Benelli M4 Accuracy expectations

timelinex

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  • May 7, 2011
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    I just bought and shot my Benelli M4 LE 11715 for the first time. I used Federal LE Flight control 00 with expectations that this will be my primary defense load, and tried out Lambro & Sterling buckshot as well for my plinking ammo.

    The good new is that it ate everything without a hiccup.

    The bad news is that the accuracy was alot worse than expected.

    At 25 yards, 3 shot groups of the Lambro/Sterling were 20-30" shot patterns. That is expected from the cheap stuff. However what really shocked me was that the expensive "gold standard" Federal LE stuff patterned at around 13". Even my CHEAP Remmy 870 did 6" groups with the good stuff!

    Is this to be expected? I guess it's good enough for most home defense scenario's... But I guess I also just expected more from the $2k+ shotgun.

    I did read somewhere that I could replace the choke and that should improve accuracy. Is that true? Any specifics on what to try? Is the choke on the LE models removable and replaceable?

    Any comments or advice?

    NOTE: Yes I know that if I want the most accuracy I should pattern all available defense loads and pick the best. Good luck finding stuff in this environment. part of the reason I try and buy high quality guns is they usually lower the bar for ammo requirements. I have alot of high quality rifles/guns, and part of what makes them so valuable is none of them shoot poorly with good ammo. Better or worse with some loads, sure. But not poorly like this.
     

    cas6969

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    What's the choke? Don't most of them come with a Modified cylinder in them? (ETA: a quick look online shows the 11715 should have a removable Modified choke in it)

    While it's not much of a change, and it might not work miracles, Light Mod has become my all around everything choke in my Benelli's. I tried it on the advice of a top level 3 gun/shotgun shooter and it's become my default setting. A good compromise pattern wise with birdshot, and shoots slugs and buckshot well. I just bought and put one in my M4 yesterday. (though I'll say most of my Light Mod use has been with the Benelli Crio chokes in M2's and SBE2's. The M4 uses Mobil chokes like the old M1 and SBE)
    May be no better, but a Carlson's flush fit Light Modified choke is like $22 on Amazon. (I just bought two) Well worth the gamble for improvements. You can try a few sizes to see what works best, Cylinder, Skeet, Improved cylinder, Light Mod. etc.

    Setting up one gun to shoot buckshot for coyote hunting I bought a few higher priced "specialty" chokes. In testing, my Light Mod shot better patters. Oh well.
     
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    carbonbased

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    How long is the longest unobstructed shot in your house? Find out and use that distance for a pattern, and then cut that in half and pattern that too. 25yds/75ft is a pretty darn big room.

    I’m a dumbass but at typical non-mansion in-house shooting distances, wouldn’t a wider spread be better to maximize you hitting something? Often in the dark? I mean, it’s not a trap gun.

    Not making fun, serious question.
     

    KZP

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    Just want to get the obvious out of the way, yours doesn't look like this, right?

    1654134899320.png
     

    Jgault

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    The choke and the load in a shotgun will have more to do with groups than the gun, there’s probably nothing wrong with your gun. I’ve tried allot of buckshot and it is what it is, the best results were federal le, the worst Winchester military. The last time I used buckshot at the range was about a month ago from a 1301 tactical. I shot black aces 00, fetter 00, and Federal. The federal had the tightest group but not by much.
     
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    theLBC

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    i think flitecontrol buck might be meant to shoot from a cylinder bore, but not sure.
    possible the choke is separating the wad from the pellets too early.
     
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    Halfnutz

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    i think flitecontrol buck might be meant to shoot from a cylinder bore, but not sure.
    possible the choke is separating the wad from the pellets too early.
    This^ is worth a try.
    Also you said LE grade, is that full power or reduced recoil?
    I had excellent results with a lesser gun and reduced recoil.
     

    n2ishun

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    Scott Carlson.
    Carlson chokes.
    Helluva nice guy, helluva shotgunner.....and he makes the best chokes on the market.
     

    timelinex

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  • May 7, 2011
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    OK guys, I put on a cylinder choke and it did do a little better.

