(Article originally published on Tactical Life)

Since the early days of firearms history, one of the most effective guns for anti-personnel use has been the shotgun. This usually smoothbore weapon has the ability to fire multiple projectiles with one shot and, unlike a rifle, doesn’t require precise aim when using ammunition like 00 buckshot. Shotguns have been used for military, law enforcement and civilian self-defense in the United States for decades. In the Old West, 10- and 12-gauge double guns were favorites among lawmen and outlaws; then came lever-action, pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns. Police officers today mostly use pump and semi-automatic shotguns, while the armed citizen may have almost any kind of scattergun stowed away for home defense.

At a recent trade show, a simple-looking tactical shotgun caught my eye at the Benelli booth. It didn’t have a lot of “bells and whistles” attached to it—just the basic necessities. I quickly learned that this semi-auto was designated the Benelli M2 Entry, which made sense to me because it wasn’t encumbered with accessory rails or gadgetry, yet its low-profile, rifle-type sights looked effective and robust. The gun seemed like it would be fast handling, easy to operate and able to take the abuse dished out by a SWAT entry team. It wasn’t long before I had a sample in my hands for testing.

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