Benelli SBE 3 3.5in vs 3in cycling??

Thomasj1107

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Hey there everyone. I’m wanting to purchase the benelli SBE 3 and I have read a bit about the 3.5 in not cycling some 2 3/4 loads all the time. I will be using this gun primarily for waterfowl hunting and am good with 3 in loads for that, but would shoot 2 3/4 when shooting clays and don’t want to have issues.

The 3 in shouldn’t have any issue with the lighter loads like the 3.5 in version, correct?
 

Tex_F15

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If it's similar to the A400 xtreme (folks used to make the same claim online about "issues"), it's not an issue at all if you break it in correctly, at least that's the case with the Beretta. A box or two of heavy 3.5" shells down the pipe first should do the trick.
 
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Thomasj1107

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If I only ever intend to shoot 3 in and 2 3/4 in shells 99% of the time, am I gaining anything by going with the 3 in chamber? In other words, will it theoretically be a little bit more reliable for my intended use?
 

Tex_F15

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If you want the ability to shoot anything you find on the shelf, in a pinch, get the 3.5...also nice for geese. If reliability is a concern in the 3.5" gun, buy a Beretta 🤷‍♂️
 
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Thomasj1107

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I don’t necessarily think reliability is a concern. I just mean if I would essentially never use the 3.5 in shell, and I could gain even a little bit for my purposes by getting the 3 in, I’d do that… that’s what I’m trying to figure out
 

Terrapin

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Agreed. If you are not going to use the 3.5” capability, get the M2. Functionally they are nearly identical, but the M2 inertial system is tuned to accommodate lighter shells. This is important if you intend to shoot target loads under 3 dram equivalent 1 1/8 oz.


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Thomasj1107

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Agreed. If you are not going to use the 3.5” capability, get the M2. Functionally they are nearly identical, but the M2 inertial system is tuned to accommodate lighter shells. This is important if you intend to shoot target loads under 3 dram equivalent 1 1/8 oz.


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Why exactly does the M2 cycle light loads better when they are both inertia driven?
 

Desk Jockey

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How often and how serious are you about waterfowl shooting? Do you hunt a lot of geese that fly super high or turkeys that wear Kevlar? Sand hill cranes? 3.5 inch shells are honestly probably more bang than most people or targets need and they can suck to shoot - painful on both the shoulder and the wallet. 3” shells are pretty potent. 23/4 is actually pretty good too. People have dropped literal megatons of ducks with 2 3/4s.

FWIW I run a pair of M2s for all my shotgunning needs. I had and sold an SBE. I haven’t missed The ability to shoot 3.5” shells at all, but in fairness, I am only an occasional water Fowler and mostly shoot upland, rabbit and clays.
 
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Thomasj1107

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Different spring, but don't think the SBEs are exactly bad at cycling light shells. I would go so far as to say that they cycle light loads better than many 3" guns. :). I'm not talking super light trap loads, but normal loads are fine.
With this in mind…what is the reason to not just use a little bit heavier load than “super light” when shooting clays and just avoid this problem all together? Is it just trying to minimize recoil?
 

Tod osier

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With this in mind…what is the reason to not just use a little bit heavier load than “super light” when shooting clays and just avoid this problem all together? Is it just trying to minimize recoil?
Exactly, I shot sporting clays with mine for several years.

People aren't kidding when they say they need a couple few boxes of heavy loads shot through them to get them to cycle well. There isn't much trickery to keeping them running smoothly, clean and oil - the amount of oil left on them after you wipe the oily parts with a clean rag is just right. The recoil spring needs attention occasionally on all of them too.
 
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Thomasj1107

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But to clarify, the SBE 3 in 3 in won’t cycle the light loads any better than the 3.5? What is the point of even offering the 3 then?
 

Terrapin

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But to clarify, the SBE 3 in 3 in won’t cycle the light loads any better than the 3.5? What is the point of even offering the 3 then?

I have no idea… SBE is synonymous with the 3.5” shell. If you are considering a 3” inertia gun, then there are many options I would chose before an SBE. The M2 as mentioned, or my personal favorite the Montefeltro.


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IDMNT17

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Never have had an issue with my SBE cycling 2 3/4" shells. Shoot them all year chasing upland birds and clays.
 

jaytaylor

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The only time I've ever had any trouble with either my SBEII or SBEIII cycling light loads (Walmart grade #8's on pigeons) was if I hadn't cleaned them recently. I have gone entire duck seasons without cleaning them, and depending how many cockleburr fields I had to walk through (and the gun picking up dirt and trash from them), they still cycle duck loads just fine. I think if you are willing to take 15 minutes to clean them they are the most reliable option out there.
 
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