Gun Review: Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

Travis Pike for TTAG

Benelli is known for making shotguns for discerning customers. Customers like the U.S. Marine Corps, the French Special Forces, the Irish Special Forces, the Israeli Special Forces, the SAS, as well as lots of assorted law enforcement agencies. And the Benelli M4 is the Cadillac of semi-automatic tactical shotguns.

The Benelli M4 was initially designed for the Marine Corps, where it serves as the M1014.

The Benelli M4 is a 12 gauge, gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun designed for tactical applications. The gas system the M4 uses is called the ARGO (Auto Regulating Gas Operated) system. Its a half-decent Ben Affleck flick, too.

The ARGO system increases the reliability of a shotgun by taking gasses from the further up the barrel than normal. This gives you cleaner gas and less fouling. The ARGO system also implements two pistons that directly contact the bolt. It’s simpler and lighter than most gas systems.

The Price Tag

The price of smoothbore perfection is steep. The MSRP is a hair south of two grand, depending on the model (there are two M4 H20 Tactical models with titanium Cerakote finished receivers for $270 more). That barrier to entry makes the shotgun inaccessible to most and, even when you can afford it, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the money.

The answer is…complicated. As someone who owns an M4 and has used the M1014 during my military service, I can say its worth every penny…but it also isn’t.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

Even the nut on the end of the magazine tube has a precise, quality feel to it. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

It’s worth the price if you need a shotgun that can eat not only thousands of rounds between cleanings, but also a gun you can take on patrol and submit to the grit and grime of a big dirty world.

If you need a gun that can go through a sandstorm, ride in a vehicle all-day-every-day and be generally abused — but still work every time its called on — then the Benelli M4 is for you.

If you just need a shotgun for home defense, for 3-Gun competitions, or for plinking, then the Benelli M4 might be a little bit of overkill.

Then again, if you’re like me and just have an affection for the gun or a desire for the best, whether you need it or not, then the Benelli M4 might be for you.

Tight Tolerances

Tight tolerances are usually the sign of a well-made and well-designed weapon. Sometimes it’s also associated with a gun that’s prone to malfunction or a one that’s picky when it comes to lubrication and maintenance.

The Benelli M4 is a tight-fitting firearm that defies those typical tight tolerance negative stereotypes. It’s neither lubrication sensitive or high maintenance. Everything just reeks of quality.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

Ready and willing (Travis Pike for TTAG)

You won’t find much slop or play between the moving parts of the shotgun. The tight tolerances of the Benelli M4 give it a superb feeling of quality. From the rear adjustable sight to the way the magazine nut screws on, everything is tight and precise.

Inside the Benelli M4

The Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun comes in several configurations, all with a 5+1 round magazine capacity. This includes a fixed black synthetic stock, a fixed pistol grip stock, and a fixed stock mock-up of their M1014’s collapsible stock. The Benelli M4 comes with ghost ring sights and an optics rail for attaching any red dot or optic you choose.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

Excellent rear adjustable ghost ring sight on the Benelli M4’s drilled and tapped receiver (Travis Pike for TTAG)

One benefit of a gas gun over an inertia-driven (see the Benelli M2) system is that you can tack on anything you want and not worry about the weight causing reliability issues. The M4’s forend has no rails, but the aftermarket has introduced several systems to make it easy to attach lights and the lasers of your choice.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

A nice easy to see front sight (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The charging handle is on the right side of the gun, as is the bolt release button. The bolt release is one of my main complaints. It’s unnecessarily small and probably the first part I’ll switch out.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

Look at that tiny thing – the Benelli M4 has a tragically small bolt release button. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The loading port, however, is quite large, making it easy to load the tube, especially in a tactical or high-pressure situation. There is plenty of room for you to work and lots of space to correct mistakes in. When it comes to port loads the bolt and receiver leave plenty of room to make it so.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

A large loading port makes reloading easy (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Another minor complaint is the safety positioned behind the trigger. I much prefer a safety being located forward of the trigger (though that would put it close to the M4’s cartridge drop lever).

