I had a buddy tell me that they banned importing benellis a long while back because of problems with them blowing up. I have not seen or heard anything else of this but figure it might ruffle some of you benelli fans feathers.
There was a time when Heckler and Koch imported them, then, if I remember correctly, H & K ceased being the importer. It may have been this short period of time between H & K's involvement and their being brought in by the next importer (which may have been Benelli itself). Perhaps this is what your buddy is thinking about.
Ok. I found out what the story was. My buddies grandpa is now deceased but he told my buddy that about 50 years ago there were too many problems with their gun blowing up and falling apart. I'm not sure if this was when Benelli changed who they were importing through. My buddy also said that Benelli would have probly gone out of business if it weren't for their side companies doing well. That is the reason not much was heard of about Benelli until about 10 years ago. At least this is my reasoning. I may be mistaken any other opinions are encouraged because I am curious about all of this.
I also remember when the SBE's first came on the market here they had some problems with the chokes blowing out of the barrels with steel shot loads. After a couple of years they changed their choke thread pattern from a V shaped thread to the square thread that is still in use.