The Super Vinci

Benelli’s Self-Loader Delivers

Some people think journalists should be totally objective, while others firmly believe that’s impossible. The Benelli Super Vinci proved to be a test of both gun and journalist.

The Super Vinci is the latest in a long line of Benelli semi-automatic shotguns designed around a relatively simple, lightweight and supposedly foolproof “inertia-driven” action. In Benelli-speak this means recoil-operated.

Recoil-operated shotguns normally have two advantages over gas-operated shotguns: cleanliness and reliability. Powder fouling is limited to the inside of the barrel, rather than being spread throughout the gas system, allowing the gun to keep running longer. Plus, recoil-operated shotguns tend to be less picky about the ammo they shoot.

The reliability of Benellis is almost legendary in the hunting fields. A friend named Claude is a very avid waterfowler, hunting a lot every season in the fields and bayous along the lower Mississippi River. Once he and a friend dug a pit blind in a big field, and came back before dawn the next day to put out some decoys and shoot some ducks.

Rain had fallen all night and there were several inches of water in the bottom of the pit. Theoretically this didn’t matter much, because Claude and his friend wore hip boots and their Labs sat between them on a crude bench, but while the humans were putting out the decoys the dogs knocked Claude’s Benelli into the bottom of the pit. After fishing it out of the mud, Claude opened the action and sloshed the shotgun around in the water for a minute or so, then held it up to let it drain. He shot ducks all morning with no malfunctions of any kind.

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