Home » Shotgun Overview: Franchi Affinity 3

Shotgun Overview: Franchi Affinity 3

The Affinity 3 was the second Franchi auto-loader I ever shot. At the very least a decade prior, I had put my fingers on the AL 48, a square-backed repeater with an working system primarily based on John Browning’s long-recoil Auto-5. It was an especially gentle (beneath six kilos) and well-engineered shotgun. However I had forgotten the identify Franchi till the day I picked up the Affinity throughout a day skeet session with a bunch of fellow gun writers. After taking pictures a couple of rounds with it, I used to be impressed. The 12-gauge inertia-driven gun was gentle however had manageable recoil. It additionally by no means did not cycle and pointed rattling properly.

Contemplating the match, end, and performance of the gun, I assumed the Affinity 3 value upwards of $1,000 however was stunned to be taught it was 100 {dollars} much less. Franchis fall beneath the Benelli umbrella of manufacturers (together with Stoeger, Uberti, and French gunmaker Chapuis). They’ve the identical inertia working system as Benelli shotguns and performance with the identical reliability, however they’re inexpensive. The outside of the black artificial and camouflage Franchis are usually not on par with Benellis, however they’ve been lots sturdy in my expertise. Franchis are usually not well-known weapons (although they need to be), so that you don’t see a lot of them in duck blinds. Nonetheless, they’re wonderful auto-loaders at a value level most waterfowlers can afford.

Franchi’s Affinity is obtainable in a number of camo finishes, together with a Cerakote-Optifade mixture. Joe Genzel

Placing the Franchi Affinity 3 to the Take a look at

In September 2021 4 editors, Colin Kearns and Phill Bourjaily of Subject & Stream and Alex Robinson and myself from Outside Life, traveled to Pintail Looking Membership in Garwood, Texas, to check the Franchi Affinity 3 and 16 of the very best duck searching shotguns. Because it was early teal season, our check group hunted blue-wings within the morning and shot every of the weapons on five-stand within the afternoons for 3 days straight. Bourjaily and I additionally pattern-tested the semi-autos and pumps on 30-inch targets from 35 yards. Usually, shotguns are patterned at 40 yards as a result of that’s usually the gap most shotguns will battle to print a sample that can kill geese. However 40 yards can be the extent to which most hunters are comfy with a shotgun, so our staff determined to sample the weapons at a extra cheap distance and settled on 35 yards.

Throughout our check, every editor took be aware of how the shotguns dealt with in addition to their craftsmanship, reliability, versatility, and total worth. We additionally tried to make every shotgun fail by loading them from completely different angles and taking pictures the weapons from a wide range of off-shoulder and imperfect mounting positions to see if they’d malfunction.

A black shotgun

Franchi Affinity 3 Specs and Options

The Affinity 3 is obtainable in 20- and 12-gauge and in a wide range of exterior finishes, together with black artificial, Mossy Oak Bottomland, Realtree Max-5, satin walnut, and a Cerakote barrel and receiver coupled with Max-5 or Optifade camo on the inventory and fore-end. There may be additionally a 3½-inch model of the Affinity in addition to turkey, sporting, compact, and upland fashions, plus a ladies’s variant with a shortened inventory and better comb, referred to as the Catalyst.

  • Gauge: 20, 12 (examined)
  • Motion: Semi-auto
  • Capability: 4+1
  • Camber: 3-inch
  • Barrel kind: Chrome-lined
  • Barrel size: 26-, 28-inch (examined)
  • Chokes: IC, M, F
  • Entrance sight: Fiber-optic
  • Size: 49½ inches
  • LOP: 14.2 inches
  • Set off pull: 5.14 kilos
  • General weight: 6.8 kilos
  • MSRP: $849

How Did the Franchi Affinity 3 Sample?

Every 12-gauge shotgun was patterned from 35 yards with Federal Velocity Shock No. 2s. The three-inch shotshells carried a muzzle velocity of 1,550 fps and a shot cost of 1 1/8 ounces. The Affinity’s sample was top-of-the-line of the check weapons, putting 124 of a doable 140 pellets (88 p.c) contained in the 30-inch circle. It shot 70 p.c under and 30 p.c above level of intention, leaving a small hole on the fitting aspect of the goal. However there’s not a lot to complain about when all however 16 pellets make it contained in the 30-inch circle.

The Affinity was one of the most accurate shotguns in our test.
All however 16 pellets made it contained in the 30-inch circle in the course of the Franchi sample check. Stephen Maturen

Does the Franchi Shoot Like a Benelli?

Since Franchis are beneath the cover of Benelli manufacturers, you would possibly assume they shoot like a Benelli. There are some similarities in the way in which the 2 manufacturers deal with. Franchis are gentle, smooth weapons with slender fore-ends, identical to a Benelli, so you will get them transferring quick. The load of a Franchi additionally makes it simpler to hold afield. The pistol grip is skinny too. You’ll be able to actually get your taking pictures hand wrapped round it and really feel stable while you carry the gun to your shoulder.

