4 year Benelli Vinci review

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4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby MSparks909 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:19 pm

This past September marked my 4th year with my 26" Benelli Vinci. Thought I would give a long term review of how the gun is holding up, and the good and bad experiences I've had over the past 4 years. The Vinci was my first high $ semi-auto shotgun (previously hunted with a tried and true 870). I did lots of research and decided to go with the Vinci over the Xtrema 2. Unfortunately, I didn't keep a round count log with the Vinci (I did start doing this for all my gun purchases this past year), but I would estimate that I have north of 6,000 rounds through the gun. I usually fire a case of 3" steel during the season (250 rounds), along with roughly 1,000-1,500 2 3/4" rounds spread throughout the year spread between clay shooting and dove hunting (this is a conservative estimate). During this time I have replaced no springs or wear items on the gun.

The Good:
I'm a fan of the modularity of the Vinci platform. I appreciate the ease at which I can disassemble and thoroughly clean the gun. I also like that the action system is contained within the barrel and doesn't extend into the stock. I hunt in brackish & salt water all season long. The peace of mind knowing that I don't have an action spring rusting inside the stock unbeknownst to me is a relief. The gun is a quick pointer (for me) and I appreciate the light weight in the field. I am also a big fan of the safety location. When I grab the gun, my index finger naturally lines up on top of the safety. No changing grip or struggling to disengage it when I'm about to shoot. The safety engagement is still crisp to this day, a big plus. I don't like "mushy feeling" safeties.

The action/inertia springs seem to be wearing well. Recoil impulse using 3" 1 1/4 1500fps loads hasn't increased dramatically since new. The springs feel like they can easily make it to 10,000 rounds before replacement. The ejection pattern of the shells continues to remain consistent since the gun was new. I do have finish wear on the inside of the barrel/receiver from the cycling action of the bolt/bolt carrier roughly 6,000 times. The wear seems to have stabilized and I've switched gun lubes from Hoppes #9 to Slip 2000, which I also use on my AR15 and my handgun collection. The trigger pull has also smoothed up (although it was never rough or gritty) but through 4 years of use, the parts seem to have "meshed" together into a very smooth and crisp trigger pull. After cleaning the barrel I can discern no noticeable wear. The cold hammer forged barrel appears to be wearing well. I sold the Benelli Crio choke tubes and have switched to Patternmaster chokes. I'm getting some wear on the stock's recoil pad, but it's mostly superficial.

I'm also impressed with the durability of Benelli's hydro-dip camo finish. I don't baby my guns, and they sometimes don't get throw into a waterproof, shockproof and goose-down filled gun case on hunting trips. It gets stacked, along with the rest of the gear in the back of the pickup or in a boat on the way to our hunting spot, then it gets slung over my shoulder and gets banged around by the decoys while walking in/setting up, before finally being placed in the marsh/woods/trees while I toss out decoys. The gun has been dunked several times by accident, and continued to work flawlessly during the hunt.

The Bad:
No gun is perfect. While there are many positives about the Vinci that I love, there are also several negatives. Last year, I had issues with loading the first shell into the magazine tube in the morning/during clay shooting, etc. The issue continued to worsen in severity, causing the gun to jam on several occasions and reached the point where I had to force each shell into the magazine tube. I disassembled the magazine tube and found the problem. The inside of the tube and the follower were both extremely caked in carbon from firing the gun over the previous 3 years. The carbon caked up to the point that the follower would jam up when shooting and trying to load the gun. I used a toothbrush to clean the inside of the magazine tube and used some 200 grit sandpaper to remove the carbon from the magazine follower. This seems to have fixed the issue so far in my clay shooting this year. I will be keeping a better eye on the carbon buildup throughout the rest of this season, and urge every Benelli owner to check their magazine tube follower for excessive carbon buildup and to clean accordingly.

I've also noticed that this gun seems to get considerably dirtier than some of my friends shotguns (Remington 11-87, Beretta Xtrema 2) after shooting only 50-100 rounds. While the dirt/carbon/grime doesn't impede the function of the gun, it is somewhat of an annoyance. I've grown to ignore the issue, and clean the gun every 4-500 rounds. Also, don't overlube this gun. It will only cause more dirt/grime/carbon to accumulate inside the action. A very light film on the bolt carrier/inertia spring/bolt will do it.

Perhaps the biggest issue I have with this gun is its tendency to rust. If I hunt on a foggy morning, I'll have surface rust on the bolt handle, bolt, inertia spring, etc. Rust also forms quickly on the shell catch release lever. I've also had to remove some rust where the barrel screws onto the stock. Now, before you say "It's because you abuse/don't clean/misuse your shotgun", this issue does not happen to my friends Xtrema 2, 11-87s, Stoeger, etc. I'm not sure if this is a specific issue with *my* gun, or if Benelli has extremely crappy rust preventatives on a $1,400 gun, but it is very annoying. I wish that Benelli would incorporate something like Beretta's "Aqua Technology" to prevent rust inside the action of the gun. The camo dip is doing fine at preventing rust on the outside of the firearm, but the rate at which I can get rust on the action of my gun is upsetting (after every hunt). I'm very glad I don't have an M2/SBE/SBEII because odds are that the action spring inside the stock would be severely rusted.

