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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked-up a 26" 912 in Max-4 camo. I had handled all the various shotguns from the Franchi up to the Beretta. I chose the Franchi for a number of reasons. When I got the 912 home, I carefully read through the instructions. I also took the shotgun apart and examined each part of the gun. My first impression is not very good.
The camo application is not as good as that on my $200 Legacy Escort pump. The synthetic forearm has a lot of play in it and it squeaks when you squeeze it. During assembly/disassembly the forearm scratches the camo on the barrel. While the bolt is held in the open position, the gas piston slides up and down the magazine tube in a rather loud fashion. The manual had a supplemental page discussing a "composite seal" which I believe is the technical term for an o-ring. However, my gun did not have the o-ring. There is not way to hold the bolt open if there are rounds in the magazine. I tried to figure out a way to do this. One of the things that I tried was pulling the bolt handle back and pressing the bolt release. (I know this sounds odd, but there are some guns that have a sliding bolt release that serves both functions.) When I held the bolt back and pressed the bolt release button, both of the rounds where ejected from the magazine and got jammed in the lower portion of the receiver housing. The first round was completely ejected from the magazine and the second round was partially ejected and applying so much pressure on the first round that I couldn't get it out. I had to disassemble the gun to fix it.
There are some things that I really like about the 912. It appears as though it will be very easy to clean. The action spring rides on the outside of the magazine tube and the only things that will get dirty are the spring, magazine tube, gas piston and the gas cylinder of the barrel. All of these are very accessible and easy to clean. I like the adjustable gas piston for light vs. heavy loads. I believe that this will allow a greater range for the light loads. The components appear to be well made and of good material. The magazine tube appears to be an alloy and the gas piston appears to be stainless steel. I practiced loading rounds into the magazine and this went smoothly with no rough spots or protrusions for the shells to hang-up on. (I have an 870 and you can't push the shell all the way into the bottom of the receiver or else the shell will hit the top of the magazine opening. Also, I have a Beretta 391 Teknys and I have had my thumb get caught in between the mag opening and the front of the follower which took a good amount of skin off of my thumb.)
Some of the problems that I have identified are not that important, especially if the gun functions well with a wide range of loads. I will be shooting the gun this week and duck hunting with it this weekend. I will let you know how things go.
 

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I also wish the bolt would lock back on the Franchis everytime you pulled it back like on Browning semi autos. There are a lot of models that do not lock back when the bolt is pulled back if the hammer is already cocked or the magazine if loaded.
With the Franchi series 600,700, 900 models. When the magazine is loaded. If you push the carrier up and hold it in place,then press the bolt release button. All of the rounds in the magazine will be released (speed unload). The piston will move up and down a little bit making noise even with the bolt closed. This is common with the Franchi 600,700, and 900 series models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Worc, do you have a 912? If you do, does your 912 need the o-ring? My understanding is that the o-ring is only necessary to cycle the lightest loads. Also, what is the lowest weight shot that your 912 will shoot reliably?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I took my new 912 out this morning and shot some clay targets. I had some 3.5" steel loads, some 2.75" steel loads, and some 2.75" 7/8 oz. light target loads. The gun worked without a hitch with the hi-power loads. The gun would not cycle the target loads, and I did not expect it to. I called Franchi about the o-ring in the supplemental manual and they stated that the 912 definetly requires an o-ring in order to reliably cycle the low power loads. I was able to shoot the gun with the hi-power loads without the o-ring and with the gas piston in either position. I would have to believe that with the o-ring, there is a better chance of cycling the low-power loads. I have inquired about the o-ring on this site before and I have gotten various answers. The truth is this: The 912 has a reversible gas piston. The gas piston has a metal retaining ring on it. The manual dictates that an o-ring be installed, even though an o-ring is not needed to shoot hi-power loads. The gun may shoot low power loads after it has been broken in, but the o-ring will increase your chances of reliability. Also, the o-ring will act as a buffer between the gas piston slamming home against the gas cynlinder of the barrel.
Shooting impressions: I shot heavy loads and medium loads with minimal perceived recoil. I have shot some shotguns that really smack your face and give you a headache, but I didn't even feel the recoil in my face. I was able to hit the clays just as well as my other guns, so it appears as though it fits well. I did have the butt of the gun get caught-up in my jacket a few times as I was shouldering it. Overall, I am satisfied so far. I hope that the gun will shoot the lighter loads after it has been broken in.
 

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I have the 912 and I am very satisfied with it myself. The buffer ring or o-ring should have came with your gun. I have it on mine and it basically is just a buffer from the piston slamming. If you want I can take a picture of it for you so you can see it. Also, if you read the manual you're shooting below the minimum required loads for the 912. Here is what it says should be the minimum load requirements.

Minimum loads recommended for reliable cycling - 912 12-*****: 1 1/8 ounce, 3 dr
*Xtra Full Extended

I was having the same problem with the gun cycling until I read closer and realized that I was shooting below minimum requirements. Although my gun now has easily 3,000 plus shells shot through it, it will cycle 7/8 Oz. loads on the light or the heavy setting. Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update: I shot some more clay targets with the 912. I now have about 250 rounds through the gun. The gun did not come with the o-ring, so I bought one from the store and installed it myself. I shot two sizes of shells to see how it would do. The first shells were the minimum recommended size of 3 dram 1 1/8 oz. The second shells were even lighter at 1 oz. (The shells didn't list the dram, only the velocity.) Both of the loads worked without a problem, as long as the o-ring was installed. I tried shooting the gun without the o-ring and it wouldn't cycle either of the rounds. From my previous outing I knew that the gun would cycle heavy loads without the o-ring, but it won't cycle the minimum loads without the o-ring. I would have to believe that over time the gun will shoot the min. loads without the o-ring. I was a little concerned about losing the o-ring or having it break on a hunt, so I just bought an extra one and taped it the the inside of the forearm. I am still very pleased with the gun.
 

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I'm glad you like your gun too, I love mine. I haven't had a jam or misfire since I've owned it. All my buddies want to buy one now but most stores around here won't have any in stock for 3 to 4 months. Enjoy.

Joe :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: I took my 912 duck hunting this weekend. I picked up some Federal 3.5" steel shells. The Federal shells would not completely eject from the receiver. It appeared as though the hulls were too long and they were getting caught on the front edge of the opening of the receiver. I then tried some Kent Fasteels and they worked without a problem. I even tried switching the gas piston to "light" to see if that was the problem, but it wasn't. I took the spent Federal and Kent hulls home and measured them. The Federal's measured 3.45" from end to end. The Kent's measured 3.2" end to end. Also, I didn't measure the length of an unfired shell, but it was obvious that the Federal's were longer. Is this common for a 3.5" shell to not be 3.5"? Also, why wouldn't my 912 shoot the Federal shell even though it is supposed to be a 3.5" gun?
On a lighter note (pun intended), although the min. load is listed as 1 1/8 oz., I was able to shoot 100 rounds of Wal-Mart Federal 7/8 oz. shells without a single problem.
 

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Some semi auto's and particular shell just don't seem to get along. I have seen first hand quite a few problems with Federal shells.
A few things to check is the chamber length and to make sure the chamber is not rough. A quick polish job of the chamber can cure some problems like yours.
 

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I have shot both winchester, kent and remington 3 1/2 inch shells through my 912 and haven't had a problem. I have never tried the Federal 3 1/2 so I can't tell you if I would have the same problem or not. Although I haven't had a shell jam with my gun yet and I've shot probably close to 2000 shells through it. I'd recommend shotting at least 250+ waterfowl loads on light setting just to help break the gun in. After doing that I doubt you have jamming problems with any shot shells.
 
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