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History of the SBE?


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Almost certain it was first introduced in the 1990 H&K catalog. I still have the catalog somewhere. It was marketed as the first 3.5" semi-auto, and it followed it's platform, the Black Eagle, in the catalog. So no, it was not based on the Pintail, which I think was a Benelli product made for Beretta.


I ordered my first SBE in 1990, paid in full, and it arrived 10 months later, the first one shipped into the Sacramento area, according to our dealer. I still shoot that gun on occasion.


H&K had the Benelli import contract, which it lost around 1998 when Beretta Holdings took over Benelli sales in the US and set up Benelli USA. I could certainly be wrong on the dates & details, but probably not by much :)

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What is the history of the SBE?

When was it first created?

Was it first a HK or HK Benelli?

Was it based off the Beretta Pintail?

If memory serves me right, they were introduced in late 1991. I purchased my HK/Benelli SBE in March 1992 for $685. HK was the importer and HK is on the gun, but the gun was made by Benelli. It certainly revolutionized my shooting ability and confidence, especially in the early days of steel shotgun shells. It had a high gloss wood finish and a polished blue barrel and receiver. They went to the "satin" finish after that, then introduced the black synthetic model, which I purchased in '96. Benelli recently went through my original SBE and it still is a great shooter. I also am shooting a new Vinci now, which I really like.

Edited by hattles
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