Unveiled at the 2014 SHOT Show surrounded by the tune of violins racing to the sound of a motorcycle speeding across a salt-flat test track, the Ethos has since lived up to its initial fanfare at the range and in the field. It's one of the most classy, yet technologically advanced shotguns Guns & Ammo has ever tested.
From muzzle to stock, new features include a user-interchangeable carbon-fiber rib that's more durable than steel. It dovetails onto a hammer-forged barrel that's steel shot rated after being subjected to cryogenic treatment. Interchangeable brass and fiber optic sights come standard.
Benelli's inertia-driven gas system has been perfected in the Ethos, and a new twin-leg bolt features a detent mechanism that allows it to be quietly eased forward into battery. The bolt and bolt release handle are generous in size, as is a clearance contour shaped into the triggerguard that helps us guide shells into its four-round magazine.
"Wood-to-metal fit leaves nothing to be desired," Layne Simpson noted. At the rear, the wooden stock hides Benelli's cleverly engineered Progressive Comfort System. It consists of a cushioned recoil pad, the center of which bears a recoil-absorbing device located within. Inward-pointing fingers of varying flexibility work in three stages of recoil absorbance.
Though the trigger measures 6 pounds, it is smooth with minor creep and no overtravel. Five flush-fit chokes are also provided. It's designed to operate with everything from a light 23/4-inch target to heavier 3-inch waterfowl and turkey loads.
This is an heirloom-quality shotgun that possesses a combination of Benelli's latest innovations and refined handling.
Guns & Ammo of the Year Awards 2014
We are proud to announce our selections for the best of 2014. Click on each for more information regarding how it achieved this prestigious rank: