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Benelli M4 Super 90
Benelli m4 2.jpg
The Benelli M4 Super 90
Type Semi-automatic shotgun
Place of origin Italy
Service history
Used by See Users
Wars Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, Syrian civil war
Production history
Designer Benelli Armi SPA
Designed 1998
Manufacturer Benelli Armi SPA
Produced 1999-Present
Weight 3.82 kg (8.42 lb)
Length 885 mm (34.8 in)
Barrel length 470 mm (18.5 in)

Caliber 12 gauge
Action Gas operated
Effective range 55 yards (50.2 m),[1] (164 ft)
Feed system 5+1 (civilian) or 7+1 (Military, LE) internal tube (Using 2.75 shells) magazine
Sights Ghost ring sight, Picatinny rail for sights

The Benelli M4 Super 90 is an Italian semi-automatic shotgun manufactured by Benelli Armi SpA.


On May 4, 1998, the United States Army's Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey issued Solicitation #DAAE30-98-R-0401, requesting submissions for a new 12 gauge, semi-automatic combat shotgun for the U.S. military. In response to the request, Benelli Armi SpA of Urbino, Italy designed and built the Benelli M4 Super 90 Combat Shotgun. On August 4, 1998, five samples of the M4 were delivered to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and after intense testing, the M4 had beaten the competition. In early 1999, ARDEC awarded the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun contract to Heckler & Koch, American subsidiary for importation of the Benelli M4 Combat Shotgun. The first units (count of 20,000) were delivered to the United States Marine Corps in 1999. During testing, the prototype was named XM1014, but after adoption, the 'X' was dropped, and the weapon was officially designated the M1014.


The M4 was the first gas-operated shotgun produced by Benelli. Its function is designed around an entirely new method called the "auto regulating gas operated" (ARGO) system. The ARGO system on the M4 opened the door for Benelli's development of the R1 rifle line. The design uses two stainless-steel self-cleaning pistons located just ahead of the chamber to function opposite the rotating bolt, thereby eliminating the need for the complex mechanisms found on other gas-actuated automatics. Benelli accomplishes this level of reliability through the simplicity of the mechanism. The ARGO is a short-stroke system that incorporates only four parts. It consists of two symmetrical shrouds containing two small steel gas pistons.

It is also self-regulating for cartridges of varying length and power levels. It can fire 2.75 and 3-inch (76 mm) shells of differing power-levels without any operator adjustments and in any combination. Low-power rounds, such as less-lethal rubber pellets, must be cycled manually.

The sights are military-style ghost ring and are adjustable in the field using only a cartridge rim. The MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny sight rail on top allows use of both conventional and night-vision sights, while retaining use of the original sights.

A U.S. Marine trains with the M1014 shotgun in December 2006.

U.S. Marines armed with an M1014 shotgun raid a suspected enemy bomb factory in Fallujah, Iraq in May 2006.


Also touted is the modular assembly basis of the weapon. It allows an operator to exchange the various assembly groups (barrel, buttstock, forearm, etc...) without the use of tools. Especially useful in the field, the process is quick and allows the weapon to adapt to a changing tactical environment.


Preliminary testing of the M4 puts its reliability at the top of the scale. It can reliably function for at least 25,000 rounds without replacement of any major parts.[2] The steel components of the weapon feature a matte black phosphated corrosion resistant finish while the aluminum parts are matte hard-anodized. These finishes reduce the weapon's visibility during night operations.

The weapon requires little maintenance and operates in all climates and weather conditions.[citation needed]

Collapsible buttstock

The buttstock is collapsible on the M4 Model (designated 11707) but will not collapse on the M1014. This is because the M1014 was manufactured before the U.S. 1994 assault weapon ban expired, whereas the M11707 has been manufactured since the ban expired therefore not subject to the terms under the ban. Collapsing the buttstock shortens the weapon by almost 8 inches, allowing easier storage and transportation; furthermore, it permits better maneuverability around tight corners and over obstacles. The M4 is also available with a fixed stock (pistol grip and semi-pistol grip styles are both available). The M4 is no longer sold today with the skeleton fixed stock (model M11707) to civilians. Benelli only sells the M4 with a fixed pistol grip style tactical stock in the United States. However, the collapsible butt stock can be purchased by civilians in Canada.

Rail interface system

The rail interface system or Picatinny rail, built into the top of the shotgun accepts scopes, laser illuminators, night-vision sights, and flashlights. Most modern military firearms have similar structures.

Benelli Tactical and the M4

Benelli Tactical is a division of Beretta's Law Enforcement (LE) division. Benelli Tactical manages the sales of all Benelli tactical shotguns to law enforcement, government, and military entities. The M4 shotgun is sold in three configurations: M4 Entry with a 14 in barrel; M4 with a 18.5 in barrel; and M1014, which is an M4 with the "M1014" nomenclature on it for military usage only. M4 shotguns sold through Benelli tactical are available with the collapsible buttstock.

Benelli Tactical and Beretta LE have maintained the belief that the collapsible buttstock, while no longer illegal in the United States, is still only to be made available to law enforcement and government agencies. Benelli Tactical/Beretta LE will not sell these stocks to private individuals. Benelli Tactical does sell the stock piece for retrofitting the pistol grip stock for $150. The stock must be direct-shipped from Italy, however it and other aftermarket stocks are commercially available and not restricted by the United States.

Suggested retail price of the civilian version is around $1,899.[3] An NFA stamp is required to purchase or own the 14.5" barreled model only since this model is considered to be a Short Barreled Shotgun or SBS. Standard magazine capacity of the civilian version is 5+1, although it is possible to fit 6+1 and two shot extension tubes are sold by Benelli as well as some other companies. Some LE models have become available to private individuals on the secondary market.


See also


  1. "USMC Weapons". Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  2. "HK M4 Super 90/XM1014". Retrieved 2008-09-08. [dead link]
  3. "M4 Tactical Shotgun". Benelli USA. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  4. "AusTender: Contract Notice View - CN192892". Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  5. 2nd row, 5th and 6th picture; special police member can be seen wielding a Benelli M4 shotgun with reflex sight. Zapovjedništvo specijalne policije, MUP. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  6. "Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun on 2nd from the right, after the SPAS-12. Photographed on September 28, 2013 on the Croatian Police Day".,M3S90,M4S90,SPAS12.jpg. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  7. Giorgio Beretta Mercoledì, 09 Marzo 2011 (2011-02-27). "L’Italia ha inviato 11mila Beretta semiautomatici al regime di Gheddafi / Notizie / Home" (in it). Unimondo. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  8. Royal Malaysian Customs Academy (2010). "Royal Malaysian Customs Academy: Firing range". Royal Malaysian Customs. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  9. [1][dead link]
  10. [2][dead link]
  11. "Combat Shotgun". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  12. [3][dead link]
  13. "Weapons & Demo". Navy SEALs. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  14. Published on (2009-02-25). "LAPD Approves Benelli M4 Tactical for Individual Officer Purchase". Retrieved 2013-10-09. 

External links

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