I finally had an opportunity to handle and shoot the new Benelli Vinci! First of all, I must say that the gun does not look quite as radical when you see it in person, as it does on the videos that we've all seen. Don't get me wrong, it's still looks quite different but it looks like it all goes together when you have an opportunity to handle it and shoot it.
The first thing I wanted to do was to see how it balanced in my hands and how it came to my shoulder. I was impressed with both. It balances naturally and is very easy to carry, feeling even lighter than its advertised weight of 6.8 lbs for the 26" barreled model. It came to my shoulder naturally and my eye was aligned with the rib and front beads without effort.
The disassembly of this gun is remarkably simple. Just a few buttons pushed and a few turns and you have the 3 major assembly groups apart, with access to the receiver-barrel and fire control units for easy cleaning. This also allows for a remarkably compact disassembled gun. The case that's furnished with this gun has a place for everything and molded spaces for additional items that you may want in the future. The usual Benelli oil, thread cleaning choke tool, shims to change cast/drop and Crio chokes are all included in their own compact case.
The new stock is billed as the "ConforTech Plus" model and has one major change in the chevrons that absorb/diffuse recoil and an entirely new method of attachment to the receiver, all done by hand, with no tools needed. There are no springs or assemblies in the stock so many types and configurations of stocks can easily be mounted.
Just about everything about this gun is different and not only from other Benellis but also from other guns period!
Okay, so how does it shoot? Four folks shot this gun as fast as it could be loaded and shot with everything from 2.75" clays loads, 3" steel shot waterfowl loads and 3" turkey loads, mixed up and in sequence. It shot them all and try as we would, we could not make it jam.
The trigger is not especially light but it's very crisp and would allow a gloved hand to use it with no problem. The recoil was perhaps somewhat less than a comparable SBE II and I attribute that to the new stock and recoil pad. There's a major difference in felt recoil between this gun and the original SBE that I shoot most of the time with turkey loads.
The receiver is already drilled and tapped with the turkey hunter in mind and comes with a Red bar front and brass center bead sights. There are also many other common sense changes to this gun that you'll appreciate when you try it.
There are several options available for stocks, butt pads and combs but this one seemed to fit me just right the way it was.
The good news is that this gun is avaialbe and you should be able to see one at your local Benelli dealer if not now then very soon. It's truly a very exciting gun!