Bourjaily: Guess What? I Shot The Vinci

I hadn't expected to shoot the new Benelli Vinci for a while yet, but when I walked into the clubhouse last night, there was one in the gun rack. It was a rep's sample that Rick, the gun buyer at our local Scheel's store, was trying out. First thing about the Vinci: it's no better-looking in real life than it is in pictures. The next guy through the door of the clubhouse after me pretty much summed up everyone's reaction: "What the f*** is that?!?" he demanded.

However, the Vinci's ugliness is only skin deep. It turns out to be a very cool, innovative shotgun. It comes apart quickly into four components: the barrel-receiver, the trigger-forearm, the stock (which you remove simply by twisting), and the magazine tube. The entire redesigned inertia action, including the return spring, is contained within the receiver, meaning you will never have to take the spring out of the stock to clean it. Benellis were already a snap to clean; this will be easier still.

I shot a round of low-gun skeet with it and warmed to the gun with every target I crushed. It's light, low-profile and responsive, weighing under 7 pounds with a 26-inch barrel, yet softer shooting than the much heavier Cynergy O/U I shot in the previous round. The trigger pull is a little squishy but light, and the gun functioned perfectly throughout the 100 or so rounds we put through it.

I'll confess: I'm looking forward to shooting one again.