Monday, March 20, 2017

Videos: Benelli Super Black Eagle 3

Did I need a new gun? No. But last fall, Benelli invited me on a hunt in Saskatchewan where I was one of four shotgun/hunting writers to try out the new Benelli Super Black Eagle 3, before it had even been released. I liked it a LOT, so as soon as it was available, I bought one.

The gun is getting rave reviews, so I figured there are people out there who might like to know how to do a few things with it, so I've made a few videos: how to assemble the SBE3 out of the box, how to reverse the safety and how to adjust drop and cast.

All three videos are below, as is the story behind the video about how to reverse the safety - feel free to enjoy a good laugh at my expense!

Now, the story:

As soon as I got my SBE3, I took it apart, reversed the cast and reversed safety so it was good for left-handed shooting. I had zero trouble doing it. So then the next weekend I did a re-enactment so I could make a how-to video.

Reversing the safety involves removing a retaining pin that holds back a tiny, 1/2-inch long spring. At one point in that process, I didn't realize I'd pushed the pin all the way out so I turned it around to look at it. Snap! ......... Plink!

Oh. My. God. The spring had flown out and hit something metal somewhere behind me, which could've been one of the dozens of photo prop tables I have, a sheet of corrugated metal, a refrigerater, a freezer, the Instant Pot sitting on the freezer, the electric slicer sitting on the box next to the freezer, the water heater, the washer or the dryer.

At this point it's worth noting that I was working up one of my MONSTER headaches and I was not feeling good, and getting more nauseated by the second, both because of the headache and my predicament. I watched the video up to the point where I started saying "Oh God" over and over. Unfortunately I had pulled the trigger assembly out of the frame, so I couldn't see which way it'd been pointing.

But it sounded like it had hit the corrugated metal behind me. Right underneath that metal was an enormous wad of duck blind camo grass, like a roll of brittle shag carpet. So I tipped it upside down and shook. Nothing. Then I started picking up and shaking every single photo prop/table. Then I tipped the frame that holds the tables and looked underneath. Then I reached into a corner that looked like a great place for a family of black widows and pulled every piece of junk sitting there.

Hank came home at that point, so I pulled him in. He pulled out the fridge. Took out all the pieces of camo grass and shook them separately. Helpfully (not) pointed out that it might have hit the rafters and gone God knows where. Dear God. Not the decoys! Nausea increased. I decided to look by the water heater and asked him to put all the grass back into its plastic bag, which is akin to putting a genie back in a bottle, which is to say it didn't really happen the way I'd envisioned.

While he worked on that, I began picking up each item of dirty laundry near the water heater and shaking it. This was mostly Hank's filthy gardening clothes and bloody elk processing towels and aprons, which is to say it was all dank and crusty. Still nothing.

Despondent, I resolved to give up and hit the Brownell's website to order a replacement spring and cancel my planned Sunday shoot at with a friend. So I put the laundry back in its pile, shaking each item again for good measure. And after the last item was on the pile, I looked down on the floor and there it was: the spring.

It had been two hours since I'd lost it. But my persistence - honed by 11 dogless seasons of searching for ducks that drop in terrible places - had paid off.

So, I rallied! I finished the filming, went inside the house, took some meds for the headache, and thanked my lucky stars.

So if you watch that video and you can see how much my hands are shaking as I work on the trigger assembly, it's because I could barely see straight at that point. But I got it done!

© Holly A. Heyser 2017