Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun

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Nathan
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Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun

Postby Nathan » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:28 am

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"Now the same Benelli M4 used by the U.S. Marine Corps can be your home defense shotgun of choice. When the U.S. Marine Corps went shopping for a shotgun, they bought the M4 — the 12-gauge shotgun that functions the first time, every time. Its unique Auto Regulating Gas Operated (A.R.G.O.) system developed by Benelli engineers has dual stainless steel, self-cleaning pistons located just ahead of the chamber that operate directly against the bolt assembly.


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The M4 Tactical comes standard with a Picatinny rail for optics, a fully adjustable ghost-ring rear sight and fixed-blade front sight and a black synthetic pistol-grip style stock. An optional standard stock is offered. With features and reliability that do it for the U.S. military, the Benelli M4 is an excellent choice for your own home defense plan." - [url="http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/benelli-m4.php"]SOURCE[/url]



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When searching for what I considered the ultimate defensive scatter-gun I had never really considered the Benelli M4 due to its price point. I had heard many great things about them, but believing theres only so many ways you can reinvent the wheel I just didnt see how I could justify spending $1,700.00 on a shotgun when there are so many great choices for half the cost. Lucky for me, my wife Vicki thought differently by surprising me with a Benelli M4 for Christmas!

The weapon is shipped almost completely disassembled. After spending much of the morning assembling presents for my young daughters the last thing I wanted to do was to assemble yet another gift. After I began the assembly process however my mood changed as this gave me a great opportunity to gain indepth knowledge of my new shotgun. Before I began the assembly process I first continued to completely strip the weapon and in doing so I grew to appreciate the genius in the design of this weapon.



[size=4]What I Like:[/size=4]

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Image Auto-Regulating Gas-Operated (A.R.G.O.) system: On August 4, 1998 Benelli delivered five shotgun samples featuring the A.R.G.O. system to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The guns were put through an intensive, grueling test for safety, function and performance. Subjecting them to mud, sand, baking heat and extreme cold, the guns beat out the competition to be chosen as the new U.S. “Joint Service Combat Shotgun.” Benelli’s patented Auto-Regulating Gas-Operated (A.R.G.O.) system has more than met the needs of the U.S. Marines’ M1014 semiautomatic Ð an ultra-reliable, battle-proven shotgun.

The A.R.G.O. Piston-Driven System is also the heart of the Benelli’s R1 and MR1 rifles, featuring simplicity, sturdiness and accuracy, all packaged in an ingenious design.

Upon firing a Piston-Driven gun, single port, located just forward of the chamber, bleeds gases where they are hotter and cleaner. The results are less fouling and more reliable cycling. A short-stroke, self-cleaning piston and two tappet pistons push directly against the R1’s bolt body, eliminating the need for connecting linkages or heavy action bars. Because the pistons push directly against the bolt, they move only ½-inch for complete and rapid cycling with minimum vibration. - [url="http://www.benelliusa.com/innovations/argo.php"]SOURCE[/url]

The above quote is what Benelli has to say about the ARGO system. I included this because what I have to say about it can be summed up in just a few words: "Freakin' Incrdible!". I have never found anything so effective at reducing felt recoil. This system is so effective in fact that it enables small women to handle 3" Magnum slugs with relative ease.


[url="http://youtu.be/V_N_mBr6Iuk"]Image
Shooting the Benelli M4[/url]

While the video may show how unexpected the recoil was, keep in mind that we (including two small and recoil sensitive women) are shooting 3" Magnum slugs! Shooting 2.75" slugs and buckshot was even easier.


Image Ergonomics: Everything is right where it needs to be both for comfort as well as effortless and instinctual manipulation.

Image Aesthetics: Since form isnt comparable to function I put little value on the aesthetic properties of any defensive weapon. That said, this shotgun just looks viscious and I value this due to the mental impact the mere sight of this weapon should have on a potential threat. While I wouldn't depend on this alone to prevent an attack, the less confident your attacker is the less likely you are to be forced to shoot him and his confidence is based on his mental state.

Image Accuracy: Although recoil anticipation is a shooter issue and not a gun issue, since I don't anticipate excruciating recoil with this shotgun I don't flinch when shooting 3" Magnum slugs. Because of this, I shoot this shotgun with more accuracy than any other I own and I've only had it twenty four hours.

Image Simplicity: If you've ever field stripped an M16 you already know most of everything there is to know about the bolt assembly. All the tools you need to disassemble this shotgun are built into the shotgun (bolt handle serves as pin removal tool).




[size=4]What I Don't Like:[/size=4]

If you have followed my reviews in the past you know that I always find something that I don't like about the weapon I am reviewing. For the first time ever I just might have found an exception as I honestly can't find anything to gripe about with this shotgun. I suppose I could bitch that it should come with night sights standard but this isn't an expected item on any gun. I could bitch about how much it cost but I find value to be the more important consideration. I don't think it matters what something costs so long as you are getting what you pay for and that is certainly the case with this shotgun. In fact, had I shot one in advance I would likely be willing to pay even a little more. This weapon is such a smooth shooter (both in action as well as diminished felt recoil) that I'm absolutely certain that my wives could use it defensively and effectively even with the hardest hitting loads available today and how can you put a price on confidence like that?



[size=4]How Does It Compare?[/size=4]

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In order to determine overall value and appeal I am comparing the Benelli M4 to a comparable size Remington 870 Tactical and a Browning 1300. While I would have liked to have used truly comparable (automatic short barrel) shotguns, all of my other autoloading shotguns are 28" barrel trap shooting shotguns.

Lethality
Benelli M4 Tactical [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Remington 870 Tactical [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Browning 1300 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]

Recoil Reduction
Benelli M4 Tactical [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Remington 870 Tactical [B)]
Browning 1300 [B)]

Cost
Benelli M4 Tactical [B)]
Remington 870 Tactical [:)][:)][:)][:)]
Browning 1300 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]

Value
Benelli M4 Tactical [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Remington 870 Tactical [:)][:)][:)][:)]
Browning 1300 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]

Reliability
Benelli M4 Tactical* [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Remington 870 Tactical [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Browning 1300 [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]

Aesthetics
Benelli M4 Tactical [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
Remington 870 Tactical [:)][:)][:)][:)]
Browning 1300 [:)][:)][:)][:)]

Weight
Benelli M4 Tactical [:)][:)][:)]
Remington 870 Tactical [:)][:)][:)]
Browning 1300 [:)][:)][:)]

Capacity
Benelli M4 Tactical [:)][:)][:)][:)]
Remington 870 Tactical [:)][:)][:)][:)]
Browning 1300 [:)][:)][:)][:)]



[size=4]Conclusion:[/size=4]

The Benelli M4 Tactical shotgun is one of the "great ones". If asked to describe this weapon without using pictures, phrashes like "nasty little bastard" and "dirty son-of-a-bitch" come to mind. After a few hundred more failure-free slugs/buckshot shells are ran through this weapon it will without a doubt become my primary home/vehicle/camp/remote job-site/etc. defense weapon.


I have absolutely no valid criticism of this weapon. I will likely ad a red dot sight and a single point sling, but these are personal enhancements to suit me and the lack of them doesnt affect the value found in this shotgun. I would encourage everyone to not make the same mistake that I did for so long. Don't let the price point turn you away from this weapon. To put it simply, its that good.

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Nathan in Image

NRA Certified Instructor in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home.
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