Benelli Armi SpA is an Italian firearm manufacturer founded in 1967, located in Urbino, Italy, best known for high quality shotguns used by military, law enforcement and civilians all over the world. Particularly famous is the Benelli M3 12 gauge, used extensively by American SWAT teams. Benelli recently introduced the Benelli M4 Super 90, an unusual gas operated semi-automatic shotgun intended for military use in urban warfare. Benelli and Benelli USA have been owned by Pietro Beretta since 2000.
Benelli Armi was founded in 1967 as an offshoot of the Benelli motorcycle factory who sold motorcycles through Montgomery Wards.
Many Benelli shotguns utilize a unique inertia operating system developed by Bruno Civolani.
The Benelli Super Black Eagle, a favorite of waterfowlers, was one of the first semi-automatic shotguns capable of firing the 2.75, 3, and 3.5 inch shotgun shells. The Benelli Nova (pump action), M1 Super 90, and a customized M2 Field are used by Tom Knapp during his shooting exhibitions wherein he will frequently shoot down several hand-thrown clay targets while they're all still in mid-air, setting a world record in October 2004 when he destroyed 10 such targets with 10 shots in 2.0 seconds, with all the targets still airborne.