Tuesday, December 6, 2022
HomeOutdoor28 Gauge Benelli Tremendous Black Eagle 3 Evaluation

28 Gauge Benelli Tremendous Black Eagle 3 Evaluation

If you wish to be an actual duck hunter, you have to be a troublesome son of a gun. Alongside along with your bushy, duck commander beard and lifted truck, you could possess a hefty 12-gauge shotgun. It will need to have a 3.5-inch chamber and must be loaded with the heaviest BB payloads accessible. Afterall, the geese you’ll be searching are powerful, they usually require most firepower to carry down. That is at the least what lots of advertising and marketing round duck searching would have you ever consider—till lately. Fortunately, the introduction of the 28-gauge Benelli Tremendous Black Eagle 3 is a transparent indicator that duck hunters are getting smarter about their gun, gauge, and shotshell choice—if not essentially facial hair grooming.

The 28-gauge model of the SBE 3—which is likely one of the greatest duck searching shotguns of recent occasions—is a lightweight (5.5 kilos) and beautiful gun. After I ran the primary few masses by one on a clays vary in South Dakota, the phrase that sprung to thoughts was not “powerful” however somewhat “joyful.” The gun swung nimbly from goal to focus on, cycled shells enthusiastically, and soaked up the recoil of the 3-inch, ¾-ounce masses so successfully that I’d burned by a field of ammo very quickly, and promptly requested for one more. As I’d discover out later within the week, with the appropriate searching masses the shotgun additionally flat-out crushes geese. It’s no surprise that an increasing number of hardcore duck hunters are placing up their 12-gauges and switching to svelte 28-gauges like the brand new SBE 3.    

  • Gauge: 28
  • Motion: Semi-auto, Inertia Pushed
  • Capability: 2+1
  • Chamber: 3-inch
  • Barrel sort: Metal (cryogenically handled), carbon fiber vent rib
  • Barrel size: 26-inch, 28-inch (examined)
  • Chokes: IM, M (Ciro)
  • Entrance sight: Pink bar
  • Size: 47.5 inches
  • LOP: 14.38 inches
  • Set off pull: 4 kilos, 3 ounces (measured common)
  • Weight: 5.5 kilos
  • MSRP: $1,799 to $1,899

In regards to the SBE 3 in 28 Gauge

super black eagle 3 28 gauge
Discipline stripping the SBE 3 is straightforward. Alex Robinson

Consider this shotgun because the little brother to the 12-gauge SBE 3, which was launched in 2017 with a 3.5-inch chamber It makes use of the identical easy inertia-driven design, which employs the recoil from the shell together with the mass of the bolt to compress a robust spring that then cycles the motion, tossing the spent hull and loading a brand new shell. This has confirmed to be an extremely dependable and clean-running system that duck hunters love. Within the 28-gauge model, Benelli says the SBE 3 will cycle all the things from gentle 3/4-oz., 2¾-inch goal masses to magnum 3-inch duck masses. Like all SBE 3s this gun can also be very simple to area strip and clear.

Additionally like its massive brother, the 28-gauge Tremendous Black Eagle makes use of the Consolation Tech 3 system within the inventory to reduce recoil. Since recoil mitigation methods are boring generally, I’ll hold the summation quick: there’s a sequence of chevrons within the inventory that flex to soak up felt recoil, plus there’s a pleasant soft pad on the comb to maintain your cheek from being bruised.

Total, the recoil from this little gun is lower than gentle, like a great good friend supplying you with a pat on the shoulder. This, in fact makes the gun enjoyable to shoot however I believe it additionally helps add to the mystique of why the 28-gauge is so “lethal.” Extra on this later.

The shotgun has a metal barrel with Benelli’s proprietary cryogenic remedy, which the corporate says improves patterning. The set off guard and set off meeting include lots of molded plastic, which old-timers will grumble at however hasn’t harm the SBE’s sturdiness. The rib is manufactured from carbon fiber, for lightness and funky issue, however mine wobbled ever so barely towards the barrel. A small miss, however nonetheless a miss for a gun that prices $1,800.

The set off had a mean pull weight of 4 kilos, 3 ounces on my Wheeler digital gauge. Like most shotgun triggers, there was loads of creep, but it surely was unnoticeable within the area or on the vary.

Match and end on the gun are typical of Benelli, which is to say nearly as good because it will get within the duck gun class.

