View Full Version : SBE2 vs. The vast consipracy...

August 13, 2007, 08:20 AM
I constantly read on these forums how a Benelli Super Black Eagle 2 will "kick you into next year, etc." But I never read the same comments on posts regarding double-barrel side by sides or over & unders. Do they kick less?


Several people who actually own SBE2 shotguns have reported that they are not hard kickers, although it is understandable that earlier models might not have benefited from the ComforTech stock. Also, it is very possible that some gas-operated shotguns do indeed kick less, but by how much? Has anyone actually measured the recoil per unit time or by sheer force? Is it really that significant? I only have a Rem 1100 and Mossberg 500 ATP so I cannot compare myself. And I don't want to get too technically crazy but something should back up these assertions as many people are reading these forums and drawing conclusions & making financial decisions based upon these posts (including me!). I'm just trying to find out what is behind this vast conspiracy...


I've read Randy Wakeman's SBE2 criticisms on the Chuck Hawk's web site "Guns and Shooting On-Line." I agree with Randy's comments on many of his reviews but the SBE2 review boiled down to "butt ugly" and "too expensive" both of which have elements of relativity. He did, however, finally include it on his list of best auto-shotguns.

The SBE2 won shotgun of the year award for 2006 or 2007, right?
What is going on? Is it indeed a vast conspiracy? Grumpy old-timers? Buy American fanatics? (Don't get me wrong, I'm working on getting old and grumpy and I often prefer to buy American...)

August 13, 2007, 06:11 PM
I think it's more that it's a 3-1/2" shotgun, and a 3-12" shotgun is probably going to kick you around regardless of the action type.

August 13, 2007, 09:59 PM
"The SBE2 won shotgun of the year award for 2006 or 2007, right?"

I dunno. If it did, I don't know what it proves. Maybe they bought a lot of advertising?

I've seen a boatload of used, just barely used, SBEs for sale on the racks over the years. A lot of people spent a lot of money just to turn around and trade them in.

They do feel great in the store, so I can see why they're big sellers.


Dave McC
August 13, 2007, 10:05 PM
The handwriting changes, but there's usually a couple SBEs in the ads at the range. Most seem to be described as near new.

The couple I've taken a few shots with seemed OK, but that was with light 2 3/4" loads.

I do think Benellis are overpriced, but 870s have spoiled me in many ways...

August 14, 2007, 07:52 AM
ok, I'll play devil's advocate. My intention is not to offend, so please forgive me if I do. I'm simply trying to drill down to the root of this "vast anti-SBE2 conspiracy..."

I would hazard a guess that any 3.5 inch magnum shotgun will kick hard with full loads. I'm guessing because I've never done it, I've only read about it from those who have and they all admit to increased recoil, regardless of their sensitivity to it. And regardless of the gun they are shooting...


If we are going to compare a 2.75 inch chambered Remington 870 vs. shooting a 3.5 inch Benelli, well, it's pretty obvious which will kick harder, right? I'm still guessing, but my money would be on the Benelli shooting 3.5 inch shells as the heavy kicker, despite the ComforTech.

But what if we compare apples to apples and shoot 2.75 inch shells in each shotgun during the comparison? Does the Benelli actually kick more than the Rem 870 when both fire 2.75 inch shells? That is my question. If so, then the ComforTech is fraudulent advertising, right?

Or are these SBE2 criticisms all just hot air by disgruntled shooters who cannot afford a pricey SBE2? (I'm not trying to pick a fight here but let's admit that it might be a possibility - We've all seen this sort of thing before).

One of the legitimate criticisms (as I see it anyway) of the SBE2 is that it is expensive. Is it overpriced? For some people, it sure is. Others might think they're getting a bargain for whatever reason. That's what the Free Market is all about. It takes $$ to R&D and build a shotgun that uses cryogenic/ComforTech/etc. technology. But then some might view the $500 Rem 870 Wingmaster as overpriced considering it's technology and how many are churned out (per unit time) up in New York (?). (Personally, I think the Wingmaster is a timeless design and a nice shotgun and have no quarrel with its $500 price tag).

I would also ask the reader to consider what costs more and kicks less when comparing 2.75 apples to 2.75 apples;

SBE2 vs. Browning Citori (or any quality O/U)

(Don't get me wrong, I feel a strong need to own a Browning Citori. I think they're really, really nice guns)

As for seeing many used SBE2 shotguns on store shelves, well, this is a great question. I haven't seen any (and I've been looking here in NC). But I'm sure they're out there, along with scores and scores of Remington 870s (of which I have seen many). Clearly, it would be difficult to sort out how many new Remington 870 vs. Benelli SBE2 units were purchased vs. how many returned unless you had access to company manufacturing data. However, this is a great question and would go a long way towards answering my queries. Returns & re-sells might establish a flaw in the design of the SBE2 (hard kicker or whatever) or it might be indicative of a niche market where it is supreme for waterfowl but an expensive "so-so" for general field use, skeet, trap, etc.

