View Full Version : $1,000+ for a Shotgun...Benelli... Really?

April 9, 2009, 09:38 PM
Not that I'm in the market for a new shotgun as I already own the ubiquitous 870 which is fully capable of handling most situations requiring a shotgun. But I have recently caught the semi-auto shotgun curiosity bug and have been researching the different models available. The two that have especially caught my eye have been the Benelli M2 and the Winchester SX3. I saw the Benelli at Scheel's for about $1,050 and the SX3 for $999. They are both quite light, slender and attractive. Now I've seen the videos of the two models on their websites with Tom Knapp with the Benelli and Patrick Flanigan with the SX3 and they are impressive indeed. I'm trying to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the two different designs and it appears that the gas system used on the SX3 seems to be more tolerable and reliable than most other gas gun designs. The "inertia" (short recoil) system appears to be a very, very reliable, simple and clean system but does depend on the proper "inertia" to function properly. I read that if a short-recoil system is fired from a stationary platform such as from a rest or from a rigid backing the system won't function properly. Also the ammunition has to be of a certain velocity value for proper functioning, I don't know if the gas systems have these attributes.
How much different is the SX3 gas system from most other gas system designs that supposedly make it cleaner and more reliable? I also read where it's a self-regulating system that automatically adjusts to the different load pressures.
Either way, $1,000 is alot of money for a shotgun, especially as I paid about $250 for my brand new 870 Express from K-Mart way back in 1989 or 1990. For those of you that have spent around $1K for a shotgun, has it really been worth it to you? Do you believe that you could probably get by with a pump gun?

A/C Guy
April 9, 2009, 10:16 PM
If the gun fits properly, buy it.

I spent $800 on a Franchi for my 12 y.o. son, so, "Yeah, I'd buy a $1000 shotgun for me ( that's less than I paid for my Beretta Silver Pigeon)

Pump shotgun? No thanks, I prefer 2 barrels.

I came very close to buying a semi auto, but I prefer the feel of the double.

April 9, 2009, 10:20 PM
From a alternate perspective...
Instead of just saying value is in the eye (wallet?) of the beholder or some such load of BS like that... I'll prattle on a bit, like the geezer that I am.

I could get by with an 870... for that matter, I could get by just fine with my old US made Ithaca 37 riot gun. But... I really like my Benelli M2T. Really.

I could get around just fine (and have) with a Chevy Vega... but I really like my Jeep Wrangler. I traded an Audi TT for the Jeep... go figure. :p

I could have a blast with a Honda Trail 90 (still do on occasion)... but I really like my Sherco 510i.

I could be on time with a Timex (as long as it's a mechanical automatic) just peachy, but I really like my Japanese Seiko. (Still have 3 working Timex's from the late 60s)

I could shoot into the black all day with a Taurus revolver, but I'd not trade you my H&K P7M8 for 100 of them. I admit, I'm a bit of an "H&K snob".

I could go on... but so could just about anyone.

With the exception of the H&K, you'll note that I'm not upgrading to (arguably) the very best there is... but there is a certain delicate satisfaction to having something "better" than what you can get by with... even if, in pure functionality, those things perform the same task.

If someone will let you, try a Benelli M2 and the SX3. Maybe in one or the other (or both... wouldn't that be a bitch?) you'll find the same, value justifiable pleasure I find in the workings of a finer tool than the basic one needed to do the job.


April 9, 2009, 10:34 PM
I think in shotgunning, more than rifles or even handguns, the price of the gun is such a small portion of the overall costs, it's not worth saving even $300 or $400 on the price of the gun. When I shoot at my local range, it's $5.25/25 clays. Each box of 25 shells is ~$8. So it's $13.25 per round of 25 for me to shoot. So even if I save $400 by buying a Escort instead of the Benelli, that cost difference is only equivalent to 30 rounds of clays. I'd burn through that in only a few trips to the range! (Yes, I realize reloading would shift the numbers, but the point remains.) And I can all but guarantee you the Benelli (or Beretta) will outlast a Escort by more than 30 skeet rounds.

Point is - if you decide you want an auto shotgun, save for a few more paychecks, forgo a dinner or two out, rent a movie instead of going to the theater... the nicer shotguns are worth the sacrifice. I've got a Citori, a Super Black Eagle, and a Browning BPS. The first two were double and triple the cost of the third, but it was worth it. I've yet to regret buying a higher-end gun.

April 9, 2009, 10:40 PM
I have an older M1 Super 90 and yes the Benelli really is worth the money. The advantage to the inertia system is that unlike a gas system it doesn't care what's in the magazine. Mix and match reduced recoil 2-3/4" with 3" magnums and it just keeps shooting. The only thing that will make it it short cycle is if you fire from the hip while holding it loosely. That's what the pistol grip is for - to keep the shotgun from moving back freely.

Benelli M2 Tactical

The second advantage of the inertia system is recoil. It's not like shooting an 870. The inertia system absorbs much of the recoil. Add a limbsaver and you can shoot standard loads all day.

The third advantage is speed. The Benelli cycles lightning fast. The fast cycle times combined with the light recoil makes for a 12ga shotgun that you can double tap into an attacker just like you would a semiauto pistol.

What you cannot do with an inertia based shotgun is load it down with stuff. You cannot have both a heavy Surefire forend with built in light and a side saddle shell holder. One or the other.

While shopping you might check out the Stoeger 2000. It's supposed to be a bargain priced clone of the Benelli M1 S90 that's built by a sister company. I haven't eyeballed one yet so I can't vouch for it personally.

