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Franchi is definitely one of the best known, most highly regarded names of the Italian arms industry; offering hunting, sporting and professional (MIL/LE) firearms for decades, it went on the verge of bankruptcy in the early 1990s, and was acquired by the Beretta Holding in 1995. Now a part of the Benelli company − itself operating under the Beretta Holding umbrella − the Franchi brand continues to offer top-notch hunting guns on the international market. Accessible prices and first-class performance are Franchi's trademark today; and as a matter of fact, the merger with Benelli allowed Franchi to master state-of-the-art technical solutions and manufacturing capabilities. Franchi introduces new products every year − always hailed by shooters and experts worldwide − and the year 2014 makes no exception.
More specifically, this has been the year of the Intensity 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, first announced in Italy in late 2013 but showcased to the public and launched only during the trade shows season of early 2014.
The Franchi Intensity is basically an improved design based upon the already successful Affinity model − more specifically, optimized for waterfowl hunting.
The heart of the Franchi Intensity shotgun is the Front Inertia working system: a variant of the Benelli Inertia System whose recoil spring encircles the magazine tube located forward of the receiver. This is what keeps recoil in line with the shooter and helps reduce muzzle flip, providing superior balance, faster repeating and shooting, and easier maintenance. The Franchi Intensity shotgun is built around an anodized lightweight aluminium alloy frame and a cold-hammer forged 26", 28" or 30" stainless steel barrel, coming with a step rib.
Most important of all, the Franchi Intensity shotgun sports an 89mm/3.5" chamber, allowing the use of standard, Magnum or even Supermagnum loads with the same degree of reliability and accuracy, while at the same time providing the shooter with the capability to engage even the highest, fastest-flying waterfowl.
The Franchi Intensity shotgun also features a TSA ("Twin Shock Absorber") stock, based upon a polyurethane expanding foam system that will reduce the felt recoil level up to 50%.
Franchi's Intensity semi-automatic hunting shotgun is available in a baseline "Black Synt" version − sporting black polymer furniture, blued barrel and hard-anodized black frame − or in tree different camo variants (Mossy Oak "Bottomland", Realtree MAX-4 and APGX "Xtra Green") that will aptly fit most, if not all, hunting environment, while at the same time providing a superior protection of outside surfaces against aggressive elements.
Those impressive features couldn't go unnoticed to the staff and editors of the Outdoor Life magazine, probably the world's most important publication in the field of hunting firearms and accessories. At the 2014 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits − which took place April 24-27 in Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) − the Franchi Intensity received the Outdoor Life’s Editor’s Choice Award as the 2014 Shotgun of the Year.
“To earn an Outdoor Life Editor’s Choice award — which goes to the rifle and shotgun with the highest overall score in the gun test — is quite an accomplishment,“ said John Snow, shooting editor for the "Outdoor Life" magazine.
“The Franchi Intensity has not only withstood the demanding rigors of the test, but also excelled in every category we rate—design, performance and price-value.”
The Franchi Intensity is also extremely light at 7.2 pounds (3.2 Kilograms approximately), giving this light and lively semi-automatic shotgun a responsiveness that allows for quick swings and fast follow-up shots. The length-of-pull (LOP) is adjustable with 3 different lengths of recoil pads; drop and cast is adjusted by virtue of a shim kit system.
Manufacturer's suggested retail price is set in the $1099–$1199 range for the United States, and in the €1200-€1300 range in Europe.
Perspective international buyers should inquire for local availability and pricing with their respective national authorized importers and distributors of Franchi products and firearms − a comprehensive list of whose is maintaned of the company website.