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The versatile Benelli M3 is a standout option for military or law enforcement use, arriving ready to work and sporting the best of both worlds—both pump and semi-auto capabilities.

Cop after cop will weigh in on the shotgun versus carbine—which is the best patrol long gun debate—with none of them wrong in the end. Both long guns have their place and time for use. That’s why I’ve always contended the smartest agencies, and officers, will arrange to have both long guns available in their units.

On numerous occasions I have heard, and made, the statement “one of the beauties of the shotgun is its versatility.” Can’t really argue with that — buckshot, slugs, birdshot—most pumps and autos can handle those with aplomb. However, in the LE world, the shotgun may be called upon to feed and reliably eject a few more loads: reduced recoil buckshot/slug, breeching rounds, OC/OS, beanbag, baton, rubber bullets—you name it—and even the Taser eXtended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP).

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The Benelli M3 uses a reduced mass bolt and a rotating bolt to provide quick shooting in the semi-auto mode. The bolt handle is sized for secure use and the release button is grooved.

When there is a need for rapid fire, the semi-auto is the hands-down winner across a wider variety of users. However, when we begin to discuss successfully digesting a wide variety of loads, many of which will not generate enough recoil or power to cycle a semi-auto smoothbore, folks usually say the nod goes to the pump for such versatility. Strong points and weak points for both actions undeniably exist.

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To switch between pump and semi-auto, rotate the selection ring and move the forend forward or backward to attach it to or otherwise remove it from the barrel ring.

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