BENELLI ETHOS 28

THE CROSS­OVER SUB-GAUGE

Outdoor Life - - SHOOTING -

There are some hunting op­er­a­tions where the line be­tween wild and stocked birds isn’t very clear. Th­ese pre­mium lodges usu­ally put out large quan­ti­ties of birds early in the sea­son, and by the time your dog points them, they fly and act much like wild birds. I joined some friends at one such place a cou­ple of sea­sons back: Pheas­ant Bo­nanza in Tekamah, Ne­braska (pheas­ant bo­nanza.com).

I used this hunt as an ex­cuse to see whether Benelli’s then­new Ethos 28 ($1,999; benel­liusa.com) with its larger 3-inch cham­ber could hold its own against such roost­ers. I was fairly skep­ti­cal that an ex­tended-length 28-gauge could of­fer much more bal­lis­ti­cally than the tra­di­tional 3⁄4-ounce pay­load. As it turned out, the nim­ble Ital­ian-made semi-auto had no dif­fi­culty knock­ing birds out of the sky. Even when shoot­ing 1-ounce loads, the 28’s re­coil was as soft as a mother’s kiss, giv­ing us many op­por­tu­ni­ties for dou­bles on the lodge’s ex­cel­lent roost­ers. — j.b.s.

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