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M4 Barrel Markings


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I just purchased a M4 and noticed a barrel marking I don't recall seeing on the demo M4 I shot at a sport's fair.


I have to wait another week to pick it up (thanks CA !) so from recollection, it says "Lower Recoil" or words to that effect above the left handguard in front of the receiver.


Are all M4s marked as such, or are there various versions of it ? Was this specifically made to cycle with lower power loads ? I called Benelli, but the lady was not aware of any special markings.


I couldn't find any comment about it on this forum, but I did find a marketing blurb on the M4 in the 'New Products' section of an old Guns&Weapons for LE magazine from July 2004. It says "Benelli's M4 now comes with a modified ARGO system for shooting tactical loads" (emphasis mine).


I have read here that some say newer guns have 4 ports as opposed to older guns with two gas ports. Can anyone actually confirm this?


Again the lady at Benelli hadn't heard this, but she did think they made changes in late '03. If true, this would all seem to add up neatly that the M4 was modified when it was launched to replace the commemerative M1014 for civilian sales.


If there were mods to make it reliable with lower power tactical loadings, hopefully the ARGO system is still robust enough to handle full power 3" loads as well (referring to the few bolt carrier peening and piston breakage problems I've read about here).

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a Benelli gas gun,smart purchase,,I own an M1014 which has the two gas ports,,,,,,it operates flawlessly on any ammo,if they did make some modifications to the gas system,,it would only stand to reason that the gas system will still handle magnum loads-----best to ya M1014 ;)

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The bolt peening and gas piston breakage have mostly been due to the "low recoil" 4 gas port barrel. I would be wary of shooting many heavy loads in it. The other barrel is available (2 gas ports). So many people buying them wanting to shoot trap loads and they wouldnt cycle so Benelli caved in and made a 4 port barrel. This I feel is a failing mark to the M4 gun itself because I love mine. It had these problems and the repair was done free of charge. New barrel (2 port), bolt body and 1 gas piston. Little over 1000 rounds since then and no problems to speak of yet since I shoot mostly 3'' buck and slugs.

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Any documentation from Benelli reguarding the reasoning behind the 2 and 4 port barrels? My understanding is the ARGO system will regulate either preasure the same and cycle the action no different then another.

My understanding was the 4 ports offer the weapon the ability to cycle even lower yield tac loads, yet retain all ability to handle 3" magnum rounds.

Anyone actually measure the diameter of the gas ports in the different barrels?



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Some more follow-up ... Pt 1


After searching online, I found more references to a M4 'tactical' barrel, with Cal's Sporting Armory and D&R both selling them for ~$430, Part # 81246. I called Benelli customer service on Monday to ask again since she didn't know anything about a low recoil system when I called last week. She read back from some generic data sheet saying the M4 will take 2-3/4" and 3", full power, magnum, no need for low recoil/tactical only, etc.


I then asked about this specific barrel being sold at these vendors. She found some other docs which now showed two part numbers and when she read 'tactical' out loud to herself, she paused then said she would email their gunsmith to find out what was really going on. I reiterated that this was a serious concern since some users have reported problems on this forum that could be attribulted to use full power/magnum loads in a barrel system that has been modified for low power tactical loads only (the wondrous self-regulating ARGO system notwithstanding).


To her credit, she returned my call on Wednesday, and said yes there had been two barrels in the past, but now only 'this one' was being offered and is used for repair. "Which one" was my thought and I asked if she meant the low recoil barrel to which she replied yes. I asked if the smith clarrified about 2 vs 4 gas ports and she said there were no other details in his email. Ho-hum.


I also asked about chokes, as I had come under the impression that 3 were supplied, while mine only had the one in the barrel. She checked and said yes there should be 3, and said if I call back with the serial # she can try to get the other two as a warranty issue.