Perhaps we're touching on something here. The SBE2, shooting 3.5 magnum loads, might be the supreme, but expensive, choice for waterfowl - but come up short (and expensive) for other field duties????

One criticism that I have read (and which I tend to believe) is that the SBE2 is not 100% reliable with very, very light 2.75 inch loads (<1oz). This may or may not be true, and it may or may not affect other semi-automatic shotguns. I don't have enough info to draw any conclusions.

Again, I'm not trying to pick a fight here and I appreciate the fact that some of you took the time and effort to address my question (thanks!). However, I'm still not convinced that the "conspiracy" against the Benelli's SBE2 is based on tangible criticisms vs. emotional reactions.

Please educate me or share your thoughts, it will be appreciated!


August 14, 2007, 11:08 AM
Interesting thread. Personally, I was never aware of an anti-SBE conspiracy either locally IRL or here. I've seen a great deal of indifference but indifference doesn't carry any negative connotation.

Waterfowl hunters seem well pleased with it.

I don't see it as particularly expensive. Shotguns cover a wide price range in all disciplines and the SBE fits into the crowd a couple hundred more than an 1100G3 and in the middle of the offerings from the sister company.

My conjecture is that it just doesn't seem to appeal to someone in the market for anything other than waterfowling and it's hardly the only choice in that realm. Benelli has the M4 for the tacticool crowd, the Sport and SuperSport for the clay guys (which don't seem to be getting any traction either) the Legacy for us old guys, etc.

The SBE, to me, is purpose built to fire a round I would never use at a target I'll likely never see and is equipped with a system to reduce that which is not an issue and has the aesthetics that one would expect for a all-weather, recoil-reducing, loudenboomer shooting firearm. If someone shared these views, that would not constitute an anti-SBE conspiracy it would simply be a lack of interest.

I doubt I'd buy one if they were 199.95 - just don't have a use for one. I'm sure they're worth it to those that need or want its advantages.

August 14, 2007, 11:13 AM
"vast anti-SBE2 conspiracy..."

What vast conspiracy? Some people love them, some don't. Some think they kick a lot, some don't think they kick at all. Probably related to gun fit.

"Or are these SBE2 criticisms all just hot air by disgruntled shooters who cannot afford a pricey SBE2?"

Somebody is trading in all those SBEs I've seen and they had enough money to buy them. Then they got rid of them. I don't know why, but I have a guess.

As far as unable to afford goes, I spent $1600 on a Cooper .22 LR (and $999 on a Colt WWI Repro, and $900 on a used Rohrbaugh 9mm, etc.) so I could afford one if I wanted one.

I'm sure they have some lab numbers to back up their ComforTech claims, but my Win Super-X2 Waterfowl 3.5" recoils very gently with duck and goose loads and I like the feel and fit. I'm big enough to drag around an 8# gun, so weight isn't an issue. If I want to shoot a light field gun I have a 28 ga. Guerini O/U that weighs 6# 2 oz. They run about $2400.


August 14, 2007, 11:19 AM
"although it is understandable that earlier models might not have benefited from the ComforTech stock."

Forgot to mention something. You do realize that all of the current SBE2 models do not have ComforTech on them.

There's a lot of info to be found on the larger duck hunting forums that's been posted by folks who own gas guns as well as SBEs, SBE2s and SBE2s with C-Tech.


Steve Morgan
August 14, 2007, 01:11 PM
IMO, it's the loudmouth Benelli shooters that show up in their new SUV's, wearing brand new camo and looking down their noses at the lowly Remington, Mossberg, Winchester, etc. shooters that have driven many people to hate Benelli so much that conspiracy theories develope.

Some Benelli shooters simply think that since they paid the most, then they are the best. :eek:

August 14, 2007, 02:08 PM
johnbt, that's a good point about the non-ComforTech pistol-grip versions. Anyone shooting 3.5" magnums in that configuration would surely take some serious punishment over time!


The title of this thread was purposely "provocative" and very tongue-in-cheek. I'm sorry if some of you didn't see that. It was my failure of communication. I am really referring to the often VEHEMENT diatribes against people choosing to shoot a SBE2. Diatribes that seem to lack real substance and rely more on emotion. I'm not really seeing that here (yet).


Remington 1100 (1964?)

August 14, 2007, 02:28 PM
they aren't necessarily the prettiest guns out there, but benelli makes good guns.

Dave McC
August 14, 2007, 08:37 PM
For the record, the SBE shooters I know are as nice as the 870istas.

I'm inclined to think that SBEs get bought sometimes by folks in love with the "Ultimate" concept. It shoots the biggest 12 gauge loads, it's for the biggest waterfowl, it costs a lot if not the most.

After a few boxes or maybe just a few shells the bloom has left the rose.

OTOH, some Goose fanatics I trust the opinions of think SBEs are as crucial as camo duds and decoys. These guys have call lanyards well decorated with bands and speak fluent Goose.

