Benelli M4 Review | Does it Live Up to the Hype?

Benelli-M4-ReviewWelcome to Shooter and Safety’s 2018 Benelli M4 Review.

Three years ago, I went through some difficult deliberations within myself regarding whether it was time to own a home defense rifle. My family and I had just moved into our new neighborhood, and before long there was a burglary, and we lost almost all our possessions, even with the law enforcement on our side. And, although none of us got harmed or anything, it was clear to me that our home was vulnerable to invasion and a small arms weapon or shotgun was in order.

Before then, I didn’t pay much thought to tactical defense rifles. Sure, I was writing blogs on other smaller guns occasionally, and I probably owned a dozen handguns then, but never shotguns. But, after the whole ordeal, I started writing reviews on the best tactical defense shotguns on the market.

Now I know most review websites get a bum rap for slapping together scanty pieces of information which is the opposite of how it should be. So, to ensure I don’t fall into that very snare, I have been testing all the major home defense tactical guns and analyzing the data to find out if they live up to the hype.

What I want to do in this guide is talking about the Benelli M4 and whether it lives up to the hype. There’s no one size fits all answer, but by the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ll have a pretty good idea whether Benelli lives up to expectations. To avoid unnecessary information, I have only included the features and benefits, pros and cons, general user impressions and frequently asked questions about the product.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

Things to Consider Before Buying a Tactical Defense Rifle

Before I started this site, I didn’t know much about tactical defense guns. Sure, I had vast experience in firearms in general but never the shotgun. So, naturally, I wanted to be sure I was giving practical information that will be meaningful and helpful to gun enthusiasts like me. So, I started testing and analyzing data on the various types of defense shotguns on the market. Which brings me to my point.

Not all shotguns are equal. So, it can be tough to decide on a suitable rifle because of all the different options there are. And it’s even harder when you try to get answers from review websites and only get bare minimal information on what shotguns work best for you. Naturally, you don’t want to get a rifle that you won’t even need. Therefore, we recommend scaling the different options using a workable formula. Here are some helpful tips to help you make an informed decision.

Price

The price is mostly determined by the number of features included in the rifle. Naturally, a gun with more features will cost up to $1700. You might raise an eyebrow at a price but a gun in this price range is a quality investment that will last for years. Some rifle models, however, will cost between $200 and $400 but with lesser features and a lot less dependability and accuracy. Now, there’s also the semi priced rifles which cost between $500 and $900. These rifles tend to be of decent quality second only to the higher priced models.

That being said, if you want more features and better dependability, you can typically expect to pay anything between $1000 and $1700. But if you’re face is turning white at the thought of having to spend tons of money on a rifle, you can go for a standard rifle or a semi-priced rifle.

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Size

Of course, any size will work, but you are going to have a much harder time if you choose the wrong size. Instead, pick a rifle that feels right for you. One that’s not too heavy neither too light but just right.

Purpose of the Rifle

We all collect guns for different reasons. For some, a gun is simply a gun range buddy while for others, it’s a handy hunting tool. But, for others, a gun is a means of survival. A tool to help protect themselves and their families from any imminent danger. When choosing a rifle, you are going to need to narrow down what you’re going to be using your gun for so that you pick the right one for your needs.

Speed

Even though we’ve all grown accustomed to slower heavier guns that are slow to feed and difficult to manipulate, speed is a factor that you want to consider when choosing a suitable rifle. Especially for real shooters and those looking for a home defense tool.

Precision

One of my main concerns when I first started gun shopping was whether I’d find a rifle that offers precision. Of course, I kissed a few frogs before I could find the perfect accuracy, but I found it nonetheless. If you’re anything like me, then precision is a factor you want to put into consideration. Especially if you’re looking for a fighting or hunting gun.

Optics

You and I both agree that optics are an essential part of a shotgun. Not just because they allow you a greater range of the target but also because they allow for faster target acquisition. No decent shotgun is complete without powerful functional optics!

Reliability

Another key consideration you need to factor in is the reliability of the rifle.

Lack of reliability can be a major issue. Anyone who has watched an action movie knows how important a reliable gun is, especially when the lead actor is about to save himself from danger and the gun jams up at the last minute. While there’s probably no rifle that will offer 100% reliability, the last thing you want to do is pull out your rifle in the midst of danger and find out it can’t do a thing. Choose a rifle that provides 99.99% reliability and 0.01% downtime.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s have a look at the Benelli M4 in detail.

A Brief Description of the Benelli M4

Designed more than a decade ago, the Benelli M4 is an Auto Regulating Gas Operation scattergun made by Benelli. It claims to be the Italian sports car of scatter guns providing speed, precision, and unmatched accuracy. Or, if you like, a scalpel that provides higher power and unrivaled reliability.

So, who is the Benelli M4 for?

If it’s important to you to have a fast, dependable tactical shotgun, the Benelli M4 might be a great place to start. However, the Benelli M4 is not without its fair share of weaknesses. So, if the weaknesses are a deal breaker for you, then the shotgun isn’t the best option for you.

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Features and Benefits

Now that we have done a brief description of the Benelli, it’s time to acquaint ourselves with the various features that separate the Benelli M4 from other tactical shotguns you’ll find on the market. These include:

Powerful Optics

One of the reasons why I like Benelli M4 is because of its optics. I do a lot of hunting, and while I have a vast experience shooting rifles, I sometimes have a hard time locking down the target. That’s the appeal of the Benelli. It is topped with powerful optics that allow for greater range and better and faster target acquisition. More importantly, the optics give you a clean sight picture that makes shot placement easier.

