View Full Version : Benelli Vinci Review

08-18-2009, 12:00 AM
Hello All

I have a new Benelli Vinci and thought I would give you a review. For the record, I have been hunting with shotguns for 26 years. I started with a Remington 20ga special field, then 12 ga Browning BPS, Rem 11-87, then a Benelli SBE. I shoot pheasant, quail, turkey around our farm. I go to Winnepeg duck/goose hunting. So I have tried and used all the usual suspects and shot many species with those shotguns. I can truthfully say I do not favor any brand in either shotgun, pistol, or rifle. When I came upon the Vinci I was on a trip to Flint Oak, KS. I picked up the Vinci at the gun shop. Regardless of the looks which are well documented, it felt like it'd been a part of my body since birth. I am more of a natural pointer when shooting rather than aiming so feel is incredibly important to me. About 3 weeks ago I purchased a Vinci, have yet to fire it but have kept it handy for inspection, breakdown, etc... since I got it. Here are my first impressions:

One of Benelli's selling points is the breakdown feature. Heck the custom plactic case it comes in has it broke down into the 3 major components already. The frist component is the stock, the 2nd is the barrel bolt combination already together, and the 3rd is the trigger assembly/forearm/magazine. If you have dreams of breaking this shotgun down and storing into the custom plastic case after each hunt....your going to be disappointed bigtime. For starters the plastic case isnt designed well, seems like they couldnt decide on a top or bottom so they split the difference and it opens ackwardly. The part that houses the barrel is designed poorly as well and the barrel can move inside that part of the box. Ive never understood making and selling a $1400 shotgun and then giving the consumer a $8 case to put it in. My advice is to take the gun out of the plastic case and put it away incase you sell it so you can say you have the case. The 2nd major problem is it just doesnt take apart or put together as simply as they want it to be. Im pretty strong, actually really strong, and it takes alot of strength to put the barrel on as it is a push and twist motion. I have put together and disassembled maybe 20 times and it is awkward and flat hard to do. My advice is put together and take apart only when cleaning, long travel, or long term storage. Dont plan on disassemling after every day in the field. The process and case will disappoint if that is your intention. But to be honest, Ive never had a shotgun that I didnt use a softcase for hunts, etc... so this is no big deal to me. Just not exactly as advertised.

Now, as far as being able to field strip this for cleaning...outside of a military rifle like the AR...I dont think there is a shotgun out there that Ive seen as slick as the Vinci. It is actually easier to disassemble the parts out of the 3 main components than it is breaking it down to the 3 main components. I am serious that this thing can field strip down to all, and I mean all parts in about 3 minutes, that includes breaking down the trigger assembly. Really slick. Reassembles just as fast.

What I immediately noticed upon all this breakdown and assembly is the bolt/barrlel configuration is completely redesigned. Those of you with SBE's will know that the bolt rides within guides in the lower receiver, and the recoil system is a rod attached to the bolt that slides back into the stock by way of a tube and spring. The sticking that I experienced with the SBE was often times the fact the metal bolt rode within the plastic lower receiver. The metal on plastic was never something I felt glided very well and especially in cold weather would stick. Many times I could pull the bolt back and have it creep foward after releasing till a certain point before slamming shut. The colder or dirtier the gun, the worse it creeped and stuck. Again, the metal bolt riding within the plastic lower was a problem I thought. The spring tube in the stock was always getting seeds, weeds, dirt, etc... in there and would naturally get into the spring. The whole set up was a recipe for disaster and many times would stick, especially on the next to the last shell ejecting and feeding of the last shell. In the new Vinci, the bolt and spring is built as a unit. There are 2 metal guides with springs built as part of the bolt and the bolt itself is contained within the barrel, rather than riding in the lower receiver. The tube spring in the stock is gone. To me they identified the problems with the SBE/M1 and made an effort to fix. The bolt upon cycling really feels like its gliding.

The safety is recessed into the trigger housing in front of the trigger and is a tight push to move from safe to fire. I can see potential issues if you have heavy gloves trying to push the safety. I am planning on oiling this and working it in. I'll let you know how it goes.

The magazine tube loads fine, the tube holds either three 2 3/4 shells or two 3 inchers.....For most upland game, that works ok. Benelli designed the magazine to have a release button that allows you remove shells fromt he mag without cycling the bolt. Neat concept, hard to do out of the box. You have to push that release lever pretty hard to get ejection. Not sold on it yet, will let you know if it breaks in better.

The looks have been long debated, if your a traditionalist...dont buy it. But it flat is light and feels wonderful in my hands. Points unbelievably well, and has a shim kit in the box to design to your taste. It's really light yet appears to hold a line and swing exceptionally smooth despite it's light weight.

