the shotgun for IPSC and 3-GUN shooters
The Benelli M2 never stops and excels at different jobs: a hunting shotgun; a tactical semiauto for police and military use; as well as a competitive shotgun for the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) and 3-gun competitions.
A bestseller for any application you can wish for, the M2 has been quite popular in actionshooting competitions, although until now it was only available in a practical variant, developed for the open and modified divisions where it was just as successful. Today with the prevalence of prismatic magazine race guns used in open events it can be considered competitive at the highest levels and mainly for the modified division.
The unparalleled quality of Benelli shotguns was confirmed a the last IPSC Shotgun World Championship with eight podiums out of 12 for single competitors and eight gold medals out of 10 in the team competition. Out of the 730 shooters at this competition, 640 chose Benelli. Benelli’s policy is to offer models that meet all their customers’ needs, so they decided to produce a specific model based on the M2 and intended for the Standard Division and 3-gun competitions. The model is fully developed and manufactured by Benelli and not customised by the end user and/ or third parties. Since the Benelli M2 is the most-used shotgun in competitions Benelli listened to the users’ feedback and applied the suggestions to the new model that many regard as the most reliable in its class.
The new model, called the M2 SP (Speed Performance), also further underlines the quality of the M2’s sportive use. At first glance the M2 SP differs from the M2 Comfortech in that it has a longer, 65cm barrel, a wide tubular bolthandle, a larger bolt release button (red), new, long fibre optics sight and a dedicated choke. But there are also other important differences, such as the ejection port which have rounded corners and a larger and rounded loading port.
Like all Benelli barrels, the M2 SP’s is fitted with an adjustable ejector (it adapts or automatically adjusts to the different lengths of the cartridge cases for improved reliability) in the rear extension (breech), which in turn was developed to lock the position of the barrel relative to the receiver both during shooting and when disassembling and reassembling the shotgun.
The shotgun dynamic shooting events often involve the need to quickly reload a weapon, so shooters have developed several techniques to do it without speed loaders, the use of which is not always permitted in the standard division. Whatever the technique adopted for speed loading, it needs to be as easy and fast as possible, an activity that involves movement from the back of the loading carrier to the tube entrance without any obstacles. It is also important for the loading port to be wide and without sharp corners, and to prevent the thumb from suffering any discomfort when pushing the cartridge(s) past the stop notch that prevents it from popping out of the magazine. With the M2 SP Benelli have taken steps to significantly facilitate speed loading, enlarge the loading port and softening its edges to make it easier to load the cartridges.
Benelli’s Comfortech stock system used on this weapon significantly improves the shotgun’s handling and significantly reduces recoil, both with high-and lowenergy cartridges. To achieve this Benelli redesigned the comb and the butt plate of the stock. On the M2 SP the comb is made of elastomer and the butt plate from a special gel with high shock absorption qualities. The latter was developed exclusively for Benelli. The comb is available in three different heights and is identical for right-handed and lefthanded shooters and the gel butt plate varies depending on the shooter’s dominant side.
The butt plate and comb perform the same function as the stock, deforming under shock and dispersing vibrations. The final result is a shotgun that not only is soft on the shoulder even with the most powerful loads, but is also particularly pleasant and controllable with any ammunition used, significantly improving the comfort parameter.
Like all M2s, the M2 SP uses Benelli’s classic stable inertiadriven trigger release unit with rotating bolt, equipped with two strong locking lugs that engage into an extension of the barrel. The design of this bolt assembly improves the robustness of the whole gun and its durability, not only because the two large lugs of the rotating bolt ensure greater surface contrast, but also because the resistance to opening is aligned with the force that tends to push the bolt back. With the M2 SP, Benelli used their experience of shotgun manufacturing that stretches for half a century to build a highly practical, easy to use and accurate shotgun that all shooting enthusiasts will love.