I see neither conspiracies nor snobbishness.

August 15, 2007, 07:38 AM
"so a heavier gun hits me and kicks me more"

Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. If it did everyone would be shooting 4-pound guns. Maybe the heavier guns don't fit you properly.


Steve Morgan
August 15, 2007, 12:53 PM

Heavier guns kick less.


Wasn't my post emotional enough for you? I thought that was what you were looking for. Anyway, it's been my experience that the Benelli brand is the brand that brings out the extreme pro as well as anti-Benelli attitude in some people. I never have had anybody go on and on about their Remington, but Benelli is either hated or loved. Don't know why. :confused:

August 15, 2007, 03:13 PM
well i shot my cousin's maverick and then my dad's 870. the maverick was noticeably lighter and it kicked me way less, but it fit me better at the time.

August 15, 2007, 08:32 PM
Maybe it had a better recoil pad on it.

It's not a theory, it's a fact. Really. A measurable fact.


Dave McC
August 15, 2007, 08:54 PM
Birdville, fit makes a lot of difference.

August 16, 2007, 09:10 AM
I'm just glad to see new blood come into the sport.

When I was 14, high school physics was still a couple years off. All things in their own time, as it were.

Might be as simple as high-brass #2s in the heavy gun and quail loads in the lighter gun.

August 16, 2007, 12:01 PM
Birdman, try to think of it in extremes.

When the shot goes forward, the gun goes back, into your shoulder.

Imagine you are shooting the same exact gun, same style stock, same recoil pad, etc., except one gun weights 1 pound and the other weighs 50 pounds. The same shell is placed in both guns. As the shot goes forward, it creates an equal force pushing back on both guns.

That same amount of force will move the 1 pound gun farther backwards (into your shoulder) than the 50 pound gun.

August 19, 2007, 08:34 AM
I like the way Waterhouse explained this above!

Think of "Force" acting on two objects with different "Mass" and, therefore, different "Inertia."

Bench pressing 200lbs requires more Force than 100lbs.
Or, using the same force on both bars yields very different results!

Pushing your broken down automobile is harder than pushing your riding mower. Or, you can push the mower farther/faster than the car...

Checking a 250lb hockey player yields a much different result than checking a 170lb player in terms who how far each of you slide across the ice.

And to get back on topic...

A heavier shotgun reacts differently (recoils less) than a light shotgun (recoils more) given the exact same load, recoil pads, etc. due to its heavier mass and greater inertia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertia).


August 20, 2007, 04:44 PM
For awhile I had a Benelli M1 and a Remington 1100 for three gun competition. When I used the same loads in each gun the 1100 was a much softer push on my shoulder with its gas operation than the Benelli with its recoil inertia system. The Benelli however would function reliably with 3 dram equivelent ammo while my 1100 required 3 1/2 dram to function reliably. As a result I kept the Benelli over the 1100. Faster and softer with the lighter load.

If I were to get a shotgun for hunting I would go with a heavier load and the Remington would be my choice.

I do not know if there is a "conspiracy" about the SBEII but I would bet it lets you know when it has been shot if you are using high brass loads on a hunt.

August 28, 2007, 06:26 PM
I have a SBE2 comforttech and it really is a nice shooter. I use it for upland as well as ducks and geese and it does both jobs very nicely. When shooting 3.5's it does let you know you just let one go.

August 28, 2007, 09:50 PM
i'd take the 1 pounder over the 50 anyday

August 28, 2007, 09:59 PM
i'm with ya birdman,
lighter shotguns just feel better on me. i'm glad to finally find someone who agrees

August 29, 2007, 01:41 AM
I bought a SBE in 1994. I have used it for trap and some goose. It worked well by my uninformed standards. IMHO it does not kick harder than an 870 with similar loads. But, it does kick harder than a gas gun. I never fired 3 1/2 loads in it nor would I consider doing so. Knowing what I know now I probably would not own this gun. However, I like my Benelli M3 and my Nova.

Mine will not cycle reliably with light target loads but works fine with anything else. I am not a "shotgun guy", I am a rifle guy. It works fine for me, but the only thing I can compare it to is my Winchester 23 SxS 3"mag.

It is bare bones simple and if TEOTWAWKI came to pass I would be very happy owning it.

August 30, 2007, 09:45 AM
i'd take the 1 pounder over the 50 anyday

The question isn't which you prefer. The question is which will have more felt recoil. The 1 pounder will have more felt recoil.

I also prefer relatively light guns, mainly because I like to go on long walks with them, but if they have the same design and are shooting the same loads, a lighter gun will have more felt recoil.

For the OP,

I own a SBE (the I, not the II). I've never had a problem with the recoil. I recently ran it next to a Beretta Xtrema2 and a Winchester SX2, and those definitely felt like less kick. I had no scientific equipment to measure with, but I'd bet money that if blindfolded I could pick the SBE out of the 3 based on felt recoil.

I still have no problem with the kick of the SBE.