Shotgun Evaluation: The Benelli Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T.

Benelli inertia semiautos earned their fame for taking pictures reliably endlessly within the dove fields of South America. The Cordoba province of Argentina is to dove taking pictures what Stuttgart, Arkansas is to mallards, and it’s solely becoming that Benelli named their high-volume dove gun after the dove capitol of the world. Inertia weapons are easy, they keep cleaner longer, and once they do get soiled, they carry on taking pictures. These are important qualities in a high-volume dove gun, and they’re good traits in a waterfowl gun as effectively. Benellis have develop into extraordinarily standard amongst duck and goose hunters who might by no means go away the US.

Our check workforce selected the brand new Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. as one of many weapons to place by way of the wringer in our waterfowl gun test final September at Pintail Hunting Club in Garwood, Texas. Benelli had a Cordoba of their lineup for a number of years, however discontinued it, then introduced it again as a distinct gun as a part of the Ethos line.

The concept behind the Cordoba configuration is straightforward: It is a gun made to be shot lots—at doves or clays or geese or all the above. It’s supposed buyer is the world-traveling excessive quantity shooter, however these of us who do most of our looking round dwelling may be fascinated by it, too.

Contained in the Benelli Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T.

Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T Specs

  • Gauge: 28, 20, or 12 (examined)
  • Motion: Inertia semi-Auto
  • Capability: 4+1 (2+1 28-gauge)
  • Chamber: 3-inch in all three gauges
  • Barrel Sort: Ported, with huge, goal type raised rib
  • Barrel Size: 28 inches (examined); 30-inch can also be obtainable in 12 gauge solely
  • Chokes: Prolonged Crio chokes (C, IC, M, IM, F)
  • Entrance Sight: Pink fiber-optic
  • Size: 49 inches
  • Size of Pull: 14 inches
  • Set off Pull: 6.1 kilos
  • General Weight: 6.5 kilos

Like all Benelli semiautos, excluding the tactical M4, the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. operates on the inertia system. The heavy, two-piece rotary, floating bolt stays stationary because the gun strikes again underneath recoil, and truly locks tighter as a result of rearward movement of the remainder of the gun. A spring contained in the bolt compresses, then opens, driving the bolt again after the shell fires. The benefit of inertia operation over fuel is that no fuel is bled from the barrel to drive the motion, so it stays cleaner of powder residue. And, as a result of there are not any fuel pistons or springs across the journal tube, the gun has a pleasingly slim forend that makes it really feel extra like a trim O/U than a semiauto.

The Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. design solves one of many few issues of inertia operation: As a result of the bolt doesn’t truly lock up fully till the gun recoils, it’s doable to jostle the gun and knock the bolt out of battery, leading to a misfire. The Ethos was the primary Benelli gun to characteristic the Straightforward Locking bolt that eliminates out-of-battery misfires by way of a easy detent pin. The SBE3 is the one different gun within the Benelli lineup with the Straightforward Locking bolt.

The Ethos has a two-piece receiver that makes it resemble the SBE3, however it’s not only a 3-inch SBE 3 with a distinct title. It has a ported barrel to cut back muzzle leap, a large “Broadway”-style goal carbon-fiber rib, and the forend has a transparent plastic insert that allows you to peek by way of cuts within the journal tube to see what number of shells you will have left. It’s a characteristic developed for South American dove fields the place you may simply lose observe of what number of shells you’ve fired. It additionally include 5 prolonged Crio chokes.

The gun additionally has an enlarged bolt deal with and bolt launch button in addition to a cutaway loading port, options which might be important for comfy high-volume taking pictures and turn out to be useful on the gun membership or within the blind as effectively. The Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. additionally options the ComforTech inventory that dampens recoil vibration whereas a comfortable comb insert eases the blow to your cheek from excessive quantity taking pictures, or from magnum duck masses.

The gun will get a part of its title from the Benelli Floor Remedy (BE.S.T.), primarily a high-tech graphite remedy that gives rust and abrasion safety and has been examined in high-saline environments. Benelli is assured sufficient in BE.S.T. that it comes with a 25-year assure, and so they have examined the gun in salt each within the lab and on grueling Alaskan sea duck hunts. Not like a number of the gun’s extra high-volume particular options just like the shell view, the BE.S.T. remedy is tailored for all duck hunters and ought to be of particular curiosity to those that hunt on the coast. The sling swivel studs, too, are extra vital to waterfowlers than they’re to most dove hunters.

How We Examined the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T.

We gave the Cordoba Ethos BE.S.T. the perfect exercise we may through the morning teal hunts. And, whereas the teal flew in numbers that resembled swarms of doves in South America, we needed to cease at six teal, so the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. wasn’t even respiratory exhausting on the finish of a morning hunt. To make up for it, we shot it at clays within the afternoons. We checked it for perform and reliability, and tried to bump the Straightforward Locking bolt out of battery. (Spoiler: We couldn’t.)

