Last Wednesday (May 15th) Joe “Jessie” Fremer, of Brockway, PA walked into our retail store reluctantly looking for a 20 ga. semi-automatic shotgun. Jessie has hunted spring gobblers in PA since a season was established for them in the 1960’s. Owning shoe boxes full of beards, Jessie always used a 12 ga. gun, but now found it “too rough” relative to the recoil. On Wednesday he sported a purplish bruise on his upper right arm, from bicep to shoulder, after he harvested a gobbler on his first tag. Jessie settled on a new 20 ga. Franchi Affinity, liking the Inertia action and the light weight (5.6 pounds) of the gun. Using #4 shot on the following day, Jessie harvested a bird at 35 steps on his second PA tag. The gobbler weighed 19 ½#, had spurs of 1 5/8” and 1 ¼”, with an 11 ¾” beard, and went “right down” with the new Franchi Affinity 20 ga. I spoke to Jessie today and he said he “. . . wouldn’t own any other gun for spring gobbler” after the success and lack of recoil he had with the Affinity. In fact, Jessie said he patterned the gun on the day he bought it, and shot some other rounds through it, and said “I didn’t even know that I shot.”
Franchi lists minimum loads on their website Franchi USA, and recommend a break-in period of at least 100 rounds, which is a bit disconcerting, to seat the springs for proper function. But, if you are looking for a new lightweight 20 ga. to replace a recoil punishing 12 ga., look at the Franchi line of Affinity semi-automatic shotguns. Also, Affinity’s are manufactured in a 12 ga. for those who do not mind the relative recoil.
John Bravis – LCS Gun Room