Benelli thoughts
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Author:  DesertMuleDeer [ Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Benelli thoughts

Long post, but I wanted to offer up some of my experience with Benellis over the last 20 years in that I thought some may find it helpful. I've had 6-8 Benellis, three of which were SBE3s. plus have shot friend's guns and used borrowed guns on bird hunts outside of the USA.

Through a couple of different decisions, I ended up with no Benellis a couple of years ago, which was a first in many years in that my M2 had been my primary hunting gun since around 2005, I think.

To replace my M2, I thought I would try something different and after reading a lot of hype put out by Internet personalities about Retay, I bought a wood-stock Masai Mara 12 gauge. It was a real disappointment and I really had heart burn in that I could've bought a Montefeltro for a little less and the Monte for me functions a little better and in my opinion has better fit and finish and better wood in the instance of my latest Monte, a 20 gauge. Though honestly, I probably didn't give the Retay a fair shake in that I was disappointed in that I felt the gun that arrived didn't live up to the hype. I felt conned because I bought into what I read on the Internet. Overall, I think the Retay is an OK gun but priced about $400 too high for what it is (though, I've always thought Benellis were priced high too for such a simple design).

Benellis have not been without issues for me but no more so than any other brand of gun. One of my SBE3s was an early gun that shot a little higher than I like. My first M2 would not consistently feed some cheap, steel-case head ammo, which was remedied by Benelli and then a gunsmith opening up the dimensions in the receiver. After that, the gun got hunted for 20 years and is still in use with a friend. Though eventually remedied, that M2 produced the only malfunctions I can remember ever having with a Benelli.

Since selling the Retay this year, I've bought a 12 gauge M2, a 20 gauge Montefeltro and a SBE3.

The M2 has exceeded my expectations and got hunted hard this year. It shoots exactly to the point of impact for me out of the box and has massacred ducks this year.

I patterned the SBE3 when it came in and with the factory shims, it was centering the pattern a couple inches high (maybe advertised 60/40) and shooting left (around 80/20 left). I pulled the shims and flipped the shim for cast (I think it was set up from the factory for a lefty for some reason) and installed the lowest shim for drop. It now shoots pretty much dead one for me with a nice centered pattern. I really like the weight (7 pounds exactly) and balance of the gun. It is a little more weight forward than an M2, which is a good thing for me. I've fired a few hundred rounds through the gun ranging from 1-ounce, 1200-fps Clever target loads to 3" steel, lead and bismuth and have yet to have a malfunction. Looks are a secondary consideration for me on serious hunting gun, but it is the tungsten Cerakote and Optifade combo, which I think it looks great. It is as close to a do-it-all shotgun for me as I've ever found.

I've been busy hunting and have not yet fired the 20 gauge Montefeltro but when it arrived, I was impressed with the fit and finish. It even has nice wood. Both the buttstock and forend have fiddleback throughout which shows through the factory stain. I don't remember Montes having wood this nice but this one does.

Overall, I've been really pleased with my Benellis though I know like any gun, they are not perfect. I think they are overpriced but generally function really well. I prefer an inertia gun for hunting, and have yet to find anything that works any better for me, though I'm a constant tinkerer and still looking. Your mileage may vary in that many prefer other guns, such as Berettas, Brownings or whatever, and I like and use many, but for serious hunting for now I'm a Benelli fan.

Hopefully this is helpful to someone.

Author:  gunner76 [ Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

Good post. I've been shooting Benelli for the better part of 20yrs, I swayed away from them twice but always returned. I've had one SBE I and the rest have been either M1 or M2s. I didn't really care for the SBE because I needed a do all gun and it was finicky with my target loads(dealer didn't tell me about that when I bought it and it was pre internet for me)so I sold it after a couple years.

I've been thinking of getting an O/U but not sure if I want to make the switch.

My M2s have all been Flawless up until the second to last one I have. It's back at Benelli getting the barrel extension fixed after it came loose. Outside of that the gun has been great and will cycle every shell I've put through it down to my light 3/4oz target loads. Actually, I've never had an M2 that wasn't 100% reliable with 1oz and heavier. The older one's were touchy below 1oz but the newer ones have not been.

Author:  DesertMuleDeer [ Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

Gunner, I saw your issue with the M2. Strange problem. Let us know how that gets resolved.

Regarding O/Us, I shoot sporting with a Browning Citori CXS and 682 Sporting 28/410 two barrel set now. I switched from a 391 Sporting after getting tired of cleaning the gas system. I like the Citori, but not sure I shoot it better than my SBE3. I also hunt with Browning BSS 20, Winchester Model 12 16 gauge, my 682 28 gauge and a few others on occasion. I like them all. Despite this, I've probably grabbed my M2 at least 50% of the time when hunting over the last couple decades.

