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 Benelli M4 vs. M2 Tactical...
WantsAnRRA  [Member]
2/27/2009 11:33:28 AM EDT
So I always thought I was a shotgun guy.

I'd build one up and get completely bored with it in a couple weeks.

I have a couple Ithaca M37s, one is a chopped field gun, the other a police model.

I have a couple 870s. One with an 18.5 inch barrel, factory synthetic police forend, Knox CopStock and vang comp 1 shot extension and safety.
The other one is an old sportsman 12 w/ a 20 inch rifle sighted barrel, a speedfeed stock and a vang safety.

They are solid guns, but they really just don't do much for me. They do what most shotguns do. Sit in the closet loaded and ready to defend the home. I never shoot them much, maybe a couple times a year.

My dad has a Benelli SBE and I have a Beretta Pintail. I have always loved the fast shooting inertia autos.
I have also always lusted after a benelli combat shotgun. Saigas are kind of cool, but it certainly is not a benelli.

So I think I am finally ready to make the jump. I am wondering from you M4 owners out there, is the ARGO system as fast as the inertia system? I have heard they run great with low recoil ammo but does it slow down there cycling?

I have also heard M2s seem to have a bit of recoil to them. Would either of these shotguns benefit from the Vang Comp treatment?

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WantsAnRRA  [Member]
2/27/2009 1:42:51 PM EDT
Also, would there be any downsides to running an M1 S90?

The most important features I am looking for is ghost ring sights, 18.5inch barrel and a pistol gripped stock. I've seen M1s equipped this way. Will the M1 be a hell of a kicker compared to the M2 or M4 or not?

Also, if I were to opt to add a mag extension to an M1 or M2, with an 18.5 inch barrel, will the 3 shot ext from Nordic components be short enough?
Jason_R  [Member]
2/27/2009 1:44:10 PM EDT
I have a M1 and a M3. Great shotguns, but the recoil is comparable to a pump gun. I plan on picking up a M4, but haven't wanted to at current prices. I don't see the advantage of an M4. My buddy's still will not cycle low powered rounds. In fact, the only thing that my M3, M1, and my buddy's m4 have hiccuped on is low-recoil buck. Go figure.

I'll probably be picking up more Benellis. Awesome shotguns.

EDIT: Mechanically the M1 and M2 are the same. Both my M1 and M3 are equipped with Ghost Wrings, pistol grips, and 2 shot extensions. The m4 might have less felt recoil, but I can't confirm or deny that.
WantsAnRRA  [Member]
2/28/2009 2:46:33 PM EDT
no one can tell me about the M4 huh?

Found one of the digicam ones locally for $1600... Used of course.
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F22_RaptoR  [Team Member]
2/28/2009 5:12:44 PM EDT
1600 would be okay if its lightly used IMHO.

Although with all the panick buying, im sure at that price even used it wont last very long.

The M4 is an incredible shotgun, I absolutely love mine!

Its not affected at ALL by weight of extra accessories or shell carriers. Its built to last a very long time.

From what I hear the M4 has less recoil than the M2. The M2 will kind of beat up your shoulder, but the M4 wont hurt you a lot unless your putting a lot of 3" magnum slugs downrange. (I did 15 3" magnum slugs to sight in my now sold aimpoint ML3, and It wasn't that bad)

I have had pretty good results with the low brass ammo. You can still unload the gun before the first shell hits the ground, it cycles just as fast in my experiance. Now weather or not you can keep the gun on target is a different story

The M4s90 has VERY low recoil compared to a pump action.

I suppose that a 3" magnum shell out of the M4 felt like a 00 Buckshot shell out of a pump gun. Very comfertable to shoot.

I dont think you would want to vang comp a Benelli barrel. The barrels for the M4 cost around 8-900 dollars new (2-3 times what some 870's cost), and they have such low recoil already, that it would be a little pointless.

The big factor is what you want to do with the gun. If you want to go with a KISS setup, then the M2 will run just about anything you want, I have HEARD that people have had positive experiances with low brass ammo as long as the gun isn't loaded down with stuff. But you plan on adding an 8 shot shell carrier, flashlight, Aimpoint or other optic etc.... then the M4s90 may be the better bet.

Both are awesome shotguns, both will last you a very long time
WantsAnRRA  [Member]
2/28/2009 5:42:07 PM EDT
all i really want is an 18.5 inch barrel, ghost rings, a full length magtube and a pistol grip...

I don't need a light on this gun(I have one on my AR and pistol)...

