Gun Preview: Benelli M4 Civilian Tactical

You asked for it and we got it – a Benelli M4 Civilian. Supposedly this is the gun that settles the Mossberg SPX vs. FN SLP vs. Remington Versa-Max tactical debate. For those who aren’t familiar with the M4, this is the same gun the U.S. Marine Corps are using. The M4 strays away from traditional and sometimes complex (not to mention dirty) gas-operated actions and utilizes its unique Auto Regulating Gas Operating system (ARGO). The ARGO system instead uses dual stainless steel, self-cleaning pistons to operate the action and was designed to handle everything from low power rounds to hard-hitting buckshot. But here’s the big question . . .

Is the Benelli – with its $1629.99 sticker price – worth it? Nick has had great luck with his Mossberg 930 SPX and I’m a Mossberg 590A1 fan. My 590 has put thousands upon thousands of rounds down range with little issue. With that in mind, I’m planning on torture testing the M4 for our loyal readers.

Not a bury-this-thing-in-the-mud kind of test. It’s safe to say that the Marines have probably done that for me already. Instead I’ll do my best to try to get it to jam up or fail. From there, she’ll get turned into a 922(r) compliant 3-gun beast!  If you have any suggestions or specific ammo you’d like to see me run through her, leave your ideas in the comments section below.

Initial Impressions:

– Solidly built. Everything about it feels very solid. My 870 Talo pump
feels like a piece of aluminum foil compared to this thing. Lockup, stock
fitment, barrel fitment, and  finish are all what you’d expect from
Benelli.

– The ARGO system is indeed very simple. There are very few moving parts
and once you get it all apart, it becomes very clear and obvious.

– The buttstock is nicely sized and proportioned for me. The pistol grip is
made out of a fantastic rubber/poly blend, but the forend is
surprisingly slippery. For the time being, though, I’ll hold off from making any
judgments until after some thorough testing.

– The LPA sights are great and provide a very useable sight picture. We’ll
see how they do at the range.

Stay tuned. This should be fun.