Benelli For Clays

Dear Technoid,

Can you handle one more question about the Benelli’s? I hope so. Would or can a Benelli M1-Super 90 hold up over 30-40,000 rounds,trouble free,as well as a Beretta A400? Here’s why I ask. I currently own one with a 24″ barrel (taboo I know)that I hunt with and have for 5 years now. I love the way it feels and operates. I also shoot some sporting clays ,strictly recreational and for a hunting tune up….maybe a 100 rounds a week March thru October.

I’d like to purchase a “for clays only” gun and I’m leaning towards purchasing the same gun with a 28″ barrel. If I was going to be a competition shooter, I’d get a A400,have it fitted, and be over with it. As they are, A400’s don’t fit me well (Even with their shims). Recoil and the ugly rib of the Benellis don’t bother me. I am not knocking the A400 in any way. I just shoot my Benelli well and want to keep that same “feel” as the gun I hunt with.

Also, I’m lucky in that my current Benelli shoots 1 oz. loads happily. Again,what can I expect to wear out after 30,000 rounds? Has anyone you know with Benelli’s ever done it?

Thanks for your time and opinion.


Dear Craig,

Tough question really. I don’t know of any high mileage Benellis because I don’t know anyone who has used them in clay target shooting for any length of time (though many give them a try for a short period of time). The Benellis have much more recoil than a gas action gun. You may not notice it in the field, but you will when you start shooting any clay target game seriously. I note that you use 1 oz loads now, but if you are serious about clay shooting you will want to use all the shot that the law allows and kick will become a factor.

Clearly, the Benelli action is strong and simple. I have heard of no secret flaw in the guns (like the receiver splits on the pre-1100 Remington gas guns). I wouldn’t worry too much about the durability of the Benelli. It is easy enough to stick in an extra part or two. You have to expect some maintenance on any gun. Even my FN B-25s need to be tightened up every 50K or so. My Beretta 303 currently has about 45K through it and has eaten one link, two hammer struts and has had four prophylactic main spring replacements. None of these operations took more than ten minutes and all were easily done in my cellar. It shouldn’t be any different with the Benelli.

Like you, I have trouble with the stocks on the Beretta A400 sporting clays models- even with all sorts of shims-, but found that their trap stocks shimmed down fit me perfectly and that their field stocks, shimmed up, do almost as well. All the Benelli stocks seemed like miniatures to me, but I just love that forend on the synthetic one. Fit is where you find it.

One point though. You may well find that the fit that works so well for you in the field will not be “tight” enough for sporting. In clay shooting you know the flight path in advance, so the tendency is to take a more reliable and firmer cheek position. This is why clay guns are usually higher and longer than field guns.

I guess that the bottom line is that if you want another field gun, get another Benelli. If you want a dedicated clays gun, get the one everyone else uses (and cut and plank the stock so that it fits). Just because everyone else does something, doesn’t mean that it is wrong.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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