I think I am actually going to look for an M1 S90...
rundm  [Member]
2/28/2009 10:23:47 PM EDT
my m1 is a great gun. have not had any problems with it at all. in the past couple of months me and some friends routinely put around 100 rounds of the win skeet/trap loads or whatever wally world is selling through it every week. probably 3-400 rounds in the past 4 weeks or so. no problems whatsoever. my m4 which I have not had for to long has been very good also. it does not feed the low power stuff with great reliability at this time but it only has about 80 rounds through her. she has a hiccup about every 6 or 7 rounds and only if I just empty the chamber with the low power stuff. anything that has some umph to it is digested with impunity. the m1 certainly feels like you are getting kicked more then the m4 but it is still not so bad. probably do not want to shoot many 3 inchers through it though. my m1 does not have the ghost ring and chokes which I wish it did. my m4 on the other hand has all of the good stuff and shoots slugs so well it is scary. I shot off hand with the win slugs from 30 yards and had about a 2 in group with 2 of the shells tearing out essentially the same hole. I did this a couple of times. just seems like the m4 points a little better and the follow up is a little quicker because of the lesser recoil of the 2. could also be that the sights are just better on the m4. hope this helps you some, RG
Steve_Canyon  [Member]
2/28/2009 11:07:54 PM EDT
Benelli makes by far the best and most proven defensive automatic shotguns on the planet, so unless you manage to find an M121, you really can't go wrong. I think you should do some more research on the M4 before deciding to go that route. People are clammoring for the M4, just as they did for the SPAS 12, but that doesn't mean its necessarily the best defensive weapon.

When Benelli originally pursued the JSSAP shotgun contract, they had intended to submit an ID based M1/M2 platform. However, because of the extensive added weight requirements and that incompatibility with the ID system, Benelli devised the ARGO system used in the M4. Benelli has always been fundamentally opposed to gas-operated shotguns because they have issues that late recoil driven guns do not. Even the best/latest gas guns don't have the ammo flexibility of a properly "sprung" ID Benelli. Gas guns also have excess and critical components that can be lost or damaged during hard use. Thats not to say there aren't reliable gas-guns, there most certainly are. However, testing and LE/military use has shown the ID Benelli to be the most reliable and robust automatic shotgun availible.

Benelli has resisted using the ARGO system in other models besides the M4 because the ID system is superior for the vast majority of uses. However, the one advantage the M4 has over the ID guns is its ability to accept an endless number of accessories without compromising the function of the weapon. How important this one tiny feature is, really depends on the end user. If you are someone who plans on using NVG's and IR lasers, then the M4 is probably your best choice. Since civilians cant afford or even buy som of this stuff, its pretty much an irrelevant aspect. LE and military agencies have been using M1's with side saddles, white lights and optics in the field for nearly 20 years without issue. Granted, this configuration is at the limit of what you could get away with and it would necessitate full-power 2 3/4 inch ammo exclusively, but this is certainly a reasonable proposition. If you have a need for a optic/light equipped shotgun, you also have a need for full power ammo. Suffice to say, the M4's ability to accept more accessories than the M1 isn't really relevant or germaine to civilian/LE use.

So, we've talked about the benefits of the M4, now lets get to the drawbacks. First of all, the platform is considerably more expensive than an M1/M2/M3. The price/performance ratio is seriously out of whack...You also need to consider the legal aspects of owning an M4. Currently, there isn't a legal way to have both a full capacity magazine and a pistol grip stock. Both of these features are mandatory on a defensive shotgun. Many people flagrantly defy or break this law, and while the risk associated with this might be low, its a bad idea. Its a slippery slope....Pretty soon, you might then decide making illegal NFA weapons is also an acceptible risk. The M4 has very much been a hot button issue for Benelli and the BATFE, while the M1 has been very well protected and tolerated.
You also must consider the actual field performance of this weapon, which hasn't been very positive. Despite coming onto the scene in 1999, only recently has the M1107 been used with any frequency or regularity in combat operations. It has been plaugued with development and functioning problems which have even resulted in recalls for non-government weapons. The bottom line is that military use has shown that the M4 is not as durable as the legacy ID guns. Its an improved weapon, but there is a reason that the USMC/USN*the largest users of shotguns in the DoD* have not only continued to use the Mossberg 500 series, but they have actually bought more. The M4 was designed to standardize and replace all of these legacy Mossbergs, Remingtons, Winchesters and even Ithaca/Steves/Histandards. So far, because of functioning issues and problems in the field, it hasn't done this...

So, the M4 basically gets you an expensive and less then well proven platform that is also legally dubious. And, its one sole advantage over other Benelli models is hardly relevant or applicable to civilian or even LE use.