We shot the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. with quite a lot of ammunition, from 1-ounce goal masses to 1 ¼-ounce metal and metal and bismuth HeviHammer ammunition. We put tons of of rounds by way of it and didn’t expertise any malfunctions or different issues. At 35 yards with a Modified choke, the gun put 82 % of a 3-inch, 1 1/8-ounce, 1550-fps Federal Pace-Shok shell inside a 30-inch circle. Once we examined for level of affect by aiming the gun at a sheet of paper additionally at 35 yards, the middle of the sample printed a number of inches excessive.

patterning sheet for benelli ethos cordoba BE.S.T.
We patterned the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. at 35 yards. Stephen Maturen

How the Gun Carried out

Dealing with and Ergonomics

Like all Benellis, the Cordoba Ethos BE.S.T. is trim and lightweight. In reality, our 12 gauge with a 28-inch barrel weighed simply 6 ½ kilos, which isn’t any heavier than many 20 gauges. When you’re attempting to shoot 1,000 doves a day, you’re elevating your gun to your shoulder nearly continuously—so that you desire a mild gun that gained’t tire your arms. However, there are tradeoffs to mild weight. Whenever you shoot a gradual food plan of 3-inch shells by way of a light-weight 12-gauge inertia gun, you’re feeling it. Positive, the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. has a comfortable comb and buttpad and vibration-reducing chevrons within the inventory and ports within the barrel. They assist, however whilst you can cheat the legal guidelines of physics, you may’t change them, and lightweight weapons kick greater than heavier weapons.

We additionally discovered it wasn’t fairly as straightforward to swing easily on the longer photographs with the sunshine Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. because it was with heavier weapons. And, to my mind-set, the light-weight carbon fiber rib cuts weight up entrance, which is the place extra weight—up to some extent—helps a gun’s dynamics. The controls, all designed for marathon dove shoots, made the gun a pleasure to load and function, and as I stated, attempt although we’d, we couldn’t make the gun misfire.

Workmanship and Aesthetics

All Benellis have glossy, fashionable, racy strains, and the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. isn’t any exception. Though human arms have little or no to do with the making of Benellis, as I noticed throughout my go to to the manufacturing facility just a few years in the past, the robots and machines that construct these weapons work to minuscule tolerances. The gun is handsome, in a non-traditional method, and the standard of the match and end is great.


Whereas the gun is purpose-built for top quantity doves, there may be completely no motive the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. couldn’t additionally function a waterfowl or upland shotgun. It’s mild sufficient to hold, but all three gauges, together with the 28, are chambered for 3-inch shells, so you may shoot waterfowl masses out of it. It’s dependable, and the BE.S.T. coating means it may stand as much as any atmosphere, together with salt water.

Though you would shoot targets with it in a pinch, the gun’s mild weight would make it exhausting to shoot effectively, and that weight, mixed with inertia operation would make it recoil more durable than a heavier fuel semiauto. Our check gun had a 28-inch barrel, and I’d be tempted to decide on the longer 30-inch barrel for a bit further weight ahead stability.


Benellis are identified for reliability. Inertia weapons work in unhealthy situations and so they don’t get as soiled as fuel weapons do. South American outfitters inform me you must preserve the firing pin gap within the breech face clear, however apart from that, the gun will shoot a very long time with minimal cleansing. The Straightforward Locking bolt does away with the primary aggravation of taking pictures inertia weapons, which is the misfire when the bolt is nudged out of battery. Furthermore, the BE.S.T. and the artificial furnishings means it is a gun that may stand up to the weather and preserve taking pictures.


It’s not straightforward to spin the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. as a fantastic worth. There are different inertia semiautos available on the market that includes Cerakote (perhaps not so good as BE.S.T., but additionally sturdy) that value fairly a bit much less cash than this gun. In order for you the very newest in semiauto know-how, this may be an excellent gun so that you can take a look at. And, it’s actually not a gun you’re going to wear down anytime quickly, so your preliminary funding may be unfold out over two or three generations. Backside line, although: When you’re seeking bang for the buck, there are different good, and far inexpensive, decisions.

What the Benelli Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. Does Greatest

The Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T., as its title suggests, is the gun you wish to take to South America and shoot all day lengthy. It’s made to load simply, and to strike a stability between being mild sufficient to raise a number of hundred occasions a day, but additionally to mitigate a number of the recoil of all that taking pictures. When you’re a touring wingshooter that wishes a dependable, sturdy gun to take around the globe with you, this gun suits the invoice.

What the Gun Does Worst

Maybe I’m too set in my methods, but when I’m taking pictures clay targets with a semiauto, it’s going to be a heavy fuel gun, not a light-weight inertia mannequin. You may shoot entice, skeet, and sporting clays with this gun—it’s actually sturdy and dependable sufficient—however in my view you’d be limiting your self. Additionally, the gun shot excessive for us, so I’d be unlikely to stretch its versatility too far by taking it turkey looking. Truthfully, the excessive level of affect didn’t hassle me within the least taking pictures geese or targets, however I choose a gun that hits useless on.

Remaining Ideas on the Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T.

The Benelli Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. has nearly each bell and whistle you may placed on a semiauto shotgun, and the result’s a really sturdy, dependable looking gun. A few of the options, just like the shell view window, you’ll solely use in an Argentine dove area, however others, just like the Straightforward Locking bolt and the BE.S.T. remedy, assist make this a rugged, dependable shotgun you may take wherever and hunt nearly something with.

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