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fenrock

Help me understand something about the Engineers at Benelli’s Italian R&D facility...

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I posted about four weeks ago (To my VINCI brothers and Sisters...) about my initial shooting experience and now want to add two hunting experiences with a new out of the box Black Vinci 12 Ga. This is a personal observation and not an indictment of quality of craftsmanship or quality of any products. If you care to read further this is what happened.

1.

1. Patterned gun, all shot placements were center high ~8 inches (give or take an inch either way), all chokes.

2. Refitted the gun shims to maximize the cast (off) and drop.

3. Patterned again – test results nearly the same.

4. Sent down range ~400+ rounds to “break-in” and gain feel and handling of Vinci.

5. Five Stand results (IC Tube and Mod Tube) = Horrible!

a. LtoR = not good.

b. RtoL = not good.

c. Overhead = ~50% success

d. Out and away = ~90% success

e. Rabbits = ~40% success

f. Springing Teal = 100% success

6. Skeet results (C Tube) = 90.6% after three rounds. See below!

a. Round 1: 22/25 = 88%

b. Round 2: 24/25 = 96%

c. Round 3: 22/25 = 88%

d. Total: 68/75 = 90.6% - I can live w/this using a NIB field grade gun.

7. 1st trip to South Dakota (The Land of Milk and Honey). Trouble from the start w/LtoR crossers (high and low) and vice-versa, at this time I am wondering if something is wrong w/the gun, me, moon phases, ocean tidal currents – something!

8. Next push - BOOM! Straight out and away bird in front “Money-shot”!

9. Another straight out and away bird – BOOM! “Down goes Frasier”!

10. Later in the morning the trouble starts again on simple shots and I am having a very hard time connecting with simple flushing and flying Pheasants. I tried using other guns and noticed big improvements i.e. straight shooting = dead birds.

11. Four days of this trouble makes for a long trip. Don’t feel bad yet I managed to shoot my share, it just took me longer!

12. Two weeks later after leaving the Land of Milk and Honey with full bag limits, I have many things to ponder and work on.

13. Repeat lines 7 -12 except change South Dakota and replace w/Minnesota (last week). Further, replace gun changes (Vinci) w/Benelli SBE I 12 ga, Ruger Red Label O/U 12 ga, and Benelli Super M1-90/20 ga.

14. All results the same as before in SD – something is either wrong w/me, the Vinci or is it a fitting problem period!

 

Finally, after a bit of soul searching, gun cleaning, examining, and one more fitting session, I broke down and called Benelli Customer Service for some sage gun advice. Here’s the bottom line, I was told to either pattern the gun again, change the shims again or aim different? Hmmm, I asked what do you mean by aim different? Note: This is after I advised the service department agent of my pattern testing results. She (Benelli service agent) replied that “I should “float” (i.e. aim under and in front depending on bird position) the bird vice covering it, b/c you know all European made shotguns are designed to pattern high and you should “float” the target”. At this point my mind was racing and my throat went dry… I shelled out $1,500 big ones (w/taxes) for this revolutionary lightweight injection molded piece of plastic, 6.8 lb, modular designed, work of field grade gun art and the Benelli service agent tells me to aim freaking low? (I was incredulous and thought – REALLY? Are you serious)? I took a nice deep breath, calmed down a bit and asked about the POI being so high after adjusting the drop to the lowest position. Oh, she says that the Benelli engineers designed all their guns that way or something to that effect. At this point, I said to myself “jeezuz I can only hope this conversation is being recorded for quality assurance purposes”.

 

Now you could have heard a pin drop!

Again, I took a nice deep breath and calmly asked if she was aware of any other Benelli customers having this type of problem (w/the Vinci) and I was advised this was a “first heard” for her. Now I am thinking to myself “hmmm, this is really a first heard”? I asked if she or her colleagues have ever visited the Benelli USA Forum (blog) site or for that fact any of the other Forum (Shotgunworld.com to name one) sites with a large Benelli presence to learn about or read up on customer comments regarding their gunning experiences? She says Nope! I pointed out and advised this is becoming sort of a developing i.e. almost common problem set with the Vinci and owners are posting comments and threads about this issue more and more regularly. Again, she says Nope! First Heard! I wanted to raise the BS flag but I let it go and thanked her for her time and attention.

