avoid looking like it was still marketing old guns; the Model 38/49 become the Model 1. Each new design took the next number, until in 1958 the Model 12 was introduced.
The Model 12 (and this improved Model 12S) has both forward and rear pistol grips, and a bolt which wraps around the barrel well forward of the chamber. This movement of the reciprocating mass forward helps reduce the gun’s tendency to climb, and makes the Model 12 a quite capable design. It is still in common use with a variety of military and police forces today – including being a common sight in the hands of security guards in Italy today.