It is always a fun day when you get your hands on a new toy. This pump-action shotgun was a beauty. I am a sucker for pump action. Maybe it was growing up on 90s action films and associating the click of the pump to pure badass. Today I am reviewing the Benelli Supernova. I received the pure black model, but it comes in camo as well for hunting. This is definitely a hunting shotgun rather than home defense. I prefer a shorter model for that—like the Kel-Tec KSG.
The beauty of a tool is in how well it does its job. The job of a shotgun is to put lead on target. I had a little trouble adjusting to pump-action, but I eventually got myself comfortable. What helped here was the adjustable stock. If you can do the same motions time after time it is easier to put the lead in the right place. I could match my average shooting abilities with clays so I would say accuracy is not a problem with this gun. However, that isn’t to say I am not willing to cheat.
There is nothing worse than a finicky gun. Going to all the trouble to find the perfect buck only to have your gun jam at the last moment is heartbreaking. While nothing stands out about this model, there is also nothing to worry about. Cleaning is easy. I could field strip it, no problem.
The model is around eight pounds, which is useful for lugging it around all day in the field. It comes in multiple sizes. The one I used had a 28” barrel, which would have been a nightmare carrying indoors. For those preferring a more compact companion, the barrel can come down to 24”. The gun has impressive ergonomics. They have designed it to accommodate the stress you feel after firing dozens of rounds. So if you can’t do one shot one kill at least you can be comfortable on the second and third shots.
This is probably the low point in my review. The trigger guard is extra wide, but it is obvious why they did this. Even if you have big fingers and are wearing gloves, you will have no issue with firing the gun. My only issue is with the safety: They placed it at the front of the trigger guard. This wouldn’t be an issue with a normal-sized trigger guard, but it can be very annoying if you do not have long pianist fingers. If you are looking for something with more normal hands you can’t go wrong with something traditional. I love this gun for long cold mornings.
Reloading is standard for a pump shotgun. It will hold a variety of shells from 23/4in (70mm) to 31/2in (89mm). The pleasant thing about pump shotguns is that they will hold a variety of shells with no issues loading.
A shotgun's greatest weakness to me is the recoil. I have nursed sore shoulders after a day of skeet shooting. This gun, being lighter, is going to have recoil issues, but they have been clever. The model I features Comfort-Tech—they add a tube of mercury to the gun. As you no doubt remember from physics class: momentum equals mass times velocity. The mercury spreads out from the recoil so that velocity doesn’t affect the shooter. Too complex? You are going to experience less recoil from this gun than just a regular pump shotgun. Enough said. Still got issues with recoil? Nothing is going to hurt your accuracy like fear from recoil so there is no shame in looking for help.
It is a sad fact that quality costs. At $599 this is not an entry-level gun. There are cheaper guns on the market with fewer features if that is what you are looking for. This mid-market gun features more comfort, accuracy, and reliability than a cut-rate gun. At the end of the day, it is up to you to ask yourself if that is something you will pay for. If you look into your wallet and finding it a little lacking, this isn’t the gun for you. Luckily, there are alternatives. Or maybe you are willing to pay a little more for a little more protection. If so, check out one of the best tactical shotguns—the Benelli M4.
As you have probably guessed by now, I like this gun. Am I going to make it my primary range toy? I don’t know, but I will shoot it in the future. I enjoy coming in with the daily limit of ducks with me.
Richard Douglas is a long time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field. Columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.