Benelli used to be exclusively associated with the term “semi-automatic” when used in conversation about hunting shotguns. Now, though, it could just as well mean “over-under.” That’s right, the Italian maker best known for its inertia-driven self-loaders is producing an over-under design—and it is anything but orthodox. The new 828U is, externally, a pleasing blend of modern lines and features. Machined areas on the receiver were designed to emulate the appearance of waterfowl in flight, and the gun’s rib is made of carbon fiber while its recoil system consists of the company’s proven Progressive Comfort butt pad and internal polymer buffers. Inside, though, the real differences are immediately apparent. First, there is the unstressed aluminum alloy receiver and the separate steel locking plate that mates with the barrels to effect lockup. Then there is the way that each major section of the gun is self-contained. For instance, there are no cocking rods in the traditional sense. Instead, the top lever re-sets strikers each time it is activated. In addition, ejection and/or extraction are determined by pins moved transversely in passages off the chambers as the hulls momentarily expand on firing. The trigger group is entirely modular and easily removable for cleaning, too, and the automatic safety can be quickly changed over to manual operation by the end user. Available in satin black or nickel finishes, the gun is initially available in 12 gauge only and in barrel lengths of 26" and 28" with 6-lb., 8-oz. and 6-lb., 10-oz. weights, respectively. benelliusa.com
Editors' Picks—New for 2015: Benelli 828U
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