September 19, 2011

Benelli M2 Field Semiautomatic 12 Gauge

While many scattergun enthusiasts may prefer the classic appearance of fine-grained wood and gun-metal blue steel in many shooting situations, the fall season seems to bring out the desire for a little camouflage in their shotgun collection. These firearms are designed for rugged, dependable functioning in what can be miserable weather conditions. Like the runt of a litter of puppies, these shotguns are often so ugly that they are considered attractive.

With the stress on getting the job done, the shotgun Gun Tests selected for its testing was promoted as a solid shooting tool, capable of handling field conditions without punishing hunters with excessive recoil or clunky handling performance.

The Benelli M2 Field is also a fast-functioning and popular shooting tool in fields and wetlands across the country. It features a slim design and a synthetic camouflage stock and forearm, plus a camouflage-coated barrel. These features are nearly a necessity for anyone venturing into the wet weather, mud and gunk typical of waterfowl hunting conditions and the unpredictable fall season for dove hunters.

Gun Tests November 2007

Overall, we were impressed with the way the Benelli functioned and handled during our test sessions and gave it high marks for shotguns in the camo class.

Since field shooting was the test track for our shotgun, the magazine staff cycled a variety of ammunition through the semiautomatic to check out its ability to handle different loads. The ammunition selection for the test included Remington STS Low Recoil 2.75-inch loads with a 2.5 dram equivalent, 1 1/8 ounce of No. 7.5 shot and a muzzle velocity of 1,100 fps; Federal Wing-Shok Flyer 2.75-inch loads with 3.25 dram equivalent, 1.25 ounce No. 7.5 lead shot with a muzzle velocity of 1,330 fps; and Federal Ultra-Shok Heavy High Velocity Steel 2.75-inch loads with 3.89 dram equivalent, 1.25 ounces of No. 4 shot with a muzzle velocity of 1,375 feet per second.

They encountered no malfunctions of any kind with any of the shells. The shotgun cycled the ammo variety with quickness and effectiveness, even in bad weather conditions. Pattern tests resulted in 50-50 coverage (half below and half above) on the patterning board, no matter what ammunition was put on paper. Here’s the magazine’s test report in more detail:

Gun Tests November 2007

The slim forearm featuring dimpled AirTouch checkering provided a good, firm hold on the shotgun even in bad weather conditions.

This gun is no slouch in the cycling arena, and while slower than some others, it put rounds downrange in a quick and effective manner.

The test model featured a 26-inch barrel, with an overall length of 47 inches. The shotgun is covered in a Realtree Camo Max-4 camouflage design with AirTouch checkering.

The test staff found the feel and handling ability of the Benelli to be as good as others—there was very little difference in the field guns when weather and hunting conditions were less than favorable.

The inertial operation of the recoil system, combined with the turning block bolt locking system, provided a different feel to shooting the Benelli. However, recoil with all loads was acceptable and although the Benelli was a little slower in the cycling department, they encountered no functioning problems.

Gun Tests November 2007

While slightly slower than the Winchester, the action of the Benelli was flawless in its performance and provided easy and quick access to the chamber.

Tipping the scales at 7 pounds on the nose, they liked the heft and easy movement of the Benelli. The length of pull was a shorter-than-normal 14 inches. This allows for the additional padding of a heavy coat or shooting gear. The drop at the comb was 1.5 inches and the drop at the heel was 2 inches.

These dimensions fell within the comfort zone of the test group. If there had been adjustment problems, the M2 also features a shim kit to tweak drop and cast in the stock.

The ComfoTech System in the stock and the Technogel recoil pad lived up to their advertising in reducing recoil, even with heavy loads. While their looks are unusual, they do get the job done. The magazine was a little unhappy with the trigger pull weight of 6.5 pounds, with just a little creep before touch off. A trip to the neighborhood gunsmith for a minor adjustment would be a good idea.

Gun Tests November 2007

Although the space-age look took some adjustment for some of our more traditional test team members, the ComforTech stock and Technogel recoil pad provided good recoil reduction.

With its 26-inch barrel, the Benelli was quick and smooth to the targets. They found that second and third shots were no problem and the shotgun always did its job in an effective manner. Some of the test team members experienced a little "bite" from the loading port when attempting to shove shells into the magazine. An inconvenience, but worth noting for those people who want to avoid sore thumbs after shooting.

Assembly and reassembly of the Benelli was very easy and uncomplicated—a big plus with semiautomatics that must function in rugged conditions.

Comments (6)

I sure hope that Col Canovack and his sweet bride are all right with all them fires down there in Texas. Infact I sure hope all our friends down in that part of the country are OK, God Bless em.

Posted by: bear1 | October 5, 2011 11:36 PM    Report this comment

As I have been gettin up there with the Grey hair and closer to being older than dirt, I have been thinking to going to a simi auto istead of my old reliable pump guns. Along with the age thing the service connected disablities are putting thier two cents in also. Price has smething to do with I get one also and I didn't see a price on this one and of corse I will what Canovack's recomens about this one also. It's bad when you have to look at state laws and price cuts into what you can get.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | September 24, 2011 9:26 PM    Report this comment


Posted by: Rudae S | September 23, 2011 9:36 AM    Report this comment


Posted by: Rudae S | September 23, 2011 9:35 AM    Report this comment

Since 1995 I have been the owner of a Benelli M1 Super 90, the predecesor of the M2. My M1 is proof of the high quality inbuilt into Benelli guns. I have used it for skeet and won a few tournaments with it but the acid test for any shotgun is hunting outside USA. It has been my tool of choice for Central and South America for Waterfowl hunting since I bought it. Shotguns used inside US territory are priviledged with good ammo. Domestic brand shotshells are the best shotshells of the shotgunning world. That's not the case for what you are provided in Central and South America. Most of the time you are going to find european shells of very well known brands, but most of the time you are going to shoot the lowest quality shells of any known brand. Both Benelli and Beretta are more than capable of surviving bad ammunition. Other reputable brands of shotguns just can't. My M1 has digested hundred of thousands of awfully bad ammo without a hicup. That is hard proof of the Benelli M platform. The M2 is a better gun in a lot of aspects. You can have a cryo barrel, the Confor Tech recoil pads and stocks. Benelli promotes this gun as the worhorse of the line and it surely is. Any one buying an M2 won't be dissapointed. A word of caution, any recoil or inertia operated gun will be less confortable than a gas operated gun. The M2, being the evolution of the M1 has taken out a lot of the unconfortable side of the recoil, nut remember that it has to recoil to work the inertia system. If you are extremely sensitive to recoil go for a Remington 1100 or an 11-87, but if you want an ultra reliable shotgun, well built, and capable of swallowing and digest the obscure and tetric spectrum of the worst ammo of the world, an M2 is your winning ticket.

Posted by: Firemouth | September 22, 2011 9:18 PM    Report this comment

I have an M2 tactical. It is the best shotgun I own and I probably own 15 or so. fast cycle time I think. On the clock, 5 rounds in 0.85 seconds--faster than any other gun on the line except for perhaps the FNL. NEVER has failed to shoot a mixed magazine from low base 8s to 00buck and slug.

Posted by: garlec | September 22, 2011 12:53 PM    Report this comment

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