View Full Version : Benelli M3 vs. M1

02-17-2006, 11:21 AM
Hey guys i have two choices it is either the M1 or the M3. Now i like the M3' semi auto/ pump action feature. Its really cool incase you jam you may just pump it out. My question is it easy to switch from semi auto to pump? Is it worth the extra cash? Or should i just stick with the M1?

02-17-2006, 11:41 AM
Get the semi-pump, the last time something like that was on the market (Franchi-SPAS) it was banned. Since a court add-on procedure will most likely be comming soon, I would expect a possibility exists for shotguns to be examined at some point in the future.

02-17-2006, 12:48 PM
The switch from semi-auto to pump is easy, there's a selector.

Personally, I'd probably just get the M1 S90. I don't see running it in pump mode if I had an M3, when semi-auto is so nice. Also the M3 has been around for a long time, so I doubt a ban on it would be coming, other opportunities haven't been taken against it.

I have a M1014 and have fired alot of shells through it. Benelli's don't jam on any kind of regular basis. I've never had a jam or mis-feed and I've recently fired my 4000th shell from it, no idea how many the person I bought it from fired, but it didn't look like many.

Have you looked into finding a lightly used M1014 or an M4? The gas system on them is alot more forgiving if you shoot lighter loads.

02-17-2006, 12:53 PM
The switch to pump is easy, just flick a switch.:cool:

It's intended more to cycle special police and military loads than clear a jam. It's a blow-back action, I wonder if anyone's ever witnessed a jam on a Benelli? Even if it did misfire, couldn't you just work the action to eject the bum round?

02-17-2006, 1:04 PM
Keep in mind that the M1 dont like lite loads, so the sport loads bulk pack at wally worlds not going to cut it. You will get FTF's with the lite loads, I have found on the lighter loads that how you hold the it helps in the cycling of the shells. Hot loads have been 100% for me no matter what way it is held.

02-17-2006, 1:33 PM
If you have a choice between the M1 and M3 I would take the M3. The reason is simple. You can run light hitting loads through the M3 by using the pump feature. Plus you can shoot tier gas, sand bags and rubber riot rounds :D Try that with the M1, you can't because it wont clear the shell.
Mine will not cycle bird shot in semi-auto mode and must be changed to pump action which is very simple.
Be sure to add the now legal two round extension. With the AW ban sunset you can now have up to 10 rounds in your semi-auto shotgun ;)
My one complaint is it's a little long for my purposes.

02-17-2006, 1:43 PM
I prefer the M1, mainly because it's lighter and more ergonomic. The M3 is nice, but the pump action is rather useless.... mostly a gimmick. If you're going to be shooting a lot of light loads or tear gas rounds, then it might be worth the extra expense.

If you're only going to do tactical with it, the M3 isn't necessary. They're both great guns.

Personally, I'd rather have a Wilson K9 or a 11/87 Police.

02-17-2006, 4:20 PM
It is easy to switch to pump if you have long arms. I think it is faster just to clear the jam. The pump on the M3 is a little far forward for most. That being said I love my M3 and would rather have it over the M1. Personal preference.

50 Freak
02-17-2006, 5:11 PM
I have the M3 and I must say, I love it. My M3 has jammed in auto mode when shooting light loads. So the pump feature is nice. If you plan to shoot one type of round consistantly, the M1 is just fine.

If only the M3 would cycle the Aguila mini slugs, that would be fantastic. I'd have a 15 shot slug gun. :D But unfortunately it doesn't.

Keep in mind there are more assesories for the M1 than there is for the M3. Sidesaddles, surefire handguards etc.

02-18-2006, 10:40 PM
Is there only one type of M3? do any of them come with a 18.5 inch barrel?

02-19-2006, 11:50 PM
Yes, the M3 is purely a tactical shotgun, the M1 has a Field and a Tactical model...

02-20-2006, 3:52 AM
Keep in mind that the M1 dont like lite loads, so the sport loads bulk pack at wally worlds not going to cut it. You will get FTF's with the lite loads, I have found on the lighter loads that how you hold the it helps in the cycling of the shells. Hot loads have been 100% for me no matter what way it is held.

Gonna disagree with ya there, My M1 has never jammed and I almost always use the wall mart value packs.

