3-1/2″ Benelli

Dear Bruce,

To make a long story short I bought a Benelli Super Black Eagle, the one that is all synthetic and takes 2-3/4, 3, and 3-1/2 inch shells interchangeably.

In my neck of the woods Gun salesman and car salesman are bred in the same pasture. This guy was good, very good! I walked out the door with that new gun thanking GOD I got one because he only had 17 left. Now I have a gun that appears very durable but I don’t know anything about it. It fit’s better than any other shotgun I own. Is this a good system? Is it durable? Did I do good? Please enlighten me great one…


Dear Jim,

Depending on what you want it for, you may or may not like that 3-1/2″ Super Black Eagle Benelli. Sometimes it is actually best to Ask The Technoid ffiirrsstt! Of course, that’s like bringing your mother along to advise you when the bartender says “Last call” and the girl on the corner stool smiles at you.

Here is what your gun is good at: It won’t break. It will probably shoot under water. It will definitely shoot full of mud, ice and Twinkie wrappers. IT will shoot 3-1/2″ shells all day (notice, I said IT not YOU, unless you are the Man Of Steel). It will also handle 3″ shells and HOT 2-3/4″ stuff with equal aplomb. It looks neat. It is easy to strip and clean, but it doesn’t need much maintenance at all. Benelli has a shortish stock and it comes with Beretta’s shim adjustment kit so you can go up, down, left and right as you wish. That’s nice. Benelli’s pistol grip and forend design are really, really nice, especially on the synthetic stocked models.

Here is what your gun is NOT good at: If you ever take it to Cordoba, Cauca or the rest of the high volume dove places, shooting four cases of InduMil loads through that sucker in one day will pound you into the ground like a tent stake. At least, it would me. The higher stock configuration of the Benelli is going to place your cheek much closer to the part that is going to whack you.

You will also have problem shooting light loads. That will depend on how dirty your gun is, temperature and humidity, and the nature of the shells, but the 3-1/2″ Benellis are not known for tolerating light loads well. When I was down shooting in Argentina on the Parana River, the 12 gauge dove loads they had for us were one ounce Fiocchis. My Beretta 390 just sucked them up fine, but your 3-1/2″ Super Black Eagle ain’t gonna like them. You can forget about the Super Black Eagle for target shooting with target loads.

So, you did good in buying a high quality, tough-as-nails hunting gun built for hunting loads. As long as that is what you want out of it, you have a winner. If you want a target gun, buy a dedicated target gun. That way you will have two guns and be twice as happy.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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