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Follow-up Pt 2


In my intial searches, I had come to the impression that the current 11707 offering was the solid pistol grip stock and the 11703 was the version with the collapsible stock. I thought these both had the notched stock housings, while the commemerative flag-marked M1014 had the solid housing which prevented it from working as all wished. Further comparison of facts seems to now show that the 11707 is intended as LE only (maybe the free states as well) while the 11703 still contains un-notched recoil spring / stock housing as was used in the M1014, making it "civilian" acceptable and sellable in CA.


I also found another listing now on ImpactGuns which seems to wrap this all up.

"Benelli M4 Civilian Model #11703

The M4 features a modified gas system designed to function with light tactical loads."


I picked up my M4 yesterday and finally got a good look at all the box labels. The end label shows the 11703 prominently, yet it calls it the M1014 (Low Recoil). It also says it has the standard stock despite it actually coming with the pistol grip stock.





The edge label shows it to be a M4(CIV) and lists the actual Rilsan pistol grip stock.





And a look at what piqued my curiosity in the first place ...





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Pt 3 ... the end I promise.


Low Recoil Rounds





Guess I confirmed for myself that there are Four ports.





From the photo, I tried to measure the ports in both areas. Based on the 12 ga bore diameter, I came up with 0.115" and 0.122" ... avg is 0.118" which happens to be 3mm. Looking in the tube, I would visually have guessed them at about 0.1". So somewhere in between could be a good guess !



All this info has me in a bit of an dilemna. I had wanted this M4 to be a rough, tough, no-nonsense shotgun where I could drop any reasonable 12 ga. load in have it come out shining. I wanted, no expected, it to handle birdshot, tactical, buckshot and slugs with no babysitting needed. Who could think any less with all the marketing hoopla in their magazine ads and website extolling the virtues of the ARGO system?


Benelli's ads, website, owners manual and even customer service do NOT make any mention of special ammo requirements other than the generic "can use 12 ga. shells with 2-3/4" or 3" cases". I guess it's fine that they will warranty repair any M4s battered and broken with full power buckshot or slugs, but I would rather know up font from Benelli what the limitations are for their systems. Even from their own product liability standpoint you would expect them to offer guidance in a CYA fashion.



After putting all the pieces together and reading those here who paid there dues by having their M4s break, I am wondering if I need to limit this M4/Low Recoil/Civilian friendly shotgun to only birdshot and tac loads from day one in order to prevent battering it apart due to the modified 4 port system.


The best scenario may be to have the original two port barrel, but it doesn't seem like that is readily available from Benelli. At least you could switch barrels and use the two port bbl for full power loads and switch to the 4 port for lighter loads. I know it is not as sexy as having some self-regulating system with a nice acronym, but its better than the alternative of wrecking your bolt carrier or having to limit yourself to a narrower field of ammo choices.


So ...

Does the above info I've gathered make sense ?

Are current M4 users limiting their ammo to low power/tactical loads only ?

Does anyone know the part number of the original two port barrel ?

Other than plundering an M1014, has anyone found sources for the two port barrels?


I will contact Benelli again tomorrow to see if I can get a resolution to my concerns. I wish I could get a lead on that gunsmith or other technical contact that can advise, though like most firms getting past customer service is "not allowed" ... we are only the cash paying consumer after all.


- Scott

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Aw man, had I seen your post earlier, I could have saved you some time. A few months ago I was desperately in search of the M1014 barrel to swap with my barrel. I was not concerned about the two vs four ports. Rather, my hang up was the choke tubes. The two-port barrel M1014 does not have screw in chokes like the 11703 and 11707 barrels. To me (just my opinion, only), choke tubes are a hassle. Anyway, I went deep into the Benelli customer service, etc. lines and it was confirmed that the M1014 barrel was no longer being made and there were none in the "warranty stockroom." Believe me, Benelli customer service is top-notch, and I truly believe that they went the extra mile for me. All Cals has are the four-port replacement barrels with the screw-in choke tubes. The only way to get the M1014 barrel is to buy a complete M1014 (with flag) and cannibalize it or find someone with a M1014 to trade barrels. I'm still looking for an unfired M1014 barrel to trade because I'm not desperate enough YET to buy a complete M1014 just to swap barrels. Have a good one!


