Franchi Horizon Varmint bolt-action rifle for hunting and shooting: the field test

The Horizon rifle represents, in the Varmint version, a link between hunting and sport shooting, presenting itself as a firearm capable of ensuring accuracy in long distance shooting and reliability, but with its own style and an attention to aesthetics that is not taken for granted in this gun market segment. In many countries – the US in the first place – so-called “varmint” guns are in fact born with a rather concrete intended use and attention is exclusively focused on effectiveness in long range shooting for controlling the wild animals that are considered harmful to other species, therefore to biodiversity and human activities. In this case, with the Horizon Varmint rifle which is available in two different versions, Black Synt and Elite Subalpine, Franchi has focused a different attention on the manufacturing of these rifles that can accompany the enthusiasts both on the shooting range and on hunting trips without compromise. Speaking of hunting, we refer above all to selection hunting, because when searching it is advisable to use the more specific and lighter Horizon Wood model. The Black Synt version was the object of our test at the shooting range during the Franchi Experience, dedicated to the discovery of the new Franchi guns.

The Horizon Varmint comes from Franchi with a Picatinny rail on the action
The Horizon Varmint comes from Franchi with a Picatinny rail on the action and two magazines, a 3-round one for hunting and an 8-round magazine for shooting range use.

Video: Franchi Horizon Varmint, testing the hunting and long range shooting bolt-action rifle

Features of the Horizon Varmint Black Synt rifle

The muzzle brake reduces the negative effects of felt recoil
The muzzle brake reduces the negative effects of felt recoil, making the gun more handy and accurate for the shooter.

The rifle we tested is available in .308 Winchester caliber, has a monochromatic black polymer stock and features matte blued metal parts.

The bolt with 60° throw and three lugs is fluted and particularly smooth and precise when cycling. The barrel is also fluted and has an increased 0.86”/22-mm diameter compared to the 0.59”/15 mm of standard versions. The extra material obviously adds rigidity to the barrel but also resistance to overheating and provides better accuracy in long range shooting. The fluted profile allows the center of gravity of the bolt action to be set back, reduces mass and adds that aesthetic refinement we were referring to.

The polymer stock of the Horizon Varmint
The polymer stock of the Horizon Varmint features an adjustable comb and an interchangeable Tsa polyurethane recoil pad.

The design of the Horizon follows the Envolved Ergonom-X ergonomic profile studied by Franchi basing on the hunting habits of more than a thousand hunters, to ensure ideal comfort in every shooting position. As a result of this development platform, the exclusive Allround Interlacement checkering guarantees a quick shouldering and a firm grip. The Tsa (Twin Shock Absorber) polyurethane recoil pad allows for a 50% reduction in felt recoil and is interchangeable to achieve the ideal LOP and height for any user.

Following our Franchi Experience at the shooting range
Following our Franchi Experience at the shooting range we can confirm the great accuracy of the Horizon Varmint rifle.

The supplied recoil pad is of intermediate length, bringing the LOP to 13.97”/355 millimeters. By replacing it you can vary that value from 13.66”/347 mm up to 14.37”/365 mm. It is possible to adjust the aiming height for the best shooting position by mounting the optional low or high combs. To increase stability and reduce the negative effects of recoil, the muzzle brake makes the rifle even more manageable and improves shooter's concentration. The barrel of the Horizon Varmint measures 24”/61 cm and has a rifle twist of 1:11", chosen to stabilize 150 to 180-grain bullets, which represent the widest range of options used for hunting and precision shooting. The Varmint is fitted with a Picatinny rail on the action and two magazines, a 3-round magazine for the rifle in hunting mode and an 8-round magazine for shooting on the range. The Relia trigger is clean and crisp, with an adjustable pull weight from 0.8 to 1.9 kg, contributing to improve accuracy on the Horizon Varmint that, as for all the Horizon series, is tested to guarantee 1 MOA on three shots fired. We were direct witnesses of its accuracy and shooting comfort during the test day organized for us by Franchi at the San Ginesio shooting range, Italy – we tell you about it in our video.

For more information on the Horizon Varmint carbine please visit the Franchi website.

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