 

Summary: At this time I have had no further cycling problems, no unexplained mechanical hic-ups that need mentioning. To date, I have close to ~750-800 rounds down range and will shoot one more time at the 5 Stand and SC’s course to test any remaining theory’s and make one final professional adjustment. I am making an appointment to see a gun fitting expert and see if something can be worked out w/this gun. I haven’t sounded as if I like this gun, quite the opposite – this sleek, dynamic Italian temptress is a brilliant piece of machinery, shoulders well and she really does feel great! I just cannot shoot the damn thing to save my life – or – for that fact kill birds when the gun goes boom.

 

Oh, I almost forgot about the safety button position (new placement is forward of trigger area like R1), had I only known what monumental ass pain the new safety placement would have caused me I guarantee one thing for sure I would have thought through even more carefully before I bought this gun – period! This is besides the high POI issue. Again, my own opinion! However; if anybody here knows the name or is a friend of the Benelli Engineer who designed the trigger group – please tell them SHAME on them!

 

Seriously, I am not looking to start a North Korean style ruckus or bend anyone’s feelings over their beloved Benelli’s, I have three other “flat shooting” Benelli’s of my own. For what it’s worth, I would appreciate if a well-seasoned Benelli moderator, a Benelli design engineer, or certified Benelli service technician would kindly set me straight regarding my statements above. This is in regards to the high POI design issue and if I am out of line and missing something. Again, if you are a subject matter expert I am ALL ears and could use the advice, because as it sits, sooner rather than later this Vinci will be traded-in for something else that can shoot flat and doesn’t need to be “FLOATED”.

I sincerely appreciate all of your time and wish you all safe gunning.

 

Kind regards and keep shooting.

FENROCK

Edited by fenrock

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I shelled out $1,500 big ones (w/taxes) for this revolutionary lightweight injection molded piece of plastic, 6.8 lb, modular designed, work of field grade gun art and the Benelli service agent tells me to aim freaking low? (I was incredulous and thought – REALLY? Are you serious)?

 

Yes she is serious, look at the rib on the gun. It starts out high toward you and then is down to nothing at the bead. Think about what would happen if the rib was level...the barrel would be angled up slightly. Now take a look at your favorite Remington or whatever, the rib is probably pretty close to the same height start to finish.

 

So your choices are pretty much the following: change the shims, aim differently, make the front sight higher, or get a different gun. Not trying to be a jerk but that is pretty much the size of it. Personally, I adjusted to aiming a little lower, wasn't that difficult for me but if that is the way you have been shooting forever I can understand how it would be hard to change gears.

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You obviously know your stuff. You've done enough testing to know that something is seriously wrong.

 

Your gun is flawed, in one way or another, such that it is hardly useful to you.

 

The relevant question, at this point, isn't whether your Vinci is flawed or not, it's whether ALL Vinci's will share the same "flaws" when you use them, whatever they may be.

 

The scientific way to eliminate the "lemon" possibility from the equation is to obtain additional samples to test ... but this may be difficult, as I'm sure you aren't going to rush out and buy 3 more Vinci's after your negative experience, and they are still uncommon enough that borrowing / renting may be impractical.

 

I don't have anything technical to add ... I've never shot a Vinci or even seen one honestly, so I'll leave it to people who have.

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The easiest fix (for you) would be to remove the front bead, and replace it with a higher post. Benelli/Beretta engineers also feel that Americans, "shoot your guns too much...":rolleyes:

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My Vinci shot high also. I also called C.S., so there were at least two calls (lol). There have been many complaints about this on this forum, and I know that C.S. was called many times about it. I don't get it either. The gun needs to shoot where you point it, and if you want to float the target, then you shim, not the other way around. Besides that, the shims don't allow for enough adjustment to lower POI 8 to 10 inches. It drives me crazy..I agree that when a guy spends $1500 on a shotgun, it should shoot where he points the damn thing..Mike

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Observations and comments:

 

1. You were patterning high-center, yet you adjusted for more cast off - why?

 

2. You shot well on out and away targets. This means that the gun shooting "high" is helping you on these types of targets.

That means that you are aiming too low to begin with.

 

3. European shotguns are not designed and sighted the same as American shotguns. Americans like to cover the bird on the vertical axis.

Europeans like to see the entire bird "floating" above the sight plane.

 

Summary. There is nothing wrong with you and there is nothing wrong with the gun. You just don't go together that well. Either figure out a way to get the gun to come to you, by compounding shims or adapt to the way the gun was designed to be aimed and fired.... or get something else.

