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 Post subject: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:07 pm 
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Benelli M2 – July 1, 2004 - CBM (also posted over in the Benelli Forum)

Let me preface by saying this is intended as a rather lengthy review for people who, like me, haven’t been satisfied with the limited reviews that are out there right now on the M2. But mostly it is to get all of my own thoughts down. I’m by no means an expert on shotguns or shotgun sports – so apologies if I ramble on about things everyone else already knows.


Decision Mode
I wanted a gun to be my one-gun-for-everything gun and I wanted quality. I considered an over/under, those certainly are fine guns and in many peoples opinions it would seem better choice as a one-for-all gun than an automatic. Thing is I’ve always wanted an automatic and a darned good one at that. I looked at over/unders and quickly found that I’m just not a fine wood and pretty etching guy. I’m a black synthetic all business repeater guy I guess.

After some on-line R&D I got enamored with the Benelli’s pretty quickly. I seriously considered the SBE II, but the only functional difference between the M2 and the SBE II was that the SBE II is designed for the 3.5” shells. Since my primary use was more general applications and trap shooting, I figured most of my usage would be with 2.75” and 3” shells, and leaned towards the M2. This wasn’t really price driven ($300 difference) so much as my desire to assure reliability with the lighter loads. The M2 was also a smidge lighter – it’s important.

So last week my wife bought me a Benelli M2 that I picked out for my birthday (need to get her some flowers for that). I’ve never owned any shotguns other than a Mossberg 500 pump – so my reasons for getting the Benelli were mostly based on reputation – and negative heresy I suppose about other brands. In a nutshell – Benelli’s have a reputation of superb quality, reliability, ease of use, low maintenance, as well as being very light and very good field guns. Other brands – not so much. After a week and about 125 rounds through it, here’s my review:

What I got:
A spanking new black synthetic Benelli M2 with Comfortech and a 26” barrel.
http://www.benelliusa.com/firearms/large/m2FieldSynthetic20Ga.jpg (that's the 20 Ga photo, couldn't find the black 12 Ga photo)
The gun was purchased at Gander Mountain in Wisconsin for $1000.0 – cash and carry. It came with
• 4 chokes in individual plastic tubes plus one in the gun (5 chokes),
• a flat choke key,
• 4 shims and 2 plates for stock fit customization,
• A bottle of clean, lubricate, protect type oil,
• Hard carrying case (short style for broken down gun carry)
• The longer style Comfortech butt-plate (You’ll have to buy the other size if you want it)
• Owners manual (Says M2, but looks like it’s for the M1 – Super90)
• Parts list manual

