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 Post subject: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Is the Franchi I-12 a good all round gun?


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:05 pm 
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It is an entry level economy gun. I prefer the Stoeger 2000. It is a little less money. They both have the same action. For the money, buy the Stoeger M2000. FWIW!

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:55 am 
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Don't listen to the previous poster, he constantly bashes the I-12 and recommends the rougher finished m2000. If you shop around you can get the franchi for just a couple hundred dollars more than the m2000 and you get much more gun for that money. First you get shims that you can adjust the gun with (you can use the benelli shims on the m2000 but you have to modify them first), you will get a gun that the camo won't rub off of, and you get a gun that actually has a great recoil pad. The Stoeger is a great gun for what it is meant to be, an entry level semi-auto. The Franchi is a great mid level firearm and if you treat it right, you will have a great relationship with it. Break the gun in properly and keep in clean (it only takes 5 minutes to clean) and you will not have a problem out of this gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:22 am 
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Comparison tests performed by Gun Tests magazine, of which our resident guru and SGW member, Randy Wakeman is a tester, gives thumbs up to the M2000 over the I-12. The I-12 jammed and threw the charge handle throughout the testing. That test is a good read and well worth taking time to read it. We have both guns in our club. I have tested guns for over fifty years and have no reason to bash any gun that is worth the money.

I apologize for appearing to be arguing about this as I have no incentive except to tell it like it is. Both the I-12 and the M2000 are economy entry level guns. The actions are so close that it is almost impossible to tell the diference. Although they are close, the bolt on the Stoeger is attached to the action bars like the system in the 6 and 700 series Franchi gas guns. The bolt assembly in the I-12 is a two piece unit where the bolt rides in a notch in the action bars. No difference in the way it works.

The fit and finish is a bit better on the I-12 and they are a little more polished. May not need as much breaking in. Darned if I know why a gun should leave the factory needing to be broken in but it seems to be the way things are these day. None of my Remingtons or Winchesters ever needed to be broken in.

It is your money. I don't get paid to write these opinions. Both are made by the same company. Take your pick. For the money, I'll stick with the M2000 in 12 gauge and the Luigi Franchi 48 in 20 gauge. Both have been reliable guns. The 48 is over 50 years old and still going strong.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:35 am 
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My nephew bought a Stoeger Model 2000 last September. After breaking it in with several boxes of high brass hunting loads, it works fine. He used it during duck season and had no issues. It seems like a very solid gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:59 pm 
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speekin of yilidiz, how you like those?
i was first thinkin about gettin the special yilidiz o/u 12guage from academy but herd that there not good for heavier lods.

im mainly just tryin to get some advace on what gun to get for trap and duck huntin other than a pump.


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:08 pm 
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I have had no experience with Yildiz. There is a forum here on Yildiz. Check it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:56 am 
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Not to be super analystical, but you sure did make a lot of qualifying statements about "not getting paid" and "no incentive" for your opinions. Have you been accused of "sellin a review" before? Cause noone mentioned it but you.... Just curious, not judgin, really.


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:10 am 
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Yes, I have been accused of being an agent for certain gun companies. Since this is an opinion column, I plug those guns which have been good to me and the members of my club. Theses opinions have been criticized occasionally by those who disagree with me. Not an issue with me. I am an old retired cop that has been in the trenches too long. My money comes from state retirement, nowhere else.

I have seen many of my friends disagree with me and later repent for not listening to the old man. I plug a few guns that I have actual experience with. We have over seventy members at our hunting club. There is a variety of brands of guns used by these guys. Most of them are Remington and Browning, with a sprinkling of Stoeger and Franchi. I help these guys keep their guns going.

Remingtons seldom give a problem. Brownings are next in line in reliability, if you keep them clean. I don't know of anyone now using Benellis, except my nephew, who thinks that it is the only brand that can pop a cap. The poor boys, who don't use Remingtons, buy Stoeger M2000s. The Franchi I-12s faded out after the guys lost too many shots.

The last gun that Franchi made that was worth buying was the 48-AL, made when Luigi Franchi made them. When the Beretta Group bought the line in 1998 and combined it with their Benelli line, they discontinued the 12 gauge. It was too much competition to their inertia action line. IMO, the best gun ever made for my use is the Franchi AL-48.

When Beretta Group started buying gun companies, they had to have an economy line of guns to give people who didn't care to spend $1500 for an inertia action. Thus the I-12 and the M2000 came into being. The I-12 is assembled in Italy from mostly contracted parts from their Stoeger SSA plant in Istanbul. They are stamped "Made in Italy". They are almost identical inside. Both have been made on CNC tooling since 2007.