Pattering the 28 Gauge Benelli SBE 3

Benelli Tremendous Black Eagles are identified to hit excessive. My go-to duck gun is an SBE 3 12 gauge and with some masses and the usual Z shim, it patterns nearly 100% excessive. So earlier than doing any sample work with the 28 gauge model, I swapped in a unique drop shim to decrease the inventory and decrease the purpose of influence. Benelli ships every SBE with a shim package, which most hunters most likely ignore, however they shouldn’t. Dropping in a brand new shim is extremely simple. Merely pull the pad off the buttstock, unscrew one nut, slide off the inventory and drop in a brand new shim.

The one tough factor about Benelli’s shim package is their labeling system (it’s a bit complicated). However for those who watch the video above and spend 5 minutes with the proprietor’s guide, you’ll determine it out. I swapped in a D shim after which bought to patterning. I shot Hevi-Shot’s Hevi XII, 3-inch, No. 4, 1 oz. masses. I used the usual modified choke that was screwed into the gun. I shot 5 patterns at 40 yards underneath traditional duck searching situations: 20 levels with a 15 mph crosswind.

I’ll admit, I had deliberate on additionally capturing 30-yard patterns as a result of I didn’t assume the little 28 would produce efficient patterns at this vary. I used to be incorrect. The gun put loads of pellets on track, averaging 107 hits inside a 30-inch circle (83 % patterns).

As you’ll be able to see from the sample under (which was the perfect I shot) the gun hit a bit excessive and barely to the left. Benelli promotes a 60/40 sample, which implies 60 % of the pellets hit above the goal, so we’re fairly shut there. I might additionally simply regulate the solid of the shotgun (identical course of as swapping in drop shims) to shift the sample to the appropriate if I actually wished to get nitpicky.

patterning the benelli 28 gauge
Patterning the Hevi XII No. 4s at 40 yards. Alex Robinson

What’s most attention-grabbing to me is the variety of pellets the 28-gauge placed on goal. For reference, my 12-gauge SBE 3 put 121 metal No. 2 pellets on track from 35 yards in our check of the greatest duck weapons.

The takeaway? With these Hevi XII 3-inch No. 4s the 28-gauge Benelli is an efficient 40-yard duck gun.

Searching with the 28 Gauge Benelli SBE 3

sbe 3
The writer shoulders the Benelli 28 gauge on a area hunt. Alex Robinson

I hunted with two totally different 28-gauge SBE 3s on area hunts for geese and geese in South Dakota earlier this fall (with Federal’s Black Cloud No. 3s) and likewise in my yard duck marsh with the Hevi-Shot load. In all circumstances, the gun functioned flawlessly.

Through the South Dakota area hunts we had been mobbed by massive flocks of mallards at shut vary. The sunshine little gun helped me pop from of my format blind sooner than my companions (at the least most of them) and the minimal recoil of the 28 allowed me to shortly transition from one crumpled greenhead to the following. The Federal Black Cloud No. 3s carried out impressively. Together with our geese, we additionally killed a number of snows and specks principally at shut ranges. Nevertheless, in a single case, I watched one other hunter capturing the identical 28-gauge gun and cargo drop a lesser Canada with a 40-plus-yard crossing shot.

lesser goose retrieve
The writer’s canine retrieves a lesser Canada goose that was dropped on a protracted crossing shot. Alex Robinson

Our information on this hunt was very restrained along with his shot calling. He let the birds work in shut (20 yards or in) earlier than calling the shot for our crew. With that self-discipline and our 28-gauges, loaded with No. 3 metal, the geese we hit fell lifeless. There have been only a few cripples for my lab Otis to chase down. 

On my house waters, I shot the Hevi XII No. 4s on late-season greenheads with glorious outcomes. This was extra close-range capturing, with headshots on greenheads backpedaling during the last open water within the pond—and extra quick retrieves for Otis. I particularly appreciated the 28-gauge on this situation as a result of it’s noticeably quieter than my booming 12-gauge, that means it’s rather less disruptive to my neighbors.

The one quibble I might discover was that the bolt slid ahead a bit sluggishly after I hit the bolt launch to drive a shell into the chamber (this was even after cleansing). It by no means resulted in a malfunction (I’ve burned by about 5 bins of ammo and not using a single jam). However I’d wish to see the bolt snap house with authority the way in which it does with my 12-gauge SBE 3.

benelli sbe 28 gauge
Black Cloud No. 3s out of the SBE 28 gauge had been lots efficient on pintails, mallards, and specks. Alex Robinson

Everybody appeared to shoot the 28-gauge Benelli SBE 3 properly. Although the gun was gentle, it didn’t really feel whippy or jumpy. Quick transitions to secondary targets felt pure.

