Benelli Supernova Review [Field Tested]

by Travis Pike

May 5, 2022

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Benelli might be known to the world for their semi-auto shotguns, but the world’s been sleeping on their pump-action SuperNova. Today we are showing the world what it’s missing with the Benelli SuperNova. 

SuperNova Specs

  • Barrel Length  18.5 inches 
  • Overall Length 40 inches
  • Weight 7.6 Lbs
  • Capacity 4 Rounds
  • Caliber 12 Gauge up to 3.5-inch shells 

Seeing a SuperNova! 

Benelli famously made semi-auto shotguns so reliable that military and police forces finally accepted semi-auto shotgun superiority. Why would they dive into pump guns? Well, if you can master the semi-auto, why not dive into the pump world? It’s easier to make a pump-action shotgun than a semi-auto, so the time seemed right. Benelli first released the Nova, and it was a decent pump-action shotgun. However, some features like the monolithic stock and receiver weren’t well received. 

Benelli took the criticism in stride and released the SuperNova. The SUpernova kept the good things about the Nova but made the stock and receiver separate, enlarged the trigger guard, and introduced the Comfortech recoil-reducing stock system. Benelli produces the Supernova in a variety of configurations, including deer guns, bird guns, and of course, tactical models. The model we are reviewing today is the Tactical variant.  

This twelve-gauge shotgun chambers shells up to 3.5 inches long and comes with a four-round magazine tube. The tube is actually plugged at two rounds to accommodate laws regarding bird hunting. Taking the plug out and adding a magazine extension takes no time at all. I did just that, but other than that, this SuperNova is completely stock. 

The SuperNova Tactical comes with a set of ghost ring sights that are very easily adjustable. Pistol grip stock models are available, but I went with the traditional field stock. Out of the box, it’s a very competent defensive shotgun that needs a magazine extension and a light to be home defense ready. 

Benelli Supernova

1 Steel Reinforced Polymer Receiver
2 Reversible Safety 
3 Magazine Cut-Off Button 
4 Rotating Bolt 
5 Comfortech Stock

A Refined Pump Action – Our Take

The Supernova integrates a variety of features I’ve never seen on a pump-action shotgun. Most focus on the gun’s ergonomics. For example, the 3.5-inch shell chambering is great for turkey hunters, but for tactical shotguns, it doesn’t make sense. Most of us will be well served by 2.75-inch shells. However, the 3.5-inch ejection port and loading gate make reloading an absolute breeze. Those ports are huge and accommodate the smaller shells much easier for more intuitive reloads. 

On the bottom of the pump sits a big button. That button cuts off the magazine and allows the user to eject a round from the chamber without a round feeding from the magazine. From a tactical standpoint, that allows users to swap for a different shell. You could swap from buckshot to slugs, to door breaching rounds, or to whatever. It makes slug select drills rapid-fire fast. 

A reversible safety to accommodate lefties is a nice touch, and the trigger guard is huge and well designed for gloved hands. The length of pull is quite long, at over 14 inches. They should trim at least an inch or so off. The stock is adjustable for cast and drop and fitted with Benelli’s Comfortech. See the chevrons in the stock? Those are actually cushions that reduce recoil. 

The length of the pump is different than any other shotgun. It’s nearly double the length of other pumps, and you can always maintain a grip on it. The action is smooth as butter and glides rearward with just a little force. 

On Target

In terms of accuracy, it’s just a shotgun, so accuracy isn’t a huge concern. Regardless it’s worth talking about. The ghost ring sights are quite nice and make it very easy to aim and get on target quickly. Since you can adjust for cast and drop, the sights really are positioned quite well. I find them rapid and easy to get behind without much effort. 

Benelli drilled and tapped the receiver to accommodate a rail and, therefore, an optic. According to the World Wide Web, the Supernova shares the same optic pattern as all other Benelli guns. Red dots on shotguns can be a fantastic addition and add some serious speed to the gun’s capabilities. 

The Comfortech stock seems to work well in taking some sting out of the gun’s recoil. I considered getting rid of the standard stock for a short LOP option, but I’m a big fan of the low recoil impulse. The SuperNova is very shootable and soft recoiling for a pump-action design. The huge pump makes it rapid and easy to cycle, and the rotating bolt actually pushes the bolt rearwards a fair bit after the hammer drops. This makes running the gun and the pump even easier. 

