Benelli Black Eagle: field test of the new semi-automatic shotgun during the Benelli Hunting Test Adventure

From the first swing and the first moments in action, it turned out to be a potential hunting companion more than just a shotgun, because you can immediately perceive the strength and versatility of the new Black Eagle semi-automatic that Benelli invited me to try in the total black 12 gauge version 2021 as part of the Benelli Hunting Test Adventure. A shotgun ready to follow and serve the hunter in any environment. I spent two days with the Black Eagle on the hunting grounds of the Rivergaro estate of Montefeltro Tour Operator in the hills of Piacenza, Italy, concluding with clay pigeon shooting sessions at the Fano shooting range for a complete test. 

Video: Benelli Black Eagle, the field test by

Benelli Black Eagle semi-auto shotgun: functionality and technology

The new Black Eagle semi-auto has its own identity, even though its design is reminiscent of the successful Super Black Eagle, the first super magnum semi-automatic shotgun appreciated by hunters all over the world, especially in the USA, for about thirty years. Every detail of the new gun is an expression of functionality and technology, for a final result that aims to guarantee the hunter an increasingly reliable, comfortable and performing firearm without compromise. Available in 12 or 20 gauge and in camouflage versions, the Black Eagle semi-automatic shotgun has been designed to optimize weight and ensure maximum resistance in all environmental and weather conditions, with a reinforced Ergal receiver scaled for magnum cartridges and a technopolymer stock and fore-end. The Benelli Inertia System features a two-lug rotating bolt head and an oversized loading port characterized by the Easy Loading System, which enables quick loading. The bolt, on the other hand, features the Easy Locking System, which allows you to close the bolt even by hand, thus avoiding the noisy locking click, which in many hunting situations could be undesirable and alarm wild game.

The ComforTech 3 recoil-reduction system inside the stock of the Black Eagle
The ComforTech 3 recoil-reduction system inside the stock of the Black Eagle, improved in its geometry, reduces perceived recoil and allows quicker and and more accurate follow-up shots.

The matte blued barrels are chrome lined and feature a ventilated rib and a highly visible fiber optic front sight. We are talking about Benelli's cryogenically-treated barrels, machined from solid stock. Bore diameter is 18.4 mm. The cryogenic treatment allows the shot swarm to slide through quickly, preventing deformation and providing more accurate, compact and effective patterns. The barrels of the Black Eagle are available in 65, 70 or 76 cm lengths and are therefore suitable for different types of environments and hunting. They come with a set of interchangeable chokes: 3 internal chokes (cylinder, ** and *) and 2 internal-external chokes (**** and ***), all Crio-type and steel shot proofed – with the exception of ** and * chokes. The Benelli Black Eagle is available in 12 gauge in a total black version, like the one we tested, or with a Max 5 camouflage finish. The 20 gauge model is available in the black version only. 

Benelli Black Eagle: Shooting impressions 

The cryogenically treated barrels of the Black Eagle are available in 65, 70 and 76 cm lengths
The cryogenically treated barrels of the Benelli Black Eagle are available in 65, 70 and 76 cm lengths and come with a set of interchangeable chokes that make the gun suitable for both walked-up hunting and hide hunting.

As we said, the Black Eagle project was born to provide the hunter with a reliable shotgun ready for anything, thanks to technologies that optimize ergonomics, durability and performance. The gun's stability with its standard weight of about 3 kg in 12 gauge was clearly perceptible during the test, allowing full control in follow-up shots on the most distant clay pigeons. The ComforTech 3 recoil-reduction system enhances stability, balance and shooting pleasure. The shock absorption provided by the polyurethane recoil pad and the soft, interchangeable comb pad reduces not only recoil, but also the auditory perception of the shot. Length of pull is 14.37”/365 mm, but can be reduced to 13.97”/355 mm or increased to 14.76”/375 mm by replacing the recoil pad. In combination with the stock, the short polymer forend also allows precise swinging and full control of the gun when aiming. Both when hunting and especially during the shooting range test – which took place on a particularly hot day – the checkering on the pistol grip and on the contact surfaces was pleasantly noticed. With its Air Touch design, clearly provides a firm grip even with wet or sweaty hands. 

Moving on to the considerations about the operating system, we appreciated the consistent cycling speed and reliability of the Black Eagle alternating cartridges between typical 12-ga 36 g hunting loads and 28 g cartridges on the shooting range. Fitting and changing the internal chokes is easy, which allows the hunter to adapt to different shooting situations in a few moments. In conclusion, we can say that with our test we sensed above all the solidity and versatility of the new Benelli Black Eagle semi-auto; an ideal hunting shotgun that is fun even in sport shooting, perfect for those who want a gun they can always rely on, so that they can concentrate on the pleasure of hunting and sport shooting, knowing that their gun is up to the most demanding challenges.

Benelli Black Eagle specs and price

Model:Black Eagle (model 2021)
12 (also available in 20)
3”/76 mm Magnum
Barrels and Chokes: 
CB - Interchangeable choke - Crio 65/70/76 cm knurled */**/***/****/cil
Magazine:Tubular, with 2-round limiter (without limiter: 3 12/70 mm and 12/76 mm rounds)
6.9 lb/3100 g
Receiver Finish: 
Ergal, black anodized
Stock and Forend: 
Black technopolymer (also available in camouflage Max 5 design)
Length of Pull: 
14.37”/365 mm
Technopolymer case, chokes and wrench, drop change kit, QD sling swivel, user and spare parts manual, oil
Price:1985 euro (black); 2140. euro (camo) - Prices may vary in your country in EU

For more information on the Black Eagle please visit the Benelli website.

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