Benelli Armi SpA
|Bruno Civolani (inventor of the intertia-driven system)|
|Website||benelli.it (international), benelliusa.com (USA)|
Benelli Armi SpA is an Italian firearm manufacturer founded in 1967, located in Urbino, Italy, best known for high quality shotguns used by military, law enforcement and civilians all over the world. Particularly famous is the Benelli M3 12 gauge, used extensively by American SWAT teams. Benelli Armi was founded in 1967 as an offshoot of the Benelli motorcycle factory that sold motorcycles through Montgomery Ward. Benelli and Benelli USA have been owned by Pietro Beretta SpA since 2000.
In 1911 Teresa Benelli invested in her 6 sons to begin an auto service company. Eventually their services expanded to include servicing motorcycles and even building their own. In 1967 they acted on their love of hunting as well as their belief in the semi-auto shotgun by developing firearms. They did this by teaming up with Bruno Civolani the developer of a revolutionary new action and patenting the "Inertia Driven" mechanism.
Many Benelli shotguns utilize a unique inertia operating system developed by Bruno Civolani. In 1999 Benelli introduced the Benelli M4 Super 90, an unusual gas operated semi-automatic shotgun intended for military and law enforcement use.
The Benelli Super Black Eagle, a favorite of waterfowlers, was one of the first semi-automatic shotguns capable of firing the 2.75, 3, and 3.5 inch shotgun shells. The Benelli Nova (pump action), M1 Super 90, and a customized M2 Field were used by Tom Knapp during his shooting exhibitions wherein he frequently shot down several hand-thrown clay targets while still in mid-air, setting a world record in October 2004 when he destroyed 10 such targets with 10 shots in 2.0 seconds, with all the targets still airborne.
- M1 Super 90 (12 and 20 gauge, semi-automatic)
- M2 Super 90 (12 and 20 gauge, semi-automatic)
- M3 Super 90 (12 gauge, semi-automatic or pump-action)
- M4 Super 90 (12 gauge, semi-automatic)
- Raffaello (12 gauge, semi-automatic)
- Raffaello CrioComfort (12 and 20 gauge, semi-automatic)
- Raffaello Crio 28 (28 gauge, semi-automatic)
- Vinci (12 gauge, semi-automatic)
- Super Vinci (12 gauge)
- Benelli Montefeltro (12 and 20 gauge, semi-automatic)
- Super Black Eagle I (12 gauge semi-automatic)
- Super Black Eagle II (12 gauge semi-automatic)
- ETHOS (12 gauge)
- 828U Over/Under (12 gauge)
- Nova (12 gauge pump-action)
- Benelli Argo
- Benelli MR1 (chambered in 5.56)
- Benelli R1
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