The environment in which it lives and hides is the woodcock’s main ally. If we add to this its rapidity of flight and proverbial unpredictability, it’s easy to see how this hunt can be riveting and challenging at the same time. Difficulties and, consequently, satisfaction in the best cases follow each other, from the hard task entrusted to dogs of finding the game, to the final moment when the hunter just has a few moments to shoot and happily end many hours of walking, searching and sacrifice pleasantly shared with dogs. Conquering this wild game bird always offers unique emotions and even the smallest details make the difference for success. Which shotgun to use cannot certainly be considered a detail, because perhaps more than in other cases it must allow the hunter to act quickly, often instinctively, therefore in a fast and precise way. That’s why Benelli has been paying particular attention to building guns dedicated to this type of shooting with a series of semi-automatics specifically intended for woodcock hunting.
Benelli Beccaccia Supreme, not only for woodcock hunting
The most recent and updated version of the Beccaccia semiautomatic shotgun was presented in this 2019 and it’s the 20 gauge Beccaccia Supreme model, that differs from the previous model in aesthetic and technical details aimed at ensuring maximum satisfaction to hunters in the field. Those who love hunting woodcocks with pointing dogs are often contemplative hunters, who pay attention not only to substance and reliability but also to the aesthetics of their own guns. In the new Beccaccia Supreme semi-automatic in 20 gauge the receiver decoration, the wood, the checkering, the barrel design, the cap, the recoil pad are distinguished. The use of Ergal 55 light alloy is confirmed in order to optimize the weight of the gun, that in this case is black anodized and decorated with woodcock-themed engravings, a bird also reproduced on the particular red insert on the shotgun grip cap. Still unchanged is the Benelli action based on the typical inertia-driven geometric locking system, fast in cycling and practical in maintenance. Stock is walnut with Wood-Fx finishing features laser-enriched grain, and thanks to the treatments it undergoes it is more stable and less sensitive to humidity variations typical of woodcock hunting environments. Buttstock and forend are matte varnished and checkered with a fine 1.5 mm pitch checkering. The new design of the forend helps to counteract muzzle flip even better and realign the gun sights more quickly, a detail that should not be underestimated when point-shooting and when firing second shots on fleeing birds.
The idea of a shotgun with specific features to facilitate shooting when hunting in the woods should not be intended as a limit placed by Benelli on hunters who like to hunt different game animals with a light and well-balanced semiautomatic such as the Beccaccia Supreme.
Hence the choice to build a 20 gauge gun with a weight of 2.5 kg, ideal for stalking and equipped with a 76 mm magnum chamber with which to shoot payloads from 24 to 36 grams. The barrels of the Beccaccia Supreme 20 are equipped with 3 interchangeable Criochoke 7 cm chokes from ***, **** and ***** plus the Ampliator, a spreader with a dispersing effect that optimizes short-range ballistic performance even with shot cup shells. This choke is internal but has a 0.8” / 2 cm outer section that brings the overall length to 3.5” / 9 cm for a longer rifled section that produces broader but more densely packed shot patterns. In addition to chokes, Benelli allows for the mounting of different recoil pads on the Beccaccia Supreme 20 semi-automatic.
Polyurethane recoil pads feature a micro air bubbles internal structure. Lighter than traditional anti-recoil pads, they guarantee a superior recoil absorption, a reduced deformation when shooting and a more progressive energy dissipation. The gun is shipped with two small and medium pads, the pad mounted is the Small one and brings the stock length to 13.8” / 350 mm, while with the Medium pad it reaches 14.2” / 360 mm. The stock features the cant and drop adjusting system present on all Benelli semi-automatic hunting shotguns. The Beccaccia Supreme 20 is offered with a 24"/ 61 cm barrel equipped with interchangeable carbon fiber rib for weight optimization and red fiber optic sight for immediate target acquisition even in the most thick and shady environments.