Benelli M2 vs M4

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Nov 23, 2011
So I have all of my "needs" covered, and am now left with a few wants. I've always wanted an M4 because of the military connection and the fast action capabilities. I stopped at a larger gun store on the way up to Cleveland and enquired as to whether or not they had any. They did not, but said that they run about $1600 but are unavailable until spring of 2013 right now :eek:. They did have an M2 though. Wow! This thing was super light-weight and pointed like an extension of my body. Price tag was about $1100. I understand that these have completely different operating systems, but what does that mean to me? Does one have less recoil? Better reliability? Faster follow-up shots? It appeared that the M2 tactical has less capacity. So what are some meaningful differences?
If anyone makes a semi-auto shotgun that kicks harder then a Benelli M2?
I haven't shot it yet.

I have never fired a gas operated M4, but I would expect it to kick less then an M2 inertia action.

However, I would expect a gas-operated Remington 1100, or Beretta AL391, or Browning Gold to kick less then a M4 too.

But that's just my WAG.

Interesting. I noticed the Youtube vids of the M2 being shot looked like more recoil whereas the M4 looked like they were shooting an AR.
The M4 seems a lot more rugged and has better fit and finish but is rather heavy considering its aluminum receiver and a lot of that weight seems to be towards the front. Also the ghost ring irons and telescoping stock {if it has one} don't work well for everybody. The M4 to me handles more like a carbine than a proper shotgun.

The M2 OTOH is one of the best and quickest handling repeaters out there period, very lively but almost magically precise in pointability. Also you get a lot more choices when it comes to sights, barrels and other configurations.
If you like the Benelli M2, you can save yourself a ton of money by looking for a Beretta 1201FP. Very similar and cost about $500 used.
You shouldn't have any trouble locating either of these used, I see them locally all the time. It's the type of gun that attract people with more money than brains, and later they sell them because they're broke. I'm not suggesting the OP falls in that class, just that they move around a lot.

For the price I think I'd have a hard time overlooking the 930 and Saiga 12.
Zhyla... no offense taken. Brains and cash... I haven't an overabundance of either. But as I said in my original post, I'm beyond need and practicality and am looking to satisfy that primal third grader within me that screams... "that's neato. I wannit ". Will I get one of these? Maybe. Or maybe I'll get something else horribly unpractical and perhaps overpriced. At the end of the day, I have to ask myself if I would really shoot five rounds on target faster with an M2 than with my current pumps or maybe a $500 pistol gripped Nova.
If you like the Benelli M2, you can save yourself a ton of money by looking for a Beretta 1201FP. Very similar and cost about $500 used.

The only gun I've ever sold because it hurt me was my Beretta 1201FP. Way too light and the stock fit me in such a way that the shotgun pounded the stuffing out of me.

The Benelli recoil operated (same system as the Beretta) just fit me. I won't say the Benelli's recol less but it doesn't hurt to shoot them.

If neato is the drive what about a M3.

+1 to this! I managed to get one and I haven't been able to shoot it yet.:cuss: The best of both worlds IMO. You get the fancy semi-auto action with the utilitarian pump all in one package!
If anyone makes a semi-auto shotgun that kicks harder then a Benelli M2?
I haven't shot it yet.

I hunt and shoot the M-1. Same basic action as the M-2 without the recoil reducing technology in the stock. It may kick slightly more than a gas gun, it recoils LESS than any pump or double. No one complians about them kicking too much.
I have some experience with a friend's M4. It's a good shooter and you can put a lot of rounds through it without tiring out your shoulder. We had a good day shooting a hundred slugs or so (each) making some old junk dance at 75 yards. It was surprisingly accurate with slugs.

FWIW the M2 seems to be the preferred shotgun of the 3-gun crowd. I think the more options for sights and ability to have ribbed barrels makes the difference. I personally prefer a gas system myself.
I had an M4 for a bit. I found it too front heavy and sold it. Still have a pair of M1s. They do kick harder than the gas guns but as mentioned are lighter and don't have any more felt recoil (to me) than an 870.
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