Walked-up hunting with dogs always requires a great commitment from hunters who often have to keep up their pace and concentration for entire days before the moment of the encounter with the wild game materializes. The lightness of the gun – especially if you hunt in the mountains or in the hills – is a key issue both when carrying it and above all for quick swinging when shooting. Killing game is surely not the only reason for hunting, but after working to train the dogs for a long time, the moment of shooting is the necessary and decisive reward for them in some phases of learning during the hunt. Having a reliable gun with which you can always feel ready to shoot is not without significance. Benelli is well aware of these need and over time has developed the widest range of semi-automatic shotguns designed for the various types of hunting, in order to guarantee hunters guns with specific features for the environment and game involved. The Benelli Beccaccia Supreme is one of the specialized semi-autos and in its recent 20 gauge version it has been optimized with regard to the aforementioned aspects of weight, balance and speed of action that are essential in the woods. We had the opportunity to test it both on the shooting range and on the hunting grounds of the Montefeltro Tour Operator's Rivergaro estate as guests of the Benelli Hunting Test Adventure.
Video: Benelli Beccaccia Supreme, 20 ga semi-automatic shotgun. Watch our the field test in Italy
Benelli Beccaccia Supreme in 20 gauge: technical details
Also available in a 12-gauge version, the Benelli Beccaccia Supreme semi-automatic shotgun in 20 gauge does not weigh more than 5.5 lb/2.5 kg, well distributed along the whole length of the gun, which is slim and compact both to the eye and in action. The black anodized Ergal 55 light alloy receiver is decorated with an engraving depicting a woodcock, a wild bird showed in flight and also featured in the particular red insert on the receiver that makes Benelli's specialized semi-automatics so recognizable. The Benelli mechanics are unchanged, based on the typical inertia-driven locking system. The walnut stock with Wood-Fx treatment is more resistant to external agents and to humidity. It is finished with a matte varnish and features a fine 1.5 mm pitch checkering. The design of the fore-end is new and has been shortened in order to reduce muzzle-flip even more effectively and bring the gun back to aim more quickly after firing.
For a better adaptation and customization of the gun, the stock of the Beccaccia Supreme includes the drop and cast change kit that comes with all Benelli semi-auto hunting shotguns. The stock ends with a polyurethane recoil pad that has an internal micro air bubbles structure, lighter than traditional recoil pads, capable of guaranteeing a superior recoil absorption and reduced deformation when firing. The shotgun is supplied with two recoil pads, Small and Medium, the one mounted is the Small and brings the length of the stock to 13.78”/350 mm, while the Medium increases it to 14.17”/360 mm. The Beccaccia Supreme 20 comes with a 24”/61 cm barrel fitted with interchangeable carbon fiber rib and red fiber optic sight, clearly visible in the vegetation. In the 12 gauge version the barrel lengths available are 24”/61 and 25.5”/65 cm.
The Beccaccia Supreme 20 with 3”/76 mm magnum chamber is a gun designed for woodcock hunting, but using cartridges with 24 to 36 gram loads it's obviously suitable in general for walked-up hunting with hounds. During our test we alternated trap and hunting cartridges obtaining the same results and without any particular felt recoil on the shoulder even when firing two-round strings on the Sporting course. Clay pigeons are neatly broken in flight up to ranges of 35 meters and even the safe and clean killing of partridges in the hills confirmed the quality of the pattern provided by the barrels. The barrels of the Beccaccia Supreme 20 are fitted with 3 interchangeable 7-cm Criochoke chokes from ***, **** and *****, plus the Ampliator; a choke with dispersing effect that provides a broader and more densely packed pattern at short ranges, from 10 to 20 meters. This choke is internal but has a 0.78”/2 cm long external section that brings the overall length to 3.54”/9 cm. A confirmation for lovers of the 20 gauge who already appreciate its performance, the Beccaccia Supreme can also be an attractive option for those who like to walk without encumbrances and would like to try the new experience with a gun that is truly pleasant to swing and that you almost forget about until the necessary and conclusive moment of the action comes.