Benelli Introduces Its First Bolt-Action Rifle, the Lupo

The Benelli Lupo is a chassis-built rifle with a sub-MOA guarantee, representing the company's first foray into the bolt-action rifle market.

Benelli Introduces Its First Bolt-Action Rifle, the Lupo

Ask any hunter or shooter what they associate with Benelli, and the answer is going to be “shotguns.” From the M2 pump to the Vinci and Super Vinci semi-autos to the 828i over-and-under and the legendary Super Black Eagle line of waterfowl guns, the Italian company has a history of producing scatterguns that are popular in the field as well as in competition and law enforcement.

For 2020, Benelli is working on changing that perception by rolling out the first bolt-action rifle in the company’s history: the Lupo. “Lupo” is Italian for “wolf,” and Benelli is marketing this gun as “an apex predator.” At the SHOW Show introduction to the industry, a company representative described the gun as “built to dominate the land the way the Super Black Eagle III dominates the skies,” and from the features the company has built into this gun, they’re not messing around.

First, it’s built on an aluminum chassis, and with that separate stock, receiver and forend, dozens of configurations are possible using the optional combs and included length-of-pull spacers and shims. Finger reach to the trigger is also adjustable with included spacers, and two raised cheek pad styles and one optional length butt pad are also available. The crio-treated barrel is free-floating and secured with a barrel extension that Benelli says creates “perfect alignment on every gun.” Between the securely bedded barrel and the crisp, adjustable trigger, Benelli is offering a three-shot sub-MOA guarantee on this gun.

This photo shows the AirTouch texturing on the grip, the angular trigger guard and the chromed bolt of the Benelli Lupo.
This photo shows the AirTouch texturing on the grip, the angular trigger guard and the chromed bolt of the Benelli Lupo.

The Lupo uses a detachable double-stack magazine that holds four or five cartridges depending on the chambering. The two-position safety (slightly raised, almost like a hammer on a handgun) is mounted on the tang, the muzzle is threaded, and the built-in Progressive Comfort recoil reduction system tames the punch. Benelli’s put their AirTouch grip texturing on the forend and the grip for a firm hold, and the chromed bolt has three lugs and a 60-degree throw.

Handling this gun on the first day of SHOT Show 2020, I immediately noticed the styling of the Lupo. It’s hard to explain, but this gun just looks like a Benelli — modern styling with a distinctive, sort of angular profile. I found the bolt plenty smooth, but the trigger is the standout here: it’s incredibly crisp. No creep, no overtravel, nothing mushy about it. Benelli says the trigger is adjustable from 2.2 to 4.4 pounds, and the floor model I handled felt like it was on the lighter side. This very good trigger is a big part of what makes the gun accurate enough for a sub-MOA guarantee.

At right at 7 pounds, the Lupo is neither light nor heavy, and you can currently get it in three different chamberings: .30-06, .270 and .300 Win Mag. MSRP is around $1,700, which puts this gun somewhere between a budget rifle and a custom one. 

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