Icon Logo Gun Mart

Benelli Super Vinci

I was fortunate to try one of Benelli’s Vinci shotguns within days of the model’s introduction and I thought it was the business. Granted I’m a Benelli fan, but that’s actually by the by, the Vinci performing beyond my wildest expectations. Since then, however, this revolutionary modular semi-auto has endured some seriously mixed fortunes, various reports of unreliability whilst the three-piece concept still boggles the minds of many shooters. From my own perspective I consider the Vinci the greatest stride forward in shotgun design, whilst I for one have never encountered the slightest problem. Reason being, irrespective of the fact I happen to be supported by Eley Hawk, I always fed any Vinci I’ve used with good, powerful ammo.

Like all Benelli’s, the Vinci is inertia driven which means it needs a decent amount of waft to cycle it. In other words, it’s the kinetic energy generated by the detonation of the cartridge that powers the process. Not exactly rocket science is it? It’s like dropping an 850cc engine into a two tonne 4x4; it’s not going to work very well now is it? However, put a big engine under the bonnet or in the Vinci’s case, into the chamber, and off you go, more than enough power or energy to get the job done smoothly and efficiently.

Three In One

The one overriding feature of Benelli’s Vinci, whether it be the standard model or the Super here on test, is that it’s a three pieces in one shotgun that arrives complete with a full set of flush-fit chokes and a stylish but frustratingly designer case. The term three-piece actually means the stock and grip are one component, the barrel, receiver, bolt and chamber another with the forend, magazine tube, trigger and lockwork forming the last of the trio. How it works is the stock head locates within a recessed housing at the rear of the receiver, the coloured dots lining up before a neat twist locks the two together.

Next, once you’ve ensured what looks like the mag cap has been rotated through about 45 degrees, the combined forend, trigger group, lockwork and lower part of the gun is then pushed up against the barrel and pulled backwards. Once in position the mag cap is turned until the detent clicks and there you are, in business. The Super bit of this Vinci’s name is in the fact it comes with a 31⁄2 inch chamber, half an inch more than the standard version and therefore more suited to the wildfowler or those who need to discharge magnum loads.

Forming part of the Super Vinci’s excellent Comfortech Plus recoil reduction system, a shaped recoil pad ensures the Vinci locates perfectly within the shoulder pocket, the ergonomic shape sliding into the ‘V’ shape when the arm is brought forwards. An integral part of Benelli’s unique system, a series of gel chevrons and a cheek-pad run the length of the stock, the material compressing and expanding sideways as the recoil travels rearwards towards the shooter.

Both in theory and practice, the idea is remarkably simple, but like most of the best designs, it works extremely well, the sting of even the largest magnum loads little more than a gentle push by the time it reaches the shoulder. The other benefit is that the gel comb is soft and adds additional cushioning and a warm sensation against the skin, increasing the overall comfort of the Super Vinci, a bonus in cold, winter weather.

Open for Business

In the case of the tester it was an all-black affair, the 28 inch anodised barrel complete with Benelli’s familiar 5mm vented stepped rib and small red bead. The receiver – finished in black satin – houses another of Benelli’s familiar attributes in the form of their rotating head two-piece bolt, the removal of the small contoured handle allowing the bolt to be removed for maintenance.

story continues below...

Continuing the Super Vinci’s departure from the norm is the fact the combined forend-lower receiver module leaves the trigger mechanism and lockwork fully exposed. Not only does this allow for uninterrupted cleaning and oiling, if you’ve been shooting in bad weather it means the entire mechanism can be wiped down, dried and lubricated in a matter of minutes.

All part of one moulding, the synthetic housing encapsulates a sculpted trigger guard, the cross-bolt safety located within the front span, the bold lock in an indent just to the rear of the extended loading gate and shell lifter. To the right-hand side, just below the ejector port, a rocker acts as both the bolt release and magazine cut-off whilst stylised fluting replaces the more familiar checkering, replicating the surface of one of the best proportioned grips you’ll find on any shotgun.

Physically it cannot be denied that the Super Vinci is a large gun. That said, once it’s in your hands the size seemingly vanishes. Measuring 50 inches in length, the gun weighs just 7lbs with a balancing point just to the rear of the chamber. Although you can adjust them with the supplied shims, the factory dimensions give the Super Vinci a drop at comb and heel of 13⁄4 inches and 2 7/16 inches with a 14 5/16 inch length of pull to the 6lbs 2oz break weight trigger.

Big is Best

If the Super Vinci has a small Achilles’ heel when compared to the standard version, it’s the fact that the bolt has rather a long travel. This means that if you’re shooting with anything shorter than three inch shells, you must use the most potent 23⁄4 rounds you can find. Even with 28g Eley VIP loaded, the gun occasionally stumbled during the cyclic process. More than powerful enough to drive most semi-autos, in an inertia semi designed for magnum loads along with the distance the bolt has to travel, the use of Eley’s 36g VIP Game were more than enough to solve the problem.

Similarly, with 42g three inch Eley Alphamax, the Super Vinci really was super, a fact ably demonstrated by the number of high crows and pigeons the gun plucked from the skies above Huntroyde. All the while the Super Vinci proved its worth, the gun’s lightweight, exceptional levels of balance and true Benelli handling and comfort making this Vinci a pleasure to shoot.

Once you’ve looked past the Vinci’s different take on how a semi-automatic shotgun can be put together, you’ll start to appreciate what an exceptionally composed and poised 12 bore this gun actually is. The trigger breaks at a weight that’s both safe yet measured for when you need to get all three shots off in rapid succession, whilst the weight distribution ensures you’re on your next target within milliseconds, even larger ammunition failing to upset the Super Vinci’s overall handling.


In respect of options, the Super Vinci can be had in all black as seen here for £1700, or if you’d prefer camo, £1850. Apart from price and finish both guns are identical. In comparison to the three inch chambered standard Vinci, the Super probably isn’t quite as versatile given the gun’s occasional dislike of shorter shells. However, most 31⁄2 inch chambered semi-autos tend to be bought by those who specifically require the facility, such as wildfowlers. Given that the longer chambered shotgun tends to be used in less than favourable locations, it’s the Super Vinci design that makes the gun make sense. Regular visits to the foreshore, flight ponds and endless hours in the back of a 4x4 whilst out and about after vermin tend not to be overly kind to any shotgun. Therefore, being able to strip the gun into the three component pieces in less than a minute, wipe it all clean and apply a light coat of fresh oil allows this Benelli to transcend the opposition.

And if you happen to be one of those who ‘has trouble’ with their Benelli Vinci, irrespective it being Super or otherwise, could I suggest you take a retrospective look. My suggestion is try cleaning it correctly and buy some decent ammo. You wouldn’t pour cheap oil into an Italian supercar’s engine so don’t feed budget shells to a pedigree shotgun.

PRICE: SRP £1700
CONTACT: GMK Ltd 01489 579 999 www.gmk.co.uk

  • click on image to enlarge

  • click on image to enlarge


  • Name: Benelli Super Vinci
  • Calibre: 12g
  • Capacity: 3
  • Barrels: 28 inch
  • Action: Inertia semi-automatic
  • Stock: Game
  • Weight: 7lbs
  • Chokes: Flush, fit multi-choke