Benelli Nova vs SuperNova 12ga Pump Shotgun Review

shotgun review Jul 07, 2022

        

Today we're going to double-dip and take a look at both the Benelli Nova AND the SuperNova! These guns are quite similar-I've also gotten multiple questions about what the differences actually are, and if stepping up to the Supernova is actually worth it. Let's go!

Benelli Nova AND Supernova Review 

MSRP of the NOVA is $449 whereas the SUPERNOVA is $559 Find the best price at Reeds

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QUICK SPECS

  • 12 gauge (20 ga as well)
  • 3" chamber (SuperNova is 3 1/2")
  • 28" Barrel (24" and 26" available)
  • 8lbs 
  • Length of Pull 14 3/8" 
  • Both have a neutral cast however the SuperNova is adjustable. The Nova's stock and receiver are molded into one polymer piece. Kind of interesting but it does not allow for drop or cast adjustment.
  • Drop at Comb: Nova/SuperNova 1 3/8"
  • Drop at Heel Nova 2 1/8", SuperNova 2 1/4"
  • Both come with 3 chokes

TRIGGER

  • SuperNova: 8lbs 12oz - Nova: 8lbs (Average pull weight)
  • I'm surprised that both guns come in greater than 8lbs. In fact, the cheaper NOVA option had an overall lighter trigger...
  • I honestly expected a little bit better-feeling triggers from Benelli - mind you these are more towards their budget line of shotguns so I'm not completely surprised.

ERGONOMICS

At first, I thought that the ergonomics would be the same - I was dead wrong. First I picked up the NOVA:

  • The first thing I noticed was the strange cut-out design of the pistol grip. I don't believe the height deviations on the grip will help me get a better hold - time will tell!
  • The forearm has this same "up and down" design which felt kind of chunky
  • The biggest issue I had with the shape of the forearm was how the most comfortable part to grab on to was all the way towards the front of the grip. Basically, my arm had to be fully extended to get to a place where my hands felt comfortable to aggressively pump. Not ideal.
  • The Nova trigger guard is quite small and has a cross-bolt safety on the front
  • The slide release was a bit of paint to operate
  • The recoil pad is rock hard

 Next, I grabbed the SuperNova: 

  • Immediately I noticed that the pistol grip was quite a bit different and didn't have as sharp of edges. More comfortable
  • The trigger guard is quite a bit larger and has a more modern squared shape to it compared to the Nova
  • I noticed that the Supernova had an overall more "modern" look to it
  • Note that the SUPERnova comes with the comfort tech chevron design on the stock as you'd see on a SBE3
  • The forend and everything from that point towards the barrel is pretty much identical between the two guns such as the vented ribs, and the HUGE fibers on the front (Disgusting) Both are fairly easy to load with polymer smoothing the edges around the loading port. I dislike that the forend protrudes rearward just far enough to make loading quickly hard without really sticking a finger in there. Both of these guns also have a feature to let you eject a shell out of the chamber without unloading the magazine, or reloading the chamber. This is done with a simple button on the bottom of the forend.

Breakdown/Quality of Build

  • Because of the similarity in price, I took apart the SuperNova. Either way, Benelli has always been known for simple and effective designs so I had no doubt about these guns
  • After a super simple breakdown, I noticed the receiver internally looked very very well built.  
  • To that same point, these forearms may be the toughest part of these guns. A lot of times when you get a pump gun disassembled, the forend grips may bend and squeeze without the rest of the gun to support them. These Benelli's forends would not budge when I tried to bend them. SUPER tough!
  • Probably the coolest breakdown feature would be the forend cap - If you unscrew it, there are little nubs or "nipples" as I called them in the video that you can use as a punch to get started on the trigger group pins. Super cool!

 

RECOIL/RELIABILITY

  • Reliability is hard to share with a pump gun on video because I haven't had the chance to shoot thousands of rounds through these guns. As far as I can tell, these guns run just fine. The only thing making the pump less efficient is the fact that my forend grip is super far extended as I previously mentioned
  • With target loads, I was seriously struggling to tell the difference between the Nova and the Supernova. I definitely expected the SuperNova to outperform due to the comfort tech recoil system it sports. 
  •  I had to whip out the turkey loads to get an accurate read on how these guns would actually differ with hunting rounds.
  • Andddddd I can't tell. I was hopeful, but both of these guns kick equally as hard. So much for comfort tech! The true test will come in speed shooting... coming up!

SPEED SHOOTING

  • Because we have two very similar guns, I alternated each attempt to get an accurate read on if I could truly shoot one of these guns better than the other
  • I went back and forth struggling for quite some time - the first gun I successfully hit three clays with was the Nova. Surprisingly, I found myself struggling more with the SuperNova although I ended up shooting a slightly faster time. How did Tom Knapp do multiples with this!?
  • Nova: 1.70 seconds
  • SuperNova: 1.67 seconds

In summary, these pumps work fine. For a great price, you're getting into a Benelli. They're both well built and should last a long time through many conditions. They feel good to shoot for the most part besides the forend grip being really far forward for me personally. If I had to choose, I would choose the Supernova over the Nova. It's only $100 more and comes with (In my opinion) $100 more worth of added features and upgrades such as the trigger guard and adjustability (which are important to me) Whichever path you choose, be sure to check out REEDS to get the best deals on these guns!

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on so live the #targetfocusedlife 

Stay Target Focused,

Steve

 

 

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