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By Ralph Stuart
Photograph by Chris Siefken
For long walks in the field or out to the blind (especially when you’re lugging other gear), there’s nothing like a lightweight semi-auto. And when that covey of birds finally flushes or that flock of ducks sets in, the luxury of an extra shot or two is often welcome. The Franchi Affinity 3 is a sleek, well-balanced autoloader that operates on the reliable Inertia Driven system like its Benelli brethren. The 12-gauge we tested would be perfect for all-day carry and look sharp in the gun rack back at the lodge.
We tested the Affinity 3 at the range and found it to be a quick-pointing, light-kicking, clay-breaker. It had no problem cycling heavy target loads (2¾”, 3 drams, 11⁄8 oz of No. 7½s) and heavy game loads (2¾”, 3¼ drams, 11⁄8 oz of No. 6s) but balked at low-recoil, low-noise target loads (2¾”, 2½ drams, 1 oz of No. 8s). In all fairness Franchi recommends a minimum load of 3 drams, 11⁄8 oz. With appropriate fodder, the gun cycled quickly and ejected shells with authority. Even with a weight of only 6 pounds 7.7 oz (on our postal scale), the gun was not abusive on the shoulder and surely would have been even more comfortable with the distraction of game. Price: $899 ($789 for black synthetic), with a 7-year warranty.