The Benelli Armi SpA, an Italian weapon manufacturer, first designed the 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun called the Benelli M4 in 1998. Production of the gun officially started in 1999 and the weapon was a massive hit. There were many factors that led to the weapon’s global popularity: It is effective, reliable, and durable. To date, the M4 is still in use in many countries: The army of Australia, Bahrain and Brazil, the Special Police of Croatia, the Special Operation Forces of Georgia, the E.K.A.M. in Greece, the Special Forces of Ireland, and the Armed Forces of Israel, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Moldova, the Philippines, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, UK, and the US.
The most recent military conflicts in which the weapon was involved were the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the Syrian Civil Wars. The shotgun works with the gas-operated system. Benelli patented a mechanism named ARGO (Auto Regulating Gas Operating) system. The weapon is equipped with two self-cleaning pistons of stainless steel material and two lugs that function as a lock for the rotating bolt. The Benelli M4 is compatible with tubular magazines for shells of 2.75 or 3 inch. It is constructed of stainless steel and hard-anodized aluminum. Its finish is of corrosion-resistant phosphate.
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The basic product under this line possesses a straight hand grip and a barrel of 14 inches while other models have one of 18.5 inches. The basic model also comes with a fixed solid stock. Collapsible buttstock is also available for the weapon, which can shorten the overall length by 5 inches. With buckshot, the weapon’s effective range is quoted at 40 – 50 meters; while with solid shot, the effective range expands to 130 meters. The weapon is most effective in a close-range confrontation, such as in a mission of clearing a building, for example. The weapon is equipped with an accessory rail of Picatinny type, which can be fitted with sights, laser designators, or flashlights.
The Benelli M4 comes with variants such as Super 90, M1014 Joint Services Combat Shotgun, and L128A1. The first model is similar to the baseline product but has an 18.5 inches barrel, pistol grip, and a telescopic stock. The second is actually the Super 90 with a name designated by the US DOD. The M1014 was developed in response to new requirement stated by the US military. The third model is the Super 90 renamed so by the British Armed Forces and typically comes with holographic sights.
|Benelli M4 Super 90|
|Weight (unloaded)||3.15 kg|
|Length (stock extended)||1 012 mm|
|Length (with folded stock)||887 mm|
|Barrel length||469 mm|
|Magazine capacity||7 x 2.75-in shells, or 6 x 3-in shells|
|Range of effective fire (solid shot)||130 m|
|Range of effective fire (buckshot)||40 ~ 50 m|