Benelli has already produced a hugely successful and exclusive shotgun for woodcock hunters, but as innovation has always been the mark of this company from Urbino in Italy, they’ve now released the evolution of the Beccaccia semiauto, the Benelli Beccaccia Supreme.
Volumes have been written on which is the best shotgun for hunting woodcock, with some preferring more classic and elegant break-action shotguns, while others staunchly defend the practicality and comfort of the semiauto. Rather than focusing on one particular type of gun, where everyone has the right to their own personal preferences and to draw their own conclusions, we can all agree on some characteristics that a shotgun used for this type of hunting should have.
Hunting woodcock is a passion that requires full commitment because it’s a tiring hunt with long days’ walks waiting for the dogs to rouse the game, then a sudden flutter of wings.
To get the best out of these often unique opportunities, to enjoy the natural environment in which we are immersed to the full and be ready to take a shot when it counts, your gun is a “natural” element that plays a final and decisive role and should not in any way be a burden or factor of uncertainty.
Being light weight and fast to aim are therefore essential requirements in order to take precise and instinctive shots at a coveted target often all but invisible in the lush vegetation.
An accurate and reliable gun that will contribute to the best moments hunting woodcock can bring, moments that will remain etched in the hunter’s memory forever.
The new Benelli semiauto is called the Beccaccia Supreme and a few aesthetic and technical changes have been introduced, such as the decoration on the receiver, the new wood Elegance System finish, the chequered grip and the design of the forend and butt. The new chequering is cut after applying the Elegance System treatment to enrichen and protect the walnut stock, making it stronger and guaranteeing an even more solid grip.
The new forend design helps reduce muzzle rise and gets you back on target faster than ever.
On the Beccaccia Supreme, as on the Beccaccia 12, the tube magazine takes just two cartridges, which shortens the forend. Along with the carbon fibre rib, this reduces the weight of the gun, moving the centre of gravity back to improve balance and make it faster to shoulder.
Stock and butt pad
The polyurethane butt pad on the Beccaccia Supreme has an internal air bubble micro-cell structure which maintains its shape during recoil without squashing out or deforming laterally. It’s lighter than traditional recoil-reducing butt pads and this butt pad guarantees greater absorption, reduced deformation when firing and a softer release after compression.
The hunter can also customise stock length, adapting it to his or her own build.
The gun comes with two polyurethane butt pads. The one originally fitted makes the stock 350 mm long, while the other option brings it to 360 mm. Benelli can also provide an extra optional butt pad to bring total length from butt pad to trigger to 370 mm, so the hunter can make their stock to measure. The stock has the same system for adjusting drop and right/left cast used on all Benelli semiautomatic shotguns.
The Beccaccia Supreme is a specialist’s gun but, like the Beccaccia 12, it can also be used to good effect for other types of walked-up game shooting. For this reason, and to give the hunter more custom options, it’s available with two barrel lengths: 61 and 65 cm, both of which have a carbon fibre rib.
What’s more, the system used to fix the rib to the barrel leaves the barrel free to vibrate and dilate homogeneously when firing. This feature makes the spread more uniform with less deviation of the point of impact.
The Magnum-chambered barrels are suitable for all 12/70 and 12/76 cartridges with 24 - 56 grams of shot. This gives the shotgun an even broader range of use. This versatility was obtained by leaving the mechanism substantially unchanged but increasing the inertia mass consisting of the bolt carrier, the relevant rod that compresses the spring and the Air Cell butt pad, reducing perceived recoil and in general making it more tolerable despite the light weight of the gun, including with powerful and even baby or Magnum charges.
The barrels on the Beccaccia Supreme come with three interchangeable Criochokes (***, **** and *****), which, thanks to the longer, more gradual choke tube and the cryogenic treatment, guarantee longer life and a more uniform and well-distributed shot pattern.
The set of chokes is completed by a new ampliator shot spreader that disperses the shot so you can use cartridges with cups also for close-range shots.
The exclusive Benelli ampliator is an internal choke but has a 2 cm long external part which makes the overall length 9 cm.
This gives you a longer rifled section, which, along with the other characteristics of the ampliator, produces broader yet homogeneous shot patterns without the tendency to direct the shot away from the centre of the pattern which is often the case with spreader chokes or cartridges that have a cross-shaped wad.
The new Benelli ampliator can be used with cartridges that have cups, traditional loads or Bior wads.
The spreader effect is the same whatever the type of cartridge used, giving you 32% larger useful shot patterns.
A woodcock shotgun must rise to your shoulder like lightning and become a natural extension of your aim. The design of the stock and receiver put the shooter’s hand in the most natural position, less subject to “disturbance” caused by knocking or brushing against parts during recoil. Furthermore, thanks to the design of the technopolymer trigger guard, your index finger will find the trigger faster and more instinctively even when wearing gloves.
The combination of technology and design guaranteed by Benelli is once again confirmed in the Beccaccia Supreme semiauto, a shotgun where meticulous attention was paid to detail in its slim and elegant lines, the ergonomic qualities and top-of-the-range comfort giving even the most demanding hunter the best as only the queen deserves.