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The Refuge

This is a post at another site showing a Franchi double that had a barrel failure, at the time I looked at the pics, the lady shooter had not posted what the cause had been. Speculation is on a hot shell, kinda unlikely IMHO, or the 12-20, where a 20ga shell is dropped into the chamber followed by a 12 ga shell.

The rupture is in the bottom barrel in the chamber area, the thickest part...don't think even a double powder charge would cause that area to give as it has the end of the barrel to vent partially.

Found the ladies post as follows: ... adid=68570
The Franchi O/U shotgun I won at a DU dinner 2 years ago blew up in my hands while shooting sporting clays last month. The right side of the receiver completely disintegrated and I found the twisted barrels 20 feet behind me. I was extemely lucky that I only received a scratched finger and that no one was standing next to me.
I took all the pieces I could find to the local dealer who contacted Franchi.The Franchi representative took the gun and told the dealer that he would contact me. Franchi has never contacted me-even to find out if I was injured or not! After 2 weeks I contacted the dealer, who told me the representative required me to produce the hull of the shell that was shot and the remaining shells from the box. Until I can produce these items, Franchi will do nothing and assumes it was "Shooter Error".
Well, the hull was one of the pieces I couldn't find, and I shoot unboxed shells from my sporting clays vest. The gun had probably 1000-2000 shells through it with no problems prior to the event.
This is a heads-up to anyone with a Franchi product. In my opinion, they have a questionable product and their customer service is very poor. If anyone else has had a similar experience, I'd be interested.
My photos are too big to post here. If interested, email me at [email protected] and I'll send them along

My gun was a special Ducks Unlimited model, with no other model, etc. attached to it. But when I looked through a Franchi catalog at the SHOT show last year, it looked like it was either an Alcione Field or Alcione Light Field. I had it ported and the forcing cones relieved by Briley. I also had a G-Squared butt stock on it. Ironically, that survived and is currently being put on my new Browning XS Skeet. It was a 20/12 combo and I was shooting it as a 12 gauge. I've been using it for Sporting Clays for about 6 months and averaging around 150 rounds each weekend. I believe I had an improved cylinder choke in the lower barrel. I was on Stand 13 of Oaktree Gun Club in Newhall, California and had already shot Stands 1-6, 14 & 15 plus 3 clays on stand 13 when the 4th shot exploded the gun. I had hit all the clays on that stand prior to this, so it is very doubtful that a wad was stuck in the barrel.
The gun was an "old Style" Franchi imported by Accurate Arms. Franchi completely redesigned the gun shortly after Benelli became the U.S. distributor. After this experience, I think I know why! Depending on how old your gun is, it's probably one of the "New Style" guns.
The shell I was shooting that day was a once fired gray AA Super Handicap. It was reloaded on a reasonably new Ponsness Warren progressive reloader using 32 grains of Long Shot, 1-1/8 oz of #8-1/2 shot, Blue Duster wad and Winchester 209 primer. The powder charge was re-checked on an electronic scale periodically throughout the entire session. If you're familiar with Long Shot, you'll know if the hull got double charged by accident, the volume of powder would make it impossible to crimp. Again, this is very unlikely the cause of the explosion.
I don't know anything about metallurgy, but looking at what is left of the receiver and barrels, it looks like they were attached with spot welds. I suspect the quality of the metal and that these welds may have fatigued over time. But I don't know. I tried to get Franchi to look into it, but less than a week after their representative received the gun they demanded I produce the hull (couldn't find any part of it) and the rest of the box of shells I was shooting. Without them, they declared the case closed.
This is why I'm trying to get the message out. I'm not looking for a lawsuit or anything. I just want people with these guns to know what happened and if the cause of the explosion can be found, so much the better.
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