Benelli Mygra: the 20 gauge shotgun for migratory hunters field tested

Autumn can be defined as the essence of hunting, with its colors, its northerly winds that begin to fuel dreams and hopes that suddenly materialize in the wild game hunters have been waiting for. The eyes lost in the sky, interrogating it and holding in their hands the gun always ready to capture the emotion of those unrepeatable moments that hunting offers. A passion felt by many people for small migratory birds, experienced both when waiting in hides and in walked-up hunts, especially as the season progresses and the wild birds that have now arrived populate the countryside and the woods during the winter. The most appreciated shotguns especially in walked-up hunting are those that manage to entertain and serve the hunter with a good weight balance during the days of walking. For this reason, the 20 gauge is considered by many the right compromise for comfort and performance. The Benelli Mygra semi-automatic is specifically intended to satisfy the needs of small game hunters in particular, with its weight not exceeding 5.9 lb/2.7 kg and the comeback to barrels with 2 ¾"/70 mm chambers for a better performance with the ammo made for these types of hunting.

Video: Benelli Mygra field test

Benelli Montefeltro Mygra 20 gauge

We have tested the Benelli Mygra
We have tested the Benelli Mygra in different situations alternating standard and heavier loads achieving positive results both on the hunting ground and at the shooting range at the sporting course.

Pleasant in its appearance with the Ergal receiver that in the particular Nature Brown finish recalls the colors of the forest, the Benelli Mygra immediately declares its intended use with the dedicated engraving that depicts a golden thrush and lark. We find the same wild birds on the grip cap, highlighted against a red background as a distinctive feature of Benelli's specialist guns. The stock and fore-end are select walnut, with wood Fx treatment that enriches the grain, matching the receiver and its earthy colors. The 2 ¾"/70 mm chamber is not only a tribute to purists but a technical spec that optimizes pressures, and therefore velocity and performance of cartridges with 70 mm shell case and standard weight compared to the 3”/76 mm magnum chamber. The two available 25.6”/ 65 and 27.5”/70 cm barrel lengths are fitted with a 7-cm Criochoke choke set and two special 9-cm chokes; the “wide shot” and “long shot” chokes make the Mygra suited to different environmental situations or types of hunting that hunters prefer.

The 9-cm “wide shot” and “long shot” chokes
The 9-cm “wide shot” and “long shot” chokes optimize the performance of the Benelli Mygra at short and long ranges respectively in various hunting situations.

With the “wide shot” choke you have the best performance at short and medium ranges, which are more likely in walked-up hunting; with the “long shot” choke results change, especially when hunting in open fields or in situations where shots are generally beyond the 30-m range. The long shot is a choke that optimizes the performance of the one-star choke, while the wide shot is the intermediate 3-star choke. The Mygra with a 65 cm barrel has a weight of around 5.8 lb/2.65 kg – the difference with a 70 cm barrel is noticeable. The mechanics of the Mygra 20 gauge is typically Benelli's, with the rotating bolt inertia-driven system. The Easy Locking mechanism is noteworthy – an innovative solution that allows an easier bolt locking without jerks and sudden noises, with the gun being always ready to fire.

Benelli Hunting Test Adventure

The anodized Ergal receiver
The anodized Ergal receiver makes the 20-gauge Benelli Mygra perfectly recognizable with its Nature Brown finish in earthy colors and the dedicated engraving depicting a thrush and a lark on the side.

Guests of Benelli to get to know the gun and its characteristics, we discovered in two consecutive days of field testing the performance and technical features of the Mygra semi-automatic both in the Rivergaro estate of Montefeltro Tour Operator while hunting with pointing dogs, and at the Fano range shooting clays at the sporting course. What was easy to appreciate immediately during the field test was how quick the gun is to the shoulder, its agile and precise swing that allows you to immediately find the correct alignment when aiming, and its stability in follow-up shots. 

These aspects are fundamental when hunting small migratory birds such as thrush, whose rapidity of flight and the instinctive shooting required in many environmental contexts are well known.

Hunting in open fields or from hides is different, as the time and space needed to aim at the game increases, but even in this case, and with cartridges with heavier loads, the Mygra remains stable, as demonstrated by the shots taken on the farthest plates of the sporting course. The intermediate weights are obviously the ones that fit better and give the best sensations to the shoulder with the dedicated 70 mm chamber. In some occasions during the test we wanted to exaggerate by loading jacketed slugs cartridges and exasperated loads, and even if showing a slight muzzle flip, the gun proved to be accurate on the target. So, the result achieved is perfectly consistent with the Benelli project, with full satisfaction on our part for the 20-gauge Mygra, a true migratory shotgun to which we wish the best of luck!

For more information on the Mygra semi-automatic shotgun please visit the Benelli website.

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