The Benelli M1: Discussion (Part 1)

As a prelude to an upcoming shooting video featuring the Benelli M1 shotgun, Alex and Patrick discuss this famous scattergun before putting it to the test! Part 2, where we take the Benelli shooting, will be posted tomorrow.

**Correction: The Benelli M3 is not a gas breather, it is also an inertia gun. -Alex-**

The full transcript is below …

– Hey Guys, I’m Alex C.

– And I’m Patrick R.

– Today we’ve got some pretty cool, unique shotguns here.

We’ve got a pair of Benelli M1 shotguns.

You know, these were around before Benelli was really a big deal in the States.

They were actually imported by Heckler & Koch, in kind of the glory days of Heckler & Koch, back in the late ’70s and through on into the ’80s.

HK imported Benellis and FABARM shotguns so they got pretty good at that.

And once Benelli got a foothold, now they’re everywhere.

– Yeah, yeah.

Can’t go to Cabela’s without seeing one.

– Yeah, no kidding, and they really are great shotguns and of course the M1’s no exception.

– Absolutely.

I don’t know why but I’m really fascinated with this gun, it fits me really, really well.

– You know, they’re great.

The pistol grip’s very comfortable.

The stock’s very nice.

They’ve got the inertia system instead of the gas-breathing system like you find on the Benelli M3 and M4 shotguns.

But that’s a great system.

It soaks up the recoil pretty good.

And I really like shooting inertia– – I do, I think last time we were out at the range we ran into a friend who had a one of the high-end Benelli inertia guns.

And it’s just such a fast-cycling gun.

Really accurate and reliable, and it’s a pleasure to shoot.

So I’m really looking forward to seeing how these do out there.

– Absolutely.

They’re great, they have really nice sights on them.

They’re not ghost ring sights or anything like that.

– No, that’s one thing I really do like about this.

It’s got a traditional, kind of a rifle sight setup.

I guess you could liken it more to a pistol sight.

– Yeah, you know I like the pistol grip.

Holding it at low ready is very easy.

– Yes. It is.

– Neither of us is in law enforcement or anything, but for home defense, coming around a corner or something like that, it feels natural to bring up.

It’s not unusual, it feels right in line and everything, where I’d like things on a shotgun to be.

So I could conceivably see this as my home defense gun.

– Yeah, I could as well.

You know something else that I really like about this is it’s really light.

– It is unusually light for a semiautomatic shotgun.

– And I think that’s one of the plus sides to the inertia-driven guns.

– Absolutely.

And they are kind of a curiosity.

Not inertia-driven guns of themselves, but these M1s, just because they were imported by Heckler & Koch.

And it’s kind of funny to think about a time when Benelli wasn’t really a household name in shotguns.

– Right, right.

I mean, shoot, I don’t know when the last time I drove home from work and didn’t see a truck with a Benelli sticker on the back.

– Right, such is life in Texas, guys.

You know Benelli’s now, a household name, it’s a go-to, a great brand for reliability.

But back in the day I can imagine when you walked into a gun store, you were kinda taking a risk when you bought one of these.

The only insurance you had was it had a Heckler & Koch stamp.

In the ’80s, Heckler & Koch was legendary.

– Right.

– They’re still a good outfit.

You know, having some trouble now, but so’s Colt and Kalashnikov Concern to a lesser extent they’ve got everything back in order.

But the day of the Cold War arms maker being a huge giant, gi-normous, octopus of an industry is not– – Yeah, it’s kinda gone and in the past now.

But I wanna touch on a couple of the controls on this ‘Cause they’re really pretty typical to a Benelli shotgun.

At least from what I’ve seen.

When you go to lock them, bolt back, there is a little catch right there.

And it’ll hold it back.

And you got a release.

So that means that reloads are pretty quick on these – Absolutely, yeah, and I’m not 100% sure what the capacity on these I can’t remember the last time I shot one.

– I wanna say it’s seven.

– Okay, seven sounds about right.

And you notice I just put a cheap Eastern European AK sling on these.

I think they were blowin’ ’em out at a surplus shop for four dollars a piece.

So I bought like five or something like that.

– I do like the gray slings we’ve got on these.

– It doesn’t look bad.

– No it looks really cool with the gun.

You know, contrasting with the black, it’s something I do enjoy.

But if you guys stay tuned later this week, we’re going to be taking these out to the range and kinda get a good feel for what we can do with one of these.

M1 Super 90s.

– You know it’s a lot more fun shooting guns than it is doing this kind of commentary thing.

We do like, we don’t mind the commentary so much– – No, no, it’s been fun.

– talking and hearing you guys’ responses, but hitting the range is a lot more fun than talking.

– I agree.

– So Patrick, just like you said, we’ll be taking these to the range and since we have a pair of them, now you can get into all sorts of shenanigans.

– That sounds good! – Yeah.

So thanks for watching this episode of TFBTV, stay tuned, and we’ll get that up there for ya.

In the meantime, hit the Subscribe button, and maybe give us an idea of what you’d like to see at the range.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    Heckler & Coke…

    …sorry guys 😛

    • Heckler and Ko(choking sound) is so much less elegant though.

  • Bill

    The M1 Super 90 was the hip and trendy gun to have in LE and SWAT in the mid 80’s, but hindered by what was then, and still is a monster price tag and a kind of funky manual of arms, particularly for guys brought up on 870s. The inertia system is also a little more ammo sensitive, so as less-lethals became more popular, they frequently had to be manually cycled through the gun. As it turns out, that isn’t a problem unique to the Benelli. It also needs something to recoil against, so the pistol grip stock helps in that regard.

    And hey, a side mounted sling before they were mandatory, but really, a $4 sling on a megabuck gun? Wait, I think I used the plain nylon strap that came with it.

  • BattleshipGrey

    When it comes to pistol gripped shotguns, I’ve always loved that stock. When they started coming out with aftermarket pistol grip stocks for the pump guns I can afford, I always expected someone to come out with a Benelli style grip, but was greatly disappointed when they all looked skinny and weak and non-robust in comparison.

  • uisconfruzed

    I like mine, after I got rid of the pistol grip stock.

  • ST4

    Dad got me a one for bird hunting when I was a youngin’. It was quite the step up from my old Mossy 835.

  • Naw. On HK’s website it says it is pronounced “coke” in English:
    http://hk-usa.com/faq/

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      Tell that to a guy I work with. His name is Steve Koch, he pronounces it kaaw-ch.

  • Strongarm

    Alex, Patrick, Try to rise your right elbow to the shoulder level as using the muscle where the back of shotgun stock contacts. You will be less beaten by recoil.

    Benelli M3 is a pump/auto shotgun and in pump mode, the selector knob prevents the bolt carrier’s floating state as closing the gap between itself and the bolt during recoil.