View Full Version : 870 vs Franchi

July 24, 2002, 10:15 AM
I have had 870s in my gun safe for years. But I have never learned to use them with ease. I don't often fire 5 shots in succession without some hang up at some phase of the process.

Yesterday, I was shooting and came to a point where the action was locked when I tried to work it. So I thought that meant I had emptied both the magazine and the chamber, and decided to drop the hammer so as to have it ready to put in the "shuck and shoot" version of "cruiser ready".

Boom!!! Good thing I had it pointed in a safe direction, on my own property, with a berm in the background.

Since I haven't yet mastered the pump process, I'm wondering about selling the 870's and getting a Franchi 612 Defense.

Franchi rather than other options, because weight is a primary factor for me (the lighter the better). One reason for not using the 870s more often is that the lighter one weighs 8.25 lbs, which is a bit heavy for me.

Bad idea? Propose a better one?

July 24, 2002, 01:11 PM
An 870 should be pretty reliable so I am confused as to why you can have so many problems per tube. If it is the gun, go and have a smith look at it.

A semi will have it's own completely different manual of arms for operation. It may be easier to learn for you, but I personally think that a semi's operation is a little bit more complicated than a pump, especially the loading/swapping process. Semis are definitely faster, I don't know if they are easier to operate.

If weight is a concern, that's your choice.

My personal opinion is that you should practice more with the pump until you can work it reliably.

That AD you experienced would have happened with either shotgun.

Dave McC
July 24, 2002, 02:44 PM
A Franchi is a nice shotgun, but....

There's a more complicated MOA.

Since these are blowbacks,ammo choice is more limited.

And, they're made abroad,which means the shifting tides of international commerce and politics may make warranty work and parts difficult to get.

Considering some of the stone cold cretins I taught to safely handle the 870s, I think you'd be better off working on your technique.If they can be taught, it should be a snap for you.

That UD qualifies as "Pilot Error". Blame it not on the shotgun.

Also, riot bbled, 12 gauge 870s I've shot have come in as light as 6 lbs,10 oz. I suggest you figure out how to drop the weight a bit. Even my TB with oversized wood comes in around 8 lbs. A bit of judicious trimming can lop off a half lb easy, more a little tougher.

Feel free to PM me if you've a specific glitch you want to unravel....

Oleg Volk
July 24, 2002, 04:01 PM
I would suggest Remington Auto 5 or 11-87P over Franchi 612D. 612D may handle very well BUT its manual of arms is a lot more complex then either 870 or 11-87.

July 24, 2002, 04:18 PM
I bought my only shotgun, an 870 Express Synthetic 18" with 6+1 capacity, a year ago. I think pump guns are the best option for first time shotgun owners and for veterans, is arguably the most reliable shotgun platform to use (no worry about ammo not cycling in a semi, etc).

I've never had problems with the 870 with the action or feeding. Playing... err... practicing with my 870, the only time I noticed that I would ever have a problem is if I pumped the action too slow or weak, thereby not giving enough "pop" to extract the spent hull.

Have a friend who is good with shotguns, or go to a range and talk to an experienced shotgunner and have them watch you shoot and work the weapon and see what problems you may be having.

July 24, 2002, 08:23 PM
You might take a look at the Charles Daily semi auto at your local Walley World. But i would learn to shoot the pumps first.

July 24, 2002, 09:21 PM
Let me know if you're gonna dump the 870"s.

Pat Brophy

July 25, 2002, 08:40 AM
'Sold the 20 gauge. It did not fit me, and all the weight I had added to eliminate the "kick" made it heavier than the 12 gauge.

The 12 gauge is a perfect gun. To think of parting with it wrenches my soul. But handling it does violence to a delicate part of my anatomy that's been injured, has been surgically fixed, but remains too sensitive to handle the weight of the 12. The surgeon said it would take a year to "fully recover". It's been 1.5 years, during which time the 870s stayed in the gun safe. Which is why trying to use them of late has been like starting with no prior experience. And the physical pain precludes the amount of practice required for proficiency.

I am going to remove the sidesaddle as soon as I get stock trigger pins from Remington (which were ordered last week). The barrel is already a mere 18", so there's no spare weight to chop there. The only way I can see to further minimize the weight is to remove the single round magazine extension I got from Brownells - but that's not heavy enough to make the amount of difference I need.

Dave, does a Police Magnum (i.e., my gun) weigh that much more than an Express? Maybe I should buy a more expense set of scales... But regardless of the accuracy of the scales, my anatomy is the ultimate judge, and it silently screams "too heavy!"

A friend loaned me a Mossberg .410 Personal Defense which belongs to his wife. It weighs about 5.5 lbs. That I can handle. But I'll not be satisfied with a Mossberg after owning an 870 :) .

Hmmm 5.5 lbs - that's the weight of a Franchi 28 gauge 48 AL...

But then my revolvers (.357) would become the weapon of choice for HD. Or (don't laugh), would anyone pick up a 28 gauge rather than a .357 in an HD emergency?

So many questions and options...

Thanks for all the responses. Your comments are very much appreciated.

July 25, 2002, 09:57 AM
Re options, here's one that cycles through my mind:

Get a .410 870 (6 lbs) and use it for practice.

Would practice with a .410 adequately substitute for practice with the Police Magnum?

July 25, 2002, 01:11 PM
Ah! It just occurs to me: When the 870 weighed in a 8.25 lbs, it had 5 shells of buckshot in the magazine. But 'can't use the gun without loading it...

Dave McC
July 25, 2002, 02:33 PM
RE 357 vs 28 gauge....

28 gauge runs about 52-4 cal, IIRC. A standard 3/4 oz load at 1200 FPS would clearly outpower any 357 load I know of. At typical HD ranges, it'd hit like a giant Glazer Safety Slug.

A 410 skeet load at similar range would duplicate the old 41 Magnum Police loading. This was withdrawn due to screams of Brutality from the media and certain demagogues from minorities.

Whether or not one would pick either is a matter of personal choice. Either will do.

And a 28 gauge WM is a neat thing to have. I guess it runs less than 6 lbs, even on a 20 gauge frame.

Maybe K80Geoff can give us some input on 28 gauge loads. I had a friend who used his with deadly effect on everything but waterfowl.

Al Thompson
July 25, 2002, 02:46 PM
I'd pick almost any centerfire long gun over any handgun. Even a .410 with buck or slug is way out in front of all but the most exotic handgun or perhaps a .44/.41 Mag, power wise.

Even in a .44 mag versus a .410, I'll have better control (three points of contact Vrs. two) and an obviously enhanced ability to inject a chunk of lead where I want it to go.

Handguns are great for portability, terrible for fight stopping. Clint Smith, IIRC, made the besst remark - "A handgun is best used to fight your way back to a real gun".

July 25, 2002, 06:25 PM
I was reluctant to expose my ignorance by asking the questions. I have been enriched by the rewarding answers.


July 25, 2002, 08:44 PM
28 for HD ?

In a heartbeat.

Handguns are great for mixing socially and still havin sumpin.

Packable with suit, shorts or whatever..

Shotgun, if handy is a monster rifle at in house ranges.


July 26, 2002, 06:45 AM