Benelli Montefeltro, perfect for hunting: test of the new semiautomatic shotguns

Sporty and traditional, in the two configurations with wooden and polymer stock, the new Montefeltro semiautomatic can cater to the different tastes of hunters.

A true icon for hunters who love semiautomatic shotguns, the Benelli Montefeltro first appeared in 1983 after about 40 years now comes in a new version, revised in aesthetics and functionality. The aesthetic restyling is clearly visible especially in the receiver's profile featuring slimmer lines while the revisiting of some technical aspects is hidden in the details that become evident while using the gun.

Currently available in 12-gauge, the new Montefeltro was unveiled by Benelli in 2022 in two versions, one with a wooden stock for lovers of tradition and a more modern and aggressive form with synthetic stock and a special ergonomic forend. An innovative design composed of raised texture makes the grip firm and suitable for hands of different sizes.

The geometry of the stock lines is completely new in the synthetic Montefeltro, equipped with integral sling attachment. As in other polymer-stocked models, Benelli's AirTouch checkering promotes ventilation, with less hand sweating and better grip. The two Montefeltro models obviously share the tried-and-tested inertia driven operating system with rotating bolt, a system that since its first appearance proved so revolutionary and destined to become a worldwide success among hunters.

Video: Benelli Montefeltro, testing the new semiautomatics

What's new in the Montefeltro shotgun

The new Montefeltro's lightened and quick trigger, easy loading and unloading, and stability when firing are the main features we noted both at the firing range and on the hunting grounds.

The main technical innovations of the Montefeltro more than at a glance are felt during practical use of the gun and came to light during our test. Both when quickly shooting clay pigeons and hunting, we appreciated the easy loading and unloading of the shotguns thanks to Benelli's Easy Loading and Easy Locking systems.

The enlarged port and elevator lever design make loading cartridges into the semiautomatic's magazine tube smooth and quick to extract. The oversized cocking handle increased is intuitive to reach even without keeping one's eyes fixed on the gun during action. The Easy Locking system allows a stable and at the same time quiet closing of the bolt, which no longer necessarily requires a sharp release but can also be accompanied home and still ensure the perfect locking of the rotating bolt and consequently the readiness of the gun to fire. The trigger guard with its design leads and makes the loading operations easier – it is also generously sized to make gun swinging easier in winter conditions if the hunter wears gloves. Also significant is the lightened, crisp and precise trigger, with a weight ranging from 2 to 2.2 kilograms for faster follow-up shots.

Turning to the barrels, in the Montefeltro we find the famous cryogenic barrels fitted with a set of internal and interchangeable Crio chokes to deal with different environments and types of hunting. At the hunter's disposal to improve gun ergonomics is the set of shims with which Benelli allows the stock pitch and cast to be adjusted. In essence, the revisiting of a great classic seems decidedly successful at Benelli, which with the new Montefeltro version offers hunters both a traditional shotgun and a decidedly innovative shotgun with the same technical features. As for the weight, the Montefeltro maintains the standard of about 3 kg of the 12-gauge semiautomatic, definitely well distributed and not cumbersome to carry but very effective to maintain the stability of the gun in follow-up shots. We conclude our testing of the semiautomatics with a good impression and two pleasant days. Benelli enthusiasts will be able to have fun while enjoying the new features without having to forget the aspects that perhaps brought them to discover to the Italian semiautomatic for the first time. The recommended price for the Montefeltro is about 1990 euros. The different barrel lengths available, ranging from 61 to 65, 70 and 76 cm, allow hunters to be able to choose and adapt the new Benelli to their favorite types of hunting.

The polymer-stocked version of the Benelli Montefeltro shows the major innovations from an ergonomic point of view, starting with the shape of the integral stock and ending with the streamlined forend with a relief pattern that combined with the AirTouch checkering allow for firm grip and precise and pleasant gun swinging.  

For more information on Montefeltro semiautomatics please visit the Benelli website.

This article is also available in this language: