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A Review of the Franchi Affinity 3 Semiautomatic Shotgun

A Review of the Franchi Affinity 3 Semiautomatic Shotgun

  • Made in Italy
  • MSRP of $849 to $959
  • Used $729+ (Prices Currently High)
  • Available in 12 GA and 20 GA
  • Capacity 4+1
  • Inertia Driven® system
  • Takes 2 3/4" and 3" (3 1/2" Model Available)
  • Average Weight 5.9lbs. to 6.9lbs
  • Barrell Length 26" and 28" (24" in Turkey Model)
  • Length of Pull is 14-3/8″
  • Drop at Comb is 1-1/2"
  • Drop at Heel is Adjustable from 2″ to 2-1/2″
  • Available in Black Synthetic, Various Camo, and Wood
  • Comes with Full, Improved Cylinder and Modified Chokes
A bird hunter holds a ruffed grouse and a Franchi Affinity.

The Franchi Affinity 3 is a reliable Italian-made shotgun for applications from big game to small at a very competitive price

Semi-automatics on a website with a reputation for ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting, blasphemy! All joking aside, there are plenty of applications and reasons to love a semi-automatic shotgun. Whether it’s those chukar hunters of the West or the folks with flushing dogs in the North, one may merely stick with personal preferences and ignore the noise. I bought this shotgun with one clear goal, to kill turkeys, although it has been subjected to grouse, woodcock, and even some ducks. In fact this shotgun proved to be the tool used for a few friends’ first ruffed grouse.

As I have stated many times, I am a sucker for Italian-made shotguns and at an MSRP of $849 in black synthetic, the 20-gauge weighing in at a mere 5.6 pounds, and the 12-gauge coming in at 6.4 pounds, this is essentially the entry level Italian semi-automatic shotgun. (Wood and camo options are listed at an MSRP of $959). The Inertia Driven system used in the Benelli and Beretta stands as one of the greatest actions ever built in a shotgun. The difference here is the price tag between said brands. This is not the first Franchi we have reviewed either, check out Franchi Instinct L – A Shotgun Review

I took this shotgun for a test drive for turkeys as my wife was looking for a light gun to hunt with. The need to understand what a shotgun is capable of and at what ranges is important when introducing someone to turkey hunting. The first bird I dumped with it was at 30 yards. I can still remember wondering as I ran up to the flopping bird why in the world I had ever lugged a 12-gauge around the woods. (Read: Can I Use a 20-Gauge to Hunt Turkeys?) That day resulted in a 12-gauge purge in my gun safe as turkey hunting was just about the last reason I kept any thought or reason not to sell them. I did keep a Benelli Vinci as a waterfowl option which I have yet to actually take duck or goose hunting. Those 20-gauges with bismuth sure are deadly.

With a 3 inch turkey round the Franchi Affinity certainly has a bark to it and my wife still prefers the old Remington Lt 20-Gauge 1100 as the recoil is far less even with 2 ¾ round comparison. My most recent season in Connecticut had me trying out the new Federal TSS loads and the first turkey I took with it was at 45 yards. The farthest shot I had ever taken on a turkey and I was a believer. New loads like tungsten only make a stronger case for using sub-gauges (where legal) on turkeys. This has been my go-to turkey gun for many years now and with anyone considering this gun for that use I would give this gun five stars.

There have been many days where I have played with this gun on trap and skeet ranges. With a 14-3/8 inch length of pull it was a bit long for me but certainly manageable (I’m 5’5”). It comes standard with a shim kit to adjust cast and drop which I must say is pretty epic. My grief with all Franchi shotguns is the three shotgun chokes that come standard. An Improved Cylinder, Modified, and Full are certainly versatile–but give me that cylinder or skeet for grouse and woodcock hunting! Needless to say the times it has ventured for birds we rolled with I/C. It certainly worked well and the 26 inch barrel on the 20-gauge makes sense for bird hunting (26- and 28 inch barrel length options on the 12-gauge models).

A turkey hunter using a Franchi Affinity.
The author’s father with the 12-gauge Franchi Affinity on a turkey hunt.

A past employee of Northwoods Collective used this shotgun to shoot his first grouse and yes, it was on the wing. He actually shot the gun quite well as I think he hit just about every bird he shot at those couple of days. Maybe he is just a natural. That gun has certainly pounded some brush over the years and the strap that lives on it thanks to the pre-drilled holes in the stock and magazine cap has made it an afterthought while tracking for miles in the turkey woods.

To date, this shotgun has never jammed on me and I should say that I probably should have cleaned it more often. But hey, it worked. Another time on a sea duck hunt in New England it gained some surface rust, but in all fairness that was my rookie error of not cleaning it right after the hunt when we were taking on salt water all over our gear as we abandoned the rough seas. It still came off as my father lectured me on “taking care of my things.” Yes, he is right. I have become more proactive in cleaning my shotguns as I have acquired more expensive shotguns over the past couple of years.

A clay shooter uses a Franchi Affinity to practice breaking targets.
Using a Franchi Affinity to break clays at grouse camp.

There is something to be said about the versatility of semi-automatic shotguns when it comes to hunting. And if you find yourself looking for one shotgun to hunt everything from big game, turkeys and wingshooting, then I would not hesitate to steer you away from double guns. The Franchi Affinity even comes drilled for scope mounts for you deer hunters in the world.

If you’re in the market for a semi-automatic shotgun, this is certainly an amazing piece of machinery for the price. Call it bias, but compared to the prices of some American guns that I would deem inferior at just about double the price, this shotgun moves up my top suggestion list real fast. This next season I may consider an upgrade to a Beretta. But this Franchi has yet to fail me.

Check it out on the Franchi website: here

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View Comments (9)
  • I almost went with the Affinity, but eventually decided on the Instinct SL, as I virtually only use it for grouse and pheasant. It may certainly be my next gun, as a shotgun for deer and turkey would be nice to have.

  • I have a 20ga Affinity but I have given up using it for skeet because it often jams with skeet loads. I have tried extra cleaning but that has not worked. There is no problem with loads of >1300 ft/sec. I really like the gun and use it now only for turkey and waterfowl and sometimes pheasants with fast loads.

  • I have a Franchi Affinity in 20ga and it has made a total believer in me both as the quality of the gun and the 20 ga. I think the shim kit that come with the gun has a lot to do with it. To make it more simple I can adjust the gun to totally fit me and that makes a difference with a shotgun. Which in turn make the 20ga do what it does best. I have had this gun for over 8 yrs and hunted about everything from birds to turkeys and rabbits. So I think I have give it a real test and it does a excellent job. I also have a Bennelli in 12 ga and I like the Franchi better than the Benneli simply because I like the lock up of the action better. I have had the Benneli come out of battery simply by caring it and I guess my hand has hit the bolt somehow and cause it to come out of battery. I have never had the Franchi to do this. I think it has to do with where the spring is for the bolt which is in front of the bolt on the Franchi.

  • I think it is a very useful shotgun. Light weight and doesn’t doesn’t jam when hunting it in poor conditions. I wish it had a flat rib instead of the raised rib. Nonetheless it is a tough gun that works well hunting chukar.

  • I purchased this in the 20 gauge and love the look and feel of it. However, loading shells is extremely difficult and I find that my thumb gets so sore that using the gun is not enjoyable. Has anyone experienced this and what are some possible fixes for this?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • try bending your thumb at 90 degrees so that your knuckle is riding on the clip. I agree it’s a bit annoying but I like my gun otherwise.

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