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

Courtesy Benelli

The button to switch the shotgun from safe to fire is plenty large, though, and it’s easy to find and press. The pistol grip is quite large and, in my opinion, one of the best grips out there. It fits my big hands and gives me a good deal of control over the gun.

Range Time

The Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun is one comfortable gun to shoot. The weapon eats up most of the recoil from the gun, and muzzle rise is equally as minimal as the weapon’s recoil.

The Benelli M4 shotgun is likely one of the softest shooting shotguns on the market. Not only does the ARGO gas system help cut recoil, but the gun is designed to maximize control with its rigid stock, ribbed forend, and large pistol grip.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

Big Ole Pistol Grip (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The gun also eats everything from cheap birdshot to hard-hitting slugs. It doesn’t eat mini shells, so don’t ask. While some say it has trouble with lower powered loads, in my experience the gun cycles even low recoiling rounds like my all-time favorite Federal FliteControl 8 pellet buckshot. The sights are quite precise and allow for quick target acquisition to accurately throw a load of buckshot or a slug at anything opposing you.

The M4 cycles incredibly fast. With a little practice and a lot of ammo, I got to the point where I could drop all five rounds before the first one hit the ground. It’s such a fun gun to shoot rapidly that I got rather good at manipulating the trigger.

Benelli M4 tactical shotgun

The world’s best combat shotgun (yes, even over pump-action guns like the Super Nova, or those Remingtons and Mossbergs) (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The trigger is absolutely outstanding. Shotgun triggers shouldn’t be judged like rifle triggers, but the Benelli M4 has a trigger easily comparable to a good rifle trigger. It’s clean and short with a positive reset. If one wanted, you could easily bump-fire this gun with little effort.

The Benelli M4 shotgun has proven to be reliable and has yet to have a malfunction in my hands. At this price point, if it did malfunction, I’d have a return tag to Benelli in by now. This shotgun is one of my favorites. It’s light, fast cycling, accurate, reliable, and comfortable. What more could one want from a tactical shotgun?

Specifications: Benelli M4 Semi-Automatic Shotgun

Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Overall Length: 40 inches
Weight: 7.8 pounds
Capacity: 5+1
Caliber: 12 Gauge 2.75 and 3 inches
Action: Semi-automatic gas-operated.
MSRP: $1,999 (about $1,800 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability: * * * * *
The Benelli M4 eats everything you toss at it. It cycles buckshot and birdshot with ease and is only challenged by less lethal, breeching loads, and other ultra low powered shotgun rounds. High brass, low brass, it doesn’t matter…the M4 makes it go bang.

Accuracy: * * * * *
It’s a tactical semi-auto shotgun, so accuracy is easy because of the close-range nature. I will give it full marks because the sights are absolutely fantastic and fast and easy to acquire. From slugs to buckshot, the gun puts it where it needs to be.

Ergonomics: * * * *
As far as semi-auto shotguns go, the M4 has a great length of pull (14 3/8″), excellent loading points, and well-placed controls. The only real downside is the small bolt release button.

Customization: * * * *
While it’s no AR-15 or GLOCK, the Benelli M4 has a surprisingly large aftermarket following with tons of different options to customize and upgrade the gun. The receiver comes fitted with a length of Picatinny rail for mounting scopes, a red dot, cigar holder, whatever.

Overall: * * * * 1/2
The Benelli M4 is a powerful, accurate, reliable, and easy-shooting semiautomatic shotgun. It’s an excellent tactical shotgun, though at a very high price. This gun is certainly a capable defensive shotgun for anyone, although it’s built for combat in foreign lands.

comments

  1. avatar DrewN says:

    LOL, if you think the M4 cycles fast dig up an old 121M1.

    1. avatar R says:

      I wanted to love the M4. But, having really short arms, it just felt cumbersome and barrel heavy to me.
      So, I went with a Keltc KSG.

      I wanted the Tavor TS-12, but got tired of waiting.