The Good:
• Reliable – no jams so far, even with Wal-mart cheapies – 125 rounds and counting.
• Customizable ergonomics – The gun comes with 4 shims and 2 plates, allowing you to adjust the height and angle of the stock for that perfect fit. Since my main usage this month is for trap shooting I’ve opted for the highest setting, which happens to fit me perfectly (guess I’ve got a short neck and lil’ head).
• Light weight – this is a very light shotgun. I have to admit, this was one of my defining criterion for selecting this gun. The Inertia Drive mechanism of operation for this gun means no clunky fore-stock or weird weight balance.
• ComfortTech – The ergonomics of this gun are very good. I love the slim fore-grip. Most automatics have a very clunky oversized fore-stock that I just don’t find comfortable, The Benelli’s is great. The gun overall fits very comfortably. The Comfortech helps tame the light weight and sharp recoil that apparently goes with owning a Benelli. It does this by having a generous butt-pad, as well as a soft face pad section. There are Chevron’s running along the stock that are supposed to also help too – maybe they do, I’m not sure. I’ve shot an M1 and almost passed on the Benelli design I so disliked the recoil. The M2 is better – so the ComforTech’s doing something. After 75 rounds yesterday, I could have easily gone another 75 – (I might complain if I had to do a third 75 though).
• 5 choke tubes - Maybe everyone else gives you 5 tubes too, but to me this seemed generous. I like having lots of options. These tubes are also rather long, which in theory is better since it’s a less abrupt choke than some others. Not sure if that really matters, but it seems like it would. The tubes are also Cryo Treated. I have to say, this sounds pretty gimmicky to me for a scatter-gun. In theory this causes less axial “tailing” of the shotgun pattern. Even if true, I’m not sure if that matters much – maybe it does.
• Chrome lined Barrel- That’s what it said somewhere at least. I sure hope it is, I love chrome lined things – cleaning’s a snap (and much more optional). The barrel too is Cryo-treated. This cracks me up, none of my rifles I use for 600 yard high-power matches are cyro-treated – but by God my scatter gun is! Supposedly this keeps the barrel cleaner too – that I like.
• Pattern Test – Pattern centers pretty much exactly where you aim at 30 yards. Possibly an inch or so high, I didn’t do a scientific analysis. Even if so, not enough to fret about. I did learn while doing this that Improved Cylinder REALLY opens up more than I would have thought at 30 yards. It did this with my Mossberg too – so the choke’s working as designed. As a side note, the IC shot pattern opened up so much that you could easy miss clay’s and birds that are dead in your sights at 30 yards. I promptly switched to Modified, which solved that problem at 30 yards at least.
• Carrying Case – Nice touch, I wish more companies would include this relatively low cost handy item.
• Performance: Three things –
• This gun is NICE. It’s a joy to hold, handle, and shoot – quality exudes.
• I just started shooting Trap this year. I’m bad. I usually shoot worse with each successive shoot in one day. But not with the Benelli, I shot BETTER with each successive shoot – that’s a first.
• I’ve never even broken a 20 in Trap. Except for now! My first day out with this gun I got a 21 by the end of the day. Lucky fluke maybe, but I was giddy as a school boy.
• Mechanism: Because the M2 is Inertia Driven, there’s no gas port, no gas ring, no gas seal, and no fouled mechanism to clean. The only thing that gets dirty is the barrel. Well, not entirely, but you get the point. Because of this, the gun’s much lighter and the fore-grip is most comfy. I also liked the feed lock button. This way the bolt locks back for single loading, even with a full magazine. Maybe everyone does this, but neat all the same.

• Low profile sling mounts – Thank you, so many makers don’t even give you this.


The Bad:
• Recoil – Not bad actually, but the ComforTech marketing almost implies no recoil and instant shot recover. This isn’t the case – to be honest, I was still getting a good bit of muzzle jump and was quite aware when the gun went off. Much better than my M1 experience though. If you’re seriously recoil shy, you may want to try before you buy.
• Assembly: - Apparently the receiver of the M2 is aluminum. Because I’ve already managed to ding up the front assembling the gun. For me, the barrel extension keeps wanting to hit the top of the receiver during assembly, nicking the finish. Trivial maybe – but I don’t like that.
• Carrying Case Selection – Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled they provide me with a case, but I wish it was a full length case. Having to field assemble/disassemble the gun each time I shoot it is annoying and probably what’s causing my assembly headaches mentioned above. The occasional disassemble in the comfort of my home ever few hundred rounds would probably be much better. I plan on getting a generic full length case later this week. This is a shame, I hate to have the nice factory molded case be a dust collector now. I can't even use it for travel, since this otherwise well thought out case doesn’t even have a locking loop on it anywhere – a disappointing oversight.
• No support for Trap shooters – At my range you are expect to pick up all of your hulls when done. Since trap is single shot, most guys clip on a shell catcher which catch the rim of the hull during ejection and keep it hanging in the port. This way they don’t have to chase hulls – also flying hulls sometimes annoy other shooters that get hit with them. The Benelli design is not conducive to the manner in which these shell catchers work. This means you either chase hulls, or you use the rubber band trick (Basically put a rubber band over the front of the ejection port instead of a plastic shell catcher). Problem is the serrations on the sight rib are so sharp it cuts the rubber band while you’re putting it on. This could have easily been avoided by mounting the cocking handle higher in the bolt carrier.
• Stiff springs – Doubtless these will loosen up with time, but right now it’s hard getting the gun to come apart. Particularly getting the bolt out. I have to loop a string around the handle and yank really hard. I hope this lightens up.
• Securing mechanism for the buttpad. - The comfortech butt-pad is held in place by a rubber ring that fits in a rubber grove. You basically grab the pad and yank it off to get into the stock. No problems so far, but I tend to prefer more secure attachment mechanism – like a screw or flip clip or something.
• No trigger lock – Actually I couldn’t care less, I have a safe, but some others probably care about this.
• Magazine Limiter - I need to purchase some special tools to get this thing out, so I haven’t bothered yet. It would have been nice if a simpler mechanism for removing this item were chosen.
• Cost – I just paid $1000 for a scatter-gun!. What kills me is this is half as much as a decent over/under. How in the world does it cost people $2000 to figure out how to stack two $110 crack-barrel smoothbores on top of each other!?? Ok, rant mode off – the good stuff cost’s money.

