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M4 low recoil barrels and 3" heavy loads?


Byron South
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I just purchase an M4 this weekend and noticed it says low recoil loads on the barrel. I purchased this gun for shooting coyotes and use pretty stout loads (3" Dead Coyote loads from Hevi-Shot) will I damage this gun. It is marked 2 3'4 and 3" on the barrel. I would assume that the 3" means magnum and therefor would seem not to be "low recoil". To say the least, I'm confused. It I can't shoot the heavy 3" loads I may have just wasted my money. Please tell me I didn't. :confused:

 

Byron

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If this is so,why the **** don't they tell people. Why doesn't it say this on the box in BIG RED LETTERS. This was my first Benelli shotgun and will probably be my last if this is so. I sold a Beretta that had probably 4000 rounds through it without one hicup. Maybe thats what our fighting men should be using to defend our freedom and not the Benelli. This shotgun funtioned 100% with light target loads as well as heavy 3"magnum loads in very nasty conditions.

 

How many have had problems with them? and are these isolated instances or very comon ones? If it's comon they should offer a recall, fixit it, or refund your money. I just spent 1200 hard earned dollors on this shotgun and find this out. My hunting season starts this week and I'm a little concerned and somewhat confused as to why they would let this happen if it were a problem. The book says nothing about shooting ONLY LOW RECOIL loads and neither did the guy that sold it to me and NEITHER did Benelli on their website. I wonder if the Marine Corps knows about this weakness?

 

Sell it? No If this is all so Benelli will reemburse my money. I have taken some very powerful men hunting in the past and are quiet good friends with them. Things like this is what have made them rich. Has anyone been injured do to the breakage. Has anyone been out money because of breakage?

 

I hope this is all not true because I love the way this gun shoots and handles.

 

Looking forward to hearing more. Anyone from Benelli want to chime in?

 

Byron

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THE FORUMS ARE NOT A CONDUIT TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. ALL CUSTOMER SERVICE QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE VIA PHONE OR EMAIL (301-283-6981). DO NOT POST CUSTOMER SERVICE QUESTIONS IN THE FORUMS.

 

 

This is a customer service issue. Do not expect an answer from Benelli in the forums regarding customer service issues.

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Byron,

I was in the exact same situation as you back in July. Called customer service and the woman didn't even know anything about "low recoil" markings. Each time I call, I get someone else and it's usually 50/50 if they've heard of the low recoil marks or even know the 2 vs 4 gas port issue. When I do ask about what rounds I can use, they just read their cheat sheet which doesn't mention any limitations save the usual "2-3/4 or 3". As for me, I am sticking with low recoil, tactical type loads until this is (or never) resolved.

 

I'm still waiting for a warranty parts issue from them going on two months now, so I guess you just take your chances with their lack of service.

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So, if I bought a used gun that said 2.75" shells only on the barrel, I can sue the gun maker because the gun won't accept 3.5" shells :confused:

 

I know you are upset, but you bought a used gun without knowing the specs of that gun :(

 

Kinda sucks, but I don't know what to tell you; caveat emptor :confused:

 

Safety and/or usage warnings permanently imprinted on barrels are generally acceptable methods of communicating a particular firearm's limitations and/or requirements.

 

If the firearm is not defective, traditional theories of negligence will apply. Then all the traditional defenses like misuse, contributory or comparative fault, adequate or inadequate warnings, etc. may apply.

 

The great thing about law is that anyone can get a law degree and pass the bar, this is 'Merica smile.gif

 

Start a dialogue with Benelli's CS and I bet it gets resolved....

 

mudhen - CA

 

[ 08-30-2005, 01:07 PM: Message edited by: mudhen ]

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Danceswithgeese,

 

I was simply wondering/asking for input from others on this issue. I tried most of the day yesterday trying to call CS with no answers(Phones were aparently down). Today I stayed on hold until a recorded message came on TWICE. evidently they were extremely busy. NO where in the literature I have seen advertising this fine product does it state "LOW RECOIL LOADS ONLY". On the barrel, as you know, it simply states "LOW RECOIL LOADS". On the other side of the barrel is stamped 2 3/4 and 3" loads and in the manual that accompanied the gun it has no mention of avoiding or WARNINGS against using 3" heavy shells. I simply was out of other avenues in which to ask for the answers I was needing. Hence my post. I apologize if I stepped on any toes, but after dropping 1200 bucks I was getting impatient and wanted answers. And figured this forum would have them.