  2. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Nice, but too expensive for me.
    If I was only going to have one shotgun maybe it would be worth the extra money, but since I already have several combat style shotgun’s , it’s price is not appealing to me.

  3. avatar john y says:

    Urgent! ATF Illegally Copying Form 4473s
    TAKE ACTION HERE!!!
    https://gunowners.org/na02152020/
    More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFI6qqH6GsY&feature=em-uploademail

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      Why is that urgent? They’ve been doing it for over 25 years.

  4. avatar RedFlagRising says:

    Clint Eastwood just came out in support of the Mayor Of Bloomberg.

    Because Dirty Harry was conning you all along, he really does have no shots left.

    Take your bets on the next gun glamorizing Hollywood icon to follow the MOB:

    Bruce Willis? Keanu Reeves? Arnold Schwarzenegger? (woops scratch that last one.)

    1. avatar Snork says:

      I’m retired SFPD. From when he was making Dirty Harry movies. Clint Eastwood does not own any guns. He does not shoot any guns. He doesn’t really like guns. It’s no surprise to me that he endorsed Bloomy.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        He’s also ancient. And irrelevant. He sez Trump isn’t “nice”😒 He also came out for Mutt er Mitt. Leftard’s already hate him for the “empty chair” bit. Oh I never shoot the shotie I got. No need for a Benelli I won’t shoot. Just changed all my AR mags out to all XM193…

        1. avatar RedFlagRising says:

          Not so sure, when his ultra patriotic military movies are making huge bank.

          Like Marky Wahlberg he actively portrays sympathetic solitary macho police or military heroes when in reality they are henpecked and controlled by the women in their lives and are as far left as a Rob Reiner or Alec Baldwin.

          Eastwood could have just said nothing about this election if he dislikes Trump, but felt compelled (was ordered) to come out for Bloomberg, his core audience be damned.

          Makes you think about that 12.00 movie ticket and just what it funds.

    2. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

      Why would any normal person care what a Hollywood celebrity thinks? Stereotype much?

      1. avatar Ragnar says:

        “The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance.” – Robert A. Heinlein

      2. avatar Art out West says:

        A better question is this:

        Why should a normal sane person waste any time watching Hollywood propaganda? Don’t give these creeps a nickel or a moment of your life.

        Hollywood hates you. Hollywood hates Christ. Hollywood hates your family. Hollywood hates America. Hollywood destroys everything it can

        Do something useful instead of wasting your time and money on Hollywood drivel.

        Go shooting. Grow a garden. Read a book. Play with your kids. Cook a meal. Work and make money. Pray. Play the guitar or piano.

        1. avatar Robert Goodrich says:

          Art out West has hit the nail on the head. I haven’t been to the movies in years. I don’t listen to or pay for what passes for entertainment these days. I will NOT support the Hollywood communists in any way.

  5. avatar Steven says:

    Is it worth it? Absolutely not. I’ve run another brand costing less that half that price side by side for years. Both fire everything equally without jamming and neither are cleaned more than the other….that’s to say not at all. So no why pay twice the price for something that doesn’t perform any better. Unless you so vane that you have to pay for the name to impress your friends. I can live with that.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      i like side by sides also. but this holds five+1

    2. avatar Reason says:

      Late 1980’s I shot a LOT! of clay targets on a regular basis. At the time Beretta made the best most reliable gas auto available. Would go several thousand rounds without cleaning. 300 series guns. They also had the 1200 series. They were not nearly as reliable. It ws their cheap line. Beretta owns the Benelli brand. They introduced the 1200 as the Super 90. Parts even interchanged. Charged about double what a 1200 cost at the time. Even more than the 300 sreies at the time. Turned me off to Benelli. Still have never owned one. Too over priced for what they are. Beretta is still the flagship. The best models carry the name Beretta not Benelli.

      But that’s just my opinion.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      My $200 Maverick 88 (7+1) works well enough for me. $2000 guns aren’t for me, but I don’t have a problem with them either. Mainly, I’m cheap (or maybe sensible is the word).