Summary:
I've been pretty satisfied overall with my Vinci. It has been a very reliable and durable companion to me in the marsh and on the clays courses. I haven't had any issues with the dreaded "Benelli click" and the gun continues to function as smoothly as the day I got it. I recently decided to paint the gun (much from the inspiration on this forum) because I was tired of my APG turkey camo. Turned out pretty well (will get pics up when I return to town). After this season I will most likely go through the gun and replace all major springs and give the gun a general "tune-up". I may also have the bolt group coated with Cerakote after this season to combat the rust issue. In all, even with its quirks, I can give the Vinci a thumbs up and hope it will continue to serve me well over the next several seasons.
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Re: 4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby BBK » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:16 pm

Thanks for the review!
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Re: 4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby sodfather » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:31 pm

Nice write up. I also have a Vinci that's beginning its 4th season of fowl hunting. Thanks for pointing out the magazine tube, I never have cleaned that but happy to say I never had the problem you have had ( Yet).. Also I don't hunt the salt water areas that you hunt but I never had a problem with rust. I do clean though after everytime it leaves the house. I am also generous with the solvent to prevent rust. The problem I had with this gun is finding the right shell and choke combo. I can also do without those shims just cause my point of aim should be my point of aim ... In my opinion its a great gun and feels and swings great, but your right no shotgun is perfect I just feel confident everytime I raise it up.
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Re: 4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby MSparks909 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:12 pm

sodfather wrote:Nice write up. I also have a Vinci that's beginning its 4th season of fowl hunting. Thanks for pointing out the magazine tube, I never have cleaned that but happy to say I never had the problem you have had ( Yet).. Also I don't hunt the salt water areas that you hunt but I never had a problem with rust. I do clean though after everytime it leaves the house. I am also generous with the solvent to prevent rust. The problem I had with this gun is finding the right shell and choke combo. I can also do without those shims just cause my point of aim should be my point of aim ... In my opinion its a great gun and feels and swings great, but your right no shotgun is perfect I just feel confident everytime I raise it up.


Just keep an eye on the follower. It's pretty easy to disassemble the magazine tube. Only 1 allen bolt. Remember to keep thumb pressure on top of the magazine tube when removing the bolt because it's under spring tension. I found a metal replacement follower online that shouldn't get as fouled and I may order one to test out.

What shells/choke are you currently using? Last year I used Federal Ultra Shock 1 1/4 3" #3's at 1450FPS with the above Patternmaster tubes. Combo is very effective. Had few cripples last year, even on the longer shots. Tested out some Hevi-Metal #3's and it worked very good as well. Folded birds as long as I did my part. I'm a fan of more payload and sub 1,500FPS through wad retarding choke designs (Patternmaster, Wad Wizard). I don't like constriction chokes because I feel the full and super full variants can put unnecessary stress on the barrel threads when firing the hot 1,600+FPS loads.
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Re: 4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby sodfather » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:26 pm

Thanks for the tip I will keep an eye on that. I swear I tried every combo and like heavy metal #2's with the IM comp n choke. But this year early goose season I tried heavy metal 2's with heavy metal choke mid range and worked real well, we will see how it works with quick ducks.
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Re: 4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby beaunelli » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:13 am

I also have a Benelli (Super Vinci) and have been overall pleased with its performance. The modular system is revolutionary and is a breeze to maintain/ store in its case. onto the review: i shoot alot of skeet/dove and like to do so with the cheapest lightest loads i can find. While the SV handles most loads well it tends to not cycle the 1 oz and the light 7/8 oz reloads. Does your vinci have the same problems?

I recently shot skeet alongside my friends Beretta a400 Extreme with the kick-off system and now im a believer. The beretta cycles the light loads no problem and while i thought i owned the best shotgun on the market, i am now rethinking it. It seems to be alot smoother(less recoil) and i hear that you can really tell the difference when shooting 3'' and 3.5'' loads. Now i know this problem can be seemingly insignificant to some because they dont shoot light loads but for me its a must(im not gonna pay double for high brass when i consistently kill more dove than most in the field with walmart cheapies(certain kinds).

Needless to say i have ordered a Beretta a400 extreme and will be testing it out over this season and will make my decision final on which gun I think is the best.

I have had my SV for 2 years and probably put 4000 rounds down the pipe. Although i do clean my gun im not as particular as some that clean it after every outing(waste of time IMO).

Hop this review was useful , and while im on the subject if your looking at top of the line shotguns, i dont consider the versamax, SX3, A5 or any of the others to be even in the same area code of Beretta/ Benelli. These two are top tier
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Re: 4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby MSparks909 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:48 pm

I've never had a problem cycling the 7/8 & 1 oz. loads, but I also only have a 3" chamber vs. your 3 1/2" chamber. IMO, I think it's too much to ask of an inertia system to reliably cycle all loads from 7/8" - 3 1/2". Easier for a 3" chamber gun to function normally. And funny you mention the Beretta A400 Xtreme. I've been eyeing a local one to me VERY hard. I actually made a listing last night (on the classifieds here and on Armslist.com) for this Vinci. If I can get a fair offer, I'll probably sell it and try out the A400. Let me know how it works out for you (PM me once you test them out).
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Re: 4 year Benelli Vinci review

Postby sodfather » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:42 pm

Your right about the light loads, mine does spit them out but does get hung up every now and then. Now please don't get me wrong, I have shouldered an a400 and it looked and felt awesome ( never shot one) but I did read a couple not many people talk about they were not an easy gun to take apart and clean. But wow I would love to fire one...
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