I think that most inertia actions are overpriced and a lot of other folks do, thus they have the economy line so that they can remain in the market. Of the economy line, I prefer the M2000 because it has been reliable. Plus, you can buy a lot of ammo for the difference in price.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Ah, I gotcha. Thought there might have been a reason to throw those in there. Heh, what else was I expecting on a forum. Anyone who's job revolves around firearms is accused of "selling" their opinions. Shame people think that way. Thanks for the history/coming of age on the Inertia action. I am one of those people who still pays $1500 for the "same gun" at half the cost. The Stoegers and Franchis at the local store just didn't quite have the sparkle of a Legacy or Monte. That said, they sell way more of the less expensive models, and it's a small community. If they didn't work, they wouldn't sell here. To each his own, just can't wait for clear weather to shoot! Wouldn't care if it was a slingshot at this point...


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:50 pm 
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I pretty much agree with your assessment EV. I once owned a Stoeger 2000 and the shotgun was very reliable shooter. And yes the 2000 and the I-12 are basically the same shotgun in my opinion also. One spends extra coin for modern design ergonomics of the I-12. The I-12 also has a more modern/forgiving recoil pad as well rear stock shims. Gun Test/Randy did give a thumbs up for the 2000 over the I-12. I have also seen many threads on several forum sites where guys complained about bolt handles coming out of the I-12. The Stoeger 2000 doesn't seem to have this design problem. Neither the 2000 or the standard I-12 is the great handling upland shotgun in my opinion as the old discontinued Franchi 48AL. Keeping in mind also that most Franchi 48's produced over the years were only chambered for 2-3/4 shells only.

I completely disagree about some of the other Franchi semi auto gas models. The 612, and 912 were pretty well made shotguns in my book. The gas 612 was one very reliable/under-rated semi auto shotgun... And almost as good handling a upland field shotgun as the 48AL. The 612 was also chambered for 3" shells. The 612 was probably the best carry gas operated 12 on the market in its time in my opinion. As mentioned by Worc here often... The 3.5 chambered 912 Variomax was the precursor gas system to the Beretta Extrema. A few guys I know love their 912's and the gas operation design is very reliable. And the gun will shoot all size 12ga ammunition when set up properly. I believe the main reason these models were discontinued (AL48 12ga, 612 and 912) is because Franchi is a Beretta holding and competed against to many of the current day Beretta and Benelli model lines. Same goes for the 20 gauge gas models. In my opinion nothing compares (When talking gas operated shotguns) for upland hunting and lively feel to the discontinued Franchi gas semis. And for sure needless to say the long recoil 48AL, 12. The discontinued Franchi 620 was also a very good shotgun as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Thanks jds for the comments. Good post!

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Thanks EV, I often enjoy reading your posts here a great deal. Unless I was mistaken... I noticed the other day the Franchi I-12 Upland hunter lightweight is no longer available on the Franchi USA site. Go figure that one...? The shotgun basically had every feature to rival the Benelli Ultralight 12 for hundreds less. Hope I'm wrong or missed something because the I-12 lightweight was on my short list for the money. Although my 2000 was reliable, the shotgun was just not what I wanted weight or handling wise. I wanted a semi that handled more like the 48AL... The 2000 was more like a M1 or 390. The 2000 also has a thick forearm I didn't much care for. I like the handling characteristics more of the Benelli Montefeltro or Ultralight, but as EV mentioned... The Performance is not Worth the Price on my budget right now... Plus the fact I'm an old school Franchi semi auto fan from carrying 12ga 48 many years upland hunting. Maybe I should start looking for an old stock new or lightly used 612, 26" semi.

Yep, here is the Franchi I-12 Upland Hunter Lightweight information. They call this semi auto the Fast Pro on the Franchi IT site. I saw several on GunBroker for around $800 in the plain blue receiver version earlier last year. A 6-pound shotgun that was hundreds less than the Benelli Ultralight.
http://www.franchi.com/Product/index.asp?ID=708

Here's more, the gun weighs 5.84 lbs
http://www.franchi.com/Product/index.asp?ID=709

Here's a silver receiver version, which was never available here in the US unless I'm mistaken.
http://www.franchi.com/Product/index.asp?ID=725

No where to be found on the Franchi USA site anymore. Click on the specifications tab. Not even close weight wise. Maybe Franchi doesn't show all the spec details for all the I-12's available.
http://www.franchiusa.com/firearms/i-12 ... _field.php

