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Gun Review: Benelli Super Sport

OL's shooting editor puts the Benelli Super Sport to the test.
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To paraphrase a famous comment about the weather, "Everybody talks about recoil, but nobody does anything about it." Sure, we've been trying to ease the pain of recoil ever since we started fiddling with gunpowder, but the staple cures-rubber butt pads for instance-have been like taking Band-Aids to a sword fight. Recently, however, recoil has been the focus of serious thought, and some of the results are quite amazing.

One innovation is a system developed by Benelli called ComfortTech, which is featured on a series of shotguns, including the top-of-the-line Super Sport autoloader, which I recently tested extensively. By "extensively," I mean firing something like a thousand rounds per day for three days in a row, at the end of which my arms were too tired to raise the gun for another shot but my unbruised shooting shoulder could have gone on forever.

Before explaining how this revolution in recoil reduction works, let's look at the Super Sport from the inside out. When gas-operated shotguns appeared a half century ago, the event was hailed as the end of recoil-operated autoloaders-particularly the old Browning-type "long recoil" guns in which the barrel recoiled into the receiver, creating the distinct "double shuffle" effect that seems to magnify felt recoil. Thus, gas-operated systems that operated more smoothly and were cheaper to manufacture than spring-recoil guns became the design de rigueur. Until, that is, the recent introduction of recoil-operated shotguns in which the barrel is fixed, with only the bolt unlocking and cycling the mechanism. This system makes the Super Sport cycle so fast that the sensation is almost like shooting a solid-breech gun rather than the familiar ker-chunk feel of an autoloader cycling. This new feel, combined with Benelli's innovative ComfortTech stock, makes it the softest-kicking 12-gauge gun I've ever shot.

Rather than simply inventing a softer recoil pad, Benelli engineers went back to square one to investigate where and how we feel recoil. For example, look at the typical flat-faced or slightly rounded recoil pad. It's pretty perhaps, but how exactly does it fit the "pocket" of your shoulder when you mount a gun? Benelli's solution is a distinctly lopsided pad with a ridge that fits into your shoulder crease and distributes recoil over a wider area rather than localizing it in a smaller, inevitably bruised spot. The ComfortTech stock also has a comb insert that is not only semi-soft but made of the slick stuff used in some hospital bedding to eliminate skin abrasions.

Things I like about the gun, in addition to its quick function, easy disassembly and Comfor- Tech stock (of course), are its tapered rib (.390 to .325 inch) and the extra long 3½-inch choke tubes that extend ¾ inch from the muzzle. You can also change the stock dimensions by means of shims that are easily fitted behind the receiver, and a shorter recoil pad is available for shortening pull to 14 inches. Reversed-contour recoil pads for southpaws are also available and necessary.

And what don't I like? The trigger pull, which in my sample varied from 5 pounds 2 ounces to 5 pounds 12 ounces. Benelli needs to work on that. Even so, I liked shooting the Super Sport so much that I bought it.

By the Numbers
Manufacturer: Benelli
Model: Super Sport
Type: Autoloading shotgun
gauge: 12-gauge
Mag. Capacity: 4
Weight: 7 lb. 2 oz.
Finish: Blue & Bright Metal
Stock: Synthetic
Barrel Length: 28½ in.
Overall Length: 50 in.
Length of Pull: 143/8 in.
Drop at Heel: 21/8 in.
Drop at Comb: 15/8 in.
Trigger Pull: 5 lb. 4 oz.
Retail: $1,670

Comments (3)

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from MDBritt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

6phunter is right that the gun doesn't make the shooter. HOWEVER, that isn't a reason to choose an 1100 if you can afford the Super Sport (despite the guy who couldn't out-shoot his wife).

The fact is that competitive shooters use better guns for a reason: they give you the 2,3 or 5 clays that you might otherwise miss. When the difference between HOA and 10th place is three clays, that means a lot. My son shoots a Super Sport and I can tell you it is a great gun. As far as hitting targets goes, well, he is the state subjunior champion (he beat all the Juniors, too). So the gun certainly doesn't *hurt* one's chances for busting clays!

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from Dheilly wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

12 Gauge 870 super mag all the way, Yes it kicks but yeah it hits so there is no point in reduced recoil if I am already hitting. I shoot probably 1000 rounds a year and probably 250 in hunting application I have no problem shooting magnum 12gauge rounds. HA thats probably cause im used to shooting .50 cal rounds by the thousand for the army.

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from 6phunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

lol this article reminds me about a shooter that used a remmington 1100 that was beaten solidly at a shoot and was so embarassedthat at the next shoot he brought a kriegoff. those not familiar with this gun should know it's very expensive.once again he was beaten by the same shooter that happened to be his wife.She had no problems shooting the 1100 remmington then or now ,and for the price you paid she could probably buy a whole set of remmington guns ,the remmington 11000 remains as the top choice for clay targets on the skeet fields today. If youre more worried about recoil than scores and have the idea that shooting a more expensive gun will improve youre scores then perhaps the BENELLI is the right choice for you ,

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from 6phunter wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

lol this article reminds me about a shooter that used a remmington 1100 that was beaten solidly at a shoot and was so embarassedthat at the next shoot he brought a kriegoff. those not familiar with this gun should know it's very expensive.once again he was beaten by the same shooter that happened to be his wife.She had no problems shooting the 1100 remmington then or now ,and for the price you paid she could probably buy a whole set of remmington guns ,the remmington 11000 remains as the top choice for clay targets on the skeet fields today. If youre more worried about recoil than scores and have the idea that shooting a more expensive gun will improve youre scores then perhaps the BENELLI is the right choice for you ,

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dheilly wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

12 Gauge 870 super mag all the way, Yes it kicks but yeah it hits so there is no point in reduced recoil if I am already hitting. I shoot probably 1000 rounds a year and probably 250 in hunting application I have no problem shooting magnum 12gauge rounds. HA thats probably cause im used to shooting .50 cal rounds by the thousand for the army.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MDBritt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

6phunter is right that the gun doesn't make the shooter. HOWEVER, that isn't a reason to choose an 1100 if you can afford the Super Sport (despite the guy who couldn't out-shoot his wife).

The fact is that competitive shooters use better guns for a reason: they give you the 2,3 or 5 clays that you might otherwise miss. When the difference between HOA and 10th place is three clays, that means a lot. My son shoots a Super Sport and I can tell you it is a great gun. As far as hitting targets goes, well, he is the state subjunior champion (he beat all the Juniors, too). So the gun certainly doesn't *hurt* one's chances for busting clays!

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