When it comes to discussing the best shotguns in the world, very seldom is the Benelli name left out.  Benelli has more than established itself as a versatile, high quality purveyor of arms.

The Benelli M4 actually came about as the result of an open request via the United States Army looking for a new 12 gauge shotgun back in 1998.  Not only was the Benelli M4 created for, but it actually smoked the competition and was awarded the contract.

It has since grown into being one of the world’s foremost shotguns being utilized by military, law enforcement, and civilian use worldwide.

Benelli M4

MSRP~$1999.00

Reliability: B
Customization: B
Accuracy: A+
Ergonomics: A
Value: D

Final Grade: B

The Four Configurations of the Benelli M4 ShotGun

Now before you start telling that there are more configurations than just four, let me tell you why only 4 apply to the majority of us reading this. 

Benelli makes some versions strictly for military or law enforcement. Even after the ban in the United States on collapsible butt stocks was lifted, Benelli still restricted that feature from their civilian oriented models. 

So, here’s a quick overview of the 4 available for home-defense and civilian use.

  • M4 Tactical with Pistol Grip
  • M4 Tactical with Tactical Stock
  • M4 H20 Tactical with Pistol Grip
  • M4 H20 Tactical with Tactical Stock

The major differences between the models are the grips and stocks and the Titanium Cerakote Finish on the H20 platforms. 

GUN Specs

Operating System Auto Regulating Gas System
Guage/Bore 12 Guage
Weight 7.8 lbs
Overall Length 40″
Barrel Length 18.5″

Benelli M4 Features

1. Pistol Grip Option Available
For those of you more comfortable with a pistol grip on your shotgun, Benelli offers 2 versions for you.

2. Ghost Ring Sights
These sights help you to accurately hit your target for any nighttime hunt or home defense situation.

3. Receiver Mounted Picatinny Rail
Allows for any Picatinny compatible accessory to help customly optimize the shotgun.

4. Extended Magazine Tube
The M4 comes with a 5+1 magazine capacity.

Benelli M4 – Our Take

The Benelli M4 is an awesome shotgun.  However, it’s a little too pricey and we think it falls short when compared to similar shotguns.

An Italian tactical semi-auto shotgun? Whats not to like?

Well, we’re not huge fans of the Benelli operating system on any. of their semi-autos.  Sure, it works and MANY shooters (who are better than us) swear by it.  We just can’t get over the recoil impulse felt while shooting it – the recoil is clunky and weird to us.  Also, they can be a bit finicky depending on what type of load you’re shooting (the Remington VersaMax Tactical is a better option in our book).

Another issue with the M4 by Benelli?  That weird crumple-zone in the magazine tube limits the capacity!  You can’t get enough shells in the gun to compete with other shotguns and you can’t increase the capacity on your own.

If you want a 3-Gun shotgun, you’ll need to look elsewhere as this can’t keep up because of its low capacity. 

If you want a quality semi-auto that has some neat features, this shotgun may be for you.  However, we prefer some of the other models of Benelli shotguns over this one.

Benelli M4 Pros and Cons

Fast and fun to shoot

Made by a legendary shotgun manufacturer

Reliable (with the right power loads)

Low capacity for a “tactical” shotgun

Expensive

Report card

Reliability Meh – it works unless you use the wrong load

B

Accuracy Very accurate 

A+

Customization Not much you can change

B

Ergonomics We don’t like pistol grips, but you might

A

Value Too expensive for what you’re getting

D

Check Out the Benelli M4 in Action!

There may be some of you out there who haven’t been able to get your hands on a Benelli shotgun and see just what they’re capable of.

Take a look here at Hickok45’s review and demonstration of the Benelli M4.  Just from the beginning of the video you can see just how good it feels to fire off a few rounds from the Benelli.

Our Top Upgrade Picks for the Benelli M4

So how can you make one of the world’s best shotguns even better?  Accessories.  You want to make sure that your gun is an extension of yourself, and the best way to do that is with some sweet upgrades.  Check out our top picks for the Benelli M4.

Best Magazine Extension for the Benelli M4

Carlsons Benelli M4 Magazine Extension Tube – These tubes will extend your magazine capacity to 7+1.

Best Side Saddle for the Benelli M4 

Tacstar Benelli Rail Mount with Slim SideSaddle – This Picatinny mounted accessory adds an even more tactical look to the Benelli M4 and allows for extra ammo storage.

Best Charging Handle for the Benelli M4

GG&G Inc. Benelli M4 Slotted Tactical Charging Handle – This oversized charging handle with its knurled texture makes installation a breeze.  Plus, it just looks cool.

Best Choke Tubes for the Benelli M4

Carlsons 12 Gauge Benelli Criotech Crio-Plus Choke Tubes – These choke tubes can help you achieve that tighter, denser spread pattern you’re looking for.

The Benelli M4 for Law Enforcement and Military Ops

When it comes to choosing their shotgun of choice, many law enforcement agencies around the world trust in the reliability of the Benelli M4–most notably the Los Angeles Police Department.

When it comes to military use… This seems to be one of the number one picks for many different countries for standard and special operations.  The United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and so many more use this shotgun. It really is an amazing firearm making a global impact.

Check out these two articles for more on this situation: