By Jason Harris
Wednesday, 06 November 2013
We take a look at one of the lightest semi-automatic shotguns in its class - the Benelli Montefeltro.
Jason Harris reviewed the Benelli Montefeltro shotgun in September 2007. Here is the review in its entirety:
Benelli need little introduction as makers of top quality semi-automatic and pump actioned shotguns; their pedigree is assured thanks to the wide range of guns they make in Italy to suit so many applications. At one end of the scale they build practical weapons for police and armies, at the other they produce some superb models, with great handling characterisitics, for field and clay shooters.
What isn't commonly known is that the Benelli company has been owned by the Beretta group for a year or two. So it's natural Benelli should eventually come under the same distribution umbrella enjoyed by other products marketed by the Beretta dynasty.
The Benelli Montefeltro is primarily designed as a semi-auto for field shooting but it will happily cope with Sporting clays too, as I discovered when I put it to the test.
The Benelli Montefeltro features an easy to operate safety catch and bolt release system.
The action frame design on this model follows Benelli's proven inertia-mechanical system, which uses recoil - rather than gas - from a fired cartridge to work the mechanism. And this inertia system has a couple of advantages to it: there is no gas piston system working along the magazine tube, which means the fore-end can be slimmer and fit right up to the tube. This in turn makes the whole gun one of the lightest in its class - and also one of the most comfortable to hold.
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Also, the gun is inherently cleaner in use. This is not to say the gun doesn't need cleaning; the mechanism will need washing out from time to time in order to keep everything working smoothly. But as there is no gas bleed from the barrel or piston arrangement (parts which by their nature become very sooty and carboned) there is much less cleaning to be done.
Action and barrels
The action frame is largely black, but with a silver panel on each side with some scroll and game scene engraving comprising a woodcock on one side and duck on the other. In its basic form, this Benelli comes with a 28in barrel chambered to cope with 3in magnum cartridges. The barrel is fitted for multichokes, and five are supplied with the gun, along with a suitable key. The 8mm ventilated top rib is finished with a red foresight and it has been matted with lines squared to the rib to reduce glare and light reflection. To keep weight down the makers have made the action frame from an alloy that has been treated to a very deep gloss. The barrel blacking matches this.
This Montefeltro features an extra strong locking bolt
By way of contrast of the bolt and receiver, the end of the barrels are finished chrome for the greatest protection and the trigger blade is gold plated. Length of pull might seem a little short for some at 14.1/4in but there's no doubt that wood quality is good, with figure running nicely through both sides of the stock. The stock is cast very slightly for the right handed shooter but it can't be adjusted for the left hander because Benelli actually make left hand models to order. A useful feature is the stock has three positions for drop which can be achieved by changing shims which are supplied with the gun. Overall weight of this gun is a fraction over 7lb.
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