Franchi I-12 problem with feeding/ejecting
I bought my son a Franchi I-12 to take duckhunting back in November of 2011. I was told we would need to shoot a few boxes of shells to break it in for dependability. We went to the range and shot a couple of boxes at skeet in preparation for our Dec. duck hunt. The issues never got worked out but I thought that shooting 3" shells at ducks would be the solution. It wasn't. Occasionally he got two shells to fire but usually only one and then a jam. He had no use for the gun until a few days ago when he and I competed in a sporting clays tournament. It would not feed/eject again so we had to share my Benelli M2 which was flawless.
I've emailed the company today to inform them of the problem. When I went to get the serial number for the email, I assembled the gun to see if I could spot any issue with it. I tightened the barrel nut only finger tight and brought the bolt back. It bound up in the full back position, not to be confused with the last shot fired lock back position. I loosened the barrel nut a couple of clicks and it closed by itself rather lazily. I tried to twist the forearm to see if loosening the barrel nut also left the forearm loose and it did not. However, I noticed that the butt stock wiggled a small amount. I can tighten that but I'm rather concerned at the quality of the gun for what I paid for it.
What can I expect from Franchi? There was a $100 rebate when I bought the gun so I'm wondering if there are some design or mfg flaws that caused Franchi to discontinue this model. Has anyone had any experience with this? I appreciate any advice because I'd hate to think we wasted a bunch of money. My son is quite frustrated that his new gun has never worked for him.
17 May 12
If they don't respond to your e-mail, I'd give customer service a call. After a couple attempts to correct similar problems with my first I-12, they replaced it. After a little breaking in the second gun was flawless. I purchased an I-12 Upland Hunter and it never jammed at all. There seems to have been issues with the I-12s, especially the older guns.
The new Affinity, which replaced the I-12, uses a long barrel tang and different bolt head identical to that of the M2 Benelli. I have one and it has never jammed.
Give them a call. Once you get through, they've been really good about taking care of such issues.
Thanks. I did get through and they promptly replied. I'm sending it today to them. It appeared to be quite a buy so I hope it turns out to be. I don't understand the "breaking in" idea. My Benelli M2 has been perfect since the first shot and even shoots 1 oz loads flawlessly.
17 May 12
I agree about break in. It does little if any good I can see. My I-12 upland hunter runs perfectly on 7/8 oz 12ga loads. The Affinity 20ga will run on 3/4 oz loads. This is below the published minimum for both. Both guns ran perfectly from day one.
I was still getting jams, 1 or 2 per 100 rds, with the second I-12. I don't think break in helped. What I did notice was that when the gun jammed, the shell seemed to be wedged in the carrier and never reached the release. I tried the magazine spring from an X2 winchester thinking it might be heavier and force the shell back more aggressively. It turned out to be much weaker. On a lark I tried it anyway. It worked. I've had the Winchester magazine spring in place for 2 years and I haven't had a single malfunction since. The gun will run perfectly down to 1 oz but won't run on 7/8 oz.
More useless observations. When the bolt is closed on the old I-12s, it will bounce once or twice before locking in place. This never happened with the newer I-12 upland hunter nor does it happen with the Affinity. My brother's M2 and legacy show none of the "bounce" we see in both the older I-12 guns.
Well, go a call from the Benelli service chief, quite the gentleman. He explained that I had not seated the forearm properly when assembling the gun. I never over tighten or force anything. There is a small lip that on the forearm that must slide into the receiver. I thought I was doing that but it didn't work. Apparently, I didn't tighten it enough. Anyway, he told me he'd expedite the service as they are 5-6 weeks behind. He put a new forearm on it and they test fired it 12 times. I received it back within a week from our phone call. Maybe less. I assembled it and it is slick as a baby's behind. I haven't shot it yet but will check it out asap. I'm comforted by the fact that Benelli stands behind their products. Great service!