Hank & I attended SHOT Show last winter in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is an outstanding show with so many exhibitors, it is always exciting to see. My most memorable experience of the trip was the day before the show when we went to Media Day at the Range. This is a National Shooting Sports Foundation sponsored event where suppliers and manufacturers bring their latest and greatest items for the media to field test. This year I was invited to the Franchi tent to try a couple of shotguns. It was a windy day; despite the sun, it was freezing cold. I was excited to try the new guns and shoot with my friends but forgot all about that when I met the legendary Joe Coogan, host of Benelli on Assignment.
I am often soft-spoken and like to observe and listen before blabbering away. This was no different when I met Mr. Coogan, other than I was speechless. I was fortunate enough to take a couple of tips from him as I attempted to shoot clays from the sky. I am much more accustomed to being alone, or with my daughter, aka Little Gal, in the woods or marsh hunting when I am firing a shotgun. I was overcome by “stage fright” and wasn’t hitting a whole lot of anything. I think Mr. Coogan sensed my excitement when he said, “load two for Mia.” And I promptly blasted both clays from the sky. WHEW! “Thank you, Mr. Coogan!” What an experience and a wonderful way to start the trip.
One of the shotguns I tested was the new Franchi Affinity. It is an Inertia Driven ®, a semiautomatic shotgun that is very lightweight. It is made of aluminum alloy with steel inserts making it perfect for both bird hunting and shooting clay targets. I generally shoot 12 gauge for hunting, but I tested the 20 gauge Affinity at the range.
I pen a blog for the Women’s Outdoor News called Mia and the Little Gal and share my & my daughter’s adventures in the outdoors, shooting, hunting and fishing. I am always looking for ways to get her involved and make her experiences more enjoyable. I take the Little Gal along any chance, but this event is limited to attendees 16 and older, so the Little Gal could not tag along. I thought of her along the way, and after shooting the Affinity, I had a couple of questions for Mr. Coogan about the gun and youth models. I met him at the SHOT Show, and he explained the features of the guns. The line does not have a specific youth profile, but it does have some great characteristics for a young lady.
- The 20 gauge weighs in at an amazing 5.6 pounds. That is light enough for my Little Gal to hunt with.
- The synthetic stock also makes it lightweight. This feature would be ideal for the Little Gal as she sits motionless, waiting for a tom to present himself.
- I was also excited to hear the 20 gauge holds up to a 3” shell, perfect for a Little Gal turkey hunting.
- It has interchangeable chokes and comes with an Improved Cylinder (IC), Modified (M), and Full (F). That means the Little Gal can shoot clays, doves, duck and geese.
- The Affinity also had a standard fiber optic site that draws your eye right where it needs to be when shooting.
- The Inertia Driven® system of the Affinity also means the gun has minimal recoil. Combined with the recoil pad, this seemed to eliminate the “kick.” This is not something I tend to notice myself, but the Little Gal does, and it made acquiring my second clay target at the range a lot easier and faster.
The new Franchi Affinity is not available in a youth model, but with all the standard features, it sure looks like it would be a nice fit for an adolescent shooter like the Little Gal.
Franchi Affinity specifications:
Barrel length: 26” (6.4#); Overall length: 47.25”; Finishes: Black synthetic; MSRP: $849.00
Barrel length: 26” (6.4#); Overall length: 47.25”; Realtree MAX-4®, Realtree APG®; MSRP: $949.00
Barrel length: 28” (6.5#); Overall length: 49.25”; Finishes: Black synthetic; MSRP: $849.00
Barrel length: 28” (6.5#); Overall length: 49.25”; Realtree MAX-4®; MSRP: $949.00
Barrel length: 26” (5.6#); Overall length: 47.25”; Finishes: Black synthetic; MSRP: $849.00
Barrel length: 26” (5.6#); Overall length: 47.25”; Realtree MAX-4®, Realtree APG®; MSRP: $949.00
“COMMON SPECIFICATIONS: Magazine Capacity: 4+1 Chokes: IC,M,F and wrench Length of Pull: 14.25″ Drop at Heel: Adjustable 2-2.5″ Drop at Comb: 1.5″ Type of Sights: Fiber optic red-bar front sight Minimum recommended load: 3-dram, 1-1/8 ounce; 20-Gauge 7/8 ounce, 1275 FPS.”
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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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