Franchi Renaissance Elite mechanics
I had a difficult time locating a "long-term" user review of this gun. Perhaps a few comments on various Forums, but I am still seeking a definitive review of the durability of this gun, having recently purchased one. If anyone has pushed a few thousand rounds through one of these I'd like to hear how it's holding up, and an opinion on the muzzle jump and recoil.
So, I took my new, unfired, FRE 28 to my gunsmith, whom I greatly respect, and asked him to evaluate the mechanical design and expected strength and durability of the Franchi Renaissance Elite. Aside from being impressed with the overall features, quality of craftsmanship, high grade wood and detailing of the gun, he reassured me that the hardened steel reinforcement in the breech and the pivot points should prevent any possibility of the receiver stretching or loosening from distortion due to heavy use.
He said this gun should be able to easily handle over 100K rounds. I also learned that the chambers and barrels are hard chromed, and he was particularly impressed with the fine fit of all mating surfaces... wood to metal, metal to metal, etching, etc.
His only proviso was "It's going to take a lot of shooting for this action to completely loosen up" So that's fine with me.
I will post additional threads after I've had a chance to shoot this gun, and include some photos next time.
13 Dec. 10
I've had a 12 ga Renaissance field for 5 years. In that time I've probably put about 1000 rds of 7/8 oz target loads through the gun and perhaps 100 1 1 /4 oz 1330 fps field loads. It shows no signs of wear.
Recoil is what would be expected from a 6 pound fixed breech gun. One doesn't notice it while hunting grouse or pheasants in Wi where you seldom fire more than 5-6 shells in a day. If I'd try and use it with 1 1/8 oz target loads for an extended session of skeet or sporting clays, I'd surly notice it. The recoil pad helps a lot but there is only so much it can do. That's why I generally use 7/8 oz loads for targets. Muzzle jump isn't bad and acquisition of targets after an initial shot has never been a problem.
If your Renaissance is a 28 bore, I doubt you'll ever be able to shoot it loose. I wouldn't used my 12 ga for high volume clays shooting. The recoil would be more than necessary and a steel framed gun would be better from both a recoil and strength stand point.
As I see it, the gun was designed to be carried more than shot and that makes it an idea upland game piece.
Excellent! Just what I was hoping for....
It's a relief to hear a reasonable and factual response on the performance of this gun instead of the usual "you really ought to buy a Browning or Beretta". I bought my FRE to carry in the field, and admired its fine european style and amazing value. The salesman at Jay's Sporting Goods in Clare, MI was an older gentleman who had been shooting one for several years. He highly recommended it.
Now I'm thinking I should take a look at the Renaissance Sporting in 12 or 20 ga. for clays. Also considering a Remington 1100 Sporting 20 which I already have in 12 ga. One advantage of the Franchi is that it takes 3" shells. Another is the $200.00 rebate offer good until the end of December. I shoot Sporting, Skeet and 5's at our local club.
What do you think?
14 Dec. 10
The choice between a Renaissance sporting and 1100 would be a matter of personal preference.
I have the 1100 Sporting in .410. I've got 2 12ga 1100s, a 20ga and a 28ga. (They don't call me dumb duck for nothing). I've had the 12 and 20 gauge guns for more than 30 years and besides O rings and a set of gas rings for the one of the 12s, I've never put a dime into them. They have provided outstanding service. My trap gun of choice is the 12ga 1100.
The up side of the 1100 is the reduced recoil of the gas operated gun. The down side is chasing the spents if you reload.
If you reload, the O/U would make it easier. The difference in recoil isn't going to be too great because the Renaissance Sporting guns are heavy enough to leave your shoulder in one piece.
I'd try the fit of both and choose the gun that fits you best. As long as the Renaissance target guns are as reliable as my field gun, I don't think you can go wrong with either.
Ordered Franchi Ren. Sporting 12
Jeezz you're on the bird man. Sounds like I asked the right guy.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Yes, I do reload. Find it very relaxing to sit down and feed the machine. I've also found some loads which provide good velocity without severe recoil for hunting and clays. Picking up is good exercise too.
I talked to my dealer and they can get the Franchi in a week or less which makes the 12-31 deadline for the $200 rebate. Stock specs match the Renaissance Elite, and it should be a perfect fit.
I can leave the purchase of an 1100 20 for next year.
Thanks again for your help Bill.
16 Dec. 10
Since you reload I'll off some more useless advice. If you haven't tried Alliant 2028 in your 28ga and 20ga loads I'd give it a try.
It is the cleanest burning powder I've found for the 3/4 oz 28ga and provides excellent service in 7/8 oz 20 ga loads. Now if someone would invent a truly clean burning powder for the .410, life would be good.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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