    25 yds with the LE is about 8.5" at it's widest and 50yds is about 17" or so. (all 3 round groups). I am using stock ghost sites and it's me shooting seated at a table with the shotgun in my arms. It's not in a vice.

    At 25 yards Federal Powershock did about 18" and cheap Lambro did about 25".

    At 50yds Walmart Winchester Rifled Slugs did were within 2.3" wide, 1.5" tall. I was super impressed with these, considering the accuracy of everything else. But the recoil on these bad boys were INTENSE. Not sure if my 50bmg is lighter.

    My questions:

    1. Is that the accuracy one can expect from this range with LE Buckshot, all things considered?
    2. I'm guessing that's about right for cheap stuff?
    3. After changing to Cylinder choke my POI changed 3 inches or so. I know every little thing changes rifle POI, but I didn't expect that on shotgun. Does that sound right?
    4. When I checked the choke afterwards at home, it was definitely a little loose and I could unscrew by hand. I am pretty positive I snugged it tight using the stock tool beforehand. Is it normal to have to check and retighten the choke occasionally? Should I try and tighten much harder next time? Blue locktite?
    5. Why is it impossible to find drop charts for even generic buckshot. I know it's not meant for long range, but I just wanted to know things like expected drop/rise between 5yds-100yds for example.
    6. These aren't considered battle sights right? (So the POI should match up with the top of the post and not the circle). I know I can do it any way I want, but just wondering how it came.
    7. I couldn't find in the manual any info on how much each revolution in the sight adjustment changes the POI at X yards. I need to adjust it atleast 3 inches or so down for a 25yd zero. I know I will need to recheck at the range, but I want to waste as little rounds as possible at these ammo prices....
    Alot of questions, I know. But I'm new to shotguns. Appreciate it!
     

    hlee

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  • Jul 14, 2012
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    I’ve only got a couple of answers.

    Chokes and poi- Yeah, I’m not surprised about the changing POI. The end of the bore is the last thing the payload touches, and it is removable in a multi-choke shotgun. It shouldn’t be a surprise that changing chokes changes the poi.

    Choke tightness- My son shoots a lot of shotgun. He loosens/tightens the tubes just about every stage. They should be lubed, amd they can loosen up. But shoot enough and they will carbon lock up and be a bitch to take out.

    Drop chart- For buck shot? Seriously? There are so many variables that the chart would be worthless. Given your spreads, at 100 yards you’ll not be keeping the majority of the pellets on the target.
     

    BullGear

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    Did you replace the kanibbling pin before shooting American made ammo? If not you have a metric kanibbliing pin and you're shooting American Standard ammo.

    I'm surprised you didn't blow the barrel off of the receiver. Didn't you read the safety instructions in the manual. It clearly states this must be done.
     
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    redneckbmxer24

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  • Jan 15, 2005
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    8.5" is a great pattern with flight control at that distance, and yeah flight control rounds are meant to be shot with cylinder or improved cylinder at most. A tighter choke will open them right up.

    POI can shift with choke but its rare, far more likely its you aiming differently. Yes chokes will loosen sometimes if they're properly lubed. If you don't lube it you'll have a hell of a time getting it out.

    Drop charts for buckshot is dumb, after 50 yards you should be running slugs and whatever your zero is will be fine to that. I zero my tactical shotties at 50 for slugs and I've never not had one not zero with buckshot from the same. Then just know my rough holdover for 100. From 50 yards a neck hold on an ipsc puts them center mass.

    Do yourself a favor and get a scalarworks mounts and a Trijicon RM06.
     
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    cas6969

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    Do yourself a favor and get a scalarworks mounts and a Trijicon RM06.

    I'm trying to love the one I put on my M4, but so far it hasn't happened. Good for slugs, but otherwise so cluttered and soooooo slooooow. I'm in a constant debate about getting rid of it. (Then again ghost rings themselves are so slow.)

