Benelli 121 M1


January 22, 2009, 06:05 PM
Ran across a benelli 121m1 today while I was out and about.
Hadnt heard of it before today, got home and did some research.
I think I will be calling them tomorrow and seeing about putting a hold on it.
$475 for a used shotgun seemed steep at the time, but since reading up some on it... what little I was able to find... it actually looks like it is a steal.
Anyone have advice or info to pass along to me on them?


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January 22, 2009, 07:42 PM
Ive heard of it before. Its just another recoil operated gun of Benellis. It was one of the earlier ones if Im not mistaken. Supposedly has the capability of very rapid fire even faster than todays Benellis. I really dont have anything nice to say about Benellis in genreral so I will stop here.

January 22, 2009, 08:28 PM
It is the predecessor to the M1 Super 90. It should have wood furniture instead of plastic and a two piece receiver like a Super Black Eagle, IIRC. I think the manual for the SBE may be more representative of the 121 than the Super 90's.

January 22, 2009, 09:49 PM
I handled it today, very fast handling shotgun.
Reading up on it, it holds 7 in the magazine, 1 in the chamber and 1 on deck.
It does have the wood furniture and has factory sling swivels.
Also, it seems to fire faster then the triggerman can push it.


January 23, 2009, 11:05 AM
I have one I got for 400 quite a few years ago, Kicked like a Mule so I add a recoil pad. If I didn’t already have one I would pay 475

January 23, 2009, 11:42 AM
Pretty cool shotgun and much cheaper than buying a new Benelli M1.

January 23, 2009, 11:47 AM
I have a M1 super90--with the black plastic field furniture, a 26" field barrel, the 18" slug barrel, and the 7-shot extension tube.

I, too, added an aftermarket recoil pad.

There's a video somewhere, from that early Nineties time period, of the Benelli factory shooter running out 7 shells--of varying types, from birdshot to 00 buck, as fast as he can pull the trigger.

It's a fine shotgun--fits me perfectly; never wanted anything else.

Jim H.

January 23, 2009, 03:15 PM
Called and put it on hold.
Tomorrow we will head down and look at it again and see about slapping down some cash on it.
Looks like it will replace the remington 1100 LT20 on my wifes side of the bed. :D


January 24, 2009, 08:50 PM
Picked it up today.
Damn what a nice handling shotgun... it will be going to the range monday.


January 24, 2009, 11:47 PM
Good buy for a good price. Let us know how it shoots. I don't shoot mine much, probably have about3 or 4 hundred rounds through it over the years with out one problem.

January 25, 2009, 12:04 AM
My heart jumped when I saw M121. I had one many many years ago and I had to sell it when I got divorced. It, as you know by now, can fire very fast and was banned from import shortly after reaching the US because of their ability to be fired rapidly. Once that happened the SPAS 12 was the shot gun to have, then the Super 90 arrived and that was the shot to be had, if my memory serves me correctly.

Have fun and keep it!!!...

Semper Fi

January 26, 2009, 02:20 PM
Took it to the range today and gave it a small workout.
This is the first semi auto shotgun I have not outrun on the trigger.
This thing is FAST.
Not only is it fast, it stays on target.
Straight back recoil and minimal muzzle rise.
Fairly compact and well weighted, swings smooth.
I am impressed with my purchase.
And having it next to the bed with 9 rounds in it is a nice feel.


January 26, 2009, 09:58 PM


January 27, 2009, 12:55 AM
That might be the best gun Benelli ever made.

January 27, 2009, 02:43 PM
I know its the best Benelli I have ever owned. ;)


January 27, 2009, 10:24 PM
looks like a keeper.

January 27, 2009, 11:39 PM
When I bought mine, mid 80's, I sanded down the stocks and then lightly burned in a tiger stripe design and then re stained it. I would see about spare parts for future use because they are rare. They are Fast, Light and Accurate.

