Of all the semi-automatic shotgun lines produced by Benelli, its most successful and well known is the Super Black Eagle. In 2020, American Rifleman staff had the opportunity to visit the Benelli factory in Urbino, Italy, to see what goes into designing and machining the Super Black Eagle line, as well as the other projects the firm was working on.
The Super Black Eagle line of semi-automatic shotguns utilize Benelli's well-known inertia-driven action design. This action style uses the rearward inertia from a fired shot to tension a spring inside the bolt, making it dwell in place for a short period of time before releasing and moving rearward to unlock. This system is both reliable, simple and produces a fairly smooth recoil impulse. This action works with all the common shell lengths and sizes without imparting extra stress into the user's shoulder.
However, the tolerances required for the individual components of the action make them relatively difficult to manufacture, which is why Benelli has blended the latest in computer design and automated machining into its manufacturing processes. This allows components to be manufactured as uniformly as possible with an end product that can be expected to meet customer's expectations of quality control.
In 2003, Benelli introduced the second generation of the line, the Super Black Eagle 2, which incorporates a ComforTech synthetic stock to help further reduce felt recoil and increase user comfort. Since then, the firm has also released the third generation of the line, the Super Black Eagle 3. Building off of the Super Black Eagle 2, the third version includes further enhancements to control layouts and easier loading, along with the second generation of the ComforTech stock.
To further enhance its product lines, Benelli spent a decade working on a new process for its manufacturing to increase the weatherproof qualities of its firearms. Known as the BE.S.T. treatment, a hybrid steel treatment process which produces a weatherproof and wear-resistant finish, the finish is proprietary to the firm. Other than the autoloaders, the Benelli 828U over-under shotgun line is also popular in the competition and sporting market. Benelli has also expanded its reach outside of the shotgun realm, producing other types of platforms like the Lupo bolt-action rifle. To learn more about Benelli, its history and its firearms, visit benelliusa.com.