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Franchi I 12 shotgun problem

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by magnum338, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. magnum338

    magnum338 Active Member

    This Franchi I-12 has a cycling problem.
    The bolt will, all too frequently, not complete its cycle and completely close for the next shot. My internet search shows that this may be a fairly common problem with that gun. The gun has only been fired about 100 shells, has been kept very clean and lubricated properly , and we know it's not the way it's held at firing. It won't cycle properly every time held in the hand, even without firing.
    Anyone out there know what the problem is and how to correct it?
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    What type of loads are you using?
  3. Fleet

    Fleet Well-Known Member

    Have you matched the friction ring setup to the load?

    ETA: Never mind...I was thinking of the AL model.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  4. robhof

    robhof Well-Known Member

    I have that problem with mine, seems to be 2 3/4" fld loads, works fine with 3" and 3 1/2" mags, but they're expensive and overpowered for shooting clays. Anyone with a fix; please post???
  5. magnum338

    magnum338 Active Member

    Hi, Oneounceload and thanks for the response.
    I didn't want to clutter a new thread with what I'm going to say next but I think you will understand what I think, whether right or wrong.

    First, in response to your question, the gun misbehaves with all loads. That's what my son-in-law tells me...it's his gun and he's no novice to shooting and hunting.

    That said, I think I have an idea of what's happening, and it's based on the "Blish" principle. They call the action "inertial," but what does that mean? To set up a moving inertial system requires something to move. Since the gun is locked until the bolt moves what causes the bolt to move initially? I suspect it's the recoil. Now, his Franchi cycles OK but does not fully close every time, and I think it has to do with the way it is supposed to lock being hindered by friction in those parts.

    It's interesting that when I visited the Benelli website the Benelli, which evidently is the same action as the Franchi, is not known to show this problem. I suspect, but will not insist on, that the Franchi uses the parts off the same line as the Benelli but are those parts which, under quality examination, are further in dimensional tolerance from the original design than those used in the Benelli. A slight hardness, surface finish, etc., deviating from exact design parameters could be the culprit.

    Note; this is conjecture only because I'm not completely familiar with the gun. I will say this: I think it would be more correct to call the action a "delayed blow-back" rather than "inertia."
    I'd be interested in what anyone else thinks about this problem.
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    I agree about the term blowback and have described the inertia as basically that - which is why I was asking - if the gun is set up for the uber big goose loads, the light loads may cause some form of issue trying to fully cycle. If it does it with all loads, even the thumpers, there might be a part out of spec just enough not allowing it to fully close

    I would contact Franchi in that regard
  7. magnum338

    magnum338 Active Member

    That's just about what we had decided to do. I'm glad you agree with me.
  8. sohcgt2

    sohcgt2 Well-Known Member

    If you call Franchi they will tell you to switch to a 3 dram load and fire 200 rds for break in purposes, I went through this several years ago. After 2 or 3 rounds of sporting clays and a couple of boxes of high brass shells it has not had another missfeed or failure to fire. Aparently the internal springs inside the bolt have to be seated over time. I am now over 2,000 rounds through my I-12 and have not had a problem since the 3rd trip to the range.
  9. MAKster

    MAKster Well-Known Member

    The Benelli, Franchi, and Stoeger "Inertia Driven" guns are recoil operated. Some advertising agency decided Inertia driven sounded more high tech anf fancy. Because of the heavy recoil spring on these guns they recommend using at least 1 1/8 ounce loads so light target loads won't cycle 100 percent.
  10. magnum338

    magnum338 Active Member

    I certainly agree with you that the "inertia" operating system in the Franchi is really just a blow back set up. But, did you know that blow-back isn't the only way that inertia can be employed?
    I've owned a Winchester Model 50 shotgun for more years than I like to consider and it has worked perfectly.
    This gun operates under inertial principles. The moving separate chamber, with the bolt locked into it, move back 1/10th inch. Then the bolt unlocks and the inertia imparted to the operating parts during that short time is used to complete the cycle. This gun is the first recoil operating gun I know of with a non-moving barrel, and is a pleasure to shoot. For some reason they never really caught on and it's a shame they didn't.
  11. Virginian

    Virginian Well-Known Member

    I don't like them, but inertia is not blowback. The whole gun recoils except the rear of the bolt. When the rear of the bolt compresses the spring in the bolt, it unlocks, and then the rearward inertia allows it to continue to the rear while your shoulder slows the rest of the gun.
  12. magnum338

    magnum338 Active Member

    You know, MAKster there's a lot in what you say about the "inertia" system being recoil operation. In trying to puzzle it out I think it may be a combination of both.
    Consider: to unlock the Franchi's rotating bolt head there is probably a bolt internal mass that's thrown back under recoil that cams the bolt head, BUT the continuing inertial operation must be blow-back. The reason, as I see it, is that the internal bolt's mass, because of size restrictions, cannot be large enough to continue the cycle. If you'll look at my prior input the Model 50 has a heavy bolt, and a heavy link between it and the heavy inertia rod in the butt. These three pieces carry the needed momentum. Does this make sense to you?
  13. magnum338

    magnum338 Active Member

    Virginian, thanks!
    After reading your post I realized that I should have read Franchi's operational description. I now have an idea I'll try when next I see the gun, and can strip the bolt. My suspicion is that the bolt-head camming slot would need to be properly finished, and hardened, to prevent the bolt-head from sticking when trying to rotate closed with the next shell. If left with tool marks in that slot it may hang up just enough to prevent proper closing, or the same thing may happen if the surface is too soft. Then, scrupulous attention to lubrication of that slot would be mandatory.
    An extra hardening and/or polishing operation done in Benelli manufacture, may account for the added price and more reliable cycling. This would amount to a Franchi quality problem that can be improved, and the guns with the problem easily corrected by them.
    Has anyone else, with this problem, examined these surfaces for finish when the gun was stripped down? It would be interesting to know.

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