Italy’s Benelli M4 is a semi-automatic shotgun that was designed in 1998 when ARDEC – US Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center’s announced its request for submissions for a new 12-gauge, semi-automatic shotgun.  The Benelli M4 was submitted and after intense testing, came out on top.  The shotgun’s official designation was M1014.


The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL hosts an extensive Firearms and Ordnance Gallery inside their award winning museum.  The interactive museum boasts 50,000 sq. ft. of total viewing space with over 100,000 pieces of memorabilia on display throughout their interactive galleries.


M4 Design

The design of the M4 included a new method known as ‘auto regulating gas operated’ system – or ARGO.   The mechanisms on the system are made of stainless steel and comprises of just four parts.  The system permits a number of various cartridge lengths and power levels to be used in the shotgun.  Various power levels and sizes can be used in combination without any need for the operator to make adjustments.  Some lower powered rounds, such as rubber pellets, do need to be cycled manually.


Sights on the M4 are typical military ghost rings and can be adjusted in the field with a cartridge rim.  The sight rail – a Picatinny - permits the use of the conventional and the night-vision sights with the retention of the original sights.


The M4 is a modular assembly design, which makes the exchanging of various parts easy for the operator as it requires no tools.  Changes can be made quickly and the weapon can be converted to adapt to the various tactical environments.  The M4 has also proven to be a reliable shotgun and generally will not need any major parts replaced until after 25,000 rounds.  The shotgun also features a collapsible buttstock and a rain interface system.


Specifications for the Benelli M4 Super 90 (M1014)

  • Designer and Manufacturer:  Benelli Armi SPA
  • Produced:  1999 to present day
  • Weight:  8.42 lbs.
  • Length:  34.8 inches
  • Barrel Length:  18.5 inches
  • Caliber:  12-Gauge
  • Effective Range:  55 yards


The Benelli M4 comes with a 14 inch barrel – M4 Entry, an 18.5 inch barrel and also as the ‘M1014 –classified as military use only.


The Benelli M4 is used in over a dozen countries throughout the world.  Three military branches in the United States use Italy’s Benelli M4 Shotgun the Marine Corps, Navy SEALs and US Army.