Unlike other company histories, Benelli starts its story with its latest achievements. It took me a bit more scrolling to find out that the company was founded in 1967 by the Benelli brothers, who also founded the Benelli motorcycles. It can’t get any more macho than that if you get my drift. In 1973, the company launched its first 20-gauge shotgun. We fast forward to today, where I have to choose between the M4 and M2. Both models will be under the Tactical Shotgun category.
Benelli M4: Overview
The Benelli M4 is a 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun. For those unfamiliar with shotguns, the gauge of a shotgun is determined by the weight of a solid sphere of lead equal to the inside diameter of a shotgun. Smaller gauges are for large game birds, military operations, and self-defense. Larger gauges are for smaller game birds, though they are rarer nowadays.
The M4’s stock finish is synthetic black. You can customize the grip by choosing between a standard and a pistol grip. The barrel length is 18.5 inches. You can also choose between a standard or tactical stock configuration. Its magazine holds 5rounds plus one extra round, totaling six rounds in one magazine.
The barrel has two barrel finishes available namely Titanium Cerakote and Phosphate. As for the receiver, you can choose between Black Anodized and Titanium Cerakote.
It is driven by the Auto-Regulating Gas-Operated system or ARGO for short. It was developed for the US Marines in 1998. Later on, the US Joint Forces designated it as a combat shotgun. According to the Benelli website, three distinct features help shape the ARGO system.
First is the location of the gas port in front of the chamber, where the gasses are supposedly cleaner and hotter. This location is responsible for less fouling and more reliable cycling.
The second is that the pistons push against the bold directly. This results in fast operation and minimizes the usual vibration produced. The last is that there is no additional weight from linkages or heavy action bars.
One of the reviews lists a few disadvantages of the M4. First is its price, then its safety is found on the rear instead of the front of the trigger. The review closed out with a statement that although it was built for foreign combat, it can be used by everyone.
Pros and Cons
The pros are:
- Smaller gauge meant for self-defense;
- Reading about the ARGO system throws a plus in its direction; and
- Benelli trademark is always a pro.
The cons are:
- On the pricier range of shotguns; and
- The trigger safety is at the rear.
Benelli M2: at a Glance
The M2 is similar to the M4 in a lot of ways. The stock finish is synthetic black. You are also given the option between a standard and a pistol grip. The barrel length is the same, as is the gauge.
The two things unique about the M2 are the sight and stock configuration options. The M2 may be bought with a ghost-ring sight or as an open rifle. On the other hand, the stock configuration has an additional option of ComforTech, which is a recoil reduction that uses shock-absorbing chevrons. The stock is split diagonally and combined with the chevrons to help reduce recoil further.
This model also has two systems to set it apart from the rest of the line-up. First is the Inertia-Driven System. The official website lists the advantages as reliable, simple, clean, strong, fast, low maintenance, lightweight, and perfectly balanced.
To summarize, the Inertia-Driven system keeps the insides of the shotgun clean and in place even after firing hundreds of thousands of rounds. Another great thing about the system is that it has small and compact parts, meaning it weighs less even with all the additional mechanisms.
Next is the Crio System. The official website claims that such freeze treatment relieves the stress of hammer forging and creates a slick, even-grained surface. It also creates a uniform pattern when it comes to multiple shots. Finally, it claims to keep the barrel cleaner.
A review praises the durable synthetic stock, especially in water. The simple way the shotgun breaks down makes it easier to clean. Finally, the reviewer says that the M2 is lightweight overall, even in recoil. In my opinion, that sounds promising.
Pros and Cons
The pros of the M2 are:
- The inertia-Driven system has proved to withstand and overcome the test of time;
- Crio System makes the surface smoother; and
- Great reviews.
The one con is:
- It’s Benelli, so it’s bound to be expensive. With quality comes a big price tag.
Going by the facts stated above, I would have to choose the M4, since it will be utilized as a self-defense weapon. Although the review did say that it is not practical with its price range, I still would like to purchase one for its quality. Besides, I might even consider it my stepping stone into the gun world. My father always told me that when you buy cheap, you get cheap.
FAQ: Frequently Asked
🏆 What's covered?
Benelli M4 vs M2 Comparison
🔍 How did we come to the conclusion?
We analyzed 15 forum threads, researched 14 sources, evaluated 99 reviews and spent 12+ hours on our analysis.
Going by the facts stated above, I would have to choose the M4, since it will be utilized as a..