Lucky $%&$@#

January 27, 2009, 11:43 PM
ooo thats nice

January 28, 2009, 07:41 AM
Yea, I have been keeping my eyes open for furniture... the cupboards are rather bare, and calling Benelli and getting new ones sent from Italy sends sharp pains to my hip pocket. :D


February 28, 2009, 09:34 PM
damn... Wish I could find one like that around here.

I use to see them on gun broker from time to time.

May 29, 2009, 12:24 PM
Hi FoMoGo. I am a bit late on this thread, but glad you went ahead and purchased. I have one of these; owned 3 over my lifetime. They are of course a Police and Military style shotgun, so not really good for hunting or other activities. BUT, if the stuff ever does hit the fan, that would be one of the first items I will grab. I have added a light mount (forgot who made it) so I can now mount a weapon light forward of the fore grip. I recall it was very tight to slip this mount down over the tube. I think I had to oil it up good to ease it over. :-)

One of the features I love about the gun, but you need to practice it, is that with a full or even a partial mag, nothing will load into the chamber. You have to manually load the first round and then she cycles all the rest upon firing (with a pull of the trigger for each shot). I like this as a safety feature for the unknowing. They might grab your gun, but unless they know to drop a round in the chamber, they can cycle the bolt handle all they want and no shell will release from the magazine tube. I used to just put a shell craddled between the barrel and the magazine tube with a heavy rubber band. Or, you could add a buttstock shell holder and grab it from there.

Mine definitely needs heavy loads to cycle. It just doesn't like light game loads. You have inspired me to pull mine out of the safe and do some shooting. Thanks!

May 29, 2009, 06:29 PM
Is the Super 90 M1 as fast?

May 29, 2009, 08:48 PM
Rumor is, the M1-121 was the fastest autoloading shotgun period. It is the only Benelli I have owned and it is the only Benelli I have liked. Its applications are limited so I sold it and do not regret it. It is true that the gun does not like lighter loads. That is something that Benelli has somewhat worked out since then at least.

Evil One
February 1, 2010, 01:48 AM
Well, I have been living with this shotgun for a while... and am more impressed with it every time I use it.
I have had 1 malfunction... but that was with 1 round out of a case of cheap light field loads. She likes to be used hard and like the heavy loads.
With slugs, buck, buck n ball... you can run it as hard and fast as you can, and the only drawback is that you will get it too hot to handle.
My wife blistered her hand on the barrel after a rounds on target run.

I cant say enough good things about this weapon.


February 1, 2010, 09:39 PM

March 9, 2010, 11:04 AM
I'm looking at purchasing and noticed you guys have one. I REALLY need your honest feedback (quickly) on the pros and cons of this. I need to make a decision.

I'm a bit confused. Do I read correctly that in order to load an empty gun, I have to load the mag full, then drop a round into the chamber, then pull back the bolt handle to load?

What about topping off the magazine tube if shot half empty?

Is the reloading button issue a problem, does the 121 function as well as the s90 with lighter recoiling loads, ect?

Thanks and please email me at so I can check it from my phone.

March 9, 2010, 12:04 PM
wouldve considered stealing out of Mother Theresa's purse to buy that for 475.

I'm sure she'd have understood.

March 9, 2010, 12:24 PM
The one I'm looking at is around $600 range, so not THAT great of a deal.

March 9, 2010, 09:18 PM
I have seen these things for sale from $450-1500... the pricing is ALL over the place.
Yes, you load the magazine... then pull the bolt handle back... drop a round in the chamber... and are ready to roll.
If you want to reload... then do it, it isnt hard... just harder than in a mossberg.
I have had 1 malfunction, and it was with a light load.
I dont shoot the 90 so I cant make a comparison.
I will say, I had a mossberg 500 before we got this Benelli, the mossy gathers dust and the 121 M1 goes to the range.


