Tactical Shotgun: Benelli M4 or Saiga-12?


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HMMurdock
November 25, 2010, 06:41 PM
I recently had my beloved Remington 870 stolen. So, I want to replace her with the sexiest, expensive high-end "tactical" 12-ga money can buy (in the $2k area). I want a Semi-Auto, and I've narrowed it down to the Benelli M4 and the Saiga-12. I want your advice on which one and why.

The Benelli M4 would need the mag tube extension added. I'd probably keep the solid stock for now or add the pricey collapser later. I like the M4 Super 90's reputation for reliability and in my arms I feel like I could do some respectable room clearing with her (I am former LE and current military Reserve / in the security business). My experience with Benelli in the past has been great and the M4 Super 90 is King.

The Saiga-12 would be converted to fit the pistol grip (AK style), maybe be fitted with a side-folding stock at some point as well as maybe the JP Magwell. I am familiar with fielding Kalashnikovs and, again, respect their reliability. The Saiga can fit mags of greater capacity than the M4's tube and can be reloaded "faster", but not topped off as quickly.

I am sure I would win with either one, but I am curious if any of you have experience regarding these shotties and would be able to shed some light on which route I should take. Thank you for your insight and please make a suggestion and let me know as to why you feel that way.

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Justin
November 25, 2010, 07:11 PM
The Saigas tend to be finnicky. But if you get one that runs they can be pretty good, and competitive in Open Division in 3 gun.

The Benelli shotguns are good, though I don't have much experience with the the M4.

I run an M2 and it's a great shotgun.

sansone
November 25, 2010, 07:23 PM
the saiga is seriously outclassed by the benelli.. handle them side by side and you will see the difference in fit & finish. Saigas are OK but not LE worthy in my humble opinion

lebowski
November 25, 2010, 07:27 PM
I voted benelli, but personally I think it's insane to spend that much on a tactical shotgun.

sansone
November 25, 2010, 07:31 PM
yes I agree lebowski, too dear for my wallet also, but the op states price is not the issue

HMMurdock
November 29, 2010, 09:19 PM
Cost is definately not an issue. Are the Saiga drums junky? I love the feel of the M4, comparatively, but I like the quick reload concept with the Saiga...

PT92
November 29, 2010, 11:45 PM
Can't go wrong either way.

But I don't like the fact that I have to spend several hundred dollars on an M4 mag extension (which may or may not be legal)? With the Saiga, I can get relatively cheap 8+ round magazines buy the bundle and reload on the fly.

If you run heavy loads (buck/slugs) in the Saiga, it will perform like any other AK (reliable birdshot cycling will require some manipulation of the gas ports etc. but I personally don't buy tacticals to shoot trap/birds--I will use my 1187 for that).

-Happy Holidays

rayman
November 30, 2010, 12:59 AM
Saigas are cool and inexpensive. But if you have them converted and tuned by a good Saiga tuner it'll cost. A magazine fed shotgun is a lot of fun. Go on youtube and see.

rodinal220
November 30, 2010, 04:59 PM
I have both a M1S90 and M4S90,I have shot the Saiga.The Saiga is a fun gun,but like most AK variants has many sharp edges,mediocre finish,mediocre sights,mediocre ergonomics.

The M4S90 is nice gun,but its way overpriced in my opinion.I shoot my 20 year old M1S90 more and it runs like a champ.The M4S90 has "a little" bit softer recoil IMHO,but not huge difference from the M1S90.

The Benelli recoil(inertia) system is very robust and can take alot of abuse.I run full power buckshot,slugs,and wally world promo loads no problem.It will run Sellier&Bellot 00 buck too.Doesn't like the low recoil/tactical stuff.

The M4S90 is pretty much the same way,eats promo loads no problem.

I would buy a good used M1/2 S90 over the more expensive M4.

I see the Saiga more of a fun gun,or something that needs ALOT of gun smithing/aftermarket parts to make it a bit nicer.

dirtymike1
November 30, 2010, 05:06 PM
http://www.tromix.com/saiga.htm

If you want a Saiga 12, that is the guy to get it from. From what I've learned on this forum, tromix is the go to guy for Saiga 12's hands down. Getting one of his converted guns is on my wish list :)

BoKnows
December 1, 2010, 02:29 AM
I'm currently on the Tromix build list. He only builds about 100-200 per year. The next available list will open up sometime in January 2011.

