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How do I tell what choke my Franchi 48AL has?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by 1KPerDay, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    12 gauge. Fixed choke. Non-vent-rib, 28-inch barrel (though I'd like to find a VR in Modified or interchangeable chokes in 26-inch... think anyone will have one?)

    I took the barrel off the gun last night and looked closely at the markings on the bottom of the barrel... and I can't see any obvious marks that would determine the choke size. There are a lot of "finito" proof marks and other stuff but I don't know what the choke would be in italian. And no, I don't have a set of inside calipers. Any home remedies for determining choke size?:D
     
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Have you patterned the gun yet? If so, what did it show you?
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Tried the dime test? You can tell with a dime. If it won't go in it's full or turkey or some tight choke, if it almost or barely fits in, it's mod, if it'll rattle around in there, it's more open, IC, Skeet or something. Crude, but effective. :D
     
  4. EShell

    EShell Member

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    Because choke constriction is relative to actual bore diameter, the pattern test is the only real story, regardless of what's stamped on the barrel.

    That said, the newer Franchi 48AL barrels are marked on the right side of the barrel with the name of the choke designation. Older models use a series of stars on the underside to identify fixed choke.

    I have two 48ALs and several extra barrels, but they're in back of the safe and it's getting kinda late to start dragging that stuff out tonight.

    IIRC:
    * = Full
    ** = Improved Modified
    *** = Modified
    **** = Improved Cylinder

    ETA: Verified/corrected/link added: See "Italian" column: http://www.griffinhowe.com/choke_chart.cfm
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  5. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    THANK YOU.

    Mine has three stars. And a dime slips in but it doesn't have any room to move around. So I guess MCgunner's method is pretty accurate also. :D

    Thanks again... mind telling me where you got your spare barrels from? Are yours 12 or 20 gauge?Lovely guns, aren't they? Best deal around... last 12 gauge 48AL I saw listed was for about $350-$400. People are paying $1200 for Benellis that weigh more. LOL


    Also I don't have a manual... is there an official directive on reversing the spring spacer on the mag tube for heavier/light loads? Mine has the spring, a silver spacer with the bevel on the lower edge, then a thick brass bushing with a smaller black bushing around it... is that right?
     
  6. EShell

    EShell Member

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    I had picked up extra "Franchi" barrels from several sources, mostly opportunistic buys at various gun shows or sporting goods stores. If you find one that takes "Fran-Choke" tubes, IIRC they also fit Benelli choke tubes.

    FWIW, Hastings makes a nice replaceable choke barrel that is all I ever needed, but I didn't find that until I had bought some fixed choke options. Hastings also makes a fully rifled iron-sighted slug barrel that works great.

    Both of mine are 2-3/4" 12 gauges, one is set up with the 24" Hastings choke-tube barrel for birds, the other sports the rifled barrel. They don't make a cantilevered slug barrel, due to the long recoil action and large amount of reciprocating mass.

    I'm still kicking myself for not buying a 3" 12 I saw at a shop once, and a 20 gauge I played with at a gun show. The 20 is REALLY sweet and would be a beautiful gun for early doves, quail & grouse.

    ETA, I'll have to look for a manual and/or look at the guns for setting the friction rings system.
     
  7. machinisttx

    machinisttx Member

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    IIRC, Numrich gun parts corp had some Fran-Choke 48AL barrels not too long ago.
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I'd appreciate it. :)

    Don't see any there now... BTW how do I tell if I have a "late model"?


    eShell, I can't see anything for Franchis on the hastings site either...
    http://www.hastingsbarrels.com/12guide.html
     
  9. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Thanks... looks like they only have the Xtra Full in vent rib, but I'll keep my eye on that site. :cool:
     
  11. EShell

    EShell Member

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    I found the friction ring setup in the manual.

    The tube should always be lightly oiled. The spring always goes on first and seats down against the receiver. IIRC, the Browning A-5 stores the governor under the spring during light load use, but not the Franchi 48AL.

    The "governor" is the steel ring with an internal bevel cut on one side, with the other side flat.

    For light loads: The beveled side of the governor goes against the end of the spring. The bronze friction ring, with it's steel tension sleeve, sits against the flat side of the governor. This setting provides minimum friction.

    For heavy loads: The flat side of the governor goes against the end of the spring. The bronze friction ring, with it's steel tension sleeve, has a "male" beveled edge that goes into the "female" beveled side of the governor. This setting provides maximum friction by wedging the friction ring tightly against the tube during recoil.

    FYI: According to the manual, 2-3/4" magnums can be fired in the standard 2-3/4" gun in the "heavy load" setting, but this will create "unusual recoil and wear". They sell a "magnum" recoil spring and this is recommended if one plans to shoot a lot of 2-3/4" mags. The (12 ga) magnum spring part number is 12-117M.


    ETA: Hasting must have discontinued barrels for the 48 AL. I know they offered them at one time, because I have both a 24" WadLock choke tube model and the fully rifled slug barrel. You may be able to find one used, or Hastings may have a couple left around that they didn't bother cataloging. They might also be able to put you onto a distributor who may have stocked these at one time and could have some left. FWIW - IIRC, I bought mine through Cabelas way back when . . .
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    thank you thank you thank you. :cool:
     
  13. msgttbar

    msgttbar Member

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    Wanna know when it was made? These ID's will be on the frame and barrel and may not be the same year for both. My barrel was made in 1974 and the frame in 1975.

