Measured on my Sunbeam scale, the new Super Black Eagle 3 with a 26-inch barrel weighs exactly 7 pounds. When shouldered, it feels lighter. Benelli has controlled weight by using a bolt that locks into the barrel extension, thereby facilitating the use of a largely aluminum receiver, plus the stocks are synthetic and pleasingly stylish and slim. While controlling weight, Benelli has also maintained the exceptional balance of the Super Black Eagle, limiting its magazine capacity to 2 shells. That’s it! No 4 or 5 up the pipe! Whether you’re hunting upland game or waterfowl, you’re hunting with a 2+1 gun.

One of the greatest improvements Benelli has made in the Super Black Eagle since 1991 has been in the area of reducing felt recoil to the shooter. Shooting 3-1/2-inch magnum loads in the early Super Black Eagles was an awakening, and slightly painful experience, particularly for shooters with high cheekbones.

Benelli’s proprietary solutions, worked out over the last 13 years, are called “Comfort Tech 3” and “Combtech.” I’ll let Benelli explain it: “By splitting the stock diagonally and utilizing shock-absorbing chevrons, the entire stock was essentially turned into a recoil pad. The chevron size and location has been optimized on Comfort Tech 3. Furthermore, Benelli engineers have developed a new cheek comb pad, Combtech, which greatly reduces facial impact and vibrations.” After shooting 3-1/2-inch, 2-ounce lead loads in the new Super Black Eagle 3, I’ll give the Benelli engineers two thumbs up. I’ve been shooting Super Black Eagles for two decades, and Benelli has truly mastered felt-recoil moderation technology in the new model.