Hard to figure Franchi USA not offering a lightweight semi anymore? Especially from a shotgun manufacturer that built its reputation building lightweight field guns. Doesn't make any sense to me... Hopefully Worc will chime in with some insight.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:24 am 
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{hs# I have two I-12s. The waterfowler and the uplander. I also shoot an AL 48 20 gauge and that is the gun that I shot for most of my upland hunting, from Montana to New Mexico. That gun was made in 1963. No doubt, that old gun is probably one of the best upland guns ever made.
Once pheasant season rolled around I went to my I-12 Uplander. Not one missed cycle.
For waterfowling: my I-12 waterfowler, not one missed cycle. I load all my own shells, so these are all home loads.
I had a Benelli M1 90 12 gauge that I shot a lot for awhile. Although I hit with that gun, it was the biggest POS that I have ever owned. Constantly missed cylces. I sent it back to Benelli, they lapped the rails(I do that myself!). That gun never worked right.
Now most folks have their prejudices: Worc(who I respect a lot) hates Remingtons, evbulter(who's posts I enjoy) hates I-12s but says how great Stoeger 2000's are.
I personally believe that with all inertial guns: some of them are smooth and some of them are not. I have a little trick that I do when I look at inertia guns, from Benellis to Stoegers.
I pull the bolt back half way or a little more and let go. Some newer inertia guns do not lock up right-resulting in the Benelli click. This could be a $1200 benelli or a cheap Stoeger. Some lock up smoothly from the start. Watch for those that don't because they will need breaking in and may not function smoothly for a lot of its use!
All those inertia guns are the same with varying amounts of workmanship and QC done to them. To say that the Stoeger/Benelli is way better than the Franchi is silly because:
THEY ARE THE SAME GUN with a few cosmetic design differences. We are not talking about the Vinci here. Also, Franchi fixed the throwing of the bolt handle issue and I have never experienced this.
Back the the I-12. Its a cheaper, slightly different design(mag tube) Benelli ultralight for half the price. The fact that is has not been successful is totally a marketing decision on the part of Beretta/Benelli. If you can sell 5X the number of ULs, why push the I-12.
Oh yea! I just have to goat a little.
The last walk of my entire upland bird season and I hunt a lot, I shot a kansas limit of roosters over my younger pudelpointer with guess what gun: the Franchi I-12 Uplander 12 gauge. Fabulous upland gun. Can't wait til next year.

arkrivco


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:00 am 
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Good post, arkrivco.

I'm sure that the I-12 has been improved or it would be history. I'm glad that you have had good luck with yours.

Presently, M2000s are hard to get due to the factory being behind on orders. Some dealers probably have some in stock but ordering one now is a waiting game. They are selling better since the New Model was introduced and are now back ordered.

I am going to my local Franchi dealer and check with him concerning the number of I-12s he has sent back for service this past hunting season. He is also a Benelli dealer and sells M2000s. Since the New Model 2000 was introduced, he has sent back exactly one M2000 for service. He has sent back several I-12s. I haven't talked with him recently about this problem. It may be that they have finally got the I-12 up to snuff. It took Beretta five years to get the M2000 up to par. In 2007, when they went to CNC tooling, that solved most of their problems.

I don't hate the I-12. M2000 got its act together quicker. I still wish that Beretta would test fire the M2000 and the I-12 before boxing them up. Letting the customer act as the QC agent has been a problem for Beretta Group in all of its models, including the high dollar models. I might not can find the link, but I read an article last year that more Benellis were returned for service than the M2000s.

Thier QC is almost nil or they wouldn't be returning guns when the bolt won't open due to the grooves not being cut deep enough. Test firing would tell them that the gun is defective. That was a Benelli, not a cheaper gun.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:22 pm 
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I've posted of my experience with the I-12 several times in the past. Overall, I've been very satisfied with the I-12 and wouldn't hesitate to buy another one, although I might very well look at the M2000 because it would get the same job down for fewer $$$. While very, very reliable, I have had a few issues: the screw holding in the ejector came out, I had a lost bolt handle that took 5 months to replace and I've had a few issues with cycling with some ammo.

I am amused, however, at the classification of such shotguns as "entry level". The implication that somehow these shotguns are "starter shotguns" I find rather interesting. They may be less expensive, but they are by no means shotguns that require an "upgrade" for anything much more than personal desire and maybe even vanity in some cases.

I sold my first shotgun - and 870 Express with synthetic stock -- to a friend because I wanted an semi-auto for shooting clays in the off-season and didn't want to buy a second shotgun just for that. I can think of no practical reason to date that could rationalize buying a Benelli or other high priced shotgun other than just wanting one.

