Your opinion of the Franchi SL 12 gauge O/U? I hunt only woodcock and ruffed grouse and only regionally in Northern New England. Age and past injuries make it preferable to carry a light weight, mild recoiling gun. In the past I used mostly 12 gauge guns weighing around about 6 3/4 lbs with 1 1/8 oz standard loads. In recent seasons I have used 20 and 28 gauge guns. I have found 6 lb guns about the lightest I can shoot at all well. The smaller dimensions of the smaller gauge guns do not feel right to me though. I find the feel of a trim 12 more to my liking. Keeping my budget in mind I am considering the SL and shooting 1 oz light target type loads in it. I have a Franchi O/U in 28 gauge so I am familiar with their style of gun. So, any opinions? I have considered the CZ version of a light 12 also.
I reviewed the Franchi Instinct L and SL 20 gauge guns in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue of Shooting Sportsman Magazine. I didn’t review the 12s. Build quality was good on a very standard receiver configuration. The reputation of the Franchi has always been good and there were no problems with my test guns other than a sticky safety.
The 20 gauge SL weighed something under 5-1/2# and required some concentration to shoot well with out over-swinging. I think that you are right that the weight of the 12 gauge SL, given at around 6# 2 oz, would be close to ideal. Just remember that the weight is mostly removed from the receiver area and that the barrels stay the same as the all steel gun. The SL will have more weight forward balance.
If the balance and fit suit you, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a Franchi Instinct SL 12 gauge. For the amount of shots fired in many years of upland hunting, the aluminum receiver should be no problem. The design is good and assembly is correct. Franchi makes a good standard gun.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid