Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Complaints


My SBE3 is doing exactly what your article discusses. Could you call me to discuss? Really would like your professional opinion on what to do . . .

Hello Sean,

I've had countless e-mails and phone calls from unhappy SBE3 victims, or owners as the case may be. Benelli USA offers a 10 year warranty. As there is no fix, insist on your money back.

There is a really strange so-called review of the SBE3 in the October American Rifleman. It begins:

The horizon hemorrhaged rainbows as birds lifted from watery havens and suddenly appeared like flapping dragons painted across a fuchsia dawn. First came the teal, flighty and reckless, then lumbering black swans, spanning across the horizon in twos and threes with necks outstretched like unfurled elephant trunks—their six-foot wingspans flogging the air rhythmically in search of morning grub.

Meanwhile, the rising sun cast violet rays on the fantastical world before us, lighting the South Pacific Ocean in the near distance and, with it, the white, gray and auburn hues of the region’s prize: paradise shelducks. Our guide, whose eyes and ears are trained to pick them out at distance, began the distinct, high-pitched series of clucks—screams almost—on his call.”

It is called a gun test, but it reads like a poem about everything . . . everything except accurate information about the SBE3. Still, despite the snow-job “Motor Trend Car of the Year” type nonsense, a kernel of truth crept in.

My test gun printed its pattern an average of 6" higher than my point of hold. When I asked Benelli reps about this, they insisted that the gun, with its 0.317"-tall rib, is designed to print about 3" above point of hold, and that shooters should “float the bird” over the fiber-optic front sight pipe.”

There is no other word for this than “stupid.” Three inches high at what distance? 20 yards, 40 yards, 60 yards? With what ammunition? Many, many SBE3 shotguns shoot ridiculously high. Benelli USA has said that the SBE3 should shoot up to 6" high and no more than 2" left or right with a full choke at 21 yards. That's not remotely close to the 3 inch “point of hold” nonsense published by American Rifleman. The industry standard is 40 yards, not 21 yards, and all shotguns (unless otherwise specified) should shoot essentially to point of aim. What is centering your pattern on your target supposed to mean, in Italy?

A field gun should shoot to point of aim at 40 yards, or an inch or two high. This isn't new or obscure information, it is common knowledge. It was long ago covered here: . The “60/40” pattern often talked about for trap guns is only 3 inches high . . . at 40 yards. If 6 inches high at just 21 yards is now suddenly acceptable, then every Benelli I've ever tested other than the SBE3 is miserably defective. I've said it before several times: Any hunting shotgun that blows patterns 8, 10, or 12 inches high at 40 yards is wildly defective, regardless of who made it, who owns it, or where it was made.

Most shooters do not properly pattern their guns, preferring the comparatively meaningless practice of trying to “read” breaks, shooting at snow, water, or cattails, so they will never know. In December, 2010, Neil Winston published Point-of-Impact & Pattern Testing at 13 yards which can be found at .

The highly hyped and relentlessly touted SBE3 is in the running for “Clunker of the Year.” The last thing anyone needs is a shotgun that doesn't throw shot where it is pointed.

Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.



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