 

Later today on my third call and talking with the receptionist and refuseing to be sent to the back of the line "again", where after 20 minutes I would be forced to just leave another message, She got me intouch with someone that could help and they did. I spent the better part of 5 hours getting this matter resolved. If I had not pushed the issue I would still no doubt be left in the dark. Our dove season starts in two days and I have a new 1200 dollar shotgun that could break at any moment. This might be acceptable to some of you but not me. I will travel 350 miles from my home on this hunt and will also be taking a few of these guys for coyotes during this time. Some of these guys are Writers for hunting publications and some are very influental in the shooting/hunting community. How would it look for my brand new, combat tough, Benelli to fail shooting doves and coyotes. Hope this better explains my impatience.

 

What I found out.......

 

The problem as was explained to me is that they are recalling the "LOW RECOIL " barrels and replaceing the parts and barrels with Mil Spec parts. I sent mine back today for the change. They are aware of the problem and are making an effort to correct it.

 

My beef with this whole deal is that no where on the ads or literature is there any reference to these markings and the admitted problems associated with these barrels and parts when shooting 3"shells (Are there any low recoil 3" shells and if so why?). I bought this gun across the counter in a major chain sporting goods store and they were un aware of the problems associated with the "LOW RECOIL" Barrels and parts deal. When Benelli first became aware of this problem they should have contacted all dealers and made them aware and made arrangements to rectify the problem. The M4 page of the website should have reference to this potential problem and how to rectify it. It makes me wonder how many poor fools are sitting there right now on hold wanting to ask the same questions I did today. I also wonder how many dealers are unaware that they are selling good customers shotguns that the company is aware has potential issues. Benelli has a great reputation but feel they may have dropped the ball on dealing with this issue. A simple memo on the M4 website explaining this issue and a memo to the dealers selling them would have saved me a lot of trouble and them the time explaining it. Hopefully they can make it right.

 

I love this shotgun and look forward to getting it back and whacking some coyotes with it and dang sure ain't gonna be shooting light loads out of it much. Surely if it will stand up to the USMC it will stand up to coyote hunting. If it don't I'll let you know.

 

Mudhen,

 

I bought the gun NIB.

 

The barrel is clearly marked 2 3/4 and 3". Never tried to feed it 3.5" shells. Never said I did. If the M2 is so good why did the USMC decide on the M4?

 

All this being said. I did start a dialog with Benelli representatives today and looks to be like the situation will be resolved. They were very curtious, and helpful when I finally got to talk to somebody that had the answers. My point from the beginning is that these issues should never have been allowed to come up. If this information would have been placed on the M4 page and dealers would have been contacted, you would have never seen my smiling face :D . And the others here that have had problems could have been saved a lot of grief.

 

Byron :D

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You didn't read closely - I was merely commenting that your barrel was marked 'Low Recoil' and you bought it anyway. You may not have bought what you wanted or what you thought it was - but that is a different issue.

 

Benelli's current large catalog does say "light tactical loads" on page 31, but the website makes no mention of it!

 

The M2 is new - give it time - my GS's are backordered 20-30 deep on tactical M2's - they eventually will be much easier to get than the M4 ever was and they are without the legality issues.

 

I'd glad Benelli is retrofitting the gun for you - hope it works well.

 

mudhen - CA

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"The problem as was explained to me is that they are recalling the "LOW RECOIL” barrels and replacing the parts and barrels with Mil Spec parts."

 

So the civilian version of the M4 is not the same as the military? My two cents is not worth much I know, but for me this just reassures my believe that gas operated shotguns (Even if Benelli makes them) are not worth the box they come in. I am speaking from experence, I have the Beretta 391 and a couple of non gas, inertia operated Benellis. I shoot allot of sporting clays and hunt doves as much as possible. The 391 just can’t hold up. I also had an 1187 I thought I would mention that just for laughs. From experience I can say I can shoot any load in any order with my SBE and my M2. I am not proud of this, but I have put thousands of rounds threw my M2 and have not cleaned it and can count on one hand how many times I have had a problem with it. In my opinion if you have a gas operated shotgun. "You're just not cooking with gas" no pun intended.

