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Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC

Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC

The test gun is a high capacity 12 bore semi-auto Vinci from Benelli with a black synthetic stock and 9 shot (8+1) mag extension (there are other FAC variants - see Tech Spec). I will note at the beginning that it is a novel, inertia operated, modernistic gun made by a well known firm (now part of the Beretta empire) and imported by GMK. But, before going further, let me tell you a story. Not so long ago, I was hunting boar in Tunisia – and scary creatures they are too – big, powerful and full of stamina and muscle from running up and down mountains. Well, as I moved in, another hunting party had moved out. One of those guys faced a charge from a ferocious porker. He had a nine shot Benelli – and he killed his beast on the 9th shot! Must have been an interesting day…

So, what is the moral of this tale? If Carlsberg made shotguns? Sometimes you need 9 shots? Perhaps, though there is also the possibility that a high capacity gun can instil false confidence in an inexperienced user (although I must admit to feeling a bit under - gunned with my 3+1 Beretta in those Tunisian hills). The real moral I suppose is don’t panic in extremis. Of the 9 shots mentioned only 4 connected. So, steady as she goes even when the proverbial is hitting the fan and the well trained will go, hopefully, into slo-mo!

What of the Test Gun?

Well, firstly, it is a pretty sexy looking thing – if that is an appropriate adjective for a ‘black gun’. It’s a Benelli, so, unlike most modern semo-autos, it does not cycle using bled off gas but rather using inertia energy. The difference with the Vinci is that it has a system that operates absolutely in line with the bore axis, reducing muzzle flip and improving speed of function.

Like other guns of the marque, the mechanism uses a rotating bolt head attached to the main body of the bolt by a short, stiff spring. As the working parts go forward, the head locks into the barrel and stays there on firing. The bolt on firing, though, accelerates very rapidly forward compressing the connecting spring. When this is tensioned, it whizzes back unlocking the head so all parts then go rearwards together removing a shell (if loaded) and ejecting it. A return spring is contained within the receiver (not in a tube in the stock as is thenorm) to bring the parts back into battery, collecting another cartridge on the way. The unique design without the usual hinged ‘rat’s tail’ at the back of the bolt allows the Vinci to have a detachable stock.

The Vinci’s inertia system never needs adjustment either and should cycle anything from light 2 ¾” loads to 3” magnums with reliability. Although slightly increased felt recoil may be a cost, inertia operation offers distinct benefits. It’s cleaner in operation (no gas ports needed in the barrel), allows for strong construction and lightweight with fewer parts – and notably fewer parts in the forend.

For what it’s worth, my usual advice to those contemplating new upmarket semis is get a gas gun for clays and an inertia one for hunting.

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Frozen Barrel

The Vinci is high tech on other fronts. It has a Cryogenically treated (frozen) barrel subjected to temperatures below 300 degrees Fahrenheit in a deliberate attempt to alter the molecular structure. Again, Benelli claim some serious benefits, a reduction in friction (so reducing the build up of plastic and lead residue). The gun, which is supplied with 5 long chokes which have also been cryogenically treated and which have a very gradual internal taper that Benelli suggest increases pellet count for any given choke constriction.

Stock Qualities

The stock on the test gun is synthetic as is evident from the pics. The shapes are pretty good with nice grip, comb and forend proportions. The Vinci has a plug in recoil pad system which allows for changes of length by means of (3) different recoil pads (LOP 14 was 1/4” as tested). One may also change drop and cast by means of shims.

The Comfortech comb with its diagonal chevrons and soft comb is clever, Benelli claim it decreases muzzle climb by 14% to 42% percent and quickens recovery time to let you get back on target 40% to 68% faster than the competition. Well, that seems a lot, but Ido think the system more effective than a plain comb. Inertia system guns are not usually as soft to shoot in my experience as gas operated ones, so it makes sense to have added recoil reduction. I had this system on another Benelli which I used for busting clays in quantity and it did make the gun significantly better.

Shooting Impressions

This Vinci was, as you might expect, a lot of fun to use with its high capacity mag. I shot it on pitch disks, but you could certainly have some sport in a field full of rabbits or crows or when dove shooting abroad. It also has its uses, as noted at the beginning, for applications such as boar hunting in countries like Tunsia, as mentioned, and Turkey (and anywhere else that restricts rifles). This Vinci was quick to use with the 26” barrel and although the balance changed as one pulled the trigger, practically speaking it did not make much difference.

Keeping the barrel length down, keeps the front weight down. If I bought one for hunting or a hide, I would probably stick with 26” if I was to use it routinely with the extended mag tube. It is a quality product too. Novel, but well made, and quite easy to take down once you get the knack of it. There is no difference in the price of the shotgun certificate version, so, if you don’t have an FAC you can still enjoy this radically styled but quality gun. It is not outrageously priced by modern standards at £1,600, but the extra long mag tube will add nearly £200 more to that. A lot of people will think it is worth it though. GM

  • Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benelli Vinci shotgun FAC - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model: Benelli Vinci
  • Bore: 12
  • Chamber: 3” (70mm ) a 3 1/2”/76mm ‘Super Vinci’ is available as well)
  • Capacity: : Uncrimped mag FAC version - 5 shot (with a 7 shot option or 9 as tested = 8+1)
  • Barrel:: 26” (28” option)
  • Chokes:: Crio multi chokes
  • Rib: : 7mm stepped
  • Weight:: 7lbs

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