  6. avatar possum says:

    I was thinking about getting this until I seen the price. A lot of the waterfowl hunters use Benelli’s that says something for the durability of the design. Then again I’ve seen a Mossberg used as a canoe paddle and still bring down ducks.

  7. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

    A Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical holds more shells for less than half the price.
    If the money for the Benelli can be justified, well … by all means, spend it.

  8. avatar The Grey Man says:

    Argo was the only Affleck movie I’ve ever watched! Pretty good too… On the subject of combat shotguns, I’ll stick with my old Winchester 1300 Defender… Smooth as Silk!

    1. avatar Kubla Khan says:

      You should really check out “The Accountant” and “The Town” – both very good Ben Affleck movies w/guns galore.

  9. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Exactly, Mossberg, Utah, KSG, Saiko, about 1/2 the price , holds more rounds, not any problem’s with any of them so far,,, but still, I wouldn’t mind having one for the collection, too expensive though.

  10. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    No experience with this M4, but I have owned several M1 Super90s over the years. One M3 Super 90 which I hated. The M1s were good, reliable shotguns. I used them in three gun matches, but shotguns are best left to what I was doing this time last week. Shooting quail. Or some other form of fowl. Long gun? Rifles gentlemen. Rifles.

    1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

      Gadsden, surely you are tossing out bait. Respectfully, I must disagree. The shotgun is an excellent combat and home defense weapon. I have a Mossberg 930 SPX semi-auto that holds 8 rounds of fire and brimstone. Reliable, fast handling and a real hoot to shoot. I think the ballistic value in close quarters situations is never overstated.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      GF,
      I’ve still got my first M1 super 90 from when I shot 3-gun. Still smooth as butter and eats anything I throw in it.
      8+1

    3. avatar possum says:

      I disagree on the rifles home defense thing, inside a house I would rather have a scattergun. I blew the head clean off of a goat with a 12gauge open choke number six at around 7 foot distance. Another goat I shot three time with a .223 until I got the desired results.If I was out to kill somebody and I could get close I’d bring a scattergun everytime

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Possum, damn near anything to the head is deadly at any range. A friend’s 15 year old son shot a management buck in the head at a little over 200 yards with his Remington 700 in .300 Win Mag earlier this season. Kid can shoot. He’s got three at the taxidermy this year. Although, one was crossbow. If it took you three rounds of .223 to kill a goat (guessing it was in a pen) you need to a: check zero, b: use a rifle round (not a carbine round) c: learn to shoot.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          pretty much. a rifle at home works to the head; elseplace leaves the attacker (even if dying) still advancing. in those short moments a shot placed “in that general direction over there” that vaporizes and removes body sections seems like the way to go.
          when i shoot the gong with an ar/ ak it swings. when i shoot it with .44mag it flips around and the rust powder flies off. when i shoot it with the 12ga i have to go pick it up.

      2. avatar Art out West says:

        Dang Possom,
        What did the goats do to deserve that? Did the climb on top of your car and dance around? 😄. I guess your house is safe from goat Invaders.

        1. avatar possum says:

          One was sick , it goit the shitgunm, the other one the dogs chewed it’s balls off so I shot it with the rifle.Ive had to kill pets before and as messy as a shotgunm is I don’t like to see them flop around or do a bunch of twitching.

  11. avatar Hannibal says:

    Are there better guns at that price point? I honestly don’t know. I always suspect that a gun with a military contract tends to be overpriced on the civilian market. And even if it’s the ‘best’ for the situation described, I would bet that there are a lot of depreciating returns on the money at that level of gun (i.e. you could get a gun with 98% of the capability at a significantly less price).

    But I’m guessing that people who want an Benelli M4 don’t care as much about the price.

    1. avatar tinhats says:

      tru dat

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Benellis hold value. If I was looking for a semi auto combat shotgun, I would probably look at the M2.

      https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/gun-review-benelli-m2-tactical-comfortech/

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I bought the full length camo m2 for this coming hunting year. It’ll likely be my last shotgun and I may only have a few active seasons left in me. So, why not?

