Most shotguns produced by the company from Urbino, Italy are versatile with clear technical solutions dedicated to specific types of hunting, which make the various models special, and the Benelli Colombo semi-automatic shotgun is no exception.
Another example is the Benelli Beccaccia Supreme, a light shotgun ideally suited to dynamic and instinctive shooting in the woods and walked-up game shooting, but with specialised barrels and chokes dedicated to woodcock hunting.
In this case, we actually put the Benelli Colombo to the test in the field, a gun that despite being a lightweight, finely balanced versatile weapon, is technically suited to wood pigeon hunting.
It’s more precise to talk about wood pigeon hunting as there are several different hunting techniques dedicated to this game that are respectively adapted to the different times in the season in which these birds can be found in very different environments and circumstances.
Wood pigeon season starts at the end of the summer, in the cultivated fields where these wild birds go to feed, and the hunters await their arrival in temporary hides with the help of callers and retrievers.
Then, in October, the time for wood pigeon to migrate arrives, and hunting enthusiasts move to platforms and fixed hides to await the passing flocks, in this case using calling techniques ranging from songs to broadsides, alternating with volleys of shots as they pass, and fixed shots for stragglers who invariably come to a startled halt amidst the furious firing.
In winter, the most widely used hunting technique is from hides in woods frequented by wood pigeon or hunting in cultivated fields.
As you’d guess, for any environment and type of hunting there are many corresponding shooting variables, ranging from quick firing in wooded surroundings, where the game is only glimpsed for an instant, to targeted shots at longer distances in open fields or at passing flocks.
The Benelli Colombo semi-automatic, which can be used with different barrel configurations and dedicated chokes, provides a unique and efficient solution to each of these hunting challenges.
A 65 cm barrel fitted with a cryogenic, internal and interchangeable 9 cm Wide Shot choke is perfectly suited to short and medium distances, for hunting from a platform or from a hide, or any type of walked-up game shooting which requires more agile and instinctive shooting.
The 70 cm barrel fitted with a Long Shot choke may however be the weapon of choice when hunting from a hide or stand at a crossing point or in open fields, where wood pigeon quickly reach distances at the limit of the shotgun’s range.
Benelli Colombo shooting test
We wanted to test the Benelli Colombo semi-automatic in diverse surroundings in which it would be possible to demonstrate the weapon’s ballistic efficiency, moving from location to location to target wood pigeon at varying ranges and heights.
From our base in central Italy, we were able to take shots from central platforms at which the game that responded to our calls arrived at distances of between 20 to 30 metres. We then retreated to the lateral hides, more commonly known as “the recovery”, from where, with the Long Shot choke and 70 cm barrel, we had one last chance of bringing down the fleeing wood pigeon startled by the shots from the initial hides, at distances always in excess of 40 metres. To make our trial of the Benelli Colombo more comprehensive and complete, we gave it to our hunting companions. Even after passing through several different pairs of hands, this weapon never failed to give gratifying results.
The stability of the Colombo for taking a second shot, even when fired in quick succession, along with its general comfort when firing and minimal muzzle rise are ensured by Benelli’s Progressive Comfort recoil dampening system located inside the wooden butt.
On a good hunting day when multiple shots are required, these features can mean the difference between success and failure.
Loads for the 12-gauge dedicated to wood pigeon hunting start at 36 grams and go up to 40 grams or more for the semi-magnum cartridges.
Intercalated special gel layers progressively cushion the effects of vibrations relative to the load being fired, which is further enhanced by the softness of the special polyurethane butt pad fitted to the gun.
The speed of re-arming is guaranteed by Benelli’s proven inertia Driven® system with a rotating head.
The matt finish of the receiver and barrels of this shotgun make the Benelli Colombo invisible to the unsuspecting wood pigeon, which is a huge advantage to hunters who do not want to risk being spotted due to the shine of the weapon’s metallic parts.
Nothing has been left to chance by Benelli, who have overseen every aesthetic detail of this elegant and versatile shotgun, not only dedicated to all wood pigeon-hunting enthusiasts, but to anyone who enjoys the reliability and comfort of a 12-gauge semi-automatic.