NRA Gun of the Week: Benelli USA M3 Super 90

Watch American Rifleman staff on the range with Benelli's M3 Tactical shotgun.

Benelli USA, the import firm of the Italian-based maker most known for developing and distributing repeatable and reliable semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, offers unfailing reliability with its M3 Super 90 combat. Chambered for 12 gauge shotshells and tailored for personal protection, Benelli’s M3 Super 90 is a convertible design that dispenses two modes of operation for redundancy and ease of use whether by civil servants, military professionals, hunters and home defenders.

right side full length black shotgun benelli m3 super 90 tactical gun

At the core of the Benelli M3 is a black-anodized aluminum receiver with internal mechanisms that are seemingly familiar designs of the Italian maker. Inertial operation is a key carry-over feature that forges the path for the M3 Super 90s semi-automatic function—a rotating bolt relies on shotshell blowback force to safely reduce pressure, unlock from battery and initiate the extraction, ejection and loading processes.

shotgun parts trigger safety gun

As seen in the video above, converting the M3 Super 90 combat to pump-action mode requires simple manipulation of a fore-end-mounted lock ring. Counterclockwise rotation unlocks the action allowing its operator manual function of the once self-loading shotgun.

right side black shotgun plastic metal benelli gun fore-end parts closeup sling attachment barrel action receiver

The Benelli USA M3 Super 90 is a compact design, too. At 41” long there is a 19 3/4” steel barrel with a fixed-cylinder choke-constriction included with the M3 Tactical shotgun. Chamber length is cut for 3” and Benelli supplies a tubular magazine set for five rounds. Eliminated from the barrel’s top is a sighting rib that is replaced by user-adjustable sights, a ghost-ring aperture rear and wing-protect post front lends to adequate aiming of the fast-handling dual-mode shotgun.

shotgun sight aiming circle dots protective wings metal steel adjustable shotgun receiver action black benelli

Black furniture comes standard with a straight-comb buttstock and pistol grip at the rear. A textured fore-end is included with sling points front and rear. Overall weight of the M3 series shotgun comes to 7.2 lbs.

Benelli M3 Super 90 Specifications
Importer: Benelli USA
Action Type: convertible, pump/inertia-operated, semi-automatic shotgun
Gauge: 12; 3”
Receiver: aluminum; black-anodized
Stock: synthetic
Magazine: tubular, five-round (2 3/4”)
Trigger: 5-lb., 14-oz. pull
Sights: adjustable; ghost-ring rear, post front
Weight: 7 lbs., 3 ozs.
MSRP: $1,599


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