In 1967, the Benelli™ motorcycle company began manufacturing firearms. Later, the Benelli™ firearms company separated from the motorcycle manufacturer and has been part of the Beretta® firearms conglomerate since 2000. The early Benelli™ shotguns offered nothing that was earth shattering and Benelli™ was a small player in the American shotgun market. That all changed with the introduction of their Inertia Driven™ recoil operated semi-auto shotgun design. Benelli shotguns are now a mainstay in the American market.
One of the newest product offerings from Benelli™ is the 828U, an over/under shotgun. This is Benelli’s first long gun offering that is not a semi-auto or pump gun. The 828U brings quite a bit of innovation to the O/U shotgun. First, for a 12 gauge, it is very light at 6.6 pounds. The gun has an aluminum receiver and a carbon fiber rib that aid in making this 12 gauge feel and, I assume, handle more like a lively 20 gauge gun. The gun’s lockup mechanism is very different than anything on the market. It uses a steel locking plate that mates to the monobloc. This system allows the gun greater tolerances and makes for an easier opening gun, even when new. Benelli™ claims this system reduces wear and tear on the receiver and hinges, greatly extending the life of the shotgun. Most O/U shotguns need to “wear in” and eventually wear out after time, although I have a conventional O/U that has fired over a 100,000 rounds and the only repair it has needed is a set of hammer springs and new firing pins. None the less, any design that reduces wear should add to the life of a gun.
Other features of the 828U include a removable trigger group. I really like this as it makes maintenance and repair quite handy. The opening lever also cocks the strikers eliminating cocking mechanisms in the fore end and further lowering the gun’s weight. The butt stock contains the Progressive Recoil® reduction system and includes Quadrafit™, allowing the user to change comb height, cast, drop, and even the length of pull. The gun includes interchangeable Crio® System chokes and the 828U is packaged in a very nice hard shelled case.
Two models of the 828U are available with either 26 inch or 28 barrels on each. The base 828U gun has an anodized receiver with AA walnut wood and a 3 inch chamber. Starting retail price is $ 2499.00. The 828U Sport model has a suggested starting retail price of $ 4399.00
I recently had the opportunity to try the 828U, and I found it to be a well-balanced gun that swings well even with its light weight. This would be a good crossover gun for both hunting and clay target sports. Personally, I prefer a bit more heft in a target gun, but really appreciate the light weight when hiking Montana’s mountains. Benelli™ is one of the leaders in the shotgun world; they have developed a reputation for quality, reliability, and longevity. The 828U has a lot of new and innovative features; time will tell if they are as reliable as those of the other Benelli™ guns. I’m sure the 828U will live up to American shotgunners expectations for Benelli™.
Be safe and good shooting.