I chose the S12 over the M4 because of the mag feed. Getting a reputable builder will guarantee a higher standard and better build quality than the average Saiga 12. I was also fortunate to purchase two MD Arms 20-round drums for $75 each (on sale), that's right, 40-rounds of 12-gauge sounds pretty devastating.

I saw a Tromix Saiga 12 S06 at a gun shop selling for $2500. So the $1400 I'm spending is a bargain compared to what the open market is selling them for.

ROCK6
December 13, 2010, 12:21 PM
I have about 2K invested in my Saiga and it's a fun gun! However, for serious social work, I would recommend the Benelli over the Saiga. I must say, mine is a conversion and has worked well with APG mags and MD 20rd drum mags. I've had a few glitches with cheap low-brass shells, but anything in the buckshot class or slugs have run flawlessly. I'm still concerned about longevity of the aftermarket magazines...only time will tell. Another issue is seating mags; it takes a litte more effort to get them seated correctly and most often, I need to make sure the bolt is locked back for a relaible seat.

I don't have the M4, but I do have an older M1S90. They are dead-on reliable and have been proven in both law enforcement social engagements and in combat.

I love my Saiga, but I would get a more straight forward and simple pump or autoloader before playing with a Saiga for serious engagements.

ROCK6

rjrivero
December 13, 2010, 12:30 PM
I have both, and run both, depending on the gun game at hand. The saiga is a nice platform and the only choice for slapping in magazines for run and gun. They are finicky and you'll have to be willing to spend some time, and money, and often both to get them to run correctly. The bonus is that you can use 20rd drums, mags up to 12 rounds and mag changes can be done pretty quickly.

The Benelli is a great shooter. It's not as fast to reload, but with a bucket of speed sticks, it can be pretty quick in it's own right. The benelli points better, and I've NEVER had a hiccup with it.

If you are planning on using this for home defense, the Benelli is my choice. The lower capacity isn't a huge handicap in most home defense situations, and there is no compression of the round in the magazine against the bolt that can impede function as would happen in the Saiga. (Most advocate keeping a saiga 12 for home defense with the bolt locked open and a magazine seated. That way the top round isn't mashing against the bolt, thus deforming.

The Saiga is definitely MORE FUN on the range. With a Poly Choke, you can do just about anything you want to with that shot gun.

Girodin
December 13, 2010, 03:22 PM
the thing about saiga's is it is hard to make any blanket statements about them. If you are talking a stock gun then i'd take the benelli any day. Once you start talking about modified saigas there is so much variation its hard to make definative statements.

A saiga that has as much money into it a benelli is a very fine weapon indeed and will have all of the complaints mentioned thus far addressed.

Another issue is seating mags; it takes a litte more effort to get them seated correctly and most often, I need to make sure the bolt is locked back for a relaible seat.

I went with a magwell and consider it one of the best modifications I've made. Reloads are notably faster.

Which I would want might depend on exactly how I was going to be using it.

I think a tube fed gun is harder to run than a mag fed gun. That could just be me though.

If we are talking a saiga that runs well and is built to the owners liking it is very different than asking about a box stock gun. The Benelli is the better out of the box choice (unless you buy your s12 from tromix, red jacket or the like). It is more of a known quantity. Saigas have a lot of variation. Mine run like a top and I wouldn't trade it. I am into one 1500-1700 (including all accessories, lights RDS, drum, 10 mags, etc)

I'd be happy with either but I am a fan of the saiga for my uses. I do not think it is always the best choice per se.

Mudinyeri
December 13, 2010, 06:38 PM
If money was no object, I'd own the M4. Since money is a limited resource (for me), I own a Mossberg 930 SPX.

:)

H7K
December 13, 2010, 08:00 PM
Benelli M4 has always been the ultimate for me!