If you are looking for a cool gun, that may only see sparing "serious" use the M4 might be okay. If you are looking for a "working gun" the M1, M2 or even M3 are by far much better choices.
Stan_TheGunNut  [Member]
3/1/2009 6:03:00 AM EDT
I would have to disagree with the previous poster. It is possible to legally obtain full magazine capacity and pistol grip usage, as well as the use of a collapsable stock, on an M4. This is done by registering the shotgun as a SBS. This also allows you, should you desire, to put a shorter barrel on your shotgun. Furthermore, there are companies/individuals who are working towards getting the requisite number of US made parts available for sale and use in the M4.

Regarding the M4's combat use.....there may be reports of the M4 having issues and the Marines may still be purchasing Mossbergs. I feel that this is probably due in part of the inability of Benelli to produce the M4 in the numbers desired. Pump shotguns are also more versitile when it comes to shooting less lethal loads which many auto loading shotguns have difficulty with. I'm not the guy purchasing these items for the military though, so this is just speculation on my part.

Bottom line, the M4 is a good shotgun. If you want one, get it. If you don't, then pass.

Edit: Regarding the original question....both my M2 and M4 will cycle as fast as I can pull the trigger. The recoil on both is not really much of an issue to me, but I think the recoil on the M4 is slightly less. The M4 just seems to weigh a little more to me, which may explain this. My M4 initially wasn't reliable with the cheap bulk ammo available at Walmart, but once I put about 75 full power rounds through it, it now does function without issue with all ammo that I regularly use (specifcally the cheap bulk available at Walmart, from either WInchester or Federal). Both the M2 and M4 are available with pistol gripped stocks. I don't think the M2's have predrilled holes in the reciever to mount optics on least the few I've seen were not.
Steve_Canyon  [Member]
3/1/2009 9:37:32 PM EDT
If you don't know that M2 Tacticals are drilled for a 1913/Weaver rail, you really don't know enough to argue this point with me.

Sure, NFA weapons aren't subject to 922r but that doesn't mean an SBS is a viable solution to this problem. First, you have to try and find a factory SBS barrel. Good luck. Or you have to have a smith cut apart a several-hundred dollar barrel, which will be a pricy venture in and of itself. What if you aren't able to even own an NFA weapon? To follow your reccomendations, one would have to have thousands of spare dollars laying around, as opposed to 800+/- for a M1 Tactical.

Given the fact that the M1107 came "online" in 1999, Benelli has had plenty of time to fine tune and adjust their production capability. Production shortages have nothing to do with the continued use of the legacy Mossbergs. The whole concept of the M1107 was to replace all existing shotguns with one standard system. Had the Benelli been performing in a satisfactory manner, this would have easily been accomplished a decade ago. Also consider the development and adoption of the XM26 which was embarked upon after the M1107 was adopted and widely issued. If the M4 was truly the best, we wouldn't be developing another JCS or continuing to procure and issue legacy weapons. The M4 is an outstanding gas operated shotgun, however much people love them, its hardly the most durable weapon of its type and its actual service record is dubious at best. Feel free to Google this...

Bottom line, recoil sucks on defensive shotguns. This is very much a subjective feature, but you can probably count on the M4 recoiling a little less because of its increased weight. Because of thier ID actions, M1's and M2's aren't exactly the lightest recoiling autoloaders, but they also aren't the worst eiether. Provided you don't have a ton of accessories on your M1/M2, there is no reason you can't used reduced recoil loads. The M4 is reasonably flexible with ammo and would probably work with some reduced recoil loads, but I know of atleast 5 LE agencies that eiether sold thier M4's or were forced to bid on new ammo because it wasn't compatible with thier existing reduced recoil ammo.

The M4 is very much more of a novelty than an actual weapon. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all...There is no reason why you can't buy a gun because its cool. However, all the coolness in the world doesn't make it better than the M1/M2. If you are looking for a weapon, you will be far better off with the tried/tested/proven ID guns.
Hooker  [Member]
3/7/2009 1:38:51 PM EDT
My experience with Benelli so far is with my SBE II, and it will shoot any 1 1/8 oz. or heavier load. So when I decided to get a "combat" shotgun I ordered the M2 Field with Comfor Tech stock and 24 inch barrel. The stock helps with recoil and I can put on the Nordic +6 magazine extension with no legal issues, it gives me 9 + 1 capacity. I'm planning on the Burris SpeadBead (lightweight) and a 6 rnd. Side saddle.
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