Benelli/shotgun options for 3-gun

Just looking for input or opinions on anyone who runs a Benelli. Specifically, is there any benefit to buying an M1 over an M2? What about the viability of running an M4? I found an HK imported M1 but I understand barrels and other parts may be more difficult to source than the M2.

This is going to be for my first 3-gun match in October. My buddy has gone all out buying triggers, a competition tailored shotgun, etc. I'm not there yet. I guess I'm trying to buy something that could fill other roles since I can't entirely justify buying a gun just for matches.

Original Post

My advice on the shotty... go with whichever version you can consistently reload the fastest.

Many shotgun stages are designed to force reloads and the ability to reload effectively is a stage winner.

------------------------------------- "A True Warrior knows neither Left or Right"  Looking for a doc who can fix my allergies.. Stupid People and IED's...

I recently bought an unfired NIB Benelli M2 3 Gun edition that is from the Benelli Performance shop for a good deal on gun broker.  It is absolutely the way go out of the box.  Add a Nordic mag tube and you are done. IMG_5130

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

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Look at what Taran Tactical (TTI) and Benny Hill (Triangle Shooting) are doing to M2's and try to get yours as close to that as possible. Thoes are the guns that have been winning 3-gun championships for a long time. Taran told me years ago that the M2's in the M16xxx s/n range (if my memory serves) were the ones you wanted for some reason. I don't do much 3 gunning but know a bunch of guys who do, Dave is on point, the shotgun part of 3 gun is a loading game. Quads seem to be king at the moment if you want to be competitive & opening the receiver will be necessary to do it correctly.  

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

Just to add to the above.  The Benelli factory 3 gun M2 has the loading port opened as part of the package.

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

The M2 is the Benelli of choice for 3-Gun, but if you're budget is limited then you might want to consider the "Franchi Affinity" as it's a great alternative that is slightly cheaper and has nearly 100% parts compatibility with the M2.  You could trick it out yourself or pay TTI, TS, or MOA-P to trick it out for you and save a respectable amount of money versus buying the M2 and getting it tricked out. 

I just wanted to throw that out there and give you a high quality alternative option to consider.   Regardless of what gun you get, I hope you do well and enjoy the upcoming match in October.

Thanks much for all the insight.

My initial reason for asking about the M1 was for the potential of what I buy also serving as a defensive shotgun; maybe buy a spare barrel for matches and then swap out. But for the price of a lightly used M1 and a spare barrel, I'm already in M2 territory (not the performance edition). 

For less expensive options, the Affinity does look very good along with the Stoeger M3K. Maybe even the Beretta if I could find a reliable fix for the shell issue. 

I went ahead and changed the thread title in case others want to chime in with their 3-gun shotgun experiences/thoughts.

Good luck finding an M1 barrel.  I have an M1 with a vent rib and I've been looking for one of the shorter barrels with zero luck.

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Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

The 1301 Comp is a good option to the M2 (it's what I ended up going with). Open the loading port (I haven't done this yet) and slap on a Nordic extension and you're done. There is a small & inexpensive shroud designed by the guy who runs P-F that will prevent the 1301 shell death lockup. Add on a 1301 Tactical for HD and you've got a solid brace of guns (If I still lived in CA I think this would be my go to long gun).

http://www.aridusindustries.co...01-latch-and-shroud/

 

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

The difference between the Benelli M2 and Franchi Affinity is quite similar to the difference between a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Lexus LX.  The frame, drive-train and all major mechanical components are built at the same factory but one gets some higher end touches and finishing... but at the end of the day they are essentially the same.  Most of Franchi's shotguns (such as the Affinity) are made at the Benelli factory and have "Benelli ARMI SpA" stamped on their receivers.

The aftermarket support for the Benelli M2 is HUGE, and with few exceptions the parts are direct fit on the Affinity.  It's a different story with the Turkish knockoff (M3K), were parts require modification to "kinda, sort of" work.  If the shotgun is going to be a dual purpose gun for competition and defense, the M3K would be a bad choice imho.  Also the pricing difference is only around $150-$250, so it doesn't make much sense to buy the M3K when you get a huge bump in quality with the Affinity for such a small price increase.

So in closing; If price isn't a concern you can't go wrong with a Benelli M2 ( or the Beretta 1301), but if you're on a budget then the best choice in my opinion is the Franchi Affinity.  Some may disagree with me, but I would have zero problems using an M2, 1301, or Affinity as dual purpose gun for competition & defensive (or as a dedicated gun for either pursuit).

Is the M1 now obsolete?

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Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

Blackdog posted:
Dorsai posted:

Is the M1 now obsolete?

The shotgun portion of 3 gun is obsolete.  No one would ever go through a door or fight with one of the ridiculous machines that win matches.

Most competition gear is not fighting gear... there is some crossover but they are different disciplines. Something about gear & trains comes to mind. Aside from the ridiculously long tubes I don't think there is much difference on the SG side though? They both need to be reliable, quick handling, have sights that can make hits quickly and be able to take rough handling don't they? Unless your talking about the mag fed open class ones...those things are silly. 

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

Does anyone have any hands on experience with FN's SLP Competition model?  I shoot a couple local 3 gun matches per month and sporting clays two or three times a year. The SLP looks like it would work for both with the added benefit of appalling my FIL with his $4K over / under.   