JWJacobVT
December 14, 2010, 12:34 PM
Buy another 870, best Tactical shotgun there is........
Just saw this ad posted and had to laugh.....

"Tactical Shotgun wanted. I have a nice remington 870 pump that can take up to a 3 inch shell. The gun has been shot around 100 times and cleaned 3 times. The gun has a wooden stock and forehand and was taken care of. Looking for a tactical shotgun either pump or semi willing to throw in some money on top of my gun. I will sell my gun for 260 Thanks"

Mr. T
December 14, 2010, 02:10 PM
I just bought an H & R semi-auto shottie for $319 about 5 months ago and that gun cycles almost as fast as a Benelli...fast enough that you would be wondering why you spent $2k on the Benelli. It has synthetic furniture and the fit and finish is so good you have to wonder how they can sell this gun for that low of an amount. The gun was made in Turkey...it looks really close to the Stoeger semi-auto shottie and the action is a European action, but the gas system looks the same as the Benelli.

Mr. T
December 14, 2010, 02:11 PM
By the way the weight is extremely light and the balance is respective of a gun much more expensive.

True Grit
December 14, 2010, 07:27 PM
Saiga 12. They just drip with awsomeness and the fear of god! Plus they're pretty darn tough too like there brother the Kalashnikov AK-47, and you get the option of semi or fully auto at anytime. Theres tons of accesories out there for them. Too bad we can't get our hands on the AA-12... I live within a few miles of were they're manufactured at and it kills me!!!

Russ Jackson
December 16, 2010, 04:57 PM
I love my pimped out saiga 12. MD Drums work great and you can pick them up for $75 dollars on sale at MD Arms every now and then. If you add too much crap they get way too heavy especially with a full drum. Always draws a crowd at the range. There are new gas plugs that take care of different loads. Before you put a pistol grip on it try a shotgun with one first because you might hate it. Great Gun!...Russ

DAdams
December 16, 2010, 06:37 PM
Mr.T please be so kind as to provide a link to the SG you are referring to.
I went to the website and saw nothing remotely similar to the Benelli or Saiga??

Stevie-Ray
December 16, 2010, 08:01 PM
If money was no object, I'd own the M4. Since money is a limited resource (for me), I own a Mossberg 930 SPX.
Same here, on both counts.;)

Balrog
December 17, 2010, 12:51 AM
To the Benelli fans, what load are you running in your M2's?

My M2 Tactical will not cycle most of the low recoil loads, though it will cycle the Winchester Ranger and Federal Personal Defense.

It chokes on Hornady TAP and Speer Lawman

rodinal220
December 17, 2010, 09:39 PM
Balrog,the Benellis,either the inertia(M1/2) or gas(M4) do not function reliably with the low recoil or so called tactical loads.Cheap wally world promo loads run fine in both my M1S90 and M4S90.I find the Sellier&Bellot OO loads recoil less than most American full power OO loads but cycle fine in both my Benellis.
Also,the interia Benellis do not like alot of crap hung on them.Things like side saddles,flashlights,lasers,etc "may" affect reliability.YMMV.

The low recoil loads were designed for pump/slide action shotguns,not semi-autos.These loads will not function reliably in my 11-87P as well.

You want full power loads in buck,slug and shot.

spyder1969
December 18, 2010, 11:34 AM
Benelli by far, but an Rem 870 or Mossberg for less money will out do a Saiga 12ga anyday.

Dobe
December 18, 2010, 06:18 PM
Balrog,the Benellis,either the inertia(M1/2) or gas(M4) do not function reliably with the low recoil or so called tactical loads.Cheap wally world promo loads run fine in both my M1S90 and M4S90.I find the Sellier&Bellot OO loads recoil less than most American full power OO loads but cycle fine in both my Benellis.
Also,the interia Benellis do not like alot of crap hung on them.Things like side saddles,flashlights,lasers,etc "may" affect reliability.YMMV.

The low recoil loads were designed for pump/slide action shotguns,not semi-autos.These loads will not function reliably in my 11-87P as well.

You want full power loads in buck,slug and shot.