        1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          Hopefully Im not half done yet. I bought my Benelli to have a good shotgun forever. It’s too pretty though(walnut and blue finish), and now I’ve started to lust after another that isn’t “as pretty” like the M2 in synthetic so my nice wood can stay safe in the safe.

    3. avatar Charlemagne says:

      If you want a Mil-Spec shotgun Mossberg’s 590A1 can be had for a fraction of the cost of the Benelli. As a pump it’s not as fast as the M4 but it’s still plenty fast for real life situations where you actually need to hit what you are aiming at.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        As long as you don’t panic and short stroke the action. When I had the farm my bedside was a Chinese 870 clone with Bird shot, then self defense loads after. I used that birdshot load more than once to protect the rabbits from critters.

        1. avatar Charlemagne says:

          That’s why you should spend a lot of time practicing with your pump gun using both live ammo and snap caps. The IAC 982 Hawk (Chinese 870 clone) is really a sweet gun. I bought one and upgraded it to 870 Police Magnum specs for less than half the price of the “real” thing!

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        I have nothing bad to say about pumps (I haven’t personally owned any semis) but I don’t think they’re really in the same category as the M4. Going from semi-auto to pump where you have to cycle the gun between each shot is not nothing. Sure, you can train your way into being about as good with it but that’s time you’re spending on pumping (heh) instead of other areas.

        Another military benefit of the M4 is that it’s simple. Pull trigger, make boom, pull trigger again if necessary. Given how many people don’t spend or have enough time to train a lot on a gun I can see why semi-auto would be very beneficial for certain applications… although those applications are probably better filled by a gun with greater capacity or ease of handling (i.e. a short AR or even just a pistol) when you’re not clearing small alleys.

  12. avatar Daniel says:

    To me the main issue with this gun is the 5 shell tube. Without spending several hundred more for 922r compliance parts to add a 7 round tube, it just doesn’t make sense. All the niceties of a Benelli can’t make up for having 40% more capacity. I thought about buying one, but I ended up getting two FN SLPs instead (one in18″ and the other in 22″).

  13. avatar HollerSam says:

    Imagine how much better this article would be if the author knew the difference between “tolerance” and “clearance”.

  14. avatar Charlemagne says:

    As expensive as this gun is Benelli ought to come up with a way to sell it with a 7 round magazine and collapsible stock like the military version.

    1. avatar Daniel says:

      All they would have to do is manufature 922r compliance parts in the US. There are third parties who make them, but you have to throw out a bunch of parts you just bought. Benelli could do it much cheaper, but they don’t seem to care that much for some reason.

  15. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Dave, not tossing out bait at all. Those half dozen +/- M1 Super 90s I owned one for one reason. Matches. My agency required that I have a Remington 870 in my patrol car. I declined their issue weapon and bought a pre-Wilson Scattergun Technologies Border Patrol w/Surefire fore end. Sold it as soon as I retired. I have lots of shotguns. They are dedicated to upland bird, waterfowl and turkey. I’ll use handguns when I have to and rifles if I can get my hands on one.

  16. avatar PTM says:

    I had a couple of these.

    The Beretta 1301 Tactical is much better.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I tried one of these Paul. The felt recoil seemed a bit more stout with high base #4 buck.
      Maybe it was some prejudice towards the M1? Great shotgun though.

    2. avatar Jtrosse says:

      I have a 1301 tac also . Can you expound on the comparison of the two pros and cons? Thanks.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      Almost picked one up until my checking account told me to hold off. Great gun for the price and it just has to be a better initial value (maybe not so great reselling). Since I’m not very tactical I’ll take a gun that is 95% as good as another that is $1000 more as long as it’s reliable.

      1. avatar Jtrosse says:

        Yea, I bought my 1301 tac used for about 60% retail and had to replace the bolt release button. I only wish it had choke tubes, but I can live with it.

