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A True Benelli Competition Sub-Gauge Gun

Oscar Acaron

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 Some time ago I had the opportunity to chat with one of your people about a very special consideration, and very important for a competition gun; weight. 

All your sport models are fabulous guns, but lack weight, a thing that's very important to dominate in clay target venues of all kinds.

If you check, all dedicated clay busting guns will be around 8-9 1/2 lbs. That weight is absolutely required to counter recoil, but also complies with a very special need; to have a smooth swinging gun.

A 7 lbs. gun will impose a lot of fatige to a competitor going a 100 clays streak, and worse if he has to do 200, taking the 12 ga. as an example. 

What would happen if we shoot a 5.4 lbs. 28 gauge?

First, a 28 so light will kick, and kick a lot on a long run of a 100 shots. Second, it will be a very whippy gun, lacking the dynamics to be a winning gun.

What those guys that want to go the Benelli route with a Super Sport Benelli do?

Add a lot of weight, via the magazine cap and butt weights. The 12 ga. will reload no matter what. I added 10 ounces to the weight of  my old M1 Super 90, and she can do down to one ounce loads without any problems. That gun was used by me to win a few American Skeet tournaments in my Island when I had my O/U at Briley's to be tubed for sub-gauge competition. That gun has gone with me wherever hunting destination can you think of in Central and South America and has digested anything i have fed it, including the worst, bottom class ammunition you can think of.

As the guy I was chatting told me, a 28 could not be built heavier because the inertia system would not work properly.

Well, I think you don't have to go far for a solution to that problem, and you can go for a .410 gun too without too much hassle. Just use the ARGO system on the M4 and extrapolate to a series of sporting guns. Using the ARGO you can do both the needed weight and provide the clay shooting community with a gun that can do, with all the attributes seeked by the extense clay target community, in a reliable gun that will not fail when most needed.

Oscar Acaron

Edited by Oscar Acaron
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  • 4 weeks later...

This almost sounds like a proposed solution looking for a problem.

As far as weight, it is personal preference. Back in the mid-90's, I bought a SBE for the capability of 2.75"-3.5" mags in a semi-auto. I ended up using it for all hunting seasons and sporting clays due to its lighter weight. Yeah, when we go to Canada hunting and I'm shooting up to 300 rounds of 3.5" mags during our time there, I occasionally wished for a lighter recoiling gun, but not so much that I'd want to carry more weight the rest of the seasons. Porting is always an option for recoil reduction. Weights can be added. Many like and use the mercury filled ones. A different recoil pad can help with the recoil as well though it will likely change the length of pull. Sounds like you may have been using something like this in your M1. The newer guns have the energy absorbing stock. It really does help. But, I'm not giving up my original HK M1, M3T, Montefeltro, and SBE's that all work perfectly. I like the low rib better anyway. I would think your M1 should be able to go below 1oz loads. My SBE's with its longer reloading stroke can do 1oz stock. My 3" Inertia Benelli's can shoot 7/8 oz loads with 99.9% reliability. But, I still use 1oz like you so I don't have that .01% failure to feed.

Everyone that I know that shoots clays in most any fashion uses an Over/Under. Benelli already has the excellent 828u over/under. I would think the sub gauge inserts would work in these as it is. The Ethos Super Sport 28 gauge has almost all the features you noted, as well as those I mentioned. Being 28 gauge, there is already little recoil to worry about.

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