No doubt, three-gun matches are one of the hottest trends in the sport shooting community today. If you've ever wondered how this sport works and were tempted to get involved, then take a look at 2011 AR15.com 3-Gun Pro Am Championship shoot going on at the Rockcastle Shooting Center near Park City, Kentucky. What, you say you're too busy evacuating out of the way of Irene to make it to the match? Not a problem! Benelli is streaming the match live here. It's well worth the visit, because not only will you get to see some phenomenal shooting talent, you'll get to view the side match co-sponsored between Benelli and Federal Ammunition. Benelli's highlighting its ultimate 3-gun M2 shotgun straight out of its Performance Shop and a result of a joint effort with Briley Manufacturing. This super-slick scattergun is designed specifically for winning times and scores in this fast-paced competition and is likely to be the gun serious match competitors are going to be ordering en masse.
Benelli describes its standard M2 as the “workhorse” model in its vast lineup of shotguns. And, indeed it is, thanks to Inertia-Driven recoil system. Gas-operated semi-autos are perfectly serviceable, provided they're kept relatively clean. I remember taking one of my favorite gas-operated semi-auto shotguns on a duck hunt and writer's junket in Colorado. After two days of shooting–and no real time or place to do a strip down cleanup overnight–the third day brought plummeting temps and my gun became a single shot, thanks to the cold freezing up the gunk and residue from all the shooting over the previous days. Still love that gun, but gotta keep it clean, and given the number of ducks that flew by me on that cold November day while I was shucking my carrier back and forth, I rather wish I'd had a Benelli in my hands.
The Inertia-Driven concept is simple. Use the energy of the recoil to cycle the action. This eliminates the residues inherrent with gas actions. Too, some gas operated shotguns can be finicky over the range of shotshell loads, but the Benelli cycles everything from a 1-oz. 2 3/4-inch 12-gauge load through the entire spectrum of 3-inch chamberings. Now, wrap all that science into a 3-gun match specific model, complete with fully adjustable ghost ring sights, optional pistol grip, and an optional Comfortech stock that can reduce felt recoil by nearly 50% (and for those of you shooting heavier loads in speed matches, this can make or break your game, allowing you to get back on target faster after each shot), and you won't wonder why Benelli is sponsoring this high-profile match.
The Ar15.com 3-Gun Championship is being streamed live starting today and running through Sunday, August 28.
The Author Recommends: Whether you're a novice 3-gun competitor or an expert aiming for sponsorship status, the Gun Digest Book of the Tactical Shotgundefines just what a tactical gun is, what makes one practical for home-defense, the best action choice for your job, and enough ballistics, accessory, and shooting technique information to perfect anyone's game. Best of all, it's on sale now!