  17. avatar DrewN says:

    I mean, I’m a civvie now. Uncle isn’t paying and if I need to use it,off goes a $2K gun into evidence, maybe never to be seen again. RIA or a Mossy Maverick for me, I’m not taking on the cartels. And there are better (better for games I mean) dedicated gamer guns as well.

  18. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    No 3 1\2”? No way.

  19. avatar Ferg in Tahoe says:

    I have two Bennies. An M1 Practical and an M4. Both are simply great shotguns. Different but great. I only run 00 thru them, so I can’t say what other loads work. At around 8 lbs., the M4 is a beast. With a full tank of 7+1+1 buck, maybe a bit more. However, it handles nicely with a Mesa Tac stock, which is 2” shorter than the oem fixed pistol grip. Cycles like there’s no tomorrow. Original oem adjustable pistol grip stock (a bit hard to come by) doesn’t allow for co-witness with an rmr or other electronic sight if you set up your 12 that way. Yeah, they’re spendy. But what isn’t?
    Thanks for the review.

  20. avatar Hoodlum says:

    I’m perfectly happy with my Mossberg 590A1.

    1. avatar Charlemagne says:

      Which one do you have?

  21. avatar Sam Hill says:

    Good article, I like the way the guy writes. That particular weapon is way out of my $ range, and if I hit the lottery big time, it still wouldn’t be in my armory. Simply because I don’t like tube magazines. Not even in .22lr. Got to have detachable box magazine. I’ve found several online but I’m wearing out my phone calling pawn shops in SE Ga.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      I love a tube mag .22 for plinking. I’d much rather reload the Marlin 60 than the 10/22 magazine.

      AR,AK,PCC, battle rifle, detachable box mag
      .22 rifle, shotgun, lever action, tubes are nice

  22. avatar Mark Alpern says:

    I bought the marine version about 7 years ago for $2100.00 at a gun show. At the time I had the money and it wasn’t a choice between that or the rent so WTF. I love the fact that the ARGO system eats up a lot of the recoil. My shoulders will be 62 years old in November and I’m not feeling like I’m made out of iron like I did when I was 25 lol. This is the only shotgun I have even purchased and it’s just for fun and home defense. I have to say it is super reliable and a whole lot of fun to shoot. I wouldn’t mind replacing some parts to get a couple more shells in it, but I keep it ghost loaded so that’s 7 rounds ready to go in case some Democrat supporter joins my party uninvited late at night. Hopefully this will be more than sufficient to repel their intentions. I suppose I could put a side saddle on it, but I feel well prepared. I love the look, feel and handling of this shotgun. I appreciate the large pistol grip on a shotgun, it just feels so natural to hold and point. I have only purchased about 20 guns in my lifetime and these have included Kimber, Les Baer, Benelli and Smith and Wesson and I can say I’ve never regretted paying a little more for quality. On the other hand I often carry a Taurus .357 revolver that has a polymer frame and the lack of quality hasn’t gone unnoticed by me. Don’t get me wrong it always goes bang, which is why my EDC is a revolver, but the fiber optic in the front sight fell out leaving me with a little hole where it should be AND the cylinder rubs and is difficult to open when I activate the cylinder latch. Neither of these would make a damn bit of difference in a defensive shoot but I am not all excited about the quality, or lack thereof, of my Taurus firearm. It will get wold or traded one day for a REAL revolver… yes one that costs probably 3 to 4 times as much. I have NEVER missed the $2100.00 I paid for the Benelli… it just reeks of quality and attention to detail and has not one time failed to make me smile when shooting it. Great review on a great shotgun!

    1. avatar Sean Bornstein says:

      Hey Mark,

      I am debating on my first long gun and the M4 I have done a lot of research on looks like the one. I have one disadvantage and that is I dislocated the right shooting shoulder about 1.5 years ago with a break. I am healed but it has some bone loss and I am curious how soft this thing really kicks as I have seen some say it still can kick pretty good. I am thinking if I went with a 00 Buck or something light I may be able to handle it without too much pain and it will be mostly for home defense and range time. I have thought about going with a 20 gauge or downright not bothering at all with a shotgun but just curious because I really want the M4.