Overall Impression:
Great Gun! No regrets here.




Last edited by LazyEngineer on Thu May 10, 2007 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 10:50 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
An Excellent Post. With a Great write up. Sounds like you have a keeper of a wife there.
I really like my M2, and think its a great shotgun. I only have around 4 boxes, thru mine right now. I have the black synthetic with a 26" barrel.

Best Luck with the new shotgun.

If you ever do go to chasing the big geese, just load it up with some Hevi-Shot or Kent TM. Those two loads have made the 12ga 3.5, and the 10ga more than obsolete.


Last edited by BLKLABMAN on Sun Jul 04, 2004 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:42 am 
Great post! I really enjoyed reading it.....


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 7:52 am 
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 5:07 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Iowa
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LE,
Congrats on the new gun and thanks for your view on the new M2. I too just recentantly purchased the same exact gun you have and I absolutely love it. Your views and opinions are dead on accurate. I was just a little surprised at the recoil that this gun had. I have been use to shooting a Browning Gold so it is not a fair comparison to put a gas-recoil up against a inertia-recoil. But overall the M2 is sweet gun and an absolute joy to shot. Thanks for your review.

bird

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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:59 pm 
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Great post. Thanks for sharing the info.


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:14 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Ut
Great post..I have the same gun black synthetic Benelli M2 with Comfortech and a 26” barrel. I added hi-viz sights and love them! I also purchased a magazine limiter made of solid aluminum off of ebay for like $12 bucks. Just remove the stock magazine limiter (plug) and this one slides thru the hole of the spring cap and is easy to take in and out. Glad to see you are enjoying you M2 as much as I am. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 165
I was looking for a good slugger and I think I just found one. Either this one or the Black Eagle ll.
Only one question. Can you buy one extra barrel for the slugger so you can interchange them from slugger to shotgun?


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 6:05 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:38 am
Posts: 26
SxS, I'd be surprised if you couldn't - but according to the salesman at Gander Mnt the barrels are very expensive and you might as well just buy the seperate gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:46 pm 
I need help in assembling my M2 - When I get it together, it doesn't look like the bolt/receiver assembly is correct. The cover on the breach doesn't slide all of the way up. I'm a complete amateur and guess I'll have to take it to a dealer unless one of you has a "here's the problem you dumbass" fix.


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:57 pm 
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Location: St Peters, MO
LearnedHat I havent received my M2 yet so I cant be much help, but I would think that the manual that came with it would tell how to get it together. Hopefully one of the current 'owners' can help out :) Mine is supposed to be in the end of August! Cant wait

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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:00 pm 
Great review.. I have had your exact gun for about a month now. I have shot 7/8 oz loads to 3" turkey loads. Only 1 failure with 1 of the 7/8 oz target loads. 1 oz loads function perfect and that is what I have been shooting mostly because they are low on the recoil. I will agree with you on just about all your accounts. I too do not care for the O/U pretty wood types. I have been wanting a M1 field for years, but just didn't go for it. I had a wood stock Beretta 390 and traded for an O/U because I just didn't shoot it well. I missed the automatic and, frankly, I shot terrible with the O/U too. Maybe it's me?? So, I traded for the M2. I think I finally found the perfect shotgun for me. It feels so light and natural when I bring it to my sholder. The clays just seem to break by default. Now I can't wait for opening day of dove season to really try her out..

