Well, I have an 870 tactical shotgun. I just ordered a Mesa pistol grip stock and Surefire LED fore-end for it, so it's not going anywhere.
But I have some Christmas money saved up and I want to get a semi-auto with it. After watching Magpul's "The Art of the Dynamic Shotgun", I have no doubt that I want a Benelli. It's not that they push the Benelli, it's just that every operation they do, including slug swaps from cruiser safe and cruiser ready conditions, is simpler, cleaner and easier with the Benellis and I've discovered another method that I find better than what they demo for the Benelli. Sooo...
The two choices are the Benelli M2 Tactical and the Benelli M4. Both have the pistol grips, both hold 5+1 rounds. Both shoot a wide variety of loads reliably.
The M2 (You'll have to click the pistol grip option to see the PG version):
Benelli Shotguns | Benelli M2 Tactical
Benelli Shotguns | Benelli M4
There are three major differences:
1- The M4 (7.8 lbs) weighs 1.1 lb more than the M2 (6.7 lbs). Of course weight cuts both ways - heavier: reduced recoil but heavier to carry/manipulate etc., lighter: heavier recoil but slightly easier to carry/manipulate.
2- The M4 is gas operated, the M2 uses Benelli's inertial system.
3- The M4 normally goes for right at $1700; the M2 for about $1179 - that's about $500 difference. HOWEVER, and this goes tilt the playing field a bit: I found a new M4 locally for $1525 which is a great price and that would only be a difference of about $350.
The manual of arms, reliability, etc. is essentially the same. Barrel lengths are the same - 18.5". The M4 comes with a mounted Weaver rail and ghost sights; the M2 comes with ghost sights and the receiver is tapped for a Weaver 93A rail.
The M2 Tactical with the PG seems to be pretty hard to find; the M4 for $1525 appears to be impossible to find except for the one I've found locally.
So what I'm looking for is reasons to pick one over the other. Thoughts?