Benelli has made a reputation for sexy shotguns that redefine how auto-loaders should work and look. Benelli has popularized its Inertia Driven bolt system as the must-have alternative to gas-operated auto-loaders. It has taken black synthetic to a new level with its textured carbon fiber finishes. And it's applied the industrial-design aesthetics and ergonomics of Silicon Valley, Tokyo and Milan to the world of shotguns - perhaps ushering in the age of the modern auto-loader...or even the modern shotgun, period.
So what could Benelli possibly do for its next act?
It introduced the new Vinci 12-gauge, hunting auto-loader. If you believe that simplicity exemplifies progress, the Vinci puts Benelli at the forefront of shotgun advancements. Benelli has refined the auto-loader into three modules: the barrel/receiver, the trigger group/forearm, and the buttstock module.
For dads who tear their hair out on Christmas mornings helping their kids assemble the latest and greatest toys, the Vinci will put you in a permanent state of bliss.
The Barrel/Receiver Module houses the next-generation In-Line Inertia Driven action within the Vinci's 8½ inch upper receiver. The entire operating system, including the short bolt and return spring, functions on the same axis as the bore.
The trigger has been incorporated into a module called the Trigger Group/Forearm Module. It contains the trigger assembly, safety, shell carrier and self-contained magazine tube assembly. This module also contains Benelli's ShellView, a transparent slot that lets you visually inspect the number of shells in the magazine, which has a capacity of 3+1. The magazine tube assembly can be easily installed or removed with the push of a button.
In looking at both Barrel/Receiver Module and the Trigger Group/Forearm Module you can see that, in a way, Benelli has made the receiver as we know it obsolete.
The third module is called the Quadrafit Buttstock Module. While it incorporates Benelli's signature ComfortTech recoil-reducing system, it also uses a simple turn-and-lock mechanism that enables quick field changes to a tactical pistol-grip stock or a turkey/slug hunting stock. The QuadraFit Plus System lets you adjust the drop, cast, comb height and length-of-pull in mere minutes without a single tool (say good-bye to your Allen Wrenches).
Benelli's V-Grip corrugated, non-slip surface is molded into the forearm and pistol-grip, offering a more secure hold than traditional checkering.
In addition to a quantum leap in ease-of-use, Benelli claims that the Vinci reduces felt recoil by to 72% compared with auto-loaders from other makers, shooting anything from 2¾ inch dove loads to 3 inch magnum turkey loads.
Benelli has always enjoyed a reputation for speed and handling, and it looks like the Vinci has lowered the center of gravity and reduced muzzle jump for a higher level of responsiveness compared to Benelli's industry benchmark performance.
The Vinci is now available in three finishes: black synthetic, Realtree HPG HD and Advantage MAX 4-HD. It comes standard with five Benelli Crio chokes: cylinder, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full. It's available with either 26 or 28 inch barrels weighing in at 6.8 and 6.9 pounds, respectively.
Prices for the Vinci range from $1,379 to $1,479.
We will be updating this story as more news comes out of the company and other sources. In the meantime, if you're in the market for a new hunting auto-loader the Vinci should be at the top of your list.
Irwin Greenstein is Publisher of Shotgun Life. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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Irwin Greenstein, Publisher