Range Reports

Range Report: Benelli SuperNova Tactical

When it comes to pump-action shotguns, the Mossberg and Remington types are by far the most common. Each is a proven and reliable shotgun.

But another tactical shotgun that isn’t as common is a very good choice.

It’s a shotgun with good standard features, and with certain features that may even make it a superior shotgun.

While it isn’t a cheap shotgun, it is priced considerably less than Benelli self-loading shotguns. This shotgun is the Benelli SuperNova Tactical.

The SuperNova is an interesting, reliable and effective shotgun.

Design Advantages of the Benelli SuperNova Tactical

A great advantage of the Benelli SuperNova Tactical is the ghost ring (aperture) rear sight.

This sight helps naturally center the eye in the sight and the front sight is centered for accurate payload delivery.

This system is superior to the simple bead front sight, particularly if slugs are part of the payload.

The SuperNova is accurate enough with a solid shot to engage man-sized targets to 100 yards. (For those that practice and train.)

Note the protected rear sight and polymer coating come standard with the SuperNova.

The ergonomics of the stock and forend are excellent. The forend gets especially high marks for adhesion and abrasion, offering excellent handling.

The stock comes to the shoulder quickly. The forend is equipped with a magazine cutoff. Hit this button and you will cut off the magazine.

Rack the bolt to the rear and the chamber is open, and the magazine does not feed.

You may drop a slug or other special munitions into the chamber while retaining a magazine load of buckshot for close-range use. This is a very practical option.

What About Ammo?

A practical aspect of the design for hard use is a polymer covering that completely encloses a stainless steel receiver.

This is an advantage of the Benelli SuperNova Tactical design that separates it from many other shotguns.

While most law enforcement and home defense buckshot shells are 2.75-inch types, most LEO shotguns also accept 3-inch shells.

The SuperNova accepts the powerhouse 3.5-inch shotgun shells.

The Benelli has been tested with a variety of shells with excellent results.

While there may be few applications for such a heavy load, the choice is there.

The barrel is chrome lined. The bolt features a rotating two lug system.

This is a very rigid lock up. The bolt release and safety are located in the trigger area.

The safety is positive in operation, easy to use well, and locks up tight when in the safe position.

Hornady’s 12-gauge 00 buck rendered good patterns and a clean burn.

Pump-action shotguns are famously reliable. The Benelli cannot improve on that, but just the same, the SuperNova enjoys an excellent reputation.

The advantage Benelli SuperNova Tactical has over other shotguns would be corrosion resistance due to the polymer coating and stainless undercarriage.

The action is smooth and positive in operation.

Buckshot is a devastating offering.

How It Feels In Action

It isn’t difficult at all to keep the shotgun firing.

Fire, allow recoil to push the muzzle up as you fire and use recoil to pump the forend to the rear, then use the forward action of bringing the pump-action forward to get back on target.

The law enforcement version illustrated features a seven shell magazine capacity with 2.75-inch shells, others use a four-shell capacity.

The longer magazine makes for excellent balance.

hornaday rapid safe gun case

The Benelli SuperNova Tactical shotgun was tested primarily with Hornady Critical Defense and Hornady Black 12 gauge 00 buckshot.

These shells offer excellent reliability. The Hornady load has been developed to give every advantage in a critical incident.

Hornady Black buckshot is an excellent choice.

A balance of low recoil and a dense pattern to make for the best wound ballistics are advantages of this loading.

The Benelli performed well with these loads. I have also fired a limited quantity of Hornady American Gunner slugs with excellent results.

These slugs offer good penetration and a solid projectile for use at long range. The Benelli will perform well with any quality loading.

Ghost ring sights are ideal for most uses.

Benelli SuperNova Tactical: Conclusion

After using the Benelli, not for weeks or months, but for years, as a front line shotgun, I find it a superior choice to most.

The advantages of modern technology and excellent sights make this shotgun a good choice for 21st-century use.

The Benelli features a front post with a red insert. This is highly visible in combat shooting.

What do you think of the Benelli SuperNova Tactical? What’s your go-to shotgun? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. The supernova does not accept chokes, it is not for game hunting just human hunting up close and personal. I own 1 for my defense. I added a Carlson 2 round tube extension and for females it is low recoil and easy to bring up to the shoulder. It’s not rifled so I wouldn’t try slugs and it’s not a heavy wall barrel like most slugs guns are.

  2. I have the the M2 and the supernova both with 28’’ barrel’s . I use them mostly on the sporting clays field and both are excellent. Never had a malfunction, can’t say that about my Remington’s.Both are super easy to clean. Today I was surprised to find the tactical version with the pistol grip at the local gun shop. Times being what they are,pretty much impossible to find any brand name pump I didn’t hesitate for a second. Great gun, if you find one get it ,their amazing.

  3. You left out a couple of things, which begs my questions. Does it take choke tubes? Do the safety & pump release in an ambi position for lefties?

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