    Manufacture_Dates.jpg

    By the way, these older AL48's are worth more than you think. In 95% or better, think $700 and up.
    If it is chambered for 3", add 50%.
    IMHO this is the best upland game auto made. Not for skeet or trap though, strictly a hunting shotgun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  14. EShell

    EShell Member

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    Agreed. I was given my first one at about age 12 and it has been a GREAT hunting shotgun. It fit me so well and was so quick to point, when I had the opportunity to buy a "spare", I felt compelled. The second one is definitely newer, but is about the same gun with a slightly lesser level of finish. I'll have to look at the first one and compare it to the chart you've posted. IIRC, it was purchased new in '69.
     
  15. Brettski

    Brettski Member

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    Hello all,

    New to the forum. Just picked up an old Franchi 12 ga semi-auto shotgun. I knew nothing about this gun when I bought it from a local shop, but really liked the way it felt and how light it was. It really shouldered and swung quickly.

    Took it out to shoot trap, and after the first shot I thought' "Uh oh...I just bought a dud." The bolt did not cycle open, using the same load I had been using with my Remington semi-auto. Guy at the range suggested a heavier load.

    Returned he next day with some big ole shells, and the old gun worked fine, but really beat the tar out of my arm. I have not taken it out of its case since.

    However, after doing a bit of research this evening, I came across this forum! You guys are awesome. After reading the posts from EShell and msgttbar, I quickly found out that the governor was set for heavy loads and my gun is a 1968 model (XXIV stamped on both barrel and receiver).

    Looking forward to cycling some lighter loads through it this weekend.

    Brett
     
  16. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy Member

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    My primary trap gun is a Browning A5 - I keep the gun set for "heavy" loads, and let the spring suck up the recoil. I have to manually eject the empties, but then they go in the shell bag.

    If you're not shooting doubles, let the gun absorb ther recoil.

    good shooting!
     
  17. Brettski

    Brettski Member

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    Hello again,

    Quick update after getting my "new" 1968 Franchi AL 48 12 ga.

    After obtaining the manual for my old AL 48, I took it all down and cleaned it thoroughly. Set the governor ring for light loads (bevel toward the spring). Returned to the trap range this afternoon and was smokin' the clays with 1 1/8 oz of 7.5 shot (2 3/4, 1200 fps, 3 dram).

    If I ever need to replace the friction ring and governor, where would I look?

    Thanks guys,

    Brett
     
  18. RetiredLawman

    RetiredLawman Member

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    Mine is over 50 years old. I have never had to replace but one part, an extractor. The extractor was worn out after extracting thousand of loads. The gun shoots better today than it did back in the 1950s.

    Brownell's stocks parts for it.
     
  19. Brettski

    Brettski Member

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    Thanks Lawman! Will check it out.
     
  20. heviarti

    heviarti Member

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    I've got one of the ones marked as tradewinds from the fifties. I've been having a bear of a time getting it to cycle with the winchester 7 1/2 loads they sell at walmart. they are great for starlings around the house. Never would cycle till I pulled the ring out completely. Not sure if that's too loose or not, but I think I need to make a series of washers to set it precisely. I don't know if they intend for the nut at the end of the tube to do some of the adjustment, but if you try that the barrel moves forward and it still don't cycle right. I don't know what's really supposed to go on with these because I have no manual and have never owned a semi-auto shotgun before. Pain in the butt to load these too. I figured it'd strip a round off the magazine when I cycled the bolt. I eventually figured out that it would chamber a round if you put the butt on the ground and pull down on the barrel as hard as you can. I love the way it shoots, it's one of two shotguns I can hit anything with, but it's a pain in the butt to use.
     
  21. EShell

    EShell Member

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  22. heviarti

    heviarti Member

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    I've tried downloading that ten times now. It reports as being 1.72 meg and I never get more than 1.53, and then the pdf reader tells me the file is invalid. I think I'm getting incomplete downloads for some reason.
     
  23. heviarti

    heviarti Member

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    I know that this is a 48AL, but some of it doesn't jive. For instance I don't have a 'governor ring' or 'friction spring', just a sort of split brass beveled bushing. There's also a whole bunch of stuff I think is missing at the fore end. I'd post pics, but I'm on a smartphone so posting is difficult.

    I finally got hold of the manual (download 19). According to the manual it's not supposed to strip a round when the bolt cycles? What kind of stupid idea is that?
     
  24. EShell

    EShell Member

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    I just D/L'ed the .pdf file OK. It's just a little under 1.8 mb. If you want me to e-mail it to you, I can do that, send a PM.

    Sounds like you have the brass friction ring, but you're missing the steel friction ring and governor.

    The governor is the device that really decides how much friction the brass ring puts on the tube to decelerate the barrel. If the female bevel of the governor is facing the brass friction ring, it forces the friction ring to clamp tightly against the tube for heavy loads. AFAIK, the steel friction ring really only regulates the gun during light load operation, but IS required.
     
  25. heviarti

    heviarti Member

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    Are you saying this thing relies on friction and not a stack of washers to regulate the spring tension? With the brass bushing installed, It won't cycle, with it out I fear it may have too little tension. I'm running those low brass 7 1/2s they sell in hundred packs at walmart and the like. I need it to cycle and not beat itself apart. It, and my 16ga double I do really good with. I hit approximately 50% of the time, as opposed to the 10% with either of my winchesters (97 in 12, 12 in 20). Don't know why I can't hit anything with the winchesters. Of course, the 97 does great with buckshot. give me two static targets at the same distance, make one a starling and the other a feral cat, I'll kill the feral cat dead with buckshot, and miss the starling entirely. Same load in the Franchi? I'll likely hit the starling. The 20? I think I've had it for almost a year, and have managed to hit twice out of six boxes ammo I've depleted. Once was this week.

    I like my Franchi. That said, I want a shotgun that I can carry as I work, that has at least six rounds capacity, is semi, feeds when the bolt is cycled, and can be adjusted to run whatever I feed it. Being a turnbolt gas operated gun would be a plus.
     
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