As promised in my earlier post describing my problem with the Benelli Super Vinci cycling shotshells I would post again to update on the results I got with my gun after sending it into Benelli for service. I remain happy with my Benelli though is clearly particular about the shells 1 1/8 oz shells it cycles reliably. In my follow discussion I will tell you what 1/8oz shells did work and what did not work for me in my gun. It seems to require in my gun more than 1 1/8 oz loads with 3 DRAM of powder but shells with a smoother finish as well. A little more than 3 DRAM of powder helps too which is not surprising. I found a few types that work and a case of each and I happy. In particular I found among the working "skeet loads" ones a steel shot load also suitable for dove hunting in lead free areas of California.
The local skeet ranges are handy for practice but they do not like you to use tool large of loads over 1 1/8 oz or too much powder or 3DRAM so finding a good balance between their requirements and Benelli cycling preferences. I do not do competitive trap or skeet shooting with the Benelli but it do like the Benelli two shot performance to practice prior to duck season at the skeet range. In hunting season I do like the reliable feeding of the Benelli shotguns with 3" duck shells. It is the best gun I have used for these bigger shells. My only issue has been finding good skeet shells. The following describes my search for these shells.
I received my Benelli Super Vinci back on March 27 after shipping it off Feb 7. It was a long wait. I did call after four weeks and the customer representative said they had about a four week back log. I live in California with out five shipping days to the east coast. My took five weeks to inspect this seems a little longer than I would expect from a high quality manufacturer like Benelli. My Canon camera lenses are repaired in two or three weeks by comparison.
More disappointing was that the included papers said that after being tested by RF and MB they wrote "Could not duplicate problem--Possible Ammo Issue RT. Note: Bulk ammo is not always loaded to
3 DRAM 1-1/8oz." They returned my Super Vinci with only this test that failed to reveal a problem.
In some sense this was good news for me. They shot some shotshells and they worked in my gun. I had not been able to do that with the two types of shot shells I tried. However, they did not tell me the
brand or type they used in their tests. That is something that many other might have thought to do. If you do a test provide the specifics.
I bought this gun to hunt ducks but I also want to shoot skeet with same duck gun in the off season for practice. My local rod and gun club have rules about the maximum size of shot shells that they allow. In reality anything that is low brass is ok with them but they do not want the larger hunting loads due to noise and their range has limited property boundaries.
The note they included inspired me to buy a larger variety of shotsholls in the skeet range from a couple of websites. The previous two types I test were local purchases and all that was available nearby. Both appeared to have the needed 3DRAM and 1-1/8 oz loads as I explained in the detailed letter I sent with the shot gun to the Benelli customer repair department. It was surprising to me that they would put a comment like they did regard "bulk ammo" in their return paperwork. I can only conclude they did not read my letter written to them very carefully.
I do not fault them for this is casual reading of my letter if they would only told me what type of shotshells they used in testing my gun. I regret to report that I found lackt of testing detail very disappointing.
I bought 15 boxes of shotshells from the web sites for about $150 to evaluate this. Most were at or above the specification of 3DRAMs and 1-1/8oz. Some were less. My test results are summarized by the three files at:
Specifically six types of shells that did not work and which clearly list the DRAM and load size as being with the Benelli requirement are:
Shotshells that did work and meet or exceed the Benelli Vinci specified minimum 3DRAM and 1-1/8oz load size are:
Note: that I purchased five cases of shells of the Winchester shells on page 2 of the above link that I found to work. I bought from Cabelas.com website (there was at promotion for free shipping which I participated in).These three types cost me $6.50, $7.00 and $8.50 per box.
These website shells I felt were affordable, but more than the non-working Winchester and Federal Walmart target shells I had problems with (despite their on-box specifications being 3 DRAM and 1-1/8oz). My problem is now solved by having these shells and learning more about the shells issue. It would have nice for Benelli to make some suggestions of skeet shells as some surprising shells I expected to work did not work.
I believe that in addition to shells with the requisite minimum loads the the type of coating on the shotshell bases matter. The bright silver plating on the cheapest shotshells seams to correlate with the
problem. Heavier loads than the minimum are better. I have the shells I purchases in case lots have a
1250fps rating is is more than the 3DRAM equivalent. They are 3.25DRAM or 3.5DRAM.
I have some Fiocchi bright silver plated base target shells with 3.5DRAM and the bright silver bases which feed pretty well but they do not feed 100% with the miss-feeds being only occasional. The brass and nickel plated base shot-shells seem to load better than the bright silver ones in my Shotgun.
When you are shooting shells that are near or at the lower recoil Bellini-specified boundary of 3DRAM and 1-1/8oz it is a trial error process. I am used to having to do such a trial and error process when choosing the most consistently accurate ammunition for my highly accurate big game rifles. Every riflerifle has a barrel established preference for the most accurate ammunition. The same is true the best feeding of trap loads with my Benelli SuperVinci.
The inertial shell feeding mechanism in the Benelli product line ofshotguns enjoy a well earned reputation for reliable feeding in duck and goose hunting with the large waterfowl shells. All of my
friends know this well. This is why I bought the gun. I has been a little bit of a surprised that Benelli does not maintain a list of preferred shells types for trap and clay shooting and they did not even tell me which shells they used to test my shotgun with no problem found!
I believe there a low level of misfeed problem that does occur with my shotgun with light loads that do comply to the Benelli 3DRAM and 1-1/8oz specification. I further believe that the bright silver base shells are more likely to be a problem. After testing 15 shell types I have found a few exceptions with a couple working shells types appearing bright silver and a not working shell type appearing brass colored suggesting the need for trial and error testing.
I hope this post helps other Benelli users and Benelli to improve their systems and product. I hold no hostility for Benelli customer service. Some of these problems could be improved but overall Benelli
produces an excellent shotgun. I am sure there are many of customers like me that love their shotgun but only seek to find solutions to this off-season clay target practice requirement. I hope my post helps. The Benelli Super Vinci is a fantastic duck gun!