Recoil pad feels great. I'd suggest putting an aftermarket glow bead on it. If you put a sling on it, a standard super sling or something similar is too long. I customized a cabelas sling and it fits great.

In the next two weeks I intend on shooting on the skeet/trap range and then using on doves here in NE. I will give you my thoughts after the range night and after dove season on how it shoots. If all I could do is carry it aroiund and breakdown/assemble it...then Im luke warm to it. The rubber will be when it gets shot. I'll keep you informed.


08-18-2009, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the review TBo...I bothered everyone on this forum awhile back in regards to buying a Benelli and as of today still have not bought one. I was leaning toward the Ultralight but I really like the way the Vinci lines up. I also like the Cordoba and M2. Your review may swing me back to the Vinci. I'm waiting to see the new Browning Maxus and the Titanium Remington. Thanks again and let me know how it shoots after your range trip.

08-19-2009, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the info. I stopped at Gander on my lunch break to check out the Vinci. The salesman also showed me the Winchester SX3 ($899) and a used Franchi I-12 Limited ($999). If I decide to get a gun this year I may have a tough choice to make.

08-20-2009, 01:01 PM
For what it's worth... I have the M2 and LOVE IT! :thumbsup: It gave me some trouble with light trap loads when I first got it. After the "break in", it has been flawless. No problems with 3" inch shells going after geese this year either. I would buy another tomorrow.


08-20-2009, 01:51 PM
Thanks for the info. I stopped at Gander on my lunch break to check out the Vinci. The salesman also showed me the Winchester SX3 ($899) and a used Franchi I-12 Limited ($999). If I decide to get a gun this year I may have a tough choice to make.I purchased a SX3 last year and love it. I haven't had any problems shooting with low brass 7.5's up tp high brass 6's in 3.5in. You can't really go wrong with any of the brands that you mentioned though...Good Luck

08-22-2009, 02:11 PM
I really hope this link manages to not get into a brand war as things so often do....benelli/browning, winchester/remington, ford/chevy....these types of topics often get into a hatfield/mccoy that bleeds into what should be a non-emotional discussion. I will again proclaim, Ive shot and used all brands and really have no brand allegiances. I just really like shotguns period regardless of brand. Please dont let this thread go down that road as other threads Ive seen do.

You might notice that Ive never owned a winchester, but my first 50 straight on skeet was in 1992 when I forgot my shotgun at home and borrowed my boss's Winchester SuperX...which was probably the smoothest cycling and shooting auto that I ever shot. I pry should have forgot it everyweek but I didnt and went right back to my 46 average. Not the smartest thing Ive done.

Im going to try to get to the skeet and trap range this week to do a couple of rounds of both.

Talk to you later


08-23-2009, 09:22 PM
You haven't been here long enough to really understand the Ford/Chevy war...:D...plus you left out the short tail/long tail war...:eek:...but I did buy a Benelli this weekend. However, I didn't go for anything new. I found a mint M1 with chokes and they threw in a case for around $550. I have only shot over and unders so recoil is not a problem for me. I am anxious to try the Benelli and may upgrade sometime in the future.

08-31-2009, 01:20 PM

I also had problems with my SBE cycling, especially in colder weather. I replaced the factory return stock spring with a stainless one thinking that it would help (that worked in a Remington 11-87 that was sticking), but it didn't matter. I would clean it religously (including the return spring and tube which usually fixed the 11-87), but it still seemed to stick. I finally called Benelli and they had me send it back. It looks like they ground down the magazine/reciever plate/carrier (the stainless door that you press down to load shells) and now it works like a charm. Best thing is they fixed it for free and got it done really quick during the hunting season. I was even able to ship it through the mail and they sent it back the same way--no need to use a FFL. Their customer service, im my book anyways, was/is topnotch. I have often thought (and told my wife) that the SBE would be the last shotgun I would buy, but after seeing the new one I may have to go back on my word :>). My brother is buying one and I don't know if I even want to try it. If it is anything like the experience of when I first shot the SBE I will be scheming a way to save $1500 for "yet another gun!" Like you said, they just seem to be an extension of your body/arm.

