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Field Test: The Benelli Super Vinci – A Reliable Waterfowl Gun

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I put Benelli’s Super Vinci through the ringer this year first on a duck hunt in Saskatchewan where I ran a number of boxes of 3-inch and 3 ½-inch waterfowl loads through it I didn’t have a single jam or ejection problem. I mostly hunted from layout blinds in agricultural fields and alongside prairie potholes, in the wind, some rain and a brief snow flurry.

Then, less than two weeks later, hunting sea ducks on a chilly Lake Michigan, the shotgun went through more than a box of Blindside Steel #2’s without a hitch. And I still hadn’t cleaned the gun!

I don’t recommend not cleaning a shotgun. But duck and goose hunting can be a dirty business, and it’s good to know your shotgun can take it, and come back for more. After this season I can offer an honest opinion on the Vinci from a shooter’s perspective. Here’s what I found out about the gun.

The Super Vinci’s superb functionality is due in part to Benelli’s proven In-Line Inertia Driven action, which is simple, efficient and rugged.

The Super Vinci was unveiled in January 2011, the big brother (meaning, 3 ½-inch capable) to the original Vinci. The one I field tested this fall had a 26-inch barrel, a synthetic stock and was finished with a Realtree MAX4 camo pattern. My Super Vinci was a lot of fun to shoot, very accurate and surprisingly light (right at seven pounds).

Benelli designed the Super Vinci to reliably chamber light 2¾-inch loads up through the most powerful 3 ½ inch Magnums. It did, handling everything I shot from the 2 3/4-inch #8’s I used on clay pigeons (practice before heading to Canada), to all the waterfowl loads mentioned earlier, and even some non-toxic three-inch turkey shells. These whacked the heck out of my shoulder with my old Winchester pump, but the Super Vinci tamed them to a very manageable thump.

Its recoil handling abilities can be attributed to Benelli’s ComforTech® Plus Stock, which is divided into 12 synthetic, recoil-absorbing chevrons, arranged diagonally from the heel of the buttstock to just behind the pistol-grip. The stock is designed so that the exterior shell actually flexes outward to further dampen recoil.

Appearance? Truthfully, my initial reaction was, “Man, this is a weird-looking shotgun!” It’s that elongated lower receiver-trigger guard that gives the gun a different, almost bulging look. Waterfowlers who love traditional looking shotguns may want to look away. But as I started knocking down ducks and geese, I quickly forgot what the gun looked like. Now, I think of it as unique.

Of note, the safety button is located in front of the trigger. That took some getting used to, especially as I’ve spent years working a safety at the back of the trigger guard. But I adjusted. And hold on tightly when using 3 ½ shells, otherwise the gun can twist, just enough to jam the side of the trigger guard into the ring finger of your shooting hand.

The shotgun comes with Benelli Crio Chokes in C, IC, M, IM, F, a hard case, and Quadra Fit shims to adjust the stock. The raised rib incorporates a mid bead and red bar front sight. Optional turkey, pass, and decoy chokes are also available. The shotgun can be purchased with 28-inch barrel, and is available in black and Realtree APG finishes, as well as Realtree MAX-4. MSRP, $1,649 to $1,759.

Rugged, accurate, and a pleasure to shoot, I would take the Super Vinci waterfowling anytime, anywhere. It has all the makings of a great turkey gun, too, something I hope to prove this spring.