|Trulock & Harris - Gun Reviews - Franchi Raptor 712
Jason Harris has been writing gun
tests and reports
since 1987, many for
In this section we will be
bringing you, over the coming weeks, reports
on ALL used guns in stock
and many many more .
Reviews: click on the listed gun
Franchi Raptor 712 - 12 July 05
Franchi Raptor. Monday, 11 July 2005
At one time in the UK, Franchi were a major player in the semi-auto market. That was in the seventies, when most auto’s worked on recoil from the fired cartridge.
Things have altered a little since then, both in styling and design.
Franchi were established in 1868, so they have had many years to refine and develop their guns. There are few other gunmakers who have been around as long as this.
After their relative popularity in the seventies and through into the early eighties, they had a relatively quiet period in the UK as there were changes in the importers and distributors.
Around the mid nineties, Franchi was taken over by the Beretta group. This has allowed the company to expand its design and manufacturing capabilities. It also allows Franchi to distribute their guns to the much wider net that has been built up by the Beretta group.
There are continual changes afoot with Franchi as they continually improve there range of guns.
Currently, the main semi auto model is the 712 Raptor.
The gun is a gas semi-auto and so is worked by gas from the fired cartridge.
Gas is siphoned off through ports in the barrel. These ports go through the barrel at the loop; this is the large bracket on the underside of the barrel.
The gas then acts on a sliding piston on the gun’s magazine tube. In turn the piston pushes back the bolt carriage assembly, ejecting the fired cartridge and picking up the next from the magazine tube as the bolt comes forward to close.
There is a spring that works over the magazine tube to power the action bar and gas piston forwards.
The piston is designed to work with lighter loads when used one way round. But if using magnum loads it can be removed and turned around, so that in this position it needs more gas to work the mechanism. The advantage here is that the bolt is not slammed back harshly when firing heavy loads. This reduces the felt recoil and also less stress on the action frame.
The Raptor’s bolt rotates to lock the gun shut for firing. This is a very strong system. Basically, it means that the bolt locks into the chamber end of the barrel. So at the point the gun is fired, all stresses are on the barrel and the bolt, with little stress on the action frame. This means that the frame can be made lighter, so benefiting the overall weight of the gun.
The Raptor is available with 28” or 30” barrel and is has multichokes. The gun is supplied with 3 choke tubes.
The flexible mechanism means that the gun can handle shot loads from 24 gram right up to 56 grams. To accommodate this, the chamber is 76mm or 3”, and is proofed for magnum loads.
The bore diameter is 18.3mm on the test gun. This diameter could vary 0.1 or 0.2mm from gun to gun, but the point is that the gun is not over-bored.
The barrel blacking is good but is a duller finish than on some other autos, but may be that is to be less reflective.
The barrel has a top rib that is ventilated and is approximate 7mm wide. It is also matted to prevent glare.
There is a good line of sight that is enhanced by a channel in the top of the receiver that draws the eye down to the rib.
The barrel bore and chamber are chrome lined which will give a very durable finish as well as life to the gun under the hardest working and environment conditions.
The woodwork has Franchi’s “weathercoat” system. This is a wood stock and forend, but covered with a synthetic coating that has the look of very high quality wood.
The stock is conventionally shaped with a pistol grip and drop of 60mm at the heel.
This gives dimensions to suit most shooters with a fairly flat sight picture.
There are shims that come with the gun so that the drop may be altered to suit the user.
Chequer is machine cut under the weathercoat and gives a good level of grip.
The action frame is finished in a nickel silver. It is sculptured on the sides but is fairly devoid of engraving. It does, however, have the Franchi green logo/badge inlayed on each side of the action frame.
This badge is also positioned in the bottom of the pistol grip.
There is also the makers name and legend on the underside of the receiver in front of the floor plate.
The trigger group is finished black to give contrast to the silver receiver. The trigger group block itself is made of a polymer and so is very light but also has a great strength.
This is another feature that helps reduce the overall weight of the gun to 3kg that’s a little over 6 ½ lb
This auto is a good all rounder at a very good, value-for-money price. Whether you want an auto as a second gun for pigeon and rough shooting. Or one gun to do everything; this gun could also be seen happily performing on the clay ground. Franchi have a lot to offer with their range of autos.
There is also a 20 gauge version of the Raptor, which enjoys all the same features of the 12 gauge.
The gun comes with 3 choke tubes and is supplied in an ABS travel case.
[back to top]