Benelli’s BE.S.T. Finish

posted on June 10, 2024
Benelli Surface Treatment

Benelli shotgun owners are no strangers to the rigors of the field, and the company’s guns have generally held up well to harsh environments, but, as with most things, there was always a limit as to how much abuse a firearm’s finish could take. Now, that limit has been stretched even further with the Benelli Surface Treatment (BE.S.T.).

After more than 10 years in development, Benelli debuted this new finish option on select models of its Super Black Eagle and Ethos Cordoba shotguns. The treatment combines two known processes, physical vapor deposition (PVD) and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), resulting in a solid coating over metal components that resists wear and corrosion and also reduces friction. For firearm manufacturers, such treatments were nonstarters due to the high temperatures required during the deposition process, which would weaken the strength of a gun barrel. Benelli’s efforts resulted in a process that accomplishes the same result at a reduced temperature, thus preserving the Crio- and heat-treatment of Benelli’s shotgun barrels.

immersion in a saltwater tank

The resulting BE.S.T. finish is applied over the barrel, barrel extension, bolt, bolt handle, extended choke, safety, stud, trigger and trigger pin of select models, ensuring that core operating components aren’t affected in harsh environments. To prove the durability of its new surface treatment, Benelli subjected its own BE.S.T.-treated barrel and a competitor’s barrel featuring a traditional matte-blue surface treatment to full immersion in a saltwater tank (below). The corrosion seen on the competitor’s barrel occurred after just 48 hours of exposure. Benelli removed the shown BE.S.T. barrel after three months of immersion, and it still exhibited no signs of corrosion. BE.S.T. guns have also seen use in the hands of American Rifleman editors on pheasant hunts in the wilds of West Virginia, as well as dove hunts on Maryland’s eastern shore, all with no visible signs of wear or exposure. Benelli supports its BE.S.T.-finished guns with a 25-year warranty against rust or corrosion.



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