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Benelli Updated the Montefeltro - Is it Better or Worse?

product reviews Mar 23, 2023
the updated benelli montefeltro
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Last week took a look at the all-new Benelli M2. Their Montefeltro line-up also received a major facelift and we're stoked to share what's new with the Montefeltro! Previously, If you were shopping for a Benelli the Montefeltro was your cheapest option and the M2 was a step up in price. As of 2023, Benelli has shifted the M2 to be more of their price-point model and increased the price of their only wood option: The Montefelto. Let's take a look at what makes this updated Benelli worthy (or not worthy) of replacing the M2's market position.     

2023 Updated Benelli Montefeltro:

QUICK SPECS

  • 12 gauge (20 gauge available)
  • Inertia Driven
  • 3 Crio chokes - But of course, we've swapped those out with a Carlson's Choke Tube
  • 3" chamber 
  • 28" Barrell (24" and 26" available)  
  • Shotgun Weight is 6lbs 7oz
  • 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
  • Montefeltro comes with a shim kit to adjust the drop and cast

TRIGGER

  • A nice trigger that isn't too heavy - A bit of sponge on the front side
  • 5lbs 1oz (Average pull weight) This is lighter than it felt

ERGONOMICS

  • This is where a lot of the Montefeltro's updates are seen - Even the font is updated and more modern looking
  • The stock is actually more basic in shape compared to the old Montefeltro. It sports their 'micro-cell' recoil pad
  • The pistol grip has a medium grip size with some light checkering or stippling for grip
  • The forend is totally different - It doesn't have the same vertical grips as the new M2. This forend is more like the Ethos with a single, horizontally running rounded indent for your fingers. The curve slopes upward toward the barrel making it harder to grip it with a pointed finger parallel to the barrel if you shoot like that. If you grip a shotgun with out pointing your index finger, this new design is quite comfortable

  • The receiver is much more modern looking. If you were to glance at the receiver of this shotgun, you'd maybe think it was an Ethos. The biggest difference on the Montefeltros 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 and slick. 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 Montefeltro 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 ๐Ÿ˜’
  • The rib is flat and slightly vented 
  • This gun looks and feels very modern. We like it so far!

RECOIL/RELIABILITY

  • The Montefeltro is a light inertia-driven shotgun. That generally means greater felt recoil. As you'd expect, both target and bird loads had noticeable recoil. Fortunately, the recoil was straight back into the shoulder and didn't feel too bad
  • Just before this Montefeltro review, we shot the M2. We noticed more recoil off the bat from the Montefeltro, which is not surprising with the lighter weight.
  • The Montefeltro seemed to perform better than most inertia guns in our unorthodox reliability testing (Shooting over the head, from the hip) It was seemingly more reliable than the M2 for comparison
  • A couple of rounds in, Steve felt like the pistol grip texture was unpleasant with the kick of the recoil. This is probably because the gun as-is was too short to get a comfortable mount

BREAKDOWN/QUALITY OF BUILD

  • One word, simple!
  • We preferred the new forend cap of the M2 over this one - not a big deal
  • The barrel and forend come off as one piece with absolute ease
  • We also love the single-pin trigger group design
  • The only thing we've noticed to be difficult while breaking down these new Benelli's is removing the bolt handle. Every time we've had to use plyers as it is nearly impossible to grab with your fingers
  • It's apparent that Benelli seems to have almost every other detail well thought out with their new redesigns - The trigger clicked right into place like playing with legos - Love it!

SPEED SHOOTING

This evaluation is important to us 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 Montefeltro in 1.09 seconds... A tough time to beat with a new gun!
  • We had trouble breaking this gun in to go fast - similar to the issues we had with the new M2. The Montefeltro was more reliable, but the trigger travel was much harder to time perfectly on this shotgun
  • Initially, the fastest time recorded was a 1.05. Upon review, Steve may have thrown the clays just a hair early. After a handful of attempts, a 1.23 was our fastest legitimate time
  • It seems as if the new Benelli inertia system across the M2 and the Montefeltro have a further throw of the bolt, and a longer trigger reset time. We think that this will result in a more efficient gun in the field, but for shooting super fast, it's a bit troublesome 

We're still super happy with the overall performance of this gun. It's slick, modern, ergonomically awesome, and super reliable. The speed shooting test is unique to TFL so don't let it hinder what YOU think of this gun. We think it's a huge upgrade for Benelli overall. 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,

Steve

 

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