Will the Benelli M1 Super 90 fire and cycle 12 ga mini shells?

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Mar 7, 2022
Houston-ish, TX
This will be my first Benelli M1 Super 90, and I am wondering if they will fire and cycle 12 gauge mini shells. Thanks in advance for informed responses.
I am going to say probably not. Semi-autos can be picky about 2 3/4 inch regular shells. Mini shells can give them a fit. Here is a video that shows some semi-auto failures with minis.

I don’t know about minishells specifically, but my friend’s had trouble cycling 1 oz. birdshot. It has a pretty strong recoil spring.
Had one couple years back…sold it after a couple months later. I’m not made of money, so I was hoping it would work with my skeet/sporting clay reloads for practice…nope. Ran the hotter stuff like a charm…
As the other guys said, the stock Benelli inertia-operated system is not reliable with trap, target, field or other lighter loads. Even if they would feed reliably, which is doubtful, mini shells will not have the oomph to cycle the action.

I used the M1 on patrol for 12 years at my former agency, we had to use stout practice loads to train with or it was a constant exercise in jam-clearing. Full power 00 and slugs were never an issue.

Stay safe.
Thanks guys. I was just curious. It's gonna be in NFA jail for a while since its a SBS. I got it mainly as one of a series of self defense guns I have staged around my house to replace the short barreled Winchester '97 riot gun I recently sold.
Are you talking about the one set up for SD or the one set up for hunting. I have an older sporting version with M1 Super 90 stamped on it. Most of the later sporting versions simply had M1 stamped on them while the combat versions were stamped somewhat different.

Mine have been the most reliable guns I've ever owned with any ammo. Of course, 1 oz field loads is as light as I ever went. I wouldn't be surprised if it had trouble with mini shells. They are more reliable than the gas guns I've owned even with the lightest loads. I know Remington's 1100/1187 series with the shorter combat or deer hunting barrels won't reliably shoot light loads, but the sporting barrels 26" or longer will.

I actually own 2. The older one has M1 Super 90 stamped on it and has a 24" barrel. The newer one has a 26" barrel and is stamped simply M1. I've never had a malfunction of any kind with either gun with any ammo.
This is all good information to know and especially about semi-auto shotguns.
Is the advantage simply that an owner can squeeze one or two more rounds in?
Is the advantage simply that an owner can squeeze one or two more rounds in?

More than that. Almost double. Magazine capacities in 12ga shotguns are advertised with 2 3/4" shells. So take a Mossberg 500 with a factory extended tube. With standard 2 3/4" shells the tube capacity is 8. With mini shells I can fit 13 in the same tube. The same advantage is not available in semi-auto shotguns because they won't cycle. Even pumps can have a hard time with them because of the large gap in the shell lifter.

Because they have less powder they are often more pleasant to shoot recoil wise. But your experience may vary. Paul Harrell did several good videos on mini shells compared to regular sized ones.
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