I just put a box of low brass 8 shot through my M2 about 2 hours ago. It ran just fine. And you can put side saddles, and anything else on an M2, as long as you don't hang it from the barrel.

Girodin
December 19, 2010, 01:29 AM
Benelli by far, but an Rem 870 or Mossberg for less money will out do a Saiga 12ga anyday.

Out do it at what and in what ways? I have two 870s (both wingmasters) and for 3 gun or a fighting gun prefer one of my S12s.

Balrog
December 19, 2010, 01:40 AM
I just put a box of low brass 8 shot through my M2 about 2 hours ago. It ran just fine.

Mine won't do that.

Dobe
December 19, 2010, 02:21 PM
I must confess, the M2 I have is my first Benelli. I did a lot of research before I picked mine up. One of the advantages that I found from my reasearch was that the inertia system will allow you to use a variety of loads.

Yesterday, I shot a box of low brass 8's and a box of high brass 4's ( ammo I had laying around for years). I even mixed the loads; all shot well with no problems at all.

Balrog
December 19, 2010, 02:51 PM
Yesterday, I shot a box of low brass 8's and a box of high brass 4's ( ammo I had laying around for years). I even mixed the loads; all shot well with no problems at all.

Have you tried any of the reduced tactial buckshot loads, such as Hornady TAP or Speer Lawman? These will not cycle in my M2. It will cycle the Federal personal defense buckshot, as well as Winchester Ranger, but I can tell the action moves slower, and although I have had no problems feeding the Federal and Winchester, I get the feeling from the way the action cycles that I would not want them in my gun if it was a real situation.

So right now I am sticking with standard Remington and Winchester 00 Buckshot. They cycle the action vigorously and 100 percent.

Dobe
December 19, 2010, 02:54 PM
No, I've not tried reduced tactical loads, but I'll pick some up, and give it a try. Yesterday is the first time I had ever shot a Benelli, so I don't want to come off as "expert" on Benellis.

I do like the M2, and I hope to take a tactical class using it.

spyder1969
December 19, 2010, 04:00 PM
pump is always more reliable than semi auto. I can buy an 870 new which will function flawlessly, without having to invest an extra $100 to improve its function. Until then, S12 is not reliable.

Dobe
December 19, 2010, 04:16 PM
pump is always more reliable than semi auto. Not really. That is like comparing a revolver to an auto. There is always the chance of short shucking a pump. Pumps are more difficult to operate in many shootng position also.

It's what ever you want and feel best with, but don't short change the modern autos. They are very reliable.

Girodin
December 19, 2010, 07:42 PM
Until then, S12 is not reliable.

How many S12s have you owned? I've owned about seven of them. The ones I have are highly reliable and have been such from shot one. Also I know of no S12s that do not run great with Slugs or buck. Where people have issues, if they do (I have not), it is shooting really light loads of bird shot. One would not be using really light loads of bird shot for defensive use. I'd take any number of weapons over a shotgun with a 7/8 oz load of #8. Thus issues of cycle light loads of small shot are moot for discussions of defense use. Keeping your gun stocked with ammo you tested in you gun is elementary. This is true for a pump too, because one is surely going to pattern any HD rounds he or she plans to use.

Also, as to reliability almost anyone that sees a lot of shotgun use in the realms that best simulate defensive use, 3 gun and training courses, will tell you they see people have more issues with their pumps than semis. Crank up the stress level, add adrenalin, make the shooter move, use cover, or fire from awkward improvised shooting positions and you get a new perspective on semi vs pump reliability. I have pumps and like using them but those that carry on about pumps being more reliable generally are either willfully ignoring the human element or speaking from lack of exposure to this type of shooting.

An 870 is much cheaper than a Saiga, or a Benelli or a number of other guns. A thousand dollars difference is not a factor for me in choosing my HD guns. I buy what I find to be useful. If money is tight a pump gun is a good choice; I own pumps too (Both of the ones you suggested in fact). If the argument is cheaper then sure the 870 wins or Mossy 500 wins. If it is a gun that is more ready to be run out of the box, I'd tend to agree as well. If it is still that the 870 blows away the saiga at other things I'm still left asking what those are.

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