[ 06-22-2005, 05:22 AM: Message edited by: usctf ]

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226490.jpg 126672.jpg thanks for the pics and info,,,I believe the four port barrell will be just fine with its interchangeable chokes,,,,,,,once I shoot the barrell off my M1014 ,there will be no hesitation on getting the four porter,,,go out and enjoy your Benelli gasser,,best to ya )))))))))M1014((((((((((( :cool:


[ 06-20-2005, 08:27 PM: Message edited by: M1014 ]

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More fun with Cust Svc. I called yesterday to try and get a better 'official' word on the barrel issue, and also try to get the missing chokes via warranty.


I got a man this time who knew all about the port issue. He said the orig. 2 port was for the full power/magnum loads that the military would use and that it was modified to work with birdshot for us civilians. He also said there are no more two port barrels. OK so far (p.s. so what is used on the current military guns if NO more 2 port barrels are being made??? I know, I know .. just not for 'us' )


I asked about the few issues mentioned on the board and he said he knew there had been some problems with the 11707 and Law Enforcement guns, but that there shouldn't be any issues with the 11703s. What the huh?...other than the notched tube I didn't think there is any diff between the 11707 and 11703. He said it has been quite confusing with all the models and that they are working on ONE version for everybody. I asked about CA and he said 'oh we will still have a separate one for CA'. Doesn't sound too different than the sitution now !


I asked about getting the chokes thru warranty and he said the 11703 was only supplied with the one choke in place, and that the commemerative, limited-edition, flagged M1014 was the only one that was supplied with all three choke tubes. What the huh again ?? I thought it had only the fixed choke like the military barrel. I asked just that and he said no, it had the three choke tubes.


Getting no where fast, I finally asked about the magazine limiter plug and if I can get one. I know some said they had the red plug, others not. He immediately said no limiters were available for the 11703. Thanks and goodbye were my thoughts.


Like doctors, it's good to get a third opinion with cust svc. I called back today to take a chance and see if I could get yet another person. This time I got my third helper, Laurie. She knew about the ports - said only 4 ports are available now - said it should work with anything loads light to magnum .... I then asked about chokes and after asking what model, immediately said YES the 11703 should have 3 tubes. She asked for my serial # and address and said she'd ship them under warranty. Feeling lucky, I mentioned the limiter plug. She said it should have one ala the red plug, but on looking could find no part #. She finally said she would just send their general plastic limiter as she thinks it will work ... if it doesn't just call back.


You bet if I need to, I will ask for her. One gun, 3 cust support reps, three different views of the same product. Fun, fun.

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I'm glad it worked out for you STA. I also got just one (Modified) choke with my Benelli, when there should have been three (CYL and IMP CYL also). Cust Serv. shot those to me, along with a red limiter plug as well under a warranty claim. They arrived within two to three days. I can't say enough good things about the GIRLS in Cust. Serv.


Now, as for that GUY that you talked to in Cust. Serv....if he doesn't know that the limited edition (with flag) came ONLY with the two-port, fixed choke barrel (I KNOW, I HAD ONE a few years back), then he needs to brush up on his Benelli product knowledge in a big way.


[ 06-22-2005, 05:23 AM: Message edited by: usctf ]

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Excellent job with the pictures and the legwork. I tried to photograph those ports before and couldn't do it.


I feed my Benelli whatever I have and don't worry about it. If it breaks, Benelli gets to buy me a new one. I have 3000 rounds of 3 dram birdshot through it without any problem.

Since then I've fed it many high power slugs. No wear can be seen on the carrier.


I honestly believe that the gas piston I broke in under the first 50 rounds was a material flaw.


Again, if it breaks, Benelli will buy me a new shotgun. Since their documentation with the weapon says nothing about limiting any particular barrel with a specific load type.



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