Shotguns prolific history began in Europe and continues to be a popular firearm in different configurations, some still crafted with precision and beauty in engraved models. English and Italians have gained the reputation for fine shotguns. In both countries it has been a tradition.
In the United States, shotguns were invented in different configurations for the need of the Wild West frontier of yesteryear from the double-barrel stagecoach shotgun to the lever-action shotgun that hit the market in the late 1800s. As civilian gun control took effect in Europe, the shotgun remained, one of the reasons why they are so prolific.
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In the United States, as in Europe, hunters hunting game birds like pheasant, quail, grouse, and turkeys; as well as waterfowl like ducks and geese; the imported respect for quality shotguns and special use came with the immigrants who founded and developed the United States.
The pump-action shotgun paved the way for a respectable quick reloading firearm for law enforcement and military police. This later escalated into the semi-automatic shotgun that law enforcement, military police and even game hunters came to enjoy. Their motorcycles were sold through Montgomery Ward, a large catalog-retail store (est. 1872) whose fame grew along with the Sears Roebuck & Company, as the first catalog retail store chain in the United States in the late 1800s. Both store chains became international, thus an avenue for the Benelli brothers to enter the American market through Montgomery Ward, which was founded before Sears, which had been founded as a watch company in 1886.
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The shotgun was a familiar site in the days of the stagecoach.
Benilli Armi S.p.A was founded in 1967, formed by the Benelli brothers who had already become famous for their motorcycles that began in Pesaro in 1940.
The Benilli brothers enjoyed hunting, as other Europeans have and do today. Being engineers and seeing the market for semi-automatic versions they committed to making a quality shotgun with the Benilli name on it.
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Brilliant designer, Bruno Civolani, from Bologna, invented and designed a hunting shotgun that used a simple inertia-driven mechanism instead of the conventional gas-operated system.
Benelli was acquired by the Beretta company in 1983, but the shotguns still have the Benelli name on it because of its historical notoriety among shotgun enthusiasts and collectors.
The Benelli Super Black Eagle has been a favorite of waterfowl hunters, capable of firing 2.75, 3, and 3.5 inch shells.
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The Benelli Nova is another popular model that is a pump action, used by Tom Knapp in shooting exhibitions, setting a world record in October 2004. Mr. Knapp passed away in 2013, but has become a shooter in the hall of fame of all shooters, especially with the Benelli firearm manufacturer. In his lifetime he has achieved three world records for hand-thrown clay targets. Benelli made a tribute video in his honor …
Watching him shoot makes it look easy. Knapps' favorite shotguns were the Benilli. But he also used the CZ-USA shotgun. He starred in several documentaries and hunting TV shows.
A field pump shotgun, the standard Nova costs much less than the other models, starting at an MSRP of $450 with optional features available.
Indeed, Benelli shotguns are a familiar site at competition shooting matches around the world.
Now there is the Benelli ETHOS, introduced in the 2014 ShotShow. It is a beauty with an AA-grade walnut stock, a progressive comfort recoil reduction system, and two-part carrier latch for easy loading.
Benelli is featuring a Benelli USA U.S. Tour that will travel in all 50 states. One ETHOS shotgun will be used by a recipient in each state in a variety of shooting tasks. It is a test for the ETHOS and its performance in different environments and conditions of each of the 50 states – without being cleaned until the tour is over. No doubt, Benelli is confident in their quality shotguns.
During the tour, writers, pro-staffers, competition shooters, sales reps, dealers, and outdoor celebrities will receive an out-of-the-box ETHOS to use in every way a shotgun is used. The experience will be documented via a logbook and video camera for each participant to report on how they used the ETHOS, what they shot with it, and how it performed.
As the Benelli spokesperson, Tom Kaleta, Benelli USA VP of marketing, stated:
The Benelli ETHOS is not just a beautiful firearm, but a powerful workhorse. America's 50-State Tour will add the equivalent of 50 years of wear to this particular firearm in just 50 weeks. It's the ultimate test to prove how well the ETHOS will withstand and perform under any circumstance.
The other Benilli shotgun I would like to present is the Super Vinci.
The Super Vinci was introduced in 2011 and was the heart of the In-Line Inertia Driven system before ETHOS came along. As with all their shotguns, engraving is available.
There is no need to say that Benelli has produced reliable, quality shotguns since the Benelli brothers decided to add shotguns to their motorcycle production.
The Benelli Tornado Tre 1130 was shown at a motorcycle exhibition, as the following video depicts:
As you can see, their shotguns are as sleek and beautiful as the motorcycles and scooters; especially popular in Europe.