November 04, 2020
Benelli’s Lupo is a bolt-action rifle that offers 36 different sizing configurations, out of the box, to tailor the gun to the shape and preferences of the shooter. Never in the history of bolt-action rifles has there ever been more possibilities, from the factory, for fitting a rifle. In addition to the adjustments for length of pull and comb height, the Lupo also offers options for cast-on and cast-off, as well as comb drop angle and grip length.
The Lupo might look like a conventionally stocked rifle, but it is actually a barreled action riding in a mini-chassis. The barreled action attaches via two action screws to an aluminum block that houses the magazine. The aluminum block is radiused to match the receiver, and there is a steel recoil lug embedded in the aluminum block that engages a corresponding recess in the action. Once bolted in place, the aluminum mini-chassis fully supports the barreled action and ensures there is no possibility of the action shifting under recoil.
The stock’s forend and buttstock attach to the aluminum mini-chassis to complete the assembly. The forend is rigid polymer construction that is wider on the bottom and narrows towards the top. It works well when the rifle is supported by a bag or rest, and is comfortable to carry and shoot offhand.
Though it may look complicated, learning to adjust the Lupo’s buttstock is worth the effort. The two most common adjustments, length of pull and comb height, are also the simplest. The length of pull adjusts via two spacers that ship with every Lupo. A couple of Phillips screws hold the buttpad in place and, once it’s removed, up to two spacers can fit on the rifle’s butt to extend length of pull. The comb height is changed by swapping out the provided ComforTech padded inserts — a familiar system from Benelli’s shotguns.
Also carried over from its catalog of scatterguns is Benelli’s Progressive Comfort recoil mitigation system. The recoil-dampening device is located within the buttstock, and there are spacers included with the gun that reposition it as the rifle’s length of pull is adjusted. Progressive Comfort works like a shock-absorber between the back of the stock and the buttpad. Under recoil, the device compresses to soften the blow to the shooter. It’s actually a fairly rigid device, even at rest, so it avoids the distracting springiness of other recoil-dampening stock systems.
Returning to the stock’s customization, I highly recommend reading the owner’s manual before attempting to adjust for cast or grip length. A quick read of the owner’s manual and a few moments to round up the necessary tools are all that’s required to make the Lupo fit like a finely made shotgun. I found that the tools most useful for adjusting these aspects of the stock were a 13mm deep socket, drive extension and a small ¼-inch breaking bar. An extended allen wrench was also useful when dropping the washers and nut back inside the stock when it was time to re-assemble.
To make the adjustments, the Lupo includes a number of shims and three spacers that ride between the aluminum mini-chassis and the stock’s grip. The spacers are intended for lengthening the grip, and Benelli’s owner’s manual has measurements to assist in selecting the right grip length based on the shooter’s finger lengths. The shims can be added in the same location as the spacers, and are cut at angles to provide the desired cast. They allow the shooter to move the buttstock up to .2-inch right or left of the centerline axis of the bore. I used the shim that moved the buttstock .2-inch right, allowing me to move the bore closer to the centerline axis of my body. This small adjustment makes a noticeable difference when controlling the rifle’s recoil.
Configuring the comb’s drop is also a possibility. There are four positions possible and I chose to have the least amount of comb drop. This raises the buttpad, making it the most comfortable for prone shooting while simultaneously creating a comb angle that pulls away from the shooter’s face under recoil.
While the mini-chassis and stock are the most notable aspects of the Lupo, the barreled action is also newsworthy. Benelli designed their own three-lug action and put the lugs in the right place to ensure maximum reliability when feeding. When open and cycling, there is a lug that sits at the 6 o-clock position. This is the lug that engages cartridges in the double-stack magazine and pushes them into the chamber, and its location provides maximum contact whether the topmost round is in the right or left column of the double-stack magazine. The magazine, by the way, rides flush to the stock and holds four rounds of .300 Win. Mag. or five rounds of .30-’06 Sprg. or .270 Win.
Another shooter-friendly feature of the Lupo is its trigger. The break is crisp and the unit is user-adjustable for pull weight down to 2.2 pounds, which we verified during testing. When combined with the cryogenically treated barrel, the combination yields excellent accuracy. My best 5-shot group at 100 yards measured .92-inch, which is outstanding. Editor Eric Poole achieved similar results, and better, in his comprehensive review from the rifle’s original release.
The Lupo is best suited for anyone desiring maximum comfort and personalized sizing from a well-designed and accurate bolt-action rifle. It is unlike any other rifle on the market because it offers features no one else does. Those looking for a rifle that fits like a custom-made shotgun should look no further than the Lupo.
For more information, visit benelliusa.com.
Benelli Lupo Specs:
- Type: Bolt action
- Cartridge: .300 Win. Mag. (tested)
- Capacity: 5 rds.
- Barrel Length: 24 in. (tested)
- Overall Length: 44.69 in.
- Weight: 7 lbs., 4 oz. (tested)
- Stock: Synthetic; ComforTech; Progressive Comfort
- Grip: AirTouch texture
- Length of Pull: Adj., 13.8 in. to 15.2 in.
- Finish: Blued and chrome (steel); anodized (aluminum)
- Sights: None
- Trigger: 2 lbs., 11.5 oz. (tested)
- Safety: Two-position selector
- MSRP: $1,700
- Manufacturer: Benelli, 800-264-4962, benelliusa.com
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