I like M2s, but regarding function and balance, I think the SBE3 may be the best so far. I shot 125 rounds on a sporting clays course with mine today. I was shooting 1 ounce, 1200 FPS Clever target loads, which are lighter than Benelli recommends. Out of the 125, I had one failure to feed because of the light target loads, which isn't bad for a gun with a couple of hundred rounds through it shooting that ammo. I also shot about 85%, which is about where I shoot with my dedicated sporting guns. I shot the 20 gauge Montefeltro also today. I forgot how good those guns can be. I usually prefer a little heavier gun but had no trouble with the Monte. It was powdering targets and seemed almost effortless.

One other odd thing: I can take my M2 with an IC choke and center the bead in the rib and adjust for consistent height of bead above rib and shoot 2-3" groups with slugs at 75 yards. It shoots 2" high and 2" left when I do this but close enough. Pretty versatile to be able to take a deer out to 100 yards or so with a bird gun. I haven't tried this yet with my SBE3 but will.

Author:  gunner76 [ Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

I tried a Citori years ago but it just didn't fit me well. I've always liked the Cynergy since it came out and last year got to try a guys CX model for a couple stations and I broke birds effortlessly with it. If I do get an O/U it'll be a Cynergy CX with 30" barrels.

My M2s fit me almost like an extension of my hand and I use them for everything. I do get a few odd looks from some of the purists at the clays course but it doesn't bother me.

I had an A400 XPLOR LH for a year and really wanted to like the gun but I could not get enough drop in the stock and in a snap shooting scenario I would always shoot high. I ended up selling it and went back to Benelli. Afterwards I found out about a guy that makes custom drop shims and that would've been all I needed. I don't miss looking for my empties in the next county though.

Author:  DesertMuleDeer [ Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

I shoot Benellis in general well. My Montefeltro felt like a magic wand yesterday in that powdering clays seemed almost automatic. I would definitely use a Benelli for sporting clays if that is what I had to shoot and wouldn't worry about what anyone thought about it. One the best shots I know uses one shotgun, a worn SBE1 with no bluing on the end of the barrel from sitting in the duck blind.

I bet the Cynergy would be a good one, assuming you get the right cast if your a lefty, which I gather from your post may be the case. I've never fired a Cynergy but they seem intriguing. I shot 391s for a decade or so at sporting clays and kind of felt stuck as if I wasn't improving. I switched to my Browining CXS and started improving again. Maybe it was the gun maybe not but I do think I shoot it and Benellis better than a Beretta.

Author:  DesertMuleDeer [ Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

I shot 100 rounds of sporting clays with a friend today. I used my SBE3 for 50 and my Browning CXS sporting gun for the other 50. One ounce, 1200 fps loads and no malfunctions. Interestingly enough when, I switched to the Browning, I felt like it recoiled more than the SBE despite being heavier. I've always felt Benellis with Comfortech, or whatever they call it, have less felt recoil for me.

Author:  birdhunter39 [ Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

Love my m2s. They just feel perfect in my hands.

Author:  Davy Crockett [ Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

The ultralight is my favorite probably because most of my shotgun hunting involves walking and carrying vs sitting in a dove field or duck blind. But I'm not opposed to toting my SBE2 or M2.

Author:  DesertMuleDeer [ Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

I'm kind of curious regarding the Ultralight. Have carried a Beretta 390, Win Model 12 and M2 for more than a few 10-15 mile hikes through sand hills or corn stubble and cattails. My wrists get tired but if I keep them at 7 pounds or less seems to work for me. The Beretta would start running slow midway through a windy day in sand but the others were fine. The ultralight sounds great for that task.

Author:  valencman [ Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

Just maybe Tom Knapp was onto something. :-)

Author:  Patently Obvious [ Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

I wonder how many Benelli clicks Tom had? :shock: I’m guessing none in thousands of exhibition targets. See how unreliable these guns are. :D

Author:  DesertMuleDeer [ Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

I shot several hundred rounds while hunting through various M1s, M2s and Montefeltros for the last three days. I used a different gun for morning and evening hunts. I think the outfitter said he owns 24 total. No jams and no Benelli clicks while hunting ducks, quail and dove. Maybe the guns were defective?

Author:  JoeCool [ Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Benelli thoughts

I really enjoyed all the reports, thanks, never have had a Benelli, maybe in the future.

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