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:09 am 
Just curious if anyone owning an M2 has patterned with Hevi Shot? Id be interested in your results. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:05 pm 
Great Post! Thanks for some of the heads up stuff. I picked up my M2 just about an hour ago and now some some things to look forward to and watch out for. I am looking for that illusive benelli shotgun cleaning kit they advertise in the manual. Call me a sucker but I always go with the manufactuers reccomendations for care. Do you have a good online source for benelli accessories? If so please send me the llink! ddouglas@eiucal.com


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:12 pm 
Read my review from "nasty recoil", love the gun. It was hard parting with a grand, but so far it was well worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 10:50 pm
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PJM wrote:
Just curious if anyone owning an M2 has patterned with Hevi Shot? Id be interested in your results. Thank you.


Not to Spam another site, but you might try over at the Refuge.
Drundel, High-Ball, and some other have been at the pattern boards with SBE II's and its Crio barrel..


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:41 pm 
Great review. As far as recoil goes, I guess it all in what you're used to. My wife chose much to my surprise a M2. She's 5' 3" and shoots 1 1/8 oz cheapy loads through it and has never complained the first time about recoil even after 100 rounds. I think it's the comforttech stock, correct fitting and proper gun mounting techniques. Good to hear about the lighter loads, I think we'll give them a try. I certainly like the way it shoots myself and I'm a die-hard SBE fan. Only gun I've found better is the new SuperSport II. I will own one soon [if I can find one].


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:36 pm
Posts: 6
I've been shooting the M2 for about 6 months now, and love it!

The only complaint I have so far is the extremely tight safety, and I guess there is a reason behind this......somewhere, somebody probably shot somebody due to the 'too easy' safety.

Recoil?..................WHAT recoil!!

I've shot browning o/u's all my life, and still shoot the Beretta 391............and this M2 with the comfort stock is by far the lightest felt recoil of any of my guns.

On a typical day at the clays course, I willl warm up with 4-5 rounds of continental, then move to the 5 stand for another 7-8 rounds.....with no problems with the recoil, and I'm not a big guy.......................

anyways, that's my 2 cents worth on Benelli!


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:15 am 
I've got a Rem 1100 that needs to rest.
I'm in the market for an autoloader and...you guessed it...Benelli wins. It's down to the super black 2 and the M2. I don't think I need the 3.5" of the super black 2 and I've heard a few horror stories on the super black 2 so I'm leaning heavily toward the M2. I've shot the M1 and loved it so I'm sure I'll love the creature comforts of the M2. Most of you folks seem to be purchasing the 26" barrel. I shoot a 28" on the 1100 and planned on sticking with that with the M2. I guess I just like the swing of the gun. Any info on this would be much appreciated. :)
I too am shopping for a gift from my wife. Thank God for generous wives. I'm sure I'll pay for it later but hell, from what I've read, it will be worth it.

Thanks All


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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:43 am 
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I have a 26" M2 and a 28" Rem 1100 and the length of the guns is almost identical. People always said that the overall length would be close to the same, and after buying my M2 and comparing... they were right.

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"Women and Cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."
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 Post subject: Re: Benelli M2 - My review (I decided to go for it)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:08 pm 
Quote:
The only complaint I have so far is the extremely tight safety, and I guess there is a reason behind this......somewhere, somebody probably shot somebody due to the 'too easy' safety.


A lot of people think it's too tight. Benelli's aware of this and will replace the safety spring with a lighter one free of charge for you if you like.

Quote:
We have received authorization from the chief engineer to change the safety spring in SBE II and M2 model shotguns. We now have a small quantity of the alternative springs on hand and will perform a two-day turnaround for anyone who desires it. Even if you have already modified your safety spring by cutting coils or substitution, we encourage you to take advantage of this. Send an email to:
cday@benelliusa.com
include your name, address and the serial number of your shotgun. Feel free to include any questions you may have concerning the process.
We will reply with shipping instructions and answers to your questions.

Customer Service Manager
Benelli USA




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