It needs to break in by using some more powerfull loads, also being recoil operated its important a good firm hold of the weapon is used very much similar to preventing limp wristing in a semi handgun.

When I was looking for a semi, I was in the same boat. I went with the m1 for a few reasons. It is or at least was cheeper at the time, a simpler action and I couldnt think of any reason I needed a pump. I had a nova before this but sold it to finance the m1. Just remember the benelli recoil operated shotguns kick harder than other shotguns.

50 Shooter
02-20-2006, 8:41 AM
I had a SPAS-12 which I wish I still had, sold it a bought my M3. The M3 is by far a better SG then the SPAS but the SPAS is just so damn awesome looking. Plus I liked being able to use the folding stock with the carrying handle piece turned out sideways to shoot it one handed. I know, no practicle use but it was just for fun when doing my Terminator impersonation.:p

The only stuff my M3 doesn't like are those crappy ACTIV plastic shotshells, I just avoid them.

02-20-2006, 9:51 AM
I'm with Josh. I have a M3, and the only ammo that jamed it was Aguila 1.5" shotshell. I don't think the 1.5" shotshell feed correctly on anything without mod any way.

02-20-2006, 11:48 AM
I tried the M3 pump and didn't like the feel at all- plastic-on-plastic friction isn't optimal.

I bought an M1 myself. IT works great with the straight stock- even with light loads. If I put my pistol grip stock, it's not reliable with light loads- go figure.. but I like the straight stock better for feel anyhow.

IMO, buy an M1 (or an M4 if you have deep pockets), then spend the rest of the money you saved on a good pump gun for your oddball loads. I prefer a Winchester MOdel 12 myself as far as pumps go.


02-20-2006, 12:22 PM
See the thing is i dont think i will ever "need" the pump action function. My only problem is that i use the value pack ammo from walmart as well. I mean sure now and then use heavier ammo, but for the most part i use he wal mart ammo. I have a Winchester 1300 28 inch. I wanted something semi auto and tactical. I love the M1 and if i knew for a fact it could cycle the lighter wal mart ammo i wouldnt think twice about the m3. But I figured what if it doesnt cycle? At least with the M3 i can use the pump feature. So what do you guys think? If I were to break in the shotugn with heavier loads would it cycle the lighter loads better? Also how many shells do you think it would take to actually Break it in?

02-20-2006, 12:34 PM
I dont think there is a number as to how many shells it would take. Just trial and error. FYI mine works fine with the PG stock and the walmart ammo.

If your that concerend with it go with an 1187 or some other gas operated shotgun.

If you expect to use the pump feature so much you might as well just stay with a pump.

02-20-2006, 1:24 PM
I do not like the remingtons my heart is set on benelli. I do not think i would use the pump feature. As long as your saying the wal mart loads are fine i might as well go with the M1 but i will do more research.

02-20-2006, 2:14 PM
FYI, my buddy bought a Remington 1187P at the same time that I bought my M3. Out of the box, the 1187 won't even cycle the Fed tactical Buckshot. I don't think we can generalize that a gas gun is better with lighter load than an inertia system.

Regarding M1 v.s. M3, M1 has an additional advantage that you can change choke tube. Whereas M3 only has fixed imp cylinder. It is fine, but I wish that I can get a full choke to make my pattern a little tighter.

Good luck.

02-20-2006, 2:24 PM
FYI, my buddy bought a Remington 1187P at the same time that I bought my M3.

MY M1014 has eaten over 500 shells of the Federal Tactical (LE133) loads and never hiccuped. So I still vote for finding a M1014 or a M4. ;)


02-20-2006, 6:32 PM
I think the semi-pump M3 is a good idea. The semi-manual selection is good for combat, like when you face a group of badguys on foot and some in a car. The buckshot in the magazine can be used against the foot troops in semiauto mode, then switch to manual mode to manually load slugs for the car. Dropping slugs into the action is faster than reloading the magazine with several slugs. The SPAS-12 was designed for this type of use, but the SPAS was outlawed by Roos-Roberti.

02-22-2006, 5:38 AM
The M1 can also be reloaded singly though the ejection port to replace the loaded shell. Either way, it's a highly unlikely scenario. They added that capability on the M1 for your stated reason!

If the M3 is switched to pump mode, you will still need to cycle out the ammo in the magazine, AFAIK, there is no mag cutoff feature on either gun.