When it comes to hunting, a $1500 or $2000 Benelli is just someone's Mercedes or BMW. It doesn't necessarily get the job done any better than a Ford or Toyota just because it costs more, but it looks nice and shiny and fancy and may have a few nice features that are handy, but are by no means a requirement or necessity for better shooting.

Of course, from a marketing perspective, it would be a horror for too many folks to decide that an "entry level" shotgun could last a lifetime and one never need to buy an "upgrade". Used to be that car model changes only came every 5, 6 or 7 years....and then someone found out that by changing the shape of the headlight or the shape of the radio knobs every year, they could sell more vehicles.

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Last edited by CrusherT on Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Great thread and while everybody's voicing there opinion here's mine for what it's worth....

If I walked in a gun store and there was a Franchi 612 laying in the corner in pretty good condition I'd give them $500 cash for it in a heartbeat. The one I had was a great gun for 8 +/- yrs of teenager abuse. Really wish I had been more mature and taken better care of that gun... Live and learn.

I would not consider the I-12 an entry level gun, I would consider it midlevel for sure. I absolutely love the way it feels and really think of the Stoeger and the I-12 as the same gun. I have zero time with the Stoeger, that thought is just based off what friends that have owned them have said and what I have read (besides all of Ev's reviews haha. :lol: Just kidding ev...) I would rather have a knive than a loaded I-12 if someone was breaking in my house and they were armed. Let me say that maybe it was just the I-12 that I had. I realize all products can have their lemons, but the taste is still in my mouth.

Crusher-T, no disrepect, and I drive an F-150 with cloth seats, but to call a $1500 hunting gun somebody's BMW or Merecedes is just wrong. Not everybody is like that. You have had problems with your I-12. Used to when I would drive 6 hours to a duck lease with my I-12, I took a Remington 1187 as a backup just incase it didn't work b/c that was always in the back of my mind. It sucks to be a 1/2 mile from the cabin, in a pit when it's raining and muddy and you are worried about your gun. Now I don't worry about it when I take the Extrema 2. That's worth the $850 difference to me. I would save up for an Extrema 2, SBE II, or Gold Hunter way before I bought an I-12 if I was mainly going to be hunting. I don't shoot skeet enough to consider any of these guns for skeet.

Anyways, all personal preference. Good shooting.


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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:48 am 
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I would agree that the I-12 is a mid level shotgun, but I would also consider about any semi-auto to be a mid-level shotgun with pumps being the supposed "entry level".

I would not reach for ANY semi-auto for home defense, Benelli or not. When things go bump in the night, I'd rather have a $300 870, Mossberg or Nova than any high-end semi-auto, no matter what its reputation.

Yes, I have documented a few issues with my I-12, but other than the bolt handle coming out on a snow goose hunting day trip (and not knowing at the time that I could still safely use it), I've never had a problem with it in the field. My issues have mainly been with value-pack ammo at the shooting range.

I don't find the expense of any shotgun bordering on or surpassing $1000 to be justifiable for my purposes. If I got to hunt often and many times a year, I might feel differently, but for hunting a few times a year and going to the clays range, my I-12 is all the gun I need and I could even go back to my old 870 Express and be just as satisfied. (With the price of ammo being what it is, I haven't shot nearly as many clays as I anticipated over the last few years, so even the I-12 at this point was an extra $300 that didn't need to get spent.)

If I had to do it all over, I might just stay with my 870. I sure wouldn't spend another $600-800 for a Benelli. Just wouldn't be worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:15 am 
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I agree with you, Crusher! I can't afford those high end guns when a lesser priced gun does the job. Compare the Lexus to the Camry. Same car with a snob job done to it. Same parts, a bit better upholstery, maybe $300 worth of 'deluxe' and double the price.

No semi is worth $1000 to me. The I-12 is as good as you want for the type of shooting done with a semi.

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 Post subject: Re: Franchi I-12
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:22 am 
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The gun world is just like any other part of life.....sometimes buying a particular item is more of a statement of one's wealth or an effort to impress others or placate one's one vanity or pride. "Keeping up with the Jones'" is evident in the gun world also.

Certainly not true in all cases, however.

I do find that many in the gun world seem to use the "you get what you pay for" argument, but I wonder how many of them are in turn saying that when they buy a watch or a car. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and some times you get suckered 'cause you bought into the marketing hype or succumbed to vanity or pride.

And trust me, I too am tempted by the lull of the Benelli marketing sirens. :)

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