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ISO M3 Folding Stock


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Just in case you don't know, the original HK era M3 folders differs from regular model in that the stock locks on the rear sight. Only the originals will do that (see the top one in the folded position in my picture below). If I am not mistaken, the sights are in a slightly different place so it isn't as easy as swapping that too. It has been a while since I thought about that so that last part may not be accurate, but I know the first part is. Also, I've heard the newer production M3's are supposed to have a different stock arrangement than the originals did. I know there's someone on here who has both an old and new type. Maybe they'll chime in.

Put another way, for some reason these have not jumped in value like guns with similar technology of semi-auto and pump such as the Franchi SPAS-12 and SPAS-15. You'd be time, and most likely money, well spent just to be patient and buy a complete gun. It should also already have the extended magazine. I will say that in use, the M3 is functionally better than either of the Franchi offerings (though who doesn't love the iconic look of a SPAS-12).

Be aware regarding the BATFE statement about changing an existing gun into certain configurations:

A shotgun with a telescoping stock or a magazine greater than 5 rounds is prohibited from importation into the United States under the provisions of section 925(d)(3) of Title 18, United states code (U.S.C.). Assembly of such a shotgun from imported parts is prohibited under 18, U.S.C. Section 922(r). The implementing regulations in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 478, Section 478.39 (formerly Part 178, Section 178.39) prohibit assembly of such a shotgun that contains more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of the regulation.


In the picture above, the top one has a mag tube clamp that gives it a picatinny rail. The bottom one is the original configuration.

They do come up periodically on Gunbroker and other websites. There is one available now, but it is way over-priced. Even during COVID panic they rarely got above $3k. I really don't understand why these didn't increase as much. https://www.gunbroker.com/item/929628952 I use GB a lot, and it is where I bought both mine (in 2013 and 2014). I'll put search links below. If you are a GB member, you can run this search and then save it and check the box where it will alert you when one comes up for sale. This is very handy for a gun that only sells one every few months.

Using the search term Benelli M3 Folding:
https://www.gunbroker.com/Shotguns/search?Keywords=Benelli M3 folding&Condition=3&Sort=13&PageSize=96

Using the search term Benelli M3 Folder:
https://www.gunbroker.com/All/search?Keywords=Benelli M3 folder&Condition=3&Sort=13&PageSize=96

Edited by bambihunter
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  • 1 year later...
On 7/22/2023 at 7:46 PM, Franklinexpress said:

Is that sight piece detachable from the barrel so it can be added to the new m3 barrel, I hear they are compatible. Not sure if refinishing the barrel is worth it, how long do those things last?

I'd have to look at it again (it's been many years since I really looked specifically at it, but I believe it is more or less a regular dove tailed sight, maybe with a set screw. But, as I eluded to above, I remember hearing that on early ones, even on the original HK models, the sight dovetail location was slightly off so it wouldn't lock in place anyway. If memory serves (which it barely does anymore LOL), it was ~1/4" difference.
These wrap around the back of the receiver some. Are the width of the receiver and shape of the trigger guard similar on new manufacture ones? I'd still opt for the original HK import versions for several reasons. One, they were imported and sold in that configuration and thus in many locals releasing them from some of the later restrictions. Two, HK original variants tend to hold a slight premium and were the only ones that were imported in this configuration. These can be "ghost loaded" but are a little tricky due to their shorter chamber than the SBE. 

I've also got a Franchi SPAS-12 and I can't fathom why it is so popular. It must be the look of that hook. There is really absolutely nothing that it does better than these do. Now, the SPAS-15 on the other hand, that would be a much closer call and I'd need some more trigger time to make that call.

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15 hours ago, Franklinexpress said:

I would love to try the SPAS-15 omg that thing is sexy.

It truly fixes almost all the things I disliked about the SPAS-12. I have shot my M3's a lot and am completely comfortable. But, only handled and shot a SPAS-15 one day for a box of shells. I thought I'd like the detachable mag, but with similar capacity to the tubes, I was torn. Only if they had extended mags would they seem viable. Now, the mags for those are several hundred bucks and the guns run ~$8,500 so I suspect they're getting shot less and less. Some of the new high cap shotguns certainly have a lot going for them though they lack the panache of these 3 dual-mode shotguns in my opinion.

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