M3 Super 90 in M3T configuration with folding stock.
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The M3 Super 90 is a shotgun of Italian origin. It was developed by Benelli and is an improved version of the M1 Super 90. The M3 is one of the most common tactical shotguns in the world as it is one of the few semi-automatic shotguns that is very reliable and allows for firing non lethal rounds by switching to pump action mode.
The M3 is a product improved M1 Super 90 that adds the pump action ability. The M3 is convertible from the standard inertia driven system to pump action by turning a ring located around the forward part of the tubular stock. This allows the operator to use the M3 in semi-automatic mode when firing standard ammunition and switch to pump action operation low powered non lethal ammunition. Externally the M3 is very similar to the M1. The major difference is the M3T variant that features a metal skeleton buttstock.
The M3 fires 12ga shells with a length of up to 3 inch. The standard version has a 7 round tubular magazine and the short version a 5 round one. Normally the M3 is used in the semi-automatic mode when firing buckshot or slugs. The inertia system will also cycle mild buckshot loads, but most non lethal rounds require the weapon to be switched to the pump action mode. Various chokes are available to adjust the spread of buckshot. Since the barrel is not rifled the use of slugs is limited to a few dozen meters.
The M3 is one of the most common tactical shotguns in the world. The M3 is very common in Europe and the USA, but is also used by tactical teams in many other nations. Even though the M4 has been introduced the M3 remains in production since its inertia operation has other characteristics than the gas system used in the newer M4.
The M3 Super 90 is the original and most conventional M3 model. The M3 Super 90 has standard sights and the M3 Super 90 Tactical has ghost ring sights. A pistol grip is optional.
The M3T is similar to the full size M3 Super 90 but features a folding tubular metal stock making the weapon more compact. Due to the folding stock it is available only with pistol grip. The original M3T has standard sights and the M3T Combat has ghost ring sights.
The M3T Short is a more compact model of the M3T and the most compact model in the M3 lineup. It has the same barrel length and magazine capacity as the older M1 Entry it replaced. The original M3T Short has standard sights and the M3T Combat Short has ghost ring sights.
The M3 Super 90 replaced the older Benelli M1 in production.
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