Watch: Benelli M2 Shotgun Review.
First, I’d like to talk you through the construction and build of this gun. Just to show the camera, the gun is empty and safe. Starting from the back of the gun we've got the Benelli patented Comfitec stock - it's got these gel inserts, gel chrome and contour gel butt pad - this really serves to reduce recoil in the gun, especially when shooting some of the heavier loads if your wildfowling, shooting geese or your 3-inch magnums. This really does a great deal to soak up recoil and making those quick follow-up shots much easier.
It‘s easily removable by removing the back gel butt pad and just undoing the bolt. The stock pops off. It's also adjustable - the gun comes as standard with a set of shims and you can raise and lower the drop and you can just make it fit better which is fantastic. I've tuned it to me and it fits me great, it's a really really good customizable bit of kit.
Moving forward to the receiver, we’ve got the Benelli inertia system. This is where the magic happens. A two-piece rotating bolt, not many working parts at all which means not much to go wrong. It’s massively reliable and again serves to reduce a lot of the recoil because it uses the force of the spent shots to cycle the bolt - so you've got a lot of the recoil being sucked out of the gun here and then anything left is dampened by the stock. Again, fantastic.
We’ve got a plastic trigger grip here, but it's robust and reliable. I've knocked and Dinked this gun plenty of times and there are no real visible marks. You've got a nice contoured foregrip and it's nice and textured so if you've got wet hands when you're out in the rain or whatever, you're not going to lose your grip and it does lend itself nicely. You’ve got a nice groove for your finger so that when you’re bringing the gun up it comes up nicely - a good positive grip.
The magazine end cap comes as standard with sling swivels, 28-inch field barrel and it's multi choke that comes with five chokes as standard, but there are numerous aftermarket chokes for them as well and yes, a really solid, well-built Italian gun and you just can't go wrong with them!
One of the main things I have to say about Benelli shotguns - in the Benelli autos in particular - is they’re the most reliable semi-automatic shotguns on the market, and in my opinion, the best semiautomatic shotguns on the market. I've had mine for five years now and I’ve fired tens of thousands of cartridges through this, but I've never had a failure and it cycles everything from 65 mils all the way up to these 3-inch magnums wonderfully.
I mean, I think I will quit before this gun does. There's just no way on this earth I think it’ll ever break on me, it’s incredible. Been out in all conditions with me: wet, it's got soaked through, covered in mud, got mud all in the working parts, but I've been out wildfowling and it really really is just an absolute trooper - a complete workhorse of the gun that’s ideal for gamekeepers, wildfowlers, just anyone looking for something they can sling in the back of the truck or car, take out and just go bang every single time you pull the trigger.
As well as being a really reliable gun, these are massively customizable. Actually, this has been my personal gun that I've tricked out a little bit already and one of the things I’ve noticed - one of the few negative things I have to say about Benelli's actually - is the lifter that comes as standard. They’re forked and there's a well-known thing of ‘Benelli bite’; I've taken the skin off the back of my thumb on more than one occasion by trying to cram cartridges in quickly behind the hide. Really uncomfortable, not much fun. But there are plenty of aftermarket lifters out there and I've got one of the Taran tactical practical shotgun lifters in mine - this thing's as smooth as butter to load with this in now. Admittedly it's another 60 quid on top of what already isn't a cheap gun when there's a lot of other cheap autos out there, but this really does make this a much much better gun. It’s already an incredible bit of kit but this really does improve it.
I've also installed a Taran tactical extended bolt handle on mine. Again, the reason being I’ve found in winter and stuff with gloved hands trying to load quickly behind the hide, just having something a little bit bigger, a little bit more positive and nice and easy to work, I can just wrap a finger around it, get all of the controls nice and easily and also makes swapping cartridges out really easy too. A couple of times when out walking on the hedgerows I’ve spotted a fox come around the corner before it spots me, I’ll just quietly cycle the bolt, take the cartridge out plonk in an AAA or SG or BB or whatever I have in my belt in there, quitely close it (hoping Charlie doesn't hear it!), and then you're ready to go and you can take the Fox.
