Recognizing up front you are not a big fan of Belly guns, I thought I would expend just a bit more of my $5 credit on your erudition. Since I already have a 28″ synthetic M90, this is not about the pros and cons. Rather, as you know, at 7 1/4 lbs, these are light guns and don’t have a lot of momentum for sustained swing shooting, particularly at Whitewing Doves whistling by at 35-40mph or faster when they go to burner. Here in Cowtown, early dove shooting is 95% pass shooting… more like ducks than tank shooting doves.
Alright, already… from your experience, would lead tape affixed near the muzzle offer better follow through weighting than one of graeco’s replacement mag caps? Of course, 8 ozs of tape is a lot of tape, but my hunch is that nowhere near that much would be needed. As a professional golfclub maker on the side, getting tape is no problem. Neither are esthetics …pretty is as pretty does.
Other than these two options, any other ideas for aftermarket modifications, other than a longer barrel?
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not against Benellis. I just returned from a dove, duck, partridge and pigeon shoot in Argentina. The outfitter had Benellis and I saw him do some really good work with the little Benelli 20 gauge auto. The guns are tough and require very little maintenance.
The reason that I don’t like them for clay targets is that they combine light weight with recoil operation. This combines to produce more recoil than the slightly heavier gas operated Berettas. In a hunting situation light weight is good and recoil really isn’t a factor (until you get into your forth case on Argentinean dove). In clay target shooting, it does matter.
The current Benelli catalogue does not show a 30″ bbl as being available, so 28″ is the most you can do. There are only three ways that I can think of right now to add weight up front. One is the excellent Graco magazine weight cap. That is the easiest way to go.
Another approach is the lead tape you mention. I use golfer’s club lead tape patches on some of my guns, but you will need a bunch of it. The advantage of lead tape is that you can string it out all along the barrel. This will give a very different feel to the gun than putting the weight all in one place. Personally, I find that putting a huge glob of weight at the muzzle makes the gun difficult to shoot.
It all has to do with moment of inertia. Example: Take a broom stick and two bricks. Put a brick on each end of the broom stick. It will balance in the middle, but when you swing it like a shot gun it will be hard to stop and start because the weight is at the ends. Now move the bricks so that they are just on either side of the center. The gun will still balance in the same place, but it will be whippy and hard to control. Ideally, you would want to break the bricks up into little pieces and distribute them along the length of the broom stick to get the best balance.
A third thing that you might try, though it is more involved, is to have a Deluxe Polychoke installed. This will add a little length and weight to the front. The Polychoke is an old device, but the ones that I have had have proven to be accurate in their adjustments (about .005″ per click) and, if installed by the factory, perfectly true and centered. The Polychoke really is an overlooked item. The only drawback is the “blob” aspect which you may or may not care for.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)