Stoeger 2000

Stoeger 2000 Defense

Personally I'd shop for a used Benelli M1 Super 90 (http://www.securityarms.com/20010315/galleryfiles/1400/1461.htm) (early H&K import/marked) with a 20" barrel with rifle sights and a pick up 28" sporting barrel or vice versa and have a shotgun that can do anything. Mine started out with a 28" barrel and I added a 20" with rifle sights to my collection.

April 9, 2009, 10:52 PM
...even if I save $400 by buying a Escort instead of the Benelli, that cost difference is only equivalent to 30 rounds of clays.

...I've yet to regret buying a higher-end gun.
Well put.

April 10, 2009, 02:43 AM
While I don't own a semi-auto, I own a Benelli Supernova, and I've never once regretted paying significantly more for it than a 500 or 870. I can honestly say it's the most reliable gun I've ever owned. It'll take anything up to 3 1/2 magnums and never give me so much as a hiccup. One downside however, is that for the price I paid for the 18.5" slug barrel alone, I could've bought a 500 or 870. I'm okay with it though, because of the quality of the receiver. Benellis really are do all shotguns.

April 10, 2009, 11:24 AM
Benellis really are do all shotguns.
+1 to that! my M1 super 90 field hs never jammed. Even my 870s have had spent hulls not fully eject.

April 10, 2009, 12:42 PM
Is $1,000 reasonable for a semi-auto shotgun - sure it is. And in general most semi-autos these days ( bigger names are in the $ 900 - $1,875 price range ) - but there are cheaper options out there like Stoeger, etc too. Some of the variance is based on features, number of chokes, if its a Benelli if it has the comfort tech system in it, etc.

In my opinion, the Benelli inertia system is a better system than any of the gas-operated guns ( Beretta, Winchester, Browning, etc ). I like the inertia system because it cycles faster, it shoots a lot cleaner internally and there is none of the gas washing accross my eyes. The Benelli model I like is the SuperSport - set up more as a competitioin gun / but its a great gun in 12 or 20ga / in 12ga, I prefer the 30" barrel. I also like the SuperSport because its modular - change the recoil pad by peeling it off and putting one on for a leftie or a different length of pull - same thing on the comb pad - but its retailing new around here for about $ 1875. The Crio barrel and chokes on that model are also well made - bottom line to me, its worth the money.

My SuperSport - despite what Benelli says in their manual - will cycle any load ( even 7/8 oz ) as long as its 1200 fps / but I would call that a light load. I do keep it clean and well lubed / but I do that with all my guns.

Yes, all these guns are more than an 870 pump ....but you have to evaluate the durability, features, etc and see for yourself if its worth your money. The 870 express is a decent gun / but I think there are better pump guns out there like the Remington 870 Wingmaster or the Browning BPS / and better guns more suitable for other games or hunting ( but that's just my opinion ) than a pump gun.

April 10, 2009, 02:54 PM
I've spent more than double that amount for a decent shotgun........would love to be able to get at least one higher-end target gun in the 8-10,000 range - gonna take a lotto ticket though......I average 12-15,000 targets per year - having guns that can take that usage is worth th eextra pennies over the long haul

April 10, 2009, 06:03 PM
>>$1,000 is alot of money for a shotgun<<

Yesh, I used to think that too. Silly me! ;)

April 10, 2009, 10:12 PM
Beretta/Benelli, the only games in town in my opinion. you want a gas gun get the beretta (what I'd get unless I planned being real hard on it in a duck blind.) Recoil operated, get a benelli. both great guns way ahead of the competition.

April 11, 2009, 08:08 AM
i wouldn't pick on benelli or beretta for there prices because most of the more well known companys with 3.5" autoloaders are around that same price. i have a benelli sbe II that i wouldnt trade for the world it does everything from doves to geese all winter long. That doesn't mean i think its the only shotgun to have tho i have nova some remmy's and few mossbergs, all are amazing guns but i havn't looked back a second on the money i spent on the SBE. to really put it all in perspective "yes" $1000 seams like alot but if the gun had features you like and need than worth every penny, second do you really need a $1000 no the other i have will work just fine. as good as a gun that i think my sbe is it still can't win my heart durring turkey season that will always be an mossy 835 sport

April 12, 2009, 08:40 PM
I suppose 'serious' shotgunners: those guys who burn 10,000 rounds a year and up on the skeet or trap field, can justify to themselves the outrageous prices asked for the spaghetti guage-guns. I don't need 3-1/2" or even 3" capability for the kind of casual gunning (mostly upland and backyard skeet) that I do. But I like the soft shooting of the semi-auto gas gun. I have an 1100 Remington for which I paid a lot less than $300 used, several years ago. Nowadays a similar one can be had in many places for well under $500, used/excellent, essentially like new. It's a beautiful, durable and dependable shotgun, that can last the average gunner a lifetime. Made in the USA, too. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Beretta/Benelli owes a lot of its popularity to 'it's what those guys on TV shoot', with a strong dash of '… well gosh, it's over a grand so it MUST be the best!'
WAHOO!! Just noticed: 600th post!

April 12, 2009, 09:36 PM
I've spent 1000+ on rifles, but not yet on a shotgun. Been eyeballing the inertia guns, just can't pull the trigger on one right now. My boss bought a cordoba last year, but he has deeper pockets than I do. If your thinking semi,
look around the used rack for a 1100. The first shotgun I owned was an 870, and the thing that drew me into the 1100, was the fact that it fits me exactly the same as my 870. Picked two of them up in the last couple years and paid 325 each for them. Recoil is half of what you will feel out of pumps, or an o/u. I may get one of the 1000+ inertia guns yet, but the rems suit me well. Just food for thought. flyboy:D