Jump to content

First Firearm: Benelli M4


_RomeoAlpha
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello Benelli Family,

I recently picked up my first firearm, a Benelli M4. Its sole purpose is for home defense and enjoying some time at the range. 

I haven't taken it to the range just yet since I'm confused on a few things. Based on what I've been researching, there's a bit of a "break in" period and that the M4 comes standard with a modified choke. With that being said, I just have a few questions. 

1) Any suggestions on which type of ammo I should start with selective to a modified choke? Target Rounds? Bird? Buck? Slugs? 

2) For home defense and indoor/outdoor range, would you find it necessary to purchase a set of different chokes? 

3) Should I consider a Trulock Tactical Choke instead or something similar? Apparently I wouldn't have to worry about switching chokes when cycling buckshot to rifled slugs.

This is kind of a whole new world for me to explore, so I apologize if I come off ignorant. Safety is key, and I'd like to learn and do this correct. I'd really appreciate the help! Thanks! ?

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as break in I got my M4 in December and have put about 100 shells thus far. Some were premium tactical buckshot and slugs and others were ancient “I don’t know what” shells I had in a drawer. I had one misfeed due to an obviously weak load. Otherwise it was flawless so I’m not sure how important the break in with higher power shells. Can’t hurt though and any range time is a bonus. 
 

If home defense is the purpose the included choke is fine. Pick up something like the Federal LE13200 buckshot. It is a bit pricey now so just try to find enough to have a full load in the M4 and train with something else. 
 

In a home what is your reasonable max range? 30’ maybe? Anything you use would likely be fine. I’d not use slugs unless you have no neighbors. Always be concerned of the backdrop. 
 

The biggest thing I’d stress is training. The best firearm/ammo does no good if you are fumbling and unsure of how the weapon functions. Getting to the point where everything is automatic is the goal. 
 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to take a minute to address what Shekkie said in his last paragraph and set a slightly different course:

Shekkie said, "The biggest thing I’d stress is training. The best firearm/ammo does no good if you are fumbling and unsure of how the weapon functions. Getting to the point where everything is automatic is the goal."

Break-in the gun with more powerful loads and break yourself in as well.  I'd buy a box of dry fire Snap Caps to practice manual of arms.  I purchased a box containing 9 rounds from "B's".  One thing I don't like about them is they're about an 1/8" shorter than regular live rounds, but this doesn't pose a significant problem.  Nine is a good quantity because you can have 1 chambered and 7 in the tube and another ready for a tactical reload.

While boring, I'd read the manual thoroughly to learn the mechanics of the gun.  If you can get a copy of the USMC M4 Operator's Manual, do it.  OPERATOR'S MANUAL FOR THE SHOTGUN, COMBAT 12 GAUGE, SEMI-AUTOMATIC M1014  (1005-01-472-3147).

Things you'll learn:

a)  You just can't rack a round from the mag tube unless you depress the shell release lever first to put a shell on the carrier.

b)  With a bolt locked back and empty chamber, you can insert a shell through the ejection port and momentarily press down on the round then remove your fingers.  The bolt will run the shell home as soon as you release the pressure without snapping your fingers and you don't need to use the bolt release button.

c)  How to unload the gun without repeated racking and cycling each round through the chamber then ejecting.  You can't just do that like Chuck Connors (The Rifleman) did to unload the gun, you have to hit the shell release lever every time before racking (see a) above).

d)  How to Ghost Load a round on the shell carrier.

e)  How to change-out a chambered round for a better option, e.g. changing out buckshot for a slug.

f)  And a whole lot more.

I'd also look at some 3-Gun videos on Youtube to checkout their reload techniques.  They rarely (if ever) use M4s, but some techniques translate well.

I've been around guns for most of my life and thought I knew a thing or two about a thing or two, but you need to understand your Benelli M4 manual or arms.  I learned the hard way after fumbling and bumbling.

Of note:  This forum is awesome for sharing lots of great info for maximizing the utility of the M4, but techniques for manual of arms is somewhat lacking.  Maybe most members think that we all know our shit when it comes to running and gunning but I am witness to the fact that this is not always true!