09-27-2009, 06:18 PM
I intend to purchase a new Vinci as soon as I sell my 12ga DU Franchi Renaissance O/U. I currently own an original HK/Benelli SBE that I purchased in 1992. After going through a Browning A500 and a S&W 1000 waterfowler, which were single shooters most of the time, I decided to buy the SBE. Best gun I will ever own! After 17 years and ?1000's of rounds, I sold it to a friend when I was out of work. I bought it back after two years and it wouldn't eject empties. It was poorly cared for, but I had the barrel reblued and stripped and cleaned every part. Sent it back to Benelli and they fixed it and shipped it back to me in less than a month, at no cost. Talk about service! They even polished the barrel for me. It works flawlessly again.
I have owned another synthetic SBE and a 20 ga montefeltro, all sold during a down point to friends, and all were as reliable as my original SBE. I won't buy any other brand autoloader. I rarely shoot 3.5" shells and really like the simplicity of the Vinci. I have found the Vinci online for under $1300 and I sure don't feel that they are too expensive. You get what you pay for.
I also have friends that own Berettas and Browning's that love them, but always use the excuse " I know someone that has nothing but trouble with his Benelli", but I could never get them to sell to me. If they don't like or cannot afford a Benelli, just say so, don't badmouth them. Oh well.
I trust Benellis' and look forward to buying and shooting the new Vinci. :10sign:

09-29-2009, 07:26 PM
quote from TBo: Again, the metal bolt riding within the plastic lower was a problem I thought. (refering to the SBE)

I have an original HK/Benelli SBE and the only plastic part on it is the front sight bead. I don't think the lower receiver is plastic as mine is alloy.

That said, after 17 years of reliable use (purchased in 1992) I intend to buy the Vinci. My SBE is still going to get used, but being a Benelli man, I'm anxious to shoot some ducks and geese with a new Vinci. 88,000 rounds without a gun related malfunction has convinced me to get the new shotgun.

09-29-2009, 11:17 PM
I want to start with what I truly believe.........that what the gun will do isnt as important as what one believe it will do when they shoot it. Placebo's have been found to be remarkably effective. With shooting being so linked with confidence, I really dont believe this Vinci will make you a better shot. I dont believe a Winchester SuperX3 will make you better and Browning Maxus similarly. I shot the vinci probably as well as I would have my Weatherby Orion or SBE in the 200 rounds of trap/skeet.

What I liked during the shoot was what I really liked in the beginning. It's as weighted as well as an over/under. Really silky smooth. The SBE almost feels blocky in my hands as compared to the Vinci. Noticied particularly on the skeet range....it's hard to explain in skeet but sometimes especially on stations High two, High three, High/Low four, same for five...than the gun can seem to wander when tracking and leading those stations. I think that is why over/unders are so popular in that regard as how they seem to glide on the path of the rock. The Vinci was very similar.

Ejected perfectly, only really tested it in a ejection/loading on the skeet doubles. The real test will be in the field.

Safety is annoying still.....again on a range not as noticeable....will have further comments inthe field. I dont like it being recessed into the fore part of the trigger guard. Might be over reacting, but with gloves on in the cold will be the real test. We will see if it is just a habit that needs to be retrained.

Recoil...ok...here I go....I think that is the biggest joke of any sales pitch out there. If you have a tendancy to notice recoil in a hunting situation....I think you will have bigger problems than just recoil because if you have to shoot two or three times at a bird that you could have shot once...then what are you really saving with recoil. If you are going dove hunting..the low brass loads really arent going to make a difference on recoil. If you are going to Argentina for goodness sake...take a 28 ga. If you are going to shoot 3.5 turkey loads....well get ready for some pain. I just think that is the biggest gimic going right now in sales. I really didnt notice any more or less than I do with a o/u or the old SBE. Sorry if I made some mad, I just dont believe the difference between Vinci, Maxus, X3, Franci...will be that noticeable on a standard field load. Call me crazy, stupid, etc.....

That's my thoughts, again if you are particular on looks....probably stay away from it. But in 4 rounds of trap and 4 rounds of skeet....didnt have any strange looks other than putting a 24,22,25,23 on the skeet range with a camo automatic against some pretty fancy o/u and double's. But noone asked what it was or anything. Missed High One 3 times that afternoon...not quite sure why that station was a pisser. Missed it with the first shot of the day...the first shot thru the gun.....and I was like, "Oh this is going to be a great gun"....hit my option and rolled off 24 straight.

I'll post again around thanksgiving and again about Jan 1 with some field reports and some cold weather hunting reports.

Later and I sure hope this doesnt offend any diehard Browning/Winchester/Rem/Beretta guys out there. Wasnt my intention as I think they all make a fanastic gun.

10-05-2009, 04:13 PM
This is a copy of the letter I am sending with my brand new vinci to return to benelli after it's first hunting trip. I will let you know what happens.