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Before anyone reads this I want you to understand that my shotgun DID NOT FAIL and HAS NOT BROKEN. I have, however , sent it back to Benelli and they are retrofitting it with the parts that should make it hold up using the loads that are stamped on the barrel. I.E 3" shells

 

Mudhen,

 

 

I bought exactly what I wanted. Trouble was it was mis-represented. In none of the literature I saw on the shotgun were "LIGHT LOADS ONLY" mentioned. I don't have the catolog. I bought it NIB and did not read the little fine print "light recoil loads" on the barrel until I assembled it at home. Even then, there is NO mention, Warning, or Caution on the website or in the manual stating that it will not handle "HEAVY RECOILING LOADS". Let me try and explain it another way. This shotgun was marketed to the public using terms we have come to expect to mean extremely reliable and durable. A shotgun that had passed the tough military test. A shotgun this tough should be plenty tough enough to withstand anything I would ever ask of it. Why in the world we should be satisfied with a shotgun that will not reliably withstand the recoil from a standard factory 3" load when it is clearly marked 3" and said to be suitible in the manual is beond me. I read the manual, the barrel, and your post very clearly. That was not the problem. Why is this so hard to understand?

 

Like I have said before. I love the gun but if I can't depend on it to go bang and funtion with factory offerings in 3" as ADVERTISED. I will be a very unhappy Benelli customer. I will not own a gun that I don't have 100% confidence in when the chips are down. With Benellis reputation I fully expect them to make it right and if their conduct with me was any indication then I will be satified, and that's all I can ask for.

 

 

Good Hunting

 

Byron

 

[ 08-30-2005, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: Byron South ]

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Black Jack,

 

I have a 391 that has thousands of rounds through it. It has never had a hicup with either light target loads or heavy 3"magnum loads. This shotgun was used in some very harsh conditions most of the time. I chose the M4 to replace it because of Benelli's reputation, the gas assist feature, and the fact that the USMC uses it. I often mount a light on my shotguns and sometimes an Eotech for night hunting coyotes (which is what I do for a living). Adding weight to recoil operated shotgun can and does effects their reliability.

 

Good Hunting

 

Byron

 

[ 08-30-2005, 11:41 PM: Message edited by: Byron South ]

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Byron,

 

Thanks for the update and good luck in getting your new barrel !

 

I for one appreciate your patience and thoughtfulness in explaining your situation. I likewise purchased a new M4 and only saw the low recoil markings once I had purchased it. Going back, I saw nothing online and nothing in the manual about it. I called customer service and they were unaware of the markings or the need for any special loads. They were unaware of some barrels having two gas ports while others had four. Three separate reps all said they were unaware of any limitations and thought I should be able to shoot ANY 12 ga. 2-3/4" or 3" all the way up through magnums.

 

One rep did know about the 2 vs 4 port issue and some problems with certain models. He said when the M1014 was first released to the civilian market it would not work reliably with lower power loads (birdshot or target), so it was modified. Presumably this become the current civilian M4 version.

 

If this is the case, then acknowledge the M4 is now set up for ONLY low power loads, and not all loads. We know 2 port barrels were used prior (and still are for the military guns I would guess). If these are what is required to handle full power loads, then say so. Forget the ARGO hype and make a clear distinction. This would protect Benelli and it would offer the consumer a choice of setting up their M4 for their desired use. I would certainly entertain the idea of buying an optional two port barrel and keeping the low recoil barrel handy for target loads or any other loads that aren't reliable in the military barrel.

 

Please let us know how this is resolved and when you get your M4 back from Benelli. I am curious to see if you indeed get the two port barrel with fixed modified choke. I think this was part #81245, while the four port 'low recoil' barrel is #81246.

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Well, I got my M4 back today. I overnighted it to them they checked it out replace the low recoil barrel with the 2 port barrel and overnighted it back. Haven't shot it yet but I'm sure all will be fine. They thus far have impressed me with their effort to correct my problem , but have not noticed any changes to their website and would be willing to bet that the dealers haven't been contacted about the problem the "low recoil load" (4-Port) have experienced either. I guess the squeeky wheel gets the grease. I kind of feel for guys that in the future buy these 'Low Recoil barrels only to have them break on expensive trips or in bad situations. Hopefully they will make some effort to make it public the problems they have experienced with the 4-ports and shooting heavy loads.

 

I'll be back later to let you know how my "super duper, military tough, shotgun does.

 

Byron

 

[ 09-01-2005, 04:48 PM: Message edited by: Byron South ]

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That is great!

 

Very odd that there is not some sort of Press Release.

 

Doesn't the automotive industry use some sort of Technical Bulletin? I recall getting these in the mail with a reference # - all you do it make a service appointment and give them the # and they do the repair - no big deal, it gets fixed.

 

Benelli could be letting CS handle it though - that is pretty normal for gun mf's.

 

Hope the gun works well!

 

mudhen - CA

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Mudhen,

 

Maybe they are going to let CS handle it, but that would be after the fact that it broke or if the owner happens to be curious enough (As I was) to discover that the 4-port "Low Recoil" barrels have had problems breaking when firing heavy loads.

