The Benelli Montefeltro will get a makeover for 2023. Lengthy essentially the most traditionally-styled Benelli shotgun, and subsequently, in fact, my favourite, the brand new Montefeltro has ergonomic enhancements and up to date styling that may make it your favourite, too.

I had an opportunity to shoot and hunt with the brand new Montefeltro final fall, each on a visit to South Dakota, and within the fields round my residence in Iowa. Whereas the brand new strains of the gun put me off at first, I beloved the opposite enhancements instantly. After I’d had it some time, it even began trying good to me.

What’s New?

For starters, the Montefeltro hundreds like butter. I like my very own Monte as a result of it shoots within the coldest climate, however when my fingers get chilly and numb, thumbing shells into the journal is a chore. Not with this gun. It has a relaxed magazine spring and shell latch in addition to a milled-out loading port that makes sliding shells into the tube easy. In South Dakota, after emptying the gun at some mallards, I handed it to my pal—additionally a long-time Benelli shooter—and stated, “Right here, load this for me whereas I choose up these geese.”  His face positively lit up as he loaded the gun.

Simply as essential, this gun has the Simple Locking Bolt that eliminates the out-of-battery misfire that you just typically get with inertia weapons in case you don’t allow them to slam shut. Granted, I’ve solely suffered a few these “clicks,” each on events after I tangled the bolt deal with in camo netting, however I’ve seen it occur to others, and these misfires at all times come on the worst time. The improved Montefeltro gained’t click on. This, in my thoughts, is a big enchancment.

The brand new Montefeltro has a barely bigger bolt deal with that’s sufficiently big to seize with out being too huge. It additionally has an extended, skinny bar-shaped bolt launch button that’s straightforward to make use of however tough to bump by chance, as you’ll be able to with so many enlarged bolt releases. The security button is spherical and tasks greater than the previous triangular security. It’s straightforward to seek out and push off. The bolt lock button on the set off guard is thicker and simpler to seek out and press. It additionally comes with sling swivel studs within the inventory and journal cap, and a softer recoil pad. All these adjustments add as much as a gun that’s a lot user-friendlier than the unique.

The creator took two roosters with the brand new Montefeltro close to his residence in Iowa. Phil Bourjaily

Appears and Efficiency

The restyling of the Montefeltro took a while to develop on me. I nonetheless choose the strains of my older Monte, however I’ve come round to the brand new look. The receiver is reshaped, partially to facilitate simpler reloads and partially to look sleeker and extra trendy. The gun has a extra aggressively curved, nearly flared pistol grip, and a forend that appears not not like the one on the Benelli Ethos. Instead of conventional checkering, the gun has panels of small spherical cuts that Benelli calls “Air Contact,” and by no matter identify they go by, they do offer you a superb grip on the gun. Plus, the grip and forend are each noticeably slimmer now, by a couple of quarter of an inch or extra, making the gun really feel very trim and simple to level.

My 12-gauge take a look at gun had a 26-inch barrel. It weighed 6 kilos, 13 ounces, which, to me, falls into the “mild sufficient to hold, heavy sufficient to shoot” candy spot for gun weight. The set off broke at 5.5 kilos, which appeared superb to me, who’s notoriously insensitive to such issues. I do care a couple of shotgun’s level of impression, and the brand new Montefeltro shoots simply as flat for me as my previous one does, which is the way in which I prefer it. I additionally care about dealing with, and this gun strikes very properly for me, and I believe I’d discover the 28-inch barrel model even smoother. I shot waterfowl with the gun in South Dakota and a few pheasants and geese with it right here at residence, and by the point the season was over and I had boxed it as much as ship again, I needed to maintain it.

The brand new Montefeltro is available in each a 3-inch 12 and 3-inch 20 gauge, all with walnut shares and a selection of 24-, 26-, and 28-inch barrels. There’s additionally a Compact 12- and 20-gauge, with 12 ½-inch LOP and 24-inch barrels. The gun lists for $1499, and even when the Montefeltro has misplaced a little bit of its conventional allure, it’s nonetheless my favourite Benelli.

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