Best of luck.  Sorry so long!

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, _RomeoAlpha said:

Hello Benelli Family,

I recently picked up my first firearm, a Benelli M4. Its sole purpose is for home defense and enjoying some time at the range. 

I haven't taken it to the range just yet since I'm confused on a few things. Based on what I've been researching, there's a bit of a "break in" period and that the M4 comes standard with a modified choke. With that being said, I just have a few questions. 

1) Any suggestions on which type of ammo I should start with selective to a modified choke? Target Rounds? Bird? Buck? Slugs? 

2) For home defense and indoor/outdoor range, would you find it necessary to purchase a set of different chokes? 

3) Should I consider a Trulock Tactical Choke instead or something similar? Apparently I wouldn't have to worry about switching chokes when cycling buckshot to rifled slugs.

This is kind of a whole new world for me to explore, so I apologize if I come off ignorant. Safety is key, and I'd like to learn and do this correct. I'd really appreciate the help! Thanks! ?

That's like saying, "I got my first car, a Ferrari !" You are starting on top, good choice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Birdog19 said:

I'm going to take a minute to address what Shekkie said in his last paragraph and set a slightly different course:

Shekkie said, "The biggest thing I’d stress is training. The best firearm/ammo does no good if you are fumbling and unsure of how the weapon functions. Getting to the point where everything is automatic is the goal."

Break-in the gun with more powerful loads and break yourself in as well.  I'd buy a box of dry fire Snap Caps to practice manual of arms.  I purchased a box containing 9 rounds from "B's".  One thing I don't like about them is they're about an 1/8" shorter than regular live rounds, but this doesn't pose a significant problem.  Nine is a good quantity because you can have 1 chambered and 7 in the tube and another ready for a tactical reload.

While boring, I'd read the manual thoroughly to learn the mechanics of the gun.  If you can get a copy of the USMC M4 Operator's Manual, do it.  OPERATOR'S MANUAL FOR THE SHOTGUN, COMBAT 12 GAUGE, SEMI-AUTOMATIC M1014  (1005-01-472-3147).

Things you'll learn:

a)  You just can't rack a round from the mag tube unless you depress the shell release lever first to put a shell on the carrier.

b)  With a bolt locked back and empty chamber, you can insert a shell through the ejection port and momentarily press down on the round then remove your fingers.  The bolt will run the shell home as soon as you release the pressure without snapping your fingers and you don't need to use the bolt release button.

c)  How to unload the gun without repeated racking and cycling each round through the chamber then ejecting.  You can't just do that like Chuck Connors (The Rifleman) did to unload the gun, you have to hit the shell release lever every time before racking (see a) above).

d)  How to Ghost Load a round on the shell carrier.

e)  How to change-out a chambered round for a better option, e.g. changing out buckshot for a slug.

f)  And a whole lot more.

I'd also look at some 3-Gun videos on Youtube to checkout their reload techniques.  They rarely (if ever) use M4s, but some techniques translate well.

I've been around guns for most of my life and thought I knew a thing or two about a thing or two, but you need to understand your Benelli M4 manual or arms.  I learned the hard way after fumbling and bumbling.

Of note:  This forum is awesome for sharing lots of great info for maximizing the utility of the M4, but techniques for manual of arms is somewhat lacking.  Maybe most members think that we all know our shit when it comes to running and gunning but I am witness to the fact that this is not always true!

Best of luck.  Sorry so long!

 

Ditto. And well said. That Corps manual was the first thing I poured over- and it was thanks to this forum.  Secondly, ditto on the big rounds through the break in period. After that, it’s just like anything else: Practice, and more practice. Next thing you know, operating that m4 will be like sliding into a good set of jammies (maybe a onesie) and getting a great sleep all night long. 
 

Edit to add:  don’t worry about the cool kid mods at first. Get used to the base model, and then it will help you with the decisions down the line. Again, this forum is the go to with excellent advice all around. 

Edited by Redwingsfansfc
Couldn’t finish with a onesie comment,
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you don't want to worry about changing chokes between slugs and shot, I am pretty sure you need Cylinder or IC at the tightest. When you read up on chokes, they will tell you can can and can not put through them. Carlson's 9choketube.com) makes a tone of chokes for just about every shotgun out there.