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Their are still shotgun manufaturers that will hand fit a shotgun to a person and then make ther shotgun. For the rest of us.... My Little 20 guaue Monty shoots high and when I swing on a bird I swing UNDER. All my Remy 20 guage 1100's and 11-87's shoot low and when swinging on a birds I shoot just over the bird. Now, my Browning Special Field Citori shoots right on the mark (like a rifle). That's why I take the Browning out when I want to show off. My success in the field is remarkable with all these shotguns, which is why nobody wants to hunt with me. I rarely miss, unless it's at Grouse. Let's be honest. Unless your hunting with dogs, nobody is all that successful with New England Grouse. That's half the fun.

 

If you want the perfect shotgun, I would tell people to visit a company that will fit you first. Most people just learn their shotguns (used to be called Kentucky windage) and go on to be show-offs in the field. If I was to buy a $30,000 shotgun, it would be fitted to me. But a Remy or Browning or even a Benelli? Naw, Pattern the shotgun and adjust ME. Life's to short. Of course I understand we are Americans and irregardless if something cost 5 cents or $1500 dollars it had better be shootin' tootin' darn perfect...

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It was 8" high at what distance (BTW, that's great for an ATA trap gun)?

 

If it patterns high, obviously you need to lower the comb. If you lowered the comb, and it still patterns high, are you are "peeking" to get a "figure 8" with the beads?

 

If so, forget that.

 

Are you seeing a lot of rib between the beads when you mount the gun?

 

Also, when you look through the barrel at some light colored object, are the "rings" inside the barrel all concentric? If they are not, the barrel may be bent.

 

If all else fails, add an "add on" rib (yeah, I know it sucks to have to mess with a new gun.) An add-on rib will raise the bead and make the gun shoot lower.

 

Just some random thoughts.

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To: TIMB99, SgtCathy, tucker301, HOGNUTZ, Rob72, Duggan and agm65ccip,

 

I just logged into the site and saw the seven reply's to my initial post and first off; I appreciate your candid responses and hard earned sage advice... Rgr rgr and copy all regarding the fit and adjustments to the gun or my personal adaptation to the Vinci. Again, your posts are most welcomed and will be put into practice. I found another thread posted today regarding this very topic... I think this shooter is experiencing some of the same issues as well, I hope the best works out for him and I will further post my results after my fitting. Wish me luck!

 

To TIMB99: Methinks I AM "peeking" to get a "figure 8" with both beads... I also shoot a "P" and "B" guns on Skeet and Sporting Clays. Well done assessment and Cheers!

 

Warm regards and safe shooting to you all.

 

Respectfully,

 

FENROCK

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Please forgive the long message that follows, and I understand your frustration…

 

I read your thread carefully, and I keep coming to the same conclusion. The Vinci does not fit you, and that is why you are experiencing the problems you describe. Here’s the deal: Shotguns used for clays and wing shooting do not have a rear sight. The “rear sight” is your head position (and ultimately the position of your shooting eye).

 

I love the look, construction, and feel of Browning shotguns, but for some reason I can’t shoot an “off-the-rack” Browning accurately. I routinely break 24/25 targets in trap, but shooting a Browning I’m lucky to get 18 targets. Obviously it’s not a problem with the Browning guns (they shoot very straight), but instead it’s just that a Browning does not fit me and I shoot left and high with this gun.

 

I did purchase a custom S/S years ago that was precisely built to my anatomy and shooting method by a professional gun fitter. Somewhere (cannot find it now) I have my measurements (cast-off, drop at comb, length of pull, fore-end dimension, weight distribution front/rear, etc.). I really like the gun since it fits me exactly and I shoot it well.

 

I purchased a Benelli Montefeltro a few years ago, and I shoot this gun very well. It fits. Recently I’ve been test shooting a Vinci, and that gun also seems to fit me almost perfectly. But, just because I have a positive experience with a Vinci does not mean the next guy should expect the same result since the fitment may not be the same.

 

BTW: You mention having a problem with the Vinci’s safety being relocated to the front of the trigger guard. I found this not to be a problem, and actually like this position. I guess it’s a matter of preference. My O/U guns and S/S guns have the safety positioned on the tang, my Monefeltro’s safety is on the rear of the trigger guard, and it seemed natural to use the Vinci’s safety positioned on the front of the trigger guard. “Dunno” why, but I have no problem with any of these safety-positions. It’s probably instinct. I also shoot single and double triggers with no problem.

 

--Spike

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