Pulling the set off on a duck, watching it fall, swinging to a different chook, after which watching that duck fold as properly impressed confidence. Confidence breeds even higher capturing. And I believe this is likely one of the causes that some hunters discuss concerning the 28-gauge being in some way deadlier than it must be. It’s not, they only shoot it properly. For me, all of it comes again to the minimal recoil.

Getting rocked by 12-gauge magnum duck masses day after day degrades capturing. I’ve seen it in my very own capturing and with different hunters. Possibly you cease getting your head all the way in which down on the gun, otherwise you give up following by along with your swing. Even the geese you do hit, are hit marginally with the sides of your sample. However recoil is just not a problem with the gentle 28. With much less recoil, it’s simpler to remain down on the gun and actually deal with the goal with observe up pictures. Shooters find yourself sustaining their fundamentals and crushing birds with the core of their sample, which makes the 28 really feel further efficient, however actually, it’s simply good capturing at work.

So, neglect about all discuss over the ¾-ounce payload in a 28-gauge being “sq.,” and patterning higher, like in some way there’s a magic components packed into these little shells that makes the 28 punch above its weight class. Actual shotshell specialists will let you know this isn’t the case.

28 Gauge Effectiveness on Geese and Geese

benelli sbe 3
Hevi XII masses and the SBE 3 28 gauge. Alex Robinson

Capturing a 28-gauge for waterfowl is just not some fashionable stunt. With denser shot materials, like bismuth or TSS, the 28-gauge is an extremely efficient gauge for geese and even close-range geese.

Let’s have a look at these Hevi-Shot No. 4 pellets I sample examined. They’ve an marketed density of 12 g/cc. Metal has a density of seven.86 g/cc. Due to their larger density, these No. 4 pellets have the identical lethality (means to penetrate) as metal No. 1s, in keeping with the corporate (and to shotshell professional Tom Roster).

The bottom line is understanding “penetration vitality” says Adam Moser, a shotshell product engineer from Federal (whose father or mother firm owns Hevi-Shot).

“Pellet vitality density is a measure of pellet vitality per cross sectional space. In different phrases, it’s the kinetic vitality of the pellet divided by the 2D space of the pellet,” Moser says. “This offers us a greater concept of how properly a pellet will penetrate a medium, higher than simply pellet vitality and is especially useful when evaluating shot made of various density supplies.”

For those who bought misplaced within the math of that assertion, the takeaway is that this: Smaller, denser pellets penetrate higher than bigger, much less dense pellets. A part of the reason being as a result of they’ve much less floor space to push by a medium (like a duck).

Now, for those who’re used to capturing metal, have a look at that sample board picture and picture every hit was made by a No. 1 metal pellet. You’ll have an concept of true effectiveness of those 28-gauge masses.

Plus, there are an increasing number of ammo choices changing into accessible for duck hunters trying to shoot the 28-gauge. Among the prime selections embody:

Am I advocating for lengthy vary pictures on massive honkers or divers with the 28-gauge? Completely not. Waterfowl searching at its greatest is about tricking birds in shut after which killing them cleanly over the decoys. Deciding to shoot a 28-gauge must be a dedication to that fashion of searching.

READ NEXT: The 28-Gauge Shotgun Can Kill Geese as Successfully as a 12-Gauge (At Modest Ranges)

What the Benelli SBE 3 28 Gauge Does Greatest

This shotgun ramps up the enjoyable think about waterfowl capturing. I believe it’s a perfect possibility for brand new hunters who don’t need to get rocked with recoil and develop poor capturing habits. It’s additionally good for veteran hunters who wish to rekindle that romance of capturing greenheads up shut. For SBE 3 followers, of which there are a lot of, that is merely a scaled down model of the gun they already personal—it’s simply extra pleasant to shoot.

The place the Benelli SBE 3 28 Gauge Falls Quick

I couldn’t discover something to not like about this gun apart from the value. At nearly $2,000, it’s spendy for a gun that most likely received’t be your solely duck gun (some days you’re simply going to want that 12 gauge). Plus, dwelling the 28-gauge life-style means shopping for pricier shells season after season. These Hevi XII masses I hold pumping up? They price $80 for a field of 25. The Black Cloud metal masses, which can begin transport this 12 months, shall be extra reasonably priced however nonetheless not low-cost.

Remaining Ideas on the 28 Gauge Benelli SBE 3

This shotgun (plus the shells I shot by it) made me a believer within the 28-gauge as a duck gun. Is it your best option for all waterfowl searching functions throughout the 4 flyways? Most likely not. However it’s a severe shotgun for severe waterfowl hunters who don’t thoughts shopping for premium ammo and need to combine up their capturing just a little. For those who spend a while capturing the 28-gauge Benelli SBE 3, you’ll turn out to be a believer too. 

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