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Benelli's M4 Tactical Shotgun

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2004 Pages: 48-51
Charles Cutshaw
Date Published
January 2004
4 pages
This article discusses the uses of Benelli’s M4 tactical shotgun in police work.
The shotgun remains a very effective weapon for law enforcement despite a trend toward rifle caliber carbines. The shotgun is much more flexible than rifles, offering a tremendous variety of ammunition from less-lethal to slugs to lock-busters to buckshot. The most tactical shotgun is the Benelli M4. The M4 is a semiautomatic, gas-operated, tubular magazine-fed shotgun. The shotgun’s gas operation system incorporates a novel design that Benelli calls Auto-Regulating Gas Operation, or “ARGO.” The ARGO system uses two gas ports and tappet-type pistons that ride in short tubes beneath the gun’s barrel just forward of the receiver. The pistons impinge directly against the face of the bolt carrier to cycle the gun each time a round is fired. The system is unaffected by fouling, requires little or no maintenance, and functions reliably with all types of standard shotgun ammunition. The ARGO gas system is a simple design that is estimated to be extremely reliable in service. The M4 is a modular design so the user can quickly exchange major components, including barrel, buttstock, and forearm to meet changing tactical requirements. The overall design coupled with the ARGO gas system has the effect of reducing felt recoil and muzzle rise regardless of the type of ammunition used or stock configuration. The M4 field strips quickly and easily without tools. The M4's 18.5-inch barrel has optional removable choke tubes to accommodate virtually any type of ammunition or tactical condition. The M4 can be arranged into virtually any tactical configuration imaginable, from entry gun with 14-inch barrel to full-length barrel. The MIL-STD-1913 rail allows employment of any standard optic or night vision device.


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