Benelli, U.S.A. Corporation
1763 Indian Head Highway
The Benelli Vinci is representative of an engineering process that seems, for the most part, to have stared all over again in designing a shotgun. One glance at the gun tells you that this is something new and different. Some really like the appearance but in others, the appearance of the gun seems to bring out emotions bordering on rage. I've not met anyone who is neutral on the Vinci!
For the past 30+ days I've been shooting a 28" barreled black gun both at clays and at paper at my range. I've put every shotshell that is in my inventory through it. That includes a lot of different 2.75" target loads, 2.75" field loads, 3" waterfowl loads and of course 3" turkey loads. Shot sizes have included #9, #8, #7.5, #7, #6, #5 a blend of #5, #6 & #7 and #2.
For the most part and with all of the target, field and waterfowl loads, I used the factory chokes supplied. I also tried several after-market turkey chokes.
I will not comment on the technological advances of this gun, others have already done an excellent job of that. I will however say that is is the easiest gun to take down for cleaning or transport that I've ever seen. The included hard case which does not resemble traditional gun cases, also allows transport without as much chance of being "noticed" as other gun cases. It also takes up much less space, a feature I find very desirable when I travel.
I'll concentrate most of my evaluation on how the gun performs, how it feels to me and what impression my first 30 days with the Vinci has left on me.
This is a very light gun, easy to carry with the weight evenly distributed, so it balances well with no sharp edges anywhere to become uncomfortable when carrying it in the field.
How did this gun function? It's a Benelli. That's probably enough said, however I could not jam the Vinci or get it to malfunction with any of the shells that I tried, no matter how I mixed them up or how fast I shot it.
The Vinci has the standard 12 gauge Benelli bore and accepts the "crio" pattern chokes. Five chokes are furnished with the gun and should meet the needs of most shooters with the possible exception of turkey hunters who may want a tighter choke tube.
Is it, as claimed, a soft-shooting shotgun? For the types of shooting and hunting that we do most, the answer is a resounding yes. I put box after box of target and field loads through the Vinci and it's a real "sweetheart" with those loads, no real recoil and no noticeable muzzle jump. Taking this gun to the range or field is a real pleasure.
To see how the Vinci performed with 3" turkey loads, I tried a variety of shells from Environ-Metal, Federal, Remington and Winchester with variety of turkey chokes from different manufacturers.
The purpose of shooting these shells was not so much to see what shell or choke worked best, that's always a controversial subject since most hunters and shooter have their favorites but to see how the Vinci functioned and how much recoil was generated by these sometimes teeth-rattling shells.
First of all, they all worked. Some of the shotshells performed better with one choke than another but they all would have killed turkeys at any reasonable range. Equally important, all of the shells functioned perfectly with the Vinci, with no jams or other glitches.
What about recoil? When you shoot any full power 3" turkey load from a light shotgun, you'll know it. There is recoil there but the real question to my mind is how does the gun react to the recoil and how quickly does it allow me to react to it?
We tend to think of turkey hunting as a "one shot" sport and many times, perhaps most times, that's the case. If however we need a second shot, it's very important to me to be able to get back on target quickly. That's where I found the Vinci to shine.
There is very little muzzle jump with the Vinci. That applies equally whether you're shooting 2.75" target or field loads or 3" turkey loads. Less muzzle jump means I can react more quickly if a second shot is needed. Score one for the Vinci.
I also shot a variety of 3" steel waterfowl loads from different manufacturers, including the new HyperSonic 1700 f.p.s. shells from Remington. I used both the improved cylinder and modified chokes with these shells and itl functioned flawlessly. I was able to fire 1, 2 or 3 shells rapidly and stay on target very well. Again, without any real noticeable muzzle jump, I was back on target quickly.
So, how would I evaluate the Benelli Vinci after 30 days? It's a great gun! It's light, balanced well in my hand, came to the shoulder quickly and handled recoil well with very little muzzle jump, regardless of the load. I can just imagine how how much fun the Vinci will be in a dove field this September!
If you're in the market for a quick handling, light 3" chambered shotgun, I'd certainly recommend the Vinci. You can read more about it at the site noted above and you can read more "Product Test" articles at http://www.allaboutshooting.com
Benelli, U.S.A. Corporation