 

I have seen, many times where gun manufactuers have discovered potential problems and took out ads in magazines notifying the public. I would assume they have records of what dealers have sold these guns. These dealers have the names of the people that purchased these guns. They should be contacted and told of the problem so they have the option to get the matter fixed BEFORE the gun breaks. Dealers should be immediately contacted and made aware of the potential problem at the very least. I'll bet their aren't to many of these shotguns out right know but know for a fact there are a few still on shelves in stores waiting on customers like me that are going to be very disappointed when they find out they were allowed to buy a firearm from a Benelli dealer that Benelli in fact knows has potential problems and did nothing. Hoping it will go away is not the answer, getting in front and fixing it is. I'm curious to see if they just pretend it isn't happening and let CS deal with the problem when they break.

 

Like I said. They fixed me up and I'm glad they did, but it was only because I took the time to post the question here about the barrel markings and found out the problems with 3" loads. What if I had not? What if it would have broke on my dove hunt out here in the middle of no where? What if it broke while trying to defend my family? What if it broke and caused harm or worse. My point is, if I would have seen a mention of this on the website or the dealer would have informed me that heavy loads could in fact potentially break the gun I would have never been dissatisfied or felt mislead. I now have the gun I wanted, but only after going through the ordeal and spending extra time and money from my own pocket to get the matter resolved. How many more will do this before they issue a press release?.

 

I hope I don't sound like I'm beating a dead horse. I just don't want anyone else to buy one of these 4 port guns and be as disapointed as I was to come here and learn that my new super duper shotgun could have a weak link and break while firing heavy loads. Bad news travels fast and lingers long. Just look at how long the M16 had to go to finally prove its self after getting the bugs worked out. Benelli is a fine company and I sure hope they get this matter in hand before another 1 or 20 are sold tomorrow.

 

Sorry to go on so long.I ran 25 Winchester AA 1300fps #8's through the M4 this evening and about 10 3" Hevi-Shot "Dead Coyote" loads through it without a hitch :D .

 

I'll be out for the next few days wringing it out. I'll give and update when I return. I don't expect to have any problems with it because.....

The M4 is combat proven and U.S. Marine Corps tough;

why would you depend on anything less?

(copied and pasted from the M4 page)

 

Byron :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

usctf,

 

I got the 2 port barrel with screw in choke.

 

I wonder how many 4 port barrels have been sold since this fiasco started. You know the ones that are marked to accept 3" loads but say "low recoil" on the barrel ? These are the ones that are known to potentially have problems and yet Benelli chooses to pretend they don't?

 

I have shot about 350 rounds of 3 dram, 1 1/8, birdshot and about 50 heavy 3'' magnum loads through the gun with out one hicup. It has performed flawlessly. I'm not sure if it would handle the light loads but feel that it would. I didn't buy the gun to shot light "Low recoil" loads though. I bought it because it was advertised as "Marine Tough" proven and dependable. Later when I found out that Benelli had pulled a little switcharue with the barrel deal I was disapointed and felt mislead.

 

I have not noticed any changes or memo's stating these changes on their website. My fear is that some unsuspecting guy will be depending on his 'Low recoil" barrel to defend himself one day only to have it crack a BC, malfuntion and cost him dearly. I can't understand why a change that has a known ill effect has not been publicly mentioned and delt with by this company. I'm not some kind of consumer advocate with an axe to grind. I'm just baffeled as to why they choose to ignor this. They won't even own up to it unless pressured. That goodness for this forum.

 

Byron

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Hi I just put a m1014 limited edition on layaway its new never used but about 2 years old does someone know if it is 2 or 4 port barrel. and if I can use heavy loads in it . also does anyone know if you can get tube for the tele stock so it can collapse

 

thanks JAYSON

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I spoke w/ CS today about this issue. The word given was that the newest batch coming off the boat are remedied of the problem.

 

My order has been in a holding pattern for ~1 yr, & I only recently received word from the fun shop that a Benelli rep. came by & apparently echoed the news about the problem being fixed; also told them they should receive order shipment sometime this coming Nov.

 

It'll be interesting to see how this all pans out. I'll follow up when I finally have them directly in hand.

 

[ 10-14-2005, 06:36 PM: Message edited by: Double_wield ]

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Double_wield did they tell you how they "remedied ... the problem."? I would be curious to know as I too have been waiting on a M4 for a long, long, long time. I have been in posesion of a colapsable stock and tube extention for quite some time. Some times I take them out and gaze wistfully at them. Regards,

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