Run and Gun 

Making a pump shotgun unreliable is tough to do. Not impossible, but tough to do. Predictably if Benelli slaps their logo on a gun, you expect reliability. The rotating bolt increases the reliability even more by placing rotational force as well as rearward force on the shell. The gun chews up, swallows, and ejects any standard shotgun ammo. 

Cheap birdshot, high-end buckshot, the crappiest F-tier Rio buckshot I can find, and more have gone through this gun. The Rio stuff, in particular, tends to stick in most guns, but the Benelli SuperNova doesn’t care. It feeds in smooth and ejects just as smooth. 

You expect Benelli to have a premium price point, but the SuperNova isn’t a bank account-breaking shotgun. It seems to be in the same league as Remington’s 870s and Mossberg’s 590s. That’s an excellent value for a very ergonomic and very modern, feature-filled shotgun. They seem to cost about 400 bucks on average, and that’s not a terrible price for a modern, well-made pump-action shotgun. 

Benelli Supernova Pros and Cons 

  • Awesome Reliability
  • Great Sights
  • Smooth Action 
  • Smooth Action 
  • Easy to Reload
  • Extremely Ergonomic
  • Long Length of Pull 

Report Card

Shootability

If recoil is a concern, then the Supernova is for you. The Comfortech stock does a great job of reducing recoil and making the SuperNova lighter recoiling. The SuperNova’s huge pump makes it super easy to cycle the pump, and the pump just glides with ease. 

A
Reliability

The Benelli SuperNova shucks and hucks it all! It’s not ammunition picking, and nay standard shell from 2.75 to 3.5 inches will feed, eject and fire without issue. 

A+
Ergonomics

The ergonomics really are fantastic. The huge pump, huge trigger guard, smooth action, reversible safety, and more make this a great gun. The downside and the reason it gets a B is that long length of pull! 

B
Accuracy

It’s a shotgun with a good trigger and ghost ring sights. At shotgun ranges, it will have a harder time missing that hitting. 

A
Value

It’s not a bargain bin deal, but it’s a fairly priced shotgun that’s competitive with other name-brand pump guns. 

B

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

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Benelli Supernova Ammo

Ammo for the Range

Remington Gun Club 12 Gauge

Remington Gun Club

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Sportsmans Guide $0.31
Palmetto State Armory $0.51

Ammo for Defense

S&B 12 gauge Buckshot

S&B 12 Gauge Buckshot

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Sportsman’s Guide $0.61
Brownells $0.75

Benelli Supernova Starter Pack

So what’s next? Well, if you decide to get the Benelli Supernova, you’re going to need to pick up some must-have basics. Here’s our recommendation for what you need to get started.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
  • Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full length review.
  • Storage: Check our our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
  • Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.

With the basics outta the way, let’s jump into some cool accessories you might want to consider when purchasing your Benelli Supernova

Benelli Supernova Upgrades and Accessories

There’s a bunch of different options available to accessorize the Benelli Supernova. However, if we had to choose only a few options… Here’s our picks.

Benelli Supernova Accessories

EOTECH HWS 512
  • Reliable & Durable
  • Water Resistant
Check Price
Leupold Deltapoint Pro
  • Lightweight aluminum housing
  • Wide Field-of-view
  • Auto-Brightness sensor
Check Price
SureFire X300U Weapon Light
  • 1,000 lumens
  • Attaches securely to both Universal and Picatinny
  • CR123A Batteries
Check Amazon
Magpul QD Sling Swivels
  • Push-button quick-detach sling swivel for 1-1/4 in webbing
  • Manganese-phosphate finished steel
  • Compatible with QD sling attachment points
Check Price
VTAC Wide Padded Quick Adjust Sling
  • High-quality, Battle proven gear
  • 100% polyester
  • Adaptable and Comfortable
Check Amazon

Benelli Supernova Cleaning

While scouring the internet, we came across this great video on how to field strip, disassemble and clean your Benelli Supernova.

For more info regarding the Benelli Supernova, check out the following resources:

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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