 

 

It doesn't take long to switch an M2, 1301, or Affinity from "match mode" to "HD / Duty mode".  All it requires is a magazine tube change, and maybe a barrel change depending on how you've set it up for the match.

 

 This:

 

 

 

Quickly becomes this:

^ I'd be okay fighting with this ^

 

 

Oh and for those that don't know, there are different divisions in 3-Gun so not all match winning guns look ridiculous like the two below:


My 3 gun M2 is going to be a Test bed for some concept stuff, but mainly a "Do everything" shotgun.  The Nordic extension allows you to cap it for clay sports and hunting, to barrel length extension and accessories for anti personnel use, to extreme extended tubes for games.  

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

Just ran the M2 in class last weekend with Aimpoints new S1.  Happy is an understatement.  This is a shooting machine.IMG_2164IMG_5874

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

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XTCBX posted:
Blackdog posted:
Dorsai posted:

Is the M1 now obsolete?

The shotgun portion of 3 gun is obsolete.  No one would ever go through a door or fight with one of the ridiculous machines that win matches.

Most competition gear is not fighting gear... there is some crossover but they are different disciplines. Something about gear & trains comes to mind. Aside from the ridiculously long tubes I don't think there is much difference on the SG side though? They both need to be reliable, quick handling, have sights that can make hits quickly and be able to take rough handling don't they? Unless your talking about the mag fed open class ones...those things are silly. 

It seems that the major point is that most SG stages in no way reflect the sorts of fights that normal, practical shotguns excel at and typically participate in. If they did, the stages would not be more than 4-5 rounds, ranges would not exceed 15 yards, and there would be no select slug bullshit. 

Shotguns need to be handy coming out of car racks, trunks, going through residential doors, down trailer house hallways and pushing aside drug dealer curtains. 14" guns are ideal for this, 18" barrels are on the long side of practical and anything over that is a nuisance.  

I'm sending off my 1301 to C-Rums this week to have the loading port opened up for quad loading, a XS rear sight and some other stuff to make it more of a  "gamer" gun. It has a +4 Nordic extension on it now and I have a +3 on the way to make it 12+1 for "Practical" division or 8+1 for "Factory" division. Most stages are either empty start or 8+1 in the gun. The 12 round tube allows for stuffing a quad in at the buzzer.

The shotgun part of 3 gun is for sure all about beating able to do the loading  fast but there were some challenging shots at the match I shot last weekend (Texas Star & a slug shot at 50 yards). The guys who are good at the shotgun part of 3 gun would be good at the with a shorter gun as well...It's just a game but...I wouldn't want to be down range from one of thoes guys...

There were a couple of thoes giant mag fed shotguns there as well. Competing against them with a tube fed gun is like competing against an AR with a lever action...I'm glad they're in a different division. There was a 12-13 y/o girl with one and she ran the shit outta it, one of the stages required a shot under a wall...most of us had to take a knee, she just squatted a bit and used the magazine as a monopod...

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

Got my 1301 back from C-Rums yesterday and installed the Match-saverz and extended tube on it today. The work was excellent, reasonably priced and was about 3 weeks from me sending it out. 

I had him add Big dot rear sight onto the rib to make thoes longer slug shots easier. The front sight is a F/O from Hi-Viz.

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The port was opened up to allow for quad loading (now I need to figure out how to do that!). The non S/N side was brought waaaaay down, and the other side is right at the S/N.

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The lifter was welded and you can see how far forward he brought the port. I can still load twins support hand or one at a time easily but now there is no chance of snagging my thumb.

CA7C6476-612D-4F8D-9A24-111B4378FFF4

This is with the +3 on it giving me 8 in the tube for “factory” division.

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Full gamer mode for “practical” division allowing for 12 in the tube and my new Carbon Arms shell caddy’s set up for quad loading.

3B365AC1-82C5-4F08-B8ED-D5CD9E6F50C3

The Match Saverz is a very cool little product, I can see even putting one of these on a working gun...I also had him install a Limb Saver...because I’m sick of coming home with a sore shoulder from a SG training session. 

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

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FYI on magazine extensions.  Make sure you check them with ALL the ammunition you plan to use.  Let's just say that 2 3/4" shells are not always 2 3/4" in length.  It's more a guideline than a rule.  I have a factory +2 extension on my Benelli.  That should mean 5 in the magazine, one in the chamber.  Birdshot yes, buckshot no.  Buckshot rounds are a little bit longer than birdshot.  The difference is enough that when you load 4, the 5th won't quite make it to the shell stops.  So as a defense gun, it is really a 4 + 1.  I wouldn't limit that observation to factory extension only.  If you are intending the gun for defense also, or maybe you shoot matches and they occasionally have courses of fire that are all buckshot or all slug, your mag capacity might not be exactly what you were planning on.

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Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

Grrr.  GG&G was having a sale on their Tactical Bolt Release Pad and Enhanced Charging Handle.  So I place my order and today it arrives.  Bolt handle was an easy in and out.  The Bolt Release was a little trickier, but I finally got it done.  Start to reassemble the shotgun and the ring that is brazed to the barrel is no longer attached.    It looks like it was silver soldered on and can just be soldered back on.  However, anyone know if this needs to go back to Benelli, or if any good to mediocre gunsmith can do it? 

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Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

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MG in TX
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