Franchi 48AL vs. Benelli Ultralight (20 gauges)


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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 24, 2009, 11:22 AM
The Franchi is 5.6 lbs but the Benelli (for about twice as much) is only 5.2 lbs!

http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/benelli_ultra_light.php

http://www.franchiusa.com/firearms/48al.php


FWIW, I bring this up because yesterday, after handling both of these, I brought a brand new Franchi 48 AL Field, 20 ga, 24", short stock. Purpose is to try to get the girlfriend interested in shooting & upland bird hunting, so it will likely be her Christmas present. I could add a slipon recoil pad if I need to make the LOP longer for me. Hope it was not a mistake to go with the 24" over the 26".

Discuss!

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Virginian
July 24, 2009, 11:45 AM
Be careful with what loads you use, if she is the least bit recoil sensitive. In my opinion the Benelli is worse in this regard than the Franchi, but either one will belt the snot out of you with stiff loads. If it doesn't have a recoil pad, get a Limbsaver fitted. The Franchi is a good gun. 1948 was a good year, trust me.

kentucky_smith
July 24, 2009, 11:52 AM
Great choice. Very under-appreciated guns.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 24, 2009, 12:13 PM
And if you didn't know, you can get the Franchi in either 20 or 28 ga, but not that Benelli. You CAN get the Benelli ultralight in 12 ga, but it's a different gun at 6 lbs (which is still mighty light though, obviously).

Thanks for the advice Virginian - will stick to low brass field loads for the GF.

oneounceload
July 24, 2009, 12:57 PM
ANY lightweight shotgun is going to distribute MORE recoil than a heavier one. 24" barrels are short - they will take a lot of practice for the average person to shoot well. People have a tendency to "whip" them around quickly and then stop their swing - leads to a lot of misses.

Lightweight guns are great for "walking a lot and shooting a little" - if your hunting is the opposite, then a heavier gun that absorbs recoil is better. Start her off with the lightest target loads you can get

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 26, 2009, 11:29 AM
Thanks for all the input. Anyone else have a comment on the ultra-light autos?

DaleCooper51
July 26, 2009, 12:15 PM
I had a 20 ga Franchi 48 Black Magic for a while and just couldn't warm up to it. It had a 24" barrel and an English stock. It weighed in under 6 lbs and was a dream to carry. I really didn't like shooting it much as the recoil was rather noticable and being so light it didn't swing well for me. I also wasn't a fan of the long recoil action and the manual of arms felt awkward to me being a lefty. I ended up selling it in favor of a 6.5 lb 20 ga Wingmaster.

No experience with the Benelli Ultralight, but unless I was climbing a mountain to get off a couple shots, I would opt for something a bit heavier. A 5lb gun sounds great on paper, but in actual use it didn't work out so well for me.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 26, 2009, 12:55 PM
In light of the light-weight/higher recoil status, you could make the argument that's a rather poor upland bird gun, but a great squirrel & rabbit gun - lots of carrying; fewer shots, and with no wingshooting, the swinging issues aren't in play (unless shooting at a running rabbit).

I surely do NOT understand why the 28 gauges are $200-$300 more than the exact same gun in 20 ga.

DaleCooper51
July 26, 2009, 02:30 PM
I surely do NOT understand why the 28 gauges are $200-$300 more than the exact same gun in 20 ga.

You were looking at the field grade 20 vs. the deluxe grade 28. The standard grade 28 retails at $999. I guess it's the law of supply and demand. They have to change their tooling and they make and sell less of them in 28.

FWIW, I paid $249 for the one I had. It was definitely banged around a bit, but the internals were all but new. I bought it replace my 20 ga H&R topper as a woods bumming, hiking, and camping gun. It weighed about the same and held a few extra shots. I figured I couldn't go wrong.

A big part of why I hadn't warmed up to it was the straight stock. I tried contacting Benelli to get a replacement stock. They told me to call Carlson's, so I gave them a call. They told me there was an 11 month back order with 30 people in line in front of me. After that I found a place that made them, but didn't want to sink that much money into a gun I wasn't overly fond of.

If it weren't a great gun, they wouldn't have been making them for near 60 yrs. It's just not the right gun for me. See if you can give one a shot to see if you like it before spending the money on it.

earlthegoat2
July 26, 2009, 02:40 PM
I have found the long recoil action shotguns to be much more pleasant than any Benelli. A Remington 11 and A5 in 20 gauge being the faithful participants. I would go with the Franchi as well as it represents way more gun for the dollar than the notoriously overpriced Benellis. I have shot that Benelli ultralight though and it is slick but probably worth more along the lines of 800-900 dollars. You know much more closer in price to Benellis own Franchi line.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 26, 2009, 02:52 PM
You were looking at the field grade 20 vs. the deluxe grade 28.

The MSRP of the field grade 20 ga is $839, vs. $999 for 28 ga.

The MSRP of the deluxe 20 ga is $1,099 vs. $1,199 for 28 ga.

So you are right, it's only $100-$160 additional, not $200-$300. My bad.

oneounceload
July 26, 2009, 03:40 PM
I surely do NOT understand why the 28 gauges are $200-$300 more than the exact same gun in 20 ga.

Very simple - they don't make as many 28's as they do 20's. You have all of the costs with lower sales (and subsequent profits), so they charge more to balance it out....

Depending on the game being hunted, a 28 is a oy to carry and shoot

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