Here's What You Need to Know: If you’re looking for a reliable pump-action, go with the Benelli Nova.
The Benelli Nova is an affordable yet reliable pump-action shotgun that comes in both 12-gauge and 20-gauge configurations. There are a variety of Nova models, including tactical models. These are great for law enforcement or military use. If you do choose a tactical model, we advise using it along with the proper body armor for safety.
The standard Nova includes a red-bar front sight and a mid-bead sight, while the tactical models come with your choice of either ghost ring or open rifle sights. The standard sights work pretty well, but you might want to upgrade to a higher-quality sight (like a red dot) if you’ll be using it in the dark.
For the barrel, stock, and receiver finish, you’ll be able to choose from blued matte (black synthetic for the stock), RealTree Max-5, and Mossy Oak Bottomland. The barrel itself is chrome-lined, vent-ribbed, and threaded for screw-in choke tubes. It includes three different choke tubes (IC, M, and F) and a wrench to screw them in.
The heavy-duty polymer stock and receiver are a single unit, with a steel skeletal frame underneath. It’s a somewhat plain, unconventional look, but the high-quality plastic won’t show any marks or dents! The polymer fore-end and standard grip both have a series of grooves molded in, which makes it very comfortable and easy to grip, even in the rain or while wearing gloves.
The trigger and trigger guard are both made of polymer, and the guard is oversized so you can operate it with gloves on. It mounts and points very naturally, and handles much smoother than other similar pump-action shotguns.
One pretty cool feature is the “Shell Stop” button, which lets you clear the chamber without dumping all the rounds. Press the button at the bottom of the fore-end, rack the pump, and you’ll be able to eject the shell without loading a new one! This also helps make the gun “safe” without unloading it completely.
The Nova has a 4+1 capacity and can handle everything from 2.75” to 3.5” high brass loads, no problem. It’s loaded through a metallic feed ramp, with the ejection port located on the left side.
There are three different barrel lengths available for the Nova models: 24,” 26,” and 28.” With the longest barrel length, the overall length measures 49.5.” It’s relatively lightweight without sacrificing durability, with most models weighing somewhere between six and eight lbs.
If you’re looking for a reliable pump-action, go with the Nova. I’ve fired thousands of rounds through mine without any failures whatsoever. It’s made to withstand the test of time and feels incredibly sturdy in your hand. Some models, including the SuperNova, even feature Benelli’s ComforTech recoil reduction system, which cuts the average recoil nearly in half compared to other pump-actions.
Despite its high-end features and extremely durable construction, this is a shockingly affordable firearm. You can usually find them for anywhere between $500-$700. If you’re a fan of pump-action shotguns, you won’t be disappointed in the Nova. It’s constructed with very high-quality materials and one of the most comfortable, durable pump-actions on the market.
Just like Smith & Wesson is known for crafting excellent pistols, Benelli is known for their well-made shotguns. The Nova is no exception. There’s a wide range of models that work well for all applications, from hunting to tactical use. There’s no doubt that you’ll be able to find a Nova that suits your needs perfectly.
Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.
This article first appeared in March 2021 and is being republished due to reader interest.