Benelli M4: Reliable from Battlefield to Backyard

Regardless of your opinion on the actual Cadillac vehicle, anytime a gun is called the “Cadillac” of its kind, you know it’s something to pay attention to. The Benelli M4 Super 90 - as it’s officially titled - is one such Cadillac item.

The Benelli M4 is a tactical, semi-automatic shotgun. “Tactical” denotes that it’s shorter in length than your typical shotgun and “semi-automatic” highlights the lack of pump-action necessary for operation.

Types: The Benelli M1014 vs The Benelli M4 Super 90

This pistol grip shotgun comes in two main configurations, depending upon the consumer: a military and civilian version.

In 1998, Beretta’s Law Enforcement division, Benelli, built and sent five samples of the M4 to the United States Army's Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC).

This was done in response to a request for submissions for a new 12-gauge semi-automatic combat shotgun. Beretta’s design won the competition, and the US Marine Corps adopted it under the name Benelli M1014.

The main difference between the military-exclusive Benelli M1014 and the civilian version is the tube magazine capacity: the Benelli M4 Super 90 holds 5+1 while the M1014 model packs at 7+1.

Benelli M4 graphic 1

Benelli M4 Super 90 Specs

The standard Benelli M4 super 90 boasts ghost ring sights, an optics rail for attaching red dot sights, and minimal recoil. Further specs include:

  • Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
  • Overall Length: 40 inches
  • Weight: 7.8 pounds
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Caliber: 12 Gauge 2.75 and 3 inches
  • Action: Semi-automatic gas-operated


Marines past and present often hail the Benelli M1014 for its remarkable reliability. This rugged combat shotgun has been tested & proven to continue to deliver even after being abused in sandstorm, vehicle ride, or a long hiking trek.

Fewer operational parts and dual pistons with self-cleaning attributes make this gun easy to shoot and even easier to clean. Not only does it have a simple operation, it has a versatile one. The Bellini M4 can fire 2.75 in (70 mm) and 3 in (76 mm) shells of differing propellant loads without any operator adjustments.

Both the Benelli M1014 and the Benelli M4 Super 90 feature the company’s proprietary action gas-powered design called the "auto-regulating gas-operated" (ARGO) system. Created specifically for this weapon, the ARGO design is simple and lighter than most systems and gives cleaner gas with less fouling.

Inertia systems can be easily upset by the weight change that comes with added aftermarket parts. Benelli’s ARGO system in the M1014 bears the inevitable military additions with rugged ease.

The advantages of the Benelli M4 are by no means limited to combat application. The semi-auto shotgun platform means a faster and more straight-forward operation in high-pressure situations. With a manual operation shotgun, anyone, but especially novice shooters, are likely to short-stroke the pump action when trying to operate quickly under stress.

The M4's lack of pump-action removes barriers to operation, making it user-friendly for amateur and experienced shooters alike.

Benelli M4 graphic 2


Depending on your needs, the list of cons for the Benelli M4 is short, with the most common being price point.

If you decide to hunt down a Benelli M4 for sale, it’s a good idea to plan for somewhere around the 2k mark. This makes it a little pricier when compared to an average 12-gauge. However, owners of this particular pistol grip shotgun are exceptionally enthusiastic about its smooth operation.

Whether you like something smooth and simple or power-packed and rugged, the Benelli M4 is a fun gun to shoot! If you have the pleasure to take one to the range, we’ll make sure your ammo is stocked for a good time.

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