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In the firearms world, I have come to realize that you can either have a gun that is visually beautiful or mechanically beautiful. The combination of those two qualities is damn near impossible to find, but it looks like Benelli’s ETHOS shotgun may have just threaded that needle. Introduced at SHOT Show 2014 in grand style (above), the ETHOS quickly captured the attention of our readers. The field for “Best New Shotgun of 2014” wasn’t particularly deep, but it was extraordinarily broad in terms of the styles and applications for the scatterguns. And of all the competitors, the ETHOS came out as the clear readers’ choice. Make the jump for their original presser. . .

ACCOKEEK, MD (January 6, 2014) – Benelli proudly presents the next generation of its Inertia Driven® autoloaders. This elegant new semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun is called the ETHOS—the perfect balance of art and technology. The ETHOS is the culmination of Benelli’s latest innovations, refinements and design superiority, all centered around the core—Inertia Driven® System—the most reliable shotgun operating system ever created.

The ETHOS is built on a new platform that combines form and function for improved ergonomics, the ability to cycle the lightest loads, even 7/8 ounce, and a patented Progressive Comfort® recoil reduction system that provides less felt recoil. ETHOS stocks are cut from beautifully figured AA-Grade European walnut and are designed specifically to incorporate the patented recoil reduction system, an unobtrusive, lightweight simple system that self-adjusts to any size load.

Benelli’s dynamic new design includes a patented easy locking system. This features a detent mechanism that has been added to the bolt body, guaranteeing the rotating bolt head will lock up even when the bolt is eased forward without force. A new two-part carrier latch, beveled loading port and redesigned carrier ensures that shells glide into the magazine faster and easier. A new larger bolt release, and easy access cartridge drop lever promotes speedy operation for quick handling even when wearing gloves. The ETHOS’ distinctive style and excellent balance results in a faster mount and instinctive handling.

The ETHOS features a replaceable carbon fiber rib that reduces overall weight. The interchangeable front sight enables shooters to quickly switch between red, green or yellow fiber-optics, which come standard with the ETHOS. A newly patented anti-seize magazine cap incorporates a synthetic bushing in the magazine cap, preventing it from binding in foul weather or dusty conditions.

“The superbly balanced ETHOS is designed with all the features that make this latest Benelli semi-auto not only a pleasure to shoot, but also a beautiful gun to own,” said Tom DeBolt, Benelli USA VP of Sales. “Shooters will enjoy the benefits and pleasure of handling and shooting a top-quality semi-auto shotgun that embodies the perfect balance of art and technology to specifically meet their needs, whether it be for upland birds in the field or clay birds at a range.”

COMMON SPECIFICATIONS: Gauge: 12 Chamber: 3-inch Magazine Capacity: 4+1 Crio®Chokes: C,IC,M,IM,F  Sights: Interchangeable fiber-optic front sight Length of Pull: 14 3/8 inches Drop at Heel: 2 ¼ inches Drop at Comb: 1 ½ inches (Includes shim kit to adjust drop and cast). Overall length: 47 ½”(26-inch barrel) 49 ½” (28-inch barrel) Stock: AA-Grade walnut with Progressive Comfort® recoil reduction system Finish: Anodized or nickel-plated receiver with blued barrel. Weight: 6 ½ lbs. Minimum Recommended Load: 7/8 oz. MSRP: $1999 (Black anodized receiver) $2199 (Nickel-plated engraved receiver).

TTAG Readers’ Choice Awards methodology

The poll was conducted using a custom polling application which presented each respondent with a list of options for each category. Respondents could either select from the list, choose not to respond, or add an additional option at the bottom. Any added items would be displayed to all subsequent respondents (any item worthy of “Item of the Year” would, in theory, be added fairly quickly by respondents). Items which were not relevant (outside the time frame or irrelevant responses, like “my homemade ammo” for best ammo of the year) were periodically removed, and all associated votes for that item in that category were eliminated as well. Respondents were discouraged from voting multiple times by having their IP address recorded and banned from making subsequent responses. The polling period lasted 7 full days and elicited 1,104 responses.

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  1. Congratulations to Benelli! The ETHOS is awesome. I shot a round of clays with one in June and the gun felt effortless and like a completely natural extension of my body, like a great shotgun should. Benelli has hit another home run with the ETHOS.

  2. Violinists, shotguns seemingly floating on a display that looks like a futuristic weapons rack, and with a picture of a motorcycle on the wall… that is honestly one of the most interesting pictures I’ve seen in a long time. Weird, but it piques your interest.

    …. that seriously looks like a BADASS weapons display! I would love to have that in my house!

  3. Ho hum!
    All improvements, but no ground shaking break throughs.

    I bought one last spring, and if anyone wants a very lightly broken in one, let me know.

    I will stick with my less pretty, therefor, more usable and definitely cheaper Benellis.

  4. So, shotgun smart people out there, which I am not…I can finally shoot a shotgun good enough to justify spending a little money on an autoloader. Plus, I really want just one 12g shotgun for dove, duck, and turkey. Looks do matter, but really, I’ll beat up a $3k gun without a second thought.
    If I really just want that one gun, what would you recommend? I’d rather not spend more than $3k, but I would if I had to.

  5. JWT, you just don’t understand at all.

    Do you really use one means of transportation for everything?
    Run the kids to school in a dump truck?
    Use your Lincoln or Cadillac for trucking cattle to market?
    A duck gun is not an upland gun, and neither is a target gun.

    Something, anything, that can be used for all, is a poor compromise
    in every case.

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