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Military Armament Corporation 1014 Shotgun: The Best Budget Benelli Clone? [REVIEW]

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Truth be told, I'm not much of a shotgun guy. I own a pair of pump-actions, and I am competent with them, but they've never been my ‘thing.' Despite this, I've felt the itch the last couple of years to add a semi-auto shotgun to the stable on general principle. 

I recently found myself in a small gun shop on the Florida panhandle, and they had one of the new Military Armament Corporation (MAC) 1014 shotguns on the shelf. Up to that point I'd been vaguely familiar with them, as well as the common derision of Turkish-made shotguns on the internet, but I wasn't familiar with specifics. 

However, this particular shop had the 1014 tagged at one of those “shut up and take my money” kind of prices, and I figured if it sucked I wouldn't be out too much cash. A few minutes, a 4473, and a credit card swipe later I was on the way out the door with a new scattergun and a selection of ammo. Side note – if you ever find yourself in Fort Walton Beach, FL stop into Ranger Firearms and tell them RECOIL sent you.

While I waited for the weekend to roll around, I did some additional research on my impulse purchase. I was already aware that it's a clone of the Benelli M4 shotgun, and research showed almost all aftermarket parts would be compatible. I also saw several suggestions on both the original Benellis and the copies to use a couple of boxes of higher velocity buckshot and birdshot loads for the initial break-in before moving on to the lighter stuff. Thankfully, my purchase of extra ammo and my personal stash of 12ga covered that nicely. 

Sunday rolled around, and off to the range I went with tools in hand and a plan to do some extensive modifications to the shotgun.

The first step was highly technical and complex, requiring the special tool of a bottle of gun oil. I oiled the link pin, the tail of the bolt where it met the carrier, and a couple of other drips of gun oil in the receiver itself. It was a highly complex process that took about 30 seconds.

The next step of my extensive modification plan was to attach a strip of self-adhesive loop material that I'd cut out to fit a shotshell carrier. I needed a little extra trimming to make sure the takedown pin wasn't blocked by the material, which was a delicate procedure with a pair of crappy scissors, but the shotgun came out no worse for wear. 

With the extensive and delicate mods completed, it was time to convert this pile of shotgun ammo into noise. First up were a few boxes of Rio 00 and #4 buckshot. Both loads are listed as 1345FPS, so I figured they'd be a good starting point to break things in, especially since both the manual and online discussions mention the use of heavier loads for the first 100 rounds or so. After 20 rounds with zero malfunctions, the scoreboard stood at MAC 1014 – 1, Shoulder – 0.

At that point, I switched to the Federal rifled slugs. They're listed at 1610FPS, so a couple of magazines full of those not only let me continue to abuse my shoulder but also served to let me verify the iron sights were as dialed in as they initially appeared. Three slugs from 20 yards hitting exactly where I aimed verified the sights didn't need adjustment. With roughly 30 rounds down the barrel, I was up to MAC 1014 – 2, Shoulder – 0.

With an initial test run of buck and slugs out of the way, it was time for some spicy birdshot. Enter a few rounds of Winchester Super X ammo – 1 1/4oz of 7.5 shot at a claimed 1330fps should do the trick. After a few shots, my shoulder was calling a time-out, and I decided to try swapping out the factory-installed cylinder choke for the provided full choke.

After the swap, I sent another full magazine into the steel just to see the difference. The results looked pretty typical for the difference in choke, but it was a good confirmation that nothing was awry with the full choke. 

MAC provides a Modified choke to go with the Cylinder and Full, but I didn't use it on this particular range outing. They also include a choke wrench, all of the tools needed for the ghost ring sights, and a respectable choke tube case. The box also included a basic nylon strap for a sling, but I left that at home.

I finished off the box of Winchester and after a little over 50 total rounds, I had experienced a whopping zero malfunctions. MAC 1014 – 3, Shoulder – 0.

Since the spicier options were clearly functioning flawlessly, what about the lighter loads? A swap back to the cylinder choke and 25 rounds of Remington Game Loads with 1oz of #8 shot listed as 1290fps later, it was MAC 1014 – 4, Shoulder – 0.

At this point, I'm 75 rounds in, and one of my friends from competitive shooting showed up. He was there to test out another shotgun from the same importer, so I snagged some more bulk birdshot and a few Venom brand rifled slugs to run through the MAC, and still no malfunctions. After roughly 100 total rounds, the score was MAC 1014 – 5, Shoulder 0.

Federal bulk box? No malfunctions.

Winchester light target loads? They're listed at 1145FPS, surely that will be weak enough to make this thing malfunction. Right?

MAC Shotgun – 6, Shoulder – 0.

Finally, I went to my ace in the hole. The one 12ga load that would surely cause the MAC to malfunction – Aguila mini shells. Yep, a 1.75″ 12ga slug. I figured there was no way they'd ever feed correctly from a magazine, but I really wanted to know if the gun would even eject the low-powered 12ga, so into the chamber it went over an empty magazine and lifter. The shotgun cycled and locked back flawlessly. You've gotta be kidding…

After a total of around 150 rounds, the score was a complete blowout: MAC 1014 – 7, Shoulder – 0. I experienced no malfunctions of any kind with any ammo offering, I did no cleaning during the range day and added no additional lubrication after the initial oiling. I even had a couple of back-to-back mag dumps to get the whole thing nice and warm, and the 1014 didn't miss a beat.

Now, is this shotgun perfect? Of course not, especially when compared to the legendary Benelli. The finish on the receiver appears to be some kind of paint or coating, not a high-quality anodizing. As a result, there was visible wear on the inside from parts rubbing, as well as a bare spot caused by the 1014 rubbing up against my Mossberg pump action's side saddle when they were in the same case on the way to the range.

The faux magazine extension (to comply with import regulations) doesn't have a better finish than the receiver, as it developed some wear marks just from handling and an initial field stripping of the gun to check out some of the parts.

However, I don't view that as a completely fair comparison when the MAC offering can be had for roughly one-fifth the price of the Benelli. When we're talking about a shotgun with an MSRP of $569.99 at the time of this writing, and a street price online below $400, I don't expect impeccable small details. What I do expect is something that runs, and so far my example of the MAC 1014 does that in spades.

It definitely doesn't exude the class and quality of a real Benelli M4, but it still gets a lot of the small details to ‘good enough'. The faux extension has the same style of relief cuts as the original to preserve the aesthetic, the pistol grip is rubber coated or overwrapped for grip and to help absorb recoil going into your firing hand, and the buttpad is sufficiently squishy to help absorb recoil in your shoulder, and the overall mechanical fit and function is excellent, especially for the price.

After the success of the initial range day, I decided the MAC had earned some actual upgrades instead of snarky ones. Initially, it will be a Mesa Tactical Urbino replacement stock, a +2 mag extension, an oversized bolt handle, and a couple of other compliance parts. I already have a substantial pile of 12ga ammo set aside for follow-up testing on the MAC 1014, and I may add some other upgrades as I go as well.

Watch this space for a follow-up. In the meantime, if you're looking for a budget-friendly semi-auto shotgun, the MAC 1014 deserves your consideration.

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