In 1999, the U.S. Marine Corps fielded a version of the Benelli M4. Today, the firearm, with a military designation of M1014, is still in use by the branch. That combat-tough performance and uncompromising reliability is appealing to civilian enthusiasts and the attraction reflects in the annual list of top-10 semi-auto shotguns compiled by GunBroker.com. In 2019 the firearm claimed 5th place, 9th in 2018, and 7th, 5th and 4th in prior years, respectively.
The M4 was the company’s first gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun and the rigorous government testing before procuring the firearm proved, without question, the company got the design right. It uses the company’s auto regulated gas operated (ARGO) system, which has a pair of short-stroke, self-cleaning pistons. The shotgun can handle 2 3/4" and 3" shotshells equally well, regardless of velocity or projectile or weight, with no adjustment required.
Four versions are available on the civilian market today. All are chambered for 12-gauge, have a black synthetic stock and 18.5" barrels with Modified choke. The tube magazine has a 5 shotshell capacity in each. Overall length is 40" and all versions tip the scales at 7.8 lbs. The receivers are drilled and tapped for optic mounting, but come with ghost rings for sights.
The pair available with a black anodized receiver have an MSRP of $1,999. The barrels have a phosphate finish and one wears a pistol grip. The other two have a titanium phosphate finish on both the receiver and barrel. One of them comes with a pistol grip and MSRP for either model is $2,269.
There is no left-hand version currently available and, regardless of model selected, drop at comb is 1.5" and drop at heel is 2.25". The guns also have sling attachment points fore and aft.