July 18, 2010, 12:54 AM

sorry for late reply. Don't check all my threads like I should. The chamber CAN be loaded first, then the mag tube, or vice versa. What is odd about the gun is that the cycling of the bolt, whether the magazine tube is full, half full or empty, it does not load a round from the mag tube simply by cycling the bolt handle. I am not sure why Benelli designed them this way, unless it is as I mentioned, a "safety" item against unauthorized use. But you have to literally manually load a round in the chamber, and then upon firing, the thing feeds from the mag tube. You can top off the magazine anytime you would like. Hope that clears it up a little.

Concur FoMoGo. Prices are all over the place! I guess price depends if there are TWO guys looking for one at the same time! I bought mine for a very reasonable $450 a few years back. Think I paid about $600 for the first one I had years before!? Go figure. :confused:

I love shooting mine. It beats me up, bruises my shoulder, but I imagine it is like shooting a desert Eagle in .50 caliber. At least you know you are sending some lead down range with some force behind it. :rolleyes:

July 18, 2010, 08:12 AM
This thing is without a doubt my favorite shotgun to shoot... last time at the range I had a guy ask if it was full auto.
The feel and classic look of it dont hurt either.
It sits loaded to the gills with Centurion buck and ball on my wifes side of the bed while I am gone... lord help anyone who breaks in while I am gone.


Benelli Man
September 11, 2010, 09:32 PM
If there is any one still looking I have one that has never been fired. I will be at Salem gun show tomarrow if I dont sell it there I will be interested in selling it.

January 12, 2011, 11:58 PM
i also have one, paid about 650 at an auction about one year ago, like others my mossy is not the head of this house any longer, stocked to the gills with military 000 buck.

love this thing , but wish i could find a pistol grip stock for it

January 13, 2011, 09:09 AM


January 13, 2011, 09:39 AM
If Benelli would have only made this one gun and no others they could have ended on a high note.

January 13, 2011, 11:49 AM
Old post bumping seems to be the order of the day when people discover lost classic.

Agreed the 121M1 is the lost favorite son. Benelli should have kept this one going - the 'improvements' of the succeeding models are unfounded in my eyes. I picked mine up with a 'cracked' stock for a paltry sum. I was shocked when I had to actually sand the wood and inspect with a loupe to see the hairline parting. A quick pin and Acraglas made a fine shotgun on the dirt cheap. It cycled mixed slug/buck/bird/target loads with equal aplomb. The ghost loading made a "niner" out of it in a fast, lightweight & (I found to be)easy recoiling package. Parts and accessories are sparce but available if you know where to look and are capable of minor tweaks to fit to the older platform - Great gun!

If you find one for less than $500 grab it and smile big on the way out the door. ... Economics forced me to wean mine from the stable. I easily doubled my initial outlay- and I've regretted it from the moment cash was in hand.

451 Detonics
January 13, 2011, 12:48 PM
It wasn't banned because it fired was simply replaced by a newer models, the Super 90 and the Montrofeltro. It does cycle faster than the Super 90 however and is still one of my favorite shotguns...

I have a standard barrel and one I had thin wall chokes and Pro Porting installed on it and I added a scope mount for a Tijicaon Reflex...

Sergeant Sabre
January 14, 2011, 05:39 AM
Nice shotguns. After reading this I went looking for one used on the internet. Here's one for a very modest $2,150:

January 14, 2011, 07:15 AM
Such a bargain :D


January 14, 2011, 08:19 AM
As a side note pertaining to the supposed banning of these shotguns: the M1 121 was never banned as was noted earlier. The later Super 90 was not banned either (obviously).

What was banned after the Super 90 replaced the 121 though was the large magazine capacity on these auto shotguns. Excuse me, semi auto. I think it is still the same point system the ATF uses on all firearm imports and you hear about it more often pertaining to Glock pistols. Anyway, it is legal to buy one now with a 5 or 6 round capacity and then put an extended mag on later.

Something Glock does is import the pistols with adjustable sights and then install fixed sights in Smyrna. This gets around the ATF point system legally. Benelli should do this with their higher capacity autos. Import them with the low cap tubes then put on high cap ones at the distribution point.

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