The distinction I’ve present in taking pictures a Franchi versus a Benelli is within the sample. Since I’m a snap shooter, I like a gun that shoots precisely the place I level it. I cowl up geese with my barrel, pull forward of their beak, and pull the set off to kill them. A gun that shoots somewhat low (geese are sometimes descending into the decoys while you shoot) just like the Affinity 3 is right.

In our exams, the Tremendous Black Eagle 3, M2, and Ethos Cordoba all shot excessive, which is typical of newer Benellis. To kill geese or break targets with these three weapons, you could maintain the barrel under the hen, which is okay if that’s the way you select to shoot shotgun (many individuals do it this manner). Franchis produce a shot column that impacts the goal straight the place the shooter factors the barrel. The Affinity 3 additionally had a greater sample proportion than the SBE3, M2, and Cordoba, which all value considerably greater than the Franchi. I might additionally really feel extra assured searching turkeys or deer with a Franchi due to its level of impression. You don’t wish to use a high-shooting gun to kill gobblers or whitetails.

Recoil was a non-factor within the Affinity 3, which has a TSA recoil pad built-in into the top of buttstock. Most of the Benelli autos have the Consolation Tech recoil system, which is a sequence of interlocking chevrons that flex while you pull the set off. I couldn’t inform any measurable distinction in recoil between the SBE3 (which has Consolation Tech) and the Franchi (which doesn’t).

The Match and End of Franchi’s Affinity 3

Franchis are durable shotguns.
Franchis aren’t constructed in addition to Benellis, however they’re nonetheless sturdy shotguns. Joe Genzel

There have been no obtrusive transitions from the inventory to receiver and receiver to fore-end in our check gun. Each semi-auto Franchi I’ve shot for the reason that AL 48 has felt good within the hand. The Italians are detail-oriented gunmakers, and it’s clear the Affinity 3 was properly designed.

In fact, Franchi makes mid-level shotguns so the outside end isn’t going to be to the extent of a premium auto-loader. Our check gun did have a plastic really feel to it, however Franchis will maintain as much as all the pains of duck searching.

The Affinity 3 has an outsized charging deal with, and the bolt-release button is commonplace measurement (Franchi calls it outsized, but it surely’s not) besides on the Elite fashions. These weapons have a bolt-release like the brand new Browning A5s—a poker-chip-looking button that’s the scale of a nickel and manufactured from plastic. The loading port is beveled so you possibly can simply slide shotshells into the journal.

Inertia weapons are easy to area strip. When you get the fore-end cap off the Affinity 3, the barrel and fore-end slide out collectively. To take away the charging deal with and free the bolt, press down on the rotating bolt head and pull the deal with out. The bolt and metallic arm that sits across the journal tube and recoil spring slide ahead. To drop the set off group, punch out the only pin that holds it in place, and also you’re carried out.

Franchi’s Affinity 3 Is a Versatile Shotgun

Extended choke tubes are included with the Affinity Elite.
The Franchi Affinity Elite comes commonplace with prolonged choke tubes. Joe Genzel

There’s not a lot an Affinity 3 can’t do in the event you’re pursuing wild recreation with a shotgun. It’s gentle sufficient to hold all day on upland forays and the receiver is drilled and tapped for an optic for turkey and deer hunters who wish to make the most of a red-dot or scope.

There are aftermarket prolonged journal tubes for the Affinity, which snow goose hunters will admire. Not all semi-autos at this low of a value level include that possibility. The Affinity is obtainable in a left-handed mannequin as properly, one other rarity for mid-level auto-loaders.

Is the Franchi Affinity 3 Definitely worth the Value Tag?

Franchis are amongst essentially the most ignored shotguns in the marketplace. They don’t have the identical identify recognition as Benelli, however in the event you’re in search of a brand new inertia-driven auto-loader for beneath $1,000, there are few weapons that examine to the Affinity 3. Franchi has carried out an distinctive job of maintaining prices down on their whole line of highly-functional semi-autos. Many trendy shotguns are overpriced; that’s not the case with the Affinity 3.

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Ultimate Ideas

When you’re saving up for a Benelli, cease and take into account spending the cash you have already got banked on a Franchi. You don’t get all of the facilities in an Affinity 3 that you simply do within the SBE3, M2, or Cordoba, however you additionally don’t want the upgraded recoil system or exterior end (you possibly can all the time Cerakote the Affinity for a couple of hundred bucks) featured on these two weapons to kill geese. Merely put, Franchis perform the way in which they’re speculated to; as duck hunters, we put that above all else in a shotgun. As a result of the very last thing you need is a gun that gained’t shoot when mallards are within the decoys.