18.5-inch Barrel

While we are speaking of the barrel size, it is important to note that anything longer than 18.5 inches means you’ll have to deal with a short barrel shotgun NFA ordeal.

This barrel is not only NFA compliant, but it’s also much easier to maneuver indoors which is great especially if you’re going to be using your rifle indoors. That being said, the whole gun is still quite heavy, and if this is an issue it is maybe better to go with something similar but lighter, like the Benelli Nova.

Ribbed Forend

Another useful feature is the ribbed forend. The Benelli M4 is topped with a ribbed forend which is great because ribs add a positive gripping surface in mud, rain, and dust. This means that, regardless of the circumstance, you’ll still have a good enough grip on the rifle.

A Three Position Stock

One of the things I hated most about winter is that I couldn’t do my usual target practice as I did in the summer or fall. I barely had any good guns and the fact that I had to be fully dressed for winter limited my shooting. Luckily, with the three-position stock on the M4, you can still get to use your shotgun with thick winter clothing. So, there’s never a dull moment regardless of the season.

Self-Adjusting Argo System

Another notable feature is the self-adjusting Argo system. The Benelli is topped with a self-adjusting Argo system that allows you to mix loads to mild game loads. This means that you can reliably run a mixed tube of 1 oz. slugs, 00 buck and high-velocity game loads. On the flip side, it also means that you can’t get a bird shot with this rifle which is a deal breaker if getting away with birdshot is a big deal for you.

Polished Loading Gate

The Benelli M4 has a polished loading gate that is useful when loading shells. It allows for much easier loading, so you don’t have to push in the shells forcefully. As an extra perk, the loading gate is also thumb-safe. So, you won’t have any trouble with the gate.

Pros

  • Benelli has an unrivaled precision and performance that makes it stand out among the competition
  • It can go for long periods without being cleaned and still deliver unmatched results
  • It is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and functionality. So, you don’t have to worry about having to deal with shoulder sores later
  • It is topped with powerful and functional optics that provides a more accurate shot placement. This is great because it reduces the odds of missing the target
  • It has a ribbed forend that adds a positive gripping surface when it’s raining
  • There is a three-position collapsible stock that allows you to use the gun while wearing thick winter clothes or body armor
  • The mild recoil impulse ensures you don’t harm yourself while shooting

Cons

  • The biggest downside of the M4 is that it is expensive
  • While a 4+1 capacity is decent enough, it is nothing to rave about. You would need to add an extension on to the gun to expand the capacity
  • It takes some time to get used to how heavy the gun is

General User Impressions

According to most users who had a Benelli M4, everything about the M4 feels well built and up to the task. Plus, all the features are exactly as they had anticipated they would be—well done and up to the task.

However, one of the things that stands out to most users is the buttstock. It is nicely sized and proportional which is nice because it makes the gun all the more comfortable.

Our Opinion

We won’t beat around the bush. Regarding pricing, Benelli costs a lot more than most tactical guns go for. Then again, when it comes to tactical defense rifles, you get what you pay for. Plus, it packs a ton of features that offer excellent value for the money. This might be a good choice for those who want a dependable tactical gun. As long as they don’t mind spending on it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long is a Benelli M4 shotgun?

A: Well, the Benelli shotgun is quite long and will often register a length of 34.8inches and a barrel length of 18.5 inches.

Q: Where can I buy Benelli parts?

A: You can buy the parts from a Benelli dealer or on the official Benelli online store.

Q: I do a lot of target practice at the range, and sometimes I have to do it in messy conditions. Rain, dust, and mud being the most frequent yet. So, how do I clean the recoil assembly?

A: It’s pretty easy really. All you have to do is remove the butt pad from the stock then using a 17mm wrench unscrew the stock nut. Once you have unscrewed the nut, take out the recoil spring and plunger and clean both parts. Once you have cleaned them, apply a coat of oil to them and reassemble the gun.

Q: How can I locate a Benelli dealer?

A: You’ll find all the information you need about dealers near you on the Benelli dealers’ page.

Q: Do I need to do any maintenance on my Benelli? If so what kind of maintenance should I do?

A: Yes. Like any other firearm, the Benelli firearm also requires occasional or sometimes even daily maintenance. It is important to note, however, that maintenance varies depending on the type of powder used in the shells you’re using, the number of rounds fired and what you do with the firearm. But just so you get a general idea, here are some general guidelines on maintenance:

  • You need to clean and oil the bore and exterior surfaces after use
  • The recoil plunger assembly and the bolt rails should be oiled at the end of the day
  • You need to clean the debris on the trigger mechanism and bolt frequently. (The frequency here will depend on the type of ammo used.)
  • You need to do a detailed strip clean of the whole gun at the end of the season. And once you’re done, ensure you oil to it

Final Thoughts

That’s a lot of information to take in. Of course, there’s a bazillion of things that I left out…but the above information is by far the most important.

So, to answer your question on whether the Benelli M4 lives up to the hype, the answer is yes. It is a fast and dependable shotgun that boasts of remarkable precision and superior performance. If you are looking for a tactical rifle, then it doesn’t get any better than this.

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If you enjoyed this review, why not read a couple more? Here are our takes on another Benelli piece and the Beretta A300.

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