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shotgun review Mar 16, 2023
Updated Benelli M2 Shotgun Review


We are super excited to reveal the updated Benelli M2! Target Focused Life viewers are among the first people to get a full, in-depth review of the updated Benelli M2 shotgun. We first heard of these changes at SHOT SHOW this year and knew we had to get our hands on one. Stay tuned for more reviews of updated guns from Benelli this year! SPOILER ALERT: The Montefeltro is also completely different and we've managed to get our hands on one thanks to Reeds. Let us know on the TFL Community if you like the changes!

2023 Updated Benelli M2:


  • 12 gauge (20 gauge available)
  • Inertia Driven
  • 3 Crio chokes - But of course, we've swapped those out with a Carlsons Choke Tube
  • 3" chamber 
  • 28" Barrell (24" and 26" available)  
  • Shotgun Weight is 6lbs 12oz
  • 14 3/8" Length of pull (LoP can be changed by purchasing different-sized recoil pads) 
  • 1 3/8" Drop at comb
  • 2 3/8" Drop at heel
  • It comes with a shim kit to adjust the drop and cast


  • A nice crisp trigger that isn't too heavy
  • 6lbs 6.2oz (Average pull weight) 


  • This is where a lot of the updates are
  • The stock saw a lot of changes going away from the standard comfort-tech system, which had a cheek pad and chevron inlays in the stock - The updated M2's stock is all synthetic and sports a 'micro-cell' recoil pad.

  • The pistol grip has a new texturing/surface called 'air-touch.'
  • The forend is also totally different from the original M2. There are now vertical ribs on the forend. The only downside to this design is if you shoot with a pointed finger, it is now harder to do with this forend. If you don't point your index finger, we think this forend is improved over the original M2.

  • One of our favorite redesigns is the forend cap. It's shaped more ergonomically and provides a fantastic grip that makes it easy to remove.
  • The receiver is also much more modern looking. If you take a glance at this shotguns receiver,  you might think it was an Ethos. Benelli seems to be modeling the look of the Ethos across all of their new productions. The biggest difference on the M2 receiver is that it is one solid piece. (The Ethos has a top and bottom; independent of each other)
  • The loading port cutout is much more exaggerated on this M2. Excited about easier loading!
  • The recoil pad looks nice but has no flex. If I were to adopt this shotgun, we'd put a FalconStrike on it.
  • The bolt release is now a pill-type shape. The old M2 just had a hard circle button, a modest improvement.
  • The bolt and bolt handle are totally different. Again, the bolt highly resembles that of the Ethos.
  • There is also now a red follower in the magazine to more obviously show that the gun's magazine is empty.
  • Safety is still a cross-bolt behind the trigger.
  • There is a red fiber on the front...yaaah 😒
  • Stepped-up vented rib
  • This gun looks and feels very modern. We like it so far!


  • The M2 is light and inertia-driven. That generally means greater felt recoil. As you'd expect, both target and bird loads had noticeable recoil. Fortunately, the rocoil was straight back into the shoulder and didn't feel too bad.
  • As we tested the reliability by shooting from the hip, there were a couple of occasions where the last shot did not totally feed or fire.
  • Another thing we noticed is that a fast shooter can outrun the M2. This has happened before with the old M2. Nobody is out here trying to shoot three birds in one second, but it's still interesting to push guns to their absolute limits to get the best feel for them - shooting at a normal rate of fire will not be an issue with this gun.
  • This gun will not be the lightest recoiling shotgun, but it is a solid gun that should be reliable as long as you are not speed shooting.


  • One word, simple!
  • The barrel and forend come off as one piece with absolute ease.
  • The only thing that's repeatedly been difficult while breaking down this shotgun is removing the bolt handle. Every time we've had to use players as it is nearly impossible to grab with your fingers.
  • For this being their price point model, the M2 seems to have all the details thought out as if it was their top-priced shotgun.


This evaluation is valuable because it tests how all the moving parts come together. We know you're not buying a shotgun to shoot as fast as possible. But when it's against the clock, every element of the usability of the gun is tested, from the recoil to the balance, point-ability, the mount, literally everything we look for in a shotgun. Plus, Steve's a professional trick-shooter, so this provides a unique insight into the gun that no other review will cover!

  • Steve shot the original M2 in 1.08 seconds... A tough time to beat with a new gun!
  • Getting an overall faster time was a challenge with this gun. Even though the 1.08 wasn't beaten, Steve had his fastest split with any Benelli we've reviewed with a .16!
  • Steve's fastest overall time was 1.17 - a handful of attempts resulted in outrunning the gun - a common problem while trying to shoot an inertia gun as fast as possible. 

We're still super happy with the overall performance of this gun. The rain kept us from getting faster than a 1.17, but the .16 split was an impressive accomplishment in itself. We're impressed with this new redesign and mostly appreciate the awesome ergonomic changes. This isn't your typical 'price-point' model coming in at $1,300, but we think you may get what you pay for in this new M2. Time will tell how this shotgun holds up, but it's ultimately up to you if it's worth it! Chime in on the TFL community to let us know your experience and if you think it's worth it!

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,



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