Franchi hasn’t been allowed to import SPAS shotguns to the US for some while, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a pretty fine boomstick from ’em. Their new Affinity inertia-driven shotgun is one of a few of late with a great price.
Not too long ago, Benelli’s patent on inertia-driven actions lapsed. Since then, a few companies have come out with shotguns based on their designs. Franchi actually had a licensing agreement with Benelli before then, but the Affinity is an all-new offering.
Inertia-driven systems are designed around a two-piece bolt, where the bolt face is extended from the bolt actual and separated by a spring. After firing, the bolt is compressed as the first part of the cycle, which allows for a greater variance in recoil energy necessary to cycle the firearm. Some people say that there is reduced felt recoil, but we think you’d have to have a highly-calibrated shoulder to tell.
Practically-speaking, inertia-driven shotguns are much better than other automatic shotguns when it comes to cycling very heavy and very light loads without having to change anything about the shotgun, unlike other shotguns, where the gas piston might need swapping or flipping when going from light to heavy and vice-versa. The Affinity can fire both 2¾- and 3-inch magnum shells, starting at 1-1/8 ounces in 12 gauge and 7/8s for 20. The capacity is 4+1.
Franchi’s Affinity takes that system and builds 26- and 28-inch shotguns around them, in both 12 and 20 gauge. The stocks are synthetic and will be available in black and two kinds of camo, Realtree MAX 4 and APG. They’re clearly aluminum-framed shotguns, as depending on the caliber and barrel length, weigh just between 5.6 and 6.5 pounds.
The MSRP is $850 for black versions, add a benjamin for camo. That’s a whole lot less than say, a Benelli M2. We fully expect the real-world prices to be under $700, closer to $600. That includes the fiber optic front sight.
Not bad for an Italian beauty like this.