Loading a Benelli Nova pump shotgun, clarifications, please.

JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
edited April 14 in General Firearms #1
I've been interested in purchasing this gun but want to learn more about its design and how it operates. I went to the Benelli site and downloaded an emanual for me to check over. According to the book, the gun must be on safe and the hammer cocked for shells to be stuffed into the magazine. This has never been the case for the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 guns I've owned. This is one case where Benelli makes things over complex. With Remmy or Mossy, one can just stuff shells up the tube with the breech closed, the safety in any position and the hammer in any position. I like to store my tactical pumps on guard with shells in the mag but with an empty chamber, the bolt closed, the hammer rested and the safety off. This way I just rack the gun to ready it to fire in case a bad guy breaks into my home. I was wondering if there is any way to have shells in the Nova tube with the hammer rested and the safety off. After loading the mag tube of the gun with an empty chamber and a closed bolt, and taking the safety off, can the gun just be pointed in a safe direction to dry fire upon the empty chamber to decock the hammer? If so, will simply racking the gun afterward allow it to be immediately fired? I see no need to have the safety engaged on a pump gun on standby duty with a closed bolt and an empty chamber. Having the safety already off makes one less step to deal with in emergency. I want my defense pump gun ready to shoot simply with one rack of the forend.

The other thing that bugs me about the Nova Tactical lineup is that these models only come with open rifle sights or ghost ring sights. There is no simple bead option for the short-barrel tactical models, only the field/hunting/sporting barrels. Do I have to use slugs at the range to zero the Nova with ghost ring sights? I don't feel the need for precision sights on a home defense pump. 
America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 

Best Answers

  • JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
    #3 Accepted Answer
    Jayhawker said:
    You really are an over-thinker aren't you? A Nova owner has already answered your question...
    The thing is, his Nova may be designed differently than the current production Nova. His Nova might be an older model and Benelli may have changed something later. 

    For me, I think it would still be most prudent to try before buying if possible. I really have to place a gun in my own hands and feel it out to determine whether I like it. This is especially so for a gun which I am purchasing to trust with my own life. I do appreciate the input people here have been giving me, however.  

    What I'd like to do now is see if there are any Benelli Nova reviews online by gun writers who have already tested the weapon. 
    America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 

Answers

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,936 Senior Member
    Why are you concerned about decocking the hammer?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,099 Senior Member
    My Nova operates just like any other pump shotgun-- Mossburg, Winchester, or Remington.

    You are thinking too hard. Stop doing that!

    And like Jayhawker asked... decocking the hammer... why? If you have the shotgun with an empty chamber, big deal-- nothing is going to happen.
  • das68das68 Posts: 568 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    Why are you concerned about decocking the hammer?

    maybe he thinks he should unplug it.


    History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen.

    Enoch Powell

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,099 Senior Member
    edited April 14 #8
    And a spring compressed within its design tolerances wears out at the same rate as the same spring uncompressed-- the wear is based on compression/decompression cycles and not its state of rest.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,457 Senior Member
    I'm sure that's true. How many of us relieve the FP spring on our bolt action rifles prior to storage??? Or short load certain magazines for reliability??? Or throw salt over our shoulder well cooking a holliday meal for luck???
  • JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
    edited April 14 #10
    I want to be able to ready the gun for fire by simply racking the action: no more steps involved. My question is now: may I grab a Benelli Nova Tactical off my bedroom wall with a full magazine, closed bolt and empty chamber and simply ready the gun to fire by racking the slide while operating no other controls? I don't want to have to think about dealing with the safety or the bolt-release lever in an emergency. I just want to be able to rack and shoot.

    Do I really have to cock the hammer and place the gun on safe in order to stuff shells up the mag tube as the manual states or is the manual just telling us to do that for liability concerns? 

    The manual states as follows: 

    Loading procedure NOTE: the safety of the firearm must be in safe position, and the hammer cocked to allow the insertion of the cartridge in the magazine (the red loaded indicator visible).

    Page 40

    https://www.benelliusa.com/sites/default/files/originals/product-manuals/nova.pdf


    This worries me. I am hoping to find a gun dealer or range that would let me first test-fire a Nova before buying to see if I can get along with the design. 
    America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,469 Senior Member
    Hopefully your rack and shoot mentality will be smoothed out after a little time around here.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,936 Senior Member
    You really are an over-thinker aren't you? A Nova owner has already answered your question...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
    edited April 15 #13
    I'm still not convinced. I must try before I buy. It's just one of those things I have to see and touch to believe. The things the Nova owner told me conflicts with what the Benelli manual says. 
    America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,099 Senior Member
    I got one of the first Novas right after they came out. I cannot tell you if they changed the design or not without going to an LGS to look at a newer model.

    Just like a Mossberg/Remington/Winchester pump (I have owned all 3)... with a full magazine and a closed bolt on an empty chamber, the only way to load a shell into the chamber from the magazine is to pull the trigger which will release the slide, or press the slide release button. This is not a unique feature to the Nova. All 4 shotguns work that way.

