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Gun reviews: Benelli Vinci semi-auto shotgun

Gun reviews: Benelli Vinci semi-auto shotgun

Manufacturer: Benelli

Gun reviews: Benelli Vinci semi-auto shotgun.
Well known Italian gunmaker, Benelli, has designed a completely new semiautomatic shotgun that breaks down into three modular pieces.

It’s called Vinci and sports a stock that screws onto a barrel with integral receiver… which in turn accepts a twist on/twist off fore-end containing the trigger/ magazine assembly.

It’s not an easy gun to put together at the first time of asking but after you’ve got the hang of things it can actually be assembled (and taken apart again) faster and more easily than a conventional semi-auto. 

The stock inserts into the back of the receiver and twists 90 degrees to line and lock up.

You then slide the trigger assembly along the tube and push it down onto the barrel and stock at the same time before turning the magazine cap 90 degrees to lock the whole in place.

Once assembled the gun has a very solid feel.

As I say, with a little practice the gun goes together quite quickly, but there’s a bit more work required to pull the bolt out of the barrel assembly to allow the gun to be cleaned.

As anyone who has ever owned a semi-auto will know, careful cleaning is needed to ensure the gun keeps functioning smoothly and reliably. 

On the plus side, the Vinci’s trigger group is much more visible than a conventional auto and this means it can be cleaned far more easily.

It can also be removed as a unit from its housing thereby giving easy access to all those difficult nooks and crannies that are found on every semi-auto you care to name.

Incidentally, there is a comprehensive manual supplied with the gun, which shows all the stripping and assembly procedures.

In looks this gun reminds me of those new car models which you feel are too radical or modern for the market. 

In short, you think the manufacturer has gone too far.

It happened when Ford’s Sierra took over from the old Cortina and it was the same when the new shape Range Rover first came out. What, you ask, was wrong with the old one?

Before long, however, the old version looks tired compared to the newcomer and you start to like the look of it.

This could well be the same with the Vinci.

One of the claims made of this gun is that it’s low on recoil, but I am not so sure… my work colleague, Peter, and his son put a succession of 1oz cartridges through it on clays and didn’t find it to be at all smooth.

It’s an extremely light gun so far as semi-autos are concerned and this will certainly appeal to anyone who enjoys rough shooting and the like, but it might be a tad too light for those who expect to fire a lot of cartridges whenever they go out.

There are some new variations on colour with the Vinci. 

As well as the usual black synthetic finish there’s the Max4 Realtree Wetlands pattern and one called All Purpose green.

New colours are Amazonia green, Sequoia brown and Desert Dune. So something for everyone!

In terms of new design and new materials it’s only right that gunmakers should keep an eye on the future but my main concern is that Benelli already make a very good range of semi-autos and I can’t help but wonder where the Vinci will find its place in the scheme of things.

Basic spec for the Max4 Wetlands Camo, as tested…
• 12-bore with magnum proof 3in (76mm) chamber. There’s a set of five choke tubes and a key.

• There are shims supplied that go between the stock and the action to give four comb height levels – between 45 and 60mm at heel – and can be reversed to give left or right stock bias.

• As standard the gun has a 365mm length of pull but there are two other pads that can be bought to fine tune the length. Similarly there is another comb that can be bought for a higher, Monte Carlo, type of look and feel.

• Barrel length on the Max 4 is around 27 ½ in but on some versions there’s also a 25 ½ in barrel available.

• Both options come with a narrow 6mm, slightly raised and ventilated rib fitted with a silver mid sight and red foresight bead.

• As well as the soft recoil pad, the stock also sports the Comfortec system whereby it flexes to absorb as much recoil as possible.

• Overall weight is approximately 7lb, depending on specification.

Gun reviews: Benelli Vinci semi-auto shotgun