A Melding of Art and Technology
Benelli shotguns stand unrivaled for their field performance, precision manufacturing, and superb handling. Discerning sportsmen plying wetlands and uplands across the globe have long hailed the reliability, innovative technology, and elegant manners of Benelli shotguns. Built on the foundation of Benelli’s proven Inertia Driven system, Benelli semi-autos represent an extension of the sporting enthusiasts who wield them because they design around the human form. Integrated comfort features, ergonomic geometry, and careful balance deliver shotguns that shoulder quickly, swing easily, and aim intuitively.
At Benelli, forward-thinking never stops. But sometimes “forward” demands a look back…and that can lead to interesting questions. Benelli designers posed themselves one such question by asking, “How would the world’s most advanced semi-auto shotgun look if reimagined as an interpretation of a classical Italian custom?” In other words, a melding of Old-World firearm artistry paired with 21st-century design manufacturing.
Such was the genesis of the Benelli Magnifico Set of Five.
Inspiration – Design Influence
The Magnifico Set of Five stand as unique creations that draw on the rich tapestry of Italy’s culture, innovation, and the renowned craftsmanship born of the country’s unparalleled artisan heritage. The result is a masterfully creative achievement—functional art rendered in wood and metal. Classical forms long expressed by artists through the Golden Ratio are represented in the trigger guard’s flowing lines, gracefully curved receivers hint at the courtyard arches of the Ducal Palace in Urbino. From muzzle to stock, Italy’s artisan gunmaker craft reaches the apex of classical style and contemporary engineering in the Set of Five.
Inspiration – Sporting Heritage
The driven shoot, a treasured pastime and cultural staple of the European noble class serves as the Set of Five guiding theme. Steeped in tradition, the driven shoot has enlivened estates throughout Western Europe for centuries. It continues to set the fashion and decorum of traditional upland hunting around the world to this day.
The Magnifico Set of Five
The Magnifico Set of Five are a set of semi-auto shotguns—two chambered in 12-gauge, two in 20-gauge, and one in 28-gauge—representing Benelli’s commitment to quality manufacturing, innovation, product refinement, and the possibilities that the company’s Italian heritage and artisan culture can bring forth in the luxury sporting arms class.
The Benelli Set of Five brings together Italy’s leading designers’ artistic prowess and master-level craftsmanship in their respective disciplines—contemporary progenies of Italy’s guild tradition that stretches back through the Italian Renaissance era.
While most high-art interpretations come from the creative spirit of individual artists, the Benelli Set of Five more closely mirrors an orchestral movement. Guided by a maestro, the opus comes to life as each artist breathes their unique vision and talents into the composition, creating an elegant, unified whole.
So it is with the Set of Five.
Conducted by Benelli designers and engineers and using Benelli’s premium shotgun as the canvas, each artisan approached the project with their own nuanced interpretation of a classically inspired yet technologically advanced modern shotgun.
Benelli is a company dedicated to engineering excellence and a higher design form that erects both a physical and an emotional bridge between man and the manufactured. The Set of Five begins with Benelli’s premium shotgun. The company’s unrivaled Inertia Driven system is at the heart of each gun, which delivers reliable cycling with any load, clean operation, and a soft, refined recoil pulse. Combined with the platform’s exceptional balance and handling, these shotguns are ideally suited for long days and short flush intervals.
The engraver’s art hits its crescendo in the firearm world under the direction of Giovanni Steduto and Valerio Peli, master engravers from Creative Art Laboratorio Incisioni, one of today’s most renowned firearm engraving bottegas. Steduto and Peli hand-engraved each of the Set of Five receivers with inspirational scrollwork and modern interpretations of classical hunting scenes inspired by the aristocratic hunting traditions.
The 12-gauge, 20-gauge, and 28-gauge models each receive distinctive, unique engravings with scenes aligned with the individual gun’s theme. Scenes of waterfowl in wetland settings grace the 12-gauge shotguns with different portrayals on both sides of the receiver. The 20-gauge models edify the upland hunt with bird dogs and flushing pheasants. The 28-gauge life-like etchings of pointers and quail exemplify the pastoral tradition.
Framing the exquisite hunting scenes are delicate oak leaf and acorn motifs. The presentation is further accentuated with embossed rose gold on the acorns and sky elements, providing a bold, rich contrast to the field settings.
Stock & Fitment
F.lli Piotti, a premiere custom house overseen by master gun craftsmen in the northern Italy province of Brescia, leveraged the experienced Piotti brothers for the stock and fitment work. The brothers selected the finest walnut billets, hand-fashioning the raw wood to jewel-like perfection and seamlessly integrating the metalwork. Hand-rubbed oil finish and buffalo horn butt plates further emphasize the luxurious form.
Case & Sundries
A premiere gun set demands only the most acceptable accoutrements for display or field presentation. For the Set of Five, Benelli tapped the leather artistry of Oscar Maschera to craft a one-of-a-kind handmade leather case. Maschera designed the case in a style reminiscent of the triptych form of Renaissance art. The trifold case is constructed of a wooden frame wrapped in premium vegetable-tanned full-grain leather with expert hand-stitching and hardware composed of brass and brass-plated steel. The entire Set of Five fits securely in the case with gauge-specific care sets containing a polished, chrome-plated steel oil bottle, snap cap, and barrel cleaning kit. Foldaway legs are built into the case to facilitate access and to protect the leather bottom.
Integrated into the case lid is an engraving of Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci—the personification of Renaissance expression. To join Italian artistry across the centuries, the unpublished novella Among forests and fields by Umberto Piersanti, 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature nominee, is included in a hand-stitched leather-bound cover.
The Magnifico Set of Five Premiere
Benelli presented the Magnifico Set of Five at an exclusive invitation-only gala held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas during the 2022 Safari Club International Hunter’s Convention.
In addition to showcasing Benelli’s vision of blending contemporary shotgun performance with Old-World artistry that honors Italian heritage and craftsmanship, the Magnifico Set of Five project also aims to further the important advocacy work of Safari Club International. This luxurious, one-of-a-kind shotgun set will be sold, after which Benelli will donate $200,000 to SCI, helping to fund the organization’s wildlife conservation and humanitarian service efforts, as well as the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) and the International Wildlife Museum.
The US tour of the Magnifico Set of Five is going on, with two other presentation events, hosted by J. Alain Smith:
– at the Dallas Beretta Gallery on February 10th, 5 pm CST
– at the New York Beretta Gallery on March 3rd 5 pm EST