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M2 vs SBE3. Differences?


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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not going to really be technical, but the extremely obvious difference between the SBE's and the rest of the autos is they have always been able to do 3.5" shells. As such, their receiver extension is longer than the rest of the Benelli auto line. The M2 lineage follows the M1 not the SBE. So much so that a lot of the M1 parts will work on the M2 without modifications including the barrel. However, the opposite is not quite true. M2 parts such as the barrel and forearm can be used on an M1, but require modification.

I think the SBE is the best shotgun ever made for my purposes. I used to shoot one shotgun for skeet, another for trap, another for ducks, another for turkey, etc. It was fine, but every time I switched seasons or activities, it took me a bit to get back into the groove and start hitting reliably again.

I first heard about this new brand of shotgun (to the US) called Benelli, that was at the time imported by H&K, had this shotgun that could shoot 2.75", 3", and 3.5" mags in any order and without adjustments. I drove a roughly 5 hour round trip just to go see one in person. I liked the fit and feel of it. I knew I wanted one. So, I started selling off my various shotguns and saved up the handsome sum of $1,000 (in 1994) and again made the 5 hour round trip to buy it. I haven't ever looked back. The only snag I've ever had was early on I discovered I couldn't shoot 7/8oz dram shells. However, ANY 1 1/8 oz dram shells worked fine, even the cheap stuff. I can't even begin to speculate the number of ducks, doves, geese, turkeys, and clays that have fell to this gun over the past 27 years.

As I got older and had more disposable income, I saw a Benelli M3T top folding shotgun so I added it. That started my buying them just to collect. I now have M1, M2, M3, Montefeltro, M4, SBE, etc. I shoot these for fun occasionally, but the SBE is still the shotgun for me to grab when going shooting.


M3 Field:

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