BENELLI U.S.A. – LUPO 6.5 CREEMOOR RIFLE
BENELLI U.S.A. – LUPO 6.5 CREEDMOOR RIFLE
The LUPO is Benelli’s first bolt-action rifle. Sub-MOA accuracy, sophisticated ergonomics, and shooting comfort have been painstakingly developed into this chassis-style hunting rifle that allows for customized fit and modification out of the box. Lupo is Italian for wolf and the Benelli LUPO is designed to rule the ground the way Benelli’s Super Black Eagle commands the air.
- Action Type: Bolt Action
- Barrel Length: 24″
- Capacity: 5+1-Round
- Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor
- Finish: Black
- Front Sight: None
- Length: 46.22″
- Magazine Included: 1 x 5-Round
- Magazine Type: Removable
- Muzzle: Threaded
- Rear Sight: None
- Stock Material: Polymer
- Weight: 7.1 lbs
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Taking the Benelli Lupo to 1,000 Yards
The workshop was conducted in Coalville, Utah, this past June, and was attended by 15 persons, including me. Three instructors, all with amazing military and civilian shooting credentials, guided us through two days of rigorous shooting, beginning with 3 MOA steel targets reaching up to 1,000 yards.
Then, on the second day, we went up into the neighboring mountains and fired from positions we may face when hunting, such as huge boulders and tree stumps, from shooting sticks, and lying prone on rocky hilltops.
The training was geared to make us better long-range shooters. But the aim of it was for us to find out exactly how far we could morally take a shot at a large game animal. Most of the individuals I met with hadn’t shot a game animal at much above 125 yards, and they wanted to develop the ability and knowledge to know how and when to take a shot at 300 yards or more.
Benelli Lupo Rigged Up
Each shooter was given with a Benelli Lupo chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and topped with a Zeiss Conquest V4 6-24×50 rifle sight. We fired suppressed, the rifles topped with AAC Jaeger 30s. Barnes Precision Match in 6.5 Creedmoor ammo firing a 140-grain boat-tail bullet rounded out our setups.
We zeroed our rifles on paper at 100 yards, then fired additional paper at 200 yards, taking turns firing and spotting with a partner. Then we extended to 3 MOA steel targets at 300 yards, and additional steel at every 100-yard interval out to 1,000 yards.
Our day-two shooting was a lot better test of the Lupo as a longer-range hunter and the rifle fared incredibly well. My first shot hits included:
Within six inches of the target’s middle, at 650 yards shooting off a log with my backpack under my chest, and a wind of 10 mph wind moving right to left Dead center twice in a row, prone at 480 yards, pack under my chest and small range bag under my shooting elbow, with the target posted upslope from me
Two out of three shots comfortably inside an area equivalent to an elk’s critical area at 610 yards, rifle sitting on top of a small, scrubby tree, with me holding off 2.5 MOA to the right to adjust for wind
And, 710 yards, my butt on the ground and rifle on short shooting sticks, two shots in a row, and my spotter set them a half foot apart and straddling the center bullseye.
A longer-range hunter? With that type of precision, the response should be, “Hell, yes!” And yet…
Benelli Lupo grip
The author considered the setting of Benelli Lupo’s trigger difficult, particularly while shooting from the bench. Brian McCombie Ergonomic Issue
Those dead-on shots from locations considerably less stable than day one’s shooting table had me thinking myself: How come I’m drilling darn near everything while shooting off logs and bushes, first shot in all but one occasion, but I had so many problems the day before striking a bullseye at a paltry 100 yards?
This is when I started paying attention to my trigger hand’s positioning on these day-two rounds and found all my shooting was being done uphill or downhill. And with the rifle inclined at these angles, my hand and wrist were pretty comfortable.
I also recalled that throughout day one my accuracy increased as the shooting went out to 500 to 1,000 yards. At the time, I believed I was becoming acquainted with shooting the rifle as the day dragged on and thus my accuracy increased. But it dawned to me that maybe the superior shooting was because those targets were located up the hill from my shooting table and I had to set the Lupo at a particular angle to make those shots.
The 100- and 200-yard targets I had so many problems with were practically straight ahead and level with me and the shooting bench. At that posture, my hand was driven back and thus twisted my wrist at an unnatural angle relative to my forearm and shoulder; getting steady with my hand and wrist in this position was quite hard.
The Lupo’s trigger mechanism looks a lot like that found on Benelli’s Super Vinci, but the Lupo’s is pushed up and back into the stock’s wrist or grip at an even more severe angle.
The trigger itself broke off a very crisp 2 pounds 4 ounces according to my Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. The bolt functioned quickly and smoothly, even with the dust and debris driven into the action throughout two windy days in an extremely arid Utah terrain. Recoil with this caliber was modest.
But the design of the trigger location, in my shooter’s perspective, is incorrect. I hope Benelli can modify it in future versions, maybe a Lupo II? That’s a weapon I’d cheerfully take on a hunt where I might anticipate a shot on a deer or elk of 400-plus yards.