Table of Contents
Benelli introduced its Nova and SuperNova models in 2009. Like other unique Benelli models such as the M2 or M4, the Nova and SuperNova bring something a little different to the table. The two share some similarities and have some differences. They are both of the pump action variety, and there are several configurations to choose from. These two shotguns differ by chamber, sights, finishes, and stock options. There are also different barrel sizes to choose from, which means that these guns can be used for hunting, competition shooting, or all-around home defense – depending on the shooter’s needs. They both are lightweight, steel-framed with an overmold of advanced polymer. Nova and SuperNova are strong and very durable, able to withstand even extremely harsh conditions of environment and weather. The two shotguns feature a push-button shell stop, which allows a shell which has already been chambered to be removed, without releasing the other shells in the magazine.
The Nova and SuperNova are both very popular, and even though it is semi-automatic shotguns which made Benelli into what it is today, the company manages to display just as much innovation and creativity when it approaches the matter of pump-action shotguns. Just when people thought that there isn’t too much room for improvement on the classic pump-action shotgun, along came Benelli and mixed it all up again. We’ll run everything down here in our Benelli Nova and Super Nova Pump Action Shotgun Review.
Differences Between the Benelli Nova and SuperNova
The main differences between the Nova and SuperNova are in the stock and the trigger guard. The stock options with the SuperNova are wider, and the trigger guard is more spacious, allowing for gloved hands to release that round with greater ease. The SuperNova’s receiver is more ergonomically pleasing, and it comes with a shim kit for precise fitting. The Nova’s stock and receiver are one piece, which means that the SuperNova is overall more adaptable, flexible, and modular then the Nova. If you feel that you may want to change stocks in the future, or install a SteadyGrip piece – go with the SuperNova. As far as the feel of them goes, they are pretty identical. They handle great, and their recoil management is also pretty much the same. The recoil varies by stock model, though, so it isn’t really fair to generalize it like that.
Benelli Nova and Super Nova Price
There is also a difference in price, with the SuperNova usually costing more:
- Cheapest Nova (tactical) – $419
- Cheapest SuperNova (tactical) – $499
- Most expensive Nova (tactical H2O) – $669
- Most expensive SuperNova (12 gauge, rifled slug) – $929
Benelli’s products are usually not cheap, but with the Nova and SuperNova they have made pump-action shotguns a lot more accessible. A proper shotgun for under $500? It is a price which many people can afford.
Overview of the Benelli Nova and SuperNova Product Line
Note – there are some models or configurations meant only for law enforcement or military use. Check with your local dealer.
- Tactical – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Black synthetic finish, non-ComforTech stock. 18.5 inch barrel.
- Tactical – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Black synthetic finish, non-ComforTech, H2O stock. 18.5 inch barrel.
- Field – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Black synthetic finish, non-ComforTech stock. 24, 26, or 28 inch barrel.
- Field – 20 gauge, chambered for 2¾ and 3 inch. Black synthetic finish, non-ComforTech stock. 24 and 26 inch barrel.
- Field – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Realtree APG finish, non-ComforTech stock. 24, 26, or 28 inch barrel.
- Field – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Realtree Max-5 finish, non-ComforTech stock. 26 or 28 inch barrel.
- Field – 20 gauge, chambered for 2¾ and 3 inch. Realtree APG finish, non-ComforTech stock. 26 inch barrel.
- Field Compact – 20 gauge, chambered for 2¾ and 3 inch. Realtree APG finish, non-comfortech stock. 24 inch barrel.
- Field Compact – 20 gauge, chambered for 2¾ and 3 inch. Black synthetic finish, non-comfortech stock. 24 inch barrel.
- Tactical – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Black synthetic finish, with ComforTech stock. 18 inch barrel.
- Tactical – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Black synthetic finish, with pistol grip. 18 inch barrel.
- SuperNova – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Black synthetic finish, with ComforTech. 24, 26, and 28 inch barrel.
- SuperNova – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Realtree APG finish, with ComforTech. 24 and 26 inch barrel.
- SuperNova – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Realtree APG finish, with SteadyGrip. 24 inch barrel.
- SuperNova – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾, 3, and 3½ inch. Realtree Max 5 finish, with ComforTech. 26 or 28 inch barrel.
- Rifled Slug – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾ and 3 inch. Black synthetic finish, with ComforTech. 24 inch barrel.
- Rifled Slug – 12 gauge, chambered for 2¾ and 3 inch. Realtree APG finish, with ComforTech. 24 inch barrel.
— Hunting Product Guru (@huntinguru) August 30, 2016
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Accessories, Upgrades, and Modifications
The Nova / SuperNova line of shotguns has some possibilities for customization. The SuperNova is probably easier to mod than the Nova, due to its design. Not all accessories are equal. Some are for the Nova, some for the SuperNova. Some are for 12 gauge, some are for 20 gauge. Accessories and upgrades must be functional, in my opinion. It is one thing to personalize and modify your gun for practical purposes, but I am not at all for ladening a weapon with mods just for the tacticool look. If you attach it, it should be for a reason. In the end, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident with your weapon. Your shooting needs to quick and on point, be it in the duck swamps of North Carolina, the spacious competitive shooting ranges, or in your own backyard. Do your research, and see which upgrades will best serve you. Here are some accessories which are worth looking into:
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Slings
The first, and perhaps most obvious, of all weapons accessories. It is a lot more comfortable using a sling with any rifle, shotgun, or pimped-out, scary-looking handgun. If you are hauling a shotgun around on a 3-day hunting trip, for instance, you need to keep your hands free and your weapon at the ready. The best way to do that is by attaching a sling. Some slings, like the Ace Case or Trinity, come with built-in shell carriers. Other popular options: the Urban Sentry sling, or you can make one yourself using paracord! Some slings have specific methods of attachment and detachment. Make sure you purchase a sling which is compatible with your weapon system.