    Drop charts aren't going to work too well. You could mathematically figure it out, but since almost none of them are flying true to the bore's theoretical line of flight, it's not going to matter. They're still spreading out, so most will either be much lower or much higher than your theoretical drop.

    My Benelli SBE2 will on average keep 5-7 pellets on an 8" paper plate at 50 yards. But that's with a 28" barrel, a light mod choke and 3 1/2" 18 pellet shells. (ouch) Meant for four legged critters, at that distance I'm still holding dead on like I would up close, so drop doesn't really enter into it at that range.

    Unless you're never going to take it out, don't loctite the choke. It is common to "glue" them in on LEO guns. If you do, use very little and try putting it on the smooth end of the choke rather than in the threads.

    I have used bee's wax on the threads of ones I don't plan on taking out often or shooting a lot. Not a true thread locker, but it gums things up a little to slow down the unscrewing. (useful in lots of gun applications for that) Things like match guns I just stay on them and keep tightening them. Them unscrewing is a pain, but completely normal.
     

    mcameron

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  • Nov 17, 2011
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    ive been of the opinion that slugs might be a better loading for shotguns anyways....i laid out my thoughts on the matter here

     

    redneckbmxer24

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    I'm trying to love the one I put on my M4, but so far it hasn't happened. Good for slugs, but otherwise so cluttered and soooooo slooooow. I'm in a constant debate about getting rid of it. (Then again ghost rings themselves are so slow.)

    A 3.25 MOA dot isn't cluttered or slow, that statement gets nominated for dumbest statement of the year. Red dots are ran on carbines and pistols because they're literally the fastest sights that there are and they're finding themselves on shotguns finally for the same reason. I've got well over 20K rounds on an M4 with an RM06 and it's the shit. I ended up selling my 686 and others because I could break more clays with the tactical shotty with the RMR because it's just that fast and accurate. It's far more forgiving than a rib and bead because cheek weld is far less critical. Aquire the dot, put it on what you want to smoke and flip the bang switch.
     

    cas6969

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    Looking through that little sight, slow. lmao

    In terms of shotgun speed... beads, then rifle sights, then ghost rings, then co-witness ghost ring/dot.

    I left dot alone out of because that's a matter of personal preference and practice. But I will still argue dot is slower than a bead, as a fiber optic bead is just a dot with a better view (not looking through a window.)

    20k? When you pump those rookie numbers up we'll talk. :D
    I'm basing my "opinion" (remember those?) on owing and using them all, not just "my favorite is the best because it's my favorite". ;)

    And "flip the bang switch" pretty much negated anything you said or will say. 🥴🤣
     
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    hlee

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    If you’re aiming a shotgun, you’re doing it wrong- at least for competitive clay breaking.
     
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    redneckbmxer24

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    Looking through that little sight, slow. lmao

    In terms of shotgun speed... beads, then rifle sights, then ghost rings, then co-witness ghost ring/dot.

    I left dot alone out of because that's a matter of personal preference and practice. But I will still argue dot is slower than a bead, as a fiber optic bead is just a dot with a better view (not looking through a window.)

    20k? When you pump those rookie numbers up we'll talk. :D
    I'm basing my "opinion" (remember those?) on owing and using them all, not just "my favorite is the best because it's my favorite". ;)

    And "flip the bang switch" pretty much negated anything you said or will say. 🥴🤣

    You have absolutely not a fucking clue what you’re talking about. The dot is quicker/easier to acquire than it is on a pistol. I seriously doubt you have ever even used one if you seriously thing rifle sights on a shotgun are faster than a dot or ghost rings.
     

    cas6969

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    Have you ever run a series of targets with your dot M4, then put it down and run those same targets with a ghost right gun? Then put it down and done them with an iron sight gun? Then set it down, and run them with a bead sighted gun? If not, then you have no fucking clue what you or I'm talking about. I'm not talking theories and ideas, I'm talking first hand experience with my own guns.
     

    mcameron

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  • Nov 17, 2011
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    Yes, I have. It’s been proven over and over and over again that red dots are faster than irons. It’s not even arguable.
    not that i doubt you, but do you have an article or anything showing that?
     

    redneckbmxer24

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    not that i doubt you, but do you have an article or anything showing that?