You can also get numerous different sorts of pistol grip stocks and a lot of people in the practical shooting world, 3-gun competitions things go for these. Again because they’re massively reliable, a very quick cyclic rate and you can get magazine extensions up to sort of twelve shot I think if you've got a section one shotgun. This is only section two; it's a two plus one capacity - a hunting gun - I don't need any more than three shots because if you can't do it in three shots then you shouldn't be shooting at it anyway in my opinion!
There are also lots of aftermarket chokes - I've got several different ones - I'm a bit of a tac tart I can't help myself! I've got a T precision half choke there, if I'm going to shoot clays with this which I do occasionally, I'll put that in. Then I've got my wildfowling chokes, well my general rough shooting choke is my Kicks Highflier; they’re patterns-led, I think it's half choke but still it’s sort of full choke. Then my pattern master which is a long range goose shooting choke, which patterns ridiculously tight up to silly ranges which enables me to take geese at distance. The gun itself comes with the five standard Benelli cryo chokes, again there's nothing wrong with them, they pattern really nicely. Not much more to say on that really!
When I first bought this gun I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and thought I was going to buy my rough shooting gun and go out and get some permissions straight away. As I came to find out, getting permission isn't that easy, so for the first six months of owning this gun I was shooting clays with it and I have to say it does that really well.
It's a really versatile gun, it fits me really well, it might look a bit out of place on the lane but I shot it well which was fine; shot some pretty good scores with it. Later on, I got my first permission; I've been using this as a vermin control tool and shot God knows how many crows, wood pigeons, squirrel and rabbit with it. Then in the last couple of years I got into wildfowling and I've used this predominantly as my goose shooting gun. Again you with the 3-inch magnums as I said earlier it sucks the recoil up really nicely, makes it a massively versatile gun, you take pretty much any quarry with it (bar taking it on to a driven shoot or something like that where you’d get laughed off the estate), but as a workhorse and a rough shooting gun and a wildfowling gun you couldn't really go wrong with the Benelli M2.
We have to talk about what this will cost you. New, these are £1295. They were actually cheaper when I got mine, it was only £1195 but there was a price increase some time ago. You can get more basic models of this that retail at £900, that's the Benelli M1 - it's the exact same gun except it hasn’t got Comfitech stock, the forend isn't as nice, it doesn't come with as many chokes, it doesn't come in a nice hard carry case that the Comfitech M2 comes in.
Obviously there are a lot of other semi-automatics on the market. I know a lot of girls and guys who shoot Armsan. I've seen Hatsan Escorts and you've got some more upmarket other makes; Browning Maxus’, the Beretta extremer series of semi automatics, but they're all gas guns and I honestly believe inertia driven is the way to go. There’s just so much less to go wrong, you haven't got the gas parts to get fouled up and cause misfires and malfunctions. So yeah I think for the money you really can't go wrong with the Benelli M2 and I know it's not cheap and you could get yourself a half decent over and under for that money, but really this gun will just keep shooting and it will out shoot you; as simple as that. It's just so unbelievably reliable and well-built and as I've already said I’ve had mine for such a long time now and I've never had any real issues or problems with it. I've done everything with it, it really has just been my go-to gun in my cabinet - I just can't say much more about it.
So to conclude, you know this is a fantastic gun, I absolutrly love it, I'll never get rid of it, it'll always have a place in my cabinet and will always be my go-to rough shooting tool. It's amazingly well built, robust, durable, reliable you can't really ask much more from a hunting gun. Any gamekeeper, pigeon shooter, wildfowler would be lucky to have one in their cabinet so if you're looking at buying one go and get it now. I can't recommend them enough! You can go and buy something cheaper, but if you buy cheap you buy twice, whereas if you buy a Benelli, you’ll buy once. As I said already, you'll quit before this gun does - they’re fantastic!
Thank you for watching this video, don't forget to Like and subscribe. I'm Ben Thompson from Sussex shooting and see you again soon - Happy hunting!