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First Impressions of the R1


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Well, I finally got the chance to get my new R1 to the range under decent weather conditions.

After laser boresighting the Leupold VXII 3-9X50, I was ready to tear some paper.

I tested using two factory loads: Hornady's 150 gr. Interbond and Federal's 125 gr. Power Shok.

The range was 100 yards from a solid benchrest setup.

The Hornadys were first out of the gate with groups of no better than 3.5". Pretty abismal performance for a pricey deer rifle and a quality ammunition.

The Federals performed only slightly better with 2" groups. I noticed marked vertical stringing with rounds 4 and up. Cooling for 20 minutes was the only cure for that. I also noticed that the fore-arm cap is subject to work its way loose if it's secured only hand tight. Tightening the fore-arm cap more securely with a coin fixed that problem, but it also raised the point of impact about 3.5 inches. Not good.

There is an exceptional amount of creep in the trigger, bu after the long travel it is fairly crisp.


Cleaning up after 40 rounds reveals quite a bit of fouling on the internal gas system parts, some of which prooved very difficult to remove.


After cleaning, I thought I'd go back this afternoon and see how the first shot placed on a cold barrel. The placement was about where I'd hoped it to be, but the groups still string and average 2" or more.


By comparison, I also fired my Winchester Apex .45 caliber muzzleloader this afternoon, and it actually out-grouped the Benelli at 100 yds., easily placing three rounds within a 1.5" ring.


While I'm not ready to give up on the R1 yet, and will go ahead and use it this deer season, I have to say that I am thus far disappointed with the rifle. I expected more for my $1,000, but most of all I expected more from Benelli.

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I found my R1 30-06 to be pretty accurate using Remington Accutip ammo 150 / 165 grain with groups between 5/8 and 1" @ 100 yards. Winchester Ballistic Silvertip proved to be slightly less accurate ranging from 1" to 1.812" , but still thats pretty fair for factory ammo . So far those are the only factory-made loads i tested since i reload a whole bunch . a friend of mine ran some of the same rounds thru his R1 with similar results on accutip , but win bal-silvertip failed to stay within 2 " mark ( i'd blame it on those 6 cups of coffee he drank by the time we got to the range ).

As far as cleaning goes ...wheew , youre right , it's a pain . In the beginning it took me 'bout an hour to clean my rifle 'til the day i stole my wifes toothbrush . Now i use it with nitro solvent for cleaning , and another brush dipped in oil for nice finish .

Fore-arm cap problem was fixed by a 5 cent rubber gasket placed between screw and wood . It works like a charm ( comes loose no sooner than after 20 shots ) and i haven't noticed any loss of accuracy.

The only thing i don't like about my R1 is the gas piston. It moves 360' for no reason , making assembly pretty tricky . It feels like i need an extra hand just to hold it in place with one hand on the bold , the other holding the barrel. Sure it's easy in summer , but assembly during winter time with -10c temp. can be a pain in the @#$! . ( and yes , i bought my weapon in mid's of winter , i know from experience )


Overall , I'm very pleased my R1 . I'ts pretty accurate and light weight . Bought this weapon just so i can hunt those russian boars . Never again i'll go hunting those crazy pigs with a bolt action rifle , the sight of a 450Lb wounded piggy charging at you is a picture i'll never forget .


Wish Benelli could offer more calibers for R1 .. 25-06 anyone ??


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Edited by phenom101
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Thanks for the tips on the ammo and the rubber gasket! I never thought of doing that, yet it's such a simple fix.

I had to break out my Dremel tool to get the gas system components properly cleaned! Sheez!


Other calibers: 25-06 would be great. I'd also like to see them match up to Browning on the WSM's.

If the R1 were offered in the 300 WSM, that's the one I would have bought.


The other night, while doing my second cleaning, I noticed that the barrel lock follower easily tightened about two clicks past the red index mark. I'm going to test again with it in that position. Maybe that will help with the accuracy as well.


And finally, YES...**** YES! The piston flopping around on reassembly is annoying!

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I had a same problem with that barrel lock follower in the beginning . At first both dots matched up nicely without any slack , but after maybe 80-100 rds i had to tighten extra couple o' clicks . Now i keep my index dot 3 clicks beyond the factory setting ( same strenght as it was new ). Make sure you keep it tight , i spent coutless hours trying to figure out , whatta heck is wrong with my reloads. Made a batch , found a perfect load ,soon to find out after 'bout 50 rds groups started to open up . Guess that lil slack was the main cause , but once i tighten the screw , groups returned to normal. I can't blame Benelli for a design flaw , in fact i'm actually happy that all it takes is just an extra turn/click to solve the problem .

I should mention yet another cleaning tip .. I'm sure you hate cleaning the inside of a fore-end stock huh ? Well , i took some clear coat paint and sprayed couple of layers inside . Of course i taped off all the areas that touch receiver assembly and near the barrel . Now cleaning is a breeze , guess thats something Benelli shouldve done in a first place .

Hopefully We'll see more Benelli R1 owners posting their thoughts out here . I'm sure after some time there will be more and more posts , but for now We're stuck with good ol' "try and see " method . So far i feel like a test monkey , hoping i won't screw up on my next project .

I read Your tip on how to reverse the safety , hmmm it's time i try that since i shoot from right stance with a scope , and left stance off the iron sights .

Good Luck





Edited by phenom101
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I think Benelli R1 should have a separate sub-forum . So far i've met Five owners of R1 complaining about lack of info . It's pretty hard to find any posts about R1 on a forum which is filled with questions about shotguns . In past few months i noticed less than 10 posts on R1 and they are all separated by tons of Q's regarding SBE's & M2's . No wonder people get discouraged from posting their thoughts and correct me if i'm wrong but isn't this forum source of info for the producers quality control ?


Anyways ... I'm glad to be of any help Tucker301, now i have to start working on that safety , time to get ready for the season ;)


butt Cam

Edited by phenom101
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