    There's a ton of articles, youtube videos, and all sorts of datapoints about red dot speed vs irons. I'm not going to spoon feed it but it's out there and it's obvious. The push to RDS on pistols lately is 100% because of the speed. Same reason RDS on carbines are still preferred for CQB as they're faster than irons or a LPVO. Nothing is as fast to acquire or run as a dot. Do an hour of research on it then apply it to shotguns, it's no different.
     

    GH41

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    Looking through that little sight, slow. lmao

    In terms of shotgun speed... beads, then rifle sights, then ghost rings, then co-witness ghost ring/dot.

    I left dot alone out of because that's a matter of personal preference and practice. But I will still argue dot is slower than a bead, as a fiber optic bead is just a dot with a better view (not looking through a window.)

    20k? When you pump those rookie numbers up we'll talk. :D
    I'm basing my "opinion" (remember those?) on owing and using them all, not just "my favorite is the best because it's my favorite". ;)

    And "flip the bang switch" pretty much negated anything you said or will say. 🥴🤣
    I am with you!!! If a shotgun fits you properly if shoots where you are looking. Looking at anything but the target is like pissing up a rope. The guys arguing with you probably never shoot at anything other than a paper target nailed to a post!
     
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    wade2big

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    Any aiming device on a shotty is borderline retarded. Point the gun while looking at the target and pull the trigger. A bead is at most what you want on the gun. The only thing that makes less sense than sights on a shotgun is a pistol grip. this addition is why you guys are putting sights on the damn gun to begin with. You destroyed the point-ability by doing so.
     

    mcameron

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    There's a ton of articles, youtube videos, and all sorts of datapoints about red dot speed vs irons. I'm not going to spoon feed it but it's out there and it's obvious. The push to RDS on pistols lately is 100% because of the speed. Same reason RDS on carbines are still preferred for CQB as they're faster than irons or a LPVO. Nothing is as fast to acquire or run as a dot. Do an hour of research on it then apply it to shotguns, it's no different.
    So if you don't care enough to provide any evidence of your claims....why should I put any weight at all into the veracity your claims?
     

    n2ishun

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    Stupid trick that actually works, try it you might be surprised.
    I'm gonna write this out for right hand, if you're a leftie, just reverse it (duh).
    Shoulder the shottie like you're going to shoot at a random thing, level, across the room.
    Note how your left hand is on the forestock.
    Now, extend your left index finger (while still aiming and holding the shotgun normally) along the forearm and point to the target.
    With some practice you can use this to just point to the target (which is simple for anyone older than 2), no aiming required.
    I used to teach people this trick to hit quail on the wing at the lodge I used to run.
    Since quail can easily hit 70mph (more if they fly with the wind behind them) it's very handy to have a fast way of shooting accurately without aiming.

    Try it....with some practice you'll find no quicker way to be accurate with a shottie.
    Yes, it is exactly how I taught Tom Knapp (Benelli factory trick shooter) how to actually hit a fucking bird (the guy was suckin ass, bad).
     

    Alabama556

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    If you can find some federal TSS buckshot with the flight control wad try it. It patterns great out of mine with a modified choke.
     

    timelinex

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  • May 7, 2011
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    I guess this a duplicate post as OP did on the Benelli USA forum. Trust but verify. Like getting two or more opinions before undergoing elective brain surgery.

    https://forums.benelliusa.com/topic/25608-m4-accuracy-expectations/

    I post as Benelliwerkes there.

    View attachment 7897892
    Not sure if it's supposed to be a gotchya, but hell yea! Benelli is opinions from people that may have deep knowledge of the exact brand, while you guys are more aligned with my goals and I am a much more avid poster on here. Got some good info here and got some different good info there!

    But you guys both laughed at me about drop charts for buckshot lol