    Sights? I strongly recommend the ghost ring. I seem to recall that you can put a tritium dot in the front sight and it would be excellent in a low light HD situation. That is how my HD AR is set up-- they work great.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,099 Senior Member
    One unique feature the Nova has that the others do not is there is a button on the fore end, that when pushed lets you unload the chamber without having another shell pop up. This allows you to empty your chamber (say, when hunting out in a field and crossing a fence) without unloading the entire magazine.
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    I've got two Novas and like Jerm said, they are just like my Remingtons and Mossbergs. Had them for a few years so don't know if they changed something.
  • JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
    edited April 15 #17
    I got one of the first Novas right after they came out. I cannot tell you if they changed the design or not without going to an LGS to look at a newer model.

    Just like a Mossberg/Remington/Winchester pump (I have owned all 3)... with a full magazine and a closed bolt on an empty chamber, the only way to load a shell into the chamber from the magazine is to pull the trigger which will release the slide, or press the slide release button. This is not a unique feature to the Nova. All 4 shotguns work that way.

    Sights? I strongly recommend the ghost ring. I seem to recall that you can put a tritium dot in the front sight and it would be excellent in a low light HD situation. That is how my HD AR is set up-- they work great.

    Of course, the safety has to be in the FIRE position before the trigger can be pulled to release the action just like my Remmy 870. Correct? 

    Here's how I load and stow my Remmy for standby as a home defense shotgun:

    1. muzzle in safe direction with fingers clear of the trigger
    2. cycle action while ensuring gun is clear: depress bolt-release lever if necessary
    3. ensure safety is on FIRE
    4. pull trigger with muzzle pointed in a safe direction as right at my bed to rest the hammer
    5. with gun on SAFE, load six 3" Federal Number 4 heavy-hunting loads into magazine tube with included extension
    6. ensure the base/rim of lead shell is resting firmly on the shell stop
    7. hang gun on vertical wall hanger with muzzle pointing down
    8. place safety in FIRE position with the gun's bolt closed completely over empty chamber

    To fire in emergency:

    1. take the gun off the wall
    2. cycle the action once
    3. pull the trigger while pointing (or aiming) the gun at the bad guy

    My Remmy 870 has that pesky trigger-guard safety of course. The red ring shows when it is the FIRE position. 

    I do like the Mossy tang safety better. FORWARD to FIRE. Right under my right thumb. Easy to remember. 

    On the more complex Remington,  I've had to devise a way to know what position the safety is in while handling the gun by feel in the dark and commit this slogan to memory:

    Press the RIGHT button to FIGHT.
    Press the PORT (left) button to ABORT. 

    The RIGHT button is on the right side of the trigger guard while the LEFT button is on the LEFT side of the trigger guard. 

    FIGHT = FIRE
    ABORT = SAFE

    I understand the Nova has a similar safety and my quick rule to remember safety position would be the same. 

    I've always told myself that I would still check the safety position with my right thumb if the gun were to be pulled off the wall in a bad situation at night with the lights off just to double check the gun is ready to fire right after racking. My RIGHT thumb will easily confirm RIGHT button pressed to FIGHT! 




     
    America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,099 Senior Member
    edited April 15 #18
    I will try that procedure tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,936 Senior Member
    Remmys and Mossys...oh my


    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,502 Senior Member
    edited April 15 #20
    Insert a snap cap into chamber, load magazine, move safety to fire, pull trigger (in a safe direction), put on rack.

    Now when you pull it down you don't have to push anything. Racking the slide will eject the snap cap and pull a live round from the tube and the safety is off............




    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
    jbp-ohio said:
    Insert a snap cap into chamber, load magazine, move safety to fire, pull trigger (in a safe direction), put on rack.

    Now when you pull it down you don't have to push anything. Racking the slide will eject the snap cap and pull a live round from the tube and the safety is off............




    Is the snap cap necessary to protect the Nova firing pin while dry-firing? 
    America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,099 Senior Member
    Is the snap cap necessary to protect the Nova firing pin while dry-firing? 
    No. Dry fire at will.

    Benelli has figured out all the ups and downs of firearm engineering and manufacturing over the years. They are a high quality manufacturer.
  • das68das68 Posts: 568 Senior Member
    edited April 15 #23
    jbp-ohio said:
    Insert a snap cap into chamber, load magazine, move safety to fire, pull trigger (in a safe direction), put on rack.

    Now when you pull it down you don't have to push anything. Racking the slide will eject the snap cap and pull a live round from the tube and the safety is off............




    Is the snap cap necessary to protect the Nova firing pin while dry-firing? 
    JonathanBailey said:                                                                      4. pull trigger with muzzle pointed in a safe direction as right at my bed to rest the hammer
    how many times have you dry fired your remmy shotty?
    is the firing pin unprotected?
    how many pins have you damaged?


    History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen.

    Enoch Powell

  • JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
    edited April 15 #24
    My Remmy may get dry fired five times a year on average. Once at the range for annual test fire after clearing the gun and putting in its safe following the range session. The other four times following a quarterly gun cleaning and inspection. The gun has consistently gone BANG! at the range so there seems to be no sign of firing pin damage. I don't make it a habit of dry firing every day or 100's of times at a time. 
    America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 
  • das68das68 Posts: 568 Senior Member

    and your thoughts are the novy pin is of a poorer grade than a second-hand remmy pin

    get yourself a  winny 97

    tactical shotty with a stabby on the front end

    good to go






    History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen.