To whom it may concern,

I purchased my Benelli Vinci shotgun this summer after saving to buy a Benelli for years. I was so excited. Last weekend was Duck opener in Minnesota and I took my new Vinci hunting for the first time. I was very disappointed. There was a light drizzle that morning and as I sat in the duck blind I watched my barrel start to rust. I just about started crying. Later a flock of ducks came into the decoys and I fired. My finger started dripping blood. I later figured out that while you have the gun shouldered and your finger on the trigger that your trigger finger between your two knuckles rests on the ridge just above the trigger guard. With my skin being wet the rough plastic tore my skin when the gun recoiled. Every time I tried to fire the gun it made it worse. Very painful. After the hunt I immediately wiped my gun down. After we returned to the hotel I did a thorough cleaning. There was still rust on the barrel that just would not come off.

Upon retuning home from the trip I called Benelli tech support and explained my problems. The lady that I talked to told me if my gun rusted just from sitting in drizzle there must be something wrong with the bluing on the barrel and I should bring it back to the dealer and have it sent in for repair. She said that she had never heard of the finger issue, but that if I include a picture of my finger the gunsmith will look into what caused this and see what he can do. I greatly appreciate you help and look forward to hear what you find. Please contact me directly. If you can not resolve the issue of the firearm tearing skin off of my finger I would like you to exchange it for a different model.

10-05-2009, 05:15 PM
Dude, talk about Murphy's Law!
I had a chance to shoot the Vinci this weekend at a dealer shoot in the Fresno, Ca. area. I have been anxious to get my hands on one.
1. I have owned 3 Benneli shotguns, 1 SBE for 17years. I had to sell 2 of them during a financial crunch.
2. Benelli stands behind their products. I finaly had ejection issues with my 17 year old HK Imported wood stocked SBE. I called them, sent it out, and within 30 days they completed a "short block" overhaul and sent it back, NO CHARGE. Pretty fair service and a testament to Benelli USA.
3. There must have been a bad run on blueing as I have never had an issue with rust on my Benelli's. I hunt in salt water conditions in the San Francisco Bay and the Delta area of Northern California.
4. I had no issue with the trigger guard and I have large hands with stubby fingers. I shot one round of trap with the gun.

Best of luck and I know Benelli will stand behind their product!

10-27-2009, 08:36 AM
Just bought a Vinci yesterday, absolutley love the looks of the gun. I have not shot it but is light and pulls up for me very nice. I hope it performs as well as my daughters M-2 20 guage. Cant wait to cycle some rounds through it.

05-10-2010, 02:06 AM
If at all possible make sure it fits you trigger hand. I shot a Vinnci on a fast and furious day of duck hunting and ended up being a great duck and canadian shoot with 6 of us and the back of the trigger guard beat the hell out of my middle finger so bad I just quit shooting and just blew my calls and didnt shoot the rest of the morning. With the six of us we shot our limit of ducks and geese which was alot of shooting and I will be the first to admit that but the Vinnci didnt live up to the hype. I shoot a SBE that would be the first version and I have over 50,000+ rounds through it and after shooting the VINNCI will never retire it!

05-14-2010, 08:08 PM
I would like to give one in camo a go with 26" barrel, I like the Browning Maxus, A400 Beretta, Xtrema. Lots of good guns out there right now

Rooster Roaster
05-19-2010, 11:28 PM
This message has been deleted.

08-02-2010, 10:07 PM
Anymore reviews on the Vinci? They're on sale at Scheels right now for a 1000, I really liked the feel of the gun for an auto.

08-17-2010, 12:23 PM
I bought my Vinci in mid-June, and, probably have about 1k rounds thru it on clays. I'm really happy with it. I bought it because I was looking for a lighter weight auto for the field, and, I just really liked the way it felt, compared to the other auto's in that category that I looked at.

After having bought it, I haven't been a bit disappointed with any buyers remorse. It's cycled flawlessly on 1 and 1.125 ounce loads. Doesn't cycle on some 7/8 oz loads I tried in it, but, I wasn't expecting it too.

Recoil seems slightly noticeably softer than my doubles on the trap loads. Supposedly more noticeable lighter on heavier loads, but, I haven't tried it. When letting my 10 yr old daughter shoot a 12 gauge for the first time last weekend, I test-fired the 7/8 ounce load in both my double and my Vinci, and, elected to hand her the Vinci. She was all smiles after a thorough ground-pounding a clay bird :)

The ease of break-down and cleaning wasn't high on my list of priorities, but, it's still pretty cool to show off to fellow shooters.

My only reqret is that I didn't get it for $1K at Scheel's. Paid $1299 at BassPro. I highly recommend the gun and even moreso at that price.