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Benelli Super Nova Tactical Shotgun

Range report:  07/28/2008

Shooting in central Arizona at the end of July is hot, no matter how you figure it.  To beat some of the heat, I got up at 5:30 AM (on my day off no less), packed up the Jeep, and headed to the range.  A quick stop at McDonald's netted me  one of those breakfast sandwiches and some coffee and I was good to go.  I was happy to find the 25 yard bay empty of shooters (there were two guys at the range when I arrived) and so I set up a target and broke out my shooting gear.

I grabbed a handful of bird shot rounds and walked down to the berm.  A functional test of the shotgun and the newly installed Nordic magazine extension was done with good results.  The magazine loaded properly and all rounds cycled into and subsequently out of (after pulling the trigger) the SuperNova. 

Benelli SuperNova Tactical 12 gauge slug target #1

Federal Vital-Shok Truball 1oz. muzzle velocity 1600 FPS - 5 rounds @ 25 yds.  Four rounds cut the X ring and one was in the 10 ring.  That works for me! 

There is a story behind these....I ordered 25 boxes of these slugs, in the low velocity version, from Cabala's.  They sent me 25 boxes of the high power version.  I purchased them for my upcoming Front Sight tactical shotgun course.  This was the first time I shot them at the range and I'll admit that at 1600 FPS, they pack a pretty good recoil.  I checked the ballistics info on the Federal web site.  The 1 ounce slug, at 1600 FPS packs 2,487 foot pounds of energy.  The same 1 ounce slug coming out at just 1300 FPS creates just 1,642 foot pounds of energy.  The low power version creates 66% of the energy generated by the high power load. 

I've read on the forums that the low power version is more accurate.  I don't doubt it as I've found with my own reloading that rarely (ever?) is the fastest load also the most accurate load. 

Benelli SuperNova Tactical 12 gauge target head shot

Estate 2 3/4" 00 buckshot @ 10 yards - 2 rounds.  With a muzzle velocity of 1325 FPS, those big holes are from the wads (ouch, that will leave a mark!).  I got these from Cabela's as well and they got this part of the order right.  The price was pretty good and I am completely satisfied with the patterning at 10 yards.  This is good enough for a hostage taker head shot (close your eyes so you don't get hit with a wad!).

Benelli SuperNova Tactical 12 gauge target buckshot

Estate 2 3/4" 00 buckshot @ 10 yards and 15 yards - multiple rounds.  These were shot quickly starting from the low ready position.  With the exception of the wads, not much outside of the 9 ring.  That covers center of mass without a problem. 

I didn't have time to run any slugs over the chronograph.....you'll have to trust the numbers I got from the Federal web site for now.

My initial trip to the range more than met my expectations.  The fit of the SuperNova and the ghost ring sight setup makes this a fine handling shotgun, in my opinion.  I don't see myself changing much of anything from here on.  I look forward to the 4 day tactical shotgun training course at Front Sight.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Range report:  08/18/2008

I grabbed a buddy of mine and we headed off to the range this morning.  There was a bit of a breeze and it was still in the upper 90's (in the shade) before we left, so it was a good morning to shoot given it was mid-August.

To continue the above story regarding the Federal slugs, I contacted Cabala's customer service.  Long story made short, they gave me $50 off on another order and this time reduced velocity rounds arrived.  Funny policy they have....even when they make a mistake, they won't take the ammo back.  So it was time to see how these slugs performed.  Since Bob (my shooting buddy) was sighting in a scope on his Bushmaster .223, I mooched a used target on the target stand and sent a couple downrange from the Benelli.

Benelli SuperNova Tactical 12 gauge slug target #2

Shooting at 50 yards from a rest, the first shot cut the edge of the bullseye and the second one came in just a bit higher.  That works for me....and with the ghost ring sights, I was happy with those results.  The front sight on the Benelli was about 3 times wider than the red dot on the target.  I'll need some optics to see if I can squeeze the slugs into a tighter group. 

Shot Velocity FPS
1 1237.7
2 1206.3
3 1226.2
4 1213.4
5 1228.3
6 1241.7
SD = 13.7 FPS Avg = 1225.6

The above chart shows a 6 shot string from my PACT chronograph at 10' from the muzzle.  Federal advertises the muzzle velocity of these reduced recoil slugs as 1300 FPS but no barrel length was given in the statistics I found.  It would not surprise me to find them using a longer barrel than the 18.5" on the SuperNova.




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