Franchi Instinct SLX

For trekking across the prairie or heading into the high country—or anything in between—it’s hard to beat a 20-gauge over/under for all-day carry. Make it a gun that points well, is affordable and is easy on the eyes, and you have a surefire winner. For almost 10 years Franchi USA has been producing a gun that checks all the boxes in its Instinct model. Previously it was available in an L version with a steel receiver and an SL with an aluminum receiver, but this year the lightweight SL was given “deluxe aesthetics” and introduced as the SLX. We took one of the new guns out for a spin to see if its performance lived up to its looks.

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Franchi Instinct SLX


At test time grouse season was a month away, so we toted the Instinct SLX to the range. Thanks to its light weight (5 pounds 11 ounces on our digital scale) and balance point just in front of the hinge pin, the gun pointed easily and quickly. We put everything from 78-oz No. 6s to 34-oz No. 10s to 1516-oz No. 6s (ouch!) through the gun, and there were no issues in firing. The bottom ejector, however, was temperamental and failed to kick out about a quarter of the shells. Understandably, the new gun was slightly stiff opening and the safety was somewhat sticky, but both things surely would become smoother with use. Another nice aspect was that the barrel selector switched positively from side to side and was impossible to get stuck in the middle. In summary, the Franchi Instinct SLX serves its intended purpose as any easy-to-carry, well-balanced, dependable gun that not only shoots well but also is nice to look at back at camp or in the clubhouse. Price (including orange fitted plastic case, owner’s manual, choke wrench and 7-year warranty): $1,999. For more information, contact Franchi USA

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Shooting Sportsman Magazine
On the cover: Incoming canvasbacks photographed by Tom Martineau/

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  • Hey Ralph,

    Started off with Remington 870’s 50 years ago progressed through 1100s when I started shorting Registered/International Skeet and gravitated to Remington 3200s for target shooting. Bought one one the first Ruger 20 gauge Red Labels (SN 641) and have run at least 10,000 rounds through the original Red Label. Own 3 others including a 28 gauge that is my primary dove & quail gun.

    One if the Primary Positive Atributes of Rugers and Remingtons is they go “BANG” when you pull the trigger! You are penalized on the Skeet, Sporting & Trap Ranges and DAMN frustrated in the field or blind.

    Your reliability report ensures I will not be acquiring a new gun!

    Thank you!

  • Still have not received my magazine, I sent a previous message on the 3/10/2020 with no answer.
    A refund of my money would be appreciated. regards Trevor

    • Trevor,
      Please call 800-766-1670 next week and ask to speak with someone in circulation. They will take care
      of you, I’m sure.

      Thank you for your patience.

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