By Cork Graham, Global Counter Terror Magazine
Synonymous with the USMC since 1998, the Benelli M4 has been a true workhorse for close-quarter and short range combat. Its reputation has been built on its durability, accuracy, and how well it cycles a variety of rounds, from low-power non-lethal cartridges, such as those sending rubber bullet and rubber buckshot, all the way up to very lethal, hi-power rounds like rifled slugs and saboted slugs. If you remember in the 1980s, how demoralizing it was for the bad guys to see their defensive brick or cinderblock wall falling away from them because the good guys were sending the new-at-the time, Brenneke saboted 12 gauge slug their way, you were immediately converted as I was!
What makes the Benelli M4 such a winner is starting with gas-operated action that cycles through all types of rounds. This is the A.R.G.O Piston-Driven System. The acronym stands for Auto-Regulated Gas-Operated. The operating system bleeds gases at the front, leading to less fouling and more efficient cycling. It not only cycles cleaner, but because of a lack of need for more connecting links as noted in other shotguns, the Benelli M4 is a much lighter weapon. It’s also a more comfortable shooting shotgun, even up to the much higher power loads.
What carries the M4 to further heights is the barrel, factory-issue sight system and the opportunity for add-ons. While many might prefer the collapsible stock the Marines get, the civilian market is able to only get it in the straight stock configuration. After market manufacturers fill this void, even for the tubular magazine: though easily capable of its magazine extension being replaced, it comes from the factory only able to take five, plus one in the chamber. Converting with an aftermarket tube, you can bring it up to seven, plus one in the chamber, just like MIL/LE.
A shotgun isn’t just for ducks and pheasants. It’s a war weapon, and when you have a weapon designed specifically for combat, offense and defense, like the Benelli M4, you have a winning combination. When you match a fine weapon to a fine cartridge, you have a more than effective setup…
The first set of rounds we’ve taken the M4 through is the new line of defense rounds from Winchester Ammunition. Of course, they cycled flawlessly!
The two types of ammo from the PDX1 we used were 12-gauge Supreme Elite PDX1 from Winchester. This cartridge sends a wicked blend of three Grex-buffered 00 buckshot and a 1 oz. rifled slug down the barrel. First to come out is the three buckshot. Accuracy was pretty good with regards to keeping all the projectiles in the close proximity. The 00 buck did really spread after thirty yards, but the rifle slug continued to hit within two inches of the aim point.
With regards to accuracy, the winner was the 12 gauge PDX1 Defender with segmented rifled slug. This is one really bad boy. When it hits, it breaks into three pieces and these three pieces, because of how asymmetrical they are on break-up, going rolling through the body cavity. This is lethal in its most honest form. You get hit by this segmented rifled slug, and you just don’t get back up. It’s like having the benefit of a load of buckshot, but a load that’s so accurate, it can easily hits its mark out to 150 and 200 yards. With the Ghost Ring sights on the M4, I could have easily hit out 150 yards. What with the way my eyes have been going over the years, mounting a EOTech holographic sight, on the Picatinny rail system on the M4, I could have easily hit a human torso with the PDX1 Defender’s rifled slug. For an effective home defense combination and a system to take it to the enemy, I highly suggest this setup.
Watch the latest episode of GCT TV to see the Benelli M4 in action in Mississippi and Alaska, click on the arrow to start the video.