      Thanks for any thoughts.

      1. avatar Jtrosse says:

        I am in my sixties and shoot trap with a Beretta a400 that has the kickoff recoil system. I shoot about a hundred shotgun shells in a practice and don’t feel any soreness. ( I have a metal plate and seven screws in my right clavicle shoulder). I bought a Beretta 1301 tac and felt every #8 shot while I was using it on the sporting clay line because it is so light. I bought the kickoff system for the 1301 and while I haven’t installed it yet, I think it will mitigate the recoil of 00 and slugs, that other shotguns will not be able to lessen the impact. The 1301 tac is also about $1000 less than the M4.

        1. avatar Jtrosse says:

          Or buy the 1301 competition That already has the kickoff system.

        2. avatar Sean B says:

          Great thanks for the info

        3. avatar Sean Bornstein says:

          The thing is with the M4 its the pistol grip along with the heavy frame that lessens the load as well but I will be towing a thin line with any 12 gauge and the shoulder but want to try something.

  23. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    one ithaca review all these years later.
    a glaring omission.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Write one.

  24. avatar M1Lou says:

    I have a bunch of shotguns and I’ve gotten rid of a few. I ditched a newer Remington 870 because it was trash. Trigger group failures and it would often spit shells back into the receiver causing a lock up. I had a Mossberg 930 SPX. I so wanted this shotgun to run, but it was a constant jam-o-matic. This was after cleaning, and also trying to break it in with heavier loads. I also ditched a Saiga-12 that I also couldn’t get to run right and got tired of messing with it.

    I currently own a Mossberg 590A1 and it’s been fantastic. A VEPR-12 which has been OK. It still needs some work but functions better than the Saiga-12 I once owned. I picked up a Beretta 1201FP (pretty much a super 90). So far it’s been great, it just has stout recoil. At the same time I picked up the Beretta, they had a Winchester 1300 Defender that has also been awesome. My last shotgun purchase is a Benelli M2 Entry. I put it together as from a parts kit with a stripped receiver from Roth performance. It has a 14″ barrel and holds 5+1. I had it out last weekend and put 25 shells through it of #8 birdshot and it worked perfectly. Even with a tax stamp it was half of the price of the Benelli M4. Recoil is lighter than the Beretta 1201FP even though they are similar in operation.

    For HD, I still choose my SCAR 16 SBR with a can. It is easy to operate, low recoil, and fairly quiet. It easier for my wife to use if she needs to. If I handed her one of my 12 gauge shotguns, it would not go well.

  25. avatar Jimmy james says:

    I want an M4 but cant decide on pistol grip or traditional stock. I ve never handled or shot either one. I have a Winchester X3 Tactical which traditional stock. SHoots faster than I can. As for shotty’s only being good for bird hunting, had to do a range practical at a club I joined yesterday. You could shoot any kinda gun you wanted to demonstrate proficiency and safe gun handling. There was a B27 type orange target at 50 yds. I dont know what choke if any was in the guys gun but he was the first to bring a shotgun to the line and he ate that target up with bird shot. It probably would not have killed you but you would not stick around for another dose.

  26. avatar Heath Deville says:

    I bought my m4 three years ago and it has approx 1000 rounds through it of all types down to 7.5 dove and target load. It had a handful of hickups early on with the light loads but runs everything now. I have heard that it should reliably run anything that is 1200 plus fps. Mine will run slower loads no problem(1100-1200fps). Mine also came with the extended 7 round mag tube which is great. It is the funnest shotgun i have. When i have taken it to shoot with friends and family, everyone wants to shoot it and it puts smiles on faces. Not sure how to describe the recoil but it seems like the heaveir the load, the harder it seems to dampen the impulse. I would say the auto regulating gas system works well in thay way. Its solid and reliable if not a little heavy compared to some (about 1lb heavier). I dont regret buying it and have no plan to ever sale it.

  27. avatar zilli says:

    if you can’t afford it, STFU

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