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The Benelli M3 (Super 90) is a dual-mode (both pump-action and semi-automatic) shotgun designed and manufactured by Italian firearms manufacturer Benelli Armi SpA. The M3 holds a maximum of seven rounds and uses the proprietary Benelli semi-automatic system first showcased in the M1. The M3 is notable for allowing the user the choice of semi-automatic or pump-action operation. It is reliable and versatile, and popular with military and police forces as well as civilians.

Benelli M3
Benelli M3 Super 90.jpg
Place of originItaly
Service history
Used bySee Users
Production history
VariantsSee Variants
Mass3.27 kg (7.21 lb)
Length1200 mm (47 in)
1040 mm (41 in) (stock folded)
Barrel length500-660mm (20-26 in)
(average length, depends on model)

Cartridge12 or 20-gauge shells or slugs
Caliber12 or 20 gauge
ActionPump action or recoil operated
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Feed system7+1 round tubular magazine (Military)
5+1 round (Civilian)



Pump-action operation is employed when shooting less powerful shells—such as rubber bullets—that do not generate enough recoil to operate the semi-automatic mechanism. Conversely, the semi-automatic mode can be employed with more powerful shells, absorbing some of the recoil. Switching between the two modes is done by manipulating the ring located at the front of the forend grip.

The Benelli M3 also features a removable stock allowing the user to choose one of two styles, the traditional shotgun stock or a stock with a pistol grip.

The Benelli M3 is an updated version of the Benelli M1 shotgun. The M3 uses the same inertia recoil semi-automatic system as the earlier Benelli M1, but adds another Benelli-patented feature, which allows the shooter to lock the semi-automatic action and switch to the manually operated pump-action mode and back in the matter of seconds. The action type switch is located at the forward end of the forearm, and is formed as an annular knurled ring. Rotation of this ring either engages the action rods of the pump system and locks the semi-automatic recoil system, or disengages the action bars, locks the forearm and allows the inertia recoil system to operate the action automatically. This greatly improves the versatility of the shotgun, allowing it to fire low-powered ammunition (mostly of special purpose, such as less-lethal rubber or tear-gas projectiles) in the manually operated pump action mode, and to fire full power combat loads with slugs or buckshot in rapid semi-automatic mode. An underbarrel tubular magazine usually holds 8 rounds for police or military versions, or less in some civilian models.

The M3 Super 90 is available with various barrel lengths and stock options, with fixed butt and semi-pistol or pistol grips, or with top-folding butts and pistol grips. Sight options include shotgun-type open sights, rifle type open sights, ghost ring (diopter) sights and various mounts for reflex or low magnification telescope sights and tactical flashlights and laser pointers.


The Benelli M3 comes in several variations, most notably the M3 Super 90, which features a smaller body. There is also a shorter version—which is easier to transport—used by law enforcement officers.

While other Benelli self-loading shotguns have the recoil spring inside a tube in butt-stock, in the M3 the recoil spring is placed around the magazine tube. This is an interesting feature for weapon modification, since other shotguns (such as M1, M2 and M4) attach the butt-stock to the recoil spring tube. The M3 has a dummy tube just for stock attachment.

Benelli's M3T is an OEM variant, where the butt-stock and dummy tube have been replaced with a pistol grip and up-folding skeleton butt-stock.

Benelli's SuperNova pump-shotgun and MR1 self-loading rifle have similar butt-stock attachment to the M3, so this adds two new butt-stock options to M3.

The M3 butt-stock and dummy rod can be replaced with a "Benelli SuperNova Tactical Collapsible Stock". The collapsible stock allows 5-position draw length adjustment, so a shooter can compensate the effects of thick winter clothes or body armor by adjusting the stock length. The required spare parts are: Adjustment rod, pistol grip and collapsible butt-stock.

A rare modification is to replace the M3 butt-stock and dummy rod with a "Benelli SuperNova Handle Grip". The "handle grip" is just the pistol grip attached to the receiver with a screw.


A New Zealand Army soldier armed with a Benelli M3

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Canadian Forces - Small Arms - Specialist Weapons - Index - CASR DND 101 - Visual Guide - Canadian American Strategic Review - Side Arms - Automatic Pistols - Submachine Guns - Tactical Shotguns". Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  2. ^ "RUČNÍ ZBRANĚ AČR" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  3. ^ "601st Special Forces Group official website". Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Kaitsevägi - Tehnika - Pumppüss Benelli M3T". Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Benelli M3T (Tactical) Super 90" (in French). Archived from the original on 7 June 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Kopassus & Kopaska - Specijalne Postrojbe Republike Indonezije" (in Croatian). Hrvatski Vojnik Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  7. ^ Leroy Thompson. "SPEC-OPS SPAS-15". Tactical Life. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Garda College Yearbook listing weapons training on page 66" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 January 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Unofficial Shotguns Page, Equipment". Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  11. ^ "L'Unite d'Intervention de la Police Luxembourgeoise" (PDF) (in French). RAIDS Magazine. March 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  12. ^ Lasterra, Juan Pablo (2004). "UPS Unidad Especial de la Policia Luxembourguesa" (PDF) (in Spanish). ARMAS Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  13. ^ "Benelli M3 Super 90 Pump-Action / Semi-Automatic Shotgun (1995)". 26 March 2013. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  14. ^ Dan Alex. "PGK Malaysian Special Police Force Weapons". Military Factory. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  15. ^ "New Shotguns for Defence" (PDF). NZ Army News. NZ Defence Force. September 2011. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  16. ^ "Heed The Need". NZ Army News. NZ Defence Force. 14 November 2006. Archived from the original on 16 December 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2012. The Army is purchasing a small number of Benelli M3 Tactical shotguns, which are expected to deploy with 1 RNZIR and 2/1 RNZIR soldiers on stability and security-type operations.
  17. ^ International Business Publications, USA. Philippines Army Weapons Systems Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Weapons. pp. 111–112.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit