The ATI Raven Deluxe Stock and Forend Package is a high priced kit designed to take the stock Benelli M4 to a level of readiness and comfort that was previously unobtainable.
This package is a complete overhaul of the weapon. ATI spares only a few inches of the platform, almost completely wrapping the shotgun in aluminum and soft-to-the-touch polymer. The kit ships with 5 main components:
- Pistol Grip
- Magazine tube
Within these 5 larger groups of parts is a plethora of smaller components as well as all the required hardware to fully assemble the gun.
The Stock and Pistol Grip assembly are designed to completely replace all of the hardware to the rear of the receiver. It uses a proprietary buffer tube that slips over and secures to the buffer system of the M4. This gives a very hefty feel to the rear of the gun, making it feel as if the stock assembly came off of an ar15 or similar platform. The stock assembly is multi-positional in more than just the standard retractable aspect. It also allows the user to change the comb height with a simple twist of a wheel, which allows for a more comfortable check weld. The stock assembly also has some features specifically designed with comfort in mind, utilizing the ATI Scorpion technology which wraps the pistol grip, comb, and the butt plate in softer rubber.
The forend of this package is designed with both function and comfort in mind, replacing the stock handguard. Alone it would be a nice addition, but we’ve got to remember this is a Package and the forend is only one small part of ATIs front-end conversion.
In front of the handguard sits an aluminum tri-rail which makes the additions of grips, lights, lasers, or anything else you could possibly want to strap to your gun as easy as turning a screw. A full-length magazine tube extension sits inside the tri-rail and brings its capacity up to 6+1. The kit also includes an improved follower, new magazine spring, and cap to hold it all together. My favorite feature of the package is the heat shield. Creating a small enough barrier to keep your skin safe from burns, the heat shield allows you to achieve a high C-clamp on the gun.
Shooting with the Raven Stock
Shooting the newly dressed gun is a completely different experience. The added weight and recoil reducing material help to cut down sharp recoil impulses. The gun holds on target well and the recoil wasn’t able to break my grip and make my hand slide, as can sometimes happen. The Gun became more manageable then I had assumed possible, even with OO Buck.
Thanks to the heat shield I was able to utilize a high C-clamp on the gun, a grip I don;t normally get to use on a shotgun because of the heat coming off the exposed barrel. I could dump the content of the tube on target as quickly as my trigger finger could move–7 shells on target at 15 yards in well under 3 seconds. Never once did I have to wait to get the gun back on target; it was more like the gun was waiting on me to wipe the smile off my face and resume firing.
All in all the ATI Raven Deluxe Stock and Forend Package brings a lot to the table: added ergonomics, enhanced texture, and reduction in felt recoil. So if you can deal with the nominal gain in weight, and afford the $549.99 price tag, this is the ultimate package for you. Does that seem like a lot for an aftermarket stock set? Maybe. You can buy a couple of decent pump shotguns for that price. But ATI is delivering a lot in this package. And considering what it brings to the M4, I think there will be plenty of Benelli owners willing to make the extra investment. If that price tag has you running for the hills, or the weight has you worried on one end of the gun or the other, you should also note you can purchase individual components from this kit individually, which would defray some of the sticker shock.