Review: Benelli Nova Tactical

Benelli Nova Shotgun
Benelli Nova Shotgun

By Charles Riggs

FWIW, we fired several rounds today through a Benelli Nova “tactical” with 18.5 inch barrel, 4 round mag and ghost ring sights by LPA ( I had been saying they were by MecGar but must have had it wrong ) and the gun is nicely put together.

It had a 4-round TacStar sidesaddle mounted. The Nova can’t use a 6-round type due to the extended forend tail, ala the M870, that comes under the loading port when it’s shucked back.

Recoil wasn’t excessive despite its light weight, and the butt pad was nice. While the gun seemed long, and was found to be longer in OAL than my 18.5 inch M500, the extra length is in the receiver and not the length of pull. The sights were easy to regulate with crisp clicks and well-marked indications of the direction of adjustment. At 35 paces using Winchester standard slugs we had one group that cloverleafed two round, so accuracy was adequate, at least in this very minimal trial.

The owner is going to be using it in the shotgun class with former SAS trooper Dean Brevitt that I’m hosting here in April, and we’ll see how it holds up then.

The Nova won the 1999 “Best of the Best” award from Field & Stream


  • One-piece Polymer Stock and Receiver. First and only 3.5″ 12 gauge slide-action shotgun with a unitised, synthetic stock and receiver assembly.
  • High-strength polymer receiver encapsulates steel reinforcing cage with a non-corrosive shell that is impervious to weather and other corrosive factors. Surface to core is one bonded material eliminating exposed external surfaces that can rust or corrode. Normal wears and shallow scratches expose bare metal on conventional receivers with anodised, plated or blued finish. The NOVA synthetic shell prevents bare metal exposure and eliminate potential corrosive activity.
  • Bolt and action bars slide on integral steel encapsulated frame.
  • High-strength Steel-to-Steel Lockup. Proven Montefeltro rotating, locking bolt design with two solid steel locking lugs in barrel extension provide greater steel-to-steel locking ability and strength. Lugs promote a smooth, no-fault locking action and release.
  • User-friendly Design. Ergonomically designed and contour-tapered forend promotes a firm grip. Elongated styling allows comfortable grasp for a wide range of arm lengths. The deeply moulded horizontal tracks on the elongated forend provide a secure and comfortable grip when used with or without gloves. The extended forend covers the action on opening to prevent pinching the palm when the forend is moved rearward. An additional space at the front of the forend prevents catching a finger between the forend and the barrel band when closing the action.
  • The twin action bars eliminate the forend from twisting or binding operation when cycling the action.
  • Safety is mounted at the front of the trigger guard within easy fingertip reach. This safety location is an extra advantage for the preferred trigger-finger placement extended along the side of the receiver while carrying in the ready position.
  • Immediately in front of the safety, the action release is also conveniently located at the front of the trigger guard for comfortable reach and operation.
  • Trigger has little free travel and offers positive, constant pressure and control when firing.
  • Stepped rib equipped with mid-point bead and front sight for quick target acquisition and precise target alignment.
  • Shooting Comfort. The rubber recoil pad and optional integrated recoil reduction device installed in the butt-stock assure recoil reduction and comfort control.
  • Easy Disassembly and Cleaning. One-piece polymer action group includes trigger assembly, elevator and shell latches that can be removed as a single unit. Once removed, the rotating Montefeltro bolt assembly easily lifts out of the receiver for quick disassembly and cleaning. Steel retainer pins anchored through polymer and steel cage hold action group assembly securely inside receiver housing.
  • Forend cap doubles as a tool for removing action group retaining pins. Nova can be stripped in 30 seconds.
  • Spring-loaded shell ejector for positive shell ejection of all 2 3/4″, 3″ and 3 1/2″ rounds.
  • Non-glare, anti-corrosive finish on all metal parts.
  • Integral sling attachment points on the butt-stock and barrel hangar for standard “QD” swivel to prevent noise in the field.
  • Vent rib barrels supplied with three choke tubes and wrench. Tubes suitable for steel shot.
  • Limited Five Year Warranty to original owner.
  • The cartridge elevator moves freely. Which means that the magazine can easily be refilled with the left hand while it’s still ready to fire. One doesn’t need to turn the gun upside down in order to press a elevator release.

Visit Benelli’s web site at http://www.benelliusa.com/

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