For my 54th birthday my wife allowed me to buy a shotgun to use for the several action shotgun events held at my local gun club. Since I had a very good experience with the Benelli Nova pump I looked at the M2. I had heard a lot of good things about the Benelli from IPSC shooters so I went ahead and bought the M2 Tactical without the pistol grip and with the regular stock. I also opted for the rifle sights as I am not a big fan of ghost sights since I am so used to rifle type sights after 30+ years of shooting. I also find the rear ghost sight something else to catch on clothes or whatever or dent or break off.
This morning I brought it to my club's shotgun meet and was met with some good natured jeering questioning whether I would even be able to hit anything with that "10 inch" barrel. I told them it was 18 1/2 inches and that I was just there to test th shotgun in a non timed event prior to using it action shotgun leagues.
I did notice that the fit and finish were good. I had disassembled it the night before with no problem other than I can not seem to get the handguards off nor the bolt handle. I had trouble feeding the shells as the chamber seemed very tight. I also could not press the cartridge retaining lever to remove the snap caps I was practicing with. Any help with the above would be appreciated.
Back at the range I was no doing so good but then again I was just testing various loads and getting my timing down. I did not find the recoil difficult but then again I also shoot a Mossberg 590 pump and a Mossberg 500 pistol grip only shotgun. I also have a semi auto Beretta and honestly did not notice any difference but then again I am not very recoil sensitive.
My club is not what you would call a formal shotgun oriented club. We have shotgun side matches twice a month and a major shotgun only match once a year. Twice a month we have what best can be described as a free style shotgun match. We only have two stations each with two throwers and a rabbit thrower off to the side. We shoot 10-15-10-15 rounds, against one person in the other station. The clays go in all different directions as the matches are more for practice for the bird hunters in the club.
Anyway, after a dismal showing I was getting the feel of the M2 and it was time to step in station 2 for the last round agains someone who joined the club the same time as I did but always shoots better than me. Well we were dusting the birds one by one until he missed one and then I missed one. We were down to the last two. He dusted them one after the other. I knew the best I could do was tie him so I called for a double to be thrown instead of two singles. Eyebrows raised as people were already amazed how I could hit 12 out of 13 with "that short barreled home defense gun". I called pull and the two birds shot out. One to the left and the other to the other slightly to the right. I pressed the trigger twiice and broke both clays and then to my amazement the guys applauded me saying that the gun must be very good to be able to hit the clays so far out with a short barrel, etc. I felt good. The gun felt good. I am looking forward to my first action match.
The M2 performed flawlessly. The trigger pull is short and breaks cleanly as far as I can tell though I tend to easily adjust to various triggers. I tried some light shot #8 1 ounce 2 3/4 dram and size. with no problem. It did not feed when I tried a low recoil #8 load. I intend to test further next week. I also need to test slugs which I will do when I sight in my AR's and other rifles for the season.
My overall impression is "WOW" what a great gun. It is very light and I did not experience the usual pain in my arms after firing many rounds trying to hold up the gun. The members of my club were amazed at how the shot stayed together out so far so that some clays were dusted. Everyone was asking me what choke I was using and when I told them "IC" they were amazed that I was using so open a choke.
To summarize, what more can you ask of a gun other than to have people praise it and to shoot better than you normally do.