A good way to practice with your gun is to find a local trap range. Get #8 (or 7.5) target rounds like Federal Topgun, or Remington Gun Club. M, IM, or F are good chokes for trap. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, rhodesengr said:

A good way to practice with your gun is to find a local trap range. Get #8 (or 7.5) target rounds like Federal Topgun, or Remington Gun Club. M, IM, or F are good chokes for trap. 

I agree.  Either trap or skeet is a great way to work on malfunctions, tactical re-loads, emergency re-loads, shell change-out, etc.  Get a shell pouch  https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015017764?pid=538068  or a fanny back will work and set a full box of shells in it with the carboard lid ripped off.  You can pre-arrange all the shells to be oriented in the same direction if you want.  Then have a friend start throwing clays as fast as the throwing machine will cyce them.  If shooting skeet, they can launch either pairs or singles.  If he's hand slinging them that will work too with a bit of practice on the thrower.  Mix a snap cap into the mag tube to practice the "dry-click" and then cycling the bolt with both weak and strong hand.  Load only a few in the tube and practice topping-off or recharging a dry gun.  You'll learn to differentiate the sound the gun makes after the last shot with the bolt locking back.  This kind of training gets your blood boiling and in a good way, for sure!

The first time I did this was with a 12 round mag tube giving me 12+1.  My buddy kept pulling and I kept a shooting.  After 13 shots and seeing the sky filled with clay "flak burst" it was nothing but school girl giggling!

I'm no expert on chokes but I've got a Carlson cylinder choke in my gun with zero restriction for home defense using 00 Buck.  For a 30'+ HD shot I'm not sure what would be more better but I'm open to suggestions.  If shooting trap, I'll use a more restrictive choke like modified.  There are guys running tactical or door breacher chokes that seem to claim a reduction in muzzle rise due to the porting.  I have no experience in that.

Another though.  It's your first gun and an expensive one at that.  But, don't treat it like a baby, run it hard like a tool and make it do what you want.  I think of it like running a drill driver...loosen chuck, insert drill, reverse the drive to tighten chuck and drill the hole.  Reverse the drive and loosen chuck, replace with driver, reverse the drive and tighten the chuck, run the screw into place.  Rinse and repeat.  I know, I'm weird.

You just need to get that thing heated-up!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The m4 is my first gun too lol! 

What I did was, I thought to myself, why did I buy this gun, and if I had to depend on it with my life, what ammo would I run?
Any type of Federal slugs/00 or 000 buck worked well (both 2 3/4 and 3"), S&B stuff slightly less so. I also cleaned it after every range trip for the first few hundred rounds but dont bother as much now and it runs great with Federal ammo, so I stick with what works.

To me, its expensive, not because it's supposed to be treated like a fragile piece of art, but because the Marines (or a first-time gun owner like me) can beat the shit out of it and it looks good doing lol.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, the best ammo is going to be the Fiocchi 7/8 oz Aero Slugs 1300 FPS because it's just about the lowest FPS round you can use without worrying about cycling issues because anything under 1250 FPS, there's a 50% chance that the ammo won't cycle (jams) on a newer gun.

The reason the FPS is so important is because 12 guage shotguns have a lot of recoil and when your gun rattles the fillings out of your teeth on each shot, you're less likely to practice with the gun because it's unpleasant.  And you have to use above 1250 FPS to avoid jamming.

The Fiocchi 7/8oz 1300 fps Aero slugs will give you the least kick while still remaining reliable (won't jam) which means your shots will be more accurate and it'll be a much more pleasant shooting experience so you'll practice more.

I believe this is a popular round for 3 gun competitors for all the same reasons.

For home defense, I would use something like 00 Buckshot because it's like shooting someone with nine pistols at the same time so you have a higher chance of hitting the target and it'll be safer than shooting slugs through drywall walls.   And if you get a clean shot, hitting someone with 9 pieces of lead is most likely going to end the fight with a single shot.

Edited by DailyEDC
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...