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Magazine Extensions
The capacity of the Nova and SuperNova’s magazine is 4+1, and while these two are very comfortable and reliable shotguns, there are times when a shooter wants more firepower. For this reason, internal magazine extension tubes were invented. Among the more popular ones are Nordic Components, Briley, Choate, and Tacstar.
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Support Clamps
If you are getting one of the aforementioned magazine extension tubes, you may want to purchase a support clamp. Some clamps are simple (like Benelli’s), and others come with picatinny mounts and a quick detach option for slings or other accessories. Some of the more popular options are CE-Tac, Nordic Components, and Benelli.
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Magazine Follower
Interested in making sure that your shotgun’s feed action is as smooth as possible? Want to be able to ascertain the state of your magazine, even in low-light, glove-handed conditions? If you feel you need an alternative to Benelli’s stock follower – which does have its drawbacks – you can replace it with a higher quality follower, like the ones made by GG&G or Nordic Components. It is a relatively inexpensive mod which can save you some money and frustrations in the long run.
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Sights
The factory sights for the Benelli Nova and SuperNova are a metal bead mid-sight, and a red bar front sight. While these are fine factory sights, they are not too compatible with harsher conditions. Shooters who are in competition, or ones which are hunting at dawn/dusk hours, may want to upgrade their sights to ones which are better suited for their specific needs. Hi-Viz Tactical front sight, TruGlo Gobble Dot fiber optic sight, Trinity Tactical red dot sight, Trinity laser sight, and Meprolight Tru-Dot night sight are great options.
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Recoil Pads
Some Nova and SuperNova models come with the ComforTech technology already built right in. Other models may lack that technology, but there are many ways of reducing recoil, or of increasing length of pull. Installing a quality recoil pad on the back of the stock can reduce recoil by up to 70%. That is a complete game-changer, and it facilitates easier recovery and more accurate follow-up shots.
- Benelli factory ComforTech Gel recoil pad: 1⅜ inch, 1 inch, ½ inch
- Benelli factory Nova recoil pad: 13-¾ inch or 12-½ inch length of pull (meant for 20 gauge only!)
- LimbSaver Precision-Fit recoil pad
- Urbino, by Mesa Tactical, features a pistol grip, limb saver, cheek riser, and several sling mounting options
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Shell Carriers and Side Saddles
Holding some extra shells right there on your shotgun is beyond comfortable. It is one of the most practical accessories you could attach to your weapon. Whether it is in civilian scenarios, like hunting or competition shooting, or in tactical situations and emergencies – you want to conserve time and be prepared.
Benelli Nova and SuperNova Common Problems
No shotgun (or any weapon) is completely without fault, and the Benelli Nova and SuperNova have their share of issues. Benelli make a real effort to ensure customer satisfaction, but there are times when Nova and SuperNova shotguns give their owners some grief, right out of the box. That is part of the risk you take when you purchase an assembly line manufactured firearm. Sometimes, a bad one slips by, and it may end up at your doorstep. This is not at all exclusive to Benelli or its pump guns. It is a global thing, and it happens in any industry.
The most common problems which people encounter are cycling issues, and the good news is that these issues are all solvable. Obviously, if you encounter any problems, you should take advantage of Benelli’s fine customer service. They will either replace or fix your weapon, as per their warranty. If you are not interested in sending your weapon away for inspection, there are ways of modifying and fixing feeding and cycling issues. Please note that you do so at your own risk. Benelli’s 10-year limited warranty states that it does not cover any unauthorized alterations or modifications made to the firearm, so take great care and be aware that it may make the warranty null and void.
Benelli is known for its high quality firearms and innovative designs. Some of the world’s best competitive and exhibition shooters have used Benelli in their competitions and demonstrations. The Nova and SuperNova models, and their different configurations, are the weapon of choice for hunters, outdoorsmen, elite military units, and police departments worldwide. There are advantages and disadvantages to every firearm, but it seems that with this line of pump-action shotguns, Benelli managed to produce a product which respected by beginners and veterans, civilians and officers alike.Shotguns have been making a triumphant return to the home defense arena in recent years. It seems that for a while there was a justified assault rifle craze, and that now people are coming back to the reliability of a shotgun.
The Nova and SuperNova may have less firepower than your run-of-the-mill AK-47 variant or AR-15 variant, but they are just as reliable and just as functional. Many home defense encounters are ones which occur in close range. In a scenario like that, a shotgun is just as good (providing it is a high quality one), if not better. I am not a fan of violence, let alone unnecessary violence, but nothing – I mean nothing – says “get the hell off my property before I shoot your sorry ass” like a pump-action shotgun. When you hear that round go off, you know something is going on. You don’t necessarily need a 3.5 inch shell to stop a perpetrator, but it sure does help to have that kind of power on your side.