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Old 12-08-2008, 08:15 AM   #1
Zzyzx
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Default The Benelli M4

Here is my little write up on the Benelli M4 11703.

I've had this Benelli since 2004. I got it new off of Gunbroker for 1300 dollars. By todays standards, it was stolen for that price.

Since then, I've put approximately 7,500 - 9,000 rounds through the weapon. On several range trips, I have fired approximately 500 rounds through the weapon without cleaning or re-oiling. When it works, it works well.

I helped develop the FCAM rail system for the Benelli with Mesa Tactical. The project was shelved due to dimensional changes in the barrel. My weapon was one of the test beds for the system. It was shelved for good reason, mainly due to the end weight of a weapon with the assembly would be unpopular.

The M4 itself is a beautiful weapon. Sinister in looks and function. The ARGO piston system significantly reduces the perceived recoil of the 12 gauge round. Part of this is the heavy weight of the weapon. The other is recoil management.

Upon receiving my weapon, i immediately broke it within the first 50 rounds. I snapped a gas piston in half. It took Benelli USA a month to replace this item.
The weapon actually continued to function with only one gas piston. However, the operation was sluggish. The one reason I noticed there was a problem was the fact that the broken rod jammed up the action.

After it had been repaired, I put several thousand rounds through it. This model came with the 4 port barrel. This allowed the pistons to beat up the bolt carrier to the point that it began deforming the steel. This caused the bolt carrier to bind up in the receiver when retracted to the rear. A high number of failure to cycle problems began to occur.
So another trip to Benelli was in order around January 2008. While there, Benelli USA replaced the barrel with the newest model 2 port design. They had to replace the Bolt carrier group assembly completely. They also gave me new gas pistons and handguards also.
This maintenance call also took about a month.

Since returning. The weapon has operated properly.

However, there is a major design flaw with Benelli. It only has a limited disconnector. This means, the trigger is only disconnected during cycle from the time the shot is fired, cycles to the rear, begins to move forward. When the shell elevator drops, the disconnector is disengaged. The Bolt Carrier Group still has over an inch of travel before it locks into battery. So if you pull the trigger during this time, it will drop the hammer against the bolt carrier group as it is still moving forward. Congratulations, you now have the hammer down, and a live round in the chamber.
The only way to clear this is to chamber a fresh round manually.
Now, you have to be shooting pretty damn fast to encounter this failure. However, I have several photos shooting the Benelli where 4 or so shells are visible flying through the air in a single frame. The managed recoil of the Benelli allows you to rapid fire 12 gauge rounds in a controlled, aimed method. Emptying 7 or 8 rounds in under a second is not very difficult to do.

So what can be done? Speed up the action of course. I'm looking to replace several parts with lightweight components to speed things up a bit. Titanium charging handle for one. Chrome silicon magazine spring and billet aluminum follower to speed up getting a round onto the elevator. Perhaps a titanium full length magazine tube to reduce front weight and add a compensator/choke.

I'm also considering reloading shotgun shells so I can feed it high power rounds. This should cycle the action a bit faster and help slow me down a little bit.

Pros
-Destructive as hell
-Accurate
-Extremely low recoil (on par with an SKS)
-Excellent Ghost Ring Sights

Cons
-Expensive
-Trigger Disconnect Issue
-Weight
-Difficult to properly set a weapon light up on (expensive)
-Falls under the 1989 Import ban for evil features
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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Just saw this for the first time, thanks for the write up!



Maybe someday I'll be able to afford a Benelli....
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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Thanks.

I ended up replacing some of the parts around Christmas. I installed a Titanium charging handle from DESIGN CONCEPTS. I bought it from Brownells.

The factory charging handle weighed approximately 12 grams. The GG&G unit weighed 24 grams. The DESIGN CONCEPTS unit weighs 8 grams.

The action has speed up drastically. I can't cause the failure. So needless to say, the GG&G unit is a POS.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
castanagajt
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applause

Another great review, sir.
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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Default











I am waiting on several upgrades for the Benelli M4 right now to arrive. I bought a Surefire M80 rail system. Night Sights. A full length Titanium magazine tube.

I'm either going to install either a Surefire X300 or maybe a X400 with a rail mounted pressure switch.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:46 PM   #6
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You've got along way to go before your gun will be at it's peak performance. There's material to relieve, and material to add.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
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Sweet shotgun! Great write up too!
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:01 AM   #8
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Great write up!

I have a M2 and love it.

I've been shopping for a piston driven shotty.

Can't decide between the M4 or the FN SLP. Leaning towards sticking with Benelli, because of my M2's reliability I've already experience and that Benelli has a 200 dollar rebate on the M4 right now. I can use the 200 towards a magazine tube extension and some Mesa gear.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:39 PM   #9
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Just decided ... ordered an M4
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenhalo11 View Post
Just decided ... ordered an M4
NICE!! I would love to get my hands on one!
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