    Enoch Powell

  • JonathanBaileyJonathanBailey Posts: 48 Member
    edited April 15 #26
    das68 said:

    and your thoughts are the novy pin is of a poorer grade than a second-hand remmy pin

    get yourself a  winny 97

    tactical shotty with a stabby on the front end

    good to go






    I never said I thought the Nova was a junk product. I just want to learn more about it's design, features and operational quirks before plunking down $450 plus sales tax. Choose your house, car, lover, spouse, career and gun all the same way....very carefully. 

    I found this video and this man says you can get your fingers pinched on the action while racking if not careful: 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxrgaZKpbwc

    When shooting in a hurry, be careful not to short-shuck the gun to boot. 
    America is not America without liberty and the necessary gun rights to defend it. 
  • das68das68 Posts: 568 Senior Member
    edited April 15 #27
    das68 said:

    and your thoughts are the novy pin is of a poorer grade than a second-hand remmy pin

    get yourself a  winny 97

    tactical shotty with a stabby on the front end

    good to go






    I never said I thought the Nova was a junk product.
    did not say you did

    have you thought to ring customer service
    and just asked the question?







    History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen.

    Enoch Powell

  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,993 Senior Member
    I don't know the Nova very well, but I suspect their loading procedure may be somewhat related to / derived from their autoloading system?

    Their semi autos release rounds from the magazine onto the carrier as the trigger is pulled, not, as is more common, with the bolt carrier cycling back.  This has the round ready and waiting to feed when the bolt finally gets to the rear.  Good for super-fast cycling, but not really called for on a pump.  Again, I don't know if the Nova actually does this - just guessin'

    If you do in fact need to have the gun on safe in order to load, that's a deal breaker for me.  Never been a fan of interconnected features on firearms - automatically engaging safeties, magazine disconnects, etc...  This seems like a case of a hunting gun turned into a "combat" gun with the addition of a short barrel and no further thinking about it.

    Since you're obviously concerned with the "what ifs" the Mossberg is probably your baby, as it has a lot of built in resistance to all of the brain-fart things I've seen flustered operators do to 870's.  The fact that its shell carrier is not floppy and is locked in the up or down position based on the location of the forend is HUGELY helpful.  It will never block your chamber on a combat load; it's completely out of your way on a magazine load; it won't tie up the gun on a double feed or if you load a shell backwards.

    While you're pretty much stuck with one of two combinations of barrel and magazine length on a Mossberg with no possibility of mag extensions, I like the fact that there's no possibility of a gap forming between the magazine and an extension not properly installed.  This can not only cause headspace issues associated with the barrel not being firmly clamped down by the barrel retaining nut; it can also create a gap that the rims of shells can hang up in, preventing proper feeding.  As I say, pretty brain-fart resistant.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,502 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio said:
    Insert a snap cap into chamber, load magazine, move safety to fire, pull trigger (in a safe direction), put on rack.

    Now when you pull it down you don't have to push anything. Racking the slide will eject the snap cap and pull a live round from the tube and the safety is off............




    Is the snap cap necessary to protect the Nova firing pin while dry-firing? 
    It's a visual aid more than to protect firing pin. If someone else picks up the gun when they rack the slide back it is going to eject something. Hopefully that is enough to make them realize there are live shells in the tube.........

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpeb4sqDu0k
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,936 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    I don't know the Nova very well, but I suspect their loading procedure may be somewhat related to / derived from their autoloading system?

    Their semi autos release rounds from the magazine onto the carrier as the trigger is pulled, not, as is more common, with the bolt carrier cycling back.  This has the round ready and waiting to feed when the bolt finally gets to the rear.  Good for super-fast cycling, but not really called for on a pump.  Again, I don't know if the Nova actually does this - just guessin'

    If you do in fact need to have the gun on safe in order to load, that's a deal breaker for me.  Never been a fan of interconnected features on firearms - automatically engaging safeties, magazine disconnects, etc...  This seems like a case of a hunting gun turned into a "combat" gun with the addition of a short barrel and no further thinking about it.

    Since you're obviously concerned with the "what ifs" the Mossberg is probably your baby, as it has a lot of built in resistance to all of the brain-fart things I've seen flustered operators do to 870's.  The fact that its shell carrier is not floppy and is locked in the up or down position based on the location of the forend is HUGELY helpful.  It will never block your chamber on a combat load; it's completely out of your way on a magazine load; it won't tie up the gun on a double feed or if you load a shell backwards.

    While you're pretty much stuck with one of two combinations of barrel and magazine length on a Mossberg with no possibility of mag extensions, I like the fact that there's no possibility of a gap forming between the magazine and an extension not properly installed.  This can not only cause headspace issues associated with the barrel not being firmly clamped down by the barrel retaining nut; it can also create a gap that the rims of shells can hang up in, preventing proper feeding.  As I